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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 3
Heart Mind Life Awards
Library News
Parenting Tips
Sport News
ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary
MYP – morning workshop for parents
Making the road smoother: Transition for Year 6 into Year 7
JS/GS Disco – Week 4
Chorister news
Gawura Scholarships 2020 - Kindergarten, Yr 5 and Yr 9
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Foundation Trivia Night
Coffee in the Hub – for K-4 parents
Junior School and Gawura Grandparents' Day
Parent Prayer Meeting

Message Stick – Term 2, Week 3


Last Friday 10 May the Go Foundation held its first mentoring day for the year for all the Go Scholars that they sponsor in Sydney. Our own Kayliah in Yr 7 attended the day where the students saw the new documentary titled The Final Quarter which is based on Adam Goodes last three years at the Sydney Swans. Adam was Australian of the Year in 2014 and took a stand against racism towards indigenous peoples. The film depicts archival footage of what happened in the final three years of his career and is quite moving. It’s a powerful film which the students were able to discuss and debrief at the conclusion. I would recommend that if you get a chance to see it please do so. It will be released during the upcoming Sydney Film Festival on Friday 7 June at the State Theatre at 8:45pm and again on Sunday 9 June at 9:30am. We hope to view it here at school once the educational packages become available.

On Tuesday 7 May our ATSI students from K-12 attended a marvellous Indigenous cultural day at International Towers in Barangaroo. Mrs Jodie Taylor an indigenous woman whose son Jax is in Year 3 coordinated a unique day where our students were taken on a behind scenes tour of International Towers including having our own lunch on Level 22 which the entire floor was completely vacant. As we looked over the site of Barangaroo the Aunty in Residence there, Aunty Glenda Merritt, spoke about the significant contribution Barangaroo made as an Aboriginal woman in the early colonial days and the lasting legacy she had. The day culminated in an exclusive rehearsal of the Bangara Dance Company’s new play titled Unaipon based on the famous Aboriginal poet and inventor David Unaipon who appears on the Australian $50 note. Our own Izak Rigney Sebastian is a direct descendant of David Unaipon who is Izak’s Great Grandfather. We sincerely thank Jodie for the wonderful day she put together for us which all of our students and staff thoroughly enjoyed.


Congratulations to all of our Gawura students in Yr 2-6 who competed in the recent Cross Country Carnival at Queens Park. The lovely photos attached depict the sheer determination you showed to get over the finish line. We wish our students in Yr 3 and 5 all the best as they embark on completing the NAPLAN assessments this week.


Students in Year 6 will be attending a three day camp in Bathurst this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and our Year 2 students will be having a sleepover at school this Thursday 16 May followed by a day camp and cultural learning at Kurnell on Friday 17 May. A big thank you to Derek Walker who will help facilitate the Indigenous learning at Kurnell.

Finally our ATSI students in Year 12 will be attending the second day of the AIS ATSI Student Leadership symposium on Thursday 23 May at the NCIE in Redfern. A big thank you to Aliyah’s mum Alisha who once again has been able to secure a special visit from Greg Inglis (retired South Sydney Rabbitohs captain) to address all of the senior indigenous students in Yrs 11 and 12 from various AIS schools around Sydney. This will become an annual event.

I am very proud of our Indigenous community of parents and carers who are happy to share their knowledge, expertise, contacts and time with the rest of our school community. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful opportunities.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


For more photos, please go to our  facebook  page


Dates for your calendar

Wednesday 15 May: NAPLAN  Years 3 and 5 Writing Conventions

Thursday 16 May: NAPLAN  Years 3 and 5 Numeracy

Wednesday 15 May - Friday 17 May: Year 6 Bathurst Excursion

Thursday 16 May: Year 2 Sleepover

Friday 17 May: Stage 2 - JSGS Music Concert.

Friday 17 May: Kindergarten Aquarium Excursion

Friday 17 May: Year 1 Powerhouse Excursion

Saturday 18 May: Foundation Trivia Night – Theme: Movie Madness

Tuesday 21 May: Year 4 Excursion - Colonial Life, Elizabeth Farm.

Wednesday 22 May: Amazing Me (Years 5 and 6)
5.30pm – 6.45pm in the Junior School Open Area North Level 7

Thursday 23 May: ATSI Excursion - Year 3 - Australian Museum

Friday 24 May: JSGS Disco (Further information below)


Term 2 Redgum catalogues, to view catalogue:

Order by 20 May


Heart Mind Life Awards

Elizabeth-Ray Ingram Year 1 For having her heart set on making consistent work habits in term 2
Jada Caldwell Year 5 For always being kind and considerate
Anthony Lees Year 1 For demonstrating a confident & fluent reading ability

Library News


Premier's Reading Challenge 2019

Congratulations to the following students who have completed their challenge:

Kennedy Evans-Mcphee, James Prestwich, Austin Sneesby, James Yeung, Oscar Sanfilippo, Alexander Borland, Nicholas Borland, Rachel Tanong and Stephanie Whetters.

For more information and the booklists visit the PRC website

*If you attended a different school and completed the PRC there, please come and see me so I can request that your records be merged. Otherwise this will be your first PRC year. This is especially important if you are eligible for your gold or platinum certificates this year and if you are looking at earning your Premier’s medal.


Book Draw

Finished the PRC for 2019? Well don’t stop reading!

The JS & Gawura library has a new challenge for you.  Pick up an entry form, read any ten books, complete the entry form and return it to Mrs Paul for your chance to win a book of your choice. There’s one draw this term in week 10 and you can enter as many times as you’d like.

So, the more you read the more chances you have of winning!
What are you waiting for?

The next draw will happen in Week 4, so get your entries in.


Parent / Teacher Challenge 2019

Come on teachers and parents, grab a book and read alongside your child/ren and complete the Parent / Teacher Challenge this year.

Requirements for completion:
Read any six titles (in any language). Email me the titles and I’ll add you to our wall of wonderful reading role models.


Celebrations in the library

We celebrated May the 4th with all things Star Wars, including classic lightsabre battles (with paper finger light sabres) and The Last Jedi being retold via Lego and in 2 minutes! It was great fun.

To all our Mothers, we hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day full of treats, rest and great books.

"It's a funny thing about mothers... Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful." – From Matilda by Roald Dahl

Svetlana Paul
Information and Digital Literacy Coordinator JS and GS


Parenting Tips


Anxiety in children and how to manage it

Michael Grose has written an excellent blog in this month’s Parenting Ideas. It is about anxiety in children and he suggests some strategies for helping us, as parents and teachers, deal with it.

“If your child feels anxious, reassure them that these feelings are a normal response to new people, events or potentially challenging situations. Help your child understand that there is a great deal they can do to manage their anxious feelings, so they can get on with the activities they enjoy.

If your child is anxious they may struggle to explain how they feel. An important first step in anxiety self-management is explaining to your child how anxiety works.

  • Teach your child that the part of the brain that protects them from danger (the amygdala – pronounced ahh-mig-dah-la), is always on high alert when they are anxious.
  • Explain that the amygdala sees danger where there is none, but the body prepares to fight for life or flee from danger as if it’s protecting them from a hungry lion.
  • Discuss that the amygdala can’t differentiate between a hungry lion and public speaking or some other task they must face.
  • Talk about the changes that happen in their body to power them up to fight or flee, including increased heart and breathing rates and the pumping of the blood from the stomach to the arms and legs, which can cause nausea and even vomiting for some.”

Respond with empathy
When your child feels anxious, the part of the brain that controls rational thinking, decision-making and concentration temporarily goes offline. They can feel easily overwhelmed by simple, everyday events and situations. Rather than protecting your child by allowing them to avoid meeting these challenges, or dismissing them as trivial, validate their feelings with statements such as:

  • “I can see you’re feeling worried about going to camp without your brother.”
  • “Thanks for telling me you feel nervous about the test. It’s understandable.”
  • “I see you’re really anxious about this right now. I know it’s hard for you.”

Resist the temptation to rescue or fix a situation. Respond with empathy and understanding to your child’s concerns.

Manage anxious moments

Help your child develop the tools to regulate and push their anxious feelings to the background. Practise these anxiety management tools when your child is feeling calm, and it will be easier for them to practise when they are nervous. These include:

  • Taking some deep breaths: Deep belly breathing from the diaphragm calms the amygdala, reducing feelings of anxiousness
  • Bringing their attention back to the present: Use their senses to bring their attention to the present moment and away from their worries – “Tell me five things you see, four things you hear and something you smell.”
  • Getting them moving: Physical exercise is not only a great distraction but it releases feel-good endorphins that help children and young people feel better and more optimistic about the future.
  • Defusing their thoughts: Anxious thoughts can get stuck, refusing to budge no matter or how unwanted they are. Help your child to distance themselves from their thoughts by placing distancing statements in front of their thoughts. Replace “I’m going to fail the test” with “I had a thought that I’m going to fail the test.” Rather than changing their thinking, assist your child distance themselves from unhelpful thoughts.

Get the fundamentals right
Sufficient sleep, good nutrition and exercise are essential for anxious kids. Support your child to adhere to their optimal bedtime so they wake naturally each morning, reduce sugar, take care of their gut health through good nutrition and encourage regular exercise for optimal mental health.”

– Parenting Ideas May 2019 Michael Grose.

Hope you find this article as helpful as I did.

Joy Rohrlach
Stage 3 Leader


Sport News


Cross Country

On Thursday 2 May the Junior School and Gawura held their annual Cross Country at Queens Park. It was perfect conditions for running and the students didn’t disappoint with their efforts. It’s so pleasing to see the level of determination that some students have when completing a challenging task such as the cross country. They certainly pushed themselves to do well demonstrated plenty of character, which will serve them will in the future. Congratulations to all who participated!

Students who have qualified for the ASISSA carnival will be notified this week.

Tony Dunseath
Coordinator of Sport and Cocurricular K-6, PDHPE Teacher


ICAS 2019 – dates for the diary


The ICAS series is a competition designed to assess students' ability to apply classroom learning in new contexts, using higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. It is highly challenging, it is set 1 - 2 years above grade level, as such it is not recommended for all students.

This year all ICAS assessments have moved to Term 3, and the price has increased to $14.50 per test. An email will go out to parents/carers early Term Two with details on how to register your child for one or more tests. In the meantime, please save the below dates.

Digital Technologies: Tuesday 3 September  Years 3-6
Science: Thursday 5 September  Years 2-6
Writing: Tuesday 10 September Years 3-6
Spelling: Thursday 12 September Years 2-6
English: Tuesday 17 September Years 2-6
Mathematics: Thursday 19 September  Years 2-6

Students who perform exceptionally well on the ICAS assessments will be recognised in a school assembly in Term 4.

Lucy Birts
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, JS & GS


MYP – morning workshop for parents


You are invited!

Dear Parents of Years 5 - 9,

In order to support parents in Middle School and those who will soon be parents of Middle School Students, I will be holding a workshop on the MYP and Assessment in the MYP. I have already held this same workshop a number of times in Term 1 but I know that some parents were unable to attend. There is no need to RSVP, just come if you are able. This will be the only workshop I will be holding this term so please come along if you are able. We hope to see you there!

At the end of the workshop Estee Stephenson, from the Specialised Learning Department, will be spending 10 minutes to talk about Executive Functioning if you are able to stay till 8.30am.

  • When: Tuesday 21 May: 7.45am – 8.20am
  • Where: Community Hub, Level 4 SAH

Kate Layhe
Director of Learning (Middle School)


Making the road smoother: Transition for Year 6 into Year 7


While it may appear that a transition from Year 6 at SACS into Year 7 at SACS 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, 2020 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 few days 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 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 look forward to meeting with many of you very soon at the Explore Year 7 evening on May 28.

Mrs Kate Layhe
Director of Learning (Middle School)


Year 6 into 7 transition document


JS/GS Disco – Week 4


Book here


Chorister news


The Choristers from St Andrew’s Cathedral School and the Cathedral Lay Clerks sang evensong plus gave a short recital at St Jude’s Anglican Church in Bowral last week.

Singing to a full congregation, the boys sang beautifully – even if it was rather chilly outside!

They were accompanied on the organ by Dr Allan Beavis – former headmaster and former student of St Andrews Cathedral School, and former assistant organist at St Andrew’s Cathedral.

A delicious afternoon tea was provided for both attendees and choristers, with choir tote bags, the new CD recording of Handel’s Messiah and handmade chorister dolls proving to be popular fundraising items.

Mr Cobb said boys sang so well and behaved so beautifully – and for some of our new probationers it was their first time singing with the choir.

Alex White (Year 6), Tomas Jurcic (Year 6), Freddie Cobb (Year 6), Charlie McCluney (Year 8) and Dashiel Drury (Year 8) performed solos, with Orlando Lennon (Year 6) singing the boy soprano solo for Quanta Qualia.

Our choristers were a credit to the School and the Cathedral.


Gawura Scholarships 2020 - Kindergarten, Yr 5 and Yr 9


Dear Parents.

We are starting our 2020 Gawura Kindy Enrolment process by marketing for new applicants. We are also offering scholarships to Year 5 and Year 9 students.

We would like to ensure that all siblings of our current Gawura students have the opportunity to apply, so that they can be considered for enrolment. Hence, if you do have children who are Kindy, Yr 9 or Yr 5 age in 2020, please ensure you have sent an application form to me by the end of June.

Application forms can be found at or email me at Please do not hesitate to let me know if you need any advice or help.


Bruce Perry                                                                                                          Registrar/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.


Foundation Trivia Night


Trivia night last call for donations for silent auction and gift hampers

The Movie Madness Trivia Night is on this Satur-day night – raising money for the Heath Bursary Fund.

We are still accepting last minute donations for our gift baskets. Please drop your items into reception at either St Andrew’s House or BBC. Suggestions for each year group are:

  • Kindergarten - Breakfast in Bed - jams, teas, napkins, beautiful tea cups
  • Year 1 - Icecream lovers – toppings, ice cream spoons, bowls
  • Year 2 - Manicure Magic - tools, creams, towels.
  • Year 3 - Hot Chocolate Enthusiast - mugs, hot choco-late, choccie biscuits
  • Year 4 - School survival kit - more snacks, pens, pa-per
  • Year 5 - Gardening items – gloves, seeds, tools
  • Year 6 - Car Care Pack – products to clean and polish your car, black your tyres
  • Year 7 - Bath Pamper Pack – bath & shower gels, bubble bath, lo-tions
  • Year 8 - Travel pack - diary, luggage label, snacks, eye patch etc, pack-away shopping bags
  • Year 9 - Rainy day Survival Kit - book/magazine, snacks, poncho, fold up umbrella, socks etc
  • Year 10 - Baking pack - cupcake holders, decorating items, measuring spoons, baking tray, cookbooks
  • Year 11 - For Coffee and Tea lovers - mugs, coffee beans, beautiful tea blends, tea strain-ers etc
  • Year 12 - Family Fun and Games – jigsaw puzzles, card games, board games for all ages

Trivia Night Silent Auction – you can bid now and win

Whether or not you are coming to Trivia Night you can join in the fun and start bidding for our wonderful collection of items.
It’s easy to register to bid. Please follow the instructions below.

To Register via SMS
1. Text: movie followed by your full name
2. To: +61447447549
3. Example: movie John Smith
4. Follow the registration link you are sent from GalaBid to log in and place bids.

To Register via browser
1. Visit:
2. Click on the 'Register' button
3. Enter your details and click 'Register'
4. You will then receive a text to your mobile phone with a verification link. Clicking the link will take you to the auction where you can log in with the password you entered during registration. You are now ready to bid.

Have fun and keep bidding!


Coffee in the Hub – for K-4 parents


Coffee in the Hub for Kindergarten, Year 1 and 2 parents

Kindy, Year 1 and 2 parents are invited to come along to "Coffee in the Hub" to meet other parents and hear from our Junior School psychologists.

Our Psychologists will be discussing how to build a great relationship with your child between 8.20am - 8.40am.

This event will be held on Thursday 23 May in the Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew's House

No bookings are necessary.


Coffee in the Hub for Year 3 and 4 parents

Year 3 and 4 parents are invited to come along to "Coffee in the Hub" to meet other parents and hear from our Junior School psychologists.

Our Psychologists will be discussing tips and tricks for schedules and busyness between 8.20am - 8.40am.

This event will be held on Thursday 6 June in the Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew's House

No bookings are necessary.


Junior School and Gawura Grandparents' Day


Grandparents of our Junior School and Gawura School families are invited to join us for one of our favourite days of the year – Grandparent’s Day. Each student is welcomed to have their grandparents (or a special relative, godparent, auntie, or significant person in their lives) to join us for this wonderful morning. Parents may escort grandparents to the Cathedral, but unfortunately cannot be catered for at the rest of the event.

The special service in the Cathedral will be followed by morning tea, time in the classroom and a book fair.

  • Date: Friday 7 June 2019
  • Time: 9.15am (Cathedral doors will open at 8.45am)
  • Location: St Andrew’s Cathedral for the service followed by St Andrew’s Cathedral School. There will be students and staff to assist our guests to find their way around our beautiful school.

At the conclusion of the morning, grandparents are invited either to take their grandchildren out to lunch and return them to school, or to take them home for the day.

Any questions, please email


Book now


Parent Prayer Meeting


Thursday 23 May and Thursday 20 June // 7.30am-8.15am OR 1pm-2pm

Meet other parents, be encouraged and come together opray for our school communication at our Breakfast Meeting OR Lunchtime Meeting.

Muffins will be provided in the morning and BYO lunch for the afternoon meeting. Tea and coffee will also be available.

Felicity Brazel
0425 329 432

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let them sing songs of praise.”  – James 5:13


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