St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

9 September 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

How to be a saint like Mother Teresa without leaving home.

I knew two people who had met Mother, now Saint, Teresa and both gave interesting insights into her sanctity. The first was an Australian nun, travelling in India. By happenstance, she was seated on a train with a nun in the habit of the Missionaries of Charity. The Australian said both had a pleasant time and she felt her companion was so interested in what she had to say that she ‘had made this woman’s day’. Only afterwards, when the woman left, did she realise she had been speaking with Mother Teresa and that it was the quality of her attentiveness that made the time so special.

The other, a friend, spent time working in her order and her experience was that St Teresa was not necessarily soft and kind. She had a vision of what was needed for the poor and helpless, and those who were there to help could be treated with a real tough love in order for them to learn how to serve.

True loving care of children requires both those qualities. As parents, teachers, guardians we need to give our children a level of attentiveness that often is difficult and self-effacing but true care will never take place without it. It is not enough to be around children. We need to stop, listen to the stories or the reading, watch their reactions and just be with them. We have to go out of ourselves. As we get to know them well, we come to realise where the ‘tough love’ needs to be applied. We are not our children’s friends and, at times, for their good we have to make decisions, say things, take a stand in ways our children will not like. Often, we will feel that we need to be a saint to rear with our child/ren. And indeed you do …they are God’s way of making you a saint. May St Teresa pray for you and for all parents who serve God with love when they serve their children in love.

Loving Father, thank you for the gift of my child/ren. May my care of them be the way you make a saint of me. I ask this in Jesus’ name and through the intercession of St Teresa of Kolkata.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

While your children enjoyed a long weekend, our staff spent last Friday engaged in a day of professional learning. We enjoyed the company of our colleagues from St Peter’s and St Joseph’s Park Avenue, at the Rockhampton Leagues Club, as we explored the topics of Growth Mindset and Habits of Mind.

The day was facilitated by James Anderson, from Melbourne, via Zoom.

Here is a bit of information about James and the work he does:

James is an educator, author and keynote speaker who supports organizations, schools and families to enable the people they lead to thrive in a rapidly changing, increasingly complex world.

 The foundation of James’s work is the Growth Mindset. Having worked with schools around the world, James knows how to take teachers beyond simple social media catchphrases to practical strategies that work. By challenging adults’ Mindsets, he equips them with the tools to create powerful approaches that nurture a more growth-oriented Mindset.

 James skillfully unites the Habits of Mind, Anders Ericsson’s critical work on practice and Carol Dweck’s work on Growth Mindset. The result is a compelling combination that increases efficacy and achieves greater learning outcomes through the development of Learning Agility.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Please ensure you have booked your Parent Teacher Interview. The instructions for booking your interview have been in the last couple of newsletters and are included again today.

 Parent Teacher Interviews are strategic conversations focused on the academic progress of your child. As parents and teachers work in collaboration with each other to provide the very best opportunities for  children to develop and learn, I believe it is imperative for every family in this school to make a Parent Teacher Interview booking.

Out of 340 students, interviews have been booked for 200.

Please refrain, where possible, from requesting alternative dates/times for these interviews other than those allocated.

A reminder that you are requested to arrive only 5 minutes before your interview, maintain social distancing at all times and arrange alternative care for your children, if possible.

Child Protection Week

This week is Child Protection Week.  

 This week provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the words of Pope Francis, who in a letter wrote on 2 February 2015, to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences and Superiors of Religious Institutes, stated that “Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children. They should also know that they have every right to turn to the Church with full confidence, for it is a safe and secure home.”

What part do we play in this ‘shared responsibility’ of working to ensure that the Church is a safe and secure community? In the Australian context through Child Protection Week, we are asked to be someone who listens to children, someone who will start a conversation with children, and if needed, be that someone whom children will turn to when in need.

Official Opening

On Monday our ‘new’ Administration building, refurbished classrooms and associated works will be officially opened by representatives of both state and federal government. You may remember these buildings were blessed by Bishop Michael in 2019. We look forward to welcoming our invited guests, in a COVID-19 safe setting of course, along with our Year 1 and 5 students, to celebrate the official opening of these works.

Vacation Care Bookings

Our next school holiday period is less than two weeks away.

If you are interested in your child attending our Vacation Care service, please do not hesitate to give the OSHC staff a call on 0429316543.

Absentees and Collection Arrangements

Please email the front office if your children are absent, not the class teachers. Class teachers have limited time to read and respond to emails, and due to their teaching responsibilities often do not see these emails until later in the day. This is also the case for last minute changes to pick up arrangements. The school email address is

You may have noticed our vigilance with regards to permissions for students walking home and being collected by people other than those listed on your emergency contacts. Please ensure the school office is notified, in writing, of any alternative arrangements to avoid any unnecessary confusion or delays.

Prep Acceptances 2021

Confirmations of acceptance are due, in writing, to the school office, tomorrow, Thursday, 10 September. This will enable us to work through our waiting list and hopefully offer a second round of offers. Tuesday 10 November has been allocated as the date for our Prep Orientation Sessions for our 2021 ‘preppies’ and their families.

Homework Club

This week is the last week of Homework Club for Term 3. Homework Club will recommence in Week 2 of Term 4. We thank most sincerely, the senior students of The Cathedral College who have generously given their time each Tuesday afternoon this term, to assist our Years 3-6 students.

Election Statement by Qld Catholic Bishops

Earlier this week the Queensland Catholic Bishops released a joint statement ahead of the Queensland State Election.

The Statement by the Queensland Bishops can be accessed here:

Important Dates

7 September National Child Protection Week
10 SeptemberPrep 2021 Acceptances Due

5.15pm Board Meeting
11 SeptemberYear 1 Prayer Assembly
14 SeptemberParent Teacher Interviews
15 SeptemberParent Teacher Interviews
18 SeptemberHouse Day (Penola)

Term 3 Concludes

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer Reflection - Gospel focus

This week's gospel is about the difficulties and possibilities of a faith community. These involve our willingness to forgive and the promise of God's presence among us: 'where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.' The united prayer of such a community is powerful. This process of bringing people together in Jesus name works towards bringing the community back together in harmony.  Gathering two or three together in prayerful collaboration is not as easy as it sounds. If collaboration is to be effective, we have to be open and honest about our opinions and our biases, and respectful of the opinions and biases of others. We must work for the common good and not merely for what we personally think is best. We must be willing to accept and implement decisions with which we may not totally agree, and we must live with them gracefully. All of this calls for unselfish love. 

© Jenny Close, Liturgy Help 2020

Year 1 Prayer Assembly

Continuing the Journey in the Catholic Faith 2020-2021 Cathedral Parish of St Joseph

All families with children who have reached seven years of age, are invited to join the preparation journey towards the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist 2021. We are mindful that in planning, it is necessary to adhere to the COVID social distancing advice regarding gatherings and that this may continue into 2021.  This will impact on the design and presentation of the face to face workshops to keep everyone safe.  We are prepared for this and will plan accordingly; however, it is necessary to have accurate numbers regarding children who are considering this preparation in order to move forward with COVID safe planning.  Please call the Parish Office (49276744) with your child’s name and leave your contact details.  Your prompt consideration of this request is truly appreciated.

Upcoming Workshops for the Celebration of Confirmation and Eucharist

A reminder to the families who have opted to complete the preparation workshops for the Celebration of Confirmation and Eucharist in 2021.  The workshops will be held at Kevin Castles Centre and are scheduled on the following dates:

·      September 8 and 9 Confirmation Workshop #1

·      October 6 and 7 Confirmation Workshop #2

·      October 27 and 28 October Eucharist Workshop #1

·      November 17 and 18 Eucharist Workshop #2  

Penola House Day - Subway Lunch Order

On Friday, 18 September, we will hold the last of our House Days for this term. Penola captains Ahliah and Bayden have organised an optional Subway lunch for students, instead of 'normal' tuckshop on this day.  Flexischools Subway lunch orders close 3.30pm, Wednesday 16 September and we will not be able to accept late orders. Please follow the instructions below to order:

Select Place an order

Click on first break

Load More Dates (green tab)

Click Fri 18/09 - Order 1st Break

Click Hot Food and place order

The Cathedral Parish of St Joseph's new website

Please visit to view The Cathedral Parish of St Joseph’s new website

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update

Parent Teacher Conferences

Our second round of Parent Teacher interviews for the year will be held next week. Parent Teacher Interviews are held twice per year and are formal conversations, supported by evidence, of your child’s progress in Key Learning Areas. Interviews will be 20 minutes in duration and will occur in the school hall. Bookings are made through Parent Lounge and  will close Wednesday 9 September at 4pm.

 Due to social distancing requirements we ask that you arrive only 5 minutes prior to your interview time and that if possible, children are not brought along. If children are in attendance, they will be asked to sit quietly and read outside the hall. There is no supervision provided and therefore no ‘play’ will be permitted. Our After-School Hours will be in operation, as always between the hours of 3.00pm-6.00pm.

 It is strongly suggested that EVERY family in this school books and attends a Parent Teacher Interview.

WHAT: Semester Two – Parent/Teacher Meetings

WHEN: Monday 14 September and Tuesday 15 September

TIMES: 20-minute time slots from approximately 3.10pm

WHERE: The school Hall

Learner Dispositions

Our staff learning day on Friday was a great chance for us to join together as a teaching team and reflect on how we can support students to further develop the optimal mindset for learning.  As part of that, we also thought about the habits of mind - which we refer to as our learner dispositions at Wandal. 

Which of these do you see in your child? 

Are there any of these aspects you think your child still needs support with?  

International Literacy Day

"At a time when we need to reinvent a world of hope, literacy is more important than ever. On this International Day, I thus invite all those involved in education to redouble their investments and mobilize all their resources to unleash the potential of each individual in the service of a shared world."

— Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General

Yesterday was international literacy day.  The theme for 2020 is  Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.  The aim of International Literacy Day is to highlight the importance of literacy around the world, and how being literate is a basic human right and central to individual human dignity.  

I want to say thank you as the first literacy educators of your children, and to also say thank you to our teachers and school officers who support your child's literacy development every day.

Have a great week,

Janette McLennan

Vacation Care Schedule


Touch Football - Under 6 Stingers and Under 8 Vipers

The weekly draw may be found at  

8:00 am Field 8    (6 years)  (B)  SJW Stingers  v  St Mary's Possums

8:40 am Field 1    (8 years)  (A)  St Peter's  v  SJW Vipers

Community Announcements