School Newsletter

Edition 23: Term 4, Week 6

What you'll find in this week's Newsletter:

  • From the Principal
    • Transition Visits
    • Staffing Updates
    • Class Placements for 2024
    • Advent and Vinnie's Christmas Appeal
  • From the APRIM - Religious Education News
    • St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
    • Advent
      • The First week of Advent: December 3
      • The Second week of Advent: December 10
      • Advent Calendar
    • Upcoming Parish Events
  • From the Leader of Learning - Classroom Highlights
    • Year 1/2 STEM Expo
    • Year 5/6 HASS Excursion to Parliament House & Government House
  • School News & Reminders
    • Socktober Soccer Shootout
    • Year 5/6 HASS Excursion: Parliament House & Government House
    • STEM Mad Challenge
    • ICAS Assessment Participants
    • Some more photos from the End of Year Performance
    • School Card Applications
  • OSHC News
    • OSHC Reminders

Diary Dates

Term 4

Sunday 26th November⛪️ Family Mass at Sacred Heart Church at 9am
Wednesday 29th November✝️ Year 3/4 Unit Reconciliation Mass
🎒 2024 Rec/Pre Transition Visit #3
Wednesday 6th December🎒 2024 Rec/Pre Transition Visit #4
🌈 2024 Pre-Entry Meet & Greet at 3.30pm
Thursday 7th December✝️ End of Year Mass at Sacred Heart Church at 6.30pm
Monday 11th December🎓 Year 6 Graduation Dinner
Tuesday 12th December🌈 Preschool 'Blue Group' Graduation
Wednesday 13th December🌈 Preschool 'Gold Group' Graduation
⏰ Last Day of Term 4, 3.00pm finish
Thursday 14th December📣 Pupil Free Day - OSHC Available
Friday 15th December📣 Pupil Free Day - OSHC Available
Monday 18th - Friday 22nd December😃 Vacation Care
25th December - 5th January 2024☀️ School Holidays
🎄 Vacation Care CLOSED for Christmas/New Years Break
Monday 8th January 2024😃 Vacation Care Returns
Monday 29th January🏫 Term 1 Begins

Term Dates

Term 4Tuesday 17th October - Wednesday 13th December

From the Principal

Transition Visits

Last week we began the first of 4 transition visits for our 19 students who will begin Reception with us in Term 1 2024. Our Reception teachers, Therese Slattery and Diana Comitogianni will both engage with our ‘Little Joey’s’ over the coming weeks and these students will later join with the 2023 mid-year Receptions in Mrs Marshall’s class to begin to forge relationships with the rest of their 2024 Receptions peers.

Our 16 new Preschoolers for Term 1 2024 also began their pre-entry visits last week, giving them an opportunity to meet their teachers and engage with new friends who will continue at Preschool in Semester 1 next year.

Staffing Updates

We have had three staff members who have been offered and accepted positions at new schools from 2024.

Firstly, our APRIM, Katie Downie, has won the APRIM position at St Monica’s School, Walkerville. Katie has worked with us for just over 12 months and in this time has lead staff, families and students in developing our Catholic Identity as a school. Of particular note has been Katie’s development of the On Sacred Ground project where she has developed and implemented whole school curriculum based upon Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, engaging students in learning about the importance of caring for our common home.

Our EALD (English as an Additional Language or Dialect) teacher, Sarah Kostiw has won a permanent, full-time position at Immanuel College Primary as Literacy Coach. Sarah has been working with us two days per week supporting teachers with ensuring students with other language backgrounds can access the curriculum and progress their language learning.

Lastly, Rachael Saint has won a teaching position at Christian Brothers College beginning 2024. Rachael has worked as a part of the Year 1/2 teaching team for the past few years and has been a valuable member of our staff, contributing to many committees and school and social events.

Due to these movements, our staffing for 2024 is not yet finalised and families will be updated when all 2024 staffing is in place.

Class Placements for 2024

Finishing off one school year and anticipating the next can be a worrying time for students and their families. As you know, teachers are hard at work collaborating with each other to organise class placements for next year.  All students have been asked to identify some students that they are friends with and know they can learn well with, and each will have at least one person from this list in their 2024 class.  Class placements will be finalised and shared with you along with your child’s report on Monday of the last week of school.  Students will get an opportunity to meet with their new teacher and classmates on this day also.

Change is an inevitable part of life and often it is through change that we further develop important life skills such as resilience and social adeptness.  Change can help us expand our horizons with new experiences to help us stretch and grow. Madhavi Nawana Parker from Positive Minds Australia has some very helpful advice about navigating the uncertainty of class placements.  You can read it here.

Advent and Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal

As we move into the final part of the 2023 school year, I am mindful that we are also moving towards Advent, an important part of the Catholic liturgical year. Officially beginning on December 1, Advent is a holy time where we are invited to prepare our hearts and minds for the joy of the Christmas story. In our secular and commercial world, this time is promoted as a time to get ready for Christmas by spending money on items to make the day special; be it presents, decorations or special food or drinks.  As we approach the lead up to Christmas, I invite you to also take the time for reflection and prayer, for quiet time to contemplate the coming of Jesus and the impact that God’s love can, and does, have on our everyday life and encounters with each other.

With the spirit of Advent in mind, we have now launched our 2023 Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal. We know there are many families in our local community and beyond who struggle to make Christmas a special time of celebration. One way that we can share God’s love is through the giving of our time, care and, where possible, material help to those in need.  Last year, the generosity of the St Joseph’s School community was astounding. 

From the APRIM

Religious Education News

St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal

Don’t forget the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal is being launched this week. We would love for this appeal to be as successful as last year. below are some suggestions for donations. every bit helps so please donate what you can!


The Advent Wreath is used to symbolically commemorate newness, eternal life, and the death and resurrection of the promised Messiah.

Lighting of candles is a prominent feature of each week’s commemorative celebration. Advent begins on Sunday four weeks before Christmas, with one candle being lit each of the Sundays. candles and the light they produce reflect the light that came into the world with the arrival of Jesus Christ.

in most traditions, the lighting of the four candles is meant to be done as a family as well as at Mass on the weekend and will often reflect on the hope, faith, joy, peace, light, and purity that came into the world with the gift of the Messiah.  Advent candles have meaning and symbolism for the Advent season.

The first, second and fourth Advent candles are coloured purple, whilst the third is rose coloured. As a Christian tradition, the wreath holds the four Advent candles.

The First week of Advent: December 3, 2023

Candle name: The Prophecy Candle

The First Week of Advent Represents: Hope

Candle Colour: Purple

Purple is the primary colour associated with Advent. within the Catholic Church it symbolises penance, preparation, sacrifice During The first week of Advent we remember the Old Testament prophets who foretold of Jesus’ coming with hope and anticipation.

Scripture Reflection: ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.’ Isaiah 9:2

Advent Wreath Prayer: Dear Jesus, you are the hope in our messy world. This Advent, help us slow down, listen to your voice, and focus on what is really important. We place our hope in you as we prepare out hearts to celebrate your birth on Christmas. Amen

The Second Week of Advent: December 10, 2023

Candle Name: The Bethlehem Candle

The Second week of Advent Represents: Peace and Preparation

Candle Colour: Purple

During the second week of Advent, we reflect on our lives and work on becoming better versions of ourselves in preparation for Jesus’ coming. We remember the journey Joseph and Mary took from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Scripture Reflection: ‘And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.’ Luke 2: 4-7

Advent Wreath Prayer: Dear Jesus, you entered our world on Christmas as the Prince of Peace. This Advent we strive to become the best versions of ourselves, fill us with a deep and abiding peace. help us share that peace with everyone we encounter, especially those who need it most. Amen

Advent Calendar

Advent is a really special time of the year. As a family it gives you the opportunity to reflect on the year that was and to be grateful the many things achieved throughout the year and for the family you have. Below is a calendar of suggested thing you can do each day leading up to Christmas. Some are an act of kindness, making someone’s day better or simply doing something together as a family. Teaching our children the gift of helping others and being grateful will help them to become appreciative of the world they live in and the opportunities they have been given.

Upcoming Parish Events

We are very lucky to be involved with a very welcoming and busy Parish Community. Below are some upcoming events with the Church that are being held over the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Blessing of Cribs – 2nd Sunday of Advent

Saturday 9th December 6pmOur Lady of the Manger, 176 Crittenden Road, Findon
Sunday 10th December


Sacred Heart Church, 252 Port Road, Hindmarsh

11amOur Lady of the Manger, 176 Crittenden Road, Findon

Parish Christmas Carols in the Courtyard

Sunday 17th December6pm – 9pm

Sacred Heart Church Courtyard

** Bring own chairs and rugs **

Christmas Eve

Sunday 24th December6pmOur Lady of the Manger, Findon (Children’s Liturgy) **
7pmSacred Heart Church, Hindmarsh (Children’s Liturgy) **
12amSacred Heart Church, Hindmarsh (Carols at 11:30pm followed by Mass)                                  

** Children are encouraged to dress in costumes appropriate to the season e.g. angels, shepherds, wise men/women- etc.**

From the Leader of Learning

Classroom Highlights

Year 1/2 Class STEM Expo

Last week, our year 1/2 students took centre stage at their class STEM Expo, showcasing their ingenuity. Tasked with addressing the global issue of light pollution, they meticulously designed and constructed a streetlight prototype. What sets their project apart? The use of recycled materials from our loose parts collection, demonstrating both creativity and sustainability.

Year 5/6 HASS Excursion to Parliament House & Government House

In Week 2 of this term, the Year 5/6 unit attended an excursion to Parliament House and Government House. This educational journey provided our students with a unique opportunity to delve into the workings of our state government, gaining valuable insights into the roles and responsibilities of our elected representatives. 

The day began at Parliament House, the very heart of our state's democratic process. Nestled in the heart of the city, this iconic building welcomed our eager students for a day of exploration and discovery. The students had the privilege of touring the various chambers, including the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, where important parliamentary sittings take place. 

Guided by knowledgeable educators and experienced guides, our students gained a comprehensive understanding of the legislative process. 5/6TDP were lucky enough to have local MP Olivia Savvas as their tour guide. The tour allowed students to appreciate the significance of the democratic system and the vital role each elected representative plays in representing the interests of the people. 

Following the insightful visit to Parliament House, our students ventured to Government House, the official residence of the state's Governor. This historic building, surrounded by lush gardens, provided a stark contrast to the bustling parliamentary chambers. Here, our students learned about the ceremonial and symbolic aspects of governance, gaining an appreciation for the traditions that have shaped our political landscape. 

The students were treated to a guided tour of Government House, exploring its grand halls and impressive architecture. They discovered the role of the Governor in our constitutional monarchy and learned about the various ceremonial functions hosted at this prestigious venue. The visit to Government House offered a unique blend of history, tradition, and contemporary governance, enriching our students' understanding of the multifaceted nature of state leadership. 

Since this excursion, students have had the opportunity to participate in a mock parliamentary session, where they assumed the roles of elected officials. This has not only fostered a deeper understanding of parliamentary procedures but also ignited a sense of responsibility and civic duty among the students. The students are now drafting 4 different bills regarding our school community where they want to make change. They have engaged in lively debates which has allowed them to experience the complexities of the decision-making process within a democratic framework. The students will consolidate their knowledge of ‘The Passage of a Bill’ process with these relevant school issues over the coming weeks as they exercise their rights as citizens living in a democracy. 

From this excursion and classroom learning, the students are demonstrating a newfound appreciation for the democratic process, a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of our state government, and a sense of civic pride.

School News & Reminders

STEM Mad Challenge

We are thrilled to share some fantastic news! Our STEM Mad teams nailed it with national certificates for their top-notch tech integration and embodying Catholic ethos, outshining 65 contenders! But wait, it gets better! Grok Academy fell in love with the 'Saving Water' prototype and gifted us a Micro:bit class pack and other rad educational goodies! Congratulations again to our teams and a major shoutout to Deborah from Catholic Education South Australia for supporting our kids throughout the project.

ICAS Assessment Participants

Celebrating our brilliant students who aced the ICAS assessment! 🌟 ICAS, a global academic challenge in English, Maths, and Science, has been pushing boundaries for over 40 years across 41 countries.

Hats off to our stars: Amelia, Lotye, Alessio, Chaamin, and a special shout-out to Tishaa for hitting the top 2 percent nationwide in English for year 6! 🎉 Way to go, team! 🚀

Some more photos from the End of Year Performance

Socktober Soccer Shootout

Incredible day at the Socktober Soccer Shootout! The Year 3/4 students nailed it, and our kids had a blast scoring goals for a great cause! Thank you for helping us raise money for children in Timor Leste – your support makes a difference! Socktober is a program by Catholic Mission, raising funds for global children's programs. This year, our focus is on projects in Timor Leste. Our amazing students crafted soccer balls from recycled and donated items like old t-shirts and socks. Every goal kicked today brings us closer to making a positive impact!

School Card Applications

School card applications close 24 November and must be received at the school office by end of day, 20th November. 

Thanks 😊

OSHC Reminders

  • The Vacation Care program will be out on Monday 27th November, and booking can be made online via the spike app from 9:00 am.  Bookings will close at midnight on Friday 8th December. Families will also need to complete a consent form to have your bookings confirmed. More information on how to do this will be shared with fmailies via Audiri.
  • Vacation care dates are from 18th to 22nd December 2023, and 8th to 25th January 2024.
  • There are also 2 pupil free days on the 14th and 15th December. Please book your children in via the spike app.

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    At St Joseph’s Hindmarsh, learning is co-constructed and dynamic.  Learners are encouraged to IMAGINEDISCOVER and CREATE and to make meaningful connections with their world.  

    As capable learners they are given opportunities to develop capabilities that build their confidence and skills to engage with the curriculum and ACHIEVE excellence.