Catholic Education South Australia

News & Events

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Message from Mr Canil

05.08.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Saint for all Australians

August 8th

More than one hundred and fifty years ago in Penola, March 1866 St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Fr Julian Woods began the order of the Sisters of St Joseph. Mary was the first Sister and there was one school. By June 1867, both Julian and Mary had moved to Adelaide. At this time three more women became Sisters of St Joseph and four years later, there were 127 Sisters teaching in 43 St Joseph’s schools and managing four charitable institutions. 

As their numbers increased, Sisters of St Joseph made foundations in Queensland, New South Wales, New Zealand, Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria.  At Mary’s passing in 1909 there were more than 600 Josephite Sisters, with teaching their main work. From the time of their foundation, the Sisters reached out to children without access to education especially those on the fringes of society: the poor, the alienated and those in remote areas especially those in Aboriginal communities.

From very small beginnings but large dreams Mary and Julian’s wonderful legacy continues today with Josephite schools all around Australia and New Zealand.  St Joseph’s Memorial School at Bridge St, Kensington being one of them having been established 150 years ago. This coming Monday on her feast day – 8th August – we as a school and community celebrate 150 years of this positive influence that Mary has entrusted us to continue with a Liturgy and a Performance in the Performing Arts Studio at William St. We will then process to Bridge St for the 150th formalities and a special treat for recess and lunch. We extend an invitation to all our community to attend these celebrations.

In reflecting on the life of Saint Mary MacKillop to write my Newsletter article I started to think about how Mary MacKillop would have responded to the plight of refugees in our country and the world today. I feel sure she would have prayed and then acted, becoming one of their strongest advocates. She would have visited them in the detention centres, set up places for them to live in, made sure they were looked after in the community and probably would have met or written to the politicians who make the decisions about how Australia responds to refugees. She would have given the same energy and determination that she gave to the poor over a hundred years ago.

Sirap Publications put out an Educator’s Journal for teacher’s to use each year. Included in the Journal are notes and ideas for teachers to use in their classrooms around particular topics. I would like to share with you some of the insights they have included about Mary MacKillop from those who knew her.

One of Mary’s siblings: “Mary, you were always our ‘big’ sister; the one we looked up to for guidance and reassurance, especially when our parents were unable to provide a home in which we felt safe and secure. Thank you for sacrificing your youth in order to provide for us.”

Fr Julian Tenison Woods: “Mary, you were a true gift from God for me. Your vision to serve God through serving the poor and forgotten ones, and bring Catholic Education to rural Australia, matched my own dream. We made a great team!”

Student at Mary’s first school in Penola: “Mary, I loved coming to your school in that old stable in Penola. You gave all of us there the opportunity to learn so much. Without you, we would never have had that experience. What sticks in my mind, though, is what you taught us about God’s love for us, and about His Son, our friend and brother, Jesus. Thank you Mary.”

An ‘Aussie battler’: “Mary, you always had a special place in your heart for those ‘doing it tough and living rough’. You could see past our grubbiness, despondency and despair, always offering your hand to help us repair our lives. God’s love shone through you to us.”

An indigenous brother/sister: “Mary, you had a special love for our people. In your many travels through the heat and dust, you connected with our spirituality – the spirit of this great land we share. There were no boundaries between us. You became a special, Wise Woman to us, and our sister.”

Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s motto through life is one that we all could try to live by:

“Never see a need without trying to do something about it.”

How Well Do We Know Our school?

Another beautiful area of our school. Have you seen it before, do you know where it is?

Sacramental Program 2022

The Sacrament of Reconciliation program has commenced with a very good number of children, and their families, turning up last Tuesday night for the first Meeting. The second meeting will be on Tuesday 6th September, Week 7 in the Parish Hall at 7pm. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be held on 8th September in the Church.

If you have any questions about the program or eligibility or; if you are considering starting your children’s Religious Journey with the Sacrament of Baptism, please contact Franco Canil at the School Office or email fcanil@sjms.catholic.edu.au.

This Week’s Sunday Readings are:

First Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9

Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:35-40

Also, as a quick reminder that Mass times at St Ignatius Church, Norwood are:

Saturday: (Vigil) 6:00pm

Sunday: 8:30am, 10:00am, 5:00pm

“We are all a reflection of God’s love”

Franco Canil

Acting APRIM

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Message from Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

05.08.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers  

As we come to the end of the first two weeks of Term 3, I cannot believe how quickly we have come to this point. There is no easing into a term, we just take off at full speed! Thank you to all the parents and caregivers who have come in for Learning Conversations this week. If you did not book in and would like to still meet with your child’s class teacher, please email them to coordinate a time that suits you both. These conversations are vital in the home / school partnership we have.  

St Mary MacKillop Feast Day / Sesquicentenary of Bridge Street 

Last week you would have received an invitation to our celebration which will be held this Monday in our Performing Arts Studio. We look forward to seeing many of you at this celebration. St Mary MacKillop was an inspirational woman whose vision for all children to access a Catholic Education resulted in the start of many schools across Australia including our school on Bridge Street. More significant for our community was that St Mary MacKillop in the time she lived in Norwood and Kensington visited the students at this site so our connection to her is almost palpable.  

Book Week 2022 

In Week 5 we celebrate Book Week. The theme for this year is ‘Dreaming with Eyes Open.’ As in previous years there will be a Book Week parade which will be held on Monday 22 August. In preparation for this event, some of our Year 6 Leaders will be reading the shortlisted stories to our Preschool – Year 3 classes in the week leading up to Book Week. Further information related to this event will be sent out in the coming week.  

Live, Lead, Learn Parent Surveys 

Next week, parents will receive information to participate in the Live, Lead, Learn surveys. We encourage all parents to participate in the survey as this information will help us: 

  • Prioritise school improvement efforts 
  • Rate the school performance and 
  • Provide a framework for engaging in cyclical performance. 

The survey will be open for parent input until Friday 26 August.  

Nature Play / Grounds – William Street 

Many of you may have noticed that shortly we will be commencing works at our William Street site for both the Nature Playground and the re-orientation of our Basketball / Netball courts. This work should be complete by mid-term 4. I would like to thank the staff, students, and parents for their patience over the past year with all the building works and interruptions to the play space. I know that we will soon be rewarded with wonderful grounds and play spaces for our community.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

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From Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

08.07.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of Term 2. I cannot remember a time in my teaching career when Term 2 has been as cold or as wet as what this term has been!

Because of COVID restrictions earlier in the year, it was this term that parents were allowed back on school sites for the first time since last year to attend Liturgies and Assemblies. For some of our parents and caregivers, this would have been the first time allowed on our sites. We hope that parents and caregivers continue to join us at these events as they happen throughout the year.

Community Events

In the final fortnight of the term, we were fortunate to be able to come together as a community on 2 occasions. The first was our Quiz Night. A special thanks to Charlotte Hutchesson for coordinating the event and to the small band of volunteers who supported Charlotte and the P&F Committee on the night. There was lots of fun and laughter that night and I think everyone had a great time.

Sports Day was the second event which brought the community together. This year, we were fortunate to have St Ignatius Oval available for us and even though it was the middle of winter, we were blessed with a perfect day. I would like to thank St Ignatius Junior School for allowing us to use this facility. As well, I would also like to thank Mrs Didyk for coordinating a successful day as well as all the staff, students and volunteers for their support. To all the parents and caregivers on the day, thank you for joining us. It was a great end to a very long term.

A final reminder of results for the day:

John Partington Memorial Shield – Tappeiner

Spirit Cup – Joseph

Parent and Teacher Learning Conversations: Term 3, Week 2

Parent and Teacher Learning Conversations will be occurring face-to-face, in your child’s classroom next term from Tuesday 2 August until Thursday 4 August. Book your child's Learning Conversation by clicking on the link below and selecting your child's class.

 https://www.schoolinterviews.com.au/code/4a9nz

If you would prefer to have a phone conversation instead, please advise your child’s class teacher, so that a suitable time can be arranged.

I would like to extend to all families my wishes for a safe and happy 2-week break. I look forward to seeing you all on your return on Monday 25 July.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

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From Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

27.06.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

St Joseph's Memorial School, Bridge Street site - 150 Year Celebration 

Next term, we will celebrate 150 Year Anniversary of our Bridge Street site. On the Feast of Mary MacKillop, we will celebrate with a Liturgy and short performance by students in our Performing Arts Studio. Details around this day will follow.  

Sports Day 

This year, in Week 10, we will hold our Sports Day on St Ignatius Junior School oval. We hope that this will be a great venue and the children will be able to highlight the skills they have learnt throughout the term. A program of events has been sent out to families with the structure of the day so that you are aware of the activities planned. We look forward to seeing many parents and grandparents come along on the day. 

Semester 1 Reports 

This Friday, the Semester 1 Reports will be available for all parents and caregivers. Reports will be given to the students at the end of the day to deliver to parents. The learning that is assessed in the reports will reflect the learning during Terms 1 and 2.  

Next term, in Week 2 Parent and Teacher conversations will be held. This is another opportunity for parents and teachers to follow up on learning or have a further discussion regarding Semester 2. Information re: Parent and Teacher conversations will be sent out before the end of the term via Skoolbag. 

Gratitude 

A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article on Gratitude. Sometimes in the busyness of our daily lives, we forget to stop and practice gratitude to focus on the positive things in our lives. Like any skill, gratitude can be learned and strengthened. Here are some tips on how to practice gratitude: 

Each day, think of three things you are thankful for. Make it a daily habit to visualize what is good in your life. This can directly impact your mood throughout the day, as well as your sleep quality. Writing down these three things is a great way to complete this exercise, and it is useful to come back and read them at the end of the week.  

Start a gratitude journal. When you write, you use different parts of your brain and access memories and emotions from a new perspective. People who could find purpose and feel grateful for the good things to come out of a challenging situation show higher resilience, forgiveness, and detachment.  

Thank someone new every week. There are many people around us, and we are all connected somehow. How often do we take the time to express gratitude more consciously or thoughtfully? Give yourself the purpose of choosing someone new each week and learn how to express gratitude differently. This could mean adopting a more conscious non-verbal communication (like eye contact and a smile), writing a thoughtful message acknowledging others’ behaviour and its positive effects on you, or saying thank you with a nice gift or gesture. 

Meditate. Meditation can promote acceptance, detachment, forgiveness, and thus, gratitude. We can also take this moment to imagine a specific situation we are grateful for and let the feeling grow and become stronger. 

Focus more on others' intentions. When you receive a gift or a nice gesture from someone, consider how they intended to bring good into your life. Take a moment to visualise their willingness to help you, make you feel happy, or be there for you during a challenging time.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

Photo: R/1 classes practising the Health Hustle ready for Sports Day.

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From Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

10.06.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

The cold weather and flu season are well upon us. In the interest of everyone’s health, I ask that you consider having the flu vaccination to protect your family. Although COVID is still an issue, Influenza A poses a risk to everyone’s health. A reminder that if your child is unwell with cough / cold symptoms or fever that you keep them home until they are better. I thank you in advance for your support.

Holy Trinity

On Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Trinity. On this feast day, we celebrate the God who is Three-in-One; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But, this is a very simplistic way of explaining God.

The readings for the Holy Trinity can best be explained through Jesus’ teaching at the time with the disciples. Jesus doesn’t ask his disciples to debate this with others, or to judge those who struggle with doubt. The important thing is their response to what they are called to do: Jesus sends his disciples into the world to witness by their lives to the reality of this Three-in-One God. It is the same invitation, which is offered to us today. Living our faith isn’t easy and the experiences of anxiety, doubt, frustration or discouragement can be challenging. Instead, what we can do is draw strength from the words of Jesus: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

SJMS Debating 2022

We live in a world where we communicate with others all the time. Debating is a more formal way of communicating. It builds confidence, self-esteem, and develops critical thinking and reasoning skills.

If we can speak publicly and convey our ideas and thoughts coherently, we have a valuable tool that can aid us in our public, private and future lives.

Debating is different to public speaking because it includes rebuttal; proving that the opposition has arguments that are wrong.

This year we have entered two Year 5 Teams into the Debating SA competition. Last week, both our teams debated for the first time. I would like to congratulate the teams in working together and build strong arguments for their debates.

NCCD – Nationally Consistent Collection of Data

It is a government requirement for all schools to participate annually in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD).

The NCCD collects data about school students with disability who are receiving adjustments across Australia in a consistent, reliable and systematic way. It enables schools, education authorities and governments to better understand the needs of students with disability and how they can be best supported at school (www.nccd.edu.au).

Information gathered is used:

  • as an evidence base, to give teachers, schools and sectors information about students with disability and the level of educational adjustment being provided
  • to inform policy development and future planning to better equip schools and education authorities to support students with disability
  • to improve understanding of the requirements and responsibilities of school teams and the broader community under the DDA and the Standards
  • to capture the work of schools under the obligations of the DDA and the Standards, allowing students with disability to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students
  • to highlight the individual needs of each student with disability by focusing on the level of educational support provided to them at school (www.nccd.edu.au).

Information provided about students to the Australian Government for the NCCD includes:

  • year of schooling
  • category of disability: physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional
  • level of adjustment provided: support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary, substantial or extensive

Students’ personal details are de-identified as a part of the data collection. Please contact Inclusive Education Coordinator, Toni Benci if you have any questions about the NCCD.

More information is available on the following website: https://www.nccd.edu.au/ and a fact sheet is available here.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

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From Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

29.05.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

Today at Mass, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. This day, marks 40 days after Easter. What is the significance of this day? 

We hear in the Gospel: “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” 

This message is not just for his disciples, but for us as well. As Christians, we are missioned to be both proclaimers and evangelisers. Jesus tells us that as baptised Christians; we are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel by being witnesses of life and love, hope and peace.  

Lord Jesus, we rejoice today in your ascension to the Father’s right hand.
Thank you, Lord, for offering us a share in your heavenly life.  
By your Spirit, help us to lay hold of our inheritance in you -
the hope, the glory, and the power that are the right of every child of God. 

COVID update 

This week in schools, mask wearing for staff and parents is no longer mandatory unless social distancing is unavoidable or there are a certain number of students in a particular year level cohort that test positive for COVID. We continue to ask parents to keep their child / children at home if they are unwell, especially if presenting with cold and flu symptoms. 

Volunteer Update 

A reminder that to volunteer at SJMS you must: 

  1. Have a current Catholic Police Clearance 
  2. Complete the CESA Volunteer Application Package 
  3. Participate in the Responding to Abuse and Neglect Education and Care training: Information for School Volunteers (Please click on the link to access the relevant information:  https://online.cesa.catholic.edu.au/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-29675/20190215_updated+RAN-EC+registration+help+for+volunteers_TA.pdf  
  4. Be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (See information below) 

Under the Catholic Education SA COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Outcome, Workers, including staff, volunteers and contractors need to be COVID vaccinated i.e., have completed a course (being 1 dose of a single-dose vaccine, or 2 doses of a double-dose vaccine, in accordance with the schedule recommended by ATAGI) of a TGA-approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine; or be considered medically exempt with a Medical Contraindication to Vaccination, which means one of the contraindications outlined in formal clinical advice from the Australian Department of Health to vaccine providers based on advice from the TGA and ATAGI. Vaccination certificates must be cited by either Mary Fantasia at William Street or Jess Nelson at Bridge Street. 

Save the Date 

Over the past week you would have received information regarding: 

  • P&F Quiz Night on Saturday 2 July 
  • SJMS Sports Day on Wednesday 6 July

I look forward to seeing you at both these community events. 

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

Photo: Children making a city in Preschool after reading the book "Whatcha Building" by Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King.

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From Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

18.05.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Last week I read an article reflecting on what it means to be Easter People. There was a question that was asked that really made me stop and think about how I would respond.

If it were illegal to be a Christian, would there be enough irrefutable evidence against me to throw me in prison?

What a powerful question to ask. In the early days following Jesus’ death and resurrection, many of his disciples were frightened of further persecution and went into hiding. Their fear was real, and they were very afraid that what happened to Jesus might also happen to them.

However, the question asks us about ourselves and where would we stand evidence wise. Christian identity is not supposed to be in name only but evidenced by how we live our day-to-day life. A ‘Christian lifestyle’ should be noticeably different, or unique, from a lifestyle that is not typically Christian. In other words, Christians—followers, or disciples, of Jesus Christ—should stick out like a sore thumb. The way we live, act, behave and talk should reflect Jesus’ actions and making choices that reflect Jesus living in me.

So, this week, you might like to reflect on the above question and consider whether you would be thrown in prison. If the answer is no, then perhaps you could consider what changes you need to make for this to happen. Being a Christian is not easy, but the rewards are great.

COVID updates

Over the past week, I have communicated new information regarding changes in schools and COVID.

A reminder that:

  • Parents are allowed onsite however, when indoors, masks must be worn.
  • Parents are discouraged from entering classrooms unless it is for a pre-arranged meeting.
  • Whole school assemblies and masses resume as of this week. Parents and caregivers are invited to attend provided social distancing is observed and masks are worn.
  • School Board and P&F Meetings may be held on-site.

Parent Volunteers

Over the past few weeks, there has been some confusion over the requirements for parents and caregivers to volunteer at SJMS.

The requirements for all parents to volunteer in any capacity at SJMS is that they must:

  • Have a current Catholic Police Check
  • Compete the Responding to Abuse and Neglect training for volunteers
  • Complete the CESA Volunteer pack and provide the names of referees
  • Be fully vaccinated for COVID-19

Mary Fantasia coordinates and updates our volunteer information, and she will be able to provide you with the necessary information and paperwork when requested.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

Photo: Winter sport has commenced!

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From Mr Canil

18.05.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

THOMAS IS LOOKING FOR YOU

Someone once asked Gandhi, the great Hindu peacemaker, why he had rejected Christianity. Gandhi said he never rejected Jesus. He just couldn’t find many Christians that actually lived like Jesus taught.

I wonder what Gandhi would say if he visited our school, church, families and community?

An important reality about Jesus’ Resurrection is that people often need some proof to really believe in it. We can be like Thomas who found the disciples’ story hard to believe until Jesus appeared and showed him his wounds.

If we look we can become convinced about Jesus’ victory over death because of Catholic heroes: people like Oscar Romero, a Central American bishop who was martyred because he protested oppression or Mother Teresa of Calcutta who lived and worked with the poorest and marginalised in Calcutta encouraging others to follow in her examples. We can see Jesus’ wounds in every person who sacrifices time, sweat, or blood to ease suffering or stand for good.

This Easter season, the fifty days after Easter Sunday ask yourself whether a doubting Thomas could see the resurrected Jesus in your daily life. Could someone come to believe in Christ by watching how you treat family, friends and work mates? Would someone praise God because of how you sacrifice for the poor? Would someone believe the Gospel’s message because of how you take risks to do the right thing?

If Gandhi followed you this week, what would he say?

This week discover ways in which you can bring about the presence of the Risen Christ.  Through the smiles you give to a lonely person and the laughter you bring to a frown. Heal the sick by encouraging someone who has been put down by their peers or giving a loving touch to a family member who is discouraged. Let the shadow of your love be felt this week.

Catholic Education Week 2022

Catholic Education Week is about celebrating the excellent teaching and learning across Catholic Education SA. It is a great opportunity for families to explore the benefits of a Catholic Education. During Catholic Education Week 2022, we say ‘THANK YOU’ to the dedicated, caring, hard-working staff and students who make Catholic schools in SA so special!

Catholic education week was held last week and the school celebrated by having a few hours of learning with their buddy classes in the nearby park last Friday.

Photo gallery below with snapshots from the day.

How well do we know our school??

Another beautiful area of our school. Have you seen it before, do you know where it is??

Sacramental Program 2022

Preparation for both Confirmation and Communion are continuing. Here are some important dates for our candidates and families to place into your diaries:

Presentation of Candidates 21/05/2022 (6:00pm Mass) Mass or 22/05/2022 (Any Sunday Mass)

Practice for Confirmation/Communion 31/05/2022 (7pm at the Church)

Confirmation Ceremony 2/06/2022 (6:30pm or 7:30pm)

Holy Communion Mass 5/06/2022 (1:30pm or 3:30pm Mass)

If families have not nominated a time for receiving the sacraments yet or wanting to confirm dates and times, please contact Emma at the Parish Office on Ph.8332 0600 as soon as possible.

Attending Mass regularly is part of the sacramental preparation and we encourage all families to join this partnership with our Parish. If you have any questions about the program or eligibility or; if you are considering starting your children’s Religious Journey with the Sacrament of Baptism, please contact Franco Canil at the School Office or email fcanil@sjms.catholic.edu.au

This Week’s Sunday Readings are:

First Reading: Acts 15:1-2,22-29

Second Reading: Apocalypse 21:10-14,22-23

Gospel Reading: John 14:23-29

Also, as a quick reminder that Mass times at St Ignatius Church, Norwood are:

Saturday: (Vigil) 6:00pm

Sunday: 8:30am, 10:00am, 5:00pm

“We are all a reflection of God’s love”

Franco Canil

Acting APRIM

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Message from Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

14.04.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

What a term! It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the first term of the year. It has been both challenging and rewarding. Trying to navigate COVID, home and face-to-face learning, building programs, trucks, excavators etc! As we make our way to the end of the term, I thank you all for your patience and support of our community.

Over the next 2 weeks, work will begin on the Koala Crossing at William St. We look forward to this happening as it will provide another layer of safety for the students when crossing the road.

Next term, we will be able to access the Performing Arts Studio. As well, work will begin on our Nature Play area and the re-surfacing of our Netball / Basketball courts. We look forward to this work being complete so that we can fully utilize our play space. I thank the staff and especially the students at William Street for their patience as this work continues.

Holy Week

Over the past few days, the children in R/1 and 2/3 have helped us to reflect on the significant moments in Jesus life during this week. On Monday, we reflected on the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. On Tuesday, we reflected on both the Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet. The Passover meal. On Wednesday, the classes participated in praying the Stations of the Cross with depictions of these stations illustrated by our Year 4 - 6 students. These are significant events for Christians around the world. When I was at mass on the weekend, Fr Michael referred to Holy Week as the Grand Final. For Catholics and Christians everywhere, this week is Grand Final week. Jesus love for humanity was obvious and yet, sometimes it begs the question; who do you think Jesus was?

Jesus was a Jew. He was baptised by John the Baptist, his cousin, and began his ministry in Galilee. He had a well-developed reputation as a healer and gathered a group of disciples around him without regard to gender, status or background and celebrated their unity through the sharing of meals. Opposition to him reached a climax during a Passover celebration in Jerusalem where he was arrested, tried and crucified.

Jesus’ message was centred on the Kingdom of God. His message was communicated through parables, proverbial sayings, the Lord’s Prayer, table fellowship and miracles. The Kingdom of God was open to all people including, the destitute, the sick, the crippled, the tax collectors and sinners.

As we come to the end of Lent, it is good to renew our efforts to pray well. When the followers of Jesus asked him to teach them to pray he gave them the ‘Our Father’. That prayer shows us how to speak to God as a loving parent and carer.

Lent ends on Holy Thursday and we move into the holiest days of the year. We call these days the Paschal Triduum. These three days, from sunset on Holy Thursday to sunset on Easter Sunday are the Christian Passover Feast.

Easter is not just one day but a whole season of fifty days lasting until Pentecost. We take longer to celebrate Easter than we take preparing for it during Lent.

On behalf of the staff, I wish you all a happy and holy Easter.

I look forward to seeing the children return to school on Tuesday 3 May.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

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Message from Mrs Vassallo-Wakefield

25.03.22

Dear Parents and Caregivers

As I write this newsletter, I cannot believe that we are only 3 weeks away from the end of the term! Although we have had some of our community affected by COVID, I thank parents and caregivers for being vigilant and keeping their child at home when unwell. Please continue to monitor your child for COVID related symptoms if unwell and do not send them to school. I thank everyone for their patience as we navigate this tricky time.

LENT Week 3

The readings for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year C are a call to repent and return to the Lord.

The first reading tells of how Moses encountered God in the burning bush. The psalm sings of God’s kindness and mercy. In the second reading Paul tells us to learn from the past. And in the gospel Jesus warns people to change their ways. He also tells the parable of the fig tree.

God gives us many opportunities to grow, but we must not resist his efforts to help us mature in faith.

This week we are asked to consider the following question:

What needs to change in my life to grow in faith?

NAPLAN

Hopefully, many of you would have seen the Advertiser or our Facebook page last week regarding our NAPLAN results for 2021. We are extremely proud of the significant efforts and improvement of our Year 5 students in NAPAN in 2021. The article noted that student results “had shown increases in their scores significantly greater than both the national average gain and the improvements made by students at similar schools”.

Of all the Diocesan schools in the Eastern Star project, SJMS was the only school named and 1 of only 6 Diocesan Schools to achieve these results across South Australia. This is a result of the intervention and teaching strategies implemented by all staff at SJMS and our commitment to improving student outcomes from 2018 to 2021. Well done everyone for your hard work.

Preparations are now well underway for this year’s NAPLAN. We are preparing the infrastructure to ensure that IT equipment is ready for this year with students participating in a state wide practise this week.

School Board AGM

Our School Board AGM which was planned for Wednesday 30 March at 6:30pm in the Piazza will now be delivered online as we are still unable to meet face-to-face in schools. All families will receive via the Skoolbag app a copy of the Reports that would have been presented on the night. As well, a link will be provided to families so that you can access a brief message from the Chairperson of the School Board, P&F and myself.

Performing Arts Studio / Building Update

Our PAS is almost complete. We had the pleasure of being able to access the area today and take some photos to share with you. We hope that once restrictions are lifted we may be able to share this space with the wider community.

Over the holidays, there will be resurfacing of the asphalt and hopefully markings for basketball / netball courts to be completed. Construction for our Nature Play area will also commence during this time.

We look forward to a completely transformed space in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely

Grace Vassallo-Wakefield

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