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In this issue

Message Stick Term 1, Week 5, 2022
Dates for your calendar
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Sports news
Library news
Art news
IT update: Enabling Single Sign On facilities
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting tips
Canberra excursion rebate
Head of School Commissioning Celebration
Gawura Cocktail Evening
Save the date!
P&F presents: Cheese and Wine
Exam support volunteers needed!
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick Term 1, Week 5, 2022


Camps, excursions and assemblies

We wish all of our Stage 3 students a wonderful time this week who are embarking on two separate camps. Year 5 students will be attending Kirrikee which is the name of our school’s outdoor education campsite located in the southern highlands near Bundanoon and our Year 6 students are attending the annual Canberra camp where they visit a number of locations and attractions. The easing of restrictions come into effect today allowing camps, excursions and assemblies to all occur again as per normal.

Our students from Years 5-12 will be going on an On Country tour to Kuku Yalanji Nation on the Indigenous Homelands of Cape York in far northern QLD. Can I remind any parents who have not returned their medical forms for this event to please do so asap as we need final numbers to book flights and other logistics. This will be a wonderful experience.

We are approaching the half way mark of this term already and I am so delighted with how our new students have settled in so quickly and how our returning students have got back into the routine of study and lesson participation. Thank you to all the parents and staff who have made this an easy transition for your children.

We trust you all have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

John Ralph 
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar


Changes to 2022 Term Dates

Due to COVID challenges with booking interstate Staff Professional Development (PD) workshop leaders for IB training, we have had to move the two PD days at the start of Term 3 to the start of Term 2 and move a PD day to Term 3 Week 4 (Monday 8 August). The term dates can be found here:


Monday 28 February: Year 5 Kirrikee Camp (5O, 5R, 5GK – Monday to Wednesday)

Wednesday 2 March: Year 5 Kirrikee Camp (5L and 5M – Wednesday to Friday)

Wednesday 2 March: Year 6 to Canberra (Wednesday to Friday)

Thursday 10 March, 8am: Coffee in the Hub - Kindergarten families

Friday 11 March: Leadership Assembly / Prefect Induction

Friday 11 March: Year 3 Calmsley Farm excursion

Tuesday 15 March, 6pm: P&F Presents: Cheese and Wine

Friday 18 March, 6pm: Gawura Cocktail Evening Fundraiser

Saturday 26 March: Kirrikee Picnic Day


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Welcome to School TV!

At St Andrew’s Cathedral School we understand that education is a partnership between our families and the school and we believe it is vital to support our parents in the tough job of parenting their children. We know that as parents you are faced with many challenges and that there may be times when you are unsure about the best way to support your child. So, over the past few years we have sought to provide parents with information and resources, in the form of SchoolTV.

SchoolTV is a wellbeing platform featuring Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and many other leading Australian parenting and wellbeing experts. It addresses the modern day realities faced by parents who increasingly need clear, relevant and fact-based information around raising safe, happy and resilient young people.

Whilst there is a great deal of information available online, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance. SchoolTV addresses this issue. It is an online resource designed to help parents in finding credible, sound information with realistic and practical strategies located in one spot. Parents are able to access it through the SchoolTV icon on the SACS parent portal, through hyperlinks within the regular school newsletter or through the web address:

We hope that this is a valuable resource for you as you continue to raise great kids!!

Bronwyn​ Wake 
JS and GS School Counsellor and Well Being Coordinator


Music news


Casting for Madagascar

Thank you to all those who auditioned for Madagascar. The auditions are almost over, with a few still to be undertaken due to illness or issues with transport which occurred during the audition period. We hope to complete the casting as soon as possible, but this might occur a little later than anticipated due to the factors mentioned.


Well done to Isla Keeton who sat her Piano Preliminary exam and passed with Honours in Term 4.

Congratulations also to Isaac Yeow who has recently completed the Violin Repertoire Grade 5 exam with a High Distinction result.

These results reflect hard work and excellent practice and we always look forward to sharing student success in Music.

Please continue to send through any results your child has achieved in the Music exams so that we can celebrate their successes.

​​Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


Sports news


2022 Swimming Carnival

The annual Junior School and Gawura Swimming Carnival was held at Drummoyne Swimming Centre last Thursday. We were fortunate to have a lovely, sunny day at the pool and it was fantastic to see lots of energy, enthusiasm and team spirit on display from all staff and students involved.

Thank you to the staff and sports assistants for making the day such a success and a special mention to Mr Wu who doubled as the announcer and DJ on the day. Finally, a big congratulations to the 27 students who have been selected to represent the school at the ASISSA Swimming Carnival Friday 18 March.

Ms​ Lauren Archer
Sports Administrator, Coordinator of Infants Sports and K-6 Sporting Events


Library news


Premiers Reading Challenge 2022

It’s that time again. The Premier’s Reading Challenge 2022 opens on Monday 28 February!

From Monday, students and parents will be able to log in and begin uploading the books they read. If your child was a student at SACS in 2021, their login details will be the same as last year. New students will be issued new usernames and passwords. Books that have been read since 1 September 2021 can be counted towards this year’s challenge.

An information letter will be emailed to parents by the end of the week, containing information regarding your child’s personal username and password, as well as a summary of the rules of the challenge. In the meantime, you can be helping your child keep a record of the books they read, which can then be added to their online record down the track.

What’s new for the PRC in 2022?

Every year the PRC adds new books to their lists, so please encourage your child to keep an eye out for the PRC-stickered books in our library. There are hundreds of new titles to choose from!

This year at SACS, students in Years 4-6 will be introduced to the PRC student site, a user-friendly and engaging way for students to access book recommendations for their year level and to enter their own reading records. We will be encouraging students to become more active participants in the challenge process.

For more information, including book lists and the comprehensive rules, please refer to the PRC website

If your child attended a different school last year and completed the PRC there, please be in touch with me so I can request that their records be merged. Unless records are merged, 2022 will be recorded as their first PRC year. If you have any other questions or issues, feel free to email me

Although the aim of the challenge is for students to read a certain number of books, the real goal of the challenge is to ignite a love for reading in our children. So, for the joy of reading, and the growth that happens in our hearts, minds and lives as we read, let the challenge begin!

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JS & GS


Art news


Taking journeys in the Art Space

Across Years 3-6 in Visual Arts lessons we’re considering the kinds of JOURNEYS that we make and take:

  • Journeys to get to a destination, or to take a refreshing holiday;
  • Journeys that have some form of challenge, such as a long family bushwalk (!);
  • Journeys that require us to learn in different ways, such as a journey through tricky situations in school and life;
  • and the extraordinary Journey of Life that God has given each one of us – with the opportunity to learn and grow into the whole people He intended us to be.

Stage 2 artists have visually represented the first of these kinds of Journeys, one that was a holiday (or imaginary holiday) – using pencil sketching, black outlining, watercolour wash, blending of colours and tones, finishing with fine-brush painting.


What's on?

An excellent family exhibition at the AGNSW:

Matisse Life & Spirit – until March 13 2022.

Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS and GS


IT update: Enabling Single Sign On facilities


Changes to your Parent Portal login

Our IT system now requires users to add the school website to their normal username when logging into the Parent Portal. This enables all the Single Sign On facilities of our IT system which makes your experience much easier. Please follow the steps below when next logging in:

  1. To access the Parent Portal, go to our school website and click on the ‘Quick Links’ button at the top right, then click on the drop-down menu item ‘Parent Portal’ link. From here, click on the ‘Parent Portal’ tile.
  2. At the login screen type in your normal username followed by (eg
  3. You will then be asked for your SACS password (this password remains unchanged). If you're unsure of your password and need to reset, please use this link: Password Reset
  4. So, the only thing that has changed is the part after your username

The Parent Portal is where you can find all the latest guidelines, policies, assessment guides and information for parents at school. Often these are linked through to in newsletters.

Please email if you have any difficulties with logging in.


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Please click here for this weeks awardees.


Parenting tips


Creating Momentum for Positive Family Change

This is a really interesting blog from Michael Grose. It is powerful and inspiring. He has been talking about Sir John Monash, the first Australian-born general to command Australian troops in World War 1. I love History but didn’t know about this gentleman. “He is widely attributed with turning the tide of the war to the Allies’ way through his assiduous planning and attention to detail.” Michael comments “Equally pivotal to his success was his ability to change the mindset of the troops from defensive to offensive. The troops he inherited in 1918 hadn’t experienced military success of any note for over two years. Monash engineered a series of continuous mini-raids on the enemy so that his troops could feel success again.” Michael continues that Monash used the power of momentum. “The more they succeeded in battle, the more his troops wanted to experience success. He built a culture of success in his forces by starting small and then harnessing the power of momentum.”

Here are Michael’s suggestions for us as parents and teachers to harness momentum for positive change:

1. Developing independence
If a child is very reliant on others then consider to creating opportunities for them to resolve small everyday problems themselves. Let them experience what it’s like to be a problem-solver. For instance, rather than resolving a child’s sibling conflict issues give him or her clues and ideas to help them get their own way with a sibling.

2. Building confidence
Self-esteem can be boosted in similar ways. If your child lacks confidence to mingle and meet new friends consider helping him or her experience social successes in smaller, more intimate settings. For instance, encourage him or her to invite one friend at a time to your place, as it’s easier to form friendships singularly in familiar territory. Self-esteem is usually built little by little.

3. Being cooperative
Cooperative behaviour can similarly be built through momentum. Often uncooperative kids receive a great deal of B-grade, negative attention (plenty of reminders, lots of nagging, being yelled at) for their lack of cooperation. Catch them being cooperative in small ways (cleaning away dishes without being asked, being kind to a sibling, using manners with an adult) so that they experience what it’s like doing the right thing.

4. Helping others
Help your kids experience the appreciation of others that comes from their small acts of kindness, generosity and help. Feeling appreciated for their small contributions (loaning a toy to a friend) and acts of selflessness (giving up a seat in the bus to an elderly person) can be just the tonic some kids need.”
A great article!

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Canberra excursion rebate


Year 6 visiting Canberra Wednesday 2 March – Friday 4 March

Year 6 students and staff are visiting Canberra this week. This excursion fulfils Federal Government mandatory requirements for all Year 6 students to visit the National Capital and the Federal Parliament. The students will participate in a simulation of Parliament at Old Parliament House. The students will also visit iconic venues in Canberra such as the Australian War Memorial and new Parliament House.

To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion, the Australian Government is contributing funding of $30 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program, towards reducing those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion.

Mrs​ Rhonda Robson
Deputy Head of School (Primary) / Director of Primary Education


Head of School Commissioning Celebration


A significant occasion in our school’s history

On Monday 14 March, Dr Julie McGonigle will be commissioned as the 15th Head of St Andrew’s Cathedral School. This is a significant occasion in our school’s history and students have been rehearsing for months to make it a very special and memorable event.

The Commissioning Service by the Archbishop, The Most Reverend Kanishka Raffel, will be held in St Andrew’s Cathedral followed by a Commissioning Celebration in Town Hall. Due to the capacity limits in the Cathedral and Town Hall, we are unable to invite parents to attend in person but would love for you to attend online.

This will be a very special occasion and it is a rare opportunity for the whole school to gather together. It will feature special guest performances from Old Andreans and celebrated musicians Simon Tedeschi (OA1998) and Niki Vasilakis (OA1999), as well as our talented students.

We look forward to sharing this very special occasion together as a school community.

Commissioning Service
Date: Monday 14 March
Time: 1.00pm to 1.45pm

Commissioning Celebration
Date: Monday 14 March
Time: 2.15pm to 3.15pm
Link: To be advised


Gawura Cocktail Evening


Join us at this special evening

You are warmly invited to join the Chair of the SACS and Gawura Foundation Mr Peter Warne, and Head of School Dr Julie McGonigle, at the Gawura Cocktail Evening Fundraiser.

We are so excited to have this opportunity to get together and support the life-changing Gawura. Please join our generous donors as we come together as a community to enjoy an evening of delicious food, drink and entertainment, and share the story of The Emu in the Sky, a well known First Nations astronomical constellation that is the inspiration behind this year’s event.

We look forward to seeing you at this special evening in Chapter House and supporting First Nations students as they reach for the stars.

Venue: Chapter House
Friday 18 March from 6.00pm to 9.30pm
Please RSVP to:
Dress: Cocktail


Save the date!


Kirrikee Picnic Day – Saturday 26 March

Come and spend some time at a place your kids love.

Kirrikee Outdoor Education Centre is located just 1.5 hours from the Sydney CBD near Penrose, in the beautiful Southern Highlands. 

There’s so much to do – high ropes, mountain biking, abseiling, log rolling in the dam, 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.

For more than 20 years this event has run as a fundraiser for the amazing Penrose Rural Fire Brigade who help to protect Kirrikee and the local Penrose community. In recent years especially, their tireless efforts have saved many lives and properties from fire.
Lunch will still be provided for visitors and there will be a barista onsite providing coffee all day for a gold coin donation. 

More details coming soon!


P&F presents: Cheese and Wine


A relaxed evening hosted by the P&F

Parents and carers from the Junior, Middle, Senior School and Gawura are warmly invited to join the P&F for an informal cheese and wine night Tuesday 15 March.

This relaxed evening is a great opportunity to find out what is happening at the school and meet others in the SACS community. You can chat with the P&F Executive, key members of the school staff, year conveners and other parents while enjoying a glass of wine and a plate of cheese.

Come along and find out a bit more about the P&F plans for this year and hear the latest report from a senior member of the SACS staff.

Venue: The Hub, Level 4, SAH
Date: Tuesday 15 March 2022
Time: 6pm to 7.30pm


Exam support volunteers needed!


Opportunity to volunteer at SACS

Join our Senior College Volunteer exam support team!
Support our students with disabilities
Year 10, 11, & 12 Assessments, Exams and HSC.

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends

Each year SACS call on parents to volunteer their time to act as a Reader or Writer for our Senior College exams throughout the year.

Here at SACS we are extremely fortunate to have a dedicated “Army” of exam support volunteers made up of parents, grandparents and past parents, from Years K-12, however as our SACS families say goodbye in Year 12 we need to seek new volunteers to keep our exam support team at full capacity.

As a Parent and Caregiver, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to be part of the SACS school community. By assisting in examinations as a Reader or Writer, you will also become familiarised with the curriculum and gain a greater understanding of student learning. Most of all you will get to know fellow SACS parents in a positive and caring environment.

To be part of the exam team, you just need to be a proficient writer and speller.

The NSW Education Standards Authority lists the qualities that a Reader/Writer should have:

  • A facility for English
  • Clear, legible handwriting
  • Sensitivity to the student’s special needs
  • Patience
  • An understanding of maintaining confidentiality.

Student support will be needed for assessments throughout the year and exams during the examination periods outlined below:

Year 10 Semester Minimum Stds: Wednesday 16 March 2022.
Year 10 Semester 1 Exams: Monday 16 May – Thursday 19 May 2022.
Year 12 HSC Trials: Monday 1 August – Monday 15 August 2022.
Year 11 HSC Prelim: Monday 29 August – Friday 9 September 2022.
HSC: Wednesday 12 October – Monday 7 November 2022.
Year 10 Term 4 Exams: Monday 31 October – Friday 4 November 2022.

Your support would be greatly appreciated at any time. You do not have to be available for all of the above dates, you may pick and choose which assessments/exams suit your timetable and interest. You must have a current Working with Children’s Check and then attend one of our staff induction sessions.

If you think you would like to join us and assist our students during their exams please contact Annie Grennell on 9286 9605 and leave your contact details.

Come and help make a difference in our students’ lives as they prepare for their Senior College exams and the HSC.

Annie Grennell
NESA DPA Coordinator (Senior College)


Resources for COVID-19


Koori COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

The Koori Vaccination Clinic is operating out of Redfern Town Hall, offering free walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots. 

Free Pfizer Vaccines are available for anyone who is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander over 12 years of age and their families. (Bring your parent or guardian if you are between 12-16).

You can also access a booster vaccination at this location.

Remember, you can’t get vaccinated if you’re waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test.

Koori Vaccination Clinic

  • Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt Street Redfern
  • 10am to 4pm, every day except Christmas Day (25 December), New Year’s Eve (31 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January).

Walk in for your vaccination or book an appointment here


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