St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

10 June 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection


Covid-19 isolation has had me thinking about many things but especially about my expectations in life.  I know I am not alone in this.  Society, family and friends place expectations on us and imply that if we fulfill them, we will be happy.  This time of isolation has given us the chance to test those expectations and ask if they are really valid. 

Buzzing in my head has been one of the early question/answers from the old Penny Catechism, (ask your grandparents what that is) ‘Why did God make me?’ ‘To know, love and serve him and to be happy with him forever.’   I have looked at various expectations made on me and asked ‘Does this help me know, love or serve God?’ but especially I have asked of many things in my life, does this make me happy?  We can end up taking on a lot in our lives that has nothing to do with happiness.

God wants me to be happy in heaven and the place to start is now.  If I can’t be happy here, God is going to have trouble trying to make me happy there.  As I child, my mother sent me to learn the piano.  It was not a happy experience.  My teacher was a nasty woman.  She broke Bic biros over my fingers and asked why I was crying.  When practising, Mum used to yell at me to count, which didn’t help.  In spite of all that, after 53 years away I took up the piano again last year…and it has been a revelation.  I have discovered it is called playing the piano.  There was no play in childhood but there is now and it brings me happiness.  Of, course there are scales and repetitious practice and all the boring stuff but it is worth it because but I am enjoying what I am playing.  

So now I am asking of the various aspects of my life: ‘Does this help me to know, love or serve God or others or does this increase my happiness?’  And if it does not, out it goes.  Life is too short for stuff that doesn’t help us to live and love.  We are made to grow into the fullness of God.

Loving God, help me to look at the expectations that I take on.  Give me your wise Spirit so that I may question and find what is life-giving and love-enhancing.  And let me drop what is negative.  I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me. 

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

School Officer Day

Today is School Officers Day and as a staff, we celebrated and recognized the critical role that our School Officers play in the delivery of quality education here at St Joseph’s Wandal. Our teaching staff treated our School Officers to lunch and they were also presented with a certificate recognising their unique qualities and gifts. Thank you to our wonderful School Officers – we couldn’t do it without you!

 We thank, in a special way, Mr Julius Lemeki, who finishes with us this Friday. We thank Julius for his years of service and support to the students here at St Joseph's Wandal and wish him all the very best as he concentrates on his completing his teaching studies. Thank you and best wishes, Julius. We will continue to see Julius around our school in his most important role, as a parent!

Late Arrivals

The mornings are cooler at the moment and we are all struggling to leave our beds! It is important though, that children are at school, on time and ready to learn. There are an increasing number of children arriving after the bell; this disturbs the class and does not set your child up for a calm, organised start to the school day. If arriving after the bell at 8.35am, your child will have been marked as being absent on the electronic roll. You must leave your cars and walk into the Admin to sign your children in manually to ensure they are marked as being on-site.


If your child is absent for any reason, you must inform the school office by either the school app (preferred method), email or by phone. If we do not hear from you, your child will be marked as having an ‘unexplained absence’ and you will receive an SMS from the school querying their whereabouts.

Prep Interviews - Update

This week, I have commenced interviewing the siblings of existing students, for Prep in 2021. The interviews are occurring virtually, by Zoom.

For ‘new’ families, the process will be as follows:

Our enrolment process for Prep will begin with a Parent Information Session on Thursday 23 July at 5.30pm. Bookings for interviews will be taken on this night. Interviews will be scheduled between late July and early August 2020.

Once all interviews are completed and paperwork has been checked, we will send out our first round offers for Prep placements on Friday 4 September 2020 in conjunction with the other Catholic primary schools in Rockhampton.

Later in the year, we will hold a Prep Orientation morning for our 2021 ‘Preppies’ where parents and children will have the opportunity to spend a morning participating in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities in our Prep classrooms and experiencing life at ‘big school.’

School Video

By now you have possibly seen our new school video, which we have posted to both the school website and to our Facebook page. I am sure you will agree; the video is a wonderful way to showcase our school and provide a virtual ‘tour’ of our school facilities. I wish to thank Neil McDonald (Media Coordinator, Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton) and Gareth Keith (Studio 53) for their support and assistance with this project. Thanks especially to the students featured in the video, you all did a marvellous job.

If you haven't seen the video yet, you can check it out here:

Challenge Cup

Year 6 parents - The Challenge Cup has been cancelled for 2020. There is, however, still merchandise available for sale. Shirts and hats will be offered to those who wish to place an order. Both shirts $30 (same as previous years) and hats $20 (normally only offered for sale at the carnival) are available for purchase.

If you wish to place an order please give your size details and payment to office staff by Friday 19 June.  

Queensland Health COVIDSafe Survey

In recent days, all members of the school community have been emailed information and a link to a short Queensland Health survey collating information about the Central Queensland public’s interaction with Federal Government’s COVID-19 tracing app. This information is valuable to Queensland Health and they would appreciate as many community members as possible completing the survey.


The relevant link is:


With the aim of moving towards a COVIDSafe Australia, it is requested that all parents assist Queensland Health by completing the short survey.


Enrolments for Prep 2021

 If you are interested in enrolling your child at St Joseph's Wandal in 2021, don't delay! Enrolment information can be found here:

Our friendly office staff can assist you with any queries you may have.

School Fees

Term 2 fees are due Monday, 15 June. Please contact me if you are experiencing difficulties in paying your invoice by the due date.

Friday Messages and Awards

For the remainder of this term, our Friday messages and awards will continue to be delivered to all classes in the school by Zoom. If you would like to link in with us, please email the school office and request the Zoom link and password.

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer - Gospel focus

Since the Trinity is one of the great mysteries of our faith, trying to design an image that touches on its meaning seems an impossible task. Three sources come to mind, however: colours, numbers and shapes. A colour system that artists often use identifies three primary colours: yellow, red and blue. Combinations of the three primaries are thought to produce all other colours. The three primaries have their own individual identity but they share a single source, light. There are echoes of the Trinity here. In nature, similar shapes are repeated endlessly and yet nature is far from visually boring. In this week’s design, nature is emulated; one motif is used six times to make the three shapes which are similar, but not the same. The shapes have a family resemblance, but they have individual identity. Cannot the same be said of the persons of the Trinity? In the Trinity there are three persons in one God and ‘three’ is a prime number which can only be divided by itself and one. Prime numbers have a mystical quality, and, together with the primary colours and related and repeated shapes, they evoke a dynamic sense of the divine.

© Image and reflection from Jenny Close

Wellbeing Practice - Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude is being aware and appreciating good things and taking time to express one's appreciation. Here are some topics or ideas you can use to guide your children using a gratitude journal:

  • Something that someone else did for you that day.

  • A person in your life who you appreciate.

  • A positive quality of someone who can sometimes be hard to get along with.

  • A skill or ability you have.

  • Something that made you laugh.

  • What you have learnt from something that was hard.

  • Another beautiful idea is to create a Gratitude Jar, or a Gratitude Wall where each day’s thanks are written and displayed.

Year 4 Stewards of Creation

In HASS, Year 4 students viewed the following animated infographic (link below) about how many plastic water bottles are sold in a minute.

Year 4 have responded very passionately to the information and wanted to 'let the world know'. It is fairly shocking and as a response, students chose to be stewards of creation and created a poster (distributed to younger classes) or a slide show (distributed to older classes) about the negative impacts of plastics.   Click on the link  to view one of the slide shows created by Year 4. 

The power of your smile!

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.  - Mother Teresa

I shared this quote with Year 6 today and they decided to send 'virtual smiles' to all those in our school community by creating a jokes wall in our classroom.  We hope this brings a smile to your face from us.

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update: From the APC

Excellence in Art Design Competition

Literary Competition

Premier's Coding Challenge

Premier's Reading Challenge

UPDATE:  MacKillop is currently in the lead!

Have you seen the videos on facebook from our house captains?  The Premier's reading challenge is on.  We want to see as many forms completed as possible.  Let's all get reading and may the best house win!

Premier's Reading Challenge - Reader Record form


The NCCD – What do I need to know as a parent?

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is a yearly count of students by all Australian schools across the country. The aim of the NCCD is to provide the Australian Government with information about the number of students with disability in Australian schools and the type of adjustments they need in order to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students. From 2018, the NCCD has been used by the Australian Government to inform funding for schools, known as the ‘student with disability loading’.

If you are a parent, guardian or carer of a child with disability who requires ongoing adjustments at school, a teacher or another school staff member will consult with you to understand your child’s needs. This collaborative approach ensures the most appropriate adjustments are chosen to support your child’s learning and participation at school. In some cases, an individual education plan (IEP), individual support plan (ISP) or personal learning plan (PLP) may be developed to document specific educational goals and to review your child’s progress over time.

Your child will be included in the NCCD if they require ongoing adjustments at school due to a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This is a very broad definition of disability, which includes physical and intellectual disabilities, learning disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. The Disability Standards for Education 2005 set out the obligations of schools towards students with disability. Under the 2020 NCCD Guidelines every effort should be made to inform parents/guardians/carers that a student has been included in the NCCD. Where this is not possible, the reasons should be documented. 

If your child has a disability, your child’s school will provide information about them for the NCCD, including:

  • your child’s year of schooling

  • the category of disability that best describes your child’s difficulties (one of four categories is chosen by the school team to reflect your child’s greatest area of need: physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional)

  • the level of adjustment your child receives at school (one of four levels is chosen by the school team to reflect the type of support your child requires: quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary adjustment, substantial adjustment, or extensive adjustment).

The information collected by schools for the NCCD will ultimately be provided to the Australian Government Department of Education. 

While it is not possible for schools or families to ‘opt out’ of the NCCD, the privacy and confidentiality of all students and their families is treated with utmost importance. Data is collected within each school, and personal details, such as student names and other identifying information, are not provided to local or federal education authorities.

Related resources:

Fact sheets for parents, guardians and carers about the NCCD

NCCD Website -

Library Returns

Before we began our 'learning from home' period, we sent six books home with each student.  Many students have returned these, but we ask everyone to check in bags, under beds and in cupboards to ensure that all of the books come back.  Thanks!

Have a great week,

Janette McLennan

ICAS Assessment

What are they?

ICAS Assessments are online* assessments, designed to recognise and reward academic achievement. ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing*, Spelling and Digital Technologies.

Each assessment celebrates students’ accomplishments by providing opportunities for recognition. Every student will receive a printed certificate and an online result report. Top performers will be eligible for medals and are invited to attend special award ceremonies to have their academic excellence publicly recognised.

The assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the personal challenge of competing in an international assessment. Your child will be presented with high-quality, expert-developed questions, allowing them to apply their learning without the need for prior study or revision.

There is no pressure from the school to participate in the assessments. It is completely a decision for your child.

The assessments are open for Years 2-6, with the exception of Digital Technologies. The writing task is not available this year.

Subjects offered

·         ICAS Digital Technologies

·         ICAS Science

·         ICAS Spelling Bee

·         ICAS Mathematics

·         ICAS English


Sitting Dates


ICAS Science

Monday 17 August to Friday 21 August 2020


ICAS Writing*

No longer available in 2020


ICAS Digital Technologies

Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August 2020

Only available for Years 3-6


ICAS English

Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August 2020


ICAS Mathematics

Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2020


ICAS Spelling Bee

Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2020



If you would like your child to participate in any of the subjects listed above, please visit the new online Parent Payment System to make a direct payment to UNSW Global. The Parent Payment System is a simple and secure online payment service specifically for parents to purchase ICAS Assessments.

The web link is:

Our school’s unique access code is:  Still Pending.  Watch this space.

Online parent payment closes Friday, 17 July 2020.

IMPORTANT:  Please enter your child’s name accurately into the System as it will appear on their ICAS certificate.


Outside School Hours Care & Vacation Care Event Schedule


 Please be advised that as of Monday the 12th of July 2020, OSHC fees are scheduled to return to normal (the emergency relief package will no longer be applied to your OSHC fees).

You will then have your statements emailed out to you each Monday of your nominated payment cycle, with your payment being processed on the Tuesday and coming out of your account on your nominated day of the week. We will keep you updated if there are any changes to this information, closer to the date.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Weekly Awards

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