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In this issue

Gawura News
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting Tips
AMT Computational and Algorithmic Competition
What's on : upcoming events and activities

Gawura News


Last Thursday 4 August our students from Years 2-6 participated in the annual Junior School and Gawura School (JSGS) Athletics Carnival at the ES Marks Field in Kensington. Our students competed in several events including 100m, 200m and 800m races, long jump, high jump and turbo jav. Our students proved to be quite competitive on the day with some even going through to the next level which is the ASISSA Athletics Carnival to be held on Thursday 19 August.

Our students in Years 3-6 are busy with rehearsals for Madagascar which will be performed at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) at the UNSW in Kensington on Thursday 25 August and Friday 26 August. Although K-2 students are not performing in this production they will all go and view the performance during the day on Thursday 25 August.

If you have a child in Years 3-6 and would like to see the show but have not completed and submitted the online form to request tickets then please do so via this link:

Each family will receive 2 complimentary tickets. Any additional tickets can be purchased through Ticketek. We have extended the cut off date to request the 2 complimentary tickets til this Wednesday 10 August at 12pm midday.

We have a number of events happening this term. Please check the dates below.

We wish you an enjoyable and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Wednesday 10 August 
ICAS Writing

Thursday 11 August, 9am-12.30pm
Madagascar Rehearsals Years 3-6

Thursday 11 August
Years 1 and 2 to Tumbalong Park for sport

Friday 12 August
Year 4 Taronga Zoo geography excursion

Friday 12 August, 3.30pm-6.30pm
Band Concert Chapter House

Monday 15 August
National Science Week

Monday 15 August
Year 6 Refugee excursion

Monday 15 August
Round 1 Public Speaking Heats commence

Wednesday 18 August
ICAS English

Wednesday 18 August, 9am-11.00am
Madagascar Rehearsals

Thursday 19 August
ASISSA Athletics Carnival

Friday 20 August
JS Sports and Group photos

Monday 22 August
ICAS Spelling

Wednesday 24 August
Madagascar Full Dress Rehearsal

Thursday 25 August – Friday 26 August
JS&G production of
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.
NIDA Parade Theatre
Matinee 12.30pm and Evening 6.30pm

Saturday 27 August, 11am
OAA Celebrating our Heritage
Chapter House

Monday 29 August
ICAS Mathematics


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Grow Your Mind

You may have heard your child come home from school talking about the animals in their brain and wondered about what we may be teaching them! Many classes across the Junior School, have been using five animal friends to learn a little about what happens inside our brains in different situations.

Earlier in the year we used the Zones of Regulation to help students understand that their feelings change across different situations and this term many of our classes are looking at what happens inside of us with these changes in emotions. This is where those animals come into play with each one representing a different part of the brain. All is going well when your Guard Dog (the amygdala) is nice and small, however there are many times when the Guard Dog barks SUPER loudly and the other animals can’t talk to each other. This means it is nearly impossible to focus (Sifting Sooty – reticular activating system) to imagine how someone else might be feeling (Sensitive Octopus – insular cortex) to make a good decision (Wise Owl – prefrontal cortex) and to remember things (Elephant who tries to remember – hippocampus).

So how can we calm our guard dog when it takes over and starts barking at the other animals? How can we use our Wise Owl and Sensitive Octopus to be a better friend? These are just some of the conversations we are having in our Junior School and Gawura classrooms to support our students in growing to better understanding themselves and others. Perhaps you can continue the conversation in your home. If you would like to find out more why not start by watching this two-minute clip here.


Year 4 Service group

Is your child in Year 4?
Does your child have a heart for serving others?

This semester our SRC students are seeking to support our Year 4 students in performing small acts of service around our Junior School and Gawura. It is an optional activity for those Year 4 students who are interested, commencing on 11 August. We would love for your child to be a part of this group!

Year 4 Service Group
Thursday mornings from 11 August, 8am-8.30am
Stage 2 open area


Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Junior School & Gawura Well‑Being Coordinator


Music news



Congratulations to our Recorder Ensemble who placed first in their section at the Ryde Eisteddfod and thank you to their tutor, Ms Sue Thorvaldson, for her fine work in leading this group of students.

Many students have recently completed AMEB Music examinations. Congratulations to the following students on these wonderful results:

Taali Paku – Violin Grade 4: Honours

Martin Ma – Grade 4: Honours

Hugo Martin – Preliminary Piano: Honours

Archie Lo – Trinity Drums Grade 5: A

Brandon Cheung – Violin Grade 5: Honours


Dates for the diary

Students in the Junior Concert Band will be performing at the Band Concert on 12 August in the Upper Chapter House.

Students in Junior Choir (Years 3-6) will be performing at this year’s Showcase Concert on 15 September in the Town Hall.

All Junior ensembles will perform in the Junior Ensembles Concert in Term 4 on 18 November. Please save the date for this evening performance!


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


Library news


Three important dates are coming up in the library

1. Premier’s Reading Challenge Closes 19 August

There are only a matter of days left for students to complete the Premier’s Reading Challenge. We are doing our utmost to ensure the majority of students successfully complete the challenge. Please let us know if your child needs login details or if we can help in any other way.

2. Book Character Parade on Friday 2 September

Book Week is the week after this year’s Junior School musical. Students are being reminded to think about and start pulling together a costume for the Book Character Parade. The Book Character Parade is an expression of the fun and creativity that overflows in our community. Parents are welcome to come and join the celebrations!

3. Indigenous Literacy Foundation – Great Book Swap Wednesday 7 September

The week after Book Week, the library will host the Great Book Swap, an opportunity to support the important work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in remote communities. Students can donate “as new” quality books from now until Monday 5 September.


Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – 
JS&G Teacher Librarian


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Parenting Tips


Micro-habits to parent better every day

From Parenting Ideas blog, August 2021:

“The Japanese concept of Kaizen states that small habits are easy to do as they require no willpower. In time, they become a natural part of what you do, and you’re performing better, in this case parenting better, before you know it.

Following are five micro-habits that will impact positively your relationship with your child. You are encouraged to create your own micro-habits, but this list will help you get started.

Greet your child with a smile every day

“Make a good first impression as first impressions count.” There’s incredible wisdom in this saying as your first interaction with someone will set the tone for all the interactions that follow. Make your first interaction with your child each day a happy, positive one by greeting them with a smile. Make your eyes light up and not only will you put yourself in a good mood, but you’ll establish an atmosphere of warmth for your child at the start of the day.

Point your feet toward your child when they have something important to tell you……love this, never thought about this before!

Next time you are standing with someone at a party, social or networking event, glance down to see where their feet are pointing. If they are pointed your way, then you have their full attention. If they are pointed elsewhere, then you’d better talk quickly as they’ll soon be heading in the direction that their feet are pointing.

This principle applies doubly to family life. When you know your child has something to say, point your feet toward them and they’ll know that you’re giving them your full attention. If you are sitting and can’t swing your toes around, point your nose in their direction to achieve the same result.

When your child is upset, acknowledge their feelings first

When a child is annoyed, angry, or visibly upset, focus on their feelings before their behaviour. Often, we parent down heavily on behaviour (“Stop that yelling!” “Sit down before you hurt someone.” “That’s an outside noise.”) as we are programmed to control or bring order to a situation. This focus is often ineffective as it’s meeting our needs rather than the immediate needs of the child.

When we focus on feelings first, the behaviour will often improve because you’re meeting a child’s needs, or they finally feel understood. “I can see you’re angry at the moment.” “You seem very excited.” “I get it that your annoyed.”

Refer to good and bad behaviour as a choice

The advocates of respectful relationships rightfully say that all behaviours are a matter of choice, and aren’t driven by others, the environment or substance abuse. Parents can reinforce the idea of choice by consistently referring to a child’s positive or negative behaviour as a choice. “Good choice, sharing your toys with your brother.” “You could make a better choice and come home on time when your visit a friend.”

Look away and breathe when you want to yell 😊

We’ve all experienced it. You’re at the end of your tether and you ask your child to clean up/help out/stop annoying a sibling and they flat out refuse. Before you know it, you’ve given your child some parenting advice that doesn’t come from any parenting books, only to regret it a few minutes later. Yes, you’ve just turned into a child yourself.

When you are about to get upset with your child step back, look away (taking your senses away from the source of stress) take three or four deep belly breaths through your nose before you speak. These small steps will instantly relax, and help you think from your pre-frontal cortex (the thinking part of the brain), rather than the reactive lizard brain, which is responsible for the fight/flight response. The key is to practise this micro-habit in low or no stress situations, so it becomes automatic when you’re under stress.

In closing

Behaviours become habits become patterns. You practise a behaviour once and it’s just that – a behaviour. Practise it repeatedly and it becomes a habit, which can easily be broken. Keep the habit up for long enough and it becomes a pattern that becomes an entrenched part of the way that you parent.”

Yes, I hear you easier said than done! Especially the look away, breathe slowly and don’t yell one! I do think it is worth a reread because the ideas suggested are beneficial and in time, most helpful.

Remember that change takes time, so try introducing them slowly.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


AMT Computational and Algorithmic Competition



Last term selected students from Years 4-6 participated in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) Competition. The CAT is a one-hour problem solving competition designed to encourage students' curiosity and promote multiple modes of thinking. It requires students to solve real world problems using algorithms.

Some problems ask students to develop informal algorithms which are then applied to test data of increasing size and complexity. Other questions necessitate the ability to perform procedures or apply logical thought.

Congratulations to the follow students who achieved outstanding results in the competition:

Year 4 Distinction
James Yeoh

Year 5 Distinction
Joshua Ahn, Amy Codrington, Ili Karan

Year 6 Distinction
Alec Chakar, Alizah Hays, Lachlan Kent, Henry McDonald,
Lucas Shi, Lucinda Wegrzyn, Isaac Yeow

Year 5 High Distinction
Audrey Ash

Year 6 High Distinction
David Kim, Adele Wong


Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS&G


What's on : upcoming events and activities


P&F Presents: Wellbeing Toolkit

St Andrew Cathedral School takes a comprehensive approach to student wellbeing, ensuring every student is valued, known and supported. There are two dedicated staff overseeing the student wellbeing and character programmes, as well as counsellors who are registered psychologists. The team of counsellors provides advice and support on pastoral and academic issues affecting the wellbeing of students at the School.

Please join the P&F Executive to hear from the St Andrew's counsellors and specialist staff. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our expert panellists and have all your questions answered at this informal but highly informative evening. 

The expert panel is comprised of: 

  • Bronwyn Wake – Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Co-ordinator
  • Micah Boerma – Middle School Psychologist/Counsellor
  • Beth deSantos – Senior College Psychologist/Counsellor
  • Derek Champion – Senior School Wellbeing Coordinator

Each panellist will give a short overview of their area and how support is tailored across age groups. This will be followed by a Q&A session. Questions can be asked on the evening or forwarded ahead of the meeting to P&

Tuesday 9 August, 6pm
The Hub, Level 4 SAH or Online.

To attend in person please RSVP below.

All guests who attend in person are requested to wear a mask. If you cannot make it in person you can also watch online via the link:


RSVP here


Time to "move it move it", book your tickets now!

Book your tickets to see St Andrew’s Cathedral School production of Dreamworks’ Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.

If you have a child in Years 3-6 and would like to see the show but have not completed and submitted the online form to request tickets then please do so via this link:

Each family will receive 2 complimentary tickets. Any additional tickets can be purchased through Ticketek. We have extended the cut off date to request the 2 complimentary tickets til this Wednesday 10 August at 12pm midday.

Our Years 3-6 Junior School and Gawura students are excited to bring to life the adventures of zoo friends Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman and their friends in this fun-filled musical story that highlights the value of friendship.

This all-ages production delivers plenty of colour, toe-tapping tunes and comic antics that will bring joy to all the family. 

Thursday 25 – Friday 26 August

NIDA Parade Theatre


Why literacy expertise is vital in the early years

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


Join St Andrew's and support 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 up until Monday 5 September.

Wednesday 7 September
Junior School Library

Students can purchase books for a gold coin donation.


Kirrikee Picnic Day update:

We very much regret that Kirrikee Picnic Day has had to be cancelled this year.

Kirrikee was postponed from its original date due to bad weather and COVID risks, and we had hoped to run it on 3 September.  Students have been enjoying almost back to back camps which is fantastic after such a long hiatus, and additional trips are being run for students who missed out last year. Re-scheduling an additional day to host a picnic day with supervised outdoor activities has proved to be a challenge.

The site continues to be boggy due to the increased rainfall this year and this affects the activities that can be offered. Onsite parking is also impacted.

We know how much everyone enjoys this day and the decision has not been taken lightly. All ticket holders will receive a full refund and we very much hope to see you at Kirrikee in Term 1 next year.


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, Head of Hereford House


Parents register here


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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