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A Message from the Principal – Issue 33

Dec 6, 2018


Parents, thank you for your support for our staff during the 2018 school year. During 2018, we have been making every day count! Much has been achieved and as our staff, students and families move towards the 2019 school year, the focus will now be directed on a number of key priorities which flow from our Cyclic Review earlier this year.


A snapshot of 2018

At the commencement of the 2018 new school year, the initial planning work by our Architects, Parry and Rosenthall was abruptly halted when CEWA withdrew all Funding to schools for Capital Development Projects. Our Master Plan which highlighted a number of future staged facility upgrades, such as improvements to our administration block, teaching space refurbishments, carpark and school entry point improvements had to be placed on hold. The requirement for schools to rely upon their own finances for these capital works, sadly meant the ‘breaks’ had to be applied to this planning. Whilst this halt of our ‘dreaming’ was frustrating, the project will still be progressed, albeit staged with careful consideration of which upgrades hold the highest priority. Planning will continue to consider minor upgrade works and any adjustments to the current facilities that can optimise student learning opportunities.

During 2018, we have been working towards a greater integration of technology in our classrooms across all curriculum areas, with Rachael Araujo’s appointment as our Lead ICT teacher. Rachael will continue to support teachers and students in this role next year. This year, classroom teachers engaged in quality conversations around the effectiveness of teaching and learning strategies, as our trained profilers Natalie Millar and Nadene Andrews worked across the school in classrooms to facilitate professional conversations which were targeted at providing feedback to teachers about their teaching practices. This mentoring will continue next year.

Our ongoing work with Literacy has this year shown an improvement in our 2018 NAPLAN scores that were reflected across all areas of English. Our improved results, demonstrate the efforts of our students and staff and the combined commitment to our dedicated literacy hour. We look forward to seeing this trend continue again next year. While our work in literacy will continue we now move our focus to maths and the implementation of strategies across our school to mirror this wonderful growth in this learning area too.

To further develop our aim of streamlining communication, during 2018 we launched our new website, implemented a new newsletter format and introduced the Connected App to disseminate information to families. With your feedback, we continually work to improve this area and provide better parent communication processes that will serve to keep our families informed. Whilst there is a place for SMS, Email, Newsletters, Website information, Social Media and good old fashioned paper letters, we understand that at times, the many modes of communication can bombard parents. Moving forward, we strive to make it easier for all families to know what is going on in our school, and most importantly build a more regular and positive profile that more overtly showcases the wonderful work that happens in and around our school on a daily basis.

In 2019, Francis Jordan will be one of a group of trial school supported by CEWA, to roll out a new social media initiative that aims to extend the catchment of our school’s profile and promote our school positively within the community. As this platform is rolled out it will become the initial entry point of contact and our school profile for those engaging within the social media environment. As we move into 2019, our K-6 teachers will consistently use the Class Dojos format as a communication platform to keep families connected to what is happening in their child’s classroom and to communicate easily with their child’s teacher.

Our theme next year is  – “In 2019 – Let’s ROAR – roar standing for
Respect others
Own your actions
Act Responsibly
Rise to any challenge

In 2018, we were joined by a number of fresh new staff, Luke Shaw our second AP, brought a wealth of curriculum knowledge and has been a valued and supportive member of the Leadership Team. Courtney Pearmine, our wonderfully bright and energetic Year 6 teacher with a rich Indigenous Heritage has worked tirelessly as our Gecko’s co-ordinator to build a greater awareness of indigenous culture and keep our meeting place project moving forward. The culmination of Courtney’s work is a beautiful mosaic art piece that will sit in our planned meeting space. This artwork which will be unveiled to our school community on Friday was created with the help of Courtney’s family and our Year 6 students. Monica Gilhooley joined our team as our dedicated music teacher, and has capably worked alongside the instrumental staff to keep our music and instrumental program moving forward. We also welcomed Jacqui Fernando to Kindy and Claudia Black to our Front Reception.

I extend a heartfelt thanks to our entire team of dedicated and committed teaching and support staff and Administrative Officers, Technical Assistants and Groundsmen who have collectively nurtured and cared for our beautiful Francis Jordan Students this year. As you know, working in a school is not a 9-3 job and I am very conscious and appreciative of the time and effort that is given by individuals daily and the individual talents and gifts that are shared as our staff go about their work. Each day our staff touch the lives of our students in so many ways. Building on the foundations from family, your kindness, patience, dedication and genuine care for our students assists our children as they grow into polite, considerate and hardworking young individuals, who represent the spirit of Francis Jordan Catholic School so well. Thank you for the time you give to provide this valuable support to our students. Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions in that it gives teachers an opportunity to make an impact on a future generation, however it is also extremely challenging and hard. Being a teacher takes patience, dedication, passion, and the ability to regularly do more with less. It is a journey often filled with just as many valleys as mountains. Our staff at Francis Jordan arrive early and stay late and regularly continue working from home, I know that for most, finding a balance between personal life and professional life is tricky. No two students are alike and it is an ever-present and time-consuming task for our teachers to utilise data and observations in order to find the appropriate resources and the right approach to meet every student where they are at. Despite all of this, our entire staff constantly impress me with their professionalism & their commitment.

Parents, thank you for placing your trust in the capable staff of Francis Jordan, as they have guided the learning journey of your child this year. I wish to also especially thank our many, many, generous volunteers who have assisted in our school in some way during the year. The support and assistance you have given to help out is invaluable and very much appreciated. As partners in this important journey to educate and nurture your child, we all collectively contributing to each child’s learning journey.

I especially thank and acknowledge our dedicated Board Members who have worked alongside me again this year. The Board, through their discussions at monthly meetings have continued to advocate in their decision-making around finance and policy that promote a positive direction for our school. I have appreciated the support, guidance and commitment of the Board while working to promote the best interests of all children and families. I especially thank Guy Paragalli, our outgoing Board Chair who has served in this role for 6 years and has been generous and available with his time to support me. I especially wish to sincerely thank Danielle Oliphant, Trish Anthony and Devin Martin for their individual contributions and their dedication and commitment to board membership as they now step away from their roles. I wish to acknowledge the work of Shannon Britten who has joined our board this year as the P&F representative and thank Robert Rees for his continued work as our finance representative on the board.

We warmly welcome Ryan Rafferty, Keris Gordon, Tim Tolley, Gareth Jacob and Jason Baker who were recently elected to board membership at our AGM and who will join Robert Rees as our 2019 School Board.

Our hard working and energetic Parents and Friends executive, committee, and non-committee members, under the guidance of Shannon Britten, along with our class reps, have provided ongoing support and commitment to our school. I personally wish to thank each individual on behalf of our staff and students for their ongoing involvement to attend and organise fundraising events during the year. These events have contributed accumulated funds donated to the school amounting to approx. $50,000.00 which will be used in 2019 to support the purchase of literacy resources, garden projects, playground activity stations and outdoor seating along with some classroom furniture upgrades. As Shannon explained at our recent AGM, the P& F are a small but dedicated group of working parents who regularly give up their own valuable time to help our school. This year, Keris Gordon is especially acknowledged for the time she gave organising our first and very successful colour run. To each member of the team, please know that your work is very much appreciated, whether it be by helping at disco’s mother’s day or father’s day stalls or sports events. This small but dedicated group could really do with some extra support and recognition from the wider school community. Please consider how you might be able to assist our school next year and take up the flag to join this important group and contribute to how we can all build and maintain a positive school culture at Francis Jordan.

I thank Damian Purcell and Luke Shaw for their support on our leadership team during 2018. The role of the Assistant principal is a critical one and the generosity and commitment that these gentlemen bring to their roles to work closely and collaboratively with me to maintain a shared understanding of all school operations has been appreciated. I appreciate their ongoing capacity to use their skills and initiative to ensure the multitude of school operational matters are attended to when competing agendas arise. I thank them for the way in which they have undertaken their leadership in their designated sectors this year and provided an efficient point of contact and advocacy for staff, student and parents of their sector.

As we farewell Betty Mc Kay and Yvonne White who are both retiring this year, we acknowledge that each has notched up 19 years of service within Catholic Education, Betty has completed 14 years of service on staff here at Francis Jordan. Yvonne has been with us for 11 ½ years of her total time of 19 years in Catholic Education. As long-serving staff both at Francis Jordan and within Catholic Education, WA; Yvonne and Betty are very much valued for the contributions to Francis Jordan and their dedicated work with our students over their time at our school. Betty and Yvonne will be officially farewelled at our staff lunch next week.

This year we sadly farewell 3 of our valued and hard-working Education Assistants – Marina Deans, Julie Holden and Jacquie Fernando who will taking up a position at Our Lady of Mercy – Girahween. Ladies, your contributions to our school have been so very much appreciated over the past two years. We will certainly miss you.

Teaching staff who we will sadly farewell are; Laura Hunter, Monica Gilhooley and Natalie Millar who will be transferring to Padbury Catholic in 2019. Luke Shaw also leaves us this year to take up his appointment as AP at St Brigits. Finally, Marg Brown will be away during 2019 as she takes 12 months leave.  To all of our wonderful staff who are leaving, we wish you well and extend our thanks to you for your individual contributions during your time at our school. This year we especially honoured 3 veteran staff; Steve Gelle, Marg Brown and Wayne Horrocks who have each notched up 20 years of service at Francis Jordan Catholic School!  Congratulations to these staff.

In 2019 we will warmly welcome back to our teaching staff; Suzie Giannasi, Rebecca Baran, and Ella Redding and our AP Gloria Ward, along with Miranda Swann  who will take up the role of Short-Term Principal, while I take time away from this busy role. While I will find it strange to step off the treadmill for a whole year, I know that our beautiful school is in safe hands, both with Miranda joining our team and with many current and returning staff.  While I walk a pilgrimage through Spain and France, spend precious time (which you don’t get back) with distant and aging family and do some volunteer work, Miranda will be value adding to our beautiful school with her own talents and expertise to ensure our school remains a vibrant and valued school on the Northern Corridor. Miranda joins our school with a wealth of varied experience in Catholic Education both as a teacher and leader who has worked successfully across the areas of IT, Curriculum and Leadership, both in regional and metropolitan schools.

Finally  I share some wisdom for our Year 6 students as they move to high school:

Get outside your comfort zone
“Don’t only stick to friends who are like you, reach out and listen to those who have different interests and backgrounds, and most importantly – volunteer some of your time.

Don’t be afraid to fail
“Learn from your mistakes and persevere, remembering this quote from Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ ”

Don’t stop learning
“Take a piece of Francis Jordan with you. (Not literally.) Over time you will have absorbed not only information, knowledge and skills, but also our schools values, culture and history. Take that experience and use it to make a difference in the world.”

Know yourself and stay in touch with who you are
“Put friendships first. Your grades should never be the way you are judged. The quality of your friendships is the measure that will matter, at high school, university and beyond.

Look to the future; but take the time to get things right
“No matter whether you get the exam results you were expecting, you are at the start of a journey that is as yet undefined. Grab that precious opportunity with both hands and be bold. Get the little things right: be on time, treat others kindly and work hard.”

Be Yourself

You must learn that you cannot be loved by all people,
You can be the finest apple in the world, ripe, juicy, sweet, succulent, and offer your friendship to all.
But you must remember, that there will be people who do not like apples.
You must understand that if you are the world’s finest apple, and someone does not like apples,
You then have a choice of becoming an orange.
You must be warned that if you choose to become an orange, you may be a second rate orange.
But you will always be the finest apple.
You must also realise that if you chose to be a second rate orange,
There will be people who do not like oranges.
So really, you spend the rest of your life trying to become the best orange – Which is impossible because you are an apple
Or you can seek again to be the finest apple
The choice is yours.

As we bring our school year to a close, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. For those travelling over the break, I wish you a safe journey.  To any families who are leaving our school, we send our blessings with you and wish you a smooth transition to your new locations. I congratulate our children for yet another productive and successful school year and wish them all a wonderfully fun holiday full of adventure. To our staff, rest up and enjoy the well deserved break after yet another busy year full of your wonderful work and your ongoing dedication which is very much appreciated.

I am certain I will miss all of the wonderfully warm and smiling faces of our Francis Jordan community next year and I look forward to hearing all about the events of our year as it travels along. I wish Miranda Swann and our staff another successful year as they continue to keep our school moving forward positively during 2019.


2019 Fee Information For Parents 

Find attached important two important links to take you to information regarding 2019 School Fees

Fee letter 

Fee Schedule



As we commence Advent this week, we remember that Advent is a time of waiting in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus and signals the new liturgical or church year.

A simple explanation of the themes and importance of Advent can be found at: Understanding Advent

This clip breaks Advent up into 4 main themes; hope, peace, joy and love. During Advent, at Church we see the colours change to purple and the Advent wreath adorns the sanctuary. We pause, pray and prepare for Christmas.



St Simon Peter Parish 25th Anniversary celebrations

Thank you to Reagan Hollywood and Riley Bogdanich who will be representing our school on Sunday at the Special Mass  with Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey to celebrate the 25th Anniversary. I thank both boys for their generosity to attend this special mass and put on their school uniform even though school has broken for the holidays.


A Smooth Transition to Secondary School

For those parents of our Year 6 students who are feeling a little unsure of how to help prepare their child for secondary school, Michael Grose has produced an article entitled, “Making a Smooth Transition to Secondary School.”

Click here to view “Making a Smooth Transition to Secondary School.”



Notification Of Revised Morning Supervision Time 2019

Reminder: From the commencement of 2019 school year, a minor modification to morning supervision time will be in place to meet our requirements for staff hours of duty. From February 4th, all students will be permitted on school premises from 8.10 am onwards. At this time, students will be required to be in the hardcourt area where staff will be on supervision duty once the bell rings at 8.10am.  Students are not permitted on school grounds prior to 8.10 and all students who are on the school premises will be required to be booked into OSHC. A second bell will ring at 8.25 when all students will then be required to move to classrooms so that formal lessons can commence once the final bell sounds at 8.30 am. The morning play routine is a wonderful way for students to connect with their friends for a friendly game of 4 square or a catch up conversation prior to the school day which builds student connection and friendship.


Fr Adam Szustak

Father Adam Szustak who is a Dominican Father from Poland who travels around the world and presents inspirational talks. He has been invited to Perth in January to present workshops. Although he usually speaks to Polish community, the organisers have arranged to have professional headsets with English translations to extend this opportunity to the broader community. There is no cost involved to attend the workshop, however, organisers would appreciate a donation upon attending, that will assist in covering Fr Adam’s flights, accommodations and expenses while he is in Perth. Please refer to the poster on the school notice board outside Pre-Kindy for more information.Fatherwill be speaking at the locations below

Sunday 06/01/2019 at 6.30pm at St. Simon Peter Church 20 Prendiville Ave, Ocean Reef
Monday 07/01/2019 6.30pm Our Lady Queen of Poland 35 Eighth Ave, Maylands.  For more information about Father’s work go to – YouTube – Szustak in English or Contact Gabriela – 0410537457 or Ada – 0431695495


Kidz OT Holiday Services 

Kidz OT Services Practice is located in Edgewater/Joondalup – Unit 13/1 The Gateway, EDGEWATER (near Spotlight), and currently provides soft tissue occupational therapy. Please follow the link to see an outline of the paediatric services they will also be providing  at a school holiday program during January, targeting 2019 kindergarten to Year 2 students.


Term Dates 


Term 1 First Day of Term February 04
Student Free Day March 01
Labour Day Public Holiday March 04
Last Day of Term April 12

Term 2 First Day of Term  April 29
Student Free Day May 31
Public Holiday WA day June 03
Last Day of Term July 05

Term 3 Student Free Day July 22
First Day of Term July 22
Last Day of Term September 27

Term 4 Student Free Day October 14
First Day of Term October 15
Last Day of Term December 13




God, our Father, may the presence of Your Spirit be evident in our Francis Jordan Catholic School community. Help us to be large of heart, broad in vision and generous in working for the common good of this

School Community entrusted to our care. Amen


Blessings for a wonderful Christmas and New Year

Enjoy the holidays

Wendy Manners






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