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In this issue

Message Stick Term 3, Week 8, 2021
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Dates for your calendar
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Library news
Parenting tips
Australian Maths Trust: Maths Challenge
Making the road smoother
Performing Arts update
Lockdown Lego Competition
P&F General Meeting (Online)
The SACS P&F Trivia Night
StartUp Finale
Gala Dinner Hats Off to Dr Collier
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick Term 3, Week 8, 2021


Thank you to all the parents who helped their children get dressed up for Book Week last week. The costumes were amazing and whether the children joined online via remote learning or turned up at school, they all looked the part. Keep an eye out for a short video which will be released soon by our school librarian Mrs Cotter showcasing all the wonderful characters from various books that our students portrayed.

This coming Wednesday 1 September our students will be attending their first cultural excursion for this term. It will be held online and is a presentation from staff at the Museum of Sydney on the Gadi People and is called Warurbanga. This will run from 2pm-3:00pm where the students will be able to click on a link which will allow them to view the content.

Also a reminder that school is in fact, open right now, with a skeleton staff of support teachers who can assist your child do the required work for remote learning here on site. Please just complete the link that I have been sending out each Friday which advises which days in the following week you would like to send your child into school. Students attending on site just need to bring their device, charger, morning tea, lunch and a drink bottle. Drop off times to the foyer are between 8am-8:45am and pick up times are from 3pm-3:15pm.

We continue to think of and pray for our First Nations families during this time of Covid and in particular our most vulnerable communities in remote regions of NSW and the rest of Australia.

Please see information below re covid testing centres and just a reminder that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 12 years and over are eligible to receive their covid vaccinations. Those 12-59 can receive either vaccination inc Pfizer and over 60’s can receive Astra Zeneca. The Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Redfern are offering vaccinations as well as local GP’s and there is also a hub at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital located just a few streets back from the main entrance in Mallet St, Camperdown. Please press this link for current information.

Please take care, stay safe and we look forward to having all the students return to our school when we are able to.

Have a safe and wonderful fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Instilling hope in uncertain times


Although life is always filled with uncertainty, the levels we are currently experiencing are unprecedented and it is becoming evident that this is taking a toll on our young people. The most recent research from Mission Australia makes clear the breadth and depth the pandemic is having on our youth across the nation.

It appears that lockdowns and tighter restrictions will be with us for some time, but it is important in such times of uncertainty to instil hope and remain optimistic. Adult carers can play a vital role in helping young people reframe their worries, encouraging them to see life as it is and getting them to focus more on the things they can control, rather than those they can’t.

It’s important young people remain connected with their social networks during these times as often their natural response to uncertainty is to exhibit varying degrees of fear and anxiety. With the continued disruptions, mental health concerns are on the rise and it is evident that many students may need some extra support to achieve their goals. Parents can help their kids focus more on the good things in their life, rather than fill in the blanks with catastrophic narratives.

This Special Report outlines how adult carers can help instil hope and offer support in such times of uncertainty. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this Special Report raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please reach out to the school or your GP for help.

Here is the link to your special report

SchoolTV is a P&F funded parenting resource.

Bronwyn Wake
JS and GS School Counsellor and Wellbeing Coordinator


Instilling hope at St Andrew's Cathedral School and Gawura

Hopeful is one of our character strengths at SACS and Gawura. Throughout this term our weekly class SEW (Social & Emotional Wellbeing) lessons have been focussed on how students can be growing different character strengths during remote learning. Over the last weeks we have challenged students to consider creative ways in which they could smuggle hope into their homes, streets, and local communities. We have been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and creativity of our students. Perhaps you have noticed something hopeful happening in your household?

Some big shout-outs go to just a few of our amazing JS students who are spreading hope:

- Giorgio (K) who painted love hearts on which he wrote a message of hope. Giorgio handed one to a waiter at our local restaurant who like many others are struggling to stay afloat during covid. This certainly made him smile. He also left one on a park bench and in a parking ticket machine. He left them in random places to display the act of spreading hope.
- Archie (yr 5) who baked chocolate chip cookies and delivered them with messages of support to all his home schooling friends in the neighbourhood.
- Liam (yr 3) who says “To spread hope in our community we have been adding to the book library in our building for kids and the free library near our community centre.”
- Henry (K) who left invitations around his house inviting his family to a special disco that he organised for them.
- Allan (yr 3) who baked cookies and left them on his neighbours doorsteps.
- Ingrid (yr 5) who created a colourful chalk drawing on her neighbourhood footpath sharing a message of hope
- Michael (yr 3) who made a card to send to his little nanny in Queensland to give her hope after her recent operation.
- Ruby (yr 6) who created a message of hope out of pebbles.
- Alex (yr 3) who drew a hope filled picture to give hope to a neighbour during this tough time!
- Emma (yr 6) who wrote messages of hope on beautiful shells and left them around her home.
- Allan (yr 3) who has been painting rocks with messages of hope and leaving them to be found in the parks and streets around his house.


Dates for your calendar


Tuesday 31 August, 6pm: P&F General Meeting (ONLINE)

Wednesday 1 September: Warurbanga presentation on the Gadi people (ONLINE)

Saturday 11 September, 6pm: Trivia Night (ONLINE)

Tuesday 14 September: JSGS Farewell to Yr 12 (ONLINE)

Thursday 16 September: JS Parent Teacher Interviews (ONLINE)

Tuesday 12 October, 6pm: Start Up Finale

Friday 19 November: Dr Collier Hats Off Gala Dinner


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Please click here for this weeks awardees.


Library news


Book Week 2021

What a wonderful time we had celebrating, creating, costuming, clapping and chortling our way through Book Week! Thank you for all the places you joined us and the ways you and your family contributed to making it a super week. It is a credit and testimony to the strength of our SACS community.

The costumes and creative competition entries for this year were some of our best yet. Some students came to each one of their conference calls dressed up. You know who you are – #truebelievers. In a time when the days can become a blur of sameness, it was so refreshing to have an injection of life, fun and colour. Keep an eye out for video highlights of Book Week 2021, and announcements of our competition and costume winners and runners-up on Friday 3 September.

Our author visits were a great highlight of the week. On Tuesday, students in Years 3-6 tuned in for a virtual visit from Nat Amoore. Not many people can jump through a screen quite like Nat! We heard about how her dream of becoming an author, a lunchbox and a cow pat were connected, and we learned the three ingredients for a great story. Nat shared how she was inspired to write by one of her teachers in primary school who told her that “A writer is a storyteller who just picked up a pen.” May that be an inspiration to all the storytellers among us!

On Thursday, our students in Years K-2 tuned in for a visit from Valanga Khoza, author of the book Dumazi and the Big Yellow Lion. Valanga is from South Africa, where storytelling happens when the whole village gathers around a campfire and the storyteller starts to sing "Are you ready to listen to a story?" and the community sings in response "We are listening!". What a treat it was to be transported into the heart of Africa and have Valanga help us experience some of its music, stories and songs.

A final reminder that the Premier’s Reading Challenge closes this Friday 3 September. The majority of our students have already completed the challenge, but for the last of us who are yet to record our final few books, an encouragement to keep running to the finish line. Each year group has access to a large selection of PRC titles available online.

Feeling thankful for our school,

Nicole Cotter 
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JS & GS


Parenting tips


A parenting style for our times by Michael Grose


When I first read this week’s article written on Tuesday 24 August, I thought it was funny and a bit on the light-hearted side. It is not really like previous articles from Michael Grose. As I reread it and thought about what Michael was getting at, it is actually a great article. I shouldn’t have been so dismissive as Michael’s articles are always great!! Hope you enjoy it.

“I spoke to a mother recently who was struggling to find the right balance in her parenting approach. She was frustrated that she always had to nag her children to get cooperation. More disturbingly, she felt a lack of connection to her children, which concerned her given the challenges we are now experiencing. I suggested that she should “guide like a cat and nurture like a dog”. You have some cat and dog in you. It’s just a matter of accessing those parts and bringing them out when we need them.

Find your inner cat to guide and manage
The cat is the credible side you all have, but find difficult accessing. It’s expressed through your non-verbals – your tone of voice, your posture and your head position.

A cat speaks with flat, clipped voice. Your head is very still and body upright and confident. The quickest way to access your inner cat is to speak with your palms facing the ground. You’ll find you’ll naturally speak with a clipped voice, still head and body and a serious expression on your face. This is your credible (and calm) side.

When you speak from your cat side people will usually believe what you have to say. The cat side gives you authority. Australia’s former foreign minister Julie Bishop was a good example of using cat behaviour. Whether you liked her or loathed her you couldn’t deny that she oozed authority. That’s because she accessed the cat side of her nature in public.

Guide like a cat by speaking calmly, quietly and staying still when you speak. ‘Cats’ will also withdraw eye contact rather than stand and argue so look away or respectfully move away rather than become involved in a pointless argument with a child.

‘Cats’ also look for ways to manage visually (with such things as rosters or charts) or by moving close and whispering, rather than repeating themselves. If ‘cats’ repeat themselves, they are more likely to lower their voice than raise it to get attention. These cat behaviours work well when guiding and managing children and teenagers.

Use your inner dog to nurture and build relationships
We also have a dog side to our nature. This is the approachable, conversational, relationship-building side. When you access this side, you’ll speak with lots of inflection in your voice. Your head will bob up and down. You’ll probably lean forward as you speak and you’ll smile a lot. The quickest way to access your dog nature is to speak with your palms up.

The dog side of our nature is what many of us feel more comfortable with. If you are in a management position at work, you probably spend more time accessing your cat than your dog. Although effective managers will move seamlessly between the two, accessing their dog when networking and relationship-building, then finding their cat for negotiations or when making decisions.

Actor Hugh Jackman is an example of a public figure who is dog-like as he usually speaks with lots of up and down pitch in his voice, a big smile and open body language. However, he can switch to cat mode in interviews when talking about something serious. He will speak quietly, calmly and his head will stay very still. We believe him when he speaks. He’s no lightweight. It’s his ability to switch from cat to dog and back again that makes him so charismatic.

Bring your cat and dog to your parenting
Effective parents can make subtle adjustments to their communication. That is, they alter their style to suit the situation rather than let their moods dictate their communication styles. This is not necessarily conscious. Do it often and you’ll find switching from cat to dog and back again becomes an ingrained parenting pattern.

Get your cat and dog wrong and you’ll be ineffective. Guide like a dog and you’ll do one of three things – whine to get cooperation, become angry if they ignore you, or do nothing because you don’t want to offend your children. Build relationships like a cat and you’ll be seen as distant, stiff and unapproachable.

Get the mix right and you’ll be able to give your children exactly what they need. That is, the leadership and safety that cats provide and the nurturance and encouragement that comes naturally to dogs.”

Hope you enjoyed reading this and be perhaps willing to try some of the suggestions made.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Australian Maths Trust: Maths Challenge



We have received exciting results from the Australian Maths Trust for students who participated in the Maths Challenge Competition earlier this year. Congratulations Joshua Ahn, James Yeung, Anneke Ho, Oscar Xu, Lucas Shi, Ethan Yu, Chen Rui Lay and Emily Wang who all received a Distinction. A special congratulations to Joshua Ahn, Lucas Shi and Ethan Yu who received results placing them in the 97th and 96th percentiles.

Australian Maths Trust creates problem solving challenges that prepare students for real world problems. The questions require ingenuity, creativity and determination to solve. In a rapidly evolving world, we do not know the problems of the future. Therefore, it is vital that our students develop capacity to solve complex problems. Australian Maths Trust seeks to empower students to be stronger problem solvers at school so they can be creative solution finders in the future. Below are some reflections from Emily Wang in Year 5.

"Maths Challenge Competition is a challenge where you must answer sixteen questions in four weeks. You get a little booklet with all the questions. There are several students that are chosen to compete. You can't get any help from the rest of the competitors or the internet. However, you can ask someone to read the question out for you.

I really enjoyed how the problem-solving activities challenged my brain, because normal Maths tasks you find in class aren’t as challenging as the Maths Challenge questions. I also appreciated how I got to figure out the questions on my own.

I found the questions quite challenging but in a good way. The questions I found the hardest were the ones where I had to give an explanation, because sometimes you just know that the answer is correct, but you don't know how to explain it. Also, sometimes the strategies were very complicated and could lead to an explanation that is over ten lines!

I love Maths because it allows me to play with numbers. For example, you can turn numbers into percentages, mixed fractions, improper fractions and decimals. My favourite part of Maths is problem-solving and logic. I like problem-solving and logic because there are so many different strategies you can use to figure out problems. However, every time you must choose the quickest and most accurate strategy.

Maths helps us and can be applied in real world contexts in many ways, because we use it every day. For example, if you are an engineer and you are trying to build a new car park you will need to calculate the area, height and the perimeter of the car park so you will know how much cement you will need. Maths can be involved in most of the things you do because whenever you are doing something you want to do it in the best way possible and Maths can help you find that way."

Time to challenge your mathematical thinking! Here is one of the problems from the Years 3-4 competition.

Emma​ Clemens
Gifted and Talented Learning Coordinator JS and GS


Making the road smoother


Transition for Year 6 into Year 7

While it may appear that a transition from Year 6 at SACS and Gawura into Year 7 at SACS and Gawura would be easy, some students can find it daunting. With this in mind, we have created a Transition Program to help our current students be ready for Year 7, 2022 and this process has started already.

To help this process we have created a short two-page sheet for Junior School parents which outlines transition. This will be emailed home in the next couple of weeks to all Year 5 and 6 parents. There will be a simple outline on the front with FAQ on the back. It will answer such questions as how classes are formed, how is important information shared between the Junior and Middle Schools, invitations to Middle Years Programme (MYP) explained, and so on.

If you are a parent of a child in Kindergarten to Year 4 and would like this sheet, please contact the Junior School and a PDF can be emailed home. I am sure your children are looking forward to moving to Senior School and we are always working towards making the transition as smooth as possible.

I will host an MYP Explained morning at the start of Term 4 and all parents in the Junior School will be invited. I strongly encourage parents of Year 5 and 6 to attend. There will be time for questions at the end.

I look forward to seeing you online.

Mrs Kate Layhe
Director of Learning (Middle School)

     The not so sleepy Year 2 sleepover!    

Performing Arts update


Remote music ensemble practice

Sheet music, practice instructions, recordings and other resources have been uploaded to several music ensemble Schoology pages, and more will be added in the coming weeks. Students can access all resources in the Resources section of their ensemble’s Schoology page. A message on the updates page will indicate if there are resources uploaded to practise. We encourage all students to make use of these carefully selected materials, but also understand if some students already have enough to do while they are remote learning.


SACS Scale Championship - Entries due tomorrow!

The inaugural SACS Scale Championship began on Tuesday 27 July, with entries due by Tuesday 31 August. Entry instructions can be accessed by clicking here and through JS information from Mr Milis. This is the first in a series of championships that we will be running this year, regardless of whether we are remote learning or at school. We look forward to seeing some excellent scales from our students. The next competitions to be launched will be the SACS Technical Study Championship and SACS Solo Championship – details will be released in coming newsletters.

Dr Christian Watson
Director of Performing Arts


Lockdown Lego Competition


And the winners are....

Thank you all for your entries to the Lockdown Lego Competition. We received 72 entries, all of which were very different and creative. Some were very architectural with lots of detail, some were quirky showing lots of imagination and others were very interesting and fun.

It took the judges three rounds of judging and the final round took close to two and a half hours to finally decide on the winners. This is a reflection of the calibre of all the entries being extremely high.

The winners of the three categories (photographs below) are:

In the category of FREESTYLE the winner is – Evren Gel (Yr4) with his entry ‘T-Rex has found her eggs being stolen while a volcano erupts’.

In the category of LOCKDOWN the winner is – Max Chong (Yr12) with his entry ‘Lockdown at Home’.

In the category of SACS the winner is Aiden Penhall (Yr8) with his entry ‘SACS Foyer’.

We thank you all again for your efforts and sincerely hope that you had lots of fun building your Lego creations and that it was a pleasant distraction from your time in lockdown. If you wish to see all of the entries please follow this link.

We hope that it will not be too long before you are all back at SACS as we do miss you all.

Community Engagement Team


P&F General Meeting (Online)

    P&F Presents Technology    

Parents are welcome to join the P&F Executive at the P&F General Meeting on Tuesday 31 August. at 6pm.

General meetings are your opportunity to discuss current school activities, school focuses, upcoming school events and future plans with Dr John Collier and the P&F Executive. Each meeting has a Head of School report and an opportunity for Q&A. You will also hear about P&F fundraising initiatives and ways that parents and friends can support the school.

If you would like to suggest an item for the agenda please email p& For the agenda and previous minutes, please click here.

Attending P&F meetings is also a fabulous way of getting to know other parents from the school and to get involved in various events and endeavours.

Event details:
Date: Tuesday 31 August
Time: 6pm
Venue: (Online)


The SACS P&F Trivia Night


Saturday 11 September

Can you name the Harry Potter books?  Do you know the original name of Twitter?  What is the symbol for potassium?

Bring your trivia skills to a night of fun and laughter with the P&F and other SACS families at The SACS “Family” Trivia Night.  All team names relate to famous families.

This online event will be held on Saturday 11 September.

Join online at 6pm (this is important!) so you can be sorted into the correct team breakout rooms and be ready to pit your wits against other teams starting at 6.30pm.  The quiz will go for 2 hours after which you are free to stay online and socialise with your team.

You can book a virtual table of up to 10 (households) for $190 or book as an individual (household) for $20 and we will allocate you a team.

Are you great at dressing up?  Well, this is your time to shine. There will be prizes!

Ready to book?
If you are booking a whole table of up to 10 households, then nominate a team captain who makes the booking.   Follow the link, pay $190 and pick a team name from the list provided. Get in quick before the best ones are taken! Will you be the Royal Family?  The Addams Family?  The Simpsons?

If you are booking as an individual household then follow the link and pay $20.  Tell us your year group and any other information you’d like us to know that will help us place you in a team.  You are NOT able to choose a team name when you book as an individual.  We will assign you a team and send you an email with your team’s name.

Event details:
Date: Saturday 11 September
Time: 6pm, for 6.30pm kick off
Book Here: (Online)

More trivia instructions and the Zoom link will be sent to you in a separate email closer to the date.

This is a P&F event. Any surplus funds will be collected by the P&F and used to support the school.


StartUp Finale


Tuesday 12 October, 6pm live

Due to the change in the exam timetable, StartUp has moved to Tuesday 12 October at 6pm. Although a slightly different format, StartUp will continue to be full of nail-biting excitement as we view the pitches of our student innovators, problem solvers and entrepreneurial thinkers of the future. In this live event, our three finalist teams pitch their ideas in the ‘shark tank’ to expert judges.

Students and their industry mentors from Years 5 to 11 have worked for four months to create their businesses. You can help decide the People’s Choice Award on the night as each team presents an elevator pitch on their business idea.. It’s a great night of entertainment – put the date in your diary.

To view video click here.


Gala Dinner Hats Off to Dr Collier


Save the Date – Friday 19 November

Get ready to step out in style at the SACS event of the year. Enjoy an evening of elegance and opulence as we join together to honour and farewell Dr Collier at the Hats off Gala Dinner.

The Term 4 extravaganza provides a rare opportunity to dress up and socialise, eat, drink and be merry with other SACS parents and friends as we raise a glass – or two – to cheer Dr Collier on to his next adventure. So dust off your best dress, find your finest tux and prepare to be delighted in an evening of entertainment and festivities.

More information on this much anticipated event will be available soon.


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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