St Joseph's Primary School Wingham
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Church Cresent
Wingham NSW 2429

Phone: 02 6553 4774

22 February 2019

Newsletter Articles

Principal’s Report

Dear Parents,

We congratulate the students who proudly represented St Joseph’s at the Regional Swimming Carnival at Gloucester Pool last week. I want to commend their wonderful efforts, their sportsmanship and their support of one another. Great behaviour and positive attitudes – they are a credit to the school. Two students have made it through to the diocesan carnival: Gabbie Swierczynski for 11 Years Backstroke & Butterfly; and Celeste Mc Dermott for Sen Girls 50m Breaststroke. My thanks also to Jo McEwen and the many parents who were there to support the team.

As teachers we are constantly reminded of what an amazing group of children we have in our school. So many of our students have adopted the messages of MJR and have made sure to welcome peers, teachers and parents with a smile and a happy greeting.

Yours sincerely,

Justin Hutchens

Quote of the Week

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung

Making Jesus Real – Value of the week

Week 5 – Be a giver
Week 6 – Stewards of Creation – Nude Foods

School News

School Staff (correction)

There seemed to be a “glitch” in our last newsletter regarding school staff. Below is the correct order.

Teaching Staff:

  • Kinder

Ms Melinda Rego

  • Year 1

Ms Lisa Schmitzer

  • Year 2

Mr Adam Buchtmann

  • Year 3

Mr Mark Knoke

  • Year 4

Mr Michael Wickham

  • Year 5

Mrs Amanda Whitlam

  • Year 6

Mrs Shane Cleaver

  • Library

Mrs Kate Monkley

  • Lead Teacher

Mrs Carolyn Long

  • Exec Release:

Mrs Carolyn Long

  • Learning Support:

Mrs Christie Downie

School executive team:

  • Principal:

Mr Justin Hutchens (Term 1)

  • Assist Principal:

Mr Adam Buchtmann (acting)

  • Religious Educ. Coord:

Mr Michael Wickham (acting)

  • Clerical

Mrs Mary Stepowikow

  • School Psychologist

Mrs Rebecca Jamison

  • Library Assist:

Mrs Roslyn Yerbury

  • Learning Support Assistants:

Mrs Carol Saul, Mrs Ros Yerbury; Mrs Jane Murray,

Mrs Janet Blanch,

Mrs Natasha Sheather,

Mr Tom Seaniger

Opening School Mass

Last Tuesday the school celebrated our Opening School Mass and Leadership Induction. Our thanks to Fr George, Mick Wickham (Acting REC) and Shane Cleaver (Year 6 teacher) for the beautiful liturgy and presentation to leaders. At St Joseph’s we value the role that every student plays as a leader in our community. This is particularly important for our Year 6 students who are so visible as leaders for our younger students. We have witnessed so many examples of wonderful leadership from our Year 6 students over the years and we look forward to seeing what the year holds for this amazing group of young people.

Prime Minister Award

‘Being a steward of creation’, ‘trying your best’, ‘speaking with kindness’ and ‘ being a responsible learner’ are some of the qualities that teachers consider when awarding ‘Prime Minister’ at our weekly assembly. It is an acknowledgement of the student’s efforts and they have the privilege of wearing the badge with honour, of suggesting a focus the school can work on, award gotchas to other students at lunch time as well as earning gotchas for themselves. Congratulations to Zaylon Proctor (Wk 4) and Katelyn Davidson (Wk 5)

MJR Awards

As part of our MJR system ,we acknowledge that the following students, Celeste McDermott has reached 200 Gotchas and Tallin Higgins has reached 300 Gotchas! Well Done.

Year 6 happenings……………

We watched the Kinders take faltering steps on their first day of their school journey. Alongside them walked their Year 6 buddies, proudly walking towards being a leader in the final year of their primary school journey.

To be a leader at our school is a treasured role and the student look forward for many years for the time that they will step into the ‘job’. The students were officially inducted as school leaders at the opening Mass, where they pledged to be a positive role model and to help every student at our school to celebrate who they are.

It will be an exciting and challenging year and I look forward to accompanying the Year 6 students on their own special journey.

Mrs Cleaver

Sport – Term 1 – Gymnastics

New Baby……………

Congratulations to Joanna Hartley and Luke Sellers on the birth of their baby girl, “Claire Grace” born 23rd January. New little sister for Lucianna Yr 5 and Georgia (Yr 4).

Catholic Schools Week – March 3-10


The main aim of Catholic Schools Week is to raise public awareness of the wonderful opportunities that Catholic schools provide, and to celebrate our history, our faith and our achievements.

The theme for Catholic Schools Week this year is:

  • Belong: God Family Friends Community
  • Learn: Expand your mind
  • Serve: Others together.

The week will include a number of opportunities for our community to join with us in celebrating Catholic schools.

  • Monday: Launch Project Compassion 2019- show videos to students/ hand out project compassion boxes for prayer tables
  • Tuesday: Shrove Tuesday- pancakes for the classes/ Open classrooms 11-11:30am/ shared picnic on top field with families
  • Wednesday: Ash Wednesday Mass with the parish 10:30 time to be confirmed

School Calendar of events



Week 5

Thur Feb 28

Diocesan Swim Carnival – Good luck Gabbie & Celeste!
Fr Rob Galea 11am for Years 2 - 6

Week 6

Mon Mar 4

Catholic Schools Week

Tues Mar 5

CSW Celebrations:
Shrove Tuesday: Pancakes for students from 10:45am
Open Classrooms for parents & families from 11:00am
Picnic Lunch on the grass

Wed Mar 6

Ash Wednesday Mass (10:30am – to be confirmed)

Thurs Mar 7

Ship ‘O Fools “Bubbles & Super Squirt“water saving show, (Kinder – Year 2)

Fr Rob Galea visit

On Thursday the 28th of February at 11am Rob Galea will be visiting and talking to our Yr 2-Yr 6 classes about 'Religion and Relationships'. Please see attached talk list for more information. I have chosen this topic as I thought it might relate to 'Making Jesus Real'.

School Colour Fun Run Friday 12 April 2019

This week parents should have received information about the school’s Run4Fun Colour Explosion planned for the last day of term.

School Colour Runs have become increasingly popular and are a great way to raise funds to support the school. Your child can register online and fundraise to earn great prizes and incentives.

The school staff will create an obstacle course and activities that culminate in students running through various colour powder stations.

The P & F have organised for a Slushie machine to reward students as they finish the race.

The note included safety information and recommendations regarding students coming to school in old clothing. Of course it is all about getting a great photo of your child at the end so pick a white T-shirt to really show-off the effect.

We look forward to a fun day of activity and colour to finish the term.

Parent Information Night

A big THANK YOU to parents for making themselves available for the Parent Information Night. Teachers really appreciated the opportunity to meet with you all and give some information on their learning program. The relationship between parents and teachers is a crucial one. The experts have been polled and the results are in: a positive parent-teacher relationship contributes to your child’s school success. A problem-solving mindset and good communication is the key to a great partnership!

Parent Reflection: Giving kids scripts for social and school success

Recently, I heard my adult daughter rebuke a male friend for telling her that she’d lost weight.

“You just can’t say that,” remarked my daughter. Realising his mistake this young man said, “So what should say instead?”
“Tell me I look healthy.”
“Hey, you look really healthy!”
“That’s better,” remarked my daughter, who’s not backward in coming forwards.

This young man’s scripting was askew. He knew that a male complimenting a female on losing weight maybe no compliment at all, however he didn’t know what else to say. My daughter gave him a new script that he can use in similar situations in the future. This scenario is relevant to parenting. Parents should always looking for opportunities to give their kids the social scripts to express themselves in different situations.

Benefits of providing kids with social scripts

Social scripting wins the parenting trifecta. Giving kids the words to use helps them stay safe; become social and importantly, promotes their independence. Your job as a parent is to wean kids off you. Social scripting is a big part of this process.

So if keeping kids safe, while socialising and developing their independence is important then look for ways to give kids the right words to use. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Asking a teacher for help or assistance
    Kids often coerces parents to do their bidding with teachers, coaches, siblings and other adults. It’s easy to pick up the phone and arrange to meet a teacher or go into your child’s room and ask for something on behalf of your child. Take a different approach. “Choose a time when your teacher is free, and then ask her if you can sit at the front of the classroom. You could say….”
  2. Entering a game at school
    Many kids struggle to enter into a game or activity at school, so they sit on the sidelines and miss out. Consider coaching a child about how he or she may approach a situation. Suggest that he or she looks for someone they know, and wait for a lull in the game before asking. Social scripting involves timing, not just the words to use.
  3. Telling a sibling to stop annoying them
    “Jessica, please stop flicking the ruler while I’m watching TV. I find it annoying.” This may work. If not, this child could try, “Jessica, could you flick your rule elsewhere.” It may work. It may not. But it’s infinitely better than yelling, “Jessica, DDDOOOONNNN’TTTT!!!!”
  4. Saying No to a friend without losing face
    Research shows that many teenagers struggle with peer pressure because they don’t know how to say NO in a way that maintains their status. One strategy is to use an excuse rather than say give an outright NO. “I don’t want to drink tonight because I’ve got football training in the morning.”
  5. Expressing their emotions
    Both genders can struggle to express their feelings, particularly if they haven’t been taught the words to use at home. Recently, I saw a mother prompt her three year old when he was clearly annoyed.

“Are you frustrated Maxie?”
“Yes, I fusttated!!”
“Would you like a hug?

You’re never too young or too old to be hugged. Just as you’re never too young or too old to receive a social script from a well-meaning parent or friend.

Michael Grose
Positive Parenting 2019

Parents & Friends Association

Many thanks to the committed group of parents who turned up for our AGM last Monday and ‘thank you’ for your involvement in our school. Congratulations to the newly-elected 2019 P & F Executive:


Elise Prosser (returning)


Anne McDermott (returning)


Heidi Lyon (returning)


Alison Hagney (new)


Anna Macmillan (returning)

Thank you all for your commitment and enthusiasm for St Joseph’s Primary School.

Everyone knows that a good school is supported by a strong, vibrant, engaged parent body. Please think about joining our P & F so that you can make a real difference to the educational experiences we can provide for our students.

Be involved - be active - support your school!

Framework for Gifted Education

The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) has nominated gifted education as an area of priority as evidenced in the strategic planning documentation (Disciple, Learners and Leaders). Diocesan schools have also highlighted this as an area for further investigation and development, and many teachers seek professional development and resources to address the needs of the high-ability students in their classes. The CSO is implementing a strategic, system-wide approach to supporting gifted education in the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

In 2017, an increased focus on gifted education began in the diocese with the implementation of the new Gifted Education K-12 Policy and Procedures documents for all schools. Additionally, in phases of implementation, a selected number of secondary and associated primary schools work collaboratively and with CSO support to strengthen their capacity to provide meaningful opportunities for students. These schools are known as Gifted Education Lead Schools (GELS).

St Joseph’s Wingham School is taking part in this initiative and will be working in collaboration with other Manning Catholic schools

Part of the focus of this new approach is to provide a framework to ensure that our schools provide learning opportunities to meet the needs of all students, enabling them to reach their full potential. A key component of this framework is the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). CogAT is a group-administered K–12 assessment intended to estimate students' learned reasoning and problem solving abilities through verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal test items. The CogAT is used with other school data to assess student’s learning and to provide guidance around instruction, decisions and strategies.

Complaints & Grievances Policy

Like all schools, St Joseph’s has an agreed process for positively resolving concerns in our community.

Step 1

Complaints and Grievances should be raised at the earliest possible time. Classroom based complaints and grievances should be raised with the student’s class teacher. All other complaints and grievances should be directed to the principal and/or their delegate.

Step 2

Where the classroom based complaint and grievance is not resolved by the teacher this should also be directed to the Principal and/or delegate.

Step 3

Where a complaint or grievance is not resolved by the Principal after all efforts have been made to do so, or the complaint or grievance is about the Principal, the parent/carer should refer the concern to the Catholic Schools Office via the Parent Liaison Officer. The Parent Liaison and Resource Officer will refer the matter to the relevant Assistant Director for resolution.

Step 4

Where a complaint or grievance remains unresolved the Parent/Carer or the Assistant Director may refer the matter to the Director of Schools for review. A formal avenue of appeal is available in accordance with the Diocesan Pastoral Care Policy. All such appeals should be made to the Director of Schools in writing and in a timely manner.

Step 5

If ultimately the Parent/Carer is not happy with the way their complaint or grievance has been dealt with by the school or the Catholic Schools Office, they may wish to go to an external agency or legal advocate for advice and assistance.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Canteen News

Term 1 Roster




Mar 1



Mar 8

Narelle Barry


Happy Birthday Wishes!

Daniel Sutherland turns 6; Yarrumundi Hollis turns 11 and Jazmine Pattison turns 12.

Community News