St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

19 August 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Making a self-portrait

If you try drawing a self-portrait, or rather a number of them, you will learn a lot about yourself, an arty email recently recommended. I didn’t take it up, at least not in the form they suggest. I used the excuse of having neither the time nor the talent. But it did inspire me to ponder on a ‘prayer self-portrait’. I thought about the times and situations in which I pray, and more specifically when and where I have realised God has been present to me. Doing this described features to me that I was not really aware of. For example, one of my favourite images of God is of a warm bed. Hey, I lived in Melbourne for eighteen years in a house that wasn’t heated and I hate to be cold. Many a time I took to my bed with the electric blanket on and did whatever I had to do, consciously defying the wind and rain that flew outside the window. As I pondered on this, I realised how much I like to be consoled…and that God is a consoling God. Here, in central Queensland, looking out to the Keppel Island, nearly every morning, I get an amazing light display in the sunrise. Every morning, I am reminded that God is the one lighting up my world. When I acknowledge that, I am filled with wonder and gratitude.

I suggest you take time to ponder those places and moments when you pray, when you have known God. Stumped for where to start? What happened when you became a parent?...or a grandparent?

Loving God, you come to me in the real places of my life and call me to pray from who I am. Send me your wise Spirit to discover the mystery of my own self that you are forming with love in my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

This week, the staff organized a baby shower for our Outside School Hours Care Coordinator, Mrs Hailey Svensen. Hailey will commence maternity leave in the next couple of weeks. We wish Hailey and her husband Jarrod all the very best for the impending arrival of their first child. We can’t wait to welcome Baby Svensen to the St Joseph’s Wandal family. While Hailey is on leave, Mrs Jacqueline Wagg (current OSHC Assistant) will take on the role of Acting Coordinator.

In other staffing news, Mrs Robyn McRae has finished up at St Joseph’s Wandal. Robyn has taught LOTE (Language other than English: Japanese) at our school since 2014. We thank Robyn for her years of service and wish her all the very best in her future endeavours. I am currently investigating other options with regards to LOTE lessons.

On a sad note, we send our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Madonna Jorgensen (Teacher Assistant) and her family, on the death of Madonna’s mother, Mrs Marjorie McNeill. Mrs McNeill passed away peacefully on Saturday at the impressive age of 96. A number of staff will attend Mrs McNeill’s funeral tomorrow, Thursday. Rest in peace, Mrs McNeill.


Very Persuasive Children!

The Year Two students have been learning to write Persuasive Texts. The children decided that they would like to persuade me into building a pool on the school grounds. I enjoyed reading their letters and told them they had me thoroughly convinced it was a good idea………but there were just a few other hurdles for us to jump through first!

Here are just a couple of the most persuasive letters:

Add a title

Student Voice

One of our 2020 whole school goals is "the voice of the student body will inform wellbeing initiaitves and practices."

Over the last couple of weeks, the students in Years 3-6 have had the opportunity to provide some feedback on, and to their teachers. This has included their classroom teachers, their specialist lesson teachers and me, their principal. The staff reviewed the (anonymous data) at yesterday’s staff meeting and have set some goals for ourselves to meet over the next term.

A very small snapshot of the data shows that the top 3 strengths of teachers in this school, as identified by their students, are:

1.       This teacher is clear about the behaviour they expect from us.

2.       This teacher is knowledgeable about the topics in this subject.

3.       This teacher treats me with respect.

Areas for growth were identified as being:

1.       This class is focused on learning.

2.       I know how well I am doing in this class.

3.       This teacher’s use of technology helps me learn.


Homework Club

Homework Club operates every Tuesday afternoon in the Be-Hive (3.20-4.20pm.) Homework Club is available for children in Years 3-6 and is supervised by senior students from The Cathedral College. Parents (and students) who wish to take advantage of this service will need to book in by contacting the school office by 10am each Tuesday. Students are welcome to bring a small snack and will need to be collected from the Be-Hive promptly at 4.20 pm.

House Day - this Friday

Our next House Day will be Friday, 21 August and this time the day will be organised by Tenison's House Captains, Matthew and Kitty. Children will sit in mixed age, house groupings for their lunchtimes.

 Students have the opportunity to order a special Red Rooster lunch on this day, and this is ordered via Flexischools. Please note that this will be the only option available for first break on this day, but tuckshop can be ordered, as normal, for second break. Tuckshop orders for this day will close ODAY at 3.30pm. All students, no matter what house they belong to, will be able participate in the fun and have the option to order the ‘special’ lunch.


School Fees - Term Three

Term Three School Fees were due for payment, yesterday, 18th August 2020.

Reminder letters will be distributed shortly. Please do not hesitate to give me a call, or make an appointment to see me, if you are unable to meet your payment commitment.

National Science Week - Family Challenge

Important Dates

21 AugustHouse Day - Tenison (Red Rooster Meal Day)
Year 4 Prayer Assembly
28 AugustYear 3 Prayer Assembly
3 SeptemberPrep 2021 Offers Distributed

Prep Prayer Assembly
4 SeptemberPUPIL FREE DAY - OSHC will operate today from 7am-6pm. Bookings essential.


Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer Reflection

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances' for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.               1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Let us pray that we will become more like Jesus, showing kindness and gratitude to all people.

How often do we take the next day for granted? We assume it will be there... but this time is a wake-up call for many. Gratitude lends meaning to every interaction. And, anyone who has a regular gratitude practice can tell you that giving thanks generates more reasons to be thankful. The science agrees: Thankfulness awakens our brain’s pleasure centers, and our bodies produce bio-chemicals that activate a strong and powerful sense of our potential, well-being, and connection. Our bodies respond with vitality and a stronger immune system. There are so many good things that result from this one simple practice.


Friday Prayer Assembly led by Year 4

Year 4 would like to invite all families and friends to join us in sharing the messages of the Parable of The Mustard Seed, next Friday, 21 August 2020.

Working with Dads – webinar series 2020

 A webinar series for professionals working with dads and families. Join the webinar series and gain knowledge, practical advice and strategies to engage dads and families in positive and effective ways. Over three sessions, you’ll learn in depth about our fatherhood resources and professionals’ toolkit. Each session includes interactive elements, group discussion and Q&A. Running throughout August and October 2020.

 Further details and booking information here.

 DadStuff – monthly webinars for dads

 Join one of the FREE webinars and get options for being a dad, the relationship with your partner and connecting with your kids.

Sharing resources developed for dads on:

  • 7 types of dad
  • Healthy family relationships
  • Bonding with your kids
  • Connecting with other dads
  • Dads at work
  • Plus we’ll talk about what else is going on for dads in Australia



  • Wednesday 19 August 2020
  • Friday 18 September 2020
  • Wednesday 21 October 2020
  • Friday 20 November 2020
  • Wednesday 16 December 2020


All sessions run from 2pm-3pm via Zoom. A link will be sent shortly before the sessions commences. Further information and bookings here.

Parish Bulletin


Real Talk Information for ALL Years 5 & 6 families


Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update

Science Week in Prep!

In Science, the Preps have been learning about how things move.  To celebrate Science Week, the Prep scientists worked with their Year Six buddy assistants to create balloon-powered boats. 

Monitoring Learning Growth

Next week, teachers from Wandal will join with fellow teachers from St Peter's and St Paul's to engage in professional discussions on spelling.  Our teachers have been very busy assessing, developing plans and gathering resources to share. 

We are currently investigating how we teach spelling and word study, and are looking at ways to improve spelling outcomes for our students.  This teacher investigation is looking at how inquiry aids the development of spelling skills.  

Our investigations are based on the following big ideas:

Prep – Onset and Rhyme

    Year 1 – Long Vowels

    Year 2 - Long vowels

    Year 3 – Suffixes

    Year 4 – Contractions

    Year 5 – Prefixes

    Year 6 – Affixes change meanings

    Ask your child what they have been learning in spelling this week.

    Have a great week,

    Janette McLennan

    This term the photography club have been exploring many aspects of photography! We have looked at; portraits, lighting, positioning and angles. We love to take photos of our beautiful school and have shared one of our favourite photos.

    Touch Football - Under 6 Stingers and Under 8 Vipers

    Training for this week will be Friday 21 August 3:10pm - 4:00pm.  The weekly draw may be found at  

    8:00 am Field 8    (6 years)  (B)  SJW Stingers  v  RGS Knights

    8:40 am Field 9    (8 years)  (B)  Wolfpack  v  SJW Vipers

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