- PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE
- DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
- ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL PRIMARY
- ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL FORMATION & IDENTITY
- UPDATE & REMINDER OF PROCEDURES
- FIRST DAY BACK for our PREPS, YEAR 1'S, YEAR 11 AND 12'S
- MANDALAS - NATURE and PRAYER
- MATHS GAMES & OLYMPIAD
- STUDENTS GET CREATIVE WITH SELF ISOLATION SELFIES
- MEALS ON WHEELS
- SCHOOL PHOTOS
- P & F NEWS
- RED SHIELD APPEAL GOES DIGITAL
- COMMUNITY NOTICES
Last week we welcomed back all our Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 students. I am pleased to see they have settled quickly back into their learning. We look forward to the return of all students on May 25.
As we head back to full time face-to-face teaching, the staff here are looking at the lessons learned and the positives of the Learning@home program that we can continue into the future. The use of the various learning platforms and technologies have proved beneficial and their use will be integral to our ongoing digital pedagogy.
Let the children play
Moving out of the digital world, I read the following today in the newsletter published by the highly regarded University of New South Wales Gonski Institute for Education. In the newsletter, Professor Pasi Sahlberg, global thought-leader in education and former schoolteacher in Finland, writes about the importance of play in learning for all ages.
“It’s incredible how much deep learning really happens when children play,” says Professor Sahlberg. “Often in our busy lives, we think play is a waste of time. But if you really go there – now we might have time to do that – you will find that how the kids use their imagination creatively and learn new things is just amazing.”
According to research, the best form of play is a free, unstructured play outdoors – though indoors is still meaningful.
“This type of play means that the children can decide themselves what to do and how to play, rather than adults giving them rules and structure. It is something that raises their curiosity; it's joyful and invites children to use their own imagination,” he adds.
Through this, children can enhance their emotional, social and also cognitive development – in other words, skills that will help them to learn better more broadly. This is something that is true for all of us, no matter what age.
“We hold this myth that play is only good for children in kindy or primary school, but all children want to play, including young adults,” he says. “In fact, this applies to all of us from zero to 99. It is a natural form of our existence; it’s how we express ourselves.”
Fortunately, here in the Granite Belt we have plenty of opportunity and space for play outdoors. Get your kids outside to play.
Last week saw the return to face to face lessons for our Prep, Year 1 and Year 11 and 12 students. It was fantastic to have these students back on site, along with the students in Years 2-10 who have been attending during the Learning@home period. In speaking with the Year 12 students during Pastoral Care this week, there was a sense of relief and excitement amongst our seniors to be back on deck and re-commencing preparations for the next piece of summative assessment and building towards the external assessment block in October.
For students in the Learning@home environment, I encourage them to maintain consistent contact with their teachers to ensure that they are confident with the work they are attempting. I am aware of many students who may be struggling with organisation of time and prioritising work for different subjects. The solution! Get in touch with their teachers and ask for some assistance in how to structure the workload and prioritise tasks. Our staff are happy to help where they can to ensure that all students can continue to be the best they can be despite the challenges faced in the Learning@home environment.
As parents, I encourage you to contact the school if you need any support through the period of learning at home.
Last week saw the Prep and Year 1 students return to the Primary Campus for face-to-face teaching. Our worries as to whether they would need time to adjust to being back were unfounded and in fact, they all resumed learning as they had left it over six weeks ago. As well as praising the students for this, it is also a credit to the teachers and the parents who have worked so closely together through the Learning@Home program. It has certainly been lovely to hear the excited chatter of over 100 students on the campus each day and we are looking forward to welcoming back the other students on 25 May.
For those students in Years 2 – 6, the Learning@Home program will continue and the teachers are expecting that learning will still occur, whether they are at school or at home. Through conversation with some of the older Primary students, there is a very real sense that they have gained a greater understanding of themselves as learners during the past six weeks. They reflected, for example, on having a better understanding of time-management, on the need to be more resourceful when encountering challenges and also on a greater sense of organisation. I encourage parents to have a conversation with their child about what they have learned about themselves. These dispositions or qualities will be what sustains a person in any learning situation in life. As teachers, we have learned many things about the students, ourselves and teaching and learning through this period. Our challenge now is improve what we do in the classroom by incorporating some of the tools that were embedded into the Learning@Home program, such as the students keeping a digital portfolio of their work, creating videos of content for students to refer to when they need them and further developing learner independence.
Last week we also welcomed three new students – Jeremy and Tayla in Year 3 and William in Year 1. At the start of the term we also welcomed Liliana into Year 2. All four students have been made to feel very welcome by those students who have been at school and I am sure that this will continue once all the students return.
Finally, I am sure that everyone would like to join me in wishing Mrs Charlton a speedy recovery from her recent health concern. All being well, we anticipate her being back with us in Week 6. In the meantime she is getting plenty of rest.
With God’s blessings.
Assistant to the Principal Primary
God's Presence With Us
It is often overlooked as a Christian celebration of great joy.
It does not receive the fanfare or notoriety of other holy days.
It is a miraculous event filled with hope, joy and peace.
It is a beautiful mystery of our faith, falling 40 days after Easter.
It acknowledges the beautiful and enriching presence of God in our lives.
It is the Ascension, honouring Jesus’ Ascension into heaven and this year celebrated on Sunday, 24th May.
Through Christ’s Ascension we receive the strength to continue His mission, to spread the Gospel and bear witness to it in our everyday lives.
“Dear brothers and sisters, the Ascension does not point to Jesus’ absence, but tells us that he is alive in our midst in a new way. He is no longer in a specific place in the world as he was before the Ascension. He is now in the lordship of God, present in every space and time, close to each one of us. In our life we are never alone: we have this Advocate who awaits us, who defends us. We are never alone: the Crucified and Risen Lord guides us.”
(Pope Francis, Address in Saint Peter’s Square, 2013).
May the joy and hope of the Ascension be with all of us during this time.
Assistant to the Principal Formation & Identity
As students start to return to school, a reminder regarding correct procedures for late arrivals, early departures and visitors as follows:
All contractors, parents and visitors must sign in and out of school during school hours if they are visiting classrooms or coming into other parts of the school. This does not apply to parents dropping students off before school and collecting them after school. A sign in Kiosk will replace the sign in book in the coming weeks.
All late students must report to the Office. The late slip has now been replaced with a sign in kiosk. Late students can now sign in at the kiosk, and will need to bring their printed late slip to class.
- For early departures, the usual parental permission is required, however, the students sign out with the kiosk and receive a printed slip. Parents can assist the student when they are picking them up from the Office if needed. Returning students MUST present this printed slip to the office before heading back to class. Should the student not return to the office with the slip prior to returning to class, they will be marked as absent for the remainder of the day. All students in Prep to Year 11 leaving early, must be collected by a parent / caregiver. Parents are asked to wait at the office - we will have the child come to the office.
- For student absences, parents can either call the office on 4681 5900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org If no advice is received, an SMS will be sent seeking confirmation, followed by a phone call if required.
- Please do not enter the office if you are unwell, have any symptoms related to COVID-19 or have had close contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
- Please sanitise your hands upon entering our office.
- Maintain a safe social distance of 1.5metres.
- Payment of school accounts can be made over the phone, direct debit etc.
- Please refrain from gathering in clusters in and outside the office.
- Call ahead to the office if you wish to make an appointment with the Principal, Principal's Assistant or the Bursar.
Your assistance and understanding of the above procedures if greatly appreciated.
Last week saw the return to school for Queensland's Year 11, Year 12, Prep and Year 1 students.
For the most part, school life won't be hugely different to what it was before.
It was so lovely to have our youngest students back on campus and to know that this is hopefully the beginning of getting back to normal.
For the Seniors of our school, time away was somewhat disappointing for Year 12 in their final year - to not have the opportunity to spend time at school.
However, we're sure they are all very keen to be back.
The Year 4 and 5 students are learning about different styles of Prayer with a focus on mediative prayer practices this week. The students were tasked with creating Mandalas with objects from nature for their first prayer.
It was certainly a worthwhile activity where students could reflect, pray and be grateful. Students enjoyed the task and some amazing Mandalas were created.
Ashlin Benny - "I chose this Mandala for today's prayer because of two important reasons: We are in Covid19 and what we need is healing. We need to be healed physically and mentally so that we will be able to return to our normal happy lives. I pray for my family, teachers, my community and the whole world so we will experience the healing touch of God. I also dedicate this Mandala to my mum, all the mothers in the world who do all the hard work to protect, guide and love their children. Words are not enough to tell how much our mums mean to us. The greatest gift God has given us is our mum so by today's silent prayer, I am saying thankyou to God and my mum"
For a number of years, the students in Years 4 to 6 have participated and competed in a number of Mathematics Challenges run by The Australian Mathematics Trust and The Australian Problem-Solving Mathematical Olympiad.
Recently, four of our students entered the CAT contest and a large number of students competed in the second of five rounds of the Mathematical Olympiad and Maths games. Each of these programs is aimed at developing the student’s ability to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of Mathematics in challenging situations. These programs also aim to foster a love of Mathematics and a positive outlook on attempting more difficult concepts and reasoning. The Olympiad will continue through to August.
The student’s ability to solve problems is supported with weekly problem-solving sessions as part of our ongoing Mathematics curriculum delivery. In these lessons, various strategies are discussed and applied.
Later in the year, students will also compete in the Australian Mathematics Competition, Granite Belt Maths Team Challenge and, hopefully, the Warwick Maths Team Challenge.
Have you ever wanted to draw a portrait of yourself ? Have you ever considered drawing it with Data ? This was an interesting activity to see how students made the connection between their feelings and activity during isolation and using data to represent it in a visual way.
Art students were asked by Miss Mason to get creative and to create an abstract drawing by using a variety of symbols and shapes to represent certain feelings and actions. The art works were to symbolise their time in self-isolation. Students were asked to consider repetition or changing the size of symbols to reflect how often that particular event occured. As well as developing their composition skills, it was also a great way to get some insight into their isolation experiences.
With the many restrictions around excursions and remote learning for many of our students due to COVID-19, our students have not been able to take part in their regular Service Learning program by assisting with the weekly delivery of Meals and Wheels to members of our community.
With the inability of students to help out, last week saw some of the St Joeys staff volunteer in place of our students to deliver meals throughout the week.
“It was a great opportunity for our staff to live the Mercy values and be a role model to our students in the community. I enjoyed seeing and experiencing what the kids do each term when they participate and I now know why so many of them want to do it again and are keen to step up if we are short of numbers” - Megan Mahoney, Assistant to the Principal Formation & Identity who helped co-ordinate the volunteers from the school.
“As a teacher it was a privilege to be able to step into the shoes of some of our secondary students and participate in the Meals on Wheels program. Our students are usually the ones contributing to this worthwhile service. Meeting members of our Stanthorpe community was a bonus and we made many new links to our school as we encountered grandparents and family friends along the way.” – Amanda Thompson, Year 6 teacher.
Approximately ten clients were delivered meals. By delivering meals you bring nutritious food and a friendly visit to those special members of our communities. Anyone can deliver meals, and it’s a great volunteer opportunity for families and teams of employees, as well.
Primary and Secondary Tuckshop will resume on Friday 29th May.
The Secondary Tuckshop will continue in its usual format, however, the Primary Tuckshop will operate in a slimmed down version for the remainder of Term 2. The heavily reduced menu will be available online by the beginning of Week 6.
There will be NO homebaking or popcorn as food handling is to be reduced as much as possible. Packaged drinks, chips and ice blocks will be the only over-the-counter items for sale during this time.
Volunteers will still be needed to run both tuckshops.
Although the arrangement for Primary Tuckshop may not seem to be ideal, I feel it is important to be able to offer the students some form of tuckshop within the current limitations. Hopefully by Term 3 more items will be able to be added to the menu.
Due to COVID-19, there has been a delay with the processing of School Photos. The team at Academy Photography are working with a skeleton staff and have advised that School Photos should be about two weeks away.
The Management from Academy Photography apologise for this delay.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and observation of social distancing practises, St Joseph’s P&F has taken a hiatus for the majority of 2020 thus far. We did manage to squeeze in one meeting and our AGM at the beginning of the year, but have been forced into lockdown like the rest of the country. That meant no more meetings and no more fundraising activities. Personally, I have missed these opportunities to be briefed on what is going on within the school and the chance to interact with the school community.
Like the rest of Queensland, we are waiting on our government to advise when we can get back to some sort of normalcy and routine. Amongst other things, our major annual fundraising event – St Joseph’s School Trivia Night, has already been cancelled. It is positive to hear, the health threat to the community is diminishing and subsequently restrictions are easing. Students are being eased back to school and businesses are opening back up. Hopefully soon we will be able to hold meetings again and we can discuss how the P&F can assist the school moving forward. I am sure there are many opportunities to assist students, staff, parents and the community with the various challenges this pandemic has presented.
Our P&F will advise when we intend to meet next. I would strongly urge all parents to attend. Much of our school community is hurting, financially and emotionally, due to COVID-19 restrictions. It would be great to have as many parents as possible attend so that we can help each other moving forward.
P & F President
The Red Shield Appeal is The Salvation Army's signature annual fundraising drive, supporting their vast network of social and community services.
These services range from providing shelter for the homeless, assisting families in crisis through practical support and financial counselling, to guiding people with addictions through to a clean, healthy lifestyle.
Normally many of our students would be participating and assisting with this great cause, however not this year. This year, the Southern Downs Salvation Army are holding a digital doorknock instead.
So how can you help ?
Share this page. https://digitaldoorknock.salvationarmy.org.au/southern-downs-salvos - Sharing this page spreads the word !
Sign up to fundraise for us. Click "Join this team" to stand alongside the Southern Downs Salvos to support the local community.
Donate. If you can give, please give generously.