Michael Gray, Principal
Dear St. Joseph’s School Community,
I would like to thank families for your support and help last week. I acknowledge the resilience of each student of our school and their ability to embrace this new reality. I also ‘tip my hat’ to staff for their commitment, enthusiasm and sheer determination to create remote learning for everyone. Together our school community’s determination, creativity and commitment to learning has been simply remarkable.
To help us all navigate this new environment I will present three themes to help guide our thinking and actions in this new world. These are only my thoughts and opinions; everyone is entitled to their own views too. I am privileged to have this forum to share my thoughts and appreciate your support and interest in what I do share. Further, the purpose of sharing is to inform, explain, create discussion and hopefully give a perspective to your family discussion. In this new world of remote learning; we are all stronger, together!
The themes I’m sharing below especially consider community; the notion and creation of community is a fundamental tenant of Catholic social teaching. Community is also critical to the purpose of our school. The themes, with examples for St. Joseph’s I share below.
Theme 1: Live with Joy
Our Parish confirmation program will start up this term in the homes. More will come over the coming weeks but it is a program for Grade 3 students. This sacrament celebrates special moments in our lives and will connect young people to their school and parish community. Through the ritual and symbols in this program, the presence of Jesus will touch our lives. In a remote learning environment, the connection to a greater purpose, belonging to a school community and the support of a loving God helps young people connect with purpose and identity. As all our families are aware ‘The Resilience Project’ team are engaged with our school, see a recent YouTube video message from their directors, Hugh van Cuylenberg and Martin Heppell about important aspects of looking after each other and building supportive communities.
A wonderfully creative idea presented to us by a school family lead to a great community outcome. We contacted past Grade 6 students seeking if they would be interested in making their old workable Chromebooks available to support families currently at the school who are short on devices. We have had a wonderful response. Our ICT team are working through the school survey and will provide device support to whoever needs this help. A special thanks to Matt and Sally Conheady for sharing this idea.
Theme 2: Live without Fear
Barry Cassidy, semi-retired ABC journalist is supporting the current ABC program “One plus One.” In the current 2020 series, Episode 2 Barry interviews Australian men’s team cricket coach, Justin Langer. The focus is leadership; Justin particularly took over after the “sandpaper” debacle. In the team at the time there was fear, worry about performance, shame and confusion. Langer supported the team and faced this fear, his story is an insight for us all. The interview can be found on ABC ‘Iview’, see link below.
Theme 3: Live with New Eyes
In this unusual educational time resourcing to support family remote learning is growing with some outstanding help available. The following ‘Art Classes for Kids’ has made it to the Age and Sydney Morning Herald, link below. Tracey Monigatti (School Parent) is the author of this outstanding free site which supports home art in this new world we are living in. The article is below as well as the Facebook link. This is a site that can help with extra-curricula work from home.
Other Important Notes
To support the remote learning program we have been able to open the library for borrowing. Details will arrive in homes over the next week. The borrowing system will include compliance with strict health protocols, including returned books going into quarantine for a period of days before being available again.
As all school families are aware the school app is invaluable to access school information and support. Two new titles have been created to help with quick access to critical Term 2 information. One called ‘Learning Plans’ gives direct access to the teaching plans to guide the remote learning program and the other called ‘Term 2’ links. This location has everything of a general nature we have sent out for this term. This will alleviate families having to scroll through old emails to track down documents. I thank Kellie Mentha and our office team for this innovation and the set up to support us all.
With our ‘google meets’ program for older students, connection with learners is progressing well. A reminder that care and supervision are required to ensure this powerful tool is used only for learning. The focus this week, after startup last week, will be embedding routines for home remote learning programs. Over the next weeks, the community connection aspect of the google forum will be expanded to help the students connect with their classmates. All this work will come from classroom teachers and our learning plans.
Life-Saving Warrnambool: Many St. Joseph's students successfully participated in the Lifesaving Victoria Junior State championships over the Labour Day weekend in March 2020. This year the carnival was extended to three days, attracting 1,800 competitors from around Victoria.
For the Warrnambool Nippers, it was the culmination of almost six months of training. All participants were indeed proud of their achievements. At the state level, medals are hard to win. Our students claimed 7 medals.
Congratulations to: Edward Northeast and Hannah McMeel who achieved medals in running events. Well done also to Casey Carlin, Sam Joseph and Will Ralston who all claimed bronze medals in the board relay.
Friday 13th March is normally considered a spooky day, but in 2020 it was National Ride2School Day. It was a very successful day at St Joseph’s as 70% of people rode, scooted, bused or walked to school. All of the students who walked or rode got a sticker. It was rewarding to see the excited facial responses of the students when they received their sticker.
This was a pleasing result because it included our Foundation students, but it also means that 30% did not walk or ride. One way we could improve the number of students walking in the future is for the students that live far away, to get dropped off on the way to school.
The Coronavirus has stopped all team sports, so walking, riding and scooting may be the only exercise we can do at the moment. This article has been written by our Healthy Moves Ambassadors: Bridget G and C, Kayla and Harper.
Michael Gray. Principal.
Safe Learning Areas for your child
Below are some tips and guidelines for setting up Learning Areas to work with your children at home.
- Just like when at school, a home-based workstation could include an appropriate desk and chair
- Lighting must also be sufficient, with minimal reflection or glare.
- Remember to have regular breaks throughout your Learning routine
- This includes standing to stretch and regular snack and meal breaks.
- Lighting is adequate for the tasks being performed (i.e. easy to see and comfortable on the eyes)
- Glare and reflection can be controlled
- Comfortable room temperature (i.e. I feel comfortable with the room temperature and air flow)
- The work environment must be free of hazards such as electrical cords, remembering not to overload powerpoints with adaptors etc
- It is recommended that families develop a plan for, and practice, evacuating from the home with their family members to ensure everyone is aware of what to do in an emergency.
We are encouraging all to practise good hygiene and this can be done by reminding your child to:
- cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
- put used tissues straight into the bin
- wash your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
- use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
- increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
Each week at 8:30am on a Sunday the pre-recorded Mass for the day is available on the St Joseph's Parish YouTube page.
Subscribe to the page for notifications. You can also follow St. Joseph's Parish on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stjosephswarrnambool
St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat daily Mass can be viewed at 11:30am at stpatscathedral.weebly.com
At this time, we cannot receive you Lord Jesus sacramentally in the Eucharist.
Help us to welcome you spiritually as we wait for the day
when your saving sacrifice will be offered
and the divine banquet will be spread in our churches once more.
You are the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.
But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
My Jesus, come to me.
I long for you;
Let me always be at one with you.
During Term 2 parents are still required to notify the school if their child/ren is unwell or not participating in home learning due to other reasons, such as an appointment.
If your child/ren is booked into the school's Care and Supervision program we also need to know if they are not attending due to illness or other reasons.
Please contact the school via our SZAPP to notify us of the "absence".
You can now also notify the school of absences via PAM by clicking on the "Parent Notified Absences".
Glen Watson from Glen Watson Photography has offered to assist us with the distribution of the school photos. Photos can be collected from the foyer of the School Hall during the following times this week.
10:45am - 1:00pm, Thursday 23rd March
8:30am - 10:20am, Monday 27th March
Please follow social distancing rules when collecting the photos, this may mean you need to wait outside for a short time before going into the hall.
For families who are attending school this week for the Care and Supervision program we will send photos home with the children.
All families receive a photo envelope, if you haven't placed an order the envelope will contain details on how to order photos if desired.
Please contact Glen at Glen Watson Photography with any queries regarding your order. Glen can be contacted via the Contact button on his website.
It's great to hear that so many of our students have been reading at home and want some new books to enjoy.
Students can come into the school during the day, give a wave or a hello to someone in the office and then go into the library. They need to check in the books they are returning and place them on the trolley. They can then borrow their new books.
Parents are asked to remain outside please. Staff will provide assistance to your child if necessary.
Unfortunately students are not able to go to their classroom to get items such as pencil cases, books or items they have in their tub.
If you child does want/need something then contact the office between 10:30am - 2:30pm or send us an email from the Contact Us Link on the website. We will then leave the items on the collection table in the school's foyer.
Thank you to families who have completed the survey and advising of your families interest in accessing the St. Joseph’s Primary School, Government and Catholic Education Commission of Victoria’s initiated on-site ‘Care and Supervision’ support, during the World Health Organisation’s declared coronavirus pandemic.
For vulnerable students or those where no other arrangements can be made please complete the following form for School Business Manager, Cathy Duynhoven.
This program will run within school hours and will not be a full classroom educational program but adjusted as per all our students.
A detailed letter containing arrangments for onsite care and supervision will be emailed to families who have registered for this program.