St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

27 May 2020

Casting the Net - Weekly Prayer Reflection

Making Lemonade with Spirit

In last week’s reflection, I mentioned my sister who had lost her business due to this pandemic.  But she is plucky, she has spirit.  She also has no dependents and no mortgage which makes it somewhat easier to make the changes she has dreamed about for the past ten years.  Most of us don’t have her chirpy spirit and many of you have real concerns about the future.  We don’t know how this present situation is going to pan out and personally I think it is going to take longer than we would like.

At this time in the Church’s year, we are between the Feast of Ascension and Pentecost.  Last Sunday we celebrated the departure of Jesus from his disciples, next Sunday we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit who radically transformed that group of frightened, confused people.  They had put all their hope in Jesus and he left them, just up and left. So, there they were, huddled in Jerusalem, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and they prayed.  Their life had changed, they felt threatened, they were confused, they had lost control.  And in that weakness, they prayed. 

The important thing about prayer is that just by doing it we open ourselves to positive change.  We shake off our reluctance to change and crack open our shell of self-sufficiency.  We admit we need help.  We also start to dream of the change we would like to make in our lives.  And that is even before we start addressing God with those fears and hopes.  God’s Spirit wants to come into our lives and make as just a radical change as he did to those huddled disciples.  We, most likely, will not be called to preach in the public square but we can live with hope: hope that change can come in this frightened, difficult situation, hope that makes us a force for good in our family and amongst our friends and neighbours, hope that teaches our children to look and work for the positive when things feel very negative.  Yes, we can be people of Spirit that are the change we want to see.

Loving God, we join with Mary, the mother of Jesus, in our prayers for our families, and communities and our world.  In the midst of change, give us your Spirit that we may have hope and offer it to others.  We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.

From the Principal

It was truly wonderful to see all our students back on Monday and to see our classrooms and play areas full once more. It has been delightful to witness our students catching up with their friends and sharing news with the staff. 


The students are doing a great job adjusting to the ‘new normal’ of school. At this time there will be no school assemblies, Masses, interschool sports, excursions or incursions, working bees, parent meetings or school helpers until we are advised that it is once again safe to do so. We have staggered eating and play times, regular scheduled breaks for hand-washing, additional cleaning occurring throughout the day and are encouraging the use of individual water bottles rather than communal drink taps.


At Playtimes, we have introduced “Quiet Place.”  Quiet Place is located just outside the Be-Hive and it is a chance for children to participate in some quieter reading and drawing activities with their friends at playtime. Children are asked to bring the equipment they need along with them. Quiet Place is taking the place of Lunch Club for the remainder of this term.


We have also initiated a temporary, staggered pickup this week. This will remain in place, until restrictions ease and/or further notice is given.

·         If your youngest (or only) child is in Prep or Year One, ALL of the children in your family will be let out of class and be ready for collection at 2.50pm each afternoon. They will be supervised at either the Two-Minute Zone or the Church Carpark; please ensure your children know where they are being collected.

·         If your youngest (or only) child is in Years 2-6 ALL of your children will be let out of class, as normal, at 3.00pm. They will be supervised at either the Two-Minute Zone or the Church Carpark; please ensure your children know where they are being collected.

·         If you are parking in the Pick-up Zone for more than 2 minutes between 2.30-3.00pm, you will be asked to drive around the block. This zone, as the council signage indicates, is for TWO MINUTES ONLY.

·         If you are collecting your children from the carpark area, please walk over and identify yourself to the teacher on duty. We will not permit your children to walk through the carpark to you.

·         Children travelling on busses will report to their usual areas and will wait under teacher supervision.

·         Please maintain social distancing practices while waiting for your children. We love seeing you having a chat, but please be mindful that the safe distance to do so is at 1.5m.

·         If you are collecting your child/children from the Two Minute Pick-up Zone, please display your SURNAME sign. This helps us tremendously.

·         Remember, if your child cannot independently get themselves in or out of the vehicle without assistance, then the Pick-up Zone is not for you. Please use the carpark, where you can take your time.

Student Wellbeing - Our Top Priority

Returning to school has been a joyful experience for most students, however we are aware some students have experienced some level of anxiety returning from the extended period of 'learning from home'. Each classroom teacher is focussing on their students' wellbeing through activities to help them reconnect with peers and settle into class routine once again. Please email the classroom teacher if you have any concerns.  Validate your child's feelings and help them understand that it is normal to feel a little anxious and that their teacher is there to help them. Don't forget the support of our School Counsellor, Charmian, is available to every child and family in the St Joseph's Wandal  community.


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.

Cross Country (with a difference)

A message from our PE teacher, Miss Hinz:

Earlier this year we had to cancel our annual Cross Country event due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we are determined to still award our Cross Country shield for 2020. This year Cross Country will look a little different than usual. Students will participate in a ‘Ninja Warrior’ style obstacle course in their Week 10 P.E. lessons. Points will be awarded to decide the Cross Country shield winners for 2020.


Prep - 2             Monday 22nd June (Week 10)

Years 3 -6         Tuesday 23rd June (Week 10)

Students are welcome to wear their coloured House Shirts on their PE day to show the support for their teams.  Unfortunately we cannot invite spectators along this year, but we will ensure we take lots of photos for you!

A reminder about our House Teams:

● MACKILLOP (Green) is named for Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph.

● PENOLA (Blue) is named for the town in South Australia, which was the site of the first school opened by Mary MacKillop.

● TENISON (Red) is named for Fr Julian Tenison Woods, the co-founder of the Josephite order. 


School Fees

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

Have a great week,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer - Gospel focus

In Sunday's Gospel reading, Matthew 28:16-20 the Ascension of the Lord, Jesus reminded His disciples to be faithful and to know that He is always with them. Jesus places great significance on baptism. It is a brave new world that He is describing, an aura of wonder surrounds the work of those who speak in the name of Jesus.

In today's context, many people provide witness to their faith by simply living what they believe. Living a life based on Christian principles, including regular prayer and worship in your life, working for justice in the world and taking time to celebrate the beauty of everyday life is a powerful witness to others.

Loving Jesus, show me how to treasure my ordinary life as a place where you meet me.  Lead me to reflect on my past and see how you have been present there. 

© Image from Jenny Close

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!


Pentecost falls this Sunday on the 31 May. Pentecost is seen as the birthday of the Christian Church and is the culmination of Eastertide.

It is the day when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the start of the Church’s mission to the world – a mission to bring people to God. We hear of this in the Gospel, when the risen Jesus comes to the disciples in the locked room bringing peace. He shows them his wounds, encouraging them to believe that He is indeed risen from the dead, and sends them out.

Year 6 students have organised a simultaneous prayer, for Friday to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of Pentecost in the liturgical calendar.

Wellbeing - An Online Resource for Parents

Parentline offers confidential phone and WebChat counselling and support for parents and carers of children in Queensland and the Northern Territory.  The site has a large array of reading material that provides simple suggestions and ways parents can support their children.  To access this site please click on the link below:

National Reconciliation Week

On Wednesday 3 June, we will celebrate and acknowledge National Reconciliation Week with a simultaneous prayer and reflection.  We are delighted to be joined by Indigenous Liaison Officer, Cas Burgan for the morning prayer celebration.

Australia celebrates National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June every year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the 1967 Referendum acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the High Court Mabo decision, respectively. National Reconciliation Week is preceded by National Sorry Day on 26 May.

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.

St Joseph's Cathedral Parish Bulletin.

Please find attached the St Joseph's Cathedral Parish Bulletin with important messages and prayer resources.

Have a great week,

Rheanna Starr

Curriculum Update: From the APC

Happy National Simultaneous Storytime Day!

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) 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

Weekly Awards

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

Student Travel Rebates