Newsletter Term 4 | Week 9

Message from Ms D'Aloia

Dear Parents and Community Members,

We would normally have celebrated the End of Year Thanksgiving Mass this week at Sacred Heart Church to acknowledge the blessings throughout the year and to farewell our Year 6 Graduating class.

I enclose what I had planned to share with you.

As I reflect on 2020, it has been an extraordinary year for a number of reasons.  The most obvious is of course the impact and challenges of COVID-19 but I do not want to dwell on this, but rather, focus my attention on what we need to acknowledge and celebrate as a community. Despite all the challenges, we have triumphed as a community. 

The resilience of our students from preschool to Year 6 has been amazing!  Students instantly took on the challenge of becoming independent and just settling into school life and getting on with ‘learning.’  Congratulations and thank you!  You have certainly demonstrated that you are truly competent and capable learners.  Nurturing this level of independence will be an ongoing theme in 2021 and beyond for all students.  Students were so eager to return to school to be with their friends and to have the support of their teachers and support staff. 

The students have reminded us all of the importance of building positive relationships and connecting with each other.  We all matter!!!

This sense of connection is our greatest strength as a community.  We have shown that we care for and value each other.  This has been demonstrated in the way parents and carers have shown respect and care for our staff – maintaining social distancing, demonstrating a respect for the work and effort of all teachers, valuing the importance of being in partnership, whether that be via SeeSaw, Microsoft Teams, phone, email or Facebook.  In partnership, we have truly given witness to ‘raising hearts and minds.’

I am particularly grateful to Helen Clark and Maria Apostolou who prepared staff and students for remote learning. Maria created  a website to assist students and teachers embrace the digital world to enhance the delivery of online learning.  An amazing effort!

I am so proud and thankful for ALL the staff – teachers, educators, Education Support Officers (curriculum, OHSC and administration), school counsellor, school chaplain, canteen staff, school maintenance staff who without fuss or question just rallied together to ensure that whatever changes needed to be made, whether face to face teaching, learning remotely or a combination of both was undertaken. Their input was important to achieve the continuity of learning and wellbeing of all students as our priority.

Staff continued to focus on the professional learning and building their capacity as educators, committed to continuing the goals outlined in the Annual Improvement Plan. 

Our statement of learning informs our practice and guides our discernment in our decision making.

Making Space for Learning Project

As a whole  school staff we took part in a joint Childhood Foundation/CESA project – Making Space for learning.  Vanessa Morelli and Kathleen Melis presented our research together with other schools involved in the project.  I am very appreciative of their work of collating the work undertaken in each class and together with the leadership team and the support of the CESA Behaviour education consultant have developed a scope and sequence that will be fully implemented across the school in 2021.

Curriculum Developments

The Spelling programme has been reviewed and will now incorporate 5 key spelling strategies.

Kathleen Melis as STEM coach has continued to support staff and students throughout the year.

Teachers have worked with Mathematics educational consultant to review the Mathematics curriculum.

Teachers have embraced the InitiaLit Literacy Programme R-2 and 7 steps to Writing Success in years 3 -6. 

Gratitude & Thanks

I am also very grateful for the ongoing teamwork of the leadership team, Helen Clark and Rita Garreffa. They have assisted me in ensuring the professional learning agenda continued to be a priority together with continuing to focus on the Catholic Identity of our school. Core to our work is continuing to nurture the school, parish and parent partnership, a vitally important aspect of building our school community and central to the Josephite charism of ‘in all things love.’


Karyn Burlow, Judith Bowden and Rachel Hewitt have focused on supporting families throughout this difficult period, always providing a listening ear, providing pastoral care and financial assistance.  We are all in this together!

Appreciation and thanks to OSHC staff who also supported families throughout all the changes.

The School Board Members have continued to be committed to developing and improving our school.  Their wisdom, discernment and collegiality has been greatly appreciated. Thank you to; Fr Lancy D’Silva (President of the School Board), Richard Ellerman (Chairperson), Craig Costello (Chair of Finance), Mark Thompson (Secretary),Francis Ben, Stav Lentakis, Caterina Vignogna ( P&F representative), Helen Clark and Kathleen Melis (staff representative).

We farewell Stav Lentakis after many years on the board as her son graduates. Craig, Francis and Caterina complete their two year tenure in 2020. Craig and Francis will renominate in 2021. Caterina will not renominate but will continue to support the P&F Commitee. Please join me in thanking Stav, Caterina, Craig and Francis for their valuable contribution to the School Board. 

We have many nominations for the School Board in 2021. Information about each nominee will be forwarded in the new year with online voting to take place.

Special thanks also to the members of the Parents and Friends committee who continued to draw the community together in creative ways to ensure they continued to raise funds for additional resources, all of which will enhance the learning experiences for all students.  Their efforts and energy have been greatly appreciated.  Thank you!   

Appreciation and thanks to Fr Lancy D’Silva for his friendship, support and spiritual guidance throughout the year. 

Whilst there have been disruptions to our school year and school events, there have many volunteers, who continued to coach sporting teams, assist in the classroom, transport students to events, and the list goes on; your help  benefits students and they are provided with so many possibilities and opportunities. Volunteers are an integral and very important aspect of school life. 

Thanks & Farewell

Thanks, farewell and best wishes to all the Year 6 parents who have been part of this community for a number of years and who have contributed in a myriad of ways to further develop the school.  The staff and I have truly appreciated your ongoing support throughout the years.


Thanks and farewell to those students and families who leave St Joseph’s in 2020.  We wish you every blessing and please know that we have loved having you in our community. 

Staff News

I would like to take this opportunity of acknowledging the significant contribution to our school by the following staff members who will be leaving St Joseph’s this year.


Melissa Thom will leave St Joseph’s after 17 years to take on a new position at Galilee School, Aldinga.

Vanessa Morelli will leave us after two years to take on a position at St Michael’s College.

Selena Britz leaves St Joseph’s to take a new position at East Adelaide Primary School. 

Gohar Zamani Mahfarjaki who will be working at Unley Preschool and JB Clealand Preschool.

Following 8 years in various contract positions, Kelly Morgan has decided to be our regular relief teacher in 2021. 

Kate Elmendorp will commence maternity leave at the end of this year and we wait with great anticipation for the safe arrival of baby number two. Our sincere best wishes to Kate, Kristian and Alexander as they await their new arrival.

We extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery following surgery for Kay Carmody and Sue Ciampi. We look forward to welcoming them back in 2021.

Please join me and the staff to thank them for their contribution to our school, for their friendship and collegiality during their time at St Joseph’s.  We wish all of them continued fulfillment in their new roles knowing that they have made a positive contribution here at St Joseph’s.

Our Year 6 Graduates

God Bless & Festive Greetings

On behalf of the staff, I extend our best wishes for a happy and holy Christmas.  May it be peace  and joy filled.  We look forward to a positive and exciting 2021 school year.


In gratitude for being in such a wonderful close knit community.

God Bless and Festive Greetings


2021 School Staff List

Congratulations to our 2021 School Captains

Parents and Friends Christmas Raffle Winners List

Buy Your Own Device (BYOD) 2021

As outlined in the School’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan this initiative to improve learning opportunities for our students, was successfully introduced in 2019 with Year 3 and 4 students having joined the programme. 

There are many educational benefits to every child having access to a computer for their own personal use.  It has also ensured that our students have been prepared for the introduction of NAPLAN online - using a device with which they are familiar. 

The school board continue to endorse a ‘buy your own device’ for all Year 3 and 4 students of 2021, which they can use for the remainder of their primary years. The reason these year levels are targeted is due to the average optimal life of a laptop being approximately 3 years.

Purchasing a device is not compulsory and students who do not purchase a laptop will have access to shared school laptops whilst at school, however these cannot be taken home.

Information regarding the device available through the portal and about purchasing non portal devices was posted on SeeSaw last week.

You can also access the information here:


Letters to SA Health from our Receptions

Year 5/6 Basketball Dinner


Advent is the four weeks before Christmas. It is a time of joyful preparation for the celebration of Jesus' birth as our Saviour.

The wreath and candles are full of symbolism tied to the Christmas season. The wreath itself, which is made of evergreens, signifies continuous life. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the everlasting life and love we find in Christ.

The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah. The second candle, also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

As decorations go up in shops and our homes, it is important that we remember what the Christmas season is about.

One way we can help others to prepare during this time is to give to the St Vincent de Paul Society Christmas Appeal.

Mini Vinnies: Vinnies Christmas Appeal

We have extra Vinnies blue bins in the MacKillop Centre of Learning, where donations of clothing items may be left. Food donations may be placed in the baskets in the office. We also have a giving tree set up in the office, where donations of new unwrapped presents may be left.

While all donations are gratefully accepted, please think about the types of foods you like to enjoy during Christmas when you are donating items. Please also consider donating supermarket vouchers or gift cards so families can purchase and enjoy fresh meat, fruit and vegetables on Christmas day.

Loving God,

We give you thanks for the blessings of this holy Advent season.

You are the source of life, of hope, and of all good things.

We look forward to the coming of the light of Christ at Christmas. Help us to turn toward that light in our lives.

We rejoice at the gift of your Son who taught us to love in your name.

May we be people of peace and justice all the days of our lives. Your kingdom come and your will be done now and forever.


Wishing you a safe and blessed Christmas break.

God Bless,

Helen Clark

Parish Bulletin

Christmas Mass Bookings

? Congratulations!

Congratulations to children who received awards at Assembly recently.

Classroom teachers select students who demonstrate our School Values: Respect, Compassion, Hope, Forgiveness and Service.

Week 7 RecipientsWeek 8 Recipients
Elliott - RMMichael - RM
Maria - RSCallan - RS
Massimo - 1/2GMJustin - 1/2C
Jack - 1/2GMDenver - 1/2GM
Jake - 1/2RAlessio - 1/2GM
Harry - 3TSavva - 1/2R
Hiwan - 3TMarco - 3T
Ayla - 4MAdeline - 3T
Tong - 4/5CFatima - 3T
Jaxon - 5/6EDAnna - 4M
Dominic - 5/6TDPCatherine - 4M
Nardos - 4/5C
Zavier- 5/6ED
Taylah - 5/6TDP

Message from OSHC

Dear Families and Friends of St Joseph School OSHC, 

We can't believe 2020 is drawing to a close. This year has been an exceptional year for most of us. However, the love and the kindness of our families and the school community has made it easier than we anticipated during this global pandemic. 

We thank you for all your support and encouragement. Most importantly, we say a BIG thank you to our students who have shown remarkable resilience during these uncertain times. While we were moving into our new space in the hall, we were uncertain how the children would settle in, but they have settled in so well. We love to hear from our families and we thank our parents and caregivers who are regularly giving us feedback.

We pride ourselves in being an inclusive OSHC that embraces diverse cultures. The diversity of our staffing team reflects the diverse cultural backgrounds our students. Everyone is welcome and there is always something for each child. Please take a moment to see some of the highlights of our daily sessions in our OSHC Moments Books when you drop off or pick up your child. Also, see below for some photos of the moments. 

We wish you all happy holidays and looking forward to seeing you all in 2021!

Kind regards, 

Catherine and OSHC Team. 

Vacation Care - Term 4 Holidays

A kind reminder of vacation care booking. Please drop off or email your booking by Wednesday the 9th of December, 2020.

Forms are available from OSHC or you can view it on our website.

Bookings will only be accepted when a deposit of $20 per day for each child has been paid.

If you have any queries please contact Catherine, our OSHC Director.

Vacation Care Program

Parenting Insights

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One of the best ways to forge a strong bond with a child is by connecting with them on a deep emotional level. Here's how.

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Article: Modelling self-kindness

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