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In this issue

Gawura News
Key dates
World Cup Mufti (Kindergarten to Year 12)
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Sports news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Uniform Shop news
Parenting tips
What's happening in the Art Space?
Recycling project
G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite Workshop
Puzzles, Riddles and Codes Extension Club
School Holiday Programme
Code Camp Programme
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Gawura News


As this is the final Gawura newsletter for the year I cannot believe that we are approaching the last fortnight of Term 4. I had the pleasure of attending the Ensemble Evening last Friday evening 18 November and to see the amazing array of our Indigenous students performing in instrumental groups or singing in various choirs was truly pleasing. I am so glad to see so many of our Gawura students take up this opportunity to learn an instrument and be part of our wider school community.

We have seen our 6 new Kindergarten students attend an Orientation Day and an Afternoon Playdate in the past few weeks and we look forward to them joining our school full time in 2023.

On Tuesday 29 November we will hold our last GPAC Meeting for the year to be held in our school Council Room from 2.30pm-3.10pm. We will be speaking about the Gawura Strategic Plan and the opportunities where you can be involved in creating and participating in the plan itself. If you are unable to attend in person, I will also text our Gawura families an online link where you can join from your laptop or phone during that time.

Next Friday evening 2 December we will be holding our Year 6 Graduation Evening. We wish the very best to Annie and Tilly and Jenarose who will be joining our secondary school in Year 7 from next year. The girls will be greatly missed but as is the joy of our connection with the secondary school at St Andrew’s Cathedral School, we will still see them around and especially during our cultural excursions and On Country Tours for many years to come.  Please keep an eye on the Dates to Remember section so that you can see what is happening in the final fortnight of the school year.

Finally I would like to thank you all for your wonderful support throughout the year. We are blessed to have so many wonderful students and families as part of our Gawura School. The last day of school will be Thursday 8 December.

I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing December and January school holiday and a most blessed Christmas. We look forward to seeing you again in 2023.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura



Key dates

Wednesday 30 November, 9.30am
EOT Awards Assembly

Thursday 1 and 8 December, 9.30am
Carols in the QVB
(Junior School carol singers)

Thursday 1 December
World Cup Mufti (Sport Uniform and jersey)

Friday 2 December, 1.30pm
Year 6 Graduation ceremony
Year 6 Graduation dinner, 6pm – students only

Tuesday 6 December, 6.30pm
Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving 

Wednesday 7 December, 9.30am
Junior School and Gawura Picnic Day

Thursday 8 December
Term 4 concludes – students

Friday 9 December
Term 4 concludes – staff


World Cup Mufti (Kindergarten to Year 12)


Thursday 1 December

To celebrate the World Cup, all students may wear Sport Uniform and a jersey of their choice. The jersey can be from any sport. If a student does not have a jersey, they should wear Sport Uniform to school. The SRC have organised the day and there will be some fun World Cup style competitions including a staff-student penalty shoot-out on the roof! Gold coin donation for the day to be handed to teachers to raise money for our Anglicare Christmas Hampers that our Year 10 students are packing.

QVB Carol Singers are asked to wear their Full School Uniform and change into their Sport Uniform and jersey after.

Mr Brad Swibel
Deputy Head of School (Secondary)


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Thank you!!

I wonder, what are you grateful for? Last week our North American friends celebrated Thanksgiving, and it is a wonderful reminder to us in Australia to also pause and reflect on the many things which we have to be grateful for. I am certainly grateful for our Gawura and St Andrew's Cathedral School community; students, families and staff and the way in which everyone has so generously supported our Service-Learning activities this term. Students in Kindergarten to Year 2 have been finishing their year by expressing their gratitude to those who have helped them through creating and writing cards of thankfulness, perhaps you received one?

Our Toys & Tucker collection, organised by our Year 3 and 4 students, in collaboration with our Year 10 students, saw hundreds of items being donated from our school community. This overwhelming generosity will be shared with those in need within our local communities over this Christmas period. Thank you to all the families who contributed to this!


Christmas Tag stall

Our Year 5 and 6 Christmas Tag stall raised funds for Anglican Aid’s Adjumani Refugee School in Uganda and was also wonderfully supported. The stall was run by the Student Representative Council. We are looking forward to a representative from Anglican Aid coming to accept this donation and speak with students about the impact that the money will have.


At St Andrew’s we seek to develop hearts that love, minds that grow and lives that give and I think you will agree that our Gawura and Junior School are certainly living this out. Thank you for your contributions and support of these meaningful activities.


Mrs​​ Bronwyn Wake
Junior School & Gawura Well‑Being Coordinator and Psychologist/Counsellor


Music news


Bigger Better Brains!

Parent Information Session
with Dr Anita Collins
1 February 2023, 5.30pm


We are looking forward to welcoming renowned Neuromusical Educator Dr Anita Collins to St Andrew's Cathedral School on 1 February 2023.

Dr Collins is a leading researcher and teacher who has spent her career convincingly advocating for evidence based music education. She is an inspiring speaker, and her research has exposed and reinforced the enormous impact that music has on all learning. She has written a book called The Music Advantage and is also the creator of the well-known Ted Talk about "How playing a musical instrument benefits your brain"

We invite parents to hear Dr Collins speak to our school community at 5:30 pm on 1 February. Please register here.
This is a free event.

This session will be particularly useful if you:

  • Have a child learning an instrument
  • Are considering enrolling your child in instrumental lessons
  • Are interested in the cognitive benefits of music education
  • Have a child in Year 3, 2023 at St Andrew's Cathedral School. Year 3 in 2023 will be involved in an Instrumental Programme. We will share more details about this programme prior to and on the evening of 1 February.


Congratulations to Marcus Chau (Year 5) for achieving an A+ (High Distinction) in his 2nd Grade Saxophone exam and to Violet Bloxsom on achieving Honours in Grade 1 Piano Repertoire. What wonderful results!

Well done to Kate Diaz for graduating Suzuki recorder Level 1, as well as Flute Level 1. Congratulations also to Ryen Hu on graduating Level 1 recorder.

Please continue to send through any exam results to so that we can celebrate these achievements in the newsletter throughout the year.

Congratulations also to the many students who performed in the Junior Ensembles Night last week. It was such a joyous occasion to witness, and we are so proud of all the students (approximately 160 of them!) who performed. Thank you to our parents for your support of the event, it was a pleasure to have you there to watch your children sing and play.

End of Year - Music Ensembles

Mrs Robertson has sent out information detailing which groups are performing at the different end of year functions. It also details when the last rehearsals for each group take place. Some are Week 8 and others are Week 9 so please check this email carefully and send your child’s instrument for any performances.

Music tuition - Enrolment and discontinuation 

Please note that music tuition enrolment will continue into 2023. You do not need to re-enrol in order to continue with your current tutor, however, as per the terms and conditions of music tuition, you must discontinue before the last day of term if you no longer wish to receive lessons in 2023. If you do not currently learn an instrument but wish to commence lessons in 2023, please fill out the form here.

Mrs​ Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


Library news



If you haven’t got around to reading it yet, in the most recent edition of the Head of School Newsletter, Dr McGonigle made a convincing case for students to write every day during the upcoming summer holidays. The library would like to add our heartfelt support to that aim by providing the best inspiration to write… which of course, is to read books!

To that end, we have launched a number of summer holiday reading initiatives. We’d love to see as many students and families as possible participate, upload snaps to our #GetCaughtReading padlet and come back to school ready to share stories of reading adventures that happened over the break.

1. Summer reading challenge
The library has printed a list of 100 places to #GetCaughtReading over the summer. Students are encouraged to take a copy of the list from the library and use it to take photos of themselves reading in as many places as possible. Photos can then be added to our #GetCaughtReading Padlet. Click on this link to add photos of your children reading in all sorts of fun places to inspire them and others to read everywhere! The padlet has been set up as a world map, so please feel free to add photos from the spot in the world they were taken.

2. Read with a friend
In these last weeks of borrowing, students can choose a book from our “Read it Together” display which has some of our favourite reads with two or more copies. Students can borrow the same book as a friend and connect over the summer to chat about their favourite scene. Everything is more fun when you share it with a friend. Parents can also ask their child(ren) to choose a book to read together as a parent-child book club. The library will allow students to take an extra copy home for parents, carers or grandparents.

3. Holiday borrowing commences 28 November 2022
Students in all grades can borrow double their usual loan limits. Encourage your child(ren) to stock up on books for the holidays. Librarians will encourage students to borrow a balanced diet of books to read for pleasure and for challenge. The library will highlight books that inspire art and craft, LEGO creating and cooking, bush walking and star gazing, camping and bike riding.

We have had a wonderful year in the library. We’ve read, imagined, grown, researched, discovered and developed as critical and creative thinkers. Our best regards for a wonderful, sun- and book-filled break!

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information & Digital Literacy – Junior School and Gawura


Sports news


Boys Saturday sport

The Saturday season of sport for the boys concluded last week. The cricket team has enjoyed some sunny weather in the last few rounds which has not been the case for most of the year. The boys have all improved their skills out of sight from the start of the year and have enjoyed personal successes throughout the season.

The basketball team has trained hard throughout the entire year and the results on the court have certainly proved that. The four teams enjoyed success throughout the Term 4 rounds and have demonstrated their skill, teamwork and persistence.

Thank you, parents, for your commitment to get the boys to training and to games each week. We also appreciate your support and cheers from the sidelines!


Women's Sydney Sixers

Both the Saturday Junior School cricket teams and Thursday cricket co-curricular group had the privilege of meeting Stella Campbell and Angelina Genford from the Women’s Sydney Sixers cricket team. Stella and Angelina joined in for an impromptu training session on the roof before answering some tricky questions from the students. It was great to hear about their growth mindset in difficult situations and how they deal with the pressures of high intensity games. We wish them all the best in the WBBL grand final and thank them for their time, signatures, and interest in our Junior School cricket community!

Mr​ James Leedow
Junior School Teacher, Coordinator of Primary Sport


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Click here for the latest Heart, Mind, Life & Uniform awards.


Uniform Shop news


Uniform change for 2023

Next year all Junior School students will be wearing the same sport socks.

These will be the white sock with navy stripes. They are available to purchase from our School Uniform Shop, or can be ordered through the online shop via the Parent Portal.

NB: Girls summer academic socks are a calf length plain white sock (NOT an anklet sock).

Mrs Larissa Taylor
Uniform Shop Manager



Uniform Shop Hours

Please place your 2023 orders online or visit the Uniform Shop early to avoid queues. To access the Online Uniform Shop, please visit the St Andrew’s Cathedral School Parent Portal. 

Term 4 2022

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am-3.30pm – Term time only
The Uniform Shop is closed after Wednesday 7 December for 2022.

Start of 2023

The Uniform Shop is open from Monday 23 January 2023.

Monday 23 January 8am-3.30pm
Tuesday 24 January 8am-3:30pm
Wednesday 25 January 8am-3:30pm
Thursday 26 January – CLOSED
Friday 27 January 8am-3:30pm

Monday 30 January 8am-3:30pm
Tuesday 31 January 8am-3:30pm
Wednesday 1 February 8am-3:30pm
Thursday 2 February – CLOSED
Friday 3 February 8am-3:30pm

From Term 1 Week 2 2023

Resume to normal shop hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am-3.30pm – Term time only


Parenting tips


Positive parenting tips for the holidays

By Amy Webb, PH.D.

Amy Webb is a writer and mum of two who brings academic child development and parenting information into the lives of ordinary parents who can use it in their daily lives.

This is a great and timely article to have a read of.

“The holiday season is upon us and if you are a parent, you know that the holidays can bring both joys and challenges. For young children, the holidays are exciting, but also a bit overwhelming. With all the new experiences, new people and unexpected events, their behaviour sometimes is a bit unexpected too.

1. Have a pre-event debriefing

It may sound like you are part of an elite air force squadron, but really this is just a fancy way of saying: set clear expectations. This doesn’t have to be all rules and regulations (although I usually include some of those), but the idea is to have a few minutes of calm before the big holiday event to sit down with your children. During this sit-down, you can explain what’s going to happen at this event, the timeline (i.e., when are we opening presents!) who will be there, etc. Children love routine and it helps them to know when something big is happening that is outside the normal routine. This also helps clarify any rules beforehand so there isn’t any confusion about expectations.

2. Have a code word

Again, this sounds like you’re setting up for a mission (and you sort of are) but it’s really simple. A reader actually gave me this great holiday tip for parents – set up a code word that children can use with you at big gatherings if they get overwhelmed, need to find a bathroom, need a break, etc. When they have a need, they just go to you and use the code word. This is helpful because some children don’t want to be embarrassed in explaining their issue in front of other adults. This way, they can express that they have a need and you can respond, without any big scene or embarrassment. Great idea!

3. Consider your child’s temperament

This is related to the code word idea but it’s slightly different. This holiday tip for parents is one that is often overlooked. Children with different temperaments can have very different reactions to big gatherings and social situations. Introverted children may struggle with becoming overwhelmed and need a quiet place. Extroverts, on the other hand, may thrive during the party with all the social engagement but then meltdown when it’s time to leave. It’s helpful to consider your child’s possible needs beforehand.

4. Age-appropriate expectations

This is one of those holiday tips for parents that seems obvious until you are actually in the situation and then it often gets pushed aside. As best as possible, try to set your child up for success. Try not to expect your toddler to act like a 10-year-old at a big social gathering. This can be hard because, during the holidays, other adults are expecting many things of us – dinners out, meeting up with relatives, etc. Sometimes, these events are just not child-friendly, but our children often have to come along.

5. Forced affection is useless

There have been many thoughtful posts online recently about the issue of children not being forced to hug relatives or friends. This, of course, is a big change from our childhood when we were often forced to hug long-lost relatives that we had never seen before. From a young age, children can learn about consent in these simple ways. Plus, it really prevents a lot of awkwardness with relatives if they understand your child’s feelings.

6. Don’t rush

This is one of those holiday tips for parents that is, of course, much easier said than done. We all plan to be ready to leave on time but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. With young children, always allowing more time to get ready is smart. Rushing at the last minute to put on shoes and fix hair just adds stress to the event for everyone. Children sense when you are stressed and often do not respond well when that happens.

7. Encourage gratitude, but don’t force it

During the holidays, it’s common for children to receive gifts and it’s equally common for parents to want to encourage their children to be grateful for what they receive. This issue can become the bane of parenting existence during the holidays. While I’m a HUGE proponent of fostering gratitude, very young children really have a limited concept of this idea. Personally, when my children were young, I did try to encourage a “thank you” from them, but many times it’s half-hearted. To my mind, this is okay and it actually establishes a good habit of mind so they eventually learn what “thank you” means. However, if your child is resistant to saying “thank you” I don’t think it’s worth it to force the issue too much (for young children). As children mature, the expectation for expressing gratitude is higher and kids usually understand and can express it better.”

I hope you have enjoyed the articles this year and found some of them helpful and informative.

I wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and I hope the New Year is a wonderfully positive and joy filled time for you and your family.

Look forward to seeing everyone in 2023!

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


What's happening in the Art Space?


Taking journeys in the Art Space

In the Art Space in 2022, we’ve taken a journey as Art-makers and creators; we’ve worked collaboratively and individually through challenges and triumphs; and of course, we’ve learned and grown in the journey of life as we reflect, in some way, the God who is the ultimate creator, designer and maker.

Farewell Year 6 – a journey’s end

It’s always a reflective moment when we say goodbye to our Year 6 students as they head into the Middle School. We honour this moment with two projects that become special pieces for each student to take with them for the years ahead – the creation of a Book of the Journey (a 12-page illustrated book of key moments in the journey of the student’s school years thus far) and the individualised painting of a skateboard deck (for actual use or for art).


Year 4 city architects and builders

Working right up until the end of the school term, Year 4 have been active architects, town planners, engineers and builders in the creation of a small cardboard city.  Using only cardboard, measuring equipment, scissors and various glues, students have each built a small prototype house using accurate mathematical proportions, and then designed and constructed a public building or space of their choice – to create a wonderful mini city.  

The finished effect will be a ready for student viewing in the last week of term on Level 7.


Young Andrean exhibition and winners 2022

The winners of this year’s Young Andrean Artist will be announced at our Prizegiving Evening. There is a wonderful collection of entries this year, which will be exhibited in the first three weeks of Term 1 in the display cabinets on Level 7 SAH.

Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator Junior School and Gawura


Looking for a family exhibition to visit?

Bricktionary : An interactive Lego exhibition : Melbourne Museum

Who are you? Australian Portraiture : National Portrait Gallery – Canberra

Wildlife Photographer of the Year:
Australian National Maritime Museum Darling Harbour


Recycling project


They’re calling on you

During the month of November, 4N will be collecting unused mobile phones and accessories (including headphones, chargers and cables) to support Sydney Zoo's 'They're calling on you' recycling project.

Collection boxes will be located in both the Level 7 and SAH Foyer reception areas. If you are interested in recycling a mobile phone or accessory, please find a collection box and make your donation before 30 November. Remember to ask for permission if you are taking an old mobile phone from a family member or friend.

Why are we doing this?
The minerals used to make mobile phones are mined out of chimpanzees’ and gorillas' habitats in Africa, which is one of the main reasons they are endangered. An example of these minerals is coltan, a metallic ore used in mobile phones and other devices. Mining is continuing to destroy these creatures' vital habitats, which may lead to their extinction.

Who can get involved?
Everyone! Students, teachers and families of students can bring in mobile devices or accessories and put them in the box to be collected. The more the merrier; the more devices that we collect, the more chimpanzees will be saved and able to thrive in their natural environment.

Bligh Jordan and Genevieve Williams, 4N


G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite Workshop


Last Tuesday 22 November, selected students were involved in the G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite workshop. Students participated in two workshops which explored creative and critical thinking. G.A.T.E.WAYS provides highly able students with the opportunity to participate in workshops with specialist educators where they explore concepts outside of the curriculum. The content is designed to ignite curiosity and inspire young people with passion for learning.

In the workshops, students were required to think abstractly, critically and creatively to develop strategies for complex problem solving challenges. Students had to practice their executive functioning skills through a range of cross-disciplinary topics. A key avenue for developing critical and creative thinking skills was discovering the complexity of the human brain. To quote Michio Kaku "The human brain has one hundred million neurons, each neuron connected to ten thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe". In the programme, students explored brain related fields from psychology to neuroscience. Below are reflections from two students about the G.A.T.E.WAYS workshops.

Oliver Boncukcu (Year 3)

In the morning workshop I learnt about Leonardo Fibonacci pattern. This number pattern applies to us now as it can be seen in nature, music and architecture. I also learnt about tessellating shapes. For example, a pentagon has a star shape which can only tesselate if it has other shapes in between the corners. In the afternoon workshop I learnt about how the brain has many stages such as mediative, calm, excited and stress. I learnt how your brain has billions of neurons which form pathways. The neurons give signs and signals for what to do.

Rafferty McGonigle (Year 5)

I really enjoyed how the workshop presenters selected exciting topics. The first topic was neuroscience which I found seriously interesting. I learnt a lot about neuroscience. The presenter used a machine that helped to see the mood of your brain. This was very interactive and enjoyable. The second workshop was an engineering task. I liked the problems that we had to solve. We had to design a bridge and cable car. In particular, we had to think about how this could be designed for tourists. I found this really interesting because it helped me to use and apply science, maths and engineering skills.

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator 
Junior School and Gawura


Puzzles, Riddles and Codes Extension Club


Puzzles, Riddles and Codes Extension Club is an excellent co-curricular opportunity for high ability students in Kindergarten to Year 2. In this club, students develop problem solving skills using critical and creative thinking. Each week they are required to solve a number of complex problems and challenges.

There are three components to the club. Firstly, students solve riddles through using skills of analysis, word association and logical reasoning. Next, students solve picture puzzles where they must observe patterns and differences. These puzzles deepen short term visual memory and attention skills. Students also must utilise observation and concentration skills to notice details in the puzzles. Finally, students use codes to solve and write secret messages. These code activities require students to correctly organise images and terms to communicate using a symoblic language. Below is a reflection from a Year 2 student Bill Pan about the club.

We get to do lots of different puzzles and interesting riddles. A good riddle uses the words in a different or clever way. The riddles make me think a lot because I have to think about how to use the word differently. The puzzles have items hidden in larger pictures in different colours. You have to look at the outline and really look at the picture to find the hidden items. Codes is fun to have other people try to solve your secret message. Some of the codes we’ve done this term are picture, emoji and mathematics codes. To write a message in code you have to draw or write a number or symbol that represents a letter. I enjoy this club because it is different types of activities to class. It also requires a lot of thinking to solve the questions.

Below are examples of secret messages written in codes by some of our students. See if you can solve them.

Number and maths code

Each letter is represented by a number. The number is derived by solving an algorithm. Letters are separated by a long line.


Cowboy symbol code

The symbols used in this code are like the brands used by cowboys to identify cattle.


Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator Junior School and Gawura


School Holiday Programme



TheirCare have a range of fun filled school holiday activites from 9 December to 30 January. For more details: Click here


Code Camp Programme


Code Camp at St Andrew's

Code Camp is very excited to be running school holiday programmes at St Andrew's over Summer: Click here


What's on: upcoming events and activities


137th Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving – next Tuesday

We welcome all of our parents to our 137th Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving.

Held in the magnificent Sydney Town Hall, join our school community to celebrate this year’s highlights together.

Tuesday 6 December
Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm prompt start
Sydney Town Hall – enter via George Street entrance


Book here


Junior School and Gawura Carols

Parents and carers are invited to join the Junior School and Gawura communities as we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in our Carols service.

Christmas cake and refreshments will be provided for visitors in Chapter House from 1:15pm with Carols commencing at 2pm in the Cathedral.

Bring your singing voices as we end the year together remembering the great news that God, who is lord of all, came down to earth from heaven.

Thursday 8 December

Christmas cake, tea and coffee
Chapter House

St Andrew’s Cathedral


Register here


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