St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

29 April 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Are we there yet?

As restrictions start to be lifted, that cry from our childhood holidays, ‘are we there yet?’, comes easily to mind. The long journey seems to be nearing its end. But like our parents on holidays, we know that when we finally get there, work still has to be done: unpacking the car, feeding the kids, getting everyone to bed.

Before we arrive or rather get let out, this is a good time to reflect on this journey: it will give us wisdom and strength for the next stage of this pandemic: reconstructing our lives. What are the good things that have happened? No, not just cleaning out the cupboards. What are the bad things that have happened? No, not just being frustrated. And what were the God moments? We have all been stretched in ways we couldn’t have imagined in January. Now is the time to own them and get ready to build on them.

In spite of the gloomy economic predictions, I have great hope for the future. Yes, things may well be tough. But look at all the creative and funny things people have done, you have done, over this time. Some are trivial but some have far reaching implications. Like the team in Brisbane who developed a ventilator that costs one tenth of conventional ventilators. They not only thought outside the box, they thought outside of this country to the needs of the impoverished in third world. As we face ‘breaks in the supply chains’ let us drawn on what we have learnt from the good, bad and God moments of the past months. One of the most important things we can teach our children is to turn hard situations into something life-giving. That is Resurrection Life.

Loving God, we are now to start a new stage in this weird journey. Give me the wisdom and courage to face the challenges well, so that my child/ren may learn resilience and creativity from my way of acting. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

Parents, as you may recall, we had to postpone the first formal Parent Teacher Interviews for 2020, which were scheduled for the last week of Term 1.  We realise that learning is looking very different at the moment, however it is still very important to have these conversations which are focussed on the academic progress your child has made so far. Teachers will be in touch with those of you who had previously booked a Parent Teacher Interview time, to reschedule. These conversations will occur between now and Week 5. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

The Skoolbag E-Form for attendance next week (Week 3) opens today and will close 3pm Friday. Please ensure you are completing this E-form each week if your child/ren requires onsite supervision. It is imperative that we have accurate numbers so that we can ensure adequate staff ratios. Thank you for your cooperation.

Thank you for your continued cooperation as we navigate the second week of learning from home. As parents, you are playing an important hands-on role, assisting your children in engaging in learning at this time, as well as supporting them through any anxiety or worry they may be feeling.  I would like to stress that parents are by no means expected to take the place of teachers and we continue to do our our very best to support you and your child, delivering the curriculum and providing pastoral care in the most engaging way possible. Teachers are attempting to maintain regular contact with each one of you. Please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call should you have any concerns.

Remember, keeping you and your family’s mental wellbeing in check is important. Centacare Central Queensland is available to help you through these challenging times:

Finally, a couple of quotes that I came across this week (thanks Catholic Education Media staff),  which I thought were worth sharing in light of the  current siutation:

  • “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” (Vladimir Lenin)
  • “I am tired of being part of a major historical event’ (Ariana Lenarsky)
  • “When I thought about being in a fantasy novel, I was thinking something more like Narnia” (Source unknown)
  • Meme sighted on Facebook:

Me: This show is boring.

Boss: Again, this is a Zoom conference.


Enrolments for Prep 2021

Online Privacy for our Students and Staff - An Important Disclaimer

Seesaw and Google Classroom provide opportunities for a shared digital platform where teachers can provide explicit instruction, set tasks, receive completed tasks from students, and design feedback for ongoing learning. On many occasions this may involve images or videos of teachers, and while we only share student images where media consents have been obtained, we increasingly have parents who don’t want their child appearing in Social Media. Therefore, parents are requested not to repost images from Seesaw or Google Classroom onto social media or share via the internet. This includes images of student work, images and videos of teaching and images of other students.

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.

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.

Winter Uniform

The weather will soon begin to cool and a reminder about our winter uniform expectations may be timely.

· The winter uniform consists of the SJW logo jacket (available from Wearitto) and plain navy tracksuit pants.

· Girls may wear navy blue tights.

· Long sleeved shirts under uniform shirts are not permitted.

· Jumpers and pants with stripes, brands and logos etc. are not permitted.

· ‘Hoodies’ are not permitted.

· Once again, a reminder that all students are to wear plain black leather shoes or plain black joggers. Canvas style shoes are not school uniform and should not be purchased.

Please refer to the school website for further details.


Tuckshop will continue to be available, as normal on Wednesdays and Fridays this term, for students who are attending school.

P and F and School Board Meetings

P and F and School Board Meetings will continue as planned this term. These will be held via Zoom (email invites to be sent closer to the time) on the following dates/times:

  • P and F Meeting (all parents welcome to join in)  Thursday 30 April (tomorrow) 5.15pm via Zoom

  • School Board Meeting Thursday 7 May, 5pm via Zoom

Friday Assembly - please Zoom in!

Our whole school Friday Assembly and messages will be 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 inlcuded 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.

Parent Feedback

Thank you for your continued support of the staff here at St Joseph's Wandal. They are working so incredibly hard for your children and it gives us such a boost when we receive positive feedback such as the email sent to us earlier in the week.....thank you!

"I just wanted to take a moment to send a quick albeit  belated response to the lovely email received from Mrs Jenkinson last week. The past couple of weeks has highlighted for my family the vital role teachers, teaching support staff and the school community plays with regards to the development of our children. The commitment of  (child's name removed)'s teachers to provide consistently outstanding, easy to understand online learning has been so impressive.  I can’t imagine  how exhausting it must be for them to manage the complexity of these challenging times.  They are doing a remarkable job, all the while dealing with how this crisis would be affecting them personally.


Pen Pal Project

This week, I was approached to see if we would be interested in joining a Pen Pal project that Darumbal Community Youth Services Inc. are currently running.  Our Regional Indigenous Education Liaison Officer, Cassandra Burgen, has agreed to coordinate this for our students and will email families in the next little while. I have been told that there are 30 local elders all patiently waiting for their own penpals to write back to them! This is such a great community initiative and we are proud to be a  part of it.


Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer - Gospel Reflection

Reflection questions or statements:

In what ways do you experience an encounter with the Risen Christ?

What would you say to Jesus if He was beside you?

We remember that Jesus is always with us.

Online Prayer Ideas

During these unprecedented times the importance of connection to our family, friends and faith community cannot be undervalued.  Many of us find it easy to pick up the phone can call or a friend or schedule a Zoom session, however as a faith community we may find it challenging to access or schedule time in for prayer during times of isolation.  Below are some links that were shared in our diocesan newsletter. Bishop Michael has offered some great suggestions for supporting our prayer life online.

eSafety Commission Webinars for Parents

The eSafety Commission have developed numerous webinars for parents and carers which are scheduled to take place over the coming weeks. 

 Topics include:

• Keeping safe and healthy online - Suitable for children aged 7-12 years.

• Keeping your sanity and supporting your kids online - Suitable for parents and carers.

• My house, my rules - Suitable for parents/carers and their children. 

 The webinars can be accessed from  

 If you do not currently subscribe to the eSafety Commissioner newsletter, you can subscribe by clicking on 

Student Wellbeing

Last week I shared some information about wellbeing practices that the Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton have gathered and collated from various sources to support the mental health and wellbeing of students.  Here are two suggestions that may support your children's wellbeing:


In the busyness of life and remote learning try to schedule some time that allows children to just be in the present moment and to take in the stillness underneath the mental noise. Meditation is a spiritual universal practice and a form of prayer.  Below are two short (2 minutes) useful meditation practices for children.

Smiling Mind Activities

§   Anchor your mind with Movement

§   Sea Creatures and Noticing Emotions

 Schedule some one on one time

As parents we know the value of one on one time with our children and how small actions between parent and child can increase the feelings of connectedness.  The World Health Organisation has developed a concise list of suggested ways to spend one-on-one time during remote learning.  How often do you schedule some one on one time with your child or children?

Scheduling one-on-one time tips

Support for Parents

ANZAC Day - Light up the Dawn

It was wonderful to hear how our students acknowledged and remembered those who serve to protect our country. While this was a very different ANZAC Day for us all, it was still memorable and moving.  Lest We Forget.  

Lest We Forget

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

From the Assistant to the Principal: Curriculum (APC)

Go on an excursion!

While we are all staying home, we can actually get around the world.

Travel on a virtual excursion - there are literally hundreds to enjoy!

2020 Premier's Reading Challenge

I am delighted to invite all St Joseph’s Primary School students to join in the 2020 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Reading plays an important part in students’ lives during their school years and beyond. It allows children to actively engage their imagination and opens up a world of educational opportunities.

Last year, 168,000 students from 937 schools took part in the challenge, reading an astounding 2.31 million books. What an incredible result.

The reading period for the 2020 Premier's Reading Challenge commences on Monday 11 May and closes Friday 28 August.

This year the Premier has invited all state and non-state school students to take on the challenge:

· Prep to Year 2 should read or experience at least 20 books,

· Years 3 and 4 should read at least 20 books, and

· Years 5 to 9 should read at least 15 books.

This year we have decided to challenge the school houses to compete against each other to see which team can read the most books. Please ensure that your child has their house team name on the top of their forms.

Experiencing books can include shared reading, listening to stories, or reading picture books. The aim for the 2020 challenge is to engage more students reading more books than ever before.

Students wishing to take part in this year’s challenge can register by talking to their class teacher or to Anna McKenzie, our school’s Premier’s Reading Challenge coordinator.

Every student who completes the challenge will receive a Certificate of Achievement signed by the Premier. Students who participate but don’t complete the challenge receive a Certificate of Participation from the school. It will be my great pleasure to present these certificates during the Premier’s Reading Challenge celebration weeks of 2 – 13 November 2020.

For more information about the Premier’s Reading Challenge, please visit:

You can play a big part in your children’s future by encouraging them to be part of this positive initiative.

I look forward to seeing as many of our students as possible take part in the 2020 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Premier's Reading Challenge - Reader Record form


The students at St Joseph's Wandal have access to the SORA online library.  The link above shows how to access the site.  

Details of how to navigate the site can be found here.


Gallery of Busy Bees!

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