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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards
Message from the Head of Character and Wellbeing
Performing Arts news
Library news
Sports news
What's happening in the Art Space?
Gifted and Talented Education
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


Thank you to all the parents, donors and community members who attended last Friday’s Gawura Cocktail Evening which we hold each year. It was a lovely night as we listened to stories about totems and previous On Country Tours that our students have experienced. Thank you to Mizpah who performed on the night by singing Pure Imagination from the recent Willy Wonka movie. Special thanks also goes to our Events Team at SACS and to Mrs Cranwell who managed and prepared the entire evening.

Thank you to the parents who attended our recent Yarning Session at La Perouse where Aunty Barbara Simms took us around and gave us an oral history of the mission there and who showed us several iconic landmarks that only traditional owners know about and have access to. We finished off with morning tea in the Boatshed which was lovely. Please see some attached photos. Thank you to Uncle Bill for driving us around La Perouse as well.

It is with sadness that I announce Mrs Lavinia Gibbs-Williams will be leaving Gawura at the end of this term. Lavinia has been with us for just over 6 years. Vin has resigned from our school and will create her own Aboriginal Consultancy giving advice and sharing cultural knowledge to a wider audience. Next Tuesday 19 March we will hold our next scheduled GPAC Meeting. We will dedicate some time towards the end of this GPAC where parents can stay and have a cake and cuppa with Lavinia and staff and thank her, for her time with us.

Our preparations for NAIDOC are continuing. Our Aboriginal Dance teacher, Aunty Rayma is creating a new contemporary dance that will feature at this year’s NAIDOC Assembly. We will share more about this in the weeks ahead. We have also booked an Aboriginal performance for all students in K-6 to see as part of NAIDOC week as well. Our annual NAIDOC Assembly will be held on Thursday 27 June in the cathedral starting at 9.30am.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 12 March, 6pm
P&F General Meeting

Wednesday 13 – Monday 18 March
NAPLAN commences Years 3 and 5

Thursday 14 March, 8am
Coffee in the Hub – Years 1-2

Saturday 16 March, 9am-4pm
Junior School and Gawura Kirrikee Picnic Day

18-22 March
Junior School and Gawura Harmony Week

Tuesday 19 March, 2pm

Friday 22 March
Harmony Day
Junior School and Gawura Multicultural Dress Day (or wear orange)

Monday 25 March, 2.15pm
Community Easter Chapel

Wednesday 27 March, 9am 
Easter Hat Parade

Thursday 28 March
School closed – Maundy Thursday

Friday 29 March
School closed - Good Friday

Monday 1 April
School closed - Easter Monday

Save the date!
4-6 April

School Musical: Disney's The Little Mermaid (tickets go on sale Monday 18 March, 12pm)


To view all upcoming events visit our Calendar of key dates


Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards



For a full list of the latest Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform awards, click here


Message from the Head of Character and Wellbeing


Next week is Harmony Week

On 18-22 March we will be celebrating Harmony Week, which is a celebration held annually in March across Australia. It is focussed on appreciating cultural diversity, respect and inclusiveness. As your children participate in activities and discussions at the School, it is also an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their children about their own cultures, traditions and customs. Through these things we seek to strengthen the School culture of celebrating, understanding and promoting a sense of community and belonging for everyone.

Throughout this week we are particularly focussed on growing our character strengths of grateful, open-minded and communicative; Grateful for our communities, traditions and heritages that shape our identities; Open-minded to hearing about other cultures and learning from each other; and Communicative in sharing our backgrounds, and listening, as others share theirs, growing their sense of connection, understanding and belonging within the St Andrew's Cathedral School community. Our Student Representative Council are leading many of the activities.

Events include:

  • Collaborative cultural weaving – students are asked to bring in a one metre strip of fabric that represents them. It may be a favourite colour, a cultural fabric or even a flag. Together our Junior School and Gawura will weave these fabrics into a collaborative artwork in Library lessons.
  • Multicultural dress day, Friday 22 March Students are encouraged to come dressed in the traditional dress of a / your culture. If not, then we ask them to wear orange, the colour of Harmony Week! 
  • Parent participation, Friday 22 March, 2pm-3pm – we would love to invite you to participate and share your culture with students in your child’s grade. If you are interested, please fill this form here

This month’s SchoolTV Special Report suggests a number of ways to start a conversation with your child about understanding cultural diversity and multiculturalism.

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Head of Character & Wellbeing (K‑12) 
/ Junior School and Gawura Counsellor


Performing Arts news


HICES Music Festival 2024

This year students in Year 5-8 are able to participate in the HICES Music Festival and students in Year 9-12 are able to participate in the HICES Jazz Academy.

Sunday 11 August – Wednesday 14 August

The Year 5-8 Festival is a fantastic way for students to grow their love of music through rehearsals and performances with students from other independent coeducational schools from around NSW. The festival rehearsals for many different music ensembles are held over a 3-day camp, and culminates in a grand concert in Sydney Town Hall on the fourth day.

Special guest conductors and other excellent conductors who are teachers at HICES schools work with students, and it is always a fun, challenging and uplifting experience for students and staff who attend.

The Year 9-12 Jazz Academy is a separate camp where students work with jazz specialists to develop their ensemble and improvisational skills. All information related to the Festival and Jazz Academy can be found here. Please sign up here.

Please sign up before Wednesday 3 April. Students who have already signed up will be contacted after 3 April to arrange a time for your audition recording in the music department, with music staff assistance.

Dr​​​​ Christian Watson
Director of Performing Arts


Library news



Leaders in the Library

This year’s Library Monitors were badged in a special ceremony during morning Rooftop Assembly on Friday 23 March.

Thank you to our parents and carers for helping us celebrate this important leadership opportunity.

The Library Monitor role is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain organisational skills; collaborate with their peers, teachers and other staff; lead events and practise a whole variety of new skills. Library Monitors are responsible for assisting with processing and promoting new books, Library at Lunch activities and author visits and events. They are also a student voice for activities and programmes in the Junior School and Gawura Library.

  • Congratulations to this year’s Library Monitors:
    Isabel McDonald, Ellery Moore, William Crocker, Kamilla Tescaroli, Milly Linnett, Christine Lazaridis, Audrey Addabbo, Eleanor Bunmore, Emily Gerges, Zoe Mcdonald, Willa Goyal, Alyria Natividad, Blake Li, Carly Ou, Aadya Dua, Tennille Edbrooke, Indy Perera, Alexis Fraser, Emily Ratilal.

Our Monitors have already started making an impact in our Library with their exceptional shelving skills and willingness to assist at any time – even when it is not their ‘shift’. Well done!


PRC launch

The Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) is open and as mentioned in our previous newsletter, it aims to encourage a love of reading for pleasure and leisure in all NSW school students. It is not a competition but a challenge to experience quality literature through curated book lists organised according to age and stage. Booklists for the PRC can be found on the offical website here.

It is open to all NSW school students from Kindergarten through to Year 10. Here at St Andrew's Cathedral School we aim to have 100% of our Junior School and Gawura students complete the PRC. In the past two weeks we have been handing out PRC letters that include each student's username and password, as well as a paper reading log. Alternatively, students or parents can log students' read books on the account at the PRC Student Experience site.

All students from Year 3-6 have or will be shortly explicitly taught how to access this site and log books. For students in K-2 parents can log onto the site using the information in the letter sent home. You may also find the ‘How to log books on the PRC site’ recording useful.

In fact, as I write this, we already have 23 students who have completed the Challenge!

Congratulations to: Liam Burman (Year 4); Juno Ainsworth (Year 5); Brandon Chueng (Year 5); Hugo Gilmovich (Year 5); Lexi Anne Griffin (Year 5); Winnie Hong (Year 5); Arlo Jarasius (Year 5); Oscar Child (Year 6); Zac Collins (Year 6); Rafael Curach (Year 6); Emma Dowsett (Year 6); Tennille Edbrooke (Year 6); Lily-Rose Finemore (Year 6); Alexandra Lazaridis (Year 6); Yuelin Lou (Year 6); Martin Aidan (Year 6); Martin Hugo (Year 6); Carly Ou (Year 6); Emily Ratilal (Year 6); Prince Tashi (Year 6); Isabelle Wood (Year 6); Declan Wu (Year 6); and James Yeoh (Year 6).

These students are now also eligible for entry into our Read More Challenge. For every additional 10 books they read they have the chance to win a book of their choice up to the value of $25. Entry forms are available from the Library and our first prize will be drawn in Week 8.



Our lunchtime programmes continue to be a huge hit. These past few weeks we have celebrated the opening of the PRC, World Ocean Week and International Women’s Day.

Lunchtimes in the Library are always a great opportunity to make and create with friends, learn a new technique or craft, or simply find some new reading materials.

Mrs​​​​ Rachael Cosentino
Library Coordinator ‑ Junior School and Gawura


Sports news


Girls IPSHA Saturday sport

Fantastic weekend for our soccer girls as our Year 6 teams both came away with victories. A special shoutout to our 6B team who came away with their first win for the season (pictured here)! We have loved seeing our girls improve as the rounds progress and we are excited to see how they combat quality competition in the back half of the term.

Flippaball (water polo)
Our Year 5-6 girls flippaball team are powering on in their initial season and have showed class over the last fortnight drawing a very close game with Meriden last week, and showing great spirit against Ravenswood in a close loss. These girls continue to provide plenty of energy throughout the season, and we will continue to enjoy what they produce over the coming weeks.


Boys Saturday sport

Our boys basketball teams had another positive week with our 6A and 5A teams coming away with brilliant victories against excellent opponents both home and away. Throughout the games, all of our teams have displayed their practiced skills and we are excited for the way in which they will end the season through the guidance of our wonderful coaches.

Our Junior Boys cricket team had their final game of the season in the last fortnight, displaying a great brand of cricket right until the final delivery, despite going down in a tough loss. The match report from Year 6 student Gabriel Magee is as follows:

"The team bowled well on a wet pitch and Michael got his first wicket. We batted strongly with a few fours and one six but couldn’t chase down their score.  We improved a lot as a team this season, thank you to our coach Oli."

As the season concludes, we are thankful, to both the parents for keeping our players committed throughout the season, and our charismatic coach Oli Millar who has built a unique environment to foster our student’s development.

Mr Oliver Denny
Head of Sport Junior School


What's happening in the Art Space?



Year 4’s study of the human eye, especially observing the extraordinary details of the pupil and the way that LIGHT plays on it, has resulted in some skilled and expressive sketched pieces. The students worked to consider and use darkening, blackening, shading and shadowing to create the effects of LIGHT when drawing the eye.

"The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light." - Matthew 6:22


AGNSW Young Archie Competition

In Term 1 during Visual Art lessons, Year 6 students have been creating portraits in preparation for the AGNSW Young Archie Competition, which will also form part of our own in-house Young Archie Competition (more details to come). 

All students, however, are encouraged to enter this excellent competition by creating a portrait and submitting individually from home.

The 2024 Young Archie Competition’s theme is a portrait of a person who is special to the entrant, who is known to the entrant and who plays a significant role in their life.

In 2024 the following criteria will apply; the relevance of the submitted artwork to the theme, as decided by the judges; artistic interpretation of the theme, as decided by the judges; and originality of the submission.

  • Entries must be received: before 17 March 2024, 5pm.
  • Young Archie exhibition is at the Art Gallery of NSW: 8 June – 8 September 2024.
  • Entry forms MUST be submitted online. You don’t upload an image. After the online form has been completed, original artwork needs to be sent to the Gallery, along with the completed form, by 17 March 2024.
  • ​Entry forms will be available during February (date to be advised).
  • Please find more information here.

Mrs​​​​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator Junior School and Gawura


Gifted and Talented Education


The Australian Maths Trust’s Maths Challenge

This term, selected students in Years 5 and 6 have participated in the Australian Maths Trust’s Maths Challenge. The Maths Challenge involves four challenging problems that require time, persistence, creativity and advanced skill to solve. The problems have several parts and are designed above the Primary Mathematics Curriculum. Students must work independently to write their own solutions for each problem (no adult help is permitted), though they can seek help from resources such as textbooks and encyclopedias. They cannot use websites that generate solutions, but those providing general mathematics information are permitted.

Mathematics provisions such as the Maths Challenge seek to empower students to be stronger problem solvers at school so they can be creative solution finders in the future. They allow our students to be prepared for a rapidly evolving world, where we do not know the problems that may arise. We encourage our students to participate in such programmes so they can develop flexible thinking and an ability to solve complex problems across a range of contexts.

The following reflections are from some of out Year 5 students who are currently completing the Maths Challenge.

What have you enjoyed most about the Maths Challenge?
"I have enjoyed the challenge level of the problems and getting to explore different possible solutions and combinations. I particularly liked the first problem about mosaics because it was similar to the concept of Tetris." – Timothy Yik (Year 5)

What parts of the Maths Challenge have you found difficult?
"I found the second part of problem one particularly difficult at first as it required a lot of trial and error. Once I figured out a strategy, I was able to narrow down the possible solutions. I felt excited when I found the answer." – Zachary Beck (Year 5)

What have you learnt from the Maths Challenge?
"Within the Maths Challenge, I have learnt to try different strategies and thoroughly check my work once I have found an answer. I have also been encouraged to re-read questions carefully to ensure my solution matches what has been asked."  Bill Pan (Year 5)

Here is one of the problems from the 2022 Years 5-6 Maths Challenge:


Time to test your mathematical thinking!

A Zipline number has exactly five digits. The digits are all different and in descending order. Four of the digits are even and the other is odd. For example,

  • 86540 is a Zipline number.
  • 86450 is not a Zipline number because the digits are not in descending order.
  • 86530 is not a Zipline number because it has two odd digits.
  1. What are the largest and smallest Zipline numbers?
  2. Find all the odd Zipline numbers and explain why there are no others.
  3. Find two pairs of Zipline numbers that have a sum of 186282.
  4. Find the smallest number greater than 200000 that is the sum of different Zipline numbers.


1. The largest Zipline number is 98642. The smallest Zipline number is 64210.
2. The last digit of an odd number must be odd. So the first four digits of an odd Zipline number must be even. Also, none of the digits can be 0, otherwise the five digits would not be in descending order. So the first four digits must be 8, 6, 4, 2, in that order. Then the last digit can only be 1. Thus the only odd Zipline number is 86421.
3. The two pairs of Zipline numbers that have a sum of 186282 are {87640, 98642} and {87642, 98640}.
4. The smallest number greater than 200000 that is the sum of different Zipline numbers is 204950.

Mrs Rebecca Lord
Gifted and Talented Coordinator Junior School and Gawura


What's on: upcoming events and activities


All parents and carers are welcome at the meeting tomorrow night!

Parents and carers are invited to join the P&F Executive, a senior member of staff and other parents at a P&F General Meeting to discuss current school activities, school focuses, upcoming school events and future plans.

P&F meetings are a great way to get to know what is happening at your child’s school and to meet school staff and other parents in an informal setting.

The P&F General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 12 March in the Community Hub on Level 4, St Andrew's House (SAH) starting at 6pm.

  • Download tomorrow's meeting agenda here.
  • Download the minutes from 21 November 2023 meeting here.

If you have any questions that you would like discussed on the night please send them ahead of the meeting to P&

Tuesday 12 March, 6pm
Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew’s House

No RSVP necessary but please sign in at reception.


All Year 1-2 parents and carers – come along this Thursday!

All Stage 1 (Years 1-2) parents are warmly invited to join us for Coffee in the Hub to meet other parents and key Junior School staff. There will also be an opportunity to hear about our literacy and library programmes that support your child’s early literacy development through their Stage 1 years. Download the flyer here.

Thursday 14 March 8am-9am
Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew’s House

Please RSVP by Monday 11 March.


RSVP here


P&F Kirrikee Picnic Days – This year it's double the fun!

Come and visit beautiful Kirrikee and enjoy a fun day out in the country. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit our Outdoor Education Centre – just one and a half hours from Sydney near Penrose, in the beautiful Southern Highlands.  

There will be lots to do – high ropes, mountain biking (bring your own bike), abseiling, fun in the water, billy karting and lots more. With its combination of rolling, cleared grazing country, bushland and wetlands, Kirrikee is a fantastic place to visit, rain or shine. 

Morning tea and lunch is included in the day ticket price and there will be a barista onsite providing coffee all day for a gold coin donation.  

Don’t forget to bring your swimmers, sun screen and camping chairs. Dogs are welcome on a lead.

For more than 20 years this event has run as a fundraiser for the amazing Penrose Rural Fire Brigade who help protect Kirrikee and the local Penrose community. In recent years especially, their tireless efforts have saved many lives and properties from fire. 

To help with overwhelming demand we are offering two P&F Kirrikee Picnic Days this year.

  • Saturday 16 March is aimed at Junior School and Gawura.
  • Saturday 23 March is aimed at Secondary School.

If you have students in both schools please pick the date that is most convenient for you and take both your children on that day.


Day tickets

Saturday Day Tickets are available which include Saturday 9am-4pm.


Overnight stay tickets

Love it so much you’d like to stay the night? If you would like to extend your stay you can bring a tent or rent one of ours and stay overnight. Numbers will be capped at 60 guests and places sell out fast so don’t delay! Basic dinner and breakfast are included in the overnight price (or you can bring your own) and the campfire is thrown in for free! 


Be quick! Limited tickets available!


Junior School and Gawura: Saturday 16 March

Day Ticket, 9am-4pm:
$30 per adult / $15 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities. The High Ropes queue will close at 3pm. All activities stop between midday and 1pm for a BBQ lunch.

* Please note Saturday 16 March overnight stay tickets have SOLD OUT!


Day Ticket only: Saturday 16 March


Secondary School: Saturday 23 March

Day Ticket, 9am-4pm:
$30 per adult / $15 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities. The High Ropes queue will close at 3pm.  All activities stop between midday and 1pm for a BBQ lunch.

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: 
$60 per adult / $40 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities as well as overnight camp site, dinner and cooked breakfast.  

Tent rental:
$40 for a 2 person tent with camp beds 
If you don’t have your own tent or campervan then you can hire a tent from us. There are 20 tents available to hire. Each tent sleeps two people and camp beds are provided. Please bring your own bedding.


Day Ticket only: Saturday 23 March

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: Saturday 23 March


Celebrate during Harmony Week

2024 Harmony Week
18-22 March

Throughout Harmony Week we will celebrate the rich diversity of cultures within the St Andrew's Cathedral School community. Activities will occur in the library, rooftop and classrooms as we explore the unique aspects of a range of cultures, strengthening students’ understanding of cultural identity and growing their sense of connection, understanding and belonging within the School community. 

Friday 22 March – Multicultural Dress Day
Come dressed in the traditional dress of a culture. If not, then wear orange, the colour of harmony week!

Download the flyer here.


Dive into the enchanting tale of The Little Mermaid

St Andrew's Cathedral School production of Disney's The Little Mermaid is coming in April!

Beneath the waves lies a world of wonder and longing. Follow Ariel, a spirited mermaid, as she discovers the allure of the human realm. When she saves Prince Eric from peril, an undeniable connection sparks, but at what cost?

Experience a journey filled with love, sacrifice, and the pursuit of dreams, set against a backdrop of shimmering seas and impossible wishes. With secrets lurking beneath the surface and fate hanging in the balance, every moment is a whirlwind of emotion and adventure.

Join us for an unforgettable voyage where hearts collide and love triumphs!

4-6 April
The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood

Save the date!

Tickets on sale via Ticketek from Monday 18 March, 12pm.