St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

3 June 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Affirm the Good

Some weeks ago, the news that a nurse who worked in an aged care facility in Rockhampton had tested positive to Covid-19 was blazed across Australia. I heard from a friend in Perth. Last week, the facility was given the all clear. Not one other person had contracted it. Not a resident, not a visitor, not a staff member, not one. Now that was good, good news and it barely raised a whimper in the media. The protocols, which one resident’s daughter said were in place, worked. The staff ought to be congratulated. The trouble with public health is that when it works, we don’t notice: as with so many good things in our lives.

Being alert to what is wrong in our lives can blind us to the good that we have. Write a list of what is wrong with you, now write a list of your strengths. See, the first was easy, the ideas flowed, the second, well after a couple you stalled and had to think. The irony is that it is only from the good in our lives that we can change. God does not make junk. If we want change, we need to affirm and stand firm on what is good in us and in our situation.

Does this mean we will get the change we want? Not necessarily. Many of us are in situations or relationships that are fraught with difficulty and, often, they don’t look like they will change. But we can. We can affirm what is good in our lives, even if some things aren’t. That, in itself, changes us. We open our minds and hearts to a different horizon. We open ourselves to the ‘God’ possibilities in our situation. While we fixate on the wrong, we close ourselves down to the God at work in us and in the situation. But affirming the good gives us firm ground on which we can move forward.

Loving God, you have made me precious in your sight. Let me affirm your love so that your life may enter the dark and challenging places of my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal


Congratulations to Bishop Michael McCarthy, who celebrated the sixth anniversary of his episcopal ordination as Bishop of Rockhampton, last Friday. Bishop Michael is a wonderful supporter and friend of St Joseph’s Wandal, and we wish him all the best in his continued ministries. Congratulations, Bishop Michael.

Show Holiday - Change of Date

You may be aware that the local council has received approval to change the Show Holiday (Public Holiday ) from 11 June 2020, to 14 August 2020. Therefore, all students will be expected at school next Thursday, 11 June.

More information can be found here, on the council's website:|d13b95b2-5146-4b00-9e3e-a80c73739a64|4f05f368-ecaa-4a93-b749-7ad6c4867c1f|en-AU

School Photos - Revised date

We have recently received confirmation that School Photos are permitted to proceed. MSP have been booked to take our annual class and individual school photos. The revised date for this to occur is Friday, 23 October. More information will follow in due course.

Year 6 School Camp

Earlier this week I received the unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected news, that our Year 6 Camp at Chaverim, Bundaberg, will be unable to proceed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. We understand that this will be disappointing news for our Year 6 students and their families. Please know that we are investigating alternative options and will communicate further plans as soon as they come to hand. We will ensure that our Year 6 classes of 2020 still have special opportunities and celebrations as the seniors of our school this year.

Enrolments for Prep 2021

 If you are interested in enrolling your child at St Joseph's Wandal in 2021, don't delay! Enrolment information can be found here:

Our friendly office staff can assist you with any queries you may have.

Cross Country *Correction*

A message from our PE teacher, Miss Hinz:

Earlier this year we had to cancel our annual Cross Country event due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we are determined to still award our Cross Country shield for 2020. This year Cross Country will look a little different than usual. Students will participate in a ‘Ninja Warrior’ style obstacle course in their Week 10 P.E. lessons. Points will be awarded to decide the Cross Country shield winners for 2020.


Prep - 2            Tuesday 23rd June (Week 10) *Please note edited date 

Years 3 -6        Monday 22nd June (Week 10) * Please note edited date

Students are welcome to wear their coloured House Shirts on their PE day to show the support for their teams.  Unfortunately we cannot invite spectators along this year, but we will ensure we take lots of photos for you!

A reminder about our House Teams:

● MACKILLOP (Green) is named for Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph.

● PENOLA (Blue) is named for the town in South Australia, which was the site of the first school opened by Mary MacKillop.

● TENISON (Red) is named for Fr Julian Tenison Woods, the co-founder of the Josephite order. 


Mindfulness at Lunchtimes

Benefits of Mindfulness - Did you know that taking the time to be still and mindful, can have the following positive effects?

 Increased emotion regulation and self-control

 Decreased anxiety and worry

 Enhanced academic achievement in students, due to improved ability to focus and improved attention

 Improved social and relational skills

 Enhanced resilience in children

Each week, our school counsellor, Charmian, runs Mindfulness Sessions in the Prep classrooms at lunchtimes. All of our children are welcome to attend.

School Fees

Term 2 fees are due Monday, 15 June. Please contact me if you are experiencing difficulties in paying your invoice by the due date.

Position Vacant - Term Time Teacher Assistant

Applications are invited from suitably qualified and enthusiastic persons for the position of  Term Time Teacher Assistant (25 hours per week, Monday to Friday) at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Wandal, commencing Term 3 2020.

 The successful applicant will be willing to undertake study or hold at least a Certificate III or IV in Education Support, must have appropriate experience working with students and an understanding of and a commitment to the ethos of Catholic Education. A Working with Children Check (WWCC) and eligibility for a Suitability Notice will also be required. In addition, you will have excellent time management skills, and well-developed interpersonal skills.

 To apply for this position, download the application pack on our school website:


Applications should be addressed to:

 Kellie Jenkinson


St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Wandal


email to:

Applications close 3pm Wednesday 10 June 2020.


Friday Messages and Awards

For the remainder of this term, our Friday messages and awards will continue to be delivered to all classes in the school by Zoom. If you would like to link in with us, please email the school office and request the Zoom link and password.

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer - Gospel focus

On Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, the day the believers heard a powerful wind and saw tongues of fire. The phenomena filled the environment around the gathering. This was an incredible experience of God and one which moved the believers to action: their joy in the ‘marvels of God’ urged them to share the good news with others. It was this elemental experience of the Spirit which spurred them on.

© Image from Jenny Close

Celebrating Pentecost

Wellbeing - Making Jesus Real

Making Jesus Real is a way of 'being,' which encourages us to see life as it is but to primarily focus on the 'good bits'. Positive emotions - such as joy, gratitude, contentment, inspiration, and pride are are very useful. Recent research shows that regularly experiencing these positive emotions creates an 'upward spiral', helping to build our coping resources. So although we need to be realistic about life's ups and downs, positive emotions help us to focus on the good aspects of any situation - the glass half full rather than the glass half empty. 

Can you name three examples of where you have applied positive thinking in your day?

Can you think of some positive statements you can make?

Is there a person who comes to mind for you who models positive thinking as part of their daily ritual?

Joyful June - Action for Happiness

This Joyful June Calendar has daily actions to take up for the month of June 2020.  These simple actions or deeds encourage us to look for what's good even in difficult times and to practice developing positive emotions as a resource for navigating life's ups and downs. Download as an image for sharing or a PDF for printing.   

National Reconciliation Week

Australia celebrates National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June every year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the 1967 Referendum acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision, respectively. National Reconciliation Week is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May.

Yarning and Creating Future Works

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with Darumbal Elder, Aunty Ethel Speedy, Gungaloo Artist, James Waterton, Indigenous Liaison Officer, Cas Burgen and our very own Teacher Assistant, Ros Priestly.  We spent the morning yarning about creative future works and I very much look forward to working together on a school project in the near future.

National Reconciliation Celebration - Sea of Hands

St Joseph's Cathedral Parish Bulletin

Please find attached the St Joseph's Cathedral Parish Bulletin. 

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update: From the APC

The Quiet Place

At first break (during playtime) students are able to access a quiet place for reading and art.  Students are encouraged to come along to the verandah outside the Be-Hive and engage in a quieter playtime.  Students will need to supply their own materials as we are not sharing resources at the moment.

Premier's Reading Challenge

Have you seen the videos on facebook from our house captains?  The Premier's reading challenge is on.  We want to see as many forms completed as possible.  Let's all get reading and may the best house win!

Premier's Reading Challenge - Reader Record form


The NCCD – What do I need to know as a parent?

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is a yearly count of students by all Australian schools across the country. The aim of the NCCD is to provide the Australian Government with information about the number of students with disability in Australian schools and the type of adjustments they need in order to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students. From 2018, the NCCD has been used by the Australian Government to inform funding for schools, known as the ‘student with disability loading’.

If you are a parent, guardian or carer of a child with disability who requires ongoing adjustments at school, a teacher or another school staff member will consult with you to understand your child’s needs. This collaborative approach ensures the most appropriate adjustments are chosen to support your child’s learning and participation at school. In some cases, an individual education plan (IEP) or personal learning plan (PLP) may be developed to document specific educational goals and to review your child’s progress over time.

Your child will be included in the NCCD if they require ongoing adjustments at school due to a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This is a very broad definition of disability, which includes physical and intellectual disabilities, learning disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. The Disability Standards for Education 2005 set out the obligations of schools towards students with disability. Under the 2020 NCCD Guidelines every effort should be made to inform parents/guardians/carers that a student has been included in the NCCD. Where this is not possible, the reasons should be documented. 

If your child has a disability, your child’s school will provide information about them for the NCCD, including:

  • your child’s year of schooling

  • the category of disability that best describes your child’s difficulties (one of four categories is chosen by the school team to reflect your child’s greatest area of need: physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional)

  • the level of adjustment your child receives at school (one of four levels is chosen by the school team to reflect the type of support your child requires: quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary adjustment, substantial adjustment, or extensive adjustment).

The information collected by schools for the NCCD will ultimately be provided to the Australian Government Department of Education. 

While it is not possible for schools or families to ‘opt out’ of the NCCD, the privacy and confidentiality of all students and their families is treated with utmost importance. Data is collected within each school, and personal details, such as student names and other identifying information, are not provided to local or federal education authorities.

Related resources:

Fact sheets for parents, guardians and carers about the NCCD

NCCD Website -

Library Returns

Before we began our 'learning from home' period, we sent six books home with each student.  Many students have returned these, but we ask everyone to check in bags, under beds and in cupboards to ensure that all of the books come back.  Thanks!

Have a great week,

Janette McLennan

ICAS Assessment

What are they?

ICAS Assessments are online* assessments, designed to recognise and reward academic achievement. ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing*, Spelling and Digital Technologies.

Each assessment celebrates students’ accomplishments by providing opportunities for recognition. Every student will receive a printed certificate and an online result report. Top performers will be eligible for medals and are invited to attend special award ceremonies to have their academic excellence publicly recognised.

The assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the personal challenge of competing in an international assessment. Your child will be presented with high-quality, expert-developed questions, allowing them to apply their learning without the need for prior study or revision.

There is no pressure from the school to participate in the assessments. It is completely a decision for your child.

The assessments are open for Years 2-6, with the exception of Digital Technologies. The writing task is not available this year.

Subjects offered

·         ICAS Digital Technologies

·         ICAS Science

·         ICAS Spelling Bee

·         ICAS Mathematics

·         ICAS English


Sitting Dates


ICAS Science

Monday 17 August to Friday 21 August 2020


ICAS Writing*

No longer available in 2020


ICAS Digital Technologies

Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August 2020

Only available for Years 3-6


ICAS English

Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August 2020


ICAS Mathematics

Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2020


ICAS Spelling Bee

Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2020



If you would like your child to participate in any of the subjects listed above, please visit the new online Parent Payment System to make a direct payment to UNSW Global. The Parent Payment System is a simple and secure online payment service specifically for parents to purchase ICAS Assessments.

The web link is:

Our school’s unique access code is:  Still Pending.  Watch this space.

Online parent payment closes Friday, 17 July 2020.

IMPORTANT:  Please enter your child’s name accurately into the System as it will appear on their ICAS certificate.


Weekly Awards

Congratulations to our award weekly award winners.  Click on the  link for further details

Positions Vacant