Welcome to the first of our Celebrations newsletter. Our regular newsletter can often be busy with the day to day reminders of running our school and so we set out to create something where we could celebrate the wonderful work and achievements of our staff and students. Here it is, a place where we reflect on how we are doing as a school community as we - and indeed the whole world - adapt to change.
It’s natural to question many things in a time of great change. And yet, it is now, more than ever that we can remain steadfast in decisions we have made about how we want to live our lives.
The values underpinning our school and our faith are the values which enable us to not only successfully navigate the new landscape but also to be compassionate and caring as we do so. I’m reminded again and again of those values as I think of the wonderful things our school community stands for and the incredible work our students, parents and teachers have done.
I think of the children’s ongoing efforts to remain connected with those in their wider Christian family at St Joseph’s Bombala and at the Riamabana Orphanage Academy in Kenya, and their interest to raise much needed funds for those impacted by drought and the recent fires.
The children understand that our St Joseph’s community extends beyond our immediate fences and reaches into far corners of the world; that what happens ‘over there’ must and does impact us ‘over here’. And conversely, the way we live our lives will impact others, both close to us and 'over there'.
The children have seen this connection played out with the COVID-19 virus and the resulting lockdowns; that the universality and the drawing in and hunkering down are tightly wound together. Our Christ-centred education prepares our children to turn towards others in need and ask, what can we do? How can we support and care for you, show you our love in Christ?
I think also of our students focused on self-regulation and determination as they started the new year. How apt that this vital skill taught in our classrooms in an overt and deliberate manner is now a skill integral to our situation. Now more than ever, this has been required of them, required of all of us.
I think of our teachers working during the holidays, collaborating to provide the best way forward for us with remote learning. So much of their time and energy dedicated to the development of skills and resources. It lifted me up to see the way they came together, asking just as the students do when seeing a challenge or a need; what can we do, how can we help?
And our marvellous parents, rolling up their sleeves, asking the same questions with the same solid intentions. How to help, how to make this a success.
Long after this pandemic is over, I believe we will look back at this time, and be thankful for our school community. For the way we have bound together to support and encourage each other, to work hard, to stay committed and to be grateful for the values which underpin our Christ-centred community.
May St Joseph and St Mary MacKillop continue to guide us all.
Yours in Christ,
Alison Nesci says it’s important to model good problem-solving skills for children.I instil in the children that mistakes are good. I tell them I want to see their mistakes because it’s how we learn.
When I lost wifi (on conference with them) the principal jumped in to touch base with them while I got reconnected.
It didn’t phase them at all.
It’s important for them to know that things can go wrong and we can recover from that.
We have some tasks we ask the children to do without parent help and other times the parents might post a photo or comment on a task.
I’ve been at this school a long time. My own children went through here. It’s a second family. Not just another staff.
Koby Allan earmarks this cohort of students as ‘awesome’.
There’s a really beautiful community with very supportive parents.
I’m only new here. We moved to Canberra from Wollongong and I’ve been fortunate to find this school.
The kids are very engaged. They want to be at school and they’re all great friends with each other.
There are no real behavioural issues.
We have beautiful grounds too, lots of trees and play space.
There are lots of blessing to come from remote learning. It’s strengthened the bond between home and school.
The parents are very on-board. We hear from them more often now as they’re needing lots of reassurances.
We are very responsive to each other and they appreciate the quick answers to the questions they ask. Everyone is learning. It’s okay.
It’s good to see the collaboration online. Parents and kids are responding to each other’s questions. They’ll say, have you tried doing it this way?
This generation of kids will be an awesome work force. They have so much independence and such great problem-solving skills.
There’s lots of lovely teachers at my school, and lots of nice friends.
To be a good friend you have to be kind, generous and a good listener.
There are lots of teams that you go to every break if you want to. There’s the sports team and the green team; they look after the plants. You can choose.
In our classroom we do a thing in the morning called literary. It switches every day. You can’t choose those activities but they are all fun so that doesn’t matter.
We are always learning lots of good stuff.
Vasili Palaskonis says he’s managing very well with remote learning with support from home.
I like maths. It’s important to be good at maths so when you grow up and there’s a person who asks you a times table you know it.
I’ve been doing some times tables. I’m learning 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 10s.
We have nice teachers. They help you with stuff and teach you some fun ways to do stuff.
I like to be kind and do collaborating. That means you share with people.
When we are doing Google Classrooms we help each other.
We learn to be God’s love. It means like you love him and he loves you.
We’re learning about justice in religion. We started it last week. My teacher made a video about, what if everyone who had blue eyes had an extra week of holidays? That’s unfair. It would be discriminatory.
Last term we got class guinea pigs and class fish. We are learning about their essential needs and how we can help them thrive.
Our school is small and everyone knows each other and we make everyone feel welcome. All our teachers are helpful and nice.