We have had a very busy two weeks since the last newsletter.
Toowoomba Catholic Schools Leadership Forum
Thanks to the staff, students and parents who helped with the daily gathering prayers, Mass and P&F Dinner for the Toowoomba Catholic Schools (TCS) Leadership Forum that was held in Stanthorpe last week. All our visitors, including the 30 Principals from the other schools in the Diocese and the TCS Leadership Team, commented on how wonderful our students and staff are and how hospitable Stanthorpe is. Dr Pat Coughlan, our Executive Director, was particularly thankful and congratulated the school for a job well done. My special thanks to staff members Mrs Angelina Sims, Mrs Megan Mahoney, Mr Matthew Brown, Mrs Sarah Yates and Dr James Cuskelly, and the Year 12 Student Leaders, who did so much to make it a successful week. I am very proud of our students and staff.
During the TCS Leadership Forum, we also hosted visits to the school by a number of Principals from other schools. The Principals spent time with our Visible Learning expert, Assistant to the Principal Primary, Mrs Sarah Yates, and conducted observations of classroom practice in both Primary and Secondary. When we started our Visible Learning journey three years ago, the plan was to develop into a “Lighthouse School”, that is, a school that showcases best practice for other educators to learn from. It is very much the case that we are now such a school.
This week students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 have been sitting the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. NAPLAN has returned in 2021 following the cancellation of these tests during the COVID pandemic in 2020.
NAPLAN accesses the types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. The data obtained from NAPLAN, combined with other data obtained from school assessments and teacher observation, is very useful in determining where students are with their learning and what needs to be done to assist students to be the best they can be.
NAPLAN should not be a cause of stress for students. As a school, we have worked with students to treat these tests as a positive experience. This year all NAPLAN test instruments (except the Year 3 Writing Test) are completed online and students have been well prepared, both in class and through organised online practice sessions, for this test format.
I congratulate all the students and staff for their good work throughout the NAPLAN testing.
We are rapidly approaching the halfway mark of Term 2 and it is timely to remind all students that they should be monitoring their progress through the teaching and learning in the classroom, as well as the development of their responses to assessment. The semester assessment calendars are a great tool to plan and manage time so that assessment requirements can be met with minimal stress. As always, I encourage communication with the relevant teachers, curriculum leaders or myself if there are any concerns about your child’s academic progress.
On May 11, we saw students across Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 commence online NAPLAN testing. NAPLAN returned in 2021 following the cancellation of these tests in 2020. Students worked incredibly well in completing four tests across the week focusing on writing, reading, language conventions and numeracy. The data gathered through these tests will provide a valuable tool for teachers to analyse areas of strength and weakness for each individual student and allow us, as teachers, to target specific concepts and capabilities in the teaching and learning that occurs in classrooms. Well done to all the students for your great efforts in the NAPLAN tests.
This week the students in Years 3 and 5 have participated in the NAPLAN tests in the areas of Writing, Language Conventions, Reading and Numeracy. All of the students took the tests in their stride and demonstrated their knowledge and understanding to the best of their ability. They should be very proud of themselves. The results of these tests usually arrive in school within the first few weeks of Term 3. Thank you to Mrs Campbell, Mr Fleming and Miss Canavan for their support of the students in the lead up to this week and also throughout the testing period. Any students who missed some/all of the tests will have the opportunity to sit them next week before the testing 'window' closes on 21 May.
Since the last edition of the newsletter, we have had a number of teachers and principals from other Toowoomba Diocese schools visiting our classrooms and talking to our students, who have become very adept at answering questions and showing off their school. The visitors have been keen to see the differences that adopting an approach to learning which centres around empowering students can bring. Last week I shared the feedback with the staff on the Primary Campus, recognising that it is the steps that we have taken as a collective team that has made the difference for our students - and which will facilitate further improvement in the future. For your information, the feedback included references to the high level of articulation of the students around their learning, the innovative use of space and resources, the sense of purpose in each of the classrooms and the respectful and collaborative way in which the students work with, and assist, their peers. As one of the original Light House Schools for Visible Learning, it is gratifying to be able to showcase our journey so far to the new schools who have only been involved with this project from January this year and help support their development.
Congratulations to all those who have been involved in any Granite Belt sporting events over the past two weeks. The weather was not particularly conducive to running cross country, but the students who took part in the GB event did themselves proud. The Darling Downs event takes place next Monday and we wish them well. In the soccer competition, Isaak, Jye and Will participated well and whilst they were unsuccessful in getting into the DD team, their efforts were recognised by the convenors.
Our next big event is the Border District Eisteddfod in Week 6 and hopefully all students are preparing their poems in preparation for this. We thank Mrs McLucas for her preparation of the students for this event and also Dr Cuskelly for his work preparing the choirs. Good luck to everyone.
With God’s blessings
Assistant to the Principal Primary
National Families Week
Next week (15 -24 May) National Families Week is held, and this year School Prefect Louise Day has chosen to promote this week as part of her leadership project for 2021.
National Families Week is an annual celebration where the important and essential contribution families make to community is acknowledged and valued. More than ever, families have been called upon to support, strengthen and enrich the lives of many as we experience drought, fire, flood and the continued impacts of Covid 19.
This year “Dance for Sick Kids” will coincide with National Families Week and the event asks that schools and organisations dance to raise money in support of Ronald McDonald House. Whether we have used the services of Ronald McDonald House, or know someone who has, Louise was keen to ensure that we support this organisation. A huge dance off will be held on Thursday (20th) at lunchtime on the Secondary Campus. Primary and Secondary students will be invited to be involved for a gold coin donation. I am sure there will be some very keen movers and groovers willing to support this fun event.
Families have and will continue to be a vital part of our society. So, I encourage you to celebrate the meaning of family and enjoy the time you have to teach, nuture and support all families.
“No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love.” (Pope Francis, 2016)
Assistant to the Principal Formation & Identity
Vaping & E-Cigarettes
Vaping is becoming a trendy pastime that is growing in popularity across Australia, especially amongst teenagers. It is the act of inhaling a vapour created by an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. Many teenagers are succumbing to peer pressure around this risk-taking activity due to the ease of accessing and hiding vapes. They are often cheaper than conventional cigarettes, making it more cost-effective and attractive to young people.
Although under 18s are not legally allowed to purchase any type of e-cigarette or vaping product in Australia, teenagers are finding ways to access them online. Australia has strict regulations in place for nicotine-containing products, and attempts are being made to regulate vaping and ban the importation of them. Many of the flavoured liquids associated with vaping, contain not only high levels of nicotine, but other potentially harmful additives. Many of these “e-liquids” contain chemicals that are likely to be toxic, that when inhaled or vaped repeatedly, can cause severe damage to the lungs.
Vaping is often marketed as being the “healthy” alternative to smoking. However, doctors strongly advise that if you do not smoke, then you should not start vaping. Most teenagers are unaware of the associated risks and potential impact vaping can have on their development and overall health. Parents are encouraged to discuss the dangers of nicotine addiction and include e-cigarettes in the discussion alongside alcohol and drugs.
This Special Report highlights the facts around vaping and e-cigarettes and what are the potential risks. 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/special-report-vaping-au
Year 9 Science students participated in a variety of stations to test the responses to different stimuli.
This is part of their unit on the brain and central nervous system. They record their predictions, observations and results in digital notebooks.
Year 9 students have also been dissecting sheep brains as part of their Biology unit.
In the lead up to the dissection, students learned the major area of the brain as well as what it controls. During the dissection students were able to work in small groups to identify the areas they had learned about and practice their surgeon skills!
Ten FM, our local community radio station, have been providing students from St Joseph's with a 6 week course in radio presentation.
Students - Grace Roberts, Ryley Simcocks, Noah Taylor, Shirley Meharg, Sebastian Meharg and Teresa Pozzebon have been training under the watchful eye of Ten FM employee, Mrs Marion Saxby.
Many radio presenters often start their career in the smaller, localised radio stations and what a wonderful opportunity our students have been given to gain this practical radio experience.
The cadets will be hosting their own program in the near future - so STAY TUNED !
This is a very enriching experience for all in literature and self-confidence. The Eisteddfod performance day is Monday 24th May.
Good luck to all students involved.
A number of students in Year 11 and 12 recently attended a QPAC performance of Come from Away with Assumption College Warwick on Wednesday 5th May.
Come from Away is an acclaimed musical production, which follows the experience of passengers stranded on a remote Canadian island after planes were grounded after the 9/11 attacks in the USA, and is based on true events.
This was a cultural enrichment opportunity and was an excellent experience for students. Students reported the production was ‘amazing’ and ‘absolutely brilliant’.
Thank you to Assumption College Warwick for their invitation.
This Friday, 14th May is national Do It For Dolly Day. Do It For Dolly Day is a day dedicated to bringing the community together, spreading kindness and uniting in taking a stand against bullying.
It's a wonderful opportunity to share Dolly's Dream message to be kind and speak even if your voice shakes.
“By coming together and getting behind the cause, people will encourage their mates to do the same and, before long, everyone will feel brave enough to speak out against bullying,” says Dolly’s father, Tick Everett.
Year 11 student Mackenzie Swan is getting behind the project and is encouraging all fellow SECONDARY students to wear a blue ribbon for the day. (some ribbons will be available at school on Friday).
Let’s Do It For Dolly, let’s be kind!
A little kindness goes a long way and together, we can make May 14 a one-of-a-KIND day!
Epilepsy Awareness Day took place at St Joseph's on Friday 30th April. Students were given purple ribbons and shown videos regarding how to administer first aid for when someone is having a seizure.
Epilepsy Awareness Day is an important day for many members of our school. Awareness of this disease is important because it can be incredibly dangerous if someone suffers a seizure and it is not dealt with accordingly.
Primary and Secondary students each watched different films on what to do if they were to find someone in the middle of a seizure, with Senior students, Taylah Whiticker and Kiara Osbourne speaking about Epilepsy to students on the Primary campus.
It was a great day, and it is good to know that students will now know what to do in the future if someone has an epileptic seizure.
National Families Week is held every year between the 15th - 24th May and celebrates the vital role families play in our world. School Prefect Louise Day, with the support of School Captain Gianna Newman, has chosen to promote this event in our school community. A number of events are occurring during the week, including a dance off, library activities and games.
To launch National Families Week, Louise is holding a BBQ Breakfast on Monday 17th May from 7:45am. Bacon and egg breakfast rolls and pancakes with maple syrup will be served, as well as the Coffee Shot Box available for coffee, tea and milkshakes. Families are welcome to come along and enjoy a family breakfast on the Primary Campus and are invited to make a donation which will support Ronald McDonald House, an organisation we are all familiar with.
For catering purposes, please email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org by indicating the number of serves required for each item. Contributions can be made on the morning of the BBQ.
Finally, for those students who would like to take part in the School Dance Off on Thursday (20th) lunchtime, we are asking for a gold coin donation, again to be given to Ronald McDonald House.
Thank you for your support of this week.
St Joseph's P & F Trivia Night is on this Saturday, 15th May and it's not too too late to book a table - all bookings (with payment) are to be made at St Joseph's School office.
Child Minding services will again be offered to any families attending the P & F Trivia Night.
A number of staff will be present along with students from our school's QISSN team to keep the children entertained for the evening with a variety of fun activities.
The cost for this service is $10 per child or $20 for a family (3 or more children). Proceeds will go towards assisting with the costs of sending our St Joseph's students to the annual QISSN Carnival (Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball) to be held from 27th June to 2nd July.
Children will be signed into Frayne 3 any time on the night after 6pm and signed out on collection from Frayne 3 by 10pm. Students from the QISSN team will be on hand at the Bathersby Centre, to assist with directions to Frayne 3. Children attending are asked to bring along a water bottle and snacks for the evening.
Please email Sandra.Ellis@twb.catholic.edu.au to book your child / children in or if you have any concerns or questions.
Congratulations to Ellis and Oliver Lahey on their recent selection into the Darling Downs Orienteering team.
Both Ellis and Oliver qualified after completing two rounds of competition in Warwick with students from 18 other schools in the region.
They now look to training at more events before the State Championships in July.
Well done boys and good luck !
Border District Cross Country
A team of 7 keen runners took to the Scots College course to represent St Joseph’s at the 2021 Border District Cross Country Carnival. The students who competed were Erin O’Dea, Harry Wren, Jack Brown, Katie-Lee Jansink, Brigid O’Dea, Jack Bell and Chelsea Debnam.All runners performed exceptionally well, competing right in amongst runners from around the district. Brigid O’Dea topped the St Joseph's field of runners finishing runners up in the 15 Year Girls with sister Erin claiming a 5th position in the 13 Year Girls. A great effort also by Chelsea Debnam who finished 4th in the 16 Year Girls and Katie-lee Jansink (absent from photo below) who finished 5th in the 14 Year Girls.
Bill Turner Cup
Thursday 6th May, saw students from St Joseph's head over to the CF White Oval to compete in the Bill Turner Competition.
On a cold and bone shivering day, both teams did extremely well in their respective competitions.
The boys results were :
Vs Stanthorpe State High School – Lost 3-0
Vs Goondiwindi State High School – Win 2–1
Vs Inglewood State High School – Win 3-1
The girls results were :
Vs Stanthorpe State High School - Draw
Vs Assumption College - Loss 2-1
Well done to all students who represented the school.
Granite Belt Cross Country
Wednesday, 5th May saw students from St Joseph's compete in the Granite Belt Cross Country. In what can only be described as a horrible day, students ran in the rain, hail and sunshine (although not much sun was seen at all).
Cross Country is the sort of event that runs in all weather conditions and the students certainly gave it there all.
Congratulations to all who competed and to the following students on their placements :
|9 Year Girls||Ella Morello||Placed 3rd|
|Imogen Staley||Placed 4th|
|9 Year Boys||Ned Robinson||Placed 1st|
|Benjamin Kerridge||Placed 2nd|
|Louis Pompetti||Placed 4th|
|10 Year Girls||Georgia Petrie||Placed 1st|
|Hannah Petrie||Placed 2nd|
|Milla Fraguas||Placed 4th|
|10 Year Boys||Lyndon Morello||Placed 2nd|
|11 Year Girls||Margaret O'Dea||Placed 1st|
|Lily Tuvukica||Placed 3rd|
|11 Year Boys||Ted Bonner||Placed 1st|
|Thomas Telfer||Placed 2nd|
|Isaak Brown||Placed 4th|
|12 Year Girls||Emily Robinson||Placed 3rd|
These students will now have the opportunity to go on to compete in the Darling Downs Cross Country to be held in Toowoomba on Monday 17th May.
|14 May||Do It For Dolly Day|
|15 May||P & F Trivia Night|
|17 May||Darling Downs Cross Country|
|National Families Week Breakfast|
|19 May||National Simultaneous Storytime|
|Vicki Wilson Netball Cup|
|24 May||National Mass - 200 Years of Catholic Education|
|27 May - 3 June||National Reconciliation Week|