St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

2nd March 2022

Back-burning in Lent

Last week, I visited the beautiful place where I spent my teens.  It is the small township of Helensburgh and is surrounded by bush - Royal National Park, Water Board and Coal Board land.  I was horrified.  Last winter less than a third of the planned burn offs were done.  It has rained continuously since October and the bush is like a solid brick wall closing in around the town, along the roads, towering above.  Back-burning has to be taken seriously, very seriously this winter, or we will have yet another day named with the word Black in front of it.  It is an almost formidable job ahead but the consequences, if it is not faced, will be dire. Properties and possibly homes will be lost. 

There is a lesson here for our own lives.  We too have aspects of our lives that get out of control unless they are regularly disciplined. Traditionally, the Church has called them to ‘passions’.  These are not necessarily bad – just out of control.  We easily recognise over eating but what about all the other things we do too much of.  Are we too lazy, too angry, too critical?  Do we drink too much, spend too much time on media?  The list could go on but you know what is out of whack in your life, as I do in mine.  You know what undermines your ability to love those around you, to love yourself and to love God.

Lent, which begins this week, is the time the Church invites us to face ourselves and confront our sins, to really consider what undermines our living life to the full.  This is not like New Years Day, when we make good resolutions.  This is when we really face the weakness that destabilises us, and as we do, we discover just how weak and broken we are.  Where this differs from the nice New Years resolution is that we have Jesus by our side.  He wants to help us cut back what could destroy us, wants to help us burn away the rubbish so that we can flourish in love.  During this week, take time to think of one ‘passion’ that is distorting your life, and ask God for the wisdom and strength to face it this Lent.

Loving Jesus, in this time of Lent, give me the strength and wisdom of your Good Spirit to really look at myself and confront what is out of balance in my life.  Let me live so that I can truly love my family and friends.  I ask this in your name, knowing you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

Lent begins today with the marking of ashes; this sign reminds us to live the way Jesus wants. It is the beginning of our preparation for Easter when Jesus dies on the cross and rises from the dead. Lent is a special time when we stop and think about how we can play our part in God’s hope for a world that is fair, just and peaceful. Through prayer, fasting and almsgiving we take the focus from ourselves and instead focus on our relationship with God.

The first gathering of the Parents and Friends Association is next Wednesday 16 March from 5:00 pm outside Prep. Everyone is invited to join us and bring one wish you have for St Joseph’s. The P&F is more than a fundraising group and more than a committee. The P&F is an organisation designed to help parents engage with the life of the school and this may include socially, academically and pastorally. My one wish is to form a culture of care for all including the students, staff, families and society that comes together in this school community.

The commencement of Season B Friday sport is closing in and it’s time for students to nominate their preferred sport. The sports on offer during Season B are Rugby League, Hockey and Netball. A letter explaining more about the season of sport including player requirements and costings will be posted to Skoolbag soon. To help determine the teams we will have competing, an EForm in Skoolbag needs to be completed with your child’s preferences. Families will receive a notification when this is available.

St Patrick’s Day Races are Saturday 12th March. They are a confirmed TAB Meeting with 6 races scheduled and broadcast nationally through Sky Racing. This annual event raises funds for the Rockhampton Region Catholic Primary Schools. This is always a great day out and I invite you to consider attending this day in support of our schools.

The school uniform expresses our participation and pride in our school and in the wider community. Enrolment at St Joseph’s is a commitment by families and students to adhere to the School Uniform and Presentation Guidelines as prescribed by the school. These guidelines are attached as a reminder. When reading these, please pay attention to jewellery, hairstyle, and fingernails. Students not meeting these guidelines will be reminded of the correct uniform. Hats are an essential part of the uniform, especially during the current climate. Children should be wearing hats upon arriving and departing the school.


This week, I am thankful for the virtue of empathy. When we are deeply present to the thoughts and feelings of others, we can show compassion and seek justice for every person. Empathy inspires us to be giving and selfless and I feel this is particularly important during this time in our world.

I am thankful for the gift of empathy. It keeps my heart sensitive and impacts the choices I make.


Bernadette Brennan

From the Assistant to the Principal: Religious Education (APRE)

                                                                                                               Rheanna Starr

Prayer Reflection - Gospel Focus

"A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. You cannot pick figs or grapes from thorn bushes. Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts. Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your hearts." Lk 6:39-45

Reflection from the Gospel reading:

If God, who really does see the heart, acts with such generosity, understanding and compassion, then that – not judgment and condemnation – should surely be the model for human interaction.


How do you recognise a person who produces good ‘out of the good treasure of the heart’?

How do you seek to nurture the good treasure of your heart?

Shrove Tuesday 1 March - Pancake Day!

Thank you to students for celebrating Shrove Tuesday and donating to Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion Lenten Campaign. Your generous support can help change the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Please click on this  link to view the story of Anatercia, which shows you where our students generous donations are sent. Thank you for doing your part to support the many vulnerable people in our world.

During the day, Year 6 House Captains participated in our annual “Pancake Bake-Off” as part of a classroom activity.

Words from Pope Francis

Our Learning Journey in the Catholic Faith (Sacramental News)

If your child is participating in the Parish Sacramental program, please add the dates below to your diary. Workshops for families preparing their children to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and the completion of Christian Initiation will be held as follows:

Tuesday 8 or Wednesday 9 March, Workshop 1, commencing 5.30pm at the Kevin Castles Centre in West Street.

Tuesday 14 or Wednesday 15 March, Workshop 2, commencing 5.30pm at the Kevin Castles Centre in West Street.

Thought of the Week!

Parish Bulletin


From the Assistant Principal Curriculum - APC

    “If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.” - Sir Ken Robinson

    Learner Dispositions - Being a Respectful Learner

    This week’s focus is on being a respectful learner. Being a respectful learner means setting goals and working determinedly towards a result. It means showing regard for the feelings, hopes and ideas of others. It means thinking about how our actions impact others.

    Big Ideas in Number: Multiplicative Thinking

    By the end of Year Four, students should have a good understanding of multiplicative thinking. This is the ability to understand and use concepts of multiplication and division effectively. In Prep, the ideas of sharing, doubling to 20 and understanding the relative magnitude of numbers. In Years 1 and 2, this involves creating arrays, as well as the concepts of quotation (how many parts there are in a collection) and partition (how many are in each group). In Years 3 and 4, multiplicative thinking focusses on area models and using mental strategies. Skip counting is no longer used at this level.

    Whole School Goals: Literacy and Numeracy

    Staff have been very busy developing whole school goals, targets and strategies for 2022. This week I have included the literacy and numeracy goals for this year. I would very much encourage you to take the time to read these, and if you have any comments of questions, please get in touch – I value your feedback. Thanks, Janette



    COVID Positive Cases

    We wish to advise you that, during the past week, we have been notified of positive cases of COVID-19 in our school community. 

     St Joseph’s regularly consults with the Catholic Education Office and relevant authorities and continues to follow the advice of Queensland Health regarding cleaning requirements.

     Queensland Health has advised that no quarantine of students or staff is required.

     As COVID-19 remains active in our community we ask you to continue to monitor your child’s/children’s health and if they develop any flu-like symptoms:

    • Keep your child/children at home
    • Seek a PCR or Rapid Antigen test where it is recommended and notify the school of positive results. Please be aware, a negative COVID test does not change the requirement to be symptom free to attend school.
    • Follow the advice of Queensland Health

    As we continue to navigate the pandemic, please remind your child/ren to: 

    • maintain good hand hygiene at all times
    • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow and dispose of tissues in the bin immediately.
    • practice social distancing from others where possible
    • wear masks when required

    We will continue to work closely with health authorities to keep our school community informed of any developments and advice. Thank you once again for your ongoing support.




    School Fees

    School Fees for Term 1 have been issued and are due this Friday 4 March 2022. Please see the attached Fact Sheet – School Fees which may answer some questions you have. If you wish to set up or edit a direct debit for the payment of school fees, please contact our Finance Secretaries, on 49948230 or email

    Fact Sheet - School Fees


    During School

    If you arrive at school after the 8:35 am bell, it is imperative that you come to the office and sign your child in. The safety of our students is paramount, and your cooperation with this small task is greatly appreciated. Any drop-offs of children’s items, such as forgotten hats, lunches, homework etc., are made to the office. Taking these items to the child’s classroom is not an option as our day of teaching and learning has commenced.


    Rockhampton District School Sport Trials

    Rockhampton District Selection Trials


    Below are the Rockhampton and District Trials (RDS) for the following Primary School sports happening in Term 1.  If your child has the prerequisite skills and you wish for them to trial in the following sports you can contact the school office to obtain the appropriate trial forms. Alternatively, the forms can be downloaded in the Sport Information section of the Skoolbag App.

    *Forms must be returned to the office, at least one day before the trial 



    10-12 years Girls

    Sunday 6 March

    Emmaus College 

    9am – 12pm 

    Rugby League




    10, 11, 12 Years Boys




    Sunday 6 March



    Trial (invite only from muster) Sunday 13 March

    10's -Emmaus College

    11's - Frenchville

    12's - St Anthony's


    9am – 11am


    Rugby League


    11-12 Years Girls

    Thursday 10 March

    Frenchville State School

    4pm - 5:30pm


    10-12years Boys

    Monday 7 March

    Elizabeth Park Berserker Soccer Field

    4pm - 6pm


    10-12 years Girls

    Monday 7 March

    Bouldercombe State School

    4pm – 5:30pm


    Rugby Union


    11 – 12 years Boys

    Thursday 24 March


    4pm – 6pm

    Cross Country

    10-19 years Boys & Girls

    Wednesday 27 April

    Cyril Connell Touch Fields


     Please be aware that for your child to attend these trials as a 10-year-old student that they would need to be exceptional as they will be competing against students up to 12 years of age.


    The Capricornian Rocky Triathlon

    Beak's Tennis


    Positive Partnerships

    2022 Calendar Dates

    School dates are in the EVENTS tab on Skoolbag