St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

21 May 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Be Kind

This week, it is six months since my youngest brother died and it is only in the last two weeks that grief has loosened its dull and tight grip on my life. I cannot say how grateful I am for the kindness and understanding of so many.  Not all griefs can be so public.  I recently gave a talk to a group of women and when I mentioned the ‘M’ word, (miscarriage) the flicker of response across their faces underlined how widespread and real that grief is.

While we congratulate ourselves on how well we have handled COVID-19, we need pause and recognise the griefs it has brought with it.  Yes, there are the obvious ones: deaths not reverenced as we would normally, marriages celebrated in tiny gatherings, grandchildren not held by loving grandparents.  We need to be kind.  And then there are the other griefs.  My youngest sister has effectively lost her business of 25 years.  She offered remedial massage in aged care facilities. Adored as she was by her clients, that work won’t be starting anytime soon.  While she is bouncing back, looking for new work, still she grieves the loss of her achievement.  My niece grieves that she couldn’t go to the pub for her 18th birthday.  Yes, laugh, but it was real to her.

We have all lost something, you, your spouse, partner, parent, friend, children.  And we need to be kind – to ourselves and to others.  As we move into opening up, let us open up our hearts and think of little, realistic ways we can show our care to the many feeling sorrow or loss.  We have been so good in how we handled COVID-19.  Let us give the Holy Spirit a space to reveal the loving face of God through our care and kindness as we move out of our isolation.

Loving God, you know the grief within me and within those I love.  Give me the wisdom to see how I can show kindness and give me the courage to move out of my comfort zone and show it.  I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

Final Week of Learning From Home

This is the final week of Learning From Home. We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school next week! Parents and carers, you have done an outstanding job of supporting your children’s learning from home. We realise this has been done, for some of you, in the midst of also trying to work and look after younger children. 


 As the rest of our students return to school next week, some important reminders:

  • Students in all year levels will return to school and participate in classroom learning from Monday, 25 May 2020.
  • From this date, teachers will be teaching face-to-face within the classroom environment. Teachers will not be expected to lead dual (face-to-face and home-based) modes of teaching and learning.
  • Assessment and reporting for Term 2 and Semester 1 will reflect the nature of learning over this time.
  • The requirement to say goodbye and pickup, at the school gates will remain.
  • Unwell students are not to attend the school site and the school will require parents/carers to collect the student from school.
  • School cleaning will continue to prioritise those areas in use by students and staff, with extra attention to high touch point surfaces such as sections of the play equipment, door handles, light switches, desks, toilets, taps and sinks (including water bubblers).
  • Students will be consistently encouraged to use hygiene products and continue to practise good hand washing and cough-sneeze hygiene.
  • Windows will be frequently opened to promote air flow.

 An important reminder about our Two-Minute Pickup Zone: If you need to leave the driver’s seat of your car to assist your child, the Pickup Zone is NOT for you.  If your child cannot independently get themselves out of or in to the vehicle without assistance, please park in the carpark, where you can take your time.

Also, if you are not currently displaying your SURNAME sign on your front dash, please do so. If you require a replacement/spare, please inform the school office.

Uniform Reminders

The weather has begun to cool and a reminder about our winter uniform expectations is 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.

As per our Sun Safe Policy, children presenting to school without their school hat will miss out on play and PE lessons.

Some students have taken the advantage of the extended period away from school to get 'interesting' haircuts or colours. It is expected that every student arrives at school Monday morning with their natural hair colour only and a suitable style. Please refer to the school website for further details. If you are unsure whether a particular style is permitted, then please ask.

Enrolments for Prep 2021

Due to the high number of expressions of interest received so far, we will be commencing enrolment interviews for Prep 2021 next month. 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 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. 

For further information please visit:

Term 2 fees were emailed to all families on Monday, and are due Monday, 15 June.

Friday Assembly - please Zoom in!

Our FINAL  whole school Friday Assembly will be held this 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 included in classroom communications from teachers. 

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer - Mary Help of Christians

 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australians’ lives, including their worship, the Australian Catholic Bishops have entrusted the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day this week.

The motion that was agreed to during the bishops' plenary last week reads:

“That the Australian Bishops entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mary Help of Christians has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844. Her feast day is celebrated on May 24, which this year coincides with the Feast of the Ascension. The entrustment of Australia to Mary Help of Christians can therefore take place on 24 or 25 May.

A number of resources have been prepared for the feast day celebration.

Mary Help of Christians,

Pray for Us!

The Warm Fuzzy Story (adapted from Claude Steiner's original tale)

On Friday, last week, Annabelle from Prep created and delivered Warm Fuzzies to all of the Prep children and office staff.  The idea originated from Claude Steiner's original tale called "The Warm Fuzzy."  When you give someone a warm fuzzy, we offer a kind word or help someone to feel better, that's the best kind of warm fuzzy there is!  Thank you to Annabelle for her thoughtfulness in creating and sharing so many warm fuzzies at St Joseph's Wandal.

Student Wellbeing - Mindfulness and Meditation

The art of mindfulness requires us to be consciously attentive on the present moment and when your attention is fully in the now, that presence will flow into and transform what you do.  When you become mindful, you realise that you are not your thoughts, you become an observer of your thoughts allowing you to enjoy  life as it is happening.  Therefore our real power lies in the present.  

In the link below are some ideas which allow you to incorporate mindful opportunities for children to assist with their ability to be consciously attentive in the present moment. 

Mindfulness for Children - Karen Young on Hey Sigmund gives different ideas for ways to teach children about Mindfulness.

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month

Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton have had a video produced for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month (May).  Please take the time to view the video link below.

Support for Parents

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update: From the APC

Semester One Report Cards

Advice from the Diocesan Catholic Education Office and the Queensland government has been that the curriculum (during the period of 'learning from home') was narrowed to focus on Religious Education, English, Mathematics and Science or HaSS. Other learning areas were addressed in Semester One, but a focus was placed on the learning areas outlined.

We will continue to provide a level of achievement for Religion, Mathematics, English and/or Science or HaSS, but emphasise that the results are indicative and reflect reduced assessment information.  Classes will report on either Science or Hass, not both.  This has been a choice left up to each year level.

Our reports will include a comment about the learning experiences your child engaged with in (only in the learning areas of Religion, Mathematics and English).  The reports will also inclue a brief general comment. The same work habits we have described previously will also be assessed.

In deciding on when to finalise and distribute reports, we sought to balance time for teachers to gather additional insights into how student learning was progressing, and our desire to be able to start Term 3 on “a fresh slate.” After consultation, we have decided to distribute reports on the last day of Week One, Term Three.

Other things to note:

  • Prep reports will include the same learning areas described in other year levels.  The scale used in Prep contains the language applying, making connections, working with, exploring and becoming aware.  
  • Modified reports: For students on a modified learning program, reports will be based on the learning goals specified in the Individual Learning Plan, developed at the beginning of the year.
  • Attendance: In keeping with advice provided by the Queensland government and our Diocesan Catholic Education Office, attendance data will not be reported this semester.
  • Parent-Teacher interviews: Classes have now completed Semester One parent-teacher interviews.  

Welcome Back

Our highest priority in coming weeks is to welcome all our students back to school, and to ensure a smooth transition back to our effective learning routines. Thank you most sincerely for the wonderful commitment you always make to your child’s education, demonstrated in a special way over the past two months, whether your child was learning at home or at school.

Some classes will be straight into established routines such as homework and word study, while other cohorts might need to spend some time working on establishing those routines.  Your child's class teacher will make decisions about things like homework once all of our students are back.

Crossword Answers

How did you go answering the crossword?

Here are the answers:


6.  MacKillop

7.  Herbert

9.  Penola

10.  Vincent


1.  Westgarth

2.  Haig

3.  Hinz

4.  Jones

5.  McKenzie

8.  Alexandra

Premier's Reading Challenge - Reader Record form


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