Every child has the opportunity to shine

St Joseph’s, Wingham’s mission is to develop engaged and confident learners who make a positive impact on society. 

Through our mission we aim to offer a wide range of experiences and opportunities encompassing a holistic education which focuses on not only the academic success of our students but also the physical, personal and faith development of our students.

One such area of opportunity for our students is through the Creative Arts. 

2021 was to mark the 20th anniversary celebration of St Joseph’s Wingham’s “Joey’s Annual Festival of Arts” or JAFA, sadly COVID restrictions have caused us to postpone this until 2022. 

For the past 20 years the students and staff of St Joseph’s have put on an evening of entertainment for their school and wider community with the students showcasing their talents in the creative arts including, drama, dance and music. 

The students and their teachers spend time during term 3 to develop their public speaking, drama, dance and singing skills enabling them to feel confident enough to perform on stage. 

Culminating with each class performing a short play and every student in the class involved in the performance with a speaking part. 

Another aspect of JAFA is the in between acts.  Students are also encouraged to create their own dance or musical performance as in between acts which are selected through an audition process.

This has become a highly anticipated part of the evening with students from Kinder to Year 6 often working on their performance piece during their free time from the beginning of the year. 

One of the most valuable aspects of JAFA is that every child in the school has the opportunity to be part of a performance on the stage of the Manning Entertainment Centre. 

The pride and sometimes surprise of our parents in seeing their children excelling on stage is such a wonderful reward for the hard work that goes into preparing for the event. 

One of the most enjoyable parts for the teachers is seeing children, who are often more reserved and quiet, coming out of their shell and becoming confident performers on stage.

Each year we have a number of our past students who are now in high school returning to assist back stage with production and it is always wonderful to hear them share their memories of JAFA with staff and students. 

Our school is very excited about reaching the 20 year anniversary of JAFA in what has become a much loved tradition at St Joseph’s.

Published in The Manning River Times 

Photo taken by Callam Howard

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