St Joseph's Newsletter

05 December 2019
Issue Thirty-eight

At St. Joseph’s we hold the care, safety and wellbeing of children as a central and fundamental responsibility of our school. 

Principal's Report
Deputy News
Education in Faith
Christmas Choir Minstrels Walk
P&F Report
Amber's Take Home Meals
Joey's Giants News
Alison's Tennis 2020
Dates to Remember
St Joseph's Primary School
03 9528 1614
28 Sandham Street
Elsternwick, Victoria, 3185

Principal's Report

9 School Days To Go


Dear Families,

We cannot wait for our very special Prep Nativity Story assembly on Friday.  Don't miss out, it is going to be stunning and we suspect, standing room only. 

A special thank you to the talented Ms Bowman (LSO) for making these gorgeous costumes. 

Staffing News

It is with tremendous joy we announce that Mrs Tobin (one of our amazing Deputy Principals) and her husband, Hugh, are expecting their first child in mid-2020.  We look forward to celebrating and being swept up in the excitement in the coming months.  In time, we will shuffle the decks and request staff to cover aspects of Claire's pivotal role within our community while she takes some precious family leave.  


Cyber Safety Message

This week, we contacted Susan McLean, Australia's foremost expert in the area of cyber safety and young people. Susan has presented in our community twice in recent years; such is the value we place on the rapidly emerging problem of inappropriate use of the internet and social media platforms in primary aged children.  We hope to work with Susan again in 2020, with the expectation that all parents from Years 3-6 attend this vital session.  A date has yet to be confirmed.  


Susan closed out her email by saying she is working with a primary school-age student, groomed by a predator in the USA, after her parents allowed her access to Tik Tok, Instagram, Discord and SnapChat. She said she cannot understand why parents allow their children on sites that are 13+ (which is ALL Social Media).


In recent months, we have noted a significant increase in the number of students accessing social media sites that are not intended for their use. At school, it is impossible for teachers to police these 'out of hours' activities, however it becomes our concern when the fall out from these chat groups spills into the classroom and when teachers have to deal with the resulting friendship disputes.


Your support in monitoring and helping our students best navigate the complexities and peer pressures in a rapidly emerging social media platform would be appreciated. At the end of the day, we simply want the best outcomes for our students at St Joseph's, as the well-being of our students will always be the driver and primary focus.

Semester 2 Report Access

In Week 11, you will receive your child's report online via the nForma Parent Portal. Instructions on how to access this were distributed earlier this year to the email addresses provided to the school. 


All families new to the school in Semester 2 received an email today, with instructions on how to access the Portal. If this email does not appear in your inbox, please check your junk/spam folder, as it is an automated email from


It is highly recommended that all parents check their password and account access before Week 11. If you have forgotten your password, please follow the 'forgotten password' link. If you have requested a password reset and the email does not appear, please look in your junk/spam folder.


If you do not access the Parent Portal before the end of the school year, and find that you cannot open your child's report, teachers will not be able to send home individual student reports over the Christmas period. If you have any questions or issues, please contact Claire Tobin as soon as possible.

Advent Celebration

How special it was to join our Junior School and their families for the first of three Advent liturgies to be held over the coming weeks.  Led by Year 1, the children did a beautiful job presenting at this prayerful gathering on Wednesday morning.  Many thanks for coordinating the liturgies, Miss Dillon.    


Parish News - Christmas Mass


'Moving Up' Day

Next Friday, all students from Prep - Year 5 will have their moving-up session. Students will spend a short time with their class and new teacher for 2020, in preparation for the new school year.   This has always been an exciting time for our students and we sincerely thank our staff for the considerable investment in establishing these classes. 


Please note a CareMonkey will be sent out this week with all classroom teachers, specialists and support staff for 2020.  

St Vincent de Paul Hampers of Love

You're amazing! It is with a deep sense of gratitude we thank our families for kindly donating for our 'Hampers of Love' campaign.  This year, we have been collecting gifts and food items to distribute to families in need in our local community. St Vincent de Paul has also requested cleaning and personal hygiene products (dishwashing liquid, spray and wipe, shampoo, moisturiser, shavers, etc) and, to date, we have been overwhelmed by your generosity.  Thank you for your ongoing support. 


Learning Diversity and PSG Meetings

Congratulations to Bek Skehan, our teachers and LSOs for the incredible amount of work/investment that has gone into the writing, evaluation and delivery of Personalised Learning Plans for some of the students in our school. The feedback from parents has been most affirming, acknowledging the significant investment and care of all staff. We also sincerely thank our parents for their partnership and advocacy, as we look to build upon these wonderful achievements in 2020.  So proud of our team! 

Year 4 Camp Wyuna

This week, our Year 4s headed off on their much anticipated camp to Queenscliff, Camp Wyuna. This three day, two night experience with their teachers and parent volunteers continues to be the highlight for many of our students in their final year in the middle school.  We sincerely thank Miss Nolan, Mrs Pepper, Mr Hartney, Jane Rudden, Leanne Veli and Sherelle Fyfe for so generously offering up their time for our children. 



Maths Olympiad 2019

We are just a 'little bit' proud of our Maths Olympiad students for 2019.  In particular, we congratulate the girls above (Stella, Eliza, Scarlett, Sophie, Erin, Lucy) who won the team challenge and were presented with an award for their top 10% results among the 40,000 entrants.  A special thank you to Mr Hartney for supporting the students with this valuable program. 

Karate Gradings

Congratulations to our next generation of 'Karate Kids'. Karate gradings were held at school on Monday with most students receiving their next rank. We are pleased to acknowledge four girls reached their green belt which was a great achievement!


Reminders 2019

  • 9th Dec - School Closure (Planning 2020 & Student handover)
  • 10th Dec - Board & P&F Drinks (Elsternwick Club from 6pm)
  • 13th Dec - End of Year Mass 12pm and  BBQ & Picnic 4pm
  • 18th Dec - Last day of Term 1pm

Key Dates 2020

  • Thursday 30th January - Students Return 
  • Friday 7th February - Welcome Mass & Picnic/BBQ
  • Tuesday 11th February - Georgia Manning (parent information session) 'Friendships in the Primary Years'
  • Friday 21st February - District Swimming Carnival
  • Friday 28th February - School Athletics Carnival 
  • Thursday 5th & Friday 6th March - School Closure 
  • Monday 9th March - Labour Day holiday
  • Friday 13th March - Grandparent's Day
  • Monday 16th - Friday 20th March - Year 6 Canberra Camp
  • Friday 27th March - Harmony Day & Last Day of Term

What a privilege to be part of this stunning school community,


Simon Collis



Hang in there students and staff.




Deputy News

Technology Holiday Guide for Parents

As the holidays approach, the role that screens and devices will play may become an increasing concern for parents. Days when kids are usually tied up with school and activities make way for many an idle hour and, as such, parents fear those hours will be spent largely engaged with a screen or gaming console. While there is certainly no harm in some well-balanced screen time and developmentally appropriate online activities, we must remember that, as parents, we have an important role in helping our kids manage and balance that screen time. Please remember - TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram are NOT for primary aged children. 


Below are a few things we can do, as written by the wonderful parenting guru, Michael Grose:


Understand the battle
It is important parents know the 'beast' they are dealing with. It is easy to shout from another room to get off a screen or whinge to our friends that ‘kids of today’ are all addicted to their phones, but we need to recognise the pull that many of these devices have. The social networks are designed to keep us 'liking', commenting and sharing. The games cajole us into having ‘just one more’ turn at being the last man standing. These technologies tempt us to reach just one more level, or to scroll for just a few minutes more. Our brains experience a dopamine release and a sense of insufficiency when we use a device. There is always something else to do or something else to scroll through, or one more YouTube video to watch. So our kids are up against it when trying to control their time on a device. We need to help them with that.


Get outside
We can complain that kids never go outside and play anymore, but sometimes we have to physically get out there with them or offer opportunities in which being outside and active play are appealing. We have to work a little harder at this today because we are competing with a device that answers many of our kids’ perceived needs. We need them to know that their needs are greater and more varied than what their screens can offer.


Have some rules
Despite their apparent dislike of rules around technology, kids will (one day) appreciate having boundaries to help them manage their screen time. Rules can be established regarding time limits, devices in bedrooms, device-free meal times, etc. Whatever you decide is important, be sure that you have those discussions with your kids. And any discussion around rules or consequences should happen away from the screens so they are clear on the expectations. (Talking about their screen-time habits while they are just about to be the last man standing on Fortnite is probably not going to make for engaging conversation.)


One console on one television…outside the bedroom
Having only one television that is connected to a gaming console or to Netflix is a good way of ensuring that the device gets shared and one child doesn’t monopolise the screen. And leave consoles out of bedrooms where the appeal of just one more quick game can very quickly rob them of important sleep time.


Role model
Make sure you are showing your kids how you want them to be. Have times when the devices are put away and you give full attention to the people around you. Don’t answer calls or emails at the dinner table. Don’t fall asleep with a device landing on your forehead. Take time to get outside and do things active and in nature. Don’t ever use a phone while driving. Use the Screen Time feature on iOS products to monitor just how you are using your technology and whether you could be making some changes [edit: please see my Deputy News from Thursday October 11th, 2018 for more information on enabling Screen Time controls on iOS]. Kids learn more from what we do than what we say.


We know the technology isn’t going anywhere, and we know there are many wonderful benefits that screens provide. But, ensure that holidays and downtime hours can be filled with many different experiences and in ways that leave your kids in control, even if you have to work a little harder to give them that.


As always, you are welcome to stop past the office or send me an email if you would like to meet. 

Have a wonderful week everyone! 

Claire Tobin

Deputy Principal/Student Wellbeing

Education in Faith

St Vincent de Paul 'Hampers of Love'

It is the last week to donate to our Hampers of Love. Thank you so much for your generosity so far! We are still collecting gifts and non-perishable food items until Friday (tomorrow). Please continue to give generously. Thank you to the SRC and Social Justice Leaders who have done a superb job of organising and reminding their classmates to donate. At our meeting on Tuesday, the SRC leaders brought down the donations so far and placed them under our decorated tree.  


End of Year Mass

We warmly welcome you to celebrate Mass with us as a school community on Friday 13th December at 12pm. It is a chance to be grateful for all that 2019 has given us and reflect on the year that was. Please feel free to sit with your child's class for this special occasion. 

Christmas Masses


Sacramental Dates 2020

  • Confirmation - Thursday 21st May @ 7pm (Year 6)
  • Reconciliation - Tuesday 2nd June @ 6:30pm (Year 3)
  • First Eucharist - Sunday 18th @ 6:30pm and Sunday 25th October @ 10:30am (Year 4)

Sunday's Gospel

Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appears in Judea preaching a message of repentance.


Family Connection

We do many things to get ourselves ready for our celebration of Christmas: purchase gifts, prepare Christmas cards, decorate our homes. John's call of repentance in preparation for Jesus reminds us that our repentance is another way in which we can prepare for the Lord's coming and our celebration of Christmas. Parish communities often offer a communal celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the Advent season. Your family might choose to participate in the communal celebration of the sacrament, or you might seek out the sacrament on an individual basis.


Read together today's Gospel. Talk about how John reminds the people that they prepare for the reign of God by reforming their lives. As a family, prepare a simple reconciliation service in preparation for Christmas such as the following: Gather in a prayerful space, perhaps around your family Advent wreath. Read again today's Gospel: Matthew 3:1-3. Invite each family member to pray silently, asking God to forgive their sins. Pray together an Act of Contrition. Then celebrate God's forgiveness by sharing a Sign of Peace with each other.

Loyola Press, 2020


Elly Dillon

Religious Education Leader

Christmas Choir Minstrels Walk

On Tuesday 17th of December, the St Joseph's Christmas Choir will be walking to Orrong Road Kinder and Victoria by the Park to sing Christmas carols to the respective audiences. 


They will be leaving school at around 9:20am to visit the Kinder first. Then they will walk to Victoria by the Park for more carols. The children should return to school around 12:30. Children can wear sports uniform on the day as they will be walking. 


They are welcome to bring a Santa hat or reindeer ears etc to add a touch of Christmas cheer to their school uniform! If you would like to come along as a parent helper and have your WWCC, please email Siobhan Staunton


Thank you to Miss Staunton and all the Christmas Minstrels for their efforts and for bringing joy and Christmas cheer to the wider Elsternwick community.

P&F Report

Class Representatives for 2020

As we are almost ready to close out the school year and we have our new P&F committee on board, we will be calling for volunteer parents to act as class representatives for 2020.  Examples of tasks that may be undertaken can include contacting (via email) parents to communicate information about class specific events such as Mother's Day Stall and Cake Stalls.


If you would like to nominate for this role or would just like further information, please contact either:

Fleur Gladwell

Steph Carden


Please consider taking on this role as it is very rewarding to be involved with your child and their class activities.




Amber's Take Home Meals

Next week on the menu a few freezer favourites perfect for the upcoming summer break….



beef & veal ragu made with carrot, celery, onion, a splash of red wine & tomatoes 

is slow cooked for hours then layered with fresh pasta sheets, mozzarella & 

topped with a creamy béchamel sauce & grated parmesan cheese

suitable to freeze

small $18 medium $30 large $38

small serves 2 adults  medium serves 3-4 adults large serves 4-5 adults




a favourite recipe I come back to time & time again especially during this season of over-festivity!

fragrant & mildly spiced moong dal (yellow split lentils soaked overnight for easy digestion) 

simmered with cumin, turmeric, fresh ginger, curry leaves & plenty of seasonal veggies

the addition of coconut & sweet potato gives this dal a yummy creamy base

serve with steamed rice, roti bread, pappadums or just a slice of sourdough to soak up the flavours

suitable to freeze

$17 serve 2 adults or 4 as a side dish


How To Order

place your order by 5pm Friday 6 December

email your order to


please note - orders received after the cut off time may not be able to be filled



Meal Collection

You are welcome to collect your order from my kitchen in Elsternwick


St Joseph’s customers can collect orders from the school tuckshop kitchen on 

Tuesday 10 December between 3.15 - 4.00 pm

Please let me know if you cannot make it at this time & we can make other arrangements





Meal Delivery

Meals can be delivered by arrangement to your front door on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday 

afternoon depending on your location

Please leave out a cooler bag & ice bricks for your order or I can provide these for you to keep for a cost of $5


Minimum order  $30

Elsternwick, Caulfield  Free

Elwood, Balaclava, East Brighton $5

St Kilda, Brighton, Prahran, Albert Park $10 

Orders over $80  Free



How to Pay

Cash on collection or direct deposit

Direct Deposit details -

Cooked For You

Bank ANZ

BSB 013 445

Account Number 231 503 449

Reference - your surname & date of meal 

Joey's Giants News

Joey Giants End of Season Celebration

We had 20 teams playing in the Joey Giants Basketball Club this season and the following 4 teams celebrated premiership wins last week : 

  • Joey Giants Sparks (with Coach Lauren Underwood & Grade 1 boys)
  • Joey Giants Pizza Boys (with Coach Matt Hall & Grade 2 boys)
  • Joey Giants Silver Bullets (with Coach Lisa Jones & Grade 3 boys)
  • Joey Giants Red (with Coach Jamie Dixon & Grade 3 girls)

We farewell the Gr 6 Joey Giants Black boys team with Cam Sanderson as Coach.


Well done to all the players, Coaches and Team Managers in 2019.   We are already looking at 23-24 teams in 2020!!




Alison's Tennis 2020

Tennis at St. Joseph’s commencing Term 1 2020

I really enjoyed doing the tennis program with Mrs. Howell at the school and I feel there were some children who would benefit doing tennis at St. Joseph’s before school.


Please talk to your children and ask if they are interested.

If your child is interested in starting tennis with me next year I suggest you book now.


Please email Alison Leydin at

With your details

Or call me on                      0417 577 694


Slow Flow Yoga session with Babysitting

Davey Black Sports Performance now offers a babysitter for your kids downstairs in the Fitness Studio while you complete your relaxing Yoga session upstairs.

The Slow Flow Yoga session runs from 5:30-6:30pm, and kids can be dropped into the downstairs studio from 5:15pm and picked up by no later than 6:45pm.

Vanessa is an experienced baby sitter who will entertain your children in the Fitness Studio downstairs at 244 Glen Eira Road while you complete your Yoga session.

If you would like more information about Vanessa or session details, please email us:



Dates to Remember


Monday 9th

School Closure Day


Tuesday 10th

Board & P&F Drinks -  6.00pm – 7.45pm


Friday 13th

End of Year Mass - 12:00 – 1:00pm

End of Year BBQ and picnic - 4.00pm to 6.30pm


Monday 16th

Reports go home

Year 6 Graduation -  6.00pm


Wednesday 18th

End of Term - 1.00pm



St Joseph's Newsletter
Joey Giants Flyer for 29th Nov 2019.pdf