St Joseph’s Primary School - O'Connor
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Boronia Drive
O'Connor ACT 2602

Phone: 02 6248 9818
Fax: 02 6247 1792

Week 4 Term 1 2024 Newsletter

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Week 4 Term 1 2024 Newsletter

    Dear parents and carers.


    A challenge of having rules and expectations, is the effort it takes to initially state these expectations and then to see them through. There is a need to explain what is wanted, to model and to reinforce what these expectations look like, and to support children as they attempt, and fail at times, to meet these expectations.

    How do we want our children to treat others? What do we expect from them when they are speaking to adults, or following instructions? How do we support them to respond to not getting what they want or having our full attention? The list goes on.

    It is difficult to remain consistent when sometimes there are reasons that meeting the expectations may not quite be as important, or when we are weary of reinforcing the expectations and having to bring in consequences which further add to the challenge.

    Are we resolute enough to stick it out… to stay true to what we expect and to support our children to be the best they can be? Is it important enough to commit to restating… ‘that is not what we do’, ‘that is not ok’, ‘stop. I need you to…’

    And that’s just when being a parent.

    This same challenge exists here at St Joseph's. 

    As a school we are specifically stating what our expectations are, particularly for transitions into and around the school. If you have been at Morning Gathering, you will have heard myself and all teachers outlining what the students are expected to do, and why. At the core of this expectation, is the need to support improved learning and teaching.

    We are also committed to stating to the students that some behaviours are not acceptable and are not supporting learning and teaching, nor helping form or maintain positive relationships. It is not ok to be physical with each other. It is not ok to use inappropriate language on the playground or to make inappropriate noises in the classroom. It is not ok to scream and interrupt the school experience of others. We have 370 children and 45 adults in our school and ELC, all who need to have a learning and working environment that is safe, respectful and enjoyable.

    We all have a shared role in supporting the growth and development of the children in our lives. At school, we are seeking to reinforce the same expectations that are, in the most part, at home. We have a collective responsibility to state, model and support high expectations. We also have an obligation to foster the connection between school and home, and to not accept behaviours that don’t allow our children to grow and to learn to be socially appropriate.

    I encourage all parents to see the importance of setting expectations, supporting those that we have at school, and to feel affirmed in the fact that we are working together to nurture the development of confident, positive and caring young people.

    School Community Council

    The inaugural School Community Council meeting was held last week. Thank you to those who were able to attend and to take on specific roles on the newly appointed Executive. While the purpose last week was to set up the formal governance structure, the actual intended role of the School Community Council is to welcome all parents and carers into discussions and decision making around important activities across the school.

    While we had small numbers attend the first meeting, it is likely that the next meeting will be communicated as a ‘town hall’ opportunity to bring members of our school community together. I encourage all parents and carers to be familiar with those who are on the Executive, and to take to them any key ideas or questions that can support the school. A date for the next meeting will be set in the coming days.


    Parish Priest Fr Athnonny (Thonn) Riosa
    Principal Cameron Tarrant
    Chair Linda Uzubalis
    Deputy Chair Pip Cleary
    Secretary Alicia Porter
    Treasurer Niki Best
    ELC Director  Beth Lehmensich
    Staff Rep Beth Hawkes
    Parent Rep Sarah O'Brien
    Parent Rep (Communications) Vacant

    Parent / Teacher Meet interviews

    Parent / Teacher Interviews are set for next Monday to Thursday. Information has been sent out via Compass, and a link to make a booking with your child’s teacher is set up on your child’s Compass profile. It is important that parents take this opportunity to meet with teachers to discuss the start to the school year and to share any insights that will support your child's learning.


    Naplan.jpgNAPLAN testing for students in Year 3 and Year 5 will occur between 13 and 20 March 2024.

    NAPLAN provides valuable information to schools and parents about literacy and numeracy achievement. It supports school improvement processes by enabling teachers to monitor student progress over time and to identify areas of strength and development.

    Please speak to your child's teacher or contact the school if you have any questions.

    Fee remissions

    School fee statements are due to be provided to families early next week. Please be aware that Catholic Education has resolved that fees will be invoiced term by term for 2024, rather than annually as communicated at the end of 2023. As part of the school fees communications to be sent out, there will also be an email sent to all parents from seeking continued support of the Catholic Schools’ Building Fund. This opt-in contribution is used to maintain the facilities at St Joseph’s, and Catholic schools in general.

    Catholic Education respects and understands that choosing a Catholic education reflects commitment to your child's well-being and personal growth in a non-governmental setting. We value this choice and want to ensure that financial concerns do not hinder your child's educational journey. If you would like to discuss accessing fee concessions, please see the linked Fee Concession Letter that outlines the process and make a time to meet with me.

    School and Family Counsellor 

    Anna Cater, School and family Counsellor from Cahtolic Care, will be running a parent program Tuning into Kids. Please see linked below a flyer to the program.

    Tuning into Kids Program    

    Have a great end to the week.

    Yours in Christ,
    Read Less

    Lent 2024

    Last week we commenced the most important period in the Liturgical Calendar, Lent, with our Ash Wednesday Mass. During the mass we all received a cross of ashes on our foreheads as a symbol of our regrets, sins and need for reconciliation. The ashes remind us of our connection to Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice for us all to be reconciled for our sins. During the mass Father Thonn focused on three things with the students - prayer, fasting and almsgiving.



    Individual prayer is our personal conversation or relationship with God. When we pray to God, we are better able to let the Holy Spirit work through us to achieve greater things. Encourage your child to;

    • Pray for those less fortunate than ourselves,
    • Pray for forgiveness for the misdemeanours,
    • Pray for guidance to walk with the Holy Spirit, and
    • Pray for hope and peace throughout the world.



    Fasting for primary school students doesn’t mean going without food. It is a time to practice giving up sin and doing good deeds to become closer to God. This Lent please encourage your child to;

    • ‘give-up’ a practice that annoys someone else,
    • stop complaining about doing a chore,
    • help around the home, and
    • spend time away from their devices.


    Almsgiving is a spiritual practice that goes back thousands of years. It is not just giving money, but it also requires us to give our time and talents to honour Jesus, who gave his life for us. Encourage your child to;

    • perform random acts of kindness every day,
    • share their toys with siblings,
    • consider donating money towards Project Compassion, and
    • talk to someone new at school.

    Project Compassion

    The Year 6 leaders will launch St Joseph’s Projection Compassion project to raise funds to help support Caritas Australia’s annual fundraising campaign.

    Project Compassion brings together supporters from across Australia to address the challenges of poverty today and drive lasting change for a better tomorrow.

    Join us to help support remote and vulnerable communities across Asia, Africa, the Pacific and in Australia. Your generosity today can help communities access clean water, food security, skills training, health and sanitation and disaster risk reduction training.

    Together with your support, we can create lasting change today, and For All Future Generations.


    Students are encouraged to donate money to project compassion through their project compassion boxes in all classrooms or you can donate directly to St Joseph’s Primary Schools Projection Compassion fundraising campaign using the QR Code below.

    Project Compassion QR Code 2024 w4t1.png

    Let’s all come together to make difference For All Future Generations.


    Kirstie Buckley

    Religious Education Coordinator

    Read Less

    Sustainability in Action

    Pumpkin Time!
    4 Green got their kitchen garden on and prepared some excellent pumpkin scones and soup. They even prepared a treat for our hard working Year 2 students who planted this harvest last year. We are looking forward to more gardening and cooking adventures to come!


    Ryan McGee

    Sustainability Coordinator

    The Snack Shack

    Hi parents and families,


    Did you know the Snack Shack worked with the Change Makers last year to help come up with new ideas to make us more sustainable?


    A few things to remember from The Snack Shack:

    • All cutlery, cups and containers go in the tubs to be washed (not thrown in the rubbish bin)
    • All brown lunch bags are empty and placed in the pink wheelie bin.
    • All foil in the white bin.
    • Paddle pop sticks in the metal tin. 


    Everything else goes in the rubbish bin!


    Thank you,


      Uniform Shop News

      Congratulations to the Week 4 award recipients. 

      1 Purple

      Alice G

      Elijah A

      1 Teal

      Eli T

      Ameya M

      2 Magenta

      Winifred W-B

      Joel S

      Michael H

      2 Yellow

      Brigid M

      Harriet P

      Tommy S

      3 Black

      George P

      Remy U

      3 Navy

      Dion B

      Kayle K

      Laura P

      4 Gold

      Axel K

      Beatrice J

      4 Green

      Lyndsae B

      Adam L

      5 Blue

      Delphi U

      Marial W

      5 Orange

      Aria K

      Atiana B

      6 Lime

      Dylan M

      Verity L

      6 Silver

      Anouk U

      Astrid P


      Azrielle T

      Happy birthday to these students who celebrated their birthday this week:


      Leonetta R
      Charlotte D-S
      Dominic O-H
      Ryder W
      Eden N
      Alivia T
      Hugo M



      The Rosary Eagles would like to invite all returning and new players from the North Canberra community to join our club for the 2024 season.

      Rugby gives your children the opportunity to make new friends, stay fit and active, be part of a team and develop life-long skills.

      The Rosary Eagles Junior Rugby Union Club was established in 1964 and is celebrating 60 years in 2024! It is the only standalone primary school based junior rugby union club in the ACT & Southern NSW Rugby Community.  Several of our former players have gone on to represent the ACT Brumbies and the Australian Schoolboys rugby teams.

      In 2023, the club had over 50 players registered, fielding a first division U11 team, a joint u9 team with Uni-North, a competitive U8 team and two U7 teams, who had the time of their lives!

       In 2024, the club will be looking to field a variety of teams, but we are particularly seeking players for the u12 age group.   Games, which are played on Saturday mornings, will commence at the beginning of term 2.   Playing rugby with Rosary:

      • All girls and boys are welcome
      • Equal opportunity for all players, especially beginners in all age groups
      • Fully supervised training with qualified coaches, every Wednesday afternoon on the Rosary School Oval, Watson – pick-Up your child from 4:30pm (wet weather activities take place on rainy days)
      • Players receive free junior membership and entry to Brumbies home games.
      • Full club uniform is provided (excluding football boots).


      The club will be hosting come and try rugby days, for children to come along and give rugby a go. The first of these will be on Tuesday, 27 February 2024 from 3:30pm on the Rosary Primary School oval. A second come and try day will occur in March 2024 (date to be advised).

      For enquiries or more information, please email, message us on Facebook, or contact: John Cullen (club coach) on 0414 755642, or Michelle Kowalik (Club admin) on 0411 322 762.

      Rosary Eagles Rugby Club


      Girl Guides w2t1.PNG