St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

25 March 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Taking Heart: We are all in this together.

Yesterday I gave one of my brothers a stern talking to. I asked him if he was isolating and when he hesitated, I knew he wasn’t. He was surprised when I told him he was the most vulnerable person in our family. He had open heart surgery last year after which he was seriously ill for 6 weeks with a reaction to the drugs. All in all, I think he cheated death at least twice. And he still has health problems. So why hasn’t he thought this though? I think because of the grandchildren. They are the joy of his life. His love of them made this a problem too hard.

I could only afford to ‘smack him round the head’ because I had a practical solution. I told him about a woman here in Yeppoon who is continuing to have play dates with her great grandchildren. They play on the lawn. She watches and encourages them from the front door. It works.

Many of us are coming up with bright and creative ways of dealing with the present crisis and we need to share these ideas far and idea. Put them on your Instagram page, put them on the school’s Facebook page, put them on Snapchat. Sharing will give you heart in midst of the stress we all share. This is the time when can best experience our world’s interconnectedness. No, not by watching Netflix but by caring for and sharing with each other the good things that work in our lives. Created in the image and likeness of God, we are meant to live in community. The irony is that as we are encouraged to isolate, we will discover how much we need each other. Take heart, be imaginative, share, share and more share.

Loving God, as we isolate, we are discovering how much we need each other. Send us your wise Spirit to give us creative and loving ways of supporting each other. May we share our wisdom with each other. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

Dear St Joseph’s Wandal families,

 What a unique time we are in. We recognise how difficult this emerging situation is for many families. The fabulous teaching team here at school have been working hard to identify meaningful instructional activities for your child to do while he or she is at home. Our goal in this work was to provide you with activities that are aligned with what your children typically do during the school day, recognising it will not be the same as being in the classroom.


We certainly know there is a lot going on for families right now and that you may not be able to complete all of the activities...that is completely fine! Our intention is just to provide you with approximately two -three weeks’ worth of resources to keep your children actively learning and prevent regression while they are not coming to school.


Right now, our community, our schools and we ourselves are going through a period of significant and unexpected stress. This can impact in different ways for each of us and it is important that we try to monitor how we are feeling and take steps to support our own health and wellbeing.


There are many excellent online and self-help resources that can be useful, these include:


• Beyond Blue chat online or phone service – 1300224636 or

• Lifeline – 131114

• Reach Out Australia -


I would like to recognize the wonderful work my staff are currently doing, continuing to provide rigorous and quality teaching and learning programs at school, whilst also considering those children whose parents have chosen to keep them at home. I especially thank Janette McLennan, Rheanna Starr, Melanie Egan and Anna McKenzie who have developed some quality at home learning resources with very little notice. These resources have been emailed to you today.


We appreciate your partnership as we navigate this unknown territory together. Now, more than ever, it will be important to remain in communication with each other, to remain connected to our school community and to support each other wherever possible. Please feel free to reach out to any of our staff members through e-mail via if you have any questions or concerns along the way.

 Thank you, Kellie

Precautionery Measures

We are encouraging social distancing as per the government’s regulations. Please consider dropping your children at the school gates where supervision is provided or dropping/collecting at the supervised pickup zones. If your children are remaining at home, parents must contact the school office.

Social Distancing

The Australian Government Department of Health has developed an information sheet that answers common questions about social distancing — including what it is, how to do it and why it's important.


The information sheet can be found at


Advice to individuals regarding what they should be doing with regard to social distancing includes:

  • if you are sick, stay away from others
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
  • cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser, and
  • if unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).


The same fact sheet specifies social distancing actions which should occur at schools.


The advice specific to social distancing in schools is:


•            If children/staff are sick, they should not be at school (or kindergarten)

•            Sanitise hands when entering school and at regular intervals

•            Defer activities that lead to mixing between classes and years

•            Avoid queuing and consider cancelling school assemblies

•            Promote a regular handwashing schedule

•            Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly

•            Conduct lessons outdoors where possible

•            Consider opening windows and adjusting conditioning for more ventilation

•            Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts

Parent Teacher Interviews - YES, THEY ARE ON!

Open and ongoing communication involving parents, teachers, students and community members is an integral aspect of the teaching and learning process at St Joseph’s Wandal. Formal Parent Teacher interviews are held at the end of Term 1 and the end of Term 3. Bookings close today at 3pm. These interviews will be by phone due to the current health precautions in place. You will receive a phone call, from your child's teacher at the time of your booking. Work samples (paper copies) will be sent home on the day of your child's interview. If your child is not at school on that day, then you are welcome to call into the shcool office to collect it. If you do not wish to keep your Parent Teacher booking, PLEASE advise our staff. Teachers have a tremendous workload at present, as I am sure you can understand, and I would appreciate their time not being wasted.

 Bookings are made through Parent Lounge as detailed below:

 Open link

Choose Parent Portal

Type in your Parent Code in to username (this is the six digit Parent code found on your school fee account) & Password (note – default is set to Parent code). If you have forgotten your password, click on ‘Forgot Password? This will be emailed to you. 

Friday's assembly and prayer - via Zoom

This Friday, we will try delivering our morning prayer and messages via Zoom. The classes will ‘zoom’ in from their rooms. You can join us too. We would love to see some people joining us from home, work, or wherever you are. This is the first time we are trying this with so many participants, so please be patient with us!

A reminder about Videoconferencing etiquette: remain muted unless you are called on to speak, be aware of your surroundings and ensure that you can be seen clearly.

The Zoom will commence at 8.40am and should only take about 10 minutes. Instructions for downloading/initiating Zoom can be found here:, thanks to “The Techie Teacher."

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Join from SIP/H.323 room system:     SIP:     H.323: (meeting ID: 498 233 392)

Join from telephone (meeting ID: 498 233 392):     (02) 8015 2088 (Sydney)     (07) 3053 8570 (Brisbane)     (08) 7150 1149 (Adelaide)     (03) 8375 9112 (Melbourne)     International numbers available:

Join from Skype for Business (Lync):


Joining Zoom Meetings

Effective hand hygiene is vital!

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, it is important to remember that effective hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against viruses and can help prevent the spread of illness.

Lead by example and encourage your children to:

* wash their hands regularly with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet

* use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is not available

* cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow

* dispose of tissues in the bin immediately

* if they’re unwell, stay at home and avoid contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging. Check out the 20 second routine video for effective handwashing.


April Vacation Care

Our April Vacation Care program has been finalised. Booking forms will be emailed to families this week and will be due back to the service by Friday the 3rd of April.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the OSHC staff on 0429316543.

Communication and Contact Details

Please ensure that your contact details, including email addresses, afterhours numbers and mobile numbers are updated here at school. In the case of a critical incident, emergency or other urgent scenario, it is important that we are able to contact all members of our school community quickly and easily. Remember, you can update your contact details via the schoolbag app, parent lounge or otherwise please pop in and see one of the friendly office staff.


2020 NAPLAN Testing Cancelled

2020 Year 3 and 5 Parents - Please be advised 2020 NAPLAN will not proceed this year due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the need to support school communities and the wellbeing of school leaders, staff and students.


My First Year - Prep 2020

My First Year - Prep 2020 photographs have today been published in The Morning Bulletin. Don't forget to buy your copy to check out our wonderful Preppies!


The Government is acting to cushion the blow from the coronavirus for businesses and households to help them get through to the other side of the crisis as the world deals with the significant challenges posed by its spread.

Below are some quick links to the measures available to small and medium businesses, sole traders and households under the $189 billion economic support package announced by the Prime Minister: support line: 13 28 46

Small or medium business with reduced cash flow? Here’s what we’re doing to boost your cash flow.  

Is your business financially distressed? This is what we’re doing to support you.

Assisting the economic recovery Here’s how we’ll support you to grow.

Employ an apprentice or trainee? This support is for you.

Are you a sole trader that has lost business? This is what we’re doing to support you and your business.

Household finances hit by reduced work? Here’s what we’re doing to help support your family budget.

Payments to support households.


For more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: or

Thank you!

To finish, I wanted to say how touched we have been by the many, many kind messages and offers of support that have been directed to the staff and myself over the last couple of weeks. I know some families have even offerred to help teaching staff with their groceries!  I received the email below yesterday, and it made our day. 

Dear Kellie and Staff,

 I hope this email finds you all safe and well.  I am writing to thank you for your tremendous commitment to our children's learning and development, and the outstanding work that the SJW staff community has been undertaking.  In these very stressful and uncertain times the professionalism and transparency has been impeccable, and I am so pleased that my child, (name removed) has the opportunity to be part of this beautiful, supportive community.  


I support whatever decision the staff and Cath Ed make in relation to school safety (ie. closures) and know that you will all make this decision with the utmost of regard for the safety of our children, their families, the CQ community and yourselves.  


Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you truly are an amazing group of staff!

Have a wonderful (remain as calm as you can!) week,

Kellie Jenkinson.

From the APRE

Prayer Corner

"Go on with courage and strength."

 Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop 1873

Did You Know?

Palm Sundayis also called Passion Sunday. Palm Sunday falls on the first Sunday before Easter.  The palm branch is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.

On Monday, classes will participate in simultaneous prayer reflection of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem - the day we know as Palm Sunday.

Holy Week

During Holy Week, we recall the events leading up to Jesus' death and, His Resurrection. The week includes five days of special significance. The first is Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus' humble entry (on a donkey) into Jerusalem to observe Passover.  Next week, students will begin learning about the importance of Holy Week and will partake in a a number of simultaneous prayer celebrations.

Monday - Simultaneous Prayer

Thank you to the Prep students who led a simultaneous prayer celebration recognizing Harmony Day.

Reminder - Free Dress Fundraiser for Lent

A reminder that on April 3 we will have a free dress day to raise awareness and funds for Caritas Australia's Lenten campaign.  Students are asked to donate a gold coin.

So far we have raised $520 through the generous donations from Shrove Tuesday pancakes and breakfast club after Cross Country training.  Thank you to our school families and students for their generosity.

Year 6 Easter Raffle

The Year 6 students are holding an Easter Egg raffle, as part of their fundraising efforts towards their camp which will be held later in the year. Tickets will be sent home with students and are $1 each. The raffle will be drawn on the 3rd April.

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr.

From the APC

Home Learning

As mentioned, Rheanna, Melanie and Anna have assisted in the preparation of some excellent resources.  We will endeavour to email the unplugged (not using devices) resources to families today and tomorrow, and will ensure that students have log ins etc. for google classrooms.  We will also send the class codes home via email.

We will also be sending home library books to read.

Thanks for your support.

Online Safety

As we are currently entering into an uncertain time where your child may need to complete online learning, please refresh yourself and your child in what it means to be safe online.

Joining Google Classrooms

Some of you may be wondering how your child can join a google classroom.  Follow this link for a short video.

A Letter from our Preps

The Preps are so excited by their new playspace, they have written a letter.  What great interactive writing they have been doing! 

Thank you from the Preps and Miss Murphy and Mrs McKenzie.


Parents are reminded to complete the Flipgrid permission forms on the skoolbag app.  This is a great platform that allows the students to share short videos.  This is very important at the moment.


Have a wonderful week of learning!


2020 School Calendar

Our school calendar can be found on Parent Lounge link.  Your Parent Lounge code is your parent code (found on your school fees statement) and the default password is the same 6 digit number. 


Congratulations to our Student Award recipients!  Please click on the  link for all the details.