St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Wandal Newsletter

17 February 2021

Weekly Prayer Reflection

Lent and the 5:2 programme


Two people I know have taken up the 5:2 eating programme.  In this one rigorously restricts one’s food intake on two non-consecutive days of the week and eats normally on the other five. This reminded me strongly of some of the traditional religious fasts of Lent.  These two people are doing well on this programme.  They look healthy and find they can maintain a good weight.  But there can be other benefits.  My sister speaks of having a clearer mind for her work and finds that she prays better. Both speak of having to find personal disciplines to deal with the compulsion to eat. 

And there we find the other similarity with Lent.  In this season which begins this week, we are encouraged to face up to the compulsions that enslave us.  We so easily become slaves to habit, slaves to impulses, slaves to greed.  To deal with them, we have to really deprive ourselves, feel the need and face down the hunger.  We have to discover how weak we are, that the grace of God can become strong within us.

And it doesn’t just stop with us.  Lent is about others.  When we refrain from something, we are meant to give it away to another.  The money saved by fasting is to go to the poor.  The time saved from TV watching could be spent ringing an elderly relative.  The time not spent on internet games could be spent playing games with the kids.  Think about it: the 5:2 programme could be applied to a number of the bad habits that undermine our lives.

Loving God, show me the habits that are undermining my life and stopping me from loving my family and friends as well as I could.  In this Lent, give me the grace to creatively face my weakness and transform it into strength.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.

Sr Kym Harris osb

From the Principal

We need your input - Catholic Identity Surveys

One of the most important things about being a Catholic school in the 21st century is knowing who we are and what purpose we serve. We need to have a clear understanding of our role as a Catholic school.

To assist with this and as an important part of our School Improvement process, St Joseph's Wandal will shortly participate in a Catholic Identity survey which is conducted by Leuven University in Belgium. The research project is aimed at assisting us with understanding how our Catholic identity is expressed in work and practice as well as supporting plans to further enhance our Catholic Identity for the future. This will be our second lot of data through this project (we first participated in 2016) and we look forward to comparing the growth and changes that have occurrred during the period in between.


All staff at our school, as well as students from Years 5 and 6  will participate in the survey at school. We would also like to give parents a voice by inviting and encouraging you to take part in the survey, which will be conducted online and is not identifiable.

Please keep an eye out for further information through the school newsletter.

P and F Meeting

Reminder: Please feel free to join us for our first P and F Meeting of the year, Thursday, 18 February, 5.15pm-6.15pm  in the Staffroom. All parents/carers are welcome to attend. This is a great way to meet people, offer suggestions and hear first hand about the goings-on of our busy school.

School Fees - Term One

School Fees are due 19 February.  If you need assistance, please make an appointment to meet with me.

Bishop's Inservice Day - Pupil Free Day

Friday 19 February is a Pupil Free Day.  All Catholic Education staff in the Rockhampton Diocese participate in a day of professional development, supported by our Bishop, on an annual basis. Our Outside School Hours Care Service will operate between the hours of 7am-6pm on this day. For bookings or queries, please call the OSHC staff on 0429316543.

Expectations Regarding Behaviour in Toilets

 Students are regularly reminded regarding the school’s behaviour expectations when they are using the toilets, inlcuding:

Ø Educating students about germs in toilets.

Ø Hygiene practices (washing hands, not taking food into toileting area etc.).

Ø Students should use the toilet responsibly (e.g. not waste time and keep noise to a minimum).

Ø Discourage play in toilets (e.g. should not be a location for tiggy or hiding games).

Ø Not a place for playing ‘tricks’ on others or contact with other people (minimal time in toilet).

Ø Strict rule – one person in a cubicle at a time.

In the aim of enhancing student hygiene and safety, it would be appreciated if parents reinforce these behaviours at home with regard to not only the school toilets, but all public toilet areas. 


As part of our commitment to continue build a culture of excellence, we present three categories of awards each Friday.

These awards are: -

“To Love is to Serve” Awards – for a student who has consistently displayed leadership qualities

"Striving for Excellence” Award – for a student who has exhibited academic improvements and/or has been applying themselves to the very best of their ability

“Mary MacKillop Award” - for a student who has exhibited Gospel values in their words and actions.

Most classes choose to also celebrate a weekly “worker of the week” in their individual classrooms. While some teachers may choose to give parents/carers a 'heads up' if their child is receiving an award this is not expected practice.

Homework Club

Homework Club is held most Tuesdays and is available to all children in Years 3-6. Homework Club, supervised by senior students from The Cathedral College, commences at 3.20pm and finishes at 4.20pm. Students wait under the supervision of staff on afternoon duty until Homework Club commences and they  must be collected from the 'Be-Hive' at 4.20pm by a parent or guardian. Children staying for Homework Club must be ‘booked in’ by midday each Tuesday – please email the office staff if you wish to secure your child’s place. Students are welcome to pack an extra snack to enjoy before they commence their homework. 

Yours in partnership,

Kellie Jenkinson

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

Prayer Reflection

In Sunday's gospel, a man came to Jesus and he healed him.

The man had a sickness which made him an outcast. What does it mean to be an outcast?

What did Jesus do when he met the leper or outcast man?  Jesus welcomed the outcast man, touched the man and healed him.

Jesus showed compassion and kindness when others would have sent the man away.

What would it be like to be an outcast or an outsider?

Jesus asks us to be kind to outsiders. How can we show kindness to people who do not feel included?

We pray that this week we will look out for ways we can show kindness to people in need.

Year 6 Leadership Badge Presentation Prayer Assembly

Please join the Year 6 classes in the Undercover Area on Friday 26 February for their School Leader Badge Presentation Assembly. 

Shrove Tuesday

Thank you to our Year 3 teachers, Mrs Jones and Mr Ivory who were our pancake judges this year.  Congratulations to Tenison House who were the overall winners.  All profits raised will be donated to Project Compassion.

Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day photos!

Ash Wednesday

Thank you to Fr Matthias who presided at our Ash Wednesday Mass.  Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Jesus tells us in the Gospel to give to those in need, to pray for each other and to fast (go without something). This is to remind us of the many people in the world who do not have what we have – health, education, home, safety, security, luxuries and comforts, water and food. Fasting does not have to be about giving up food. 

The Ashes 

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

Our Journey in the Catholic Faith (Sacramental Workshop dates)

If your child is participating in the Parish Sacramental program please add the dates below to your diary. Workshops for families preparing their children to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and the completion of Christian Initiation will be held as follows:

Tuesday 23 or Wednesday 24 February Workshop 2, commencing 5.30pm at the Kevin Castles Centre in West Street.

Thought of the Week!

With gratitude,

Rheanna Starr

Parish Bulletin


Curriculum Update

Year Three Learning in the Pit!

At St Joseph's Wandal we expect our learners to be resourceful, resilient, reasonable, reflective, responsible and respectful.  Year Three did some unpacking of that idea using the analogy of a learning pit.  Based on the work of James Nottingham, the learning pit is about hard work and deep learning - the embodiment of our learner dispositions.

We all need that 'productive struggle' of the pit if we are to learn.


This term in STEM, the students have been hands on, learning about coding using DASH the robot. Using a computer program called BLOCKLY, they have been able to program sequences to make DASH move in different directions and at different speeds. The students have been excited to learn how to programme other changes to DASH such as changing eye colour, head movement and even how to make DASH talk.  Some students in year 4 have even designed outfits for their DASH robots. DASH has been enthusiastically welcomed into the SJW family. 

-from Mrs Rea

Enjoying Reading at Home

As teachers we are often asked how parents can support learning at home.  Here are some ideas to help you support your child as a reader.

Reading TO your child builds a love of reading and provides good models of how reading can sound. Reading TO your child helps them construct knowledge about their world and the world around them. 

Expert tip: Understandings about the world will help your child make good predictions during reading.  

Reading WITH your child encourages positive relationships through discussion and sharing of feelings, ideas and information stimulated by the text. Sometimes it reassures or helps children make connections when a character has similar experiences to them.  Occasionally, topics in books go beyond routine household conversations and may offer an opportunity to appreciate different points of view.

Expert tip: Talking about how you both understand the words in different ways, supports understanding of personal perspectives and tolerance of other viewpoints. 

When reading BY themselves, your child improves their fluency by practising known words within the story. This can give them the great satisfaction of being an independent reader with their own book.  

There are enormous benefits for children in re-reading books they enjoy, and reading them aloud to someone else. Their audience can be a parent or carer  (while watering the lawn, chopping the vegies or driving the car), an older or younger sibling, or the cat/dog/fish/guinea pig! Alternatively, children can read aloud to themselves by practising in front of the mirror, or recording their reading using a phone/iPad.

Expert tip: ‘Out loud’ reading develops fluency, phrasing and expression.

Reading Independently

Reading more difficult books

Before, during and after reading

Reading Prompts

- from the Curriculum Support Team CEO Rockhampton

 Janette McLennan

Calendar Dates for 2021

Term Dates for 2021

Term 1 27 January - 1 April 10 weeks

Term 2 19 April - 25 June 10 weeks

Term 3 12 July - 17 September 10 weeks

Term 4 5 October - 3 December   9 weeks

Term 1 2021


17         Ash Wednesday - Mass in hall at 9am

19         Bishop’s Inservice Day - Pupil Free Day

26        Year 6 Leadership Badge Presentation


5            Year 2R Prayer Assembly

12         Year 5 M Prayer Assembly

14        Chamber Music Concert 1:00pm The Cathedral

19         Feast Day of St Joseph - Mass in Hall at 10am

19        Year 3J Prayer Assembly

21        Harmony Day

28         Palm Sunday

29         Parent Teacher Interviews

30         Parent Teacher Interviews

Student Awards

Congratulations to our students on their outstanding achievements.  Please click on the link for details.

St Patricks Day