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In this issue

Gawura News
Key dates
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Library news
Music news
Sports news
Parenting tips
Easter celebrations
Election Day Gawura donation
Gifted and Talented education
Uniform Shop update
TheirCare School Holiday Programme
Code Camp School Holiday Workshops
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Gawura News


Last Friday, 31 March March, our Stage 2 students in Miss McGrath’s class 3/4GM along with the rest of the entire Stage 2 cohort (which comprises over 120 Junior School students) attended a cruise with Tribal Warrior on Sydney Harbour. This excursion relates to the current unit of work ‘First Contacts’ which Stage 2 are studying. It studies what life was like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nations Peoples prior to colonisation and this excursion, in particular speaks of the impacts this had on the local Gadigal Clan of the Eora Nation.

The previous Friday 24 March saw our Junior School and Gawura Schools celebrate Harmony Day. It was also a Mufti Day where students wore something orange (which is the official colour associated with Harmony Day) or something that celebrated their culture. Many of our Gawura students proudly wore Indigenous themed clothing with titles such as ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, shirts flying the Aboriginal Flag and Indigenous themed NRL jersey’s such as that of the Rabbitohs. Various parents across Stage 2 were invited in to speak about their culture and so we give a special thank you to Jamie (mother of Bryden in Yr 4) who came in to speak about her Maori culture to all students of Stage 2.

This year we are progressing with our Reconciliation Action Plan and Gawura Strategic Plan. We have employed the services of an Aboriginal consultancy firm called 2 Point Co who will help deliver this. There will be extensive consultation with all stakeholders who wish to participate. Please see this link for information about who 2 Point Co are and what they hope to achieve this year and click on the link HERE if you wish to be involved and 2 Point Co will contact you directly.

A big congratulations to all of our Gawura students who have now completed all of their NAPLAN Assessments last week. The results will be available from the beginning of Semester 2.

We wish you all a blessed Easter and hope you have a wonderful holiday break. School resumes for all students K-12 on Wednesday 26 April.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 4 April
Junior School Parent / Teacher interviews;
Backflips Against Bullying (incursion K-6)

Wednesday 5 April, 9am Cathedral
Easter Hat Parade

Wednesday 5 April, 2.30pm Cathedral
Easter Community Chapel (bring an Easter hat!)
Term 1 concludes

Thursday 6 April
Pupil Free Day;
TheirCare available 7am-6pm (see below)

Wednesday 26 April
Term 2 commences

Wednesday 3 May, 6pm
Big Questions Speaker Series:
Environmental Stewardship: Aboriginal and scientific perspectives

Friday 12 May, 6pm-9pm (save the date)
Mothers Day celebration

Tuesday 16 May, 6pm
P&F presents: How we work together


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator



One of the highlights of this term in the Junior School and Gawura has been the recent parent seminar by Collett Smart. Collett encouraged parents in a number of practical ways to grow the resilience of their children. Some of the key themes to help our children to be resilient when they face life’s inevitable challenges included:

  • Each child needs at least one significant adult in their life to be their sure foundation from which they can springboard out into the challenges of life. 
  • Shape your family structures to include practices and events that remind our children that they belong to something bigger than just themselves, such as family birthdays and celebrations, church and community connections, chores and shared mealtimes.
  • Find your child’s spark so that they can feel a sense of achievement and competence which can be an encouragement when other parts of their life might be difficult.
  • Not all big emotions have a solution and there will be times when things are difficult and our children have to struggle. This struggle does build strength and resilience. During these difficult times listen and ask your child what they need from you. It may not be a solution!

If you were unable to join us for the seminar and would like to hear more of Collett’s insights a recording of the event is available here

Mrs​​​​ Bronwyn Wake
Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Coordinator and Psychologist/Counsellor


Library news


School holiday reading

School holidays can sometimes provide more downtime for reading. Before every school holiday begins, we allow students to borrow double their normal book limits, which results in many students bringing home piles of their chosen reads. However, the Junior School Library also subscribes to ePlatform by Wheelers which hosts a large collection of eBooks and AudioBooks. These can be accessed at any time and are a much lighter option for your luggage!

The ePlatform curates a number of collections, including selections of eBooks by PRC level. The ePlatform app can be downloaded onto any digital device including iPads and Kindles (see below for instructions). ePlatform has recently made some welcome upgrades, including the addition of Dyslexic Friendly Fonts and a text-to-speech option. Audiobooks may be borrowed to accompany a physical copy so that students can read along. Students sign in using their school login details.

  • For the Android app click here
  • To download from the Apple Store click here

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) announced its Shortlist for 2023 this week. Many of this year’s shortlisted books are already available on the ePlatform. I will be spending my holidays reading through as much of this top-quality literature from Australian authors and illustrators as I possibly can. If last year’s shortlist was anything to go by, my holiday is going to be a smorgasbord of wonderful reads! If you haven’t read it yet, my top pick from the last holidays and now featuring in the Young Readers Shortlist is Runt by Craig Silvey, an uplifting, heartwarming story of resilience and hope. I heartily recommend it to you to share as a family.

Hoping your holiday is a refreshing, enjoyable, book-filled break.

Mrs Nicole Cotter
Coordinator of Digital and Information Literacy


Music news


Some external opportunities for our musicians

Below are some external events which some of our musicians might be interested in. They are open to performers of all ages and levels and are non-competitive. Feedback and a trophy or medal is also included in these events. Both events are in front of a live audience, and an accompanist is provided.

The main differences to note are the dates, location and also the performance time limits. The TMO festival is open to all instruments, the AUSTA festival is only open to string instruments.

String players are more than welcome to enter both events. If you decide you would like your child to participate, please discuss this with their private Music tutor before entering.

TMO Instrumentalist Festival
Sunday 18 June
Location: Ashfield
Cost: $40
Time Limit: 3 mins

Booking link:


AUSTA NSW String Festival
Sunday 21 May
Location: St Ives
Cost: $45
Time Limit: 5 mins

Booking link:



Congratulations to the following students on their AMEB exam results:

  • Winda Mumbulla: A – Piano Grade 1
  • Barry Tao: B+ – Piano Grade 2
  • Oliver Boncukcu: A – Flute Repertoire Preliminary



K-6 ensembles will not be running from April 3-5. We look forward to recommencing in Term 2, Week 2, week beginning 1 May.


Year 3 Instrumental Programme

The Year 3 Programme will recommence on Monday 3 May. An email with further details has been sent to Year 3 parents.


Mrs​​​​ Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


Sports news


Term 1 sports wrap up

Saturday sport

We played our final round of girls soccer over the weekend – two wins and a loss to wrap up what was an outstanding term of soccer for all three teams. Well done to all the girls who played and improved so much across the term. The team spirit and positive energy at every game was a joy to behold. Thank you to the committed coaches who worked hard to support and develop the girls all term: Miss Sharp, Miss Thomas and Jess Ippaviz. Thank you to all the parents who got their girls to all the games across the term; without this support sport doesn’t happen, so thank you parents (and grandparents).

CIS Swimming Carnival

Six students represented St Andrew's at the CIS Swimming Championships on 22 March at Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre. Well done to Jesse Lo, Liam Preston, James Chandra, Tristan Lau, Karen Preston and Archie Lo for representing the school so well at this huge event! We had some outstanding results across the day and all students should be very proud of what they achieved at this highly competitive level.

CIS swimming results:

  • Jesse Lo – 4x50m freestyle relay 7th place overall, 50m freestyle 16th place overall, 50m freestyle 7th place overall, 50m breaststroke 7th place overall, 50m backstroke 13th place overall, 50m butterfly 18th place overall.
  • Liam Preston – 4x50m freestyle relay 7th place overall.
  • James Chandra – 4x50m freestyle relay 7th place overall, 50m freestyle 19th place overall, 50m breaststroke 15th place overall, 50m backstroke 27th place overall, 50m butterfly 28th place overall.
  • Tristan Lau – 4x50m Freestyle Relay 7th place overall, 50m backstroke 6th place overall, 50m butterfly 3rd place overall, 100m freestyle 3rd place overall.
  • Karen Preston – 50m freestyle 3rd place overall, 50m breaststroke 3rd place overall.
  • Archie Lo – 50m freestyle 14th overall, 50m backstroke 4th place overall (by 0.1 of a second), 50m backstroke 9th place overall, 50m butterfly 9th place overall.

ASISSA netball gala day

We took 12 girls from Years 5 and 6 to Perry Park for the ASISSA netball gala day on Thursday 23 March. The team played so well across the day, six games straight before we had a bye and two of our students made it into the possible vs probable’s game for the final ASISSA selection. Sadly no St Andrew's students were selected in the final ASISSA team to attend the CIS trials but the girls should still be very proud of their performance on the day. Guided by the amazing Miss Vanny and Miss Thomas, the girls finished the day with two wins and four losses. Well done girls, we look forward to your participation in the Term 2 netball competition!

Preparing for Term 2

We have begun the process of preparing for our Term 2 sporting competitions – IPSHA Saturday Sport: boys rugby, girls netball; and ASISSA Thursday afternoon sport: inter-school soccer.
We still have positions in our boys rugby teams. Please contact the Junior School Sport Department if your son is interested in joining this programme.

We have already begun training for rugby and the girls got a warm-up into the netball season with the ASISSA netball gala day last week. Regular training will commence at the start of Term 2.

Changes to Thursday afternoon sport

From Term 2 some changes have been made to Thursday afternoon's sporting programme for students in Years 3-6. We are always looking to improve the way students engage with this mandatory sport time and with this in mind, we are looking to diversify their involvement in sports and increase their participation across the board. Over the last two weeks students in Years 3-6 have been given the opportunity to select their preferences for Term 2 sports. They have been able to select from the following options:

  • Competitive soccer (ASISSA inter-school)
  • Non-competitive soccer training
  • Non-competitive touch football training
  • Non-competitive netball training

We have made this decision to provide our students with more agency over their participation in sports and to best tailor our programmes to the specific needs of our students.

Parents do not need to do anything to action these changes, but we encourage you to ask your children how they are enjoying their sport time on Thursday afternoons in Term 2.

I wish all families a safe and relaxing Easter break and I look forward to starting back, eager and ready for more sporting fun in Term 2!



NSW sailing title – congratulations!

Year 6 student, Ethan Wilkinson, had a super exciting weekend, winning the NSW Immediate Optimist sailing title by 1 point!

It was a breakthrough regatta for him, held at Lake Macquarie and he will now progress to open class.

Ethan sailed in six races over the weekend and was very focused throughout. Congratulations Ethan!



Kavin Shukla and Jamie Tan competed in the ACT Open in Canberra last weekend.

Jamie Tan came 6th in the U11 competition and 8th in the U13.
Kavin Shukla had a very tough draw in the U13s but finished strongly to come 9th.

Jamie Tan now has a National U11 ranking of 29.
Kavin Shukla now has a National U13 ranking of 35

Congratulations boys!

Mr Oliver Denny
Head of Sport Junior School


Parenting tips


Learning to take on challenges

James Anderson has written a great article for your holiday reading.

James is an Australian-based international speaker, author and educator who is passionate about helping us become better learners.

Challenges are the pathway to growth. When our children habitually avoid challenges, their learning stalls. When they learn to understand, value and embrace challenge, their learning accelerates. So, helping our children develop a healthy relationship with challenge becomes one of the most important ways we can help them become better learners.

Does your child avoid a challenge, seeking their “path of least resistance” in learning?

Or do they select the challenges they know they can do? Looking like they are working hard, but secretly avoiding mistakes by not taking on anything too challenging?

Maybe your child takes on challenges because the teacher tells them to. They follow the teacher’s instructions and are led through challenging tasks.

Perhaps your child takes on challenges because they need to. They have something they want to achieve, a goal in mind. Their relationship with challenge is born out of necessity so they can reach their goal.

How our children respond to challenges is a key element of what I call Learnership™ – the skill of learning. Learnership is a skill developed over time. It helps our children (and us!) to get more out of every learning opportunity. Most importantly, Learnership is something we can teach our children that helps them to thrive both in school and life.

The first step in helping your child develop a healthy relationship with challenge is to teach them the difference between their Comfort Zone and their Learning Zone.

Getting outside their comfort zone means trying something new. But something new, isn’t always something challenging. Very often “new” is simply an “easy thing we haven’t done yet”. There is little struggle involved in this type of challenge.

To be truly challenged our children need to stretch themselves beyond their current abilities. When the challenge feels “hard”, it’s a good sign they are in their Learning Zone. It’s important to help our children recognise that the feeling of struggle and discomfort that comes with being in their learning zone is temporary. It passes.

As parents and teachers, we have an important role in helping our children become more skilful learners. This begins by helping them develop a healthy relationship with challenge. By teaching them that effort is the cost of growth and normalising the struggle that comes from being in their learning zone, we help them become “comfortably uncomfortable” with challenge, and put them on a path of continuous growth.”

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break, enjoying time with family and friends.

Mrs Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Easter celebrations


Parents and Carers of Junior School and Gawura students are warmly invited to enjoy the last day of Term 1 with not one, but two, community events:

The Easter Hat Parade (morning)
Wednesday 5 April
to (approx.) 10am (doors open at 8.45am)
St Andrew’s Cathedral

Come and enjoy the enthusiasm and creativity of our Junior School and Gawura communities. There will be prizes for best hat, highly commendable, and most creative sustainably made hat creations across the classes. It’s a fun morning with lots of colour and joyful noise.

Easter Chapel (afternoon)
Wednesday 5 April
to 3.10pm (doors open at 2.20pm)
St Andrew’s Cathedral

Ever wondered why the death of a man two thousand years ago is something worth remembering today? Join us for our second Community Chapel of the year as we celebrate Easter with songs, prayers and Herb – our favourite, hairy Chapel visitor.

We’d love to see you there!


Rev​​​​ Emma Newling
Junior School and Gawura Chaplain


Election Day Gawura donation


Thank you!

On Saturday 25 March at the NSW State Election, Freddy Beck (Year 6), Zach Beck (Year 4) with help from Genevieve Williams (Year 5), and Kai Dubosz (Year 6) held a ‘Democracy sausage sizzle and lemonade stand’.

All the lemonade was squeezed fresh and homemade. Freddy and Zach wanted to raise money for Gawura and the group raised $712 in total.

Gawura would like to say thank you very much for the above donation and for this special group’s servant-hearted action and donation to our wonderful school.

Mr​​​​ John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Gifted and Talented education


The Australian Maths Trust’s Maths Challenge

This term, selected students in Years 4 and 6 have been participating in the Australian Maths Trust’s Maths Challenge. The Maths Challenge involves four challenging problems that require time, persistence, creativity and ingenuity 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 that they can develop flexible thinking and an ability to solve complex problems across a range of contexts.

The following reflections are from some of our Year 6 students who are currently completing the Maths Challenge:

What have you enjoyed most about the Maths Challenge?

I have enjoyed how the competition has challenged my thinking and encouraged me to think in different ways than I usually would. I really like that it has extended my mathematics skills beyond our regular classroom lessons. – Amy Codrington

What parts of the Maths Challenge have you found difficult?

The hardest thing about the challenge has been persisting through some of the questions that required methods and formulas that were new to me. Digesting the new information and applying it to solve the problems was really hard. I am proud of myself and my classmates for not giving up, even when it has felt impossible. It wasn’t impossible in the end because we solved the problems! – Archie Lo

What have you learnt from the Maths Challenge?

I have learnt most of the prime numbers up to 1000, and how to find these quickly. This information was important for the first (and hardest!) question of the challenge. I have also learnt how to work both collaboratively and independently to achieve my goals. – Rafferty McGonigle

Time to test your mathematical thinking! Here is one of the problems from the 2022 Years 3-4 Maths Challenge:


Mrs Rebecca Lord
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS&G


Uniform Shop update


Do you have your Winter uniform ready?

In Terms 2 and 3 our School switches to our Winter uniform.

Students are required to be in their uniform Day 1 of Term 2, Wednesday 26 April.

Please note: Blazers must be worn to and from school.

Please see St Andrew’s Cathedral School Junior School and Gawura uniform guidelines here.


Uniform Shop hours

The Uniform Shop regular term time hours are:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am-3.30pm.

During Week 1 of Term 2 the Unform Shop will be open Monday 24 April, Wednesday 26 April and Friday 28 April, 8am-3.30pm.

Mrs Larissa Taylor
Uniform Shop Manager


TheirCare School Holiday Programme


School Holidays

TheirCare have announced the upcoming School Holidays programme. Please click link below for more information.

TheirCare April School Holidays Programme


Pupil Free Day Thursday 6 April

For access to TheirCare please book in here



Code Camp School Holiday Workshops


School Holidays

Code Camp is excited to be running programmes at St Andrew's Cathedral School in the upcoming School Holidays. Click link below for more information:

Code Camp - April 2023.


What's on: upcoming events and activities


All welcome at the Cathedral

The Choir featuring St Andrew's Cathedral School choristers will be serving our Cathedral and city! Members of the School community are very welcome.

Maundy Thursday
Thursday 6 April
– Holy Communion, 7pm

Good Friday
Friday 7 April
10am, Dean Sandy Grant
7pm Handel’s Messiah, featuring Cathedral Choir

Book here:

Easter Sunday
Sunday 9 April – Holy Communion
8.30am10.30am, and 5pm – Archbishop Kanishka Raffel


Join our Big Questions seminar – environmental stewardship

Students, parents and staff are invited to be part of our exciting new seminar series Big Questions – providing stimulating, thought-provoking and interactive conversations by expert guests on interesting topics.

The first in the series is a conversation between Pastor Ray Minniecon, who represented Australia's First Nations' peoples at the 26th Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in 2021, and Dr Andrew McGonigle, an award-winning volcanologist, inventor, pioneer and teacher. They will explore Environmental Stewardship from both Aboriginal and scientific perspectives.

The format will see our two guests on stage, sharing their knowledge, understanding and different experiences of the world around us. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Please book your place to witness this exciting discussion!

Wednesday 3 May, 6pm
Chapter House


Book here


Who are we and how do we work together?

There are many seen and unseen branches of the St Andrew’s family, and they connect and work together in different ways for different reasons. Learn more about how we all fit together. 

Please join the P&F for this wonderful opportunity to hear from our panellists and have all your questions answered.

The expert panel is comprised of: 

  • Ms Nicola Warwick-Mayo, Executive Director of School Services, will explain our School’s unique governance, our relationship with the Cathedral and Diocese, School Council and Foundation.
  • Lyn Jarvis, Director of Community Engagement, will share a little on the School’s relationship with the P&F, OAA and Hessians.
  • Dr Julie McGonigle, Head of School, will outline how it all interacts, the various roles of key school staff and how it comes together to make the school community function and flourish.

The panellists will give a short presentation which will be followed by a Q&A session. On the evening, sign in at reception and come directly to the Community Hub.

Tuesday 16 May, 6pm
Community Hub, St Andrew’s House
Refreshments will be served.
You can also join online. A link will be provided closer to the date.

For enquiries, please contact the SACS Community Engagement Team: | 02 9286 9661