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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 3, Week 6
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Junior School and Gawura Spring Breakfast
Taronga Zoo excursions
Annual Public Speaking Competition
Ocean's 5 - Recycling Scheme
Parenting Tips - Comprehension
Performing Arts news
Sports news
Library news
StartUp - For all aspiring entrepreneurs
Andrean Writer and Artist of the Year
Gifted Education movie and discussion - 29 August
Weekly Merit Awards
Child Care Subsidy
Uniform Requirements
Wiradjuri – parent and family workshop

Message Stick – Term 3, Week 6


What a wonderful week of performances we have had across both our Gawura and Junior Schools.

Every two years our schools put on a musical and this years’ was called Rats. Students have been rehearsing on Friday afternoons during Term 2 and throughout this term. Last Friday 24 August and Saturday 25 August saw our students perform over three sessions. The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) was the perfect facility to host our musical. All Gawura students were in costumes dancing and singing on stage for over an hour. Our students looked amazing and performed beautifully across the three shows.

Another very pleasing result was to see the fantastic engagement of our Gawura families and community. Over 71 tickets were requested and issued to our families who saw their children perform. I sat with the Gawura families during the Friday evening performance and the laughter and pride I saw on their faces was superb. The students absolutely loved performing and this was evident when I was backstage on Saturday when I witnessed students still dancing off stage to the chorus and movements that were happening on stage! We must send out a very big thank you to Dr Christian Watson and the SACS Music staff along with Mrs Suzanne Louk who helped with our costumes.

This coming Friday 31 August is the annual Book Week Costume Parade. This years’ theme for Book Week is 'Find Your Treasure'. The students can dress up in their favourite book character. I dare say that there may be a few pirates!

We have a busy five weeks of term left. On Friday week 7 September is the JSGS Spring Breakfast for our fathers, uncles and pops who wish to come in and share their favourite dad joke! See advert in this newsletter. Mon 10 September sees our Year 6 students travel to Canberra for two days and one night and of course the following week students in Years 5-12 depart on our inaugural Wiradjuri On Country Tour to Dubbo and Bathurst which will be amazing.

Finally, I would like to congratulate two Gawura students in being selected to attend the CIS Athletics Carnival on Thursday 13 September. Well done to Mariah Keegan and Toni King. This is a wonderful achievement. The next level is State so matter what the next result is we are all very proud of you both!
We have many important events coming up so please see the Dates to Remember section below.

I wish you all a safe and pleasant 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

Wednesday 29 August: Book Author / Illustrator visit

Friday 31 August: Junior School Book Week Parade, 9am

Friday 3 September: Centennial Parklands – Year One Excursion

Friday 3: Friday 7 September: HICES G&T Camp

Wednesday 5 September: Indigenous Literacy Book Swap

Friday 7 September: Junior School and Gawura Spring Breakfast (Father's Day)

Monday 11 – Tuesday 11 September: Year 6 Canberra Trip

Tuesday 18 - Thursday 20 September: Wiradjuri On Country

Monday 24 September: Public Speaking Finals

Thursday 27 September: Term 3 concludes for Years K – 6 and Years 8, 9 and 10

Friday 28 September: Term 3 concludes for Years 7, 11 and 12


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


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.


Junior School and Gawura Spring Breakfast


Friday 7 September, 7.45am

Join Junior School and Gawura for the 2018 Spring Breakfast to celebrate the fathers and uncles in our students’ lives.

Bring along your best ‘dad-joke’ to compete in the ‘dad-joke’ competition.

Bookings close Friday 31 August - please email Mr John Ralph if you would like to attend.


Taronga Zoo excursions


Year 1 student reflections

On Tuesday 14 August, Year 1 went to Taronga Zoo. First we saw the giraffes. Then we saw the elephants taking a shower. Next we saw long neck turtles. Finally we ate lunch and saw the bird show. After, we got on the bus. It was a SUPER DUPER exciting day.

– Lucy Lin (1S)

On Tuesday 14 August I went to the zoo. My group saw the Australian Night Life exhibit,
where I saw a snake. Then I went to the Bird Show. I saw some smart birds!

– Ashtonn Kozlov (1F)


Year 3 student reflections

In Week 4, Year 3 went on a Geography excursion to Taronga Zoo. In Geography we are studying the unit the Earth’s Environments. When we arrived we watched a video in the centenary theatre and then saw the chimpanzees. Then, we got to learn more about the

Earth’s Environments by participating in a workshop that compared Australia to Sumatra. We had the lesson in a model Sumatran classroom. The lady even let us pat a snake! Next, we went on a pretend plane and flew to Sumatra. Outside the window, we could see the Sumatran rainforest followed by Sumatran elephants. Once we got to Sumatra we went to see the Sumatran tigers. After that, we had lunch at the Bird Show and then had a play in the
Lemur adventure playground. We all had a great day!

– Miah Graves (Year 3) and Peta-Lacey Smith (Year 3)


Annual Public Speaking Competition


During Term 3, the Junior School and Gawura School will be holding its Annual Public Speaking Competition. From our youngest students in Early Stage 1 all the way through to our Stage 3 students, all will be preparing something to present to their class.

The aim of the Public Speaking Competition is to provide students with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to express themselves clearly, with confidence and power, in a variety of speaking situations.

  • Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 will be reciting a tongue twister.
  • Stage 2 will be reciting a performance poem
  • Stage 3 will be presenting a three-minute speech on a topic of their choice.

Heats will determine the finalists from each class before our Stage Finals which will happen in Week 10. Week commencing 24 September.

Parents and friends are most welcome to attend these finals, with more information to be sent soon.

There is also a wonderful opportunity for our Stage 3 winners to represent St Andrew’s Cathedral School in Term 4 at the IPSHA Public Speaking Competition.

Alex Vanny
Junior School Teacher


Ocean's 5 - Recycling Scheme


“We are ‘Ocean’s 5,’ a group of five Year 11 students wanting to help the environment! Did you know that bottle caps are not recyclable? We want to raise awareness of this very important issue with a bottle cap drive that will run over the following weeks and will run into Term 4. Bins for the bottle caps can be found in each Junior School classroom so please bring your bottle caps from home to drop off of in the allocated bins around the school. We will then take advantage of these bottle caps to raise further awareness through making an amazing mural out of the St Andrews Crest and the Gawura logo!”

Thank you,

Ocean’s 5


Parenting Tips - Comprehension


Professor Trevor Cairney (an Australian Professor of Education at the University of NSW) has written an excellent blog on Comprehension. He defines comprehension as “the ability to
understand, interpret, appreciate and critique what we read, view, hear and experience.” Even young children do this, even before they decode print. Professor Cairney quotes Caitlin McMunn Dooley listing the stages of emerging comprehension.

  • Book as a prop (<2 - 3 years ) Children do not  choose a book for its content but as a part of play.
  • Book as an invitation – Children realise that a book has pictures, images and photos that are interesting and bring it to an adult to read to them.
  • Book as a script (3+ years) Children realise a book has text that carries meaning. They attempt to read using pictures as clues and remember the text by the adult voice they have heard.
  • Book as a text (4+ years) children point to words and recall from memory word by word what is on the page.

What can parents do to assist with comprehension?

  • Professor Cairney suggests a few ideas.
  • Read regularly (daily) to your children and talk about what you have read. This is probably the most important assistance you can give.
  • Read the book with emotion, with sounds and in different voices for characters and change your volume and tone.
  • Use picture clues to assist in understanding and point to the words that are associated with particular words.
  • Relate their experiences to a book you are reading –“We went to the park and you went on the slide.”
  • Encourage them to draw something or make something from a book with playdough or other toys similar to the story.
  • Encourage them to say with you common parts of the story or parts that are repeated.
  • Encourage them to make connections about a story with something they know. “This story is like your train Thomas.”
  • Read or get them to read a variety of different types of books.
  • Watch TV, movies etc and talk about anything that is familiar with a story you have read.
  • Older students can be encouraged to talk through (give a reflection) on what they have read or on a character or a chapter. ie Put in their own words what the storyline is about.

Many parents have commented about the process of reading throughout Kindergarten, saying their children are memorising the text not actually reading it. Their children are doing exactly what the stages listed above suggest. The following stage, not listed above, is that they will actually read the text and if some of these ideas are followed, comprehend it.

Have a go with your children!

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Coordinator and Classroom Teacher


Performing Arts news


Students achieving excellence in their music exams

This last fortnight has been a very busy period for our students, particularly those cast as leads and lead chorus in the Musical, Rats! I would like to congratulate all the children involved for their efforts and to the parents for their ongoing support. It isn’t always easy in our hectic lifestyles, but the children have learnt so many skills: cooperation, artistic skills, acting skills, overcoming anxiety and, above all, comradery. Congratulations to Weng Kwong Mah who achieved honours in his recent examination for 6th Grade Piano. This is a wonderful achievement, particularly as this is not Weng’s only instrument.

Sarah Turner
K-6 Leader of Learning Music


Sports news


Outstanding results in sports!

Congratulations to Oliver Duggan who competed in the NSW Cross Country Skiing Championships and has qualified for nationals. Also, congratulations to Chantilly Ho who competed at the NSW Gymnastics Championships and has also qualified for nationals. These are two amazing achievements from a pair of our elite athletes and we are immensely proud of their achievements!

On Thursday 23 August we sent a 24 strong team to the ASISSA Athletics Championships at ES Marks. It was a beautiful day for athletics and our athletes flourished in the conditions. We
Performing Arts news Sport news had one of our most successful meets yet, with eight students qualifying for the prestigious CIS Carnival on Thursday 13 September.

Congratulations to all of the students who competed; particularly to Georgia Wansey, Claudia Wyatt, Mariah Keegan, Jenny Song, Josephine Damjanovic, John Cameron Murphy, Cadel Holmes and Toni King who qualified for CIS.

Tony Dunseath
PDHPE Teacher


Library news


Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) 2018

Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:

Annie Wang, Vanessa Yang, Torren Winston, Thea Sholl, Victoria Jorden, Lara Winsbury, Nyarla Gordon, Djani Haynes, Maya Hughes, Lizzy-Ray Ingram, Graham Jackson, Anthony Lees, Zavier Reid, Kallarah Silva, Daniel Hu, Aadya Dua, Raeleigh Magee, Gabriel Magee, Charlotte Dries, Julian Lee, Esther Shang, Claire Buggy, Jonathan Buggy, Madison Dockery, Titus Newling, Calvin Newling, Frederick Beck, Ingrid Chin, Ophelia Dougall, Francesca Goh, Daniel Lin, Miami Madden-Gravanis, Finn Morrison, Phoenix O'Loughlin, John
Pongumrungnate, Rene Pulikkaseril, Morgan Smart, Kai Taheri and Guanlin Wang.

The PRC closes on Friday 31 August. That is just a few days away. So if you intend to complete the challenge this year and be celebrated at the end of the year as an incredible reader then finish your reading and entering now!

Parent / Teacher Challenge 2018

Come on teachers and parents. Grab a book and read alongside your child/ren and complete the Parent / Teacher Challenge this year.

Congratulations to the following amazing reading role models:
Miss O'Malley (KO) and Mr Nipun Dua.

Requirements for completion:

Read any six titles (in any language). Email me the titles and I’ll add you to our wall of wonderful reading role models.

Book draw

Finished the PRC for 2018? Well don’t stop reading!

The Junior and Gawura library has a new challenge for you. Pick up an entry form, read any ten books, complete the entry form and return it to Mrs Paul for your chance to win a book of your choice. There are two draws this term and you can enter as many times as you’d like. So, the more you read the more chances you have of winning! What are you waiting for?

Congratulations to Cydney Sadler of 5R who won our 3rd book draw.

Our fourth and final book draw for 2018 will take place in the final week of Term 3, so keep
bringing your entries in.

Book Week: “Find your treasure”

We’re ready, are you? The library has been decorated and the activities are ready. Each day has a different activity on, so make sure you check them all out.

Competitions this year…

Draw your treasure and go into the draw to win a signed David Walliams book. There is a prize for infants and a prize for primary.

Treasure hunting more your thing? Then collect a passport from the library and listen for the daily clues at assembly for where to find the pop-up library pirate. There are five librarians to find (one each day of the week) and when you find one come to the library to report your sighting and collect your stamp. At the end of the week, return your completed passport to the library for your chance to win a pop-up pirate game.

Maybe guessing is more your area of expertise. Well then enter the guessing competition as many times as you like. The closest guess wins the jar of chocolate loot!

Not enough? Listen out for how your class could win a prize in the, rename your class with a pirate name for book week competition.

There’s so much more in the library that we are sure you’ll be thoroughly bibliophiled by the end of the week.

Frances Watts and David Legge are coming to SACS for Book Week

We have an author and an illustrator coming this year to meet with each stage and present a workshop/talk. The amazingly talented Frances Watts writes stories for all ages. She has picture books like Kisses for Daddy and Goodnight mice, younger fiction like The song of the Winns and The secrets of Flamant Castle series and young adult fiction like The raven’s wing and The peony lantern as well. David Legge is an illustrator who’s work can be found in books by both Frances Watts and Margaret Wild as well as in his own book Bamboozled.

If you have copies of any of their titles on your shelves at home, be sure to bring them in on Wednesday the 29/8 to have them signed.

If you pre-ordered books you’ll be able to collect them and have them signed on the day as well.

Book Week Parade

The theme this year is “Find your treasure” and we’re challenging you to look beyond the obvious and really consider why you’re dressing up as that character this year. What makes them your treasure? What character attributes and strengths do they possess that makes them so important to you? Are they courageous, servant hearted, knowledgeable, persistent, caring or maybe principled or balanced?

Remember your book for the parade on Friday 31/8. What will you be this year?

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Svetlana Paul
Junior School and Gawura Teacher Librarian


StartUp - For all aspiring entrepreneurs


StartUp Finale

Our inaugural StartUp learning venture comes to a head at the Finale on 21 September. It is the culmination of five weeks of creativity and development by more than 23 teams of students, who were guided by experienced start-up mentors.

Our top 10 teams will display their final prototypes on the night and our top three finalists will present their creations and business models to a panel of three expert judges. The winning team will receive the title 'Entrepreneur of the Year' and receive a $2000 scholarship to develop their concept further. The 'Pivot' and 'Booster' runners-up will receive support to launch their venture.

Come along and discover how enterprising our students have been and help decide the 'People's Choice' award!


Book now:


Andrean Writer and Artist of the Year


This competition will recognise the top three entries from the Junior School for both writing and art, with the winners announced at the Evening of Celebration and Prize-giving in December.

Australian Bush Stories

Stories must be set in the Australian Bush. Student name and Year level clearly labelled.

Entries can be handwritten or typed and max word limits are as follows:

  • Kindergarten – 100 words
  • Year 1-2 – 200 words
  • Year 3-4 – 400 words
  • Year 5-6 – 1000 words

Please hand to or email: Junior School Reception with the subject title 'Bush Story'.

Australian Bush Artwork

Entries must be A3 size, no more than 5mm thick, student name and Year level clearly marked.
Painting, textiles, drawing, printmaking, photography, graphic design, etc.

Artwork must be set in the Australian bush.

Please submit Year K-6 entries to Junior School Reception

Competition details and prizes

Winning entries will be judged on creativity, skill, engagement of the audience and originality in exploring the theme. Entries must be composed this year and no group entries are permitted. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.

1st Round:

Junior School and Gawura entries are judged by Mrs Robson (Stories) and Mrs Edwards (Artworks). Finalists will receive certificates.

2nd Round:

The finalists will be judged by Dr Collier

Junior Andrean Writer and Artist of the Year

  • Junior Andrean Writer of the Year
    $120 voucher – Announced at Evening of Celebration and Prize-giving.
  • Junior Andrean Artist of the Year
    $120 voucher – Announced at Evening of Celebration and Prize-giving.

Who will be your inspiration?

May Gibbs, Normal Lindsay, Banjo Patterson, Henry Lawson, Sally Morgan, Albert Namatjira, Mem Fox, Ken Done, Tom Roberts, Sidney Nolan, Fred McCubbin, Grace Cossington-Smith.


All entries due by Friday 19 October

Submit Bush Stories here:   

Submit Bush Artwork to Junior School Reception.                                                           


Gifted Education movie and discussion - 29 August


Parents of gifted children and any other SACS community members who are interested in the education of Gifted and Talented students are invited to a movie event and panel discussion on teaching the twice exceptional.

Hosted by the Gifted Families Support Group and St Andrew's Cathedral School, the movie follows the teachers of Bridges Academy in Los Angeles as they develop innovative strategies to engage and educate the unique minds of highly gifted and talented students with learning differences or disabilities.

Our own Director of Specialised Learning, Penni Maher, will feature on the panel discussion.

Event details:
When: Wednesday 29 August, 6.30-8.45pm
Where: St Andrew's Cathedral School


Book now through Eventbrite!


Weekly Merit Awards

Aliyah Arabi - Yr 5 For being courageous in all tasks in life at school
Kaleb Roberts - Yr 3 For having a respectful and caring approach to Visual Arts lessons
Kayliah Keegan - Yr 6 For being a wise, discerning and reflective student
Toni King - Yr 5 For being a curious student and asking good questions
Nyarla Gordon - K Improvement in writing
Maya Hughes - K Improvement in writing
Kallarah Silva - K Improvement in writing
Anthony Lees - K A magnificent drawing of the cathedral
Mizpah-Ann Klink - Yr 1 For her focus on developing literacy skills in order to maximise her learning experiences

Child Care Subsidy


Download the PDF here:

Eligibility is explained further at:


Uniform Requirements


Winter uniform requirements for Term 2 and Term 3

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.

Winter uniform is to be worn from the beginning of Term 2, 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 winter 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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