St Joseph's Newsletter

Hindmarsh Edition 22: Term 4 Week 8

🎄 Carols Afternoon Today 🏅 Sports Presentation Tomorrow

What you'll find in this week's Newsletter

  • Swimming Program
  • School Board 2023 - Nominations close this Friday
  • Play Space Progress
  • Staffing and Transition Arrangements
  • Whole School End of Year Events
  • Religious Education News
  • Canteen News 2023
  • Sacred Hear Parish Carols Night
  • Vacation Care Program
  • Preschool News
  • School Highlights
  • Community Noticeboard

Diary Dates

Term 4

Wednesday 7th December🎄 Christmas Carols Afternoon, at 2.10 pm
Thursday 8th December🏅 After School Sports Presentation Assembly, at 2.15pm
Monday 12th December✝️ End of Year School Mass at 6.30pm - Sacred Heart Church
Tuesday 13th December🌈 Preschool End of Year Grad/Celebration, at 2.00pm 🔵 Blue Group
Wednesday 14th December🎓 Year 6 Graduation Dinner at 6.00pm - Festival Function Centre
Thursday 15th December

🌈 Preschool End of Year Grad/Celebration, at 2.00pm 🟡 Gold Group

⏰ Last Day School, finish at 3.00 pm

Vacation Care

Friday 16th December🎲 Board Game Bonanza (Pupil Free Day)
Mon 19th Dec - Wed 21st Dec🎄 Christmas Cooking & Craft Fun🍿 Movie at Arndale Cinema🎅 OSHC Christmas Party
Thurs 22nd Dec - Fri 6th Jan🚫 Vacation Care Closed
Mon 9th Jan - Fri 27th Jan🤩 Vacation Care - three weeks of non-stop fun!
Thurs 26th Jan🦘 Australia Day Public Holiday
Term 1, 2023

Monday 30th Jan😊 First day of School, Term 1

From the Principal

Swimming Program

Thank you to the 45 people who responded to the recent survey regarding the school swimming program. Your responses provide useful data to consider when making decisions regarding the programs of the school.  Whilst we received mixed responses, a higher proportion of families indicated they see value in continuing with the swimming program.  Varied explanations included -  

"I feel the money could be used in other areas of the school. I don't think the 4 days is enough for children that don't attend lessons outside of school to grasp the concept in a short period of time."

"It's an excellent programme and builds on confidence and skills in the water which is crucial for survival."

This feedback will be discussed by the School Board in early 2023.  

School Board 2023 – Nominations close this Friday 9 December

We are now seeking nominations of parents/caregivers in our community who wish to represent the interests of all stakeholders in the school as a member of the St Joseph’s School Board. Elected members serve a 2-year term and, along with staff and Parish representatives, they fulfil an advisory role in the decision making of the school. Once all nominations have been received, we provide the opportunity for all parents/caregivers to elect our new 2023 St Joseph’s School Board members. 

In accepting a position on the Board, members indicate they believe in its ethos, have a genuine interest in the school and wish to give something in return for the benefits they might have received as a student, parent or caregiver. Further information about the role of a School Board member can be found on the CESA website

Parents or Caregivers can self-nominate or can be nominated by another. If you are looking to nominate someone whom you think would contribute well to the Board, please have a conversation with them first. Click here to self-nominate, or to nominate another.  Next week, all parents and caregivers in our community will be given the opportunity to vote so as to appoint our 2023 School Board members.  

Play Space Progress

Work is continuing at a great pace as our new play space begins to take shape. Much of the initial work took place underground to ensure correct water management, however, significant work has now occurred to construct adventure play spaces with defined boundaries and some of our tree planting has now happened also. When the school term ends next week, the contractors will then extend the site, removing the remaining artificial grass and the current playground.  Work will continue over the term break, and we will have access to a brand new grassed oval upon our return in Term 1 2023. From there, only a few weeks remaining of work will need to occur before our yard space is transformed into a beautiful, practical and inviting play space incorporating adventure, nature and sensory play areas for all of our students.  

Staffing and Transition Arrangements

Students will have the opportunity to meet their 2023 classmates and teachers on Monday 12 December. This is an important time to help children transition from one year level and class to the next.  No doubt, some children (and their families) may be anxious about change that will occur as they move from known classrooms, friends and teachers into possibly unknown ones.  Please see the article included in today’s newsletter written by Madhavi Nawana Parker of Positive Minds Australia for further ways you can positively support this transition process. 

With each year comes staff changes and I take this opportunity to inform you that the following staff will be leaving St Joseph’s School at the conclusion of this year:

Mrs Karyn Burlow

Karyn has served the St Joseph’s School community as Bursar since 2019 managing school finances, maintenance, staff appointments and a myriad of other tasks which keep our school running smoothly day after day. Karyn will take up the position of Finance Officer at Star of the Sea School, Henley Beach in 2023. We are currently working with the Catholic Education Office to ensure this extremely important work can continue smoothly as we engage in an appointment process to fill this role. 

Mrs Kathleen Melis

Kathleen has worked as both a classroom teacher and, in several leadership, and supportive roles in her 27 years as a member of staff at St Joseph’s School. Kathleen’s understanding and knowledge of the community, willingness to lead and support her colleagues in school and special events and particular strengths in all things IT and Literacy will be deeply missed.  

Mr Joseph Colella

Joseph has been a part of the teaching staff for the past 2 years and is leaving to take up a permanent teaching position at Whitefriars School. Joseph has worked as our Year 5/6 teacher this year and represented the staff on the School Board. His gentle, relational, but firm approach to teaching our older students has been appreciated by many.  

Tasso Bouyessis

Tasso joined the St Joseph’s School community as Music Teacher in 2021. He has since provided specialist classroom music lessons to all students in our school, including our Pre-Schoolers. Tasso has facilitated the Catholic Schools Music Festival Choir, the Year 3 /4 Choir and the School Band.  He has also coordinated our music tutors. Tasso and his guitar have been a welcome part of whole school gatherings and his beautiful singing voice lead many enjoyable and reflective moments.  

Ms Victoria Koufidakis

Tori has provided wonderful leadership and support for our Pre-Schoolers over her time with us in 2021 and 2022. She engages respectfully with our youngest learners, always treating them as the capable and competent young citizens that they are. Tori has indicated that she will be taking other opportunities in 2023. 

Natalie Bampton

Natalie has been a part of the St Joseph’s School community this year as Year 3 /4 teacher.  Natalie’s calm and relational approach to middle primary learners has been appreciated. Natalie is leaving our school to await the birth of her fourth child. 

Two teachers who are currently on leave have also indicated they will not be returning to St Joseph’s School next year.  Kay Carmody has been a member of staff for many years, teaching various students across Year 1-6 over that time.  Rebecca Keller who was our PE teacher and Sports Coordinator, has now resigned after being on parenting leave for several years after the birth of her children.  

Cate Halbert, our Pre-School lead teacher will be taking Long Service Leave in Term 1 2023. 

More information regarding class and specialist teachers for the 2023 school year will be published next week in a special End of Year Bulletin.  

Class Placement Article by Madhavi Nawana Parker

Whole School End of Year Events

As our school year draws to a close, I wish to remind you of our many important events which help us recognise, symbolise and reflect upon the year that was and the religious seasons of both Advent and Christmas.

Carols Afternoon

Today, our school will gather in the Hall where each class will lead us in singing some Christmas Carols – helping us prepare for the Christmas season.  

Sports Assembly

On Thursday afternoon (tomorrow) we will gather in the Hall to recognise students who have participated on Out of School Hours Sport this year. We thank the many parents/ family members who have volunteered their time as coaches and managers to ensure that so many students have had the wonderful opportunities provided by school community sports.  

Thanksgiving Mass

We look forward to gathering as a whole school community on the evening of Monday 12 December at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 252 Port Road Hindmarsh at 6:30pm to give thanks to God for the 2022 school year. Students are expected to attend with their families, however, will be sitting in class groups for the Mass. At this time, we will have the opportunity to also give thanks for our staff who are leaving the school and to farewell our graduating Year 6 students. Whilst we love the opportunity to bring our community together, please be mindful of space in our Church and keep extended family guests to a minimum.  

Year 6 Graduation

Our Year 6 students and their families will gather on the evening of Wednesday 14 December at to celebrate together with a meal to mark their graduation from St Joseph’s School.  

Marianne Farrugia

Religious Education News


The second week of Advent occurred last Sunday. The candle of peace is lit this week. This candle reminds us that the angels declared “Peace on Earth” at the birth of Jesus. Jesus offers us inner peace and peace with others. We can know and experience peace today only through the life of Jesus Christ.

Next week will be the third week of Advent. This week of Advent is the candle of joy. Also known as the “shepherds’ candle” where we rejoice for the coming King. The shepherds experienced joy at the good news of the birth of the Messiah.

The fourth week of Advent is the candle of love. This week we reflect on the ultimate gift of love – Jesus Christ. Jesus is our true example of love, and it is He that came to teach us to love God and love others.

End of Year Thanksgiving Mass

A reminder that our End of Year Thanksgiving Mass is on Monday, 12th December at 6:30pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 252 Port Road, Hindmarsh. It would be great to see all our families together as a community giving thanks to God for each other, our school and staff, and the wonderful the school year we have had.

Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal

Our Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal will finish on Friday, 9th December, with our volunteers coming to pick up the donations the following week. We ask that any last donations please be sent to school by this Friday. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the appeal – your generosity is truly appreciated. There will be many people and families that will be grateful for your donations and helping them to have a joyful Christmas.

Katie Downie

Leadership Contact Details

Marianne Farrugia
Assistant Principal Learning & Wellbeing
Rita Garreffa
Assistant Principal Religious Identity & Mission
Katie Downie

Upcoming Events & Reminders

Canteen News 2023

The St Joseph’s School canteen provides a service for our students on a daily basis.  In order to keep our canteen running efficiently, we would like to inform you of the following changes effective from the beginning of the school year 2023: 

1. Order before 8.45am
The QKR cut-off for morning ordering will be extended to 8.45am.

If a lunch order does not make this cut-off, your child will be provided with a sandwich only at lunch time and, if required, a small snack at recess time. These items will then be charged to your account.

No other order will be available. 

2. Cancel lunch order if child is absent
If your child is going to be absent from school, please ensure the office is informed if your child has a lunch order.  If this doesn’t occur, this order will be forfeited. Lunch orders can no longer be carried over for another day.

These conditions have been put in place as there has been a significant increase in food wastage.  Also, trying to cater for late orders at different times on a daily basis is creating significant extra work for the canteen workers.

We ask for your understanding as we make these necessary changes.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to come and see myself or Maria, at any time.

Thank you, Helena 

Sacred Heart Parish Carols Night

Our Sacred Heart Parish warmly welcomes St Joseph’s School Families to our Carols Night in the Church grounds on Port Road at Hindmarsh on Sunday December 11th. Food and soft drinks will be available, together with a coffee van.

For further information, speak to Mary Hemmings, School Chaplain.   

📣 Open for last minute bookings until Friday!

🤩 Vacation Care Program Dec/Jan Holidays - a few spaces available!

Bookings for Vac Care open until Friday.

Return your printed booking and consent form to secure your place. You will not be able to place a booking online for Vacation Care.

✅ Vacation Care Open:

  • Friday 16th December to Wednesday 21st December
  • Monday 9th January to Friday 27th January

🚫 Vacation Care Closed:

  • Thursday 22nd December to Friday 6th January
  • Thursday 26th January  

View the program here 👇

📝 Return your Booking & Consent Form to OSHC
Bookings are available by filling in the printed form and returning it directly to OSHC in person or via email (bookings via our online system will not be available).

Please remember that term time bookings do not roll over into Vacation Care.

🆕 Using Vac Care for the first time?
Families using our service for the first time will need to complete an OSHC Enrolment process before care can be provided or bookings accepted. Haven't created an account yet? Simply follow the step by step information sheet below to enrol your child/ren.

🤔 Have a question?
Get in touch with our OSHC team, call 0408 809 107 or email


Learning about Advent in Preschool

Advent is the special time when we prepare and wait to celebrate the birthday of Jesus on Christmas day. We have introduced our advent table and the Angel Gabriel as one of the key characters in the Infancy Nativity narrative. The children have been listening to the story, learning a song, creating angels, and retelling the story with works of art.

Learning about the life cycle of a Butterfly

The children have continued to extend their butterfly explorations by drawing the life cycle and viewing books and videos about the process of metamorphosis

School Highlights

Strawberry Patch Project

The Year 3M strawberry patch project was a success, and they found many hidden and large strawberries that they were able to share with the class. Some pitfalls were dealing with slugs hidden in the patch that made holes in several strawberries. Next year, they will look at organic options to deter them. Many plants have runners (stolons) which are a copy of the mother plant which set roots, and they will look at using these to expand the strawberry patch. Thank you to Mrs Melis and the 3M class unit for embracing this new project and making it happen for everyone to enjoy.

Kaurna Food & Fibre Program

Our school's commitment to environmental education is evident in our biodiverse habitats for butterflies, bees, birds and frogs. Last year our school community grew over 1000 endemic species which we shared with our Hindmarsh neighbours. This year, with the help of Kaurna elders, Marra Dreaming, Trent Hill from the Botanic Gardens, Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) SA Chapter and the Green Adelaide Education unit we are growing 2000 Kaurna food, plant fibre and medicinal species to share again with these communities. As education is the heart of what we do, all plant recipients will receive interpretive signage with a QR Code for information about each plant, their use and recipes. Our educators will have access to a tailored curriculum resource plus an on campus demonstration site.

Marra Dreaming - Year 5/6 Incursion

Marra Dreaming is a cultural community, Indigenous Arts and Crafts Centre, located in Salisbury.

Twenty Year 5/6 students, were privileged enough to work with 3 visitors… Mary, Nannita and Natalie, who work at the centre.

The intention for this Incursion was for ‘Marra Dreaming’ to support our work in the school’s ‘Kaurna Food & Plant Fibre Project; more specifically, to help create artistic species’ representation.

The students began the session by choosing one of the native plant species’ selections (that will eventually be planted in our school community).

They sketched it on white paper before transferring the drawing once again onto black card which was then painted using a number of painting tools including earbuds and toothpicks; the students were ably guided and directed by Mary.

Whilst the students were busy drawing and painting, individual students worked with Nannita to engage in the skill of dot painting (on a large painted canvas) and Natalie showed and helped the students understand and utilise the skill of weaving to create a small basket.

What did some of the students think of the Incursion….?

  • It was fun to learn things about the style of art they do, like dot painting Shayla
  • It was fun how Natalie showed us how to weave a basket. Nicholas
  • It was a good opportunity to do dot painting. Kavin
  • It was fun to draft the native plant, then paint it and engage in dot painting. Claire

Year 5/6 Leadership Initiative

Supporting good leadership and a respectful and happy school community

Each year we encourage and invite our senior students to demonstrate a personal commitment to service and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to their school community to which they belong. 

In doing so, the Year 5/6 students have the opportunity, to be recognised for their efforts and acts of service as they work to lead and direct others in such a way as to bring credit and ‘positive change’ to self and St Joseph’s School.

During Term 1, we reintroduced a leadership initiative program through the ‘School Community Service Award.’

How does it work?
Commencing from Term 1 this year, students who wish to participate in this initiative, will be required to complete 3 ‘community service acts’ within the school community.

They will also be required to complete each ‘service act’ on 3 different occasions throughout the term.  As evidence, class teachers and/or school staff will be required to date and authorise confirmation and completion of their service. 

In addition to completing 3 different ‘acts of service,’ the Year 5/6 students will also be expected to consistently maintain and uphold a high standard of leadership qualities, skills and behaviour.

in recognition for fulfilling the required expectations of a Middle School leader and for achieving four School Community Service Awards during 2022

Year 5/6 Camp Highlights

Highlight #1 - By Lina-Marie, Ruby & Izzy

The food at El Shaddai was better than we expected, and we really enjoyed it. On the first night for dinner, we had lasagna with garlic bread the lasagna was hot and really nice and the garlic bread was also very hot and that was what made it good. On the second day for breakfast, we had a choice of different types of cereal or break with a choice of your spread or you could have both.  Morning tea with had hot and soft cheese puffs that everyone loved. At lunch we had nachos which everyone absolutely loved so much, and it was our favorite meal. At dinner we had some chicken and gravy which was good, but the lasagna was still better. On the last day we had the same ordinary breakfast cereal and toast with choice of spreading which we didn’t mind because breakfast was our favorite. For morning tea we had hot, delicious chocolate and banana muffins that were actually unbelievable. At lunch we had burgers which we wouldn’t say was our favorite. 

Highlight #2 - By Ayla, Claire & Maria

One of our first activity after we ate was archery, some people got it in the yellow zone, and some got in the red or blue. Afterwards we had laser tag. There was a blue team and a red team, it was super fun. Some other people wanted to have a game against Mr. Colella and some of the group sat out, and Mr. Colella lost! We went back to our dorms to get change for our next activity. After that we headed to the dining hall where Mark served some delicious nachos for lunch. 

Highlight #3 - By Gurveer, Roshan & Chanh

El Shaddai Christain Youth camp has lots of fun activities, but have you heard of their giant swing? This amazing swing stands at a whopping 32 feet in the air. Well before we start swinging, we need to tell you some rules, here we go. 

 Once you arrive at the giant swing, you must first wear a safety harness. Later the instructor will provide you with a helmet and safety glasses. Once it is your turn, your harness will be clipped onto the giant swing. After you climb a ladder, the instructor will ask you if you are comfortable. Now he will take the ladder off and you are ready to go, but how exactly does it work?  

After floating midair for a while on the swing, the instructor will ask the rest of your group to grab a rope and start pulling it. The best thing about this epic swing is that you can stop at the height you are comfortable at. As you get to the point where you are comfortable, the instructor asks the group to brace. Then he asks you to pull this green grip ball in front of you when you are ready. Now, let's tell you a little about how it feels. 

 Once you pull that rope, one of the clips detaches from the other compartments and starts swinging. On that first swing you feel as if you are going to fall but because of the ropes, you start swinging. After a couple of swings, you feel more confident. Later, the instructor will ask you to pass  him red Fred (a red rope) so he can stop your momentum, then he will put the ladder below you, unclip you and get you down. 

So, what do you think about the giant swing?  

It’s safe, you know how it works, and you know what it feels like. Trust me, once you get on this swing, you will want to go on it again and again.  

So what are you waiting for? Grab those keys and drive straight to El Shaddai at Wellington, where the almighty giant swing is waiting your arrival. 

Athletics Carnival

On the 24th on November 37 students attended the SACPSSA athletics carnival at Bridgestone Stadium in Salisbury. It was a very warm day but that did not stop our students from competing at the highest level. Our year 5 and year 6 girls won their year level pennant which also resulted in our school being awarded with the female shield on the day. This means our girls won the entire day! What an amazing effort. Our boys did a fantastic job and everyone who attending finished with a top 4 place and were awarded a ribbon. Special mentions go to Orlando Policce who was awarded the year 3 boys top athlete and Chelsea Petersen who was awarded the year 5 girls top athlete.

Community Noticeboard

We've been asked to advertise the following:

🗣 Interested in learning a new language?

 Languages courses for students in Years R-6 are available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Auslan, Chinese, French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.

These courses are based on the Australian Curriculum and are aimed at second language learners. 

Reception students who turn five on or before 30 April are eligible to enrol.

Year levels may be separate or combined depending on enrolment numbers.

If you are interested in enrolling your child, please complete the enrolment form in the R-6 Enrolment form/Information 2023 section (located to the right) and email it to

Should you have any questions please contact the school on 8301 4800 during office hours.

Once enrolments are approved by an enrolment officer, students will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment email and a welcome package. 

Visit their website for more information: 

Did you know our Newsletter can be translated?

Our eNewsletters have the ability to be translated into over 100 languages. 

Follow these steps to have your Newsletter translated:

  1. Open the Newsletter
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage
  3. select the language in the drop down menu
  4. It will automatically refresh and translate the Newsletter into the selected language

St Joseph's School Hindmarsh

At St Joseph’s Hindmarsh, learning is co-constructed and dynamic.  Learners are encouraged to IMAGINE, DISCOVER and CREATE and to make meaningful connections with their world.  

As capable learners they are given opportunities to develop capabilities that build their confidence and skills to engage with the curriculum and ACHIEVE excellence.