- PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE
- DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
- ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL PRIMARY
- ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL FORMATION & IDENTITY
- WELLBEING WEEK
- FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
- YEAR 4/5's CREATING THE ULTIMATE YEAR 6 CLASSROOM
- SCIENCE AND CLUEDO
- EARTH, AIR, FIRE & WATER & CREATING ART
- SCIENCE CLUB
- DISASTER MANAGEMENT PRESENTATION
- ST JOSEPH'S MOUNTAIN BIKERS
- SAFETY OF STUDENTS
- UNIFORMS FOR SALE
- COMMUNITY NOTICES
- UPCOMING EVENTS
At St Joseph’s School, we are very conscious of preparing all students, ultimately, for their tertiary studies and/or entry into the workplace. In particular, the skills they learn from P-12 are important for them to become life-long learners. Our ‘senior’ groups in Primary (Year 6) and Secondary (Year 12) are having a successful year leading the way for all students in their respective campuses.
A real success story this year has been our Year 6 Hub. This week, we hosted Mr Paul Herbert (Toowoomba Catholic Schools Senior Education Leader), Mr Kort Goodman (Principal St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba) and Mr Simon Fleming (Principal Assumption College, Warwick) for a visit to the school. They all marvelled at the incredible learning going on in the classroom. Our Year 6’s are an exemplar of successful Visible Learning, that is, students who can:
- Articulate what they are learning
- Explain the next steps in their learning
- Set learning goals
- See errors as opportunities for further learning
- Know what to do when they are stuck
- Seek feedback
They are wonderful to watch and are ready for the transition to Secondary.
The academic year is quickly coming to an end for the Year 12's. Shortly, classes will finish, and they will head into a “mastery” period prior their exams. For many, the exam period will involve external exams set by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). After that it will be their Retreat, Graduation and final farewell. From school, they will head off to tertiary studies and/or employment.
In the September break, a number of the Year 12's will be participating in the Toowoomba Catholic Schools External Examination Preparation Program. The program will be run at St Saviour’s College in Toowoomba and will bring together Year 12’s from across the diocese to do additional preparation under the guidance expert teachers. This is a unique initiative that has been organised by the Secondary Principals in the Toowoomba Diocese.
As the first group of Year 12's to graduate under the new QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education) and ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking) systems, I commend them for their hard work and leadership during a challenging year. I also thank the teaching staff for their significant and professional preparation, tuition and mentoring of the students.
I hope all students follow the example and success of our Year 6’s and Year 12’s.
Over the last two months, I have spoken to many parents, families and students at Middle school and Senior school information nights. On these nights, I have focused on the two major themes of what we provide in our educational journey at St Joseph’s.
Firstly, our focus on continual improvement, where as a community we actively research and develop innovative ways to improve practice, both as a staff and as an educational community. Importantly, as a school, we have a continued focus on how we can deliver quality teaching in learning in our classrooms, through refining practice as part of a collaborative learning community, using data to improve the quality of differentiated learning for students in our classrooms and improving the diversity and resourcing of the curriculum across Years 7-12. This enhancement in the curriculum space will see the introduction of Japanese in the middle school from 2021, as well as continued expansions of Vocational opportunities for students in the areas of Agriculture and Business. Further to this, we continue to focus on the success of reconnecting with the Trade Training Centre and Queensland College of Wine Tourism and enhancing these opportunities for students as we move into the future. As well, we have established links with Riverside College to provide flexible learning opportunities for our students in 2021, allowing many students to access specialised learning in areas such as Accounting, Psychology, Health and Food and Nutrition.
Secondly, we focus on our support of students in becoming the best they can be in their academic and school journey. In Catholic Education, what sets us apart from other institutions is the focus on wellbeing and the growth of the whole person. From 2021, we are focused on continuing to improve the quality of Pastoral Care and wellbeing support we provide for each and every student. This will involve the shift to a vertical Pastoral system that will allow for students to be connections with the Pastoral Care teacher, their House group and importantly, with students across all year levels.
On another note, our Year 12 students move into an 8 day Mock External Assessment block across Weeks 9 and 10 as they prepare for the state wide External Assessment block that commences 26 October. The purpose of the Mock assessment is to rehearse the structure of the assessment block and familiarise them with the types of assessment they will experience in October and November. Feedback received as part of these mock assessment is critical in informing the direction of the remaining weeks of the mastery period and will allow for students and staff to work collaboratively to prepare the students for the challenges of the external assessment.
It is an exciting future that presents itself here at St Joseph’s and I look forward to sharing the journey with all members of our community.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
This week has seen the start of Spring and coincidently I came across a story on the weekend called ‘The Daffodil Principle’. The daffodil has always been a favourite flower of mine – and a reminder of my home country of Wales. In this story, a mother, a little begrudgingly, accepts an offer to visit a field of daffodils with her daughter before the flowers are past their best. When she arrives, she sees a field which looks as though a vat of gold has been poured over it. Marvelling at the sight before her, she questioned who was responsible for this and was directed to a sign erected by the owner:
It is important to remember that goals are not achieved without time, patience and daily hard work. Some might regret that they didn’t start sooner to create their own magnificence, but it’s never too late to start to make that difference.
In the last two weeks of life on the Primary Campus has been busy as you would expect. We have welcomed representatives from Southern Downs Regional Council to talk to Year 4/5 students about natural disasters and the need to have plans in place. We were also visited by a number of people from the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office and from some schools from the diocese as they explored Visible Learning in more detail and learned from the work that we have already undertaken in this area. In the classrooms, amongst other things Year 1 students have been learning how skip counting can be an effective way to count an large group of objects, Prep students have been developing their writing skills further and Year 6 students have been refining their comprehension skills through their novel study. Entries for the Crisps Art Show are all but finished and Year 2 and Year 3 students are preparing for their Readers’ Cup Challenge in Week 10. It’s always busy on the Primary Campus, working to achieve our goals.
Assistant to the Principal Primary
The Value of the Retreat Experience
With Years 3-5 and 7-11 students about to participate in their annual retreats, it is timely to consider the value of these experiences for our young people. In a time poor world, the opportunity to take time out of our busy routines and allow for spiritual growth and reconnection is quintessential to our health and well-being.
Most retreats take on a particular theme or focus and allow individuals and groups to spend time in prayer and contemplation, re-connecting, rekindling and deepening one’s relationship with self, others and God. No matter the age, retreats are a “little spring-cleaning of the soul” and with spring upon us, now is the perfect time.
Assistant to the Principal Formation & Identity
CELEBRATING FATHER'S DAY
For many years now, the role of fathers has changed and evolved. During the industrial revolution, fathers were often considered detached and distant due to working long hours in factories. However, today things have changed dramatically with many dads being celebrated for being sensitive, caring and more hands-on.
Recent studies have shown that children benefit greatly from having fathers who are present and interacting in everyday activities. This has transformed the understanding of how fathers shape children’s lives from the start, challenging conventional ideas of parenthood and gender.
Research also suggests that fathers influence their sons and daughters in different ways, which is especially true during their transition to adolescence. Engaging in regular physical activities can play a key role in influencing children to learn self-control, face challenges, regulate emotions and take manageable risks.
In this Special Report, fathers will learn about the positive impact they can have on their child’s mental health and wellbeing, whilst also ensuring they indulge in a little self-care. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Here is the link to your special report https://stjosephs.qld.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/celebrating-fathers-day
WellBeing Week was again held at St Joseph's from 17-21st August where the focus was on different types of wellbeing, such as Spirit, Body, Mind, Attitude and Connection - all that are important for all of us.
Over the week, a range of activities were held. Mornings commenced with a 5 minute meditation session, followed throughout the day with yoga, dancefit, Run Club, mandala colouring just to name a few. Events took place over both campuses with all students having the opportunity to particpate in the variety of events that were on hand.
Staff also had the opportunity to enjoy a Staff WellBeing Breakfast of bacon and eggs whilst students were lucky enough to enjoy delicious hot chocolates of a morning as well as a Pizza Day for the Secondary students and a Hamburger Day for the Primary students.
As part of the week, Student Council again ran a comfy pillow raffle, where a lucky student won a comfy new pillow (to focus on physical wellbeing and the importance of good sleep).
WellBeing Week culminated in a Pyjama day for all students on Friday 21st August.
Congratulations to all the beautiful First Holy Communicants sharing at the Table of the Lord for the first time either last weekend or this coming Saturday night or Sunday morning.
It has been an absolute joy to be with you throughout the weeks of preparation.
There were many moments of sharing and discovery that will live long in my memory.
Some favourite moments include the wonder at the scriptures presented especially that of The Last Supper, our deeper understanding of the Mass and ‘why we do and say what we do’, the enthusiasm in counting the crosses inside and outside the church (Maggie went into the four hundreds, turning it into a mathematical activity too!) and all the parent sharing and mementos from their First Holy Communion, still treasured today.
We congratulate these students and their families - Sasha Kendall, Margaret O’Dea, Georgia and Hannah Petrie, Lily Tuvukica (from the Mass on 29 Aug), Kayleb Spiller (30 Aug), Luke Maggiolo, Jye Marino, Claire Stanford (5 Sept), Ashlin Benny, Ruby Danzey, Tiffany Gasparin and Joseph Romeo (6 Sept).
Peace be with you always,
The Year 4/5 students have been kept busy creating the ultimate Year 6 classroom in preparation for 2021 (or 2022).
It is always fantastic to see these wonderful learners apply their collaborative skills to come up with interesting solutions to the task. Students are very capable when gathering their data and then using that information to build their ideas.
The different personalities are evident but the respectful way students interact and overcome the odd personality clash and differing of opinion, is fantastic to see.
The Year 10 students had a blast last week in Science class playing a game of CLUEDO with potential and kinetic energy questions (part of their Physics unit).
It took the winning team, 30 minutes to come up with the correct answer: Mrs Bio did it in the gym with a venomous bite.
With our community having experienced so much in the last year from drought to fire and the recent Covid 19, students are busy preparing their art works for the upcoming Crisps Youth Art Expo.
Students have been asked to document their response to this historical time through Art. So many stories have been told about people’s experiences during this time. Now we can take these experiences and create art.
Mrs McLucas and Mr Mahoney have been overseeing this wonderful project and some wonderful creative works of art are being created.
Activities in the Science Club recently, have seen students take regular playground sand and turn it into Kinetic Sand.
The science behind kinetic sand is that it stays together, allowing you to easily mold and create shapes. Kinetic means “togetherness due to movement and energy” and is used to describe Kinetic Sand because, unlike the sand at the beach, Kinetic Sand sticks together when force is applied to it.
On Monday, Officers from Southern Downs Regional Council paid a visit to the students from Year 4/5. The Council Officers specialise in Disaster Management and Bushfire Recovery and discussed with the students the best ways they can prepare for a disaster.
Disaster management education can start at any age and early introduction ensures resilience is developed and becomes an automatic behaviour, while also taking some of the fear out of these events. Teaching students about which agencies are involved, why people are asked to do certain things (eg. Evacuate), and how to be prepared and respond builds understanding and confidence. The young people in our community, have been very proactive in participating in education programs and many show a level of wisdom beyond their years.
Some of the key messages Council hopes to instil in students are:
- Disaster Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility,
- It is far better to be prepared, than to react.
If you don’t know, ask!
Every student received a ‘Zombie Apocalypse Emergency Kit’ and students were asked to think carefully about what they would need to put in their kit. Answers were both tactical and creative. A flashlight, a water bottle, spare clothes, asthma puffer, and spare batteries were all suggested. As was a teddy, a knife and Grandma’s false teeth.
It was really great to see students thinking about any possible future eventuality.
For more information on disaster management and preparedness, please visit www.sdrc.qld.gov.au
Saturday, 22nd August saw a group of keen St Joseph’s mountain bikers head to Jubilee Park in Toowoomba to test their skills on some of the trails to be used in the upcoming 2020 Maxxis QLD Enduro Series.
These included a selection of blue and black runs that featured jumps, drops, rock gardens and other technical aspects, which students sessioned under the guidance of David Warner, Vice President of Toowoomba Mountain Bike Club.
Highlights for the boys included riding most of “Mackenzie Frenzy”, a National Level downhill trail, and practicing the jumps line on “Hot Rod”, the newest black diamond trail at Jubilee.
The group enjoyed testing their skills and pushing their comfort zones, with big smiles and even bigger stories ready for the journey home.
To ensure the ongoing safety of the students, parents are reminded that -
- The car park at the Primary Campus is for staff only
- Students entering or leaving the campus should not walk through the car park, whether accompanied by an adult or not.
- Students are not permitted to leave the school premises through the gate to St Paul's Church unless they are accompanied by an adult. In recent times, some students have been seen using this gate and then running across Corundum Street without regard for the traffic.
- All students and parents and required to use the school crossing patrol at the start and end of the day. Whilst not doing so may save a few minutes, as adults we need to model safe behaviour to the children.
2020 St Joseph's Debutante Ball
The St Joseph's Debutante Ball Committee have made the hard decision to cancel the Debutante Ball for this year.
With current limitations in place, and in the interests of safety and wellbeing, the decision had to be made. We apologise sincerely to the young ladies and gentlemen who were going to participate. While we can't offer the current Year 12's anything this year, we are happy for them to participate in the 2021 Ball, and will make considerable concessions to enable them to make their Debut next year, such as holding practices over the course of several days during the Uni holidays, instead of over several weeks.
Please email your details to Dani Hannigan firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be kept notified of the 2021 Ball.
September Children's School Holidays Pottery Workshops
Stanthorpe Pottery Club are sad to announce that we are unable to provide the Children's September School Holidays Pottery Workshops due to Corvid-19 restrictions. Hopefully we will be able to provide workshops next year.
|4 September||Student Free Day|
|7-9 September||Years 3,4 and 5 Retreats|
|9-10 September||Az Hamilton visit (Years 7-10)|
|10 September||R U OK? Day|
|18 September||Student Free Day|
|Term 3 Finishes|
|5 October||Queen's Birthday Public Holiday|
|6 October||Term 4 Commences|
|8 October||Bookweek Dress Up|
|20 October||Primary Awards Night|
|22 October||Secondary Awards Night|