St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

13 May 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Show us …and we shall be satisfied.

In last Sunday’s Gospel, Philip makes this request of Jesus, ‘Show us the Father and we shall be satisfied.’ In other words, show us ‘God’ and that will be enough for us. Jesus’ reply is not what was expected. ‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father.’ In the human person, Jesus, all that would satisfy them had been revealed and they had missed it because they had been expecting something else: something bigger and more dramatic, perhaps.

One thing I have noticed over the past months, has been how people’s expectations have changed and how they have come to appreciate other people more. Yes, we appreciate our family and friends but there has also been a recognition of the good service many give us: nurses and doctors, teachers and admin staff but also the people who serve in retail and the cleaners in our supermarkets. Retail staff, cleaners and many like them are seen for what they are: people giving essential services. It has taken COVID-19 to open our eyes to the reality.

And what about God? We have all sorts of expectations put on God, and God, more often than not, fails to deliver. Rarely does God reveal himself in the big and dramatic or even the quickly consoling. But Jesus has assured us that God is with us, always, loving deeply and passionately. So where should we be looking? That answer is different for each person. The best place to start is where you have already known God. Perhaps in nature, perhaps in the birth of your child/ren. You know. Sit with that for some time and meditate on it…and expect your eyes to be opened to where God is already living and loving in your life.

Loving God, you desire to be with me more that I desire to be with you. Let me appreciate where you are already moving in my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

It has been lovely to welcome back all of our Prep and Year One students this week. Students have spent the first couple of days reconnecting with each other and refamiliarising themselves with the  expectations and routines of their classrooms. We are so proud of the resilience that our students have shown in returning back to on-site learning, after a significant period away from their classrooms.


I wish to personally thank the parents of our Prep and Year One students who have understand the requirement to say goodbye and pickup, at the school gates. We know only too well that a successful education relies on quality relationships and communication between parents and the school. It is unsettling for staff, to be honest, to ask parents to remain at the school gates and to not welcome you in as we normally would. Thank you for understanding, and for your ongoing patience and flexibility, as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.


Our Years 2-6 students continue to learn at home. We are counting down the days until we can all be together again. In the meantime, these students are encouraged to remain motivated, continue with their school work, and to maintain regular contact with their class teachers and peers. Parents - please complete the E-form if your children are required to attend on-site, next week. Many families have been neglecting to do this, and this causes us quite a bit of frustration with regards to staffing arrangements. The E-Form for next week is open now and will remain open until FRIDAY 3PM.


Whilst the current restrictions around schooling have been very challenging for all of us in many ways, there are some positives to be found too. I asked the staff to reflect on positive aspects and some of their observations included:

·         Increased independence by our students – even our youngest students are capable of walking themselves in (under supervision), carrying their own school bags and unpacking their belongings

·         Increased ability to be self-directed learners – without a teacher on hand at all times, students have been required to problem solve and ‘have a go’ before asking for adult assistance

·         The chance for quieter students to 'shine' – with limited numbers of students learning on-site, some of our quieter children have been more vocal, more willing to contribute to classroom discussions and have had the opportunity to form new friendships.

·         Greater resilience – our children are much more resilient than we give them credit for. They have adjusted to a new school year, then learning remotely, then back to at-school learning, all in the midst of a global pandemic........ with awe-inspiring resilience!

Are you in the Growth Zone yet?

COVID-19 presents us with opportunities to grow, support others, and become Christ-like in new and different ways. I shared this image with staff late last week, and it is very evident to me that this school community is firmly in the Growth zone.


We do understand that the current situation is not ideal for all, though.  Some parents and children are feeling quite anxious about returning to school. I have been in contact with Erin Sheldrick (Student Wellbeing Project Officer at the Catholic Education Office) and we are pleased to announce that we will be holding a Zoom session for parents, on managing our children's anxiety.


Details are as follows:

Zoom - Tuesday 19 May 3.30pm

If interested, please email the front office staff ( and they will send you the link and password.

(Image attributed to Dr. Monika Langeh and/or Ken Seidu, Godfrey Okumu from Nigeria and Dr. Anne Mwangi from Kenya)

Enrolments for Prep 2021

Parent Teacher Interviews

Teachers have attempted to reschedule Parent Teacher Interviews, which we had to cancel at the end of last term. Thank you to those who have responded to the teachers and who have made the time to have a phone conversation focussed on your child’s academic progress. Unfortunately, some parents have not yet responded to teachers’ phone calls and emails. Please do so at your earliest convenience.

School Fee Concessions

In response to financial difficulty that families in our schools may be facing as a result of impacts of COVID 19, Catholic Education has fast tracked some changes to school fees for Term 2. In brief, the automatic concession applied to Concession Card holders has been increased from 70% to 100% of tuition fees and the categories have been extended to include the recent COVID 19 categories announced by the Government. 

Term 2 fees will not be distributed to families until Week 5 of this term.

Further Cancellations - COVID-19

I received confirmation this week that the following events will not be going ahead this year:

• Challenge Cup (Catholic Schools’ Netball and Rugby League Carnival)

• Season B Friday afternoon interschool sports (for Years 4-6)

I understand this will cause considerable disappointment to some students. We continue to keep a close eye on the easing of restrictions and will reschedule particular events when and if possible. No decision has been made with regards to the Year 6 School Camp, scheduled for mid-August, as yet.

2020 Senior Shirts

Our 2020 Senior Shirts have arrived, and I am sure you will agree that our Year 6 student leaders look very snazzy! Year 6 families learning from home, you are welcome to call past the school to collect your child's shirt; we can run these out to the Pickup Zone for you.

Contactless Library Book Service

We are pleased to offer a contactless library book swapping service. Phone ahead and we will have new books ready for you to collect at the Pickup Zone.

SJW Fitness Challenge - check out our Facebook Video!

Friday Assembly - please Zoom in!

Our whole school Friday Assembly and messages are currently being delivered via Zoom. We encourage all students working from both home and school (and their parents) to Zoom in on Friday at 8.40am. Student Awards will be announced during the Zoom. I look forward to seeing you all online. The link and password for the Zoom has been included in classroom communications from teachers. 

To ensure optimum security for our school and classroom Zoom sessions, you and your children will now require a password upon joining a Zoom. Teachers have been asked to distribute this information with you. This, along with other added security options,  significantly reduces the potential for outside ‘Zoom bombers’ from gaining access to our school sessions. Thank you for your cooperation.

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer - Gospel Reflection

 Sunday's Gospel reading from John "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" carries several messages for us as a community of believers.  Below is a reflection that I found quite relatable and wanted to share from an artist Dr Jennifer Close who has a PhD in theology.

When a seed grows it doesn’t need to be taught how to grow: the new shoot ‘knows’ how to find the light and the roots ‘know’ where to go for moisture. This kind of knowing is somehow built into the genetic structure of the plant. Our relationship with God is like that too, it is part of the fabric of our being. Built into our human structure is the knowledge of God, but in the coming and going of life we sometimes lose the ability to access that knowledge easily. In the Gospel, Jesus names himself ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’. To us he says ‘you know the way’ and this is our challenge, to rediscover our organic knowledge of God by looking at Jesus.

 ©Jenny Close

Student Wellbeing

Go Noodle is a free online resource that engages children with movement and mindfulness videos that have been created by child development experts.  The bonus is it is a FREE resource that can be used both at school and at home.

Have you heard of Go Noodle?  Check out the great feedback from two of our Year 4 students. 

Cooper M - When we first came back to school I was pretty nervous, but starting the day with Go Noodle helped because everyone was dancing and joining in physical activity and it made me feel comfortable.  The mindfulness Go Noodle videos are good to do after lunch or anytime you feel like calming down to get back into learning.

Imogen F - I like starting the day with movement videos from Go Noodle because it wakes us up and helps us to focus on our school work afterwards.  Especially in winter you get cooler and moving around doing exercises helps you warm up and flow blood around your body and into your brain. This makes learning much easier.

International Nurses Day - Thank You

Yesterday Tuesday 12 May was celebrated as International Nurses Day and the 200th  anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Historically, as well as currently, nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics -  providing high quality and respectful treatment and care. They are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital.

Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers and the Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play.

The Mater Hospitals have set up a way to thank nurses for all they do and are doing in light of the current pandemic. Go to  and you are able to leave a message for our nurses.  Please see 9 News Rockhampton story via this, view

I would encourage members of our school community to log on and say thank you to these wonderful people.

(c) Image Australian College of Nurse Practitioners

Support for Parents

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update: From the APC

Semester One Report Cards

Those of you who have been with us in previous years know that we generally distribute academic report cards in the last week of this term.  As you would appreciate, learning from home means that our reporting timetable and the aspects reported on may change.  We are currently making those decisions as a teaching team and will communicate the details to you as soon as possible.  

Life has been different, and so reporting will be a little different.  We will advise you of the details as soon as possible.

We are working hard!

Wonderful Wandal Crossword

Premier's Reading Challenge - Reader Record form


Have a great week,

Janette McLennan

Weekly Awards

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

Student Travel Rebates