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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 2
Farewell Year 12
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Magic Words
Performing Arts News
2018 Public Speaking Competition Winners
Parenting Tips
Volunteer Readers Wanted!
Sport News
P&F Food and Wine with Christmas Market
Heart Mind Life Awards
A Big Thank You
Uniform Requirements
Wiradjuri – parent and family workshop

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 2


Firstly a very big welcome back to all of our Gawura students and their families. We hope that you’ve had a relaxing and peaceful holiday. We have a very busy Term 4 ahead of us and it is also the shortest school term of the year which means every week there is something major happening within our wonderful school. (Please see Important Dates Below).

Last week Gawura Stage 2 students were only back for two days before they headed off on school camp. Year 4’s went to our very own Outdoor Education Centre called Kirrikee located in the NSW Southern Highlands just past Moss Vale for a 2 day one night camp followed by our Year 3 students who did the same.

As our Junior School and Gawura School have a spiralling academic curriculum so too does our Outdoor Education program. Stage 2 students (Years 3 and 4) spend 2 days and 1 night at Kirrikee, Stage 3 students (Years 5 and 6) spend 3 days and 2 nights, Stage 4 students (Years 7 and 8) spend 5 days and 4 nights there and in Year 9 our students have the option of going on a snow camp. In Year 10 our Gawura students have the amazing opportunity to do the Kozi to the Coast camp where they canoe, bushwalk and hike from the highest peak in Australia, Mt Kosciuszcko all the way to the coast in Victoria coming out at a small coastal town called Marlow near Orbost (which is also the beginning of Bass Strait). This unique hike goes for nearly three weeks and is the culmination of the outdoor education program which our Year 3 students started this week!

As a part of our curriculum on Marine Environments this term our Year 6 students will be spending 2 days and 1 night at Chowder Bay on Sydney Harbour looking at the local marine inhabitants of the area and the impact that humans can have on these environments.

Finally a reminder that our next scheduled GPAC Meeting will take place this coming Thursday 25 October in the Community Hub on Level 4 commencing at 2pm. We will look forward to seeing you all again.

May you all have a safe and wonderful fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura



Want more photos?

For more pictures, please visit the Gawura Facebook page at


Dates for your calendar

Term 4:

Wednesday 24 October: Junior School and Gawura Term Service, 2.30pm

Wednesday 24 – Friday 27 October: Year 5 Kirrikee Camp

Thursday 25 October: GPAC Meeting 2pm, Community Hub, Level 4

Monday 29 October:  Year 1 to Hyde Park, 12pm

Tuesday 30 October:  Junior School Theatresports Challenge, 4pm

Thursday 1 – Friday 2 November: Year 6 Camp

Wednesday 28 November: Junior School and Gawura Awards Assembly

Thursday 29 November: Christmas Carol Service

Tuesday 4 December: Evening of Celebration and Prize Giving

Wednesday 5 December: Junior School and Gawura Picnic Day


Farewell Year 12


Well done Jacqueline Jacky

Congratulations to all of Year 12 who have graduated from SACS and are now doing their final exams. A special congratulations, farewell and good luck goes to Gawura student Jacqueline Jacky. The Year 12 Farewell is an amazing and truly inspiring experience for our Junior School and Gawura students to see. It was entertaining and interesting to watch the pictures of then and now, to see the physical and mental growth of the Year 12 students from when they started and finished. I am sure that the whole of Junior School and Gawura school is excited to watch the delight of next year's graduates as they come to the end of their schooling days.


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday morning appointments offered to Gawura families

I would like to advise you that we have secured the services of a very generous doctor in the city who is willing to see our Gawura students and their families free of charge (he will bulk bill through Medicare) if the need arises.

Dr Shuo (Shore) Zhao is located at Level 1, 70 Pitt St, Sydney. You can book an appointment with him on any Wednesday and Friday morning between 8am – 12pm. The number of the practice is 02 9233 3399.

We understand that many parents already have their own doctor that they use, possibly even through the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Redfern but this is just another option for you to use if you choose to do so and one that is located in the city, near our school.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Magic Words


The Magic Words by Brainstorm Productions was an educational performance that taught us to use our manners and be kind to others. It was entertaining, with humour present in every scene. The Magic Words was a delight for all of K-6 and an informative experience that has shown us how to use our manners.

Kaye Chalwell
Junior School Teacher


Performing Arts News


Welcome back to Term 4. All rehearsals began on Monday and I was really thrilled to see the students and their happy faces, ready to embrace their music. Some told me that they even did some practice over the holidays – music to my ears!

Term 4 is the shortest term, and often the busiest! The students will be putting their final touches into their school work, preparing for a number of performances, and we will be congratulating Year 6 on the end of the Primary journey and encouraging them into a whole new world of Middle School. To this end, please note that your child(ren) may move into the music ensembles for Middle School during this term, or at the start of Year 7. Please speak to either myself or Dr Watson if you need any clarification.

Congratulations to Hiroki Takahashi-Zhong in Year 2 who achieved 1st place in the Inner West Eisteddfod, held during the holidays. Hiroki was in the 3rd and 4th grade division, competing against many other students. Well done Hiroki!

It’s always a joy to hear when students are productive during their holidays and share their music with others. Bianca Zhu achieved this during the break, when she and her friend, performed at a Nursing Home in Parramatta. Both girls had to learn the music, organise rehearsals, then discuss logistics with the people in charge of the Nursing Home. I am really proud of Bianca for taking the initiative and showing how courageous she is, as well as communicative – two character strengths at SACS. Bianca wrote: "Over all, I quite enjoyed the whole journey and felt I have learnt a lot from it. We are definitely going to do it again next school holiday!"

Save the date: Friday 16 November

All parents of ensemble members should have received an email outlining details for the ENSEMBLES EVENING. It is to be held in the Heath Centre on level 5 of St Andrew’s House, commencing at 5:45pm. Students will be rehearsing during the day, so please ensure instruments are brought to school that day.

Sarah Turner
K-6 Leader of Learning Music


2018 Public Speaking Competition Winners


Congratulations to each and every student from Kindergarten through to Year 6 who participated in the Annual Public Speaking Competition last term. The calibre of the performances was outstanding and the judges were truly blown away.

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded as the Public Speaking Champion of their stage. These students will be presented with their awards later this term.

  • Early Stage One: Austin Sneesby
  • Stage One: Bridie Hansen
  • Stage Two: Miah Graves
  • Stage Three: Thea Scholl

A special congratulations to our Stage Three winner Thea Sholl, and Stage Three runners-up Hayden Lewis and William Carvasso. Thea, Hayden and William will now attend Abbotsleigh School in November to represent St Andrew's at the IPSHA NSW Speakers Challenge. These three students will be preparing and presenting a short speech on the theme 'Missing'.

We wish you the best of luck!

Miss Alex Vanny
Classroom Teacher


Parenting Tips


Developing Emotional Intelligence in Children

Teaching Year 6 in Term 4 can be a tricky experience! Hormones are going nuts and emotions are certainly quite often, off the scale. So how do we as teachers and parents, help our children navigate this area safely and calmly?

As a parent to grown up children with their own families, occasionally I receive a call from them asking for advice or more often just listening to them vent over some issue. I don’t really have all the answers to their concerns but Michael Grose has written this excellent Parenting Ideas blog this month and it contains some very helpful ideas. So, I have found it particularly useful when dealing with Year 6 or 34 and 37 year olds!

Listen without judgement

When your child fusses and fumes about some wrong-doing or hurt they’ve experienced, clear your mind and hear them out. Avoid trying to fix the situation; just show them compassion and understanding. There is no better feeling than being understood.
Contain, rather than manage, their feelings
Children’s behaviour is often tangled up in their upsets and disappointments. It can be hard to separate their actions from their feelings. Sometimes as a loving, caring adult, you just have to absorb their frustrations and give them the time and space to vent and soothe their own souls. We don’t have to process their emotions for them.

Know that emotions can be pleasant and unpleasant
We often place value judgements on emotions by portraying some emotions as good or positive (happy, motivated, energised) while some are bad or negative (sad, worried, sullen). Avoid passing judgements like these. Recognise that emotions span a whole range of pleasant and unpleasant feelings and that all emotions are acceptable. But certain behaviours (such as hurting someone when you are angry) are unacceptable.

Build a vocabulary around emotions

Just as feelings have words, there are names and terms for emotionally intelligent parenting methods. For instance, I-messages are a type of communication used by parents and adults who take an emotions-first approach. It’s worth taking the time to understand some of these concepts and terms and letting them inform your parenting approach.

Help your kids recognise, then regulate emotions

Emotional intelligence is best learned when it becomes part of your family’s culture or way of doing things. When it becomes part of your family’s cultural DNA then emotional intelligence will be passed down from generation to generation. You’ll know it’s had a generational impact when your children credit you as the person who taught them the skills of emotional intelligence. How cool is that?!

Joy Rohrlach
Stage Three Leader


Volunteer Readers Wanted!


Parents, Carer’s and Grandparents, we need you! Our Gawura School is looking for volunteers to join our K-6 Morning Reading Program which runs from 8.50 to 9.20 am each weekday morning. Volunteers commit to one day per week for the school term and sit one on one, or in small groups to support students with their reading. Volunteers require a current Working with Children Check number and must complete a one hour induction session (our next induction session is at 9am on 31 October). A big friendly smile and a love of reading is the only other things you’ll need!  For more information or to apply for our volunteer reading program please contact Mrs Karen Swibel on 9286 9661 or email

Karen Swibel
Community Engagement Coordinator


Sport News


K-2 Mini Athletics Carnival

K-2 Mini Athletics Carnival was on the last day of Term 3 and our infants cohort finished with a bang! We headed off to All Sorts Indoor Sports to have an action packed morning of activities and games run by a selection of fine Year 10 students. The Year 10 students were perfecting their own coaching skills and what better group of people to work with than 130 enthusiastic young athletes. There were stickers, house points and plenty of high fives flying around to make an enjoyable last day for students and staff alike. It was exciting to see some of the talent on show and I’m looking forward to having them in upper primary years, where they have the opportunity to represent the school and beyond.

Tony Dunseath
Coordinator of Sport and Cocurricular K-6, PDHPE Teacher


P&F Food and Wine with Christmas Market


Our SACS Food and Wine evening returns for 2018!

Join us this year on Saturday 3 November on the St Andrew’s House Rooftop for an evening of wine-tasting and entertainment and featuring a new Christmas Market for gift shopping, dinner at our Long Table – and a decadent dessert (and dessert demonstration) by special guest Hoda (from Masterchef), and more.

INCLUDED in your ticket price is dinner and dessert at our Christmas Long Table and your tasting glass for try-before-you-buy at the wine stalls. Before and after your enjoy dinner – browse the market to get your Christmas shopping done early. We have curated a stylish selection of stalls where we hope there’s something for everyone young or old or in-between!

The show will feature wine tasting stalls hosted by a variety of vineyards, and an exclusive expresso martini and bubbles bar and market stalls to fill your Christmas shopping list.


More information and bookings

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Book now:


Heart Mind Life Awards

Jakayla Reid - Yr 1 For displaying characteristics of the servant heart when getting organised to begin Term 4
Kaleb Roberts - Yr 3 For a settled and enthusiastic start to term 4
Joshua Morgan - Yr 4 For demonstrating kindness and care towards others at Kirrikee
Kailan Keegan - Yr 3 For applying knowledge to make the most of learning opportunities at Kirrikee
Torey Thomas Martin - Yr 6 For making good decisions and thinking carefully
Joylara Ingram - Yr 4 For a caring and joyful approach to school
Aliyah Arabi - Yr 5 Great questioning technique when reading with Year 1

A Big Thank You


I would sincerely like to thank Rhys Haynes (father of Djani in Kindergarten) who kindly drove the Gawura bus last Friday while Uncle Bill was on Sorry Business. Rhys did a wonderful job and his two navigators (Djani and Djillerra) were superb while directing him around the streets of Woolloomooloo, Ultimo and Glebe. Thank you very much to the Haynes family for helping us deliver a vital service to our Gawura school community.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Uniform Requirements


Summer Uniform Term 4

St Andrew’s Cathedral School is one of the most visible schools in NSW with students moving between buildings throughout the day, seniors visiting the Town Hall Arcade during lunch and over a thousand of our students catching public transport all over Sydney and beyond as they travel to and from school. Parents send their children to St Andrew’s because of its high standards in academic, pastoral care, co-curricular and Christian education. In turn, St Andrew’s has high expectations of students. Literature also shows that good uniform standards lead to reduced discipline problems, an increased sense of belonging and higher academic engagement and standards. It also shows pride in the school.

Summer uniform is to be worn from the beginning of Term 4, students have been reminded of our uniform standards.

Below is an outline of the topics that have been discussed:

Hair – to be neat and tidy. Hair cuts must be conventional and unlikely to cause comment. No shaved sections, no facial hair. Girls’ hair to be completely tied back; boys’ hair to be cut above the collar and eyebrows.

Shirts & Ties –shirts must be tucked in, top buttons done up and boys’ ties worn correctly at the neck. Shirt sleeves not to be rolled up.

Blazers – to be worn to and from School and between buildings. (If it is very hot, I will communicate to students a variation to this rule on the day)

Jewellery – no rings, bracelets, necklaces. Only one pair of earrings for girls - small sleepers or simple studs only. No other piercings allowed. No earrings for boys.

Makeup – no makeup or nail polish allowed.

Sport Uniform – students to wear SACS tracksuit/sports uniform to and from venues.

Shoes – black leather traditional school shoes. No casual style allowed. Please see student diary for allowable styles.

Socks – Boys must wear grey or black socks. Girls must wear white plain socks that sit above the ankle. Socklets are not allowed.

Skirts – skirt hems should be at the knee. Skirts must not be rolled.

Please be aware that these expectations and standards remain applicable to the very last day of the school year. For those who have summer uniform requirements, please contact Mr Ralph or the Uniform Store, on 9286 9547 for a fitting time.

Please label all new (and old) items of uniform.
The Uniform store normal Hours of Operation are:
Monday – Wednesday – Thursday  |  8am to 3.30pm


Home reading

To improve reading and fluency, we ask students to do the following every night:

K-2          10-15 minutes home reading a night

Year 3      at least 15 minutes home reading a night

Year 4      at least 20 minutes home reading a night

Year 5      at least 25 minutes home reading a night

Year 6      at least 30 minutes home reading a night


Wiradjuri – parent and family workshop


Wiradjuri Language Nest – Gawura and SACS parent workshop

The parent Wiradjuri workshop has started for 2018. This is an amazing opportunity to support and contribute to the revival of Indigenous languages. I am delighted to say that the program is absolutely free. The weekly workshop is on Tuesday afternoons, 3.15pm-4.15pm and is open to all Gawura/SACS parents and family members.

Please contact Mr Ralph on 0411 040 193 if you are interested in joining the group.




Uniform Store

For those who still have 2018 uniform requirements please contact the Uniform Store, on 92869547 for a fitting time. Remember that students in Kindergarten to Year 6 wear the same uniform so please label all items of uniform.


Mobile phone use

Older students, who travel to and from school on public transport and have a mobile phone, need to ensure that they are switched off during the school day and kept in school bags or handed to your child’s/children’s teacher each morning.


Health Centre

Please send in a note detailing any daily medication needs. Daily medication is to be dispensed by the School Nurse at the Sick Bay. Any medication to be dispensed by the School Nurse must be given to the nurse in its original box (containing the prescription label and your child’s name).



If your child/children are absent from school, I ask that you text or call Neal on 0439 653 334 or the Reception on 9286 9500 before 9am to notify us. The school requires a note from a parent or guardian explaining any absence from school.


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