Artist in Residence

We all want to develop the best relationship with our child. The foundation of a good relationship begins with sound communication between parent and child. In 2024 St John Paul College (SJPC) has been fortunate to have secured the services of Mr Maurizio Vespa as one of its 'Artists in Residence'. 

Maurizio is a communications consultant who specialises in restorative practices. Why not come along and see what you can take from this practical approach to building positive relationships? During his residence at SJPC he will:

  • Work with our staff on the use of effective statements and the skill of de-escalation in the midst of a difficult situation.
  • Explore the importance of positive relationships in the workplace.
  • Workshop how to get the most out of your relationship with your child.
  • Work with groups of College Student Leaders on managing conflict through problem solving conversations.

Students are welcome and encouraged to attend as some activities will involve parents interacting with their child. 

Please click on the link below to RSVP, Monday 26 February 2024 at 6.30pm-8pm in the College Hall.

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Our first Playgroup for 2024 will be on Wednesday, 21st February.

Bec Gale, our new Wellbeing Officer, joins Helen Hunt this year in facilitating Playgroup and we are looking forward to welcoming many new families both from our school and from the wider community. 

Everyone is welcome, from babies to preschoolers!

Playgroup Program 

9:00am-10:00am - run by Helen Hunt & Bec Gale
In the Library (Casey Learning Centre)

  • Storytime
  • Craft/Music 

During this time we encourage you to help your child choose books to borrow from our Preschool bookcase located at the library desk. A love of books helps develop a love of reading!

10:00am-11:00am - run by parents
Rainbow Playground/Sandpit (behind Kindergarten)

  • BYO Fruit/snack

After 10:00am, parents and carers are encouraged to take their child/children out to the grass area for fruit or a snack (please bring your own) and the children can play on the playground equipment behind the Kindergarten classrooms. You are welcome to stay until 11:00am which is the school lunch break. This is a great way to meet new families.

During the term we will be having guest storytellers, including Mrs Lewis, Mrs O'Shea-Miller and some live music from Mrs Ryan.

Please sign in at the school office on arrival, using the either iPad or the QR code.

Email addresses allow for easy sharing of information. Please share your email address with Helen 

Donation - to support our Playgroup we ask if you could give a gold coin donation, or purchase a coffee, tea or hot chocolate from the canteen. Mrs Burbridge cooks special treats for sale each week and is ready and able to supply coffee/tea/hot chocolate and a treat for the parents before or after Storytime and Craft! There is an EFTPOS machine at the canteen for your convenience.

Toilets - please use the toilets located at the Hall. There is also a baby change table available there.

Playgroup is not just for our children but also for our mums, dads, grandparents and carers to get to know each other. Our aim is to build community, so please know everyone is welcome!

Helen Hunt and Bec Gale
Playgroup Coordinators

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Stage Parent Representatives

We are seeking Stage Parent Representatives for 2024. Stage Parent Representatives are our ears to the community. Over the school year, Stage Parent Representatives organise one or two events to bring parents and carers together. If you’re interested in being one of our valued Stage Parent Representatives please let your child’s teacher  know or contact the school office.

Bec Gale, Josh Dalton & Helen Hunt
Wellbeing Team

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Student Wellbeing

Wellbeing Programs

The Wellbeing Team would like to extend a warm welcome back to school to all our parents, carers and students. This year there will be programs running to aid students with addressing self-esteem, wellbeing, resilience, anxiety, self regulation and social skills. If you think your child may benefit from one of our Wellbeing Programs please contact the school office and a referral form will be sent home. 

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Spotlight on Learning

We are excited to announce the launch of our Early Bird Reading Club at our school library! Beginning this week, nivaranwe will be hosting Early Bird Reading sessions every morning from 8:30am to 8:55am. This initiative is designed to foster a love for reading and improve literacy skills among our students.

During Early Bird Reading, all students are invited to come to the library and read their home readers to another student or parent. This not only provides an opportunity for students to practise reading aloud but also encourages peer-to-peer learning and interaction.

Reading is a fundamental skill that serves as the foundation for success across all Key Learning Areas. By strengthening students' reading abilities, we empower them to excel in all aspects of their academic journey.

To make Early Bird Reading even more enriching, we are extending a warm invitation to any parents or carers who would like to listen to the students read. Your involvement in Early Bird Reading not only supports your child's academic growth but also fosters a sense of community within our school. Together, we can instil a lifelong love for reading and learning in our students.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop and witnessing the positive impact of Early Bird Reading on our school community.

Suzie Coster
Leader of Learning 

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Parent Forum

Parent Forum

The Parent Forum will be holding its first meeting for 2024 on 19 February at 6.30pm. The Parent Forum is a fun and inclusive group of parents who are always keen to welcome new members. The Forum meets twice a term with the option of attending in person or via Zoom. The Parent Forum is responsible for:

  • providing opportunities to build strong family partnerships
  • contributing to the creation of a vibrant, welcoming school community
  • providing a voice for parental input into school matters
  • supporting school initiatives
  • fundraising, with all funds spent on improving facilities and opportunities for students.

You do not need to commit to attending EVERY meeting and helping with EVERY event! We understand that families are busy and welcome the contribution of all, regardless of how much or how little. 

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All Things Learning & Teaching


NAPLAN Assessments will commence in Week 7 of this Term. Our Year 3 and Year 5 students will sit assessments in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. Over the next few weeks information will be provided for parents about NAPLAN beginning next Friday with our Coffee and Conversation session.  If you are a parent of a Year 3 or 5 student or if you have any questions, please come along next Friday for a coffee and a chat about all things NAPLAN.

Michaela O'Shea-Miller
Acting Assistant Principal Learning & Teaching

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This week we began preparations for Lent with pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Thank you to all the families who contributed pancakes and donated to Project Compassion fundraiser. Students will receive a Project Compassion box to take home, with families encouraged to donate what they can, and return the box in Week 10. 

Ash Wednesday marked the official beginning of the season of Lent: a period of 40 days of preparation leading to Easter, the greatest feast of the Church. We celebrated Mass with Fr Joy, who talked about the importance of prayer (talking to God), fasting (going without something we typically enjoy) and almsgiving (helping others) as a way to deepen our relationship with God and be ready to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection at Easter.

Katrina Ryan
Assistant Principal Mission

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Registration for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist (Communion) is now open and available to students in Years 4 (and above) who have already received Confirmation. If you wish to enrol your child, please refer to the Compass email sent last week. Enrolment is online via the Google form linked in the Compass communication and must be completed by 23 February. 

Information regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation (for baptised students in Years 3 and above) will be shared later this term.

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Attendance Focus

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves. Help your child to learn that going to school on time, every day is important.

Reinforcing the idea that attending school regularly is crucial for a positive school experience. Foster a love for learning by encouraging your child's natural curiosity. 

Help your child to see school as a place to explore new ideas, discover interests, and develop a lifelong passion for learning. Foster positive social connections at school by encouraging friendships. Knowing that they have friends to look forward to can motivate children to attend school regularly.

Caroline Lewis

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Faith & Mission

Year 6 Commissioning

Last week recognised our Year 6 students at a special liturgy, commissioning them as the leaders of our school. They were recognised in their various ministry teams and presented with Year 6 shirts and badges, blessed by Fr Joy. We know that our Year 6 students will make wonderful role models and are looking forward to their demonstrated leadership in 2024.

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Parent Information Night

We will have limited child minding available for families during our Parent Information Night.
Parents are encouraged where possible to make alternative arrangements for their children, however if you require care for your child/children we ask that you please fill in the form below to secure a spot.

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Music Tuition Vacancies

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Road Safety is a Back to School Essential

As children return to school, it is essential to keep safety in mind. Talk with your children about safely getting to and from school.

  • Keep children safe getting in and out of the car. Always use the door closest to the kerb.
  • Keep children safe by walking distraction-free. Expect your child to take off their headphones while walking.
  • Keep children safe getting on and off the bus. Wait at the bus stop and stand at least one step back from the road's edge. Always meet your child at the bus stop. Never meet them on the opposite side of the road and call them across. Wait until the bus has gone before crossing the road. 
  • Keep children safe while using wheeled transport. Children must wear a helmet when riding a bike in any public place – it is the law. Foot scooter, skateboard and rollerblade riders should wear helmets and protective equipment.

Be a positive role model when you are a pedestrian, passenger and driver. Children learn from what they see, as well as what we say.

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From the Principal

Greetings and welcome to the commencement of the 2024 school year!

I am thrilled about the incredible initiatives and activities we have in store for the coming months. Our school is fortunate to have an exceptional team comprising dedicated teachers, learning assistants, support staff, and Leadership Team members. A warm welcome goes out to our new additions: Michaela O'Shea-Miller, our Acting Assistant Principal Curriculum; Jim Hollindale, our new Stage 3 teacher; and Amy Marks, our new Stage 1 teacher. We are also excited to welcome Amanda Mackenzie in Stage 3 and Amy Carroll in Stage 1 as new Learning Assistants.

As we embark on this new academic year, we find it crucial to share our priorities with you, our valued parents and guardians. This collaborative approach ensures that together, we can actively engage in and support the educational journey of your children while working towards the best possible outcomes. The overarching theme guiding our efforts this year is 'Serve Every Learner.'

Within this theme, our focus areas include enhancing writing skills, specifically concentrating on sentence construction. Additionally, in the realm of Religion, we will delve into our school's rich story and history, ensuring that students gain a comprehensive understanding of our Jesuit and Mercy Charism. This groundwork holds particular significance as we gear up for special events in 2024, marking our 30th anniversary as a school.

I am confident that with your involvement and support, we will create a learning environment that empowers every student to thrive. Here's to a successful and fulfilling academic year ahead!

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Prayer Focus

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Message from Transport for NSW

The NSW Government wants to make it easier for parents, carers and their children to walk or ride their bikes to school.

Please share your feedback on this Community Consultation for travel to/from school by clicking on the link below. 

It closes on 28 Feb 2024.

Data shows that less than one in four children in NSW currently walk or ride to school. This is a substantial decline compared to previous generations. Making it easier to walk or ride would provide enormous benefits to children, including:

  • improved health and self-confidence
  • learning how to navigate our streets and public spaces safely
  • setting lifelong sustainable travel habits.

You can have your say on walking and bike riding to school by completing a survey, taking a quick poll or sharing your ideas. Your feedback will help the NSW Government understand what things would need to change to encourage more parents and carers to walk or ride with their children to school more often.

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Items for school students 2024

The following items need to be provided by parents for each student:

Headphones, art shirt, two boxes of tissues and a library bag.

Stage 1
Headphones, art shirt, two boxes of tissues and a library bag.

Stage 2
Headphones, art shirt, two boxes of tissues, library bag, pencil case, coloured pencils, red & blue pen, textas (not Sharpies), four highlighters, one glue stick.

Stage 3
Headphones, art shirt, two boxes of tissues, library bag, pencil case, coloured pencils, red & blue pen, textas (not Sharpies), four highlighters, one glue stick, eraser.

Sharon de Dassel
Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

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Mini Vinnies

Christmas Hampers

Mini Vinnies are still accepting donations for Christmas Hampers.  The Hampers will be given to needy families in the Woolgoolga area and will be filled with non-perishable Christmas treats.

We would greatly appreciate donations of the following items:

  • Biscuits
  • Christmas puddings/cakes
  • Pavlova Shell
  • Bon bons/Christmas decorations
  • Mixed fruit & nut

Please ensure all food items have a ‘best before date’ of later than 25 December 2023.

All donations can be left at the school office or in the classrooms.

Thank you for your support.

Helen Hunt & Michelle Henry
Mini Vinnies Team

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Certificate of Recognition recipients

Congratulations to all Certificate of Recognition recipients for Week 8. Keep up the great work!

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