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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 9
Tram Testing
Heart Mind Life Awards
Semester One Reports
Head Lice Alert
Library News
Parenting Tips
Music News
Sport News
Parents and Friends News
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
School Holiday Science Program
Camp Australia - Winter Holidays Program
Code Camp - Winter School Holidays
Showcase Concert 2019 - Beyond

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 9


Semester One reports will be emailed out this week to all Junior School and Gawura School students and families. I recommend that you take some time to sit down with your child and read the report together and celebrate the successes that they have achieved and take on the recommendations that are also mentioned to enhance student learning for Semester Two. We will have another round of Parent Teacher Interviews during Term 3 where you can discuss your child’s report in more detail with their class teacher.

Thank you to everyone who attended our annual NAIDOC Week Assembly in the cathedral on Monday 24 June. NAIDOC Week is held during the school holidays from July 1-7 but we host our own celebration of this event in the last week of school before the end of Term 2.

Special thanks to Uncle Alan Madden who performed the Welcome to Country and to Aunty Norma Ingram who spoke so eloquently about the issues of Indigenous Voice, Treaty and Truth. Aunty Norma made reference to walking together for a brighter future and this is what our two harmonious schools do every day of the year. Our students in K-4 who performed the Biladurang Play looked wonderful and their acting skills were superb. Stage 3 students spoke about truth and our high school students made a special video as part of their contribution. Students from both Junior School and Gawura School sang the moving song titled ‘We Will’ by Jim Papoulis. Thank you to Stage 2 Junior School teacher Ms Emily Sze whose class read some wonderful Acknowledgements of Country. This was an amazing activity and one which many people were speaking about at the Morning Tea afterwards. The assembly was streamed live on Facebook and Aunty Kerry (Jakayla and Zavier’s aunty) was watching the event all the way from Narromine!

We celebrated the achievements of Izak Rigney-Sebastian and wish him all the very best for the July school holidays where he has been accepted into the UNSW Winter School stream of Medicine. This is a magnificent opportunity for Izak and while this doesn’t doesn’t guarantee Izak a place in 2020 at UNSW it certainly will give him great insights into what the medicine program will look like.

Finally I would to let you all know about the Gawura 10 Year Anniversary Book which was officially launched last night at a function held at Lendlease in Barangaroo. (I have attached a copy of the cover below). Thank you to the parents who attended the book launch as well. We have given each student 2 copies of the book which are in their bags to pass on to you. If you would like an extra copy for additional family members then please let me know.

I wish you all a very relaxing and restful mid-year break. We look forward to seeing you when school returns on Wednesday 24 July. Have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


For more photos, please go to our  facebook  page


Tram Testing


Be aware, there is a tram there!

Testing and commisioning of trams is about to start through the CBD. There are important implications for our school community. It promises to offer effective alternate transport options to many of our families, however, it also presents a potential risk to safety for unsuspecting pedestrians. We wish to make our students, and their parents, aware of the implications of interacting with the Light Rail.

The section of Light Rail between Circular Quay and Randwick (which includes George Street, is likely to be operational in December this year.  Some night testing of our section, which includes the Town Hall stop, and blocks to the south of our school, will occur in the next few days. This finishes by 4am so won’t affect our families travelling to and from school. However, the initial short-day testing, scheduled between 10.00am and 2.00pm, will commence from the start of Term Three, perhaps even during the holidays.  We have not been informed, yet, when the full daytime testing will commence, which will affect our students who interact with George Street, as they travel to and from our school.

We, therefore, wish to educate our students, before they may potentially interact with the trams.

We will be providing further information to all families and some training for the students.

Some of the key messages we will reinforce with your children include:

  • Currently the George St tram lines are available to pedestrians only, but when operation commences, pedestrians will be sharing the tram tracks with the trams in the area near the school.
  • Most people in Sydney, including SACs students, generally have no experience dealing with a shared vehicle/pedestrian space
  • There are granite tactile tiles indicating that pedestrians are about to enter a tram area. They are not visually bright; however, we believe they will be obvious to a child if they are paying attention. We will be showing them to the students.
  • There are areas in the CBD which are not shared tram/pedestrian zones. We need to only use the approved pedestrian crossings in those areas.
  • Trams are very quiet. Initially the wheels will make extra noise until the tracks are polished smooth. But they will be more difficult to hear as time goes on.
  • Fortunately, we should have slow speed trams in front of the Cathedral as they approach/depart the stop. But, otherwise, in the CBD the 20km/h limit means a 15m stopping distance.
  • Each tram is 67 metres long. This is the distance from the front of St Andrew’s House to the far (George St) side of the Cathedral.
  • During the peak times (7.00am to 7.00pm) there will be a tram every 4 minutes in each direction.
  • Trams travel in both directions (we are used to a lot of streets being one way in the CBD). Look both ways!
  • The tracks, and the 3rd rail, are a slip and trip hazard.
  • The hazard to mobile phone users, who do not stop using their phone as they enter a tram zone, is much higher than when they cross a road. Trams cannot swerve or stop as quickly as a car.
  • Because “people break rules”, TFNSW and ALTRAC Light Rail  are engaging in a public safety campaign.
  • While trams are a new feature, St Andrew’s Cathedral School will be actively educating students, to support their safety.
  • 8.00am to 9.30am is the CBD peak hour for traffic (just when our students are arriving at school). We will be actively monitoring the area and student movement, as the school community adjusts to the impact of this new transportation service.

Some positive points are:

  • The drivers are especially trained on where danger points are (e.g. near our school)
  • TFNSW are planning a lot of community education, including for schools.
  • TFNSW noted St Andrew’s Cathedral School, and other schools on the route, for special attention. They intend to have special, tailored awareness programmes for us.

We trust that the new Light Rail will bring many benefits to our school community, and with due diligence, we all will be able to minimise any potential risks to safety. We would appreciate if families could consider the impact for their child / children’s daily commute and reinforce these important safety messages to them as well.

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.

Rhonda Robson
Deputy Head of School (Primary)
Director of Primary Education


Dates for your calendar

Wednesday 26 June - Showcase Concert - 6.30pm

Thursday 20 June - Kindy to Tumbalong Park

Friday 28 June - GALA Day!

Friday 28 June - Term 2 concludes for all students

Wednesday 24 July - Term 3 commences for all students 


Heart Mind Life Awards

Eleanor-Rose Hammond Kindy For Speaking to others in a kind voice
Samara Lyons Kindy Facing challenges with courage
Joylara Ingram Year 5 always dAlways displaying the qualities and principles Yindyamarra
Aliyah Arabi Year 6 For being kind, helpful, and considerate to others
Bryden Walker Kindy For his excellent knowledge of the THRASS chart
Maya Hughes Year 1 For being consistent and conscientious in all class activities
Latrell Mcgrath Kindy For persistent effort and improvement in reading

Semester One Reports


As the semester concludes we will email your child’s Semester One Report for 2019. The teachers have assessed your child’s work across each of the Key Learning Areas of the curriculum.

The assessments have been guided by the New South Wales NESA syllabus documents. Students have made a great deal of progress academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually, and we trust you will see this reflected in this formalised reporting document.

Naturally, we encourage you to take a positive and enthusiastic approach and to peruse the report together with your child. Do take time to impart appropriate praise and recognition for efforts and achievements made, and to provide encouragement in areas where increased diligence may be warranted. Please remember, each child is precious and unique and rates of development and achievement will vary from student to student, across subject areas.

The five point grading scale of Extensive through to Elementary, an (A – E) equivalence, enables you to have a sense of where your child is in relation to NSW outcomes at this point in time.

Comparative Reporting information for this semester is certainly available from the School (Year 1 to Year 6) to individual parents upon request.

If you would like to know how your child’s individual results compare to the grade, please contact the Junior School Reception and this information will be sent directly to you after the holiday break. The email contact to request comparative grades is

Our recommendation to parents is that if Comparative Reporting information is sought from the School, that such information is not shared with your child. Should you require any further explanation, or details regarding your child’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher initially.

Thank you for entrusting your child’s education to Gawura at St Andrew’s Cathedral School.  It is a privilege and pleasure to work with you and your child, and I thank you sincerely for your on-going and crucial contribution to our learning partnership.

Mrs Rhonda Robson
Deputy Head of School (Primary) and Head of Junior School



Head Lice Alert


We have been advised of a case of head-lice in the school.

Please check your child and treat if necessary.

NSW Public Health

The facts

Head lice infestations are a common occurrence, particularly in primary schools.

  • About 23% of primary students have head lice at any one time
  • Anyone can catch head lice regardless of their age, sex, or how clean their hair is
  • Head lice move from one person's head to another via hair
  • Head lice do not survive long when they are off a human head
  • Head lice do not live on furniture, hats, bedding or carpet
  • Head lice have built up some resistance to head lice treatments


Daily combing with hair conditioner using a fine tooth comb, it is effective in getting rid of head lice and eggs (nits)

Tips for parents in reducing the spread of head lice

As infestations are particularly common in primary schools, it is best to choose a treatment that can be used over time. There is no single solution to eradication, only persistence.

  • Regularly check your children's hair
  • Teach older children to check their own hair
  • Tie back and braid long hair
  • Keep a fine-tooth head lice comb in the bathroom and encourage all family members to use it when they wash their hair.

Library News


Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:

Annabelle Tee, Jocelyn Tee, Vanessa Yang, Bridie Hansen, Christine Phoon, Sebastian Agriogiannis, Alexander Smallwood, Bronte Critchley, Peter Joseph, Raeleigh Magee, Mika Chin, William Wheeler, Danielle Chapman and Aliyah Arabi.

For more information and the booklists visit the PRC website

*If you attended a different school and completed the PRC there, please come and see me so I can request that your records be merged. Otherwise this will be your first PRC year. This is especially important if you are eligible for your gold or platinum certificates this year and if you are looking at earning your Premier’s medal.

Book Draw

Finished the PRC for 2019? Well don’t stop reading!
Our next draw is next week, so get your entries in.

Parent / Teacher Challenge 2019

Congratulations to the following extraordinary reading role model:

Mrs Perkins (Allan Perkin’s Mum)
Mrs Sanfilippo (Oscar Sanfilippo’s Mum)

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

Requirements for completion:

Read any 6 titles (in any language). Email me the titles and I’ll add you to our wall of wonderful reading role models.


Celebrations in the library

We celebrated Minecraft turning 10 this week by inviting students to make physical Minecraft constructions in the library with cardboard boxes. We had so many cubbies dotted around the library and even a Minecraft inspired costume made out of cardboard boxes! Students folded and took home pet paper Minecraft pigs and Minecraft bookmarks and generally enjoyed making cubbies and hide-outs out of boxes and library furniture.

We also had a birthday for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, who turned 50 this year! We attempted to make a 50m long paper chain caterpillar and nearly go there, as well as made fingerprinted caterpillar bookmarks to take home, but the most popular activity was by-far the balloons; these were bounced and battered and popped all over the library.
Happy birthday Minecraft and Caterpillar!

“On Saturday he ate through 1 piece of chocolate cake, 1 icecream cone, 1 pickle, 1 slice of swiss cheese, 1 slice of salami, 1 lollipop, 1 piece of cherry pie, 1 sausage, 1 cupcake, and 1 slice of watermelon.” – Eric Carle

Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Parenting Tips


Avoiding the Politics of Parenting

June 18 'Parenting Ideas' blog – Michael Grose

This may be a fairly difficult read for some of us. It is so easy to do – comparing our children with others or even with other children within our family. The suggestions are very valid, and I hope you take away some valuable advice.

The pitfall of benchmarking with other children

Comparing your child with others is a stress-inducing and, ultimately, useless activity. It’s hard to resist, as we tend to assess our progress in any area of life by checking out how we compare with our peers. When you were a child in school you probably compared yourself to your schoolmates. Your teachers may not have graded you, but you knew who the smart kids were and where you ranked in the pecking order. Now that you have kids of your own do you still keep an eye on your peers? Do you use the progress and behaviour of their kids as benchmarks to help you assess your own performance as well as your child’s progress? Or perhaps you compare your child to yourself at the same age? Benchmarking children’s progress with that of other children is not a wise parenting strategy. Inevitably, it will lead to parent frustration, as there will always be a child who performs better than your own on any scale you use.

Kids develop at their own rates

Each child has his or her own developmental clock, which is nearly impossible to alter. There are late bloomers, early developers, bright sparks and steady-as-you-go kids in everywhere. It’s the first group that can cause the most concern for parents who habitually compare children to siblings, their friends’ kids and even themselves when they were in school. The trick is to focus on your child’s improvement and effort and use your child’s results as the benchmark for his or her progress and development. “Your spelling is better today than it was a month ago” is a better measure of progress than “Your spelling is the best in the class!”

Gender matters

It’s no secret that different architects developed boys’ and girls’ brains. One major difference lies around timing, or maturity. The maturity gap between boys and girls is anywhere between 12 months and two years, and seems to be consistent all the way to adulthood. Quite simply, girls have a developmental head start over boys in areas such as handwriting, verbal skills and relationship skills. Boys benefit greatly from teaching strategies designed for their specific needs. They also benefit from having teachers and parents who recognise that patience is a virtue when teaching and raising boys, as it seems to take longer for many boys to learn and develop.

Kids have different talents, interests and strengths

So your eight-year-old can’t hit a tennis ball like Novak Djokavic, even though your neighbour’s child can. Perhaps your neighbour’s teenager is a piano virtuoso, while your fourteen year old’s idea of musical talent is listening to Spotify while doing homework. Comparisons are stressful, as they can bear no relationship to children’s interests and talents. It’s better to help your child or young person identify his or her own talents and interests. And also recognise that strengths and interests may be completely different than those of his or her peers and siblings.

Avoid linking your parenting self-esteem to your child’s performance

Take pride in your children’s performance at school, in sport or their leisure activities. Seeing your child doing well is one of the unsung pleasures of parenting. You should also celebrate their achievements and milestones such as taking their first steps, getting their first goal in a game or getting great marks at school. However, you shouldn’t have too much personal stake in your children’s success or in their milestones, as this close association makes it hard to separate yourself from them. It may also lead to excessive parental pressure for kids to do well, which is an acknowledged source of anxiety for many children and young people. The maxim “You are not your child” is a challenging but essential parental concept to live by. Doing so takes real maturity and altruism, but it is the absolute foundation of that powerful thing known as ‘unconditional love’.


Yes, maybe a hard and sobering read, but it is an excellent piece of advice.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader.


Music News


Congratulations Musicians

Congratulations to the following students on their excellent results in various AMEB exams:

  • William Wheeler - High Distinction, Grade 1 Musical Theatre
  • Kiera Munzone - Credit, 6th Grade Piano
  • Darius Hopwood - Honours, 1st Grade Oboe
  • Eva Dewar - Honours, 2nd Grade Oboe
  • Oscar Su - High Distinction, Preliminary Music Craft

Kate Robertson
Leader of Learning - Music (K-6)


Sport News


CIS Sport

Congratulations to Georgia Wansey who has been selected for the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Primary Girls Touch Football team. This is an outstanding achievement, considering she is still only in Year 5 and it is open to all primary aged students from independent schools in New South Wales. She’ll be travelling to Mudgee to represent the association in the state tournament.

Congratulations to Danielle Chapman, Harrison Bond, Emily Lin and Georgia Wansey for representing the school so well at the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Cross Country Championships at Eastern Creek. It’s an outstanding achievement qualifying for this prestigious event and the school is immensely proud of their efforts.

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


Parents and Friends News


Celebrating our birthday on Gala Day

Gala Day is a fun day held at the end of Term 2 each year, where we celebrate the school’s birthday. It’s a great day for students and staff at SACS as they spend their day in friendly, competitive activities such as Theatresports, banner design, table tennis, basketball, football, a dance-off and so much more. Students compete in their houses to win points towards the Dean Pitt (Senior School) and Rod Macqueen (Junior School) Shields. The Association of Parents and Friends provide a BBQ lunch for all the students and we celebrate our birthday. St Andrew's Cathedral School was founded on July 14 1885 with only 27 boys. As the 14 July always falls into the school holidays, we celebrate our birthday on Gala Day with our school captains cutting a cake and the students singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

Happy 134th birthday SACS!


Volunteers needed for Heath Bursary Fund Give-a-thon

Can you be part of our Operations Room for our Heath Bursary Fund Giving Day? We are asking volunteers to commit to a 2 hour shift in our operations room on Level 4 in SAH. We need volunteers from 3pm-9pm on Thursday 27 to launch our campaign, and again from 9am-3pm on Friday 28 June.

If you can only volunteer for an hour or you would like to stay longer please sign up and send us an email to let us know.

We will run the Operations Room almost like a telethon, with regular updates on the target, lots of food and drinks and plenty of excitement and fun.

Can you help?
The more volunteers we have the more SACS families we can support.

To sign up go to:
For more information email Lyn Jarvis,


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday Appointments Available.

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.


School Holiday Science Program


Camp Australia - Winter Holidays Program


Code Camp - Winter School Holidays


Early Bird Discount


Showcase Concert 2019 - Beyond


All Junior School and Gawura students, all Year 7 students, and most music ensemble students will be involved in our annual Showcase Concert in Sydney Town Hall. The concert will begin at 6.30pm, and all performers need to be in their starting positions for the concert by 6pm.

Date: Wednesday 26 June
Time: 6.30pm
Location: Sydney Town 

Tickets $10 - please contact Mr John Ralph at or on  9286 9535



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