- PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE
- DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
- ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL PRIMARY
- ASSISTANT TO THE PRINCIPAL FORMATION & IDENTITY
- BLESSING OF ART ROOM CRUCIFIX
- YEAR 5 SCIENCE
- "BE YOUR GREATEST" CAMPAIGN
- BOOK WEEK
- MUSIC FROM OVER THE BORDER
- MUSICAL SUCCESS
- VIETNAM'S VETERANS DAY
- YOU CHOOSE
- UPCOMING EVENTS
On Wednesday this week Fr Brian celebrated his last mass with the school as parish priest. The mass was followed by morning tea. The school took the opportunity to thank Fr Brian for his 18½ years’ service to St Joseph’s Parish Stanthorpe and St Joseph’s School. Many in our school community (young and old) would have experienced marriages, births, first communions and funerals with him during that time. We wish Father Brian all the best in his retirement.
We also had the opportunity to welcome our new parish priest, Fr Gonzo, and Deacon Brian. I am looking forward to their engagement with our school community.
Last week’s performances of Matilda the Musical were a pleasure to watch. The cast and crew did an amazing job. My thanks to all the students, staff, parents, carers, sponsors and members of the St Joey’s community who helped make it a success. In particular, thanks to Pauline Leigh (Director), Natalie McCosker (music and band) and Courtenay Mason (set design and props). Well done all.
Over the last two months, I have spoken to many parents, families and students at school information nights, Open afternoons and generally around the community. During these conversations, I have focused on the two major themes of what we provide in our educational journey at St Joseph’s.
Firstly, 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 our Teaching and Learning framework, conceptualised through our journey with Visible Learning, to improve the quality of differentiated learning for students in our classrooms, as well as improving the diversity and resourcing of the curriculum across Years 7-12. 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. In 2021, we have focused on continuing to improve the quality of Pastoral Care and wellbeing support we provide for each student. This involved the shift to a vertical Pastoral system that has allowed for students to build connections with their Mentor teacher, their House group and importantly, with students across all year levels.
On another note, our Year 12 students move into a 7 day Mock External Assessment block across Weeks 9 and 10 as they prepare for the statewide External Assessment block that commences 22 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.
Finally, a massive shout out to our wonderful students, families and staff affected by the border closure to NSW. We certainly, as a community, miss your day-to-day involvement physically at school but we hope that your ability to connect virtually with us here has been of benefit across the last few weeks.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Student agency is defined as ‘the capacity to set a goal, reflect and act responsibly to effect change. It is about acting rather than being acted upon; shaping rather than being shaped; and making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others’. (OECD, 2019). Student voice is defined as ‘much more than token consultation with students over things like school uniform, or the theme of the school fete. Students want to understand why things are done as they are, and to be able to voice their views about change and to have those views heard’. (Mahar et al, 2007).
Both of these aspects form an important part of a Visible Learning school such as ours and in the last week or so we have seen examples of both voice and agency. Two groups of students from the Primary Campus have met with Mr Kendall to propose ideas. They were well prepared and able to articulate their ideas with clarity. Interestingly, both ideas involved something for other students and in fact, one idea would not benefit the students who presented the idea at all, but those who follow after them. Part of our work as educators over the past few years has been to encourage our learners to be proactive and to voice their opinions in a way which is responsible. For this to be successful, we need to listen to them more closely. These two groups of students exemplify the students we have at St Joseph’s.
Another important part of a Visible Learning school are the agreed core dispositions. The students are now becoming more adept at naming the school’s six learning dispositions and providing examples of when they have used them in their learning, as well as in contexts outside school. As an example of persistence and collaboration, in assembly last week two pairs of students tried to turn cream into butter. They almost succeeded in the time available! We also talked about the rescue of a donkey from the bottom of a well, one step at a time. I encourage parents to speak about our six dispositions at home as it is important that children see them as valuable skills and attributes which go beyond the school fence and that they are important for adults as well as children.
Finally, congratulations to all those students who participated in the musical last weekend. It has been a very busy few months for them in the lead up to the performance and they did themselves, and their school, proud.
With God’s blessings
Assistant to the Principal Primary
A Time to Rest
Last Thursday and Friday I had the opportunity to gather with fellow APREs at the Bunya Mountains for our annual retreat. The retreat, based around Exodus 3:5 ‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground’, was a time to celebrate the stories of creation, share our own story, connect with country and be renewed in faith for our future.
Following a smoking ceremony, we had the opportunity to take time to reconnect with our earth, creation and spirit. Through prayer and reflection we were able to heighten our senses, and attune our awareness to the sacredness of life and story. With a renewed presence and nourishing of the soul, we said farewell ready to return to our schools and continue the mission bestowed upon us.
Assistant to the Principal Formation & Identity
Friday 27th August saw Year 5 students working in Coolock Lab on the Secondary campus.
Students are currently working through a Science unit on light and spent the afternoon working with Year 11 students to investigate what happens when light is refracted and reflected.
Thanks to the Year 11 students and Mrs Butson for helping the students and to Mrs McPherson for planning the activities. The students were intrigued and engaged for the duration of the lesson.
Yesterday, Wednesday 1st September, saw the Primary students watch a webinar with two current paralympians, Emma Booth and Andrew Robertson as part of the 'Be Your Greatest' campaign.
Emma is an equestrian rider and Andrew plays wheelchair rugby. They explained to the audience how they each came to be in a wheelchair and what drove them to pursue their dream of representing Australia at sport.
Both Emma and Andrew were inspirational and the students could make many connections with our own school dispositions - I am confident, I am resilient, I am persistent, I am a collaborator, I am a communicator and I am a thinker.
We are continuing to learn about these dispositions and how they can help us in all aspects of our lives, including our learning.
Over the last few weeks, our students celebrated and participated in the annual Bears, Books and Blankets Picnic as well as the Book Week Parade.
The Bears, Books and Blankets Picnic was an event enjoyed by over 60 families, where friends, family and parents were able to enjoy a picnic with their child, whilst reading to them as well. Students were encouraged to bring along their favourite teddy bear, book and / or blanket.
The annual Book Week Parade took place on Thursday 26th August and it was a HUGE success.
All students brought their favourite book to share with many dressing up in amazing book week costumes. It was so wonderful to see all students participate as well as all the staff.
Even students who are Learning@home due to current border restrictions participated by dressing up and sending in photos of their costumes. A slide show of these students was shown during the parade so they were able to participate.
Congratulations and well done to all staff and students (and parents) for putting together some very creative and amazing costumes.
Even though Covid may be stopping Dr Cuskelly from physically attending here at St Joseph's at the moment due to him residing over the border, it certainly hasn't stopped him from teaching and ensuring his Music lessons are still being enjoyed by students.
The staff and students at St Joseph’s School wish to thank the community for their support of their recent successful musical, ‘Matilda, The Musical’. Both performances were well attended, with positive comments received from patrons who thoroughly enjoyed the musical.
The musical is a unique opportunity provided by St Joseph’s School every two years which allows our students to showcase their talents.
Getting into the spirit of the theme of the musical was Joyce Pozzebon wearing her own school uniform from a few years ago, winning best dressed for Friday night, and Natalee McCosker who won best dressed on Saturday night. Both ladies received a voucher kindly donated by Foxy’s Bakery.
A raffle was held on both nights with Fiona Patti winning the $60 Hotel Stanthorpe voucher and two bottles of Symphony Hill wines on Friday night and Denise Hilton winning the $100 QCWT voucher on Saturday. A huge thank you is extended to these three businesses for their generosity in donating prizes as well as A Betterway to Print for sponsorship of the musical programs.
Several businesses jumped on board with sponsorship towards the hiring of the microphones. We thank R&F Steel Buildings, Out of the Box OT & Hand Therapy, John Barker General & Heavy Earthmoving, Stanthorpe Quality Meats, Cook’s Pure Apple Juice, Solar Blessing, Yarrabee Farmstay, Academy of Dance Stanthorpe, Cav Insure Insurance Broking Pty Ltd and Netpro Pty Ltd for their generosity. We also thank Charlie Patane for his invaluable assistance with the mics.
We thank Musical Director, Mrs Pauline Leigh, staff, parents, volunteers and students for their time and dedication during the past months. A musical’s success is a combined team effort of the cast, who spent the time learning parts and songs, as well as the crew and staff who provide assistance in numerous other roles.
Thankyou to our Year 11 & 12 students who joined members of the RSL and public for a Service of Remembrance for Vietnam Veterans Day at Weeroona Park on Wednesday, 18th August.
Stanthorpe RSL Sub Branch, wish to thank St Joseph's School for their participation in remembering Vietnam Veterans Day.
Students from Year 10-12 recently had the privilege of listening to the ‘You Choose – Youth Road Safety’ talk.
Speaker Melissa McGuiness’s 18-year-old son, Jordan, was speeding and under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he drove his car into a stationary vehicle. His choices killed four young victims in the other car and also himself.
Students were engaged by powerful relatable, lived-experience concepts of choice and consequence which were placed in context with their own lives and their own loved ones. The students were inspired by a story of LOVE, FAMILY and the EMPOWERMENT of CHOICE to influence great decision-making in everyone around them.
For many, it was the most powerful talk that both the students and teachers had experienced.
|3 September||Student Free Day|
|5 September||Fathers Day|
|6 September||Year 3 Retreat|
|7 September||Year 4 Retreat|
|9 September||ATSI Year 12 Graduation Mass|
|R U OK? Day|
|6-10 September||Year 12 Mock External Assessment Block|
|10 September||P & F Palgrove|
|13-17 September||Year 12 Mock External Assessment Block|
|13 September||Year 5 Retreat|
|14 September||Year 6 Retreat|
|17 September||Whole School Assembly|
|Term 3 Finishes|
|4 October||Queen's Birthday Public Holiday|
|5 October||Term 4 Begins|
|18 November||Year 12 Graduation Mass & Dinner|
|19 November||Year 12 Farewell|
|26 November||Year 10 & 11 Finish|
|3 December||Term 4 Finishes|