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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 8
Gawura School and Junior School Student Leaders 2020
Heart Mind Life Awards
Comparative Reporting
Library News
Music News
Parenting Tips
Theatre Sports
Knitting Bee
Textbooks for Year 7 2020
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Darling Street Anglican Church
Camp Australia - Summer Holiday Program
Christmas at the Cathedral

Message Stick – Term 4, Week 8


Welcome to our very last Message Stick for 2019. Our students and staff have had a wonderful year together filled with both academic and cultural learning. Listening to the staff mention every student’s name and the progress they have made throughout the year reminds us teachers why we love our job so much. Watching a student gain in competence in both literacy and numeracy is very fulfilling but also watching them grow and how they navigate socially and their ability to solve issues and become thoughtful citizens is also very rewarding.

We are sending 4 Year 6 graduates into the St Andrew’s Cathedral Secondary School or as it is known Middle School.  Aliyah, Mariah, Stanley and Toni all had a lovely Graduation Evening on Friday 22 of November along with over 80 of their fellow Year 6 classmates. We wish Aliyah, Mariah, Stanley and Toni all the very best as they move into Year 7 in the Middle School here at St Andrew’s. We will still see lots of them as Gawura will be involved in excursions including our third On Country Tour.

Thank you to all the parents and carers who attended our JSGS Awards Assembly last Wednesday. It is lovely to celebrate your child’s success here at school from their fine efforts during the year. We would like to thank our Gawura Enrolments Officer Mrs Annie Meek for a lovely session on Christmas Cookie Decorating where along with the help of Ms Ferguson, took each stage and helped create some lovely cookie treats even some Gingerbread Houses. The smiles on our students faces tell the story!
Just a reminder that this Wednesday 4 December is the JSGS Picnic Day where our students can wear their usual sports uniform. No lunch orders will be taken this day so please pack your child’s lunch this Wednesday. The students will be going to Queens Park and you are invited to join us too if you can. Thursday 5 December is our last day of school for 2019 and will finish with Carols in the Cathedral from 2-3pm. Students will need to wear school uniform this day and you are also invited to come along and sing some Christmas carols with us.

Finally thank you to all of our wonderful parents, carers, volunteers and donors in our community. Together we have a wonderful program happening in our Gawura School which is only going to grow and prosper further into the future. I’d like to thank our teaching staff, Mrs Price, Mrs Gibbs, Mr Kirk and Ms Ferguson for all their dedication and hard work this year. I also would like to personally thank you all for your support throughout this year as well. Our students are wonderful and it is a real pleasure and privilege to work alongside you all in partnership in educating these fine, young and proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders of the future.

May you all have a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a safe and wonderful holiday throughout December and January. School will resume for Kindergarten on Tuesday 28 January 2020 and for Years 1-6 on Wednesday 29 January 2020.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar

Tuesday 3 December: Year 5 & 6 Science Excursion

Tuesday 3 December: Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving

Wednesday 4 December: JSGS Picnic Day

Thursday 5 December: Pre Carols Service Coffee in the Hub 1.15pm for parents 

Thursday 5 December: K-6 Carol Service 2.15pm 

Thursday 5 December: Term 4 Concludes K-12

Friday 6 December: Staff Development Day (no students) 

Tuesday 28 January: Kindergarten students 2020 commence 

Wednesday 29 January: Year 1-6 2020 Students commence 8:30am 


Gawura School and Junior School Student Leaders 2020


Congratulations to the following students who will represent the Junior School and Gawura in their capacity as leaders for 2020

Leadership Team in 2020

  • Gawura Junior School: Joylara Ingram
  • Junior School Captain: Martha Way- Stamatellis
  • Junior School Captain: Joseph Scott
  • Junior School Vice Captain: Eva Milkovic
  • Junior School Vice Captain: Jedidiah Sam
  • Music Captain: Alison Ahn
  • Music Captain: Benjamin Su
  • Drama Captain: William Wheeler

House Captains

  • Canterbury House Captain: Sebastian Agriogiannis
  • Durham House Captain: Hayla Wilkinson
  • Hereford House Captain: Oliver Duggan
  • Salisbury House Captain: Poppi Cosmetatos
  • St Paul's House Captain: Christian Desillas
  • Westminster House Captain: Georigia Wansey
  • Winchester House Captain: Alexander Smallwood
  • York House Captain: Cristina Barona Alvarez De La Gala

Heart Mind Life Awards

Leann Bray Year 3 Heart Term Award for always showing kindness and respect to her peers.
Djani Haynes Year 1 Mind Term Award for arising to challenges and consciously extending himself.
Kailan Keegan Year 4 Life Term Award for embracing challenges in both curriculum and sport.

Comparative Reporting


As the semester and year concludes we have pleasure in presenting your child’s Semester Two Report for 2019. The teachers have assessed your child’s work across each of the Key Learning Areas of the curriculum.

Reports will be emailed this week.

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. 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 the Junior School 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.


Library News


Holiday borrowing means double the loans!
Return your overdue items to take advantage of double borrowing for the holidays, it’s a long one so stock up before you go away.  You do need to remember to bring them all back again next year though!

Thank you
I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the students, parents and carers for your love, well wishes, gifts, hugs and chats in passing this past couple of weeks.  I have absolutely loved my time here at SACS and will miss you all so very much.  I wish you all the very best for 2020 and beyond.

Merry Christmas and safe holidays
The library wishes all our students, students and families a safe holiday and a very Merry book-filled Christmas.

“Keep reading, it’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.” – Lloyd Alexander

Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Music News



Congratulations to the following students on their excellent AMEB exam results:

Oliver Seeho  - Pass with Credit in Grade 2 Piano for Leisure.
Anthony Wu - distinction in Grade 6 piano
Jonathan Liu - High Distinction in Grade 3 Piano.
Hiroki Takahashi-Zhong - High Distinction in Grade 5 piano as well.

Hiroki Takahashi-Zhong also won the Bach and Baroque 8 years and under section of the Inner West Eisteddfod, as well as the 5th and 6th Grade Piano sections in the Inner West Eisteddfod


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


Music tuition in 2020

If you would like to enrol your child in new individual music lessons for 2020, please follow the link to our new online enrolment form. It will be assumed that all students currently learning an instrument or voice at SACS will be continuing in 2020. If you wish to discontinue lessons from 2020, please give notice directly to your child’s music tutor and before the end of this term. As per the terms and conditions outlined at the time of music lesson application, failure to give appropriate notice before the end of this term will result in a 4-week cancellation fee being payable in the next term.

Christian Watson
Director of Performing Arts


Parenting Tips


Want to raise mentally strong kids?

This is the last Parenting Tips for this year. I hope you have enjoyed the articles that I have shared and that they provided you with something to think about. This is an excellent article and again, I hope it provides you with some thought–provoking material.

“One of the best ways to help kids develop resilience is to give up unhealthy parenting habits that rob kids of the mental strength they need to think, feel, and perform at their best.
Here are seven parenting habits you should give up if you want to raise mentally strong kids:

1. Minimising your child’s feelings
When you say things like, “Don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal,” you’re implying that your child’s feelings are wrong – or that they don’t matter.
Kids need to know that it’s ok to feel a wide variety of emotions. And the key to living their best life is about managing emotions (not suppressing them).
A healthier message is to say, “I know you feel scared right now, but I also know you’re strong enough to face your fears.”

2. Giving in to misbehavior
It’s tempting to give in when your child is whining or throwing a tantrum – especially on the days when you just don’t have the time or energy to address the issue.
But each time you give them what they want, you teach your child that their misbehavior is an effective way to get their needs met. If you want to raise mentally strong kids, stick to your limits. Teach them that they can cope with their discomfort and learn healthier ways to manage their emotions.

3. Overindulging your child
You might think it’s cute to spend exorbitant amounts of money on your child. Or maybe it makes you feel good that you can give your child all of the things you never had growing up.
But there’s a lot of research that shows just how unhealthy overindulgence is for kids. If they always get everything they want, they miss out on learning valuable life skills – like self-discipline.
They will also be more likely to grow up to be materialistic, which is associated with decreased levels of happiness in adulthood.
Set limits on what you give your child. Let them know what it’s like to experience disappointment, and teach them how to work for things they want to have.

4. Expecting perfection
While high expectations are good for kids, setting the bar too high is likely to backfire. Whether you expect too much from your child on the sports field, or your academic expectations are unreasonable, kids who feel they can’t succeed are likely to stop trying.
They’re also more likely to struggle with self-esteem issues because they will feel as though they aren’t good enough.
Help your child aim for big goals – but make sure those goals are realistic. And use mistakes, failures, and setbacks to teach important life skills.

5. Giving your kids an equal vote
Just a few short decades ago, most parents adopted the “kids should be seen and not heard” attitude. The focus was on obedience.
And while we’ve since learned that it’s important to show kids that we value their opinions, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction for some parents, and the family hierarchy has become a bit blurred.
While it’s healthy to show kids you value their opinion, it’s also important to make it clear that you’re the leader. Otherwise, kids grow up feeling anxious – they really don’t want to be in charge. Make it clear that you have the knowledge and skills to be a good leader – a leader who listens to everyone – but ultimately make the decisions based on wisdom and expertise.

6. Standing in the way of natural consequences
Although it’s tough to see kids fail, standing in between your child and the natural consequences of their behaviour does them a disservice.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to help kids build mental muscle is to get out of the way. Give them a chance to flex their muscles on their own – and deal with the aftermath when they don’t succeed.

7. Countering your child’s negative self-talk
There’s nothing wrong with reassuring your child that they will be ok when they’re convinced they aren’t going to pass maths or worried about not making the team.
It’s important for kids to learn how to respond to self-doubt on their own. And they need to learn that they shouldn’t believe everything they think.
When you catch them thinking exaggeratedly negative, teach your child to “argue the opposite.” When they think, “I’m going to be the worst kid on the basketball team,” ask them, “What’s the evidence you might not be the worst?” Gathering the evidence can help them develop a more realistic, balanced outlook.”

I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and happy New Year.
Thank you for your supportive and positive feedback this year.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader


Theatre Sports


Winners are Grinners!

On Tuesday the SACS Junior School Theatresports team – Darius Hopwood, Thea Scholl, Edie Swibel and Joe Scott made the trek up the Pacific Highway to Knox Grammar for the Theatresports Primary Schools Challenge Grand Final. The competition promised to be fierce as the line up included three former champion teams – William Clarke College, Cranbrook and Woollahra Public School – but the team were quietly confident and looked forward to the fun to be had.

With so many quality teams the lead changed each round and it was anyone’s match. Going into the final round SACS were slotted to play the second-last scene and were a great chance at putting themselves in front. Determined to play to their strengths they chose a Sing-About-It scene where the players have to sing about how they feel when told by the MC. Thea set the scene with a delightful song about the romantic row boat ride she was taking with Joe, who added to the romance with his song in response. Then a shark appeared in the form of Darius who sang about his anger that people kept rowing on his pond. But it was Edie who left the audience in stitches when, as a lonely tadpole, she sang about how terribly rude it was for people to flaunt their romantic feelings in front of all the animals of the pond that couldn’t find love themselves. Thea and Joe sang their apologies and brought the scene to a beautifully harmonised end. The audience erupted with applause and the judges scored the team with a near-perfect 5-5-4, giving SACS a clear two point lead and the championship.

All praise must go to Darius, Thea, Edie and Joe who kept calm heads and played their hearts out, and thanks to the families and friends for their support. This result points to a bright future for Theatresports at SACS and is a testament to the hard work put in by every player at the school.

SACS Pride.

David Callan
SACS Theatresports Coordinator





On Wednesday 27 November, Year 5 Student Jedidiah Sam was recognised at the ICAS Medal Presentation ceremony at UNSW, Kensington. Jedidiah won a medal in Science, achieving the highest score for Year 5 in the country.

Jedidiah is pictured here with Year 10 student Amy Diaz, who also won the medal for ICAS Writing.

Congratulations to Jedidiah!

Lucy Birts
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS and GS


Knitting Bee


Thank You

A quick thanks to all parents, grandparents, friends and staff who have contributed to a range of knitting projects at SACS in 2019! Some of our Middle School students presented eight finished blankets to residents of an Anglicare aged care home in week 7. It was a lovely moment to witness and was only made possible by those who donated wool and yarn, cast on squares, taught beginners, finished off squares, crocheted squares into blankets, and send in squares ready to go. Each blanket was truly a SACS community endeavour.

Lizzie Skipsey
K-12 Service Learning Coordinator


Textbooks for Year 7 2020


All textbooks Year 7 students will be supplied via Box of Books. Most books will be digital copies, although some will be provided as hard copies (eg novels, workbooks) and handed out in classes at the start of the year. There are no additional costs to you for these books as they are covered in School fees in the Student Resources charge.

Some parents and students like to purchase optional hard copies of their textbooks. We have managed to negotiate a special deal on your behalf of the parents to save money on optional hard copy purchases. If you make your purchases through Box of Books before the 31 December, you will only be charged the difference in price from the digital-only edition and the hard copy. This is a fantastic saving!

Pip Hoermann
Learning Coach - Innovation, Mathematics Teacher


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.


Darling Street Anglican Church


Camp Australia - Summer Holiday Program


Click link below for more details


Christmas at the Cathedral


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