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In this issue

Message Stick Term 2, Week 1 2021
Dates for your calendar
Prayer; How the Junior School prays and how you can pray for us
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Library news
Sports news
Student Leaders @ Halogen Conference
NAPLAN online
New uniform items for sale
2021 Junior Andrean Awards
MobileMuster campaign
Junior and Gawura School Parent Social
Section HeadingP&F Presents: Junior School and Gawura
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick Term 2, Week 1 2021


A very big welcome back to all our students and their families for Term 2. I hope you all had a restful and peaceful break over the holidays.

We have another busy term ahead of us including NAPLAN, Cross Country Carnival and of course our wonderful NAIDOC Week event with a special assembly in the Cathedral on Thursday 17 June at 9:30am. This year’s theme is Heal Country and we look forward to seeing everyone on this day.

Our next GPAC Meeting will take place on Thursday 6 May from 2-3pm. Dr John Collier will also be attending this meeting and is looking forward to sharing this time with you. With further easing of COVID restrictions this term, our next GPAC meeting will take place on site. I will also offer the opportunity for anyone wishing to join us online this day as well. I will send a link out in the coming fortnight. This will be the first time in over 12 months that we can reconvene in the Community Hub on Level 4 over afternoon tea and a coffee. We look forward to seeing as many of you in person and online on Thursday 6 May.

Have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar


Wednesday 21 April: Paul Kelly Cup

Thursday 22 April: ASSISA Netball

Friday 23 April, 6pm: Junior School and Gawura Parent Social

Wednesday 28 April: JSGS ANZAC Service in the Cathedral

Thursday 29 April: Kindergarten to Tumbalong Park

Tuesday 4 May: Junior School & Gawura School Cross Country

Wednesday 5 May: Maths Olympiad

Thursday 6 May: Welcome to Kindy parents - Coffee in the Hub

Friday 7 May: IPSHA Debating Round 1

Monday 10 May: Mother's Day Celebration

Tuesday 11 May: P&F Presents: Junior and Gauwra School

Tuesday 11 May: NAPLAN Year 3 Writing

Wedensday 12 May: NAPLAN Year 5 Writing

Friday 14 May: Kindergarten Day Camp

Thursday 20 May: Welcome to Year 5 and 6 parents - Coffee in the Hub


Prayer; How the Junior School prays and how you can pray for us


You may not be someone that prays regularly, or you might possibly be a regular prayer warrior, or more comfortably sit somewhere in between. No matter where you reside on this continuum, I would like to encourage you to take time to pray for our school and the people that it reaches.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15.

These verses (and many others beside!), are a reminder that we are granted such a privilege in having unfettered access to the Creator God and that he hears our prayers. The Junior School of St Andrew’s is a place where prayer has a key role in making us who we are, through the blessings of our gracious Lord whose eye’s, ‘roam to and fro over all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him.’

Each morning as staff and students gather on the rooftop to start the day, we collectively pray the Junior School and Gawura School Prayer. Through this, we commit the day to God and remind each other of who we are as a school and where our identity lies. In our classrooms too, there is often prayer during morning devotions where our classroom teachers and students can pray more specifically for things that are happening in the life of our community. As time passes, we’re often able to reflect together on and celebrate the wonderful ways in which God answers our prayers – often in ways that surpass our expectations! Personally, I know how much prayer has meant to me in my time here – being able to pray for concerns that arise for staff, students and people in our community as well as often being prayed for – and in answer to these prayers, God has sustained and encouraged and guided me on innumerable occasions. Some of you are kind enough to share with us things that we can pray for your families and situations – and we do with great hope, most often in our staff huddles.

One of the consistent strengths of our school is our community – the parents and friends that contribute to our school in so many practical and thoughtful ways. I know a great number of you already pray over our school and we’re grateful for you committing us to the Lord in this way. Could I encourage more of you to join in this endeavour; we pray to an active and tireless God who delights in pouring out his blessing onto his people – pray for:
• Our students, that they may feel loved, understood and grow themselves and others in their journey at school.
• Our staff – that the complexities and demands of teaching and caring for students don’t distract from the joy and privilege of our job. That we would be united and committed to the goals of education and being good role-models to those around us.
• For the leadership in the school; that humility, patience, high-character and servant-heartedness might be evident in those who guide the school.
• For those in our community who are hurting, feeling lost or sad, that God might be especially real and present in their lives.

Peace be with you.


Staffing News

Our very cherished Lucy Birts has accepted an amazing opportunity to be the Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Education Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 at Perth College, commencing term 3 this year. It speaks to her fine work here at SACS that she has been offered such a significant opportunity – we wish her every success and pray that her family will enjoy their return to Perth. We will miss you greatly!

Selwyn Wu
Deputy Head of Junior School (Pastoral Care & Educational Admin)


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


The BASICS: Belonging

This term through our newsletter, we will be focusing on building the BASICS in our childrens’ wellbeing with BASICS referring to:

Belonging, Aspirations, Safety, Identity, Challenges & Success

Belonging: Building a sense of belonging in children is vital as children who feel a strong sense of belonging, especially to a family or school, feel valued, loved and secure. It is important to note that learning is almost impossible if we do not have a secure base from which to explore our world. For most children this secure base is the family they belong to.

Families can help to develop this sense of belonging in many ways:

  • spending time together in small and big ways e.g: meals, games, activities;
  • take time to listen to each other, for example asking: what you are thankful for, a high and a challenge of the day;
  • weave your family’s beliefs & values into everyday conversations
  • establish family routines for meals, bedtimes, reading;
  • give clear expectations for behaviour, so they learn about choices leading to consequences;
  • use photos & family stories to emphasise the child’s place in the family.

Children who feel secure about their sense of belonging, will be confident to make friends, ask questions and explore their world - all of which form the foundation to great learning and life!

If you would like to learn more about raising great kids please visit our SACS SchoolTV website which provides up to date, evidence based parenting support:

We are thankful to the P&F for funding SchoolTV.

Bronwyn Wake
Wellbeing Coordinator & Counsellor


Library news


Welcome to a new term!

One of the pivotal roles of the library in our school, is the commemoration of important events.

The 25th of April is ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day began as a commemoration of the fateful landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli. Over the years, it has broadened to become a day of National remembrance to include all those who have lost their lives in military and peacekeeping operations. One of the most powerful ways to ensure that our children understand the importance and significance of ANZAC Day is through stories: stories told from the perspective of those who went - men, women, children and animals; as well as those who stayed at home - waiting, working, praying, hoping and sending care packages.

ANZAC Day is an opportunity for our students to understand that history is a story. Narrative texts, with evocative illustrations and moving symbolism, are a wonderful way to achieve that end. In the coming weeks, we will be reading these stories together, trusting that as we read, we are growing in empathy, hope and resilience.

Lest we forget.

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator of Digital and Information Literacy – JS & GS


Sports news


Welcome back to Term 2 for another busy time for sport!

Kindergarten will be running foundational movement skill sessions on Thursday afternoons with their classroom teachers. Our Year 1 and 2 students will begin their term long gymnastics program this week, which is always a highlight of the year. Both of these opportunities are key in the development of young athletes and will assist them in all future sporting endeavours.

Years 3-6 have the Cross Country coming up in week 3, with the opportunity for school glory and to also qualify for the representative carnival later in the term. We have the Paul Kelly Cup and ASISSA Netball Gala Day happening in the first couple of weeks – good luck to all of our stage 3 students who’ve been selected!

Congratulations to Oscar Fung who has been selected to represent the ASISSA association at the prestigious NSWCIS Football tournament this Friday, which is a state wide event.

There’s a lot going on in Term 2 and we’re happy to say that parents will be welcome along to cheer on all of it. It’s good to be back!

Tony Dunseath
PDHPE Teacher, Head of Co-curricular K 6


Student Leaders @ Halogen Conference



On Thursday 25 March, Miss Sze and Mr Wu took the Junior School and Gawura School Student Leadership team to the Halogen Conference at the International Convention Centre. When we entered the ginormous theatre with thousands of chairs and a massive stage, we were absolutely blown away. All the chairs quickly filled up with student leaders representing countless different schools.

Four successful people were chosen to speak at this leadership event. The speakers were Lachie Smart, Anastasia Woolmer, Jimmy Rees and David Campbell. They each came to speak to us about their life stories and major achievements, as well as their setbacks. They also spoke about what they had to accomplish to become leaders and taught us how to be good role-models. In between speakers, Ezra from Dance Curriculum, taught us short dances with modern moves and funky music.

The speakers shared with us important lessons, one of which included a SACS Character Strength. Lachie Smart said, “Setbacks are the foundation to success, learn from your mistakes with the power of persistence.” Anastasia Woolmer told us "to try hard and work smart to succeed". One of our favourite lessons was told by David Campbell - “Don’t let the fear of what other people think change what makes you yourself. It is possible to do anything!”

We, the Junior School and Gawura Student Leadership team, are looking forward to continuing to grow as leaders and put what we have learnt into action.

Written by Ruby Keeton and Miah Graves


NAPLAN online


The National Assessment Program

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a point in time assessment of literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.

Our school will be participating in NAPLAN Online between 11 and 21 May, 2021.

In preparation for NAPLAN online, our school will also be participating in practice tests in Week 9. The practice test is a trial-run and key preparation activity for NAPLAN Online in May. It is not an assessment of student ability and the tests will not be marked.

Excessive preparation for NAPLAN Online is not recommended. Students can use the public demonstration site ( to familiarise themselves with the types of questions and tools available in the NAPLAN Online tests.

If you have any questions about NAPLAN Online, please contact our K-6 Curriculum Coordinator Mrs Susie Moffatt:

Susie Moffatt
Curriculum Coordinator K 6


New uniform items for sale


Sports tracksuit and raincoat

New tracksuit

Introducing our new sports tracksuit for K-12.

These new tracksuits jackets provide wind protection and are waterproof and fleece lined for those cold Sydney mornings. They are light weight, breathable, durable and comfortable. They also have zipper pockets for safe storage.

The new tracksuit pants provide wind protection, with a comfort stretch for being active during the winter months.

NB. The old-style tracksuit will continue to be part of the regular school uniform with a changeover period of 2 years.

New winter jacket/raincoat

This new jacket is design for those wet winter mornings to go over your children's blazers. They are fully lined and waterproof.

All items are available from the uniform shop in store or from the webstore.


2021 Junior Andrean Awards


It’s that time again! The Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer of the Year for 2021 has begun. This year’s theme is a choice between four character strengths (Hopeful, Thinking, Persistent and Caring) – to celebrate our new Character Strength images around the school. Please click the SACSConnect link here for more details. Students have been communicated this through their classes and on Schoology. Competition closes 11 October.


MobileMuster campaign


The Middle and Senior School Eco Club have just started the MobileMuster campaign, to get people to recycle old and broken mobile phones and accessories.

Inside the St Andrew's Cathedral School foyer and at BBC reception, the Eco Club has placed a green MobileMuster box. In this box students, staff and parents can place their used phones, chargers, other tech accessories e.g. smart watches and headphones.We accept all kinds of phones and these phones do not need to be dismantled.The collection runs until Monday 7 June (Week 7, Term 2), and we hope to collect as many items as possible so please bring in any old or broken phones you can.

Middle School Eco Club
Elizabeth Skipsey and Tara Ball


Junior and Gawura School Parent Social


The Association of Parents & Friends presents

The P&F invite you to a fun evening with other parents without the pressures of children, drop offs, lost property or any of the other things that fill your week.

It’s a great way to get to know the other families that are a part of our school.

Food and drink included in ticket price.

Event details:
Date: Friday 23 April
Time: 6pm – 8pm (parents are welcome to stay later at their own expense)
Price: $30 each, includes food and drink
Venue: Level 7 Rooftop Bar, Primus Hotel, 339 Pitt St, Sydney
Bookings: through for tickets.

Limited tickets available.


Section HeadingP&F Presents: Junior School and Gawura


Join the P&F on Tuesday 11 May at 6pm in The Hub, St Andrew’s House or online.

This informal meeting is a wonderful opportunity to hear more about what is happening within the schools, the curriculum, pastoral care, sport and more. Our panellists will chat briefly about this and then open the floor for your questions.

The expert panel is comprised of:

- Rhonda Robson - Deputy Head of School (K-6), Director of Primary Education - Head of Junior School

- John Ralph - Head of Gawura

- Selwyn Wu - Deputy Head Junior School (Pastoral Care & Educational Admin)

- Cathy Dangar -SGS Specialised Learning Coordinator, Coordinator of Learning

The panellists will give a short presentation which will be followed by a Q&A session. Come along to meet these key members of school staff, the P&F Executive and other parents. Numbers are limited to 50 onsite. 

Event details:
Date: Tuesday 11 May
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Venue: The Hub, Level 4 (an online link will be available shortly)
Agenda: will be available shortly


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 8.00am – 12.00pm. The number of the practice is Ph: 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.


Resources for COVID-19


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