Fathers drive festivities at St Joseph’s Primary School

The school drop off at St Joseph’s Primary School, Kilaben Bay looked a little different on Friday.

Driving up to the school fathers and carers were greeted by brightly dressed staff members, keen to celebrate the important role they play in students’ lives ahead of Father’s Day.

Upon reaching the drop off point, they were handed white bags, decorated by their children. The bags were filled with breakfast treats, including a bacon and egg sandwich, made lovingly by staff.

It was a change of pace for fathers and carers, who in years gone by, have been invited to a Father’s Day breakfast on the school grounds, followed by a special liturgy. 

The concept for the drive-thru Father’s Day breakfast came about on the back of a similar, and very successful, Mother’s Day event that was held while most students were still learning from home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time the school principal, Mrs Reid, was seeking to engage mums and carers in a COVID-19 safe way and conceived the idea a drive-thru breakfast, which would bring them some connection to the school.

The concept was so well received by mums that with coronavirus restrictions still prohibiting parents and carers from being onsite, the school decided to host a similar event for fathers.

Mrs Reid said that build strong relationships with mothers, fathers and carers is a crucial priority for St Joseph’s Primary School staff.

“Most parents work fulltime these days, and many don’t have a lot of time to visit the school regularly. By celebrating days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we can connect with the families.

“Parents visiting the school demonstrates a partnership in the educational journey of each child. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not able to have fathers onsite. Therefore, the drive-thru allowed us to highlight the importance we place on our relationships with our fathers.”

Andrew Edwards, whose daughter Carys is in Year One at St Joseph’s, was one of many fathers who collected a breakfast package. He said that the concept was appreciated, particularly as he’d not been able to spend any time at the school in recent months.

“It’s fantastic that it allows us to connect with the school. It’s been great to see both staff and students here this morning,” Mr Edwards said.

All up, 130 breakfast packages were prepared and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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Lizzie Watkin Image
Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.