St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

23 October 2019

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

In Praise of Boredom.

My sister recently posted the following meme: ‘I love it when the kids tell me they are bored.  As though the lady in front of the sink full of dirty dishes is where you go to find out about how to have a good time.’  As I chuckled, I also realized how true it was.  The lady doing the washing up does indeed know a thing or two about ‘good times’.

As I child, I learnt to play the piano.  I don’t remember it as a happy experience and I was allowed (finally) to drop it at the age of 13.  Now 51 years later, I have taken up playing again and have been surprised at the delight it is giving me.  The big difference is not age but the wisdom I have gained in knowing that the boredom is part of the process of learning:  practice isn’t fun but it is necessary.

So many of the good things in our lives entail large chunks of boredom.  Washing the dishes is probably one of the least of them.  Yet we do those boring things for love.  Indeed, the boring things can show what is most precious to us and make us capable of loving even more. It can carve our spaces in our hearts that we didn’t know were there. Then in the big open spaces of boredom, we may be surprised by the delight of love.

Loving God, let me recognise and appreciate the boring things of my life. Let me give myself lovingly in those time and find beneath the boredom just how much I love my family, myself and you.  I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

A message from the Principal

Whilst our students enjoyed an extra-long weekend, our staff gathered for a day of professional learning on Monday. We welcomed Father Noel Milner who spoke to us about St Paul and the early church. We also researched and discussed evidence-based approaches to successful teaching and learning expriences.

Staffing for 2020 is not yet finalised and teachers will not be appointed to classes until the very end of term (at the earliest). In 2020, we will be a fully two-stream school, having approximately doubled in enrolment numbers from 2014! We will offer two classes of each grade from Prep – Year 6.

In the next month or so, teachers, in conjunction with the Learning Support staff and Leadership team of the school, will commence preparations for class groupings for the 2020 school year. If you feel you have information that teachers may not be already aware of, and which may be useful for this process, please ensure you notify your class teachers at your earliest convenience. A kind reminder that this school does not accept preferences for teachers or support staff.

Late Arrivals and Early Departures

Remember, every minute of the school day counts and we appreciate our teaching and learning remaining uninterrupted.

Last week we had:

 24 Late Student Arrivals

 27 Early Student Departures

 55 Whole Day Student Absences

World Teachers’ Day

Celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide, World Teachers' Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1994 to recognise the role of teachers in society. World Teachers' Day will be celebrated a day early, this Thursday (due to a number of our teachers attending training on Friday). Thank you to the P and F committee, who will treat our staff to coffee and a Subway lunch this week as a way of showing their appreciation for all that our teachers do here at St Joseph’s Wandal.


Opportunities for Parent Engagement

Our P and F will meet tomorrow at 5pm in the staffroom. All are welcome to this meeting – we love seeing new faces! The school board will meet immediately afterwards at 6pm.


Our P and F plan and organise fundraisers and events as well as determine how funds raised are spent in the school. When we have a substantial group, the workload is greatly reduced and the creative ideas are enhanced!  The reality of these meetings is that it usually only a very small group of 5 or 6 people who turn up. Please do not think that you will be given a ‘job’ if you come along. It is a great opportunity to hear plans for the school and the new year, offer suggestions to make our school even better or to just sit and listen. Please consider giving one hour of your time, once a month to pop along to your P and F meeting.

After School ‘Catch-ups’


One of the great things about our school is our community. It’s lovely to see parents chatting and mingling with each other before and after school. I do need to ask though, that if you are staying for a little while after the bell, that your children are with you, under your direct supervision. Due to the Outside School Hours Care Service moving to the Performing Arts Room, this area, including the Undercover Area, are designated OSHC areas. Due to legislative requirements, only people ‘signed in’ at OSHC are permitted in this area between the hours of 3.00pm-6.00pm and you will be asked to move. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Before School Arrangements

Any students arriving early (before 8.15am) are expected to be enrolled and signed in by parents/caregivers at Before School Care where formal supervision is provided. Our OSHC coordinator, Hailey Svensen, can answer any questions you may have, as well as provide you with enrolment paperwork.  Hailey can be reached on 0429316543.

Crazy Socks

Don’t forget next Wednesday is FREE DRESS and CRAZY SOCK DAY, to raise money for “Socktober’ as part of Catholic Missions month. This initiative aims to raise money and awareness for the work of Catholic Mission in supporting some of the poorest countries around the world. Thank you to Mrs Starr for organising this initiative, more details are included further in the newsletter. We can’t wait to see your crazy socks!

Special Visitor

Last week, we were delighted to welcome back to our school, former student, Jarryd May. Jarryd has joined the Air Force and has now flown out for four months of deployment in Malaysia. Jarryd told our students about the Air Force and answered their many questions.  We thank Jarryd for coming along and chatting to our students and wish him well during the next couple of months. We all very proud of all he is accomplishing in his career, as are his family.


Homework Club is back!

Homework Club is now available one afternoon after school per week. This is supervised by Year 10 & 11 students from The Cathedral College.

When: Tuesday afternoons 3.20- 4.20pm 

Where: The ‘Be-Hive’ - St Joseph’s Wandal

Who: Years 3-6 students

Parents will be required to book their children into Homework Club by midday Tuesday of each week by contacting the school office via email or phone.

Volunteers' Thank You Morning Tea - *Date claimer*

If you have volunteered in any capacity at our school throughout the 2019 school year, please join us for a Morning Tea on Friday 15 November. This is our way of saying ‘thank you.’ Our Year 5 class will be coordinating this event and more details will be shared over the coming weeks.

Attention: Grade 6 Parents

Year 6 Families…some reminders!

 You will receive your invitation to the Year Six Rite of Passage Celebration today. Please check your child’s school bag. RSVP’s are ESSENTIAL and payment is to be made via Flexischools.

 Have you indicated (via the e-form) whether you are returning or keeping (after paying payout cost) your child’s allocated Chromebook at the end of the year?

 Have you noted that on the last day of term, Friday 6th December, your children will receive their Year Six ‘graduation’ certificates at our end of year liturgy?

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson.

From the APRE

Prayer Corner

"Pray that God may direct and that St Joseph's humble spirit may guide."

Mary MacKillop (1898)

Catholic Mission Fundraising

October is the Month of the Rosary

October is the Month of the Holy Rosary.  Yesterday children honoured Mary by learning about the Rosary.  Each Tuesday for the month of October, students are invited to gather at 8.15am to learn how to pray the Rosary.

Today I visited Year 2 and we reflected on the difficult times in Jesus' life as we prayed a decade of the Rosary.  We call these the Sorrowful Mysteries.  

Learning to Pray the Rosary

Prayer Celebration led by Prep

Please join Prep who will lead prayer in recognition of  World Teachers' Day.  Prayer will be held in the Hall at 8.35am this Friday.

Year Two will lead prayer next Friday to celebrate All Saints' Day.

Continuing the Journey in the Catholic Faith - Sacramental Dates

Please remember to bring registration forms with you, because towards the end of the Ritual of Remembering Baptism, Father will invite all participants to place their registration papers in a basket for collection.  Participants may choose to celebrate their Ritual of Remembering Baptism at Church on Saturday 26 October at the 6pm Mass or Sunday 27 October at 9.30am Mass. 

Mass in the Hall

Please join us on Tuesday 5 November at 9am for Mass in the Hall followed by Morning Tea.  Year 5 will assist with parts of the Mass.

Parenting Ideas

The topic for this week is, "The power of gratitude for a happier life." Dr Jodi Richardson, happiness and wellbeing speaker shares great ideas on flourishing mental health for families.  

Parent Insight


Children's Liturgy of the Word

A reminder that Children’s Liturgy is held most Sundays at St Joseph’s Cathedral at 9.30am during the school term.   Please click on the link to access Mass times.

With gratitude,

Rheanna Starr.

From the APC

PAT Testing

Students have been completing (Years 1 to 6) Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading and Mathematics.  These tests are an excellent way to gather norm-referenced, objective data that supports the other assessment data gathered by teachers through classroom practice.  These assessments are a requirement from the Diocesan Catholic Education Office, who are supporting the school to administer these tests. 

The information gathered over time will be of great benefit, allowing us to track strengths and trends across specific key areas.

PAT Reading examines reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  PAT Mathematics looks at skills and understandings in number, algebra, geometry, measurement, statistics and probability.

If you require further information, please contact me through the office.

Ready Reading

Click here to register to attend!

Would you like to gain some more knowledge and skills about how to support your child’s reading?  Queensland Ready Reading is an initiative of the Queensland Government that aims to improve literacy skills across the State.  The Department of Education is partnering with Volunteering Queensland to recruit and train up to 3000 volunteers to support children’s reading.

An opportunity to attend Ready Reading training at our school has been organised. We invite our parents and our current volunteers to attend.  For parents, there is no obligation to commit to volunteering, but we encourage you to come and learn strategies to support your own child with their reading at home. If you do wish to volunteer in our school, we would welcome your involvement.  

The training involves attending two modules of two hours each.

  • Module 1 – Learning to read
  • how and why reading is taught in particular ways
  • essential components for learning to read: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and text comprehension
  •  building a bank of strategies to support reading and knowing when and how to use them
  • sight words and high-frequency words and how they are used when learning to read.
  • Module 2 – Supporting readers
  • overview of the stages of reading and the behaviours typically displayed during these stages
  • how to support readers before, during and after reading
  • how to use pause, prompt, praise strategy
  • using prompts for reading such as sounding out, reading on, chunking, re-reading and using pictures and visual cues
  •  how to give effective feedback.

You will have opportunities to see strategies modelled, and to practise these in pairs and receive feedback so that you feel confident to support a child’s reading to become a more confident and independent reader.

There is no cost for this training, and support materials will be provided by the Department of Education.

Ready Reading Training

Date and Time

From Tuesday, November. 19th, 9:00 am to Tuesday, November. 19th, 1:00 pm


St Vincent's Parish Hall, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal. Get Directions


An opportunity to attend Ready Reading training at our school has been organised. We invite our parents and our current volunteers to attend. We encourage you to come and learn strategies to support your own child with their reading at home.

Year Four Flipgrid

Year Four parents are asked to complete the e-form (via the skoolbag app) about Flipgrid.  Flipgrid is a great platform that allows students to make video recordings.  It is a fabulous tool for sharing ideas and insights with others.  Flipgrid is a secure platform and the only other people who can see these videos are the other students in the class and the class teachers.

Harold is nearly here!

As you will have read in your class newsletters, the Life Education Van is coming to St Joseph's Wandal.  This will take place in Week Five of this term.  The students do seem to enjoy a visit from Harold (the Life Education Van mascot - a giraffe puppet) and learn important health and safety messages.

A parents' session is free for all interested parents on Monday 4 November   at 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.


Have a wonderful week of learning!


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Weekly Awards

Congratulations to our award winners.  Please click on link.

Term 4 Calendar


Student Travel Rebates

Please click on flyer for more information.

Community Announcements and Flyers