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In this issue

Gawura News
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Library news
What's happening in the Art Space
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting Tips
Bebras Computational Thinking
What is THRASS Phonics and Spelling all about?
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Gawura News


On Wednesday 31 August, Australia’s renowned Deadly Scientist, Corey Tutt and his Deadly Science team visited our school/s. Corey Tutt From the Kamilaroi Nation is the Indigenous author of the children’s book Australia’s First Scientists which has won several awards and received major acclaim nationwide for sharing how Indigenous people used science for over 80,000 years to produce systems of sustainability. Corey and his Deadly Science team including Tom gave 3 presentations to students in K-2, Stage 2 and Stage 3. Corey spoke of amazing facts of how First Nations people used science over thousands of years. Tom then showed how the microscope is used in science today to help develop vaccines for diseases that do not have a cure at present.

Corey’s visit was just one of four book author presentations that took place in the JSGS Library to celebrate Book Week. This came to a culmination on Friday 2 September with the annual JSGS Book Week Character Parade. Our Gawura students looked truly amazing and one of the most difficult jobs this year was to be a judge alongside our Head of St Andrew’s Cathedral School, Dr Julie McGonigle. We wanted to hand out 400 prizes to everyone! Thank you to all the students and parents who prepared a stunning array and variety of costumes. Our students were absolutely amazing.

On Friday 16 September we will be going on our next Gawura Cultural Excursion to the new Sydney Zoo at Bungarribee near Blacktown. The planned activities from their Indigenous zoo keeper look wonderful and you will receive more information about this in the coming week.

Finally our next GPAC Meeting will be held in the School Council Room at 2:30pm on Tuesday 6 September. An email and calendar invite has gone out to everyone. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible.

We wish you an enjoyable and safe fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 6 September
Gateways – selected students
Lunch with the Stars - selected students

Wednesday 7 September
Great Book Swap - gold coin and book donation
THRASS Parent Information Session, 2pm

Friday 9 September
Year 3 Harbour Bridge Pylon excursion
Year 6 Music Concert, 2pm

Monday 12 September
JS&G Year 12 farewell assembly, 2.10pm

Tuesday 13 September
WABIAD – selected students
Gawura parent / teacher interviews
RUOK? Day – wear yellow accessories

Wednesday 14 September
Public Speaking Grand Final

Thursday 15 September
Showcase, Town Hall, 6.30pm
Year 2 Geography excursion

Friday 16 September
Gawura and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Sydney Zoo Excursion K-12
Year 5 Australian Museum excursion
Year 6 Powerhouse Museum excursion
IPSHA Debating Gala Day

Monday 19 September
Year 6 DigiEd excursion

Tuesday 20 September
CIS Athletics Carnival
JS parent / teacher interviews

Wednesday 21 September
JS&G EOT Awards assembly, 9.15am

Thursday 22 September
Term 3 concludes K-6
JS&G Mini Athletics Carnival K-2

Friday 23 September
Staff Development Day

Monday 10 October
Term 4 commences


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


R U OK? Day Tuesday 13 September

R U OK? is a charity that encourages all of us to care for those around us, our friends and family – to be alert and have an R U OK? conversation if we are concerned and to help them find support. This is a great message for adults and children alike. R U OK? has a special link with our school community as Gavin Larkin, the father of alumni Josie Larkin (OA2019) established the charity in 2009 and his extraordinary story was brought to life by Australian Story in 2011.

In our Junior School and Gawura we will be focusing on this simple message in a very straightforward child friendly way – ask, listen, encourage, check. Further information will be emailed home about our activities, including wearing a splash of yellow and some classroom activities focused on being a caring friend. The materials we use have been developed in collaboration with Life Education (Healthy Harold programme).

Further Info: R U OK? and video


Yellow accessories day

During this day, and throughout the week, students will be discussing ways in which they can be good friends to each other, how they can notice how their friends are feeling and identify trusted adults who they can talk with to seek help.          

Tuesday 13 September (Official National Day is 08/09/2022)

Uniform: Students are expected to wear full school uniform AND they are encouraged to wear a touch of yellow such as a yellow ribbon, socks, beanie, overshirt or scarf.

Cost: No cost will be billed to students account

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Coordinator


Library news


Book Week 2022

Last week we enjoyed a smorgasbord of wonder, creativity and fun as we celebrated CBCA Book Week 2022. Students were welcomed into the library space which had been transformed to night-time on Country – a St Andrew's Cathedral School interpretation of this year’s theme “Dreaming with Eyes Open”. Armed with torches, students searched for Australian animal puppets which had been hidden around the library and then they cuddled up with a soft toy to read a book by torchlight.

Through the middle of the week, we were wowed and enlightened by amazing visiting authors. Students were enthralled as we learned gross facts about endangered animals from Sami Bayly, looked at animal cells through a microscope with Corey Tutt or learned the difference between llamas and alpacas from Matt Cosgrove. Listening to each author share their story of becoming a writer or illustrator inspired each of us to follow our passions, believing anything is possible.

Finally, the week was rounded out by our Book Character Parade, and as usual, our SACS pride shone brightly. What an incredibly fun and creative bunch we have at our School!

Our thanks to each family for participating in CBCA Book Week 2022.

Celebrating a wonderful week.

Mrs Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JS&G


What's happening in the Art Space


The ANSTO Shorebirds Competition 2022

Our talented Year 5 artists gave us a feast of colourful paintings and drawings for the recent ANSTO Shorebirds Competition 2022. In our last newsletter we saw the work of six of these artists and in this edition there are six more special works by Year 5 artists. The students were asked to show the Shorebird in its natural habitat, with a caption that engaged the public in the need to protect these endangered and beautiful creatures: Double Banded Plovers, Red Capped Plovers, Golden Plovers, Far Eastern Curlews, Oyster Catchers, Stints, Ruddy Turnstones, Oriental Pratincoles, Wood Sandpipers.

Created in order by:
Isabell D, Lillian S, Luc D, Thomas H, Isabella M, Ava C, Audrey A, Violet B, Charlotte H.


Year 6

For those who know the contemporary Sydney artist, Jasper Knight, you’ll immediately recognise his industrial and vintage style in these refreshing Year 6 paintings created using Knight’s ideas. While his work has a delightful clarity and colour palette, his work – like these paintings – records structures, cars, scooters and bridges etc giving them an iconic status. Well done to Morgan S, Casilda D, Joel C, Ren B, Libby H and Claire B (who painted both the VW van and the blue Vespa).


Young Andrean Artist of the Year Competition 2022

It’s getting to the pointy end of this Competition! Please keep working on your Young Andrean Artist 2022 piece in the theme of Ancient EGYPT – to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. We are looking forward to seeing extraordinary art to mark this significant event!


Looking for a family exhibition to visit?

  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year
    Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Until 5 March 2023

Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS&G


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Parenting Tips


Toolbox for when times are tough

Published: 12 April 2022 by Justin Coulson

“Parenting can feel tough at the best of times, but in these past couple of years, it hasn’t exactly been “the best of times.” And parenting… well, it’s gone from tough to “expert-level tough” for many.

In just the first three or four months of 2022, we’ve seen:

  • Natural disasters (flooding up and down Australia’s East Coast),
  • A full scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia,
  • The cost of living has skyrocketed in conjunction with these broader-scale events.

And that’s not giving any consideration to the ongoing challenges of living with COVID outbreaks continuing into their third year.

Ideas for Parents

Tool #1: Accept emotions
Just like waves on the shore, our emotions come in and go out, ebb and flow. Most emotions don’t last more than a few moments. Occasionally they’ll last a few days, but that’s unusual. When you feel a big emotion, remind yourself that “this is what I’m feeling right now”, and be accepting of it.

Tool #2: Create psychological distance
Notice that when you’re in the thick of things, it’s hard to see a way out? It’s at those moments that you call a friend and ask for their perspective. They have distance while you’re stuck in the middle of it all.

  1. When you start to feel an emotion, whether it’s “meh” or “gahhhh!”, name it to tame it. Say to yourself, “I’m noticing that I’m starting to feel [insert emotion]”.
  2. Imagine a future day where you’re looking back on the here and now, reflecting on this moment.

When our emotions are high, our intelligence is low. These strategies help to level out emotion and keep our thinking clear.

Tool #3: Choose growth and contribution, not happiness
Reframing the tough times from problems and pain to opportunities for us to develop character and make a difference helps us see those tough times through a new lens.

Tool #4: Focus on progress
When you’re ready to crack, or perhaps when you’re ready to shrug your shoulders and walk away… pause and breathe and then move forward.

Tool #5: Reframe your expectations
Knowing there is always too much to do can be a burden or a blessing. Instead of being weighed down by the thought, be intentional about what you choose to do. That can be freeing.

Tool #6: Control the controllables
Control what you can control. Look at what you can do. Put your attention there and your energy will follow.

Tool #7: Avoid screens burnout
Screens are often non-productive, passivity that add to our stress by working as a procrastination tool. Follow Jocelyn Brewer’s 3 M’s of screen use:

  • Be Mindful,
  • Use them Meaningfully, and
  • Be Moderate in your screen use.

Tool #8: Lighten up
We can acknowledge that sometimes we parents take everything very seriously? It’s good to joke, be light, and let go of things now and then. Humour helps us navigate stress and challenge in healthy ways.

Tool #9: Build relationships
The heart of wellbeing, happiness, and love all come back to one thing: relationships. Build connection by being present. When our relationships are deeply connected, they are alive – and so are we.

Tool #10: Take a break
Believe it or not, you’re not meant to be with your children 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Breathe. Let it go. Take a break.… Do what you can to have 15 minutes of bliss.”

This is a really great article by Dr Coulson and I hope you are encouraged by reading it and taking on board some of the ideas presented.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Bebras Computational Thinking


Problem solving and computational thinking skills

Last week selected students from Years 2-6 participated in the CSIRO Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge. This competition assesses student’s problem solving and computational thinking skills which are highly sought after in current and future digital careers. The competition includes 15 questions. The level of difficulty determines how the question is scored. Questions build in complexity across the challenge. 

Computational thinking is a set of skills that underpin Digital Technologies education. These skills help students to engage with the process and techniques of using digital systems. Some of the key computational thinking skills include:

  • Decomposition: Breaking down problems into smaller, easier parts.
  • Pattern recognition: Using patterns in information to solve problems.
  • Abstraction: Finding information that is useful and taking away any information that is unhelpful.
  • Modelling and simulation: Trying out different solutions or tracing the path of information to solve problems.
  • Algorithms: Creating a set of instructions for solving a problem or completing a task.
  • Evaluation: Assessing a solution to a problem and using that information again on new problems.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the competition last week. Once we receive the results of the competition Distinction, High Distinction and Honour roll awards will be presented during Friday rooftop assembly. All other certificates will then be handed out in class. Below are two Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge questions – see if you can solve them.



Sarah is mother to Dominic and Emily. Dominic is father to Harry. Harry is brother to Ruby. Ron is father to Sarah. Paul is father to Dominic. Ron is grandfather to Dominic. How is Ron related to Emily?


Question 2

A machine has been created to make a scarf automatically. The rules that the machine follows to create the pattern of the scarf is shown in the diagram above.

  1. The machine starts a new scarf pattern by the beginning at the blue arrow on the left.
  2. When the machine follows an arrow, it adds the pattern at the end of the arrow to the scarf.
  3. The machine then follows one of the arrows pointing away from the pattern to the next pattern.
  4. When the machine reaches the orange arrow to right, the scarf is complete.

Which scarf can be made by the rules above?

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS&G


What is THRASS Phonics and Spelling all about?


Come along to our Parent Information Session

Parents of Junior School and Gawura students K-6, are invited to attend an information session about the THRASS framework and how you can best support a child learning to read, write and spell.

Who will be sharing?

The Principal and Founder of THRASS: Denyse Ritchie, Honorary Chair of Literacy and Fellow Murdoch University WA, Perth.

We will discuss:

  • What is THRASS?
  • Explicit phonics discussion.
  • The relationship between reading and writing and spelling.
  • How can I help at home?

Wednesday 7 September, 2pm-3pm
Junior School Level 7


What's on: upcoming events and activities


P&F General Meeting

Come and join the P&F Executive and other parents at this in person only General Meeting to discuss current School activities, School focuses, upcoming school events and future plans.

Each meeting has a School report from a senior member of staff and an opportunity for parents to ask questions in an informal setting.

You will also hear about P&F fundraising initiatives and ways that parents and friends can support the school.

Attending P&F meetings is a great way to get to know other parents from the School and to get involved.

Cheese and wine provided! No need to RSVP – everyone welcome

Please note that P&F General Meetings will no longer be available to view online.

Tuesday 6 September, 6pm-7.30pm
The Community Hub, Level 4 St Andrew's House


Do you know anyone who would benefit from attending this event?

This online event is for friends or relations of current families who may be looking at enrolling their children in 2023 or 2024.

Wednesday 7 September, 5pm-6pm
Chapter House


More information


This Wednesday - supporting Indigenous Literacy Day

The Junior School Library invites you to join them for this year’s Great Book Swap in supporting Indigenous Literacy Day. The money raised will go towards helping publish more literature in First Nation languages as well as providing resources to support literacy in remote communities. The idea is to swap a favourite book in exchange for a gold coin donation.

Please donate your good quality second-hand books to the Junior School Library.

Wednesday 7 September
Junior School Library

Students can purchase books for a gold coin donation.


P&F Fathers’ Day Event - Cancelled

The P&F would really like to support our dads and male carers.

We haven’t had a Fathers’ Day event for a few years and we wanted to reinvigorate this event with a new idea in 2022.

Unfortunately, the response to the planned rooftop event this Friday, 9 September, has been very low, and we have had to cancel the event. All attendees will be fully refunded.

Please email us directly with any ideas for engaging our dads, specifically, in the future, at

We hope you all had a very happy and healthy Fathers’ Day.

Kind regards,
The St Andrew’s Cathedral School Association of Parents & Friends


Guest speaker – Melinda Tankard Reist, Too Much Too Young

St Andrew's is committed to engaging with our students and partnering with the School community on important topics such as respectful relationships. We partner with external experts to educate the students, empower our parents, and equip our staff with relevant and current information about these challenging and serious issues. This term our wellbeing programme at St Andrew's Cathedral School is focused on building capacity in students to develop respectful relationships.

Sexualised imagery is ever present in the lives of our young people, and this impacts their ability to develop self-confidence and healthy relationships. Our next guest speaker, Melinda Tankard Reist, will address this issue head on when she speaks with our School community including students in Years 8, 9, and 11, and our staff and parents. Students in these year groups will be engaging with this topic in their tutorial groups prior to the seminar and then debrief together through guided peer discussion about the key themes presented in more detail. Our pastoral staff will be on hand to support our students and be part of this important and ongoing conversation.

Parents are invited to hear Melinda speak on Wednesday 14 September in the Chapter House at 5:30pm. Given the importance of this issue, the School strongly encourages all parents to attend. Parents can register for the event by clicking the grey box below.

Wednesday 14 September, 5.30pm
Chapter House

Mr Derek Champion
Head of Wellbeing and Character


Parents register here


2022 Showcase tickets on sale now

Join us in the magnificent Sydney Town Hall for our annual Showcase of music ensembles, our Junior Choir, Year 7 music programme, and Year 12 soloists.

This year's theme is RISE UP and the concert will be an exploration of the power of music to uplift and renew, and a celebration of the resilience and creativity of our students who can't wait to share their music with audiences again, following our last Showcase Concert in June 2021. Enjoy performances from across the school.

Gawura families who wish to attend can use this discount code on the booking site to waive all charges: gawura2605

(SACS and Gawura students who are performing at the concert will not be required to buy a ticket.)

Thursday 15 September, 7pm
Sydney Town Hall


Book Here


Join us for our annual Choir Sunday Reunion Service

All choristers, former choristers, choral scholars, lay clerks and their families are welcome to join us for the 10.30am Sunday Service in the Cathedral, followed by refreshments at 12pm in the Chapter House.

If you would like to sing with the choir during the Sunday Service, a rehearsal will be held Sunday 18 September at 9:30am before the service. Music will be distributed in advance.

For enquiries and/or booking assistance please contact Ross Cobb, Director of Cathedral Music at or Richard Hansen, Alumni & Community Engagement Coordinator at or call 02 9286 9661.

Sunday 18 September
9.30am for 10.30am service

St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney

Please RSVP by Friday, 9 September


RSVP here


Get ready - bookings open next week

Are you ready for a night of laughter, dress ups, lots of fun and games and of course, TRIVIA?

It's time - grab your friends, book a table, put the finishing touches to your awesome dress up costumes and bring your knowledge of all things trivia to the highly anticipated St Andrew's Cathedral School Trivia Night! This year the dress up theme is "Musical Mayhem". Who will you be? Sandy? Danny? Alex the Lion? Corney Collins? Willy Wonka?

Win prizes including best decorated table, best individual costume and best dressed team. And if you need more excitement there will be some fantastic items in the silent auction.

So get in early to pick the table of your choice or buy an individual ticket and let us find a table for you. If you book a single ticket, let us know your year group and we can sit you together with other parents from your year. It’s a fantastic way to make new friends!

Please note: the only way to guarantee which team name you have is to book the whole table.

Price includes a welcome drink and food throughout the evening. 
Don't delay - this event will sell out.

Saturday 15 October, 6pm to 11pm (Trivia starts at 7pm)
Heath Centre, Level 5, SAH
Cost: $65 a ticket, $650 for table of 10

Registration details will be advertised in next week’s newsletter.


Andrean Artist, Writer, Designer, Composer of the Year entries close Monday 17 October

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, this year’s Andrean of the Year theme is 'Egypt'.

Click here for 2022 entry details and winners from past competitions.

Mr Brad Swibel
Deputy Head of School (Secondary)


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