Michael Gray, Principal
Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, Staff and our wider School Community
Welcome back all.
We are fortunate indeed to have had a two-week break to rest, renew and plan for this Term.
Our school community members may have noticed I used the words “Fourth Quarter” on our Queens Road sign over the break; this is in reference to our last Term for the 2019 school year. Like in many sports the final quarter goes well if we all maintain our focus, commitment and energy. If we do this we all reap the fruits of the “Hard Yards” earlier in the year.
Many teams have lost games they should have won due to poor last quarters. Usually, attitudes of complacency, ignorance and a lack of attention to detail mean cohesion, effort and energy drop. This message of staying in the game and working hard is important for us all; students, staff and families alike. It does not mean we can’t celebrate achievement and effort; in fact, we should commemorate success and endeavour. We will do this in many school settings including shared classroom meals, fun excursions in December, final assemblies and graduation ceremonies. I commend everyone for the work thus far and encourage all to maintain the focus this Term.
2020 Planning Updates
Class Grouping, Transition and Orientation Programs will commence this Term and will be communicated via our newsletters, notes and school app. These messages will have information and details of dates and processes supporting all, as we prepare for 2020. Parent co-operation and support will be valued and appreciated as we support our students in preparing for 2020.
To support student learning, curriculum implementation and focused teaching we move to straight grades over the next two years. The classrooms will also have a capped ceiling of 25 students per room. To support this plan we have added a new double portable. Minor works will be carried out on the building over this Term in readiness for 2020. Thanks to Cathy Duynhoven, David Carlin (School Contract Builder) and our Grounds crew for this work over the break.
As per the above classroom work, we have a small committee working with our school architect on our New Master Plan; this document will lead our work on continuined renovations, refurbisments and re-builds ensuring St. Joseph’s is well placed as a leading 21st Century school community.
This Term, we welcome back Jim Guinan from leave. Jim will resume his Deputy Principal role. A very big thanks to Maryanne Evans, Nick Murrell and Pat Allen for their work last Term as Assistants to the Principal in Jim’s absence. They also assisted while I was in Japan with our students visiting our partnership school Doshisha Elementary School in Kyoto. This program will again run in September in 2020 and is available for interested students in Grade 6.
Reflecting on the last Term
I congratulate everyone for your response and support of the Arts. The special week engendered wonderful learning and creativity. Also impressive was the Middle School Inquiry unit focusing on the Arts last Term. Again the creativity, talent, commitment and imagination of this work was stunning. Many enjoyed the display in the hall and all our students valued and appreciated family and community support.
I also acknowledge the 12 students attending Japan last term. It is amazing the resilience capacity building this type of program is for us all. Especially as all our students are in a new school for a week, stayed with host families for five nights, persevered with their language skills and managed an amazing array of ways to travel. Congratulations all and a reminder for those who attended this year we have a parent/school review meeting this Thursday at 4 pm in the St. Joseph’s Church Hall.
We remember Danny Frawley’s (AFL Footballer and Media Identity) recent passing. This has been a very difficult time for his family, many friends, colleagues and the AFL football community in general.
Danny was well known to Fr. John who played football with Danny at Bungaree near Ballarat. Danny also played a significant part, along with his wife Anita here at St. Joseph’s when a past pupil, Pippa Rea then in Grade 4, passed away as a result of a rare type of brain cancer. Anita is a very good friend of Pippa’s mum, Virginia. At this time of Virginia’s need and support, Danny’s spirit shone through; he and Anita made a significant impact on me during this time. They were both compassionate, caring, helpful and true friends and supported Virginia when her family were experiencing a terrible tragedy.
At this difficult time I offer our communities thoughts and prayers. Fr John, in a recent mass homily, shared the following clip of Wayne Schwass, ex AFL player and Warrnambool family sharing his thoughts about depression at the recent celebration of Danny's life. The link to this talk, if you have not seen it, is well worth watching, especially in relation to depression. The last two years here at St. Joseph’s our PSA have supported sessions for families around resilience, speaking up when needing help and the importance of networks of support. Both Danny and Wayne are advocates of expressing emotions and working at staying well. See Wayne’s message at the following link.
Michael Gray, Principal
Planning for 2020; Classroom Structure, Transition and Class Placements
Please find below the 2020 Placement information. 2020 Placement Surveys (Green Forms) will be available from the school office from today, and close on Friday 18th October. Please note completion of a green form is not compulsory but can be used as a guide to placing your child in 2020.
Congratulations to all our Gold Box winners Micheli Sypott for helping a friend when she was nervous on stage at the Middle School Expo and to Archie McDonald for helping to pack up the sand pit.
Winners of our Gold Box get to go for a swim at the pool.
Last term we were very fortunate to have a visit from Andrew Fuller which was made possible by the support of the PSA at St. Joseph’s.
A session on building learning strengths was held for staff and then an evening presentation was held for parents to attend. The evening session was based around building resilience in children. It was great to see so many parents taking advantage of his expertise and coming along to the night.
Andrew is a Clinical Psychologist who has written several books and worked with over 500,000 young people nationwide. I have included some key points from Andrew below.
How to Build Resilience
Compassion and love are our oldest medicines. Add to this hope and connectedness and we have the four most powerful ingredients of healing. Each ingredient alone may not cure a case of the flu but together they will help you resist disease, lower stress, lower blood pressure, avoid a heart attack, protect against depression, increase academic results and longevity and help you live a happier life.
What creates resilience varies at different stages of our lives.
The clear indication is that people thrive when they:
Connect with one another
Protect one another
Respect one another
Identifying Learning Strengths
Helping students to identify their learning strengths and helping teachers to differentiate based on these strengths is called neurodevelopmental differentiation.
A tool to enable students to do this is available at www.mylearningstrengths.com
Students and their parents can assess learning strengths for free on www.mylearningstrengths.com and receive a letter outlining their top learning strengths and an area to overcome.
By identifying learning strengths, you can capitalize on success in that area and cross-fertilize those skills into other learning areas. While the letter that is sent after the completion of the learning strengths analysis will be sufficient for many people, a full report is also available. There is a nominal fee for this.
Andrew recommended that if your child is under grade 3 then parents would need do the online test.
Regional Athletics Finals
This coming Friday, our Regional Athletics team will head to Ballarat for their Carnival. We have 23 students including 3 girls relay teams and 11 other students competing in individual events on the day.
We wish the team all the best and thank Michelle Nicolson and Jeremy Dixon for their help and support during the lead up to the carnival over a number of weeks.
AFL 9’s Football
A fantastic day was had by all our Year 4 students who competed in the AFL 9’s Football last term. A special thank you to the Middle School Team and E4 students for their coaching and support on the day. Our year four children will be involved in an AFL 9’s tournament to be held at St Joseph’s.
It was wonderful to see many parents and friends of St Joseph’s there to cheer on all of the teams competing.
Sports Practice this week
Regional Athletics Meeting @ Lunchtime
3/4 Regional Hooptime practice in the hall @ Lunchtime
Regional Athletics Practice on the oval @ Lunchtime
5/6 Regional Hooptime GIRLS practice in the hall @ Lunchtime
5/6 Regional Hooptime BOYS practice in the hall @ Lunchtime
3/4 Regional Hooptime GIRLS practice in the hall @ Lunchtime
Regional Athletics Finals in Ballarat
Andrew McCombe, Physical Education and Sport Co-ordinator
Christine Thompson, Room D4
Boxes due back this Friday 11th October, 2019.
A reminder to please include the $10 postage (cash is fine).
Please do not seal the box with tape, just put a plastic band around it. All boxes are checked by the volunteer at Operation Christmas Child before they are posted off.
The PSA are conducting a Second Hand Uniform Sale for all school uniforms. If you have any good quality uniform that reflects current St. Joseph’s uniform policy and standards this day could be for you. You can either donate items to be sold to the school for sale OR price them accordingly and have a % of your sale go to the school’s PSA.
If you would like to participate you can do so by one of the following two options.-
OPTION 1- If you are donating any school uniform items for sale please bring these along to the school office. Volunteers will price all items accordingly and all sales will be donated to our schools PSA.
OPTION 2- If you have any good quality uniform that you are wanting to sell please name clearly with your family name, grade of the eldest child, size and price. All tags are to be pinned on the garment and removed when sold. It has been determined that 70% of the sale will go to the family and 30% to the PSA.
Second hand school bags are also able to be sold on the day providing that they are in appropriate working condition.
Bring donations and sale items after the holidays.
The sale will occur on Friday 18 October, 2019 from 2:00pm till 3:30pm (before and during School Assembly) in the School Hall foyer. This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase good quality second hand uniforms.
2019 Art Fundraiser
The PSA will be running their annual fundraiser to raise additional funds for the Art Department.
This year your child's artwork will be available as a Diary (2020), Notebook (lined) or Sketchpad (blank).
These high quality hard cover diaries display your child's unique artwork created at school.
- Dairies - View the week at a glance - each double page displays the full week Monday – Sunday and includes public holidays and school term dates along with a year planner.
- Wire bound book designed to lie flat and stay open.
- Convenient A5 size (150 x 210mm).
- The same artwork can be used for all our products.
- Samples available at the school office for viewing.
Orders are now open via CDFPay at a cost of $15 per diary and close at 3pm on Friday 11 October.
Orders will be delivered in plenty of time to use these items as Christmas presents.
Note: Our Art teachers will endevour to ensure your child has completed the necessary artwork. However, if your child has been absent for an extended period of time for holidays or sickness they may not have completed their artwork.