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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards
Head lice notice
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Library news
Music news
Sports news
What's happening in the Art Space?
Parenting tips
Gifted and Talented Education
What's on: upcoming events and activities
TheirCare Halloween Spooktopia!

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


Last Friday 20 October, our students in Years 4-6 had a wonderful day visiting the Sculptures By The Sea. The day started with an Indigenous artist who led a sculpture lesson in Tamarama Park. The students made their own sculpture designs which was led by an Indigenous artist from Noongar Nation. The students then walked the length of the Sculptures By The Sea from Tamarama Beach to Bondi Beach and were amazed by the variety and colours of each one.

Year 3 attended Kirrikee Camp on Thursday and Friday last week and had a great time doing a variety of activities such as ladder climb, raft building, jungle vines and a scavenger hunt. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to not only consolidate their existing friendships with other students in Gawura but to also make new friends as well from across the entire Year 3 cohort in the Junior School.

Our next GPAC Meeting will take place on Tuesday 24 October this week from 2pm to 3pm where we will be able to provide you with an update and timeline for the Gawura Strategic plan. You will also be able to join in online via the link that was sent out last week.

Our next Yarning Session With Parents will be on Tuesday 31 October and we are delighted to confirm that Aunty Barbara Simms will be hosting us on a walking tour of La Perouse followed by a morning tea. We hope you will be able to attend this.

Finally our On Country Tour to Wiradjuri Nation visiting areas around Lithgow and Mudgee is planned and it looks to be an amazing 3 days and 2 nights of cultural learning. We will leave on Wednesday 15 November and return on Friday 17 November. This On Country Tour is for all Aboriginal students from Years 5 to 12.

We wish you a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Monday 23 – Friday 27 October
-  Anglicare clothing drive, 7.30-8.30am
-  Year 5 to Kirrikee in groups

Tuesday 24 October
Year 6 RAP Expo 2pm - 4pm

Thursday 26 October
- Year 6 parents – Coffee in Chapter House, 8am
- K-2 Swimming

Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 November
Year 6 Camp Crusaders
Library closed for Annual Stocktake

Thursday 2 November
K-2 Swimming

Monday 6 November
- 2024 Kindergarten Play Date
- 2024 Orientation - new students

Thursday 9 – Friday 10 November
Year 6 Lollybag fundraiser

Friday 10 November
K-6 Gawura Cultural Excursion Art Gallery of NSW

Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 November
Years 5-12 On Country Tour to Wiradjuri Nation (Lithgow and Mudgee)

Friday 17 November 
K-6 Music and Art Showcase - art show 5pm / music concert 6pm

Saturday 18 November, 4pm
P&F Rooftop Christmas Markets

Tuesday 5 December, 6.30pm
Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving


Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards



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


Head lice notice


Head lice notice and treatment

Dear Parents and Guardians,   

We have been advised of a case of head lice in the school.
Please check your child and treat if necessary.

For more detailed information, visit NSW Public Health.

The facts
Head lice infestations are a common occurrence, particularly in primary schools.

  • About 23% of primary students have head lice at any one time.
  • Anyone can catch head lice regardless of their age, sex or how clean their hair is.
  • Head lice move from one person's head to another via hair.
  • Head lice do not survive long when they are off a human head.
  • Head lice do not live on furniture, hats, bedding or carpet.
  • Head lice have built up some resistance to head lice treatments.

Daily combing with hair conditioner using a fine tooth comb is effective in getting rid of head lice and eggs (nits). Tips for parents in reducing the spread of head lice:

  • Regularly check your children's hair.
  • Teach older children to check their own hair.
  • Tie back and braid long hair.
  • Keep a fine-tooth head lice comb in the bathroom and encourage all family members to use it when they wash their hair.

As infestations are particularly common in primary schools, it is best to choose a treatment that can be used over time. There is no single solution to eradication, only persistence.

Mrs Rhonda Robson
Deputy Head of School (Primary) / Head of Junior School


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Supporting our children in difficult times

Based on Michael Grose “Parenting Ideas”

These past weeks have been difficult in our world with wars, terror attacks and division in the referendum. It can be difficult to know how to support our students to understand and process what they see and hear. I wonder how do you approach this with your children? There are no easy answers but be assured that your child will benefit from talking to you.

These ideas may be helpful:

Be available: Let your child know that it is okay to talk about the events they see and hear about. Listen to what they think and feel. By listening, you can find out if they have misunderstandings, and you can learn more about the support that they need. You do not need to explain more than they are ready to hear but be willing to answer their questions.

Filter the news: It is also helpful to take particular care about your child’s exposure to news events. The consistency and frequency of news cycle images can be frightening for young children who don’t understand the notion of distance and have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fiction.

Engage in the news with older children: Many issues may be of significant interest to older primary-aged children and teenagers. Be prepared to engage in discussions about political leadership, human rights, the coverage by the media and other issues that will emerge. Increasingly, young people are demonstrating that they want to have a voice in shaping the world they live in. Give them a chance to air their concerns and formulate their ideas in the safe confines of home.

Manage emotions raised: The difficult recent events may raise many emotions for children and young people including sadness over the loss of life, confusion, and outrage over injustice. Take your cues from your children and follow the threads that emerge. Demonstrate that you understand how they may be upset and clarify their emotions if possible.

Keep to a normal routine: Your child may feel powerless. You may feel the same way as that’s what events like these can do to us. Maintaining the same sleeping, eating and daily routines can help to restore a sense of control over our daily lives.

Show them how to change the world: Events like these highlight the reality of social divisiveness. ‘Kindness’, ‘helping others’, ‘encouraging’, ‘sharing’ and similar concepts don’t make great political slogans but they form the basis of every strong community. Encourage children to be the change that they want to see - and to understand that they can make an impact in their classroom, their community and their school by the way they relate to others.

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


Library news


The Great Book Swap

A driving motivation for our big events in the library in Term 3, was the opportunity they provide to join with the important work of some key charities in Australia and the world. As people with access to some of the best education in the world, it is heartening to share some of that privilege with others.

In the last weeks of Term 3, we hosted another Great Book Swap. Book stalls were set up in three different locations over three lunchtimes so that students could browse on their way to lunch. This year student enthusiasm was at an all time high!

Thanks to your generous donations, we raised close to $800, well above our fundraising goal of $500. The School's generous efforts will gift 78 culturally relevant books to children in remote Indigenous Communities. Over 50% of the books gifted are by First Nations authors and illustrators which allows kids to see themselves and their culture reflected in the stories, helping to build a sense of connection, belonging and pride. It is both our privilege and our joy to support the work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in these remote communities.

Grateful for your partnership in our community and beyond,

Mrs Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – Junior School and Gawura


Music news



Congratulations to the following students on their recent examination results:

  • Marcus Chau – High Distinction in Grade 3 saxophone repertoire
  • Violet Pendlebury-Simmons – Honours in Grade 3 speech & performance

Congratulations Aiden Bhuyan, Nathaniel Iloski, Hugo Gilmovich and Tristian Lau who attended the Metropolitan Orchestra String Camp in the holidays. It is wonderful to see so many of our students so committed to their musical activities.

Many of our students were also involved in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Big Busk over the break. Well done to Patricia Mundine, Tynan McDonald, Hugo Gilmovich and Bunty O’Donnell for your involvement in this, as well as Miss Oh for looking after these students.

Hugo Gilmovich has successfully auditioned for the role of Young Mozart in an upcoming documentary called “Mozart’s Sister.” This is a spectacular achievement and we are looking forward to seeing the documentary once it is released. Congratulations Hugo!

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


Sports news


Boys Saturday sport Round 7

In Term 4, we continue from our Term 1 summer sports with Round 7 being the first round of the competition this term. We have four boys basketball teams playing, and the boys cricket team has entered club competition playing with Balmain South Sydney Cricket Club. The boys basketball teams started the season with internal friendly games as another training opportunity and preparation for out first competition matches against Mosman Prep in Round 8. The boys cricket team played Bankstown in the first round of the season – a tight match saw the St Andrew's Cathedral School boys go down by two runs in the end. The boys play Marrickville in their second game of the season on Saturday 21 October.

Girls Saturday sport Round 1

We are excited to have two girls basketball teams playing in the IPSHA competition this term. In Round 1, the Year 5 girls played St Catherine's and went down 16-28 – a positive start to the season with the girls sharing points among the team. The Year 6 girls were up against SCEGGS Darlinghurst but they also went down 14-28. There were only two points separating both teams until the fourth quarter – a positive start to the season for both girls basketball teams! We are pleased to again have one girls cricket team playing in the IPSHA blast format competition. The girls played a strong Queenwood team in Round 1 and unfortunately lost their game. With a number of girls playing for their first time, it was a positive start to the term and we look forward to seeing this team improve.

Thursday afternoon sports Term 4 overview

As the weather begins to warm up, we are looking forward to an exciting term of Thursday afternoon sport ahead. We have once again been able to provide the students in Years 3-6 with various options for sport, while the Kindergarten to Year 2 students will all be participating in the Learn To Swim programme.

Year 3-6 non-competitive sports

Students in Years 3-6 have been given the following non-competitive sporting options and will be participating in these sports during Thursday afternoon in Term 4:

  • dance
  • netball
  • AFL / touch football
  • soccer.

Year 4-6 inter-school sport

Students in Years 4-6 have the option of participating in inter-school sports. This term students have the choice between cricket and t-ball for both boys and girls. These games are all played at Queens Park on Thursday afternoons between 1.40 – 2.40pm. We encourage parents who are keen to come and support their child and the various St Andrew's Cathedral School teams playing in the ASISSA inter-school competition.

Mr ​​​​Oliver Denny
Head of Sport Junior School


What's happening in the Art Space?


Term 4 has started with a buzz in the Junior School Art Space as we prepare for our upcoming Music and Art Showcase in November, enjoy a visiting artist – Grace Lin – from China and engage some of our Year 5 and 6 artists in Gifted and Talented workshop events.

Twenty-one of our keen, talented sketchers and painters spent a delightful Friday afternoon working ‘en plein air’ as part of our ‘Escape to the City’ afternoon in Hyde Park – a wonderful moment in the glorious sun!  Focusing on architectural genre across the years by observing patterning and the effects of light on building features, students transformed their observations into a portable watercolour painting.


2023 Young Andrean Artist of the Year Awards: The Opera House

Thank you very much to all students who submitted works for this competition. It has been a joy to observe the broad range of creative ideas, techniques and media used to create beautiful and clever pieces that convey a sense of the importance of the Sydney Opera House in the history of our cultural and social lives in our city. The judges will be meeting soon to decide the winning entries. The results will be announced later in the term, with prizes and certificates to be awarded to the winners and runners-up.


What's coming up in Term 4

The 2023 inaugural K-6 Music and Visual Arts Showcase will be happening in our Cathedral and Chapter House. Dates are 16-17 November. See further details in the What's On section, at the end of this newsletter!

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


Parenting tips


Simple solutions to stop screens sabotaging sleep

by Dr Kristy Goodwin

“Sleep is vital for children’s and teens’ optimal health, wellbeing, learning and development. They need both good quality sleep and an adequate amount of sleep. Yet research tells us that many children and teens aren’t getting a sufficient amount of sleep and/or good quality of sleep. The chief reason why (but certainly not the only reason) is because of their technology habits.”

This is an excellent article written by Kirstie Goodwin. She has some wonderful ideas to help guide and assist parents in this area.

Why kids and teens need sleep?

Sleep promotes children’s and teen':

  • physical health – poor sleep is associated with lower immunity, increased weight and obesity rates, poorer reaction times and increased clumsiness.
  • mental and emotional wellbeing – poor sleep is associated with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and overall mood.
  • learning – poor sleep impacts children’s capacity to learn, concentration and memory formation. Memory consolidation occurs in the latter two stages of sleep. Yet many children aren’t getting to these final stages of sleep because of digital interruptions. Sleep is vital before and after learning. Studies have shown that even 30 minutes of missed sleep can result in an IQ difference of 10 points.

How digital devices can compromise sleep

Digital devices can have a negative impact on children’s and teens' circadian rhythms, thereby directly impacting the volume and quality of sleep they accumulate each night. However, it’s important to note that screens aren’t the sole causal factor of poor sleep in children and teens. The demands of homework and assignments, study pressure, extra-curricular activities, work demands and mental health issues such as anxiety are some other factors that are also contributing to waning sleep habits in children and adolescents.

Here are some of the ways digital devices compromise sleep:

  • Blue light impact – The blue light emitted from screens (especially small hand-held devices such as smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles) impact children’s and teens' circadian rhythms. The blue light prevents the pineal gland from producing melatonin, the sleep hormone the brain needs to secrete, to make kids/teens sleepy. Inadequate production of melatonin prevents kids/teens from feeling tired and can delay the onset of sleep. Sleep delays accumulate over time and can result in a sleep deficit. This is a particular concern for children approaching puberty as their circadian rhythms biologically change – they naturally want to fall asleep later. However, this later sleep time can be exacerbated by blue light devices.
  • Arousal effect – rapid-fire, fast-paced screen action can hyper-arouse the brain, delaying the onset of sleep. Playing video games, watching fast-paced TV programmes, engaging in group messages or viewing social media can all arouse the brain and delay the onset of sleep.
  • Scary or upsetting content – can psychologically distress our children and teens, especially if they’re consuming it just before they fall asleep. Viewing distressing content can cause nightmares, particularly amongst younger children under 10 years of age (they’re susceptible to experiencing intense fear as a result of viewing disturbing footage or images because they’re psychologically unable to distinguish fiction from reality.
  • Premature waking – many parents are reporting that their children are waking at earlier and earlier times to get their daily ‘dose of digital’ (often before their parents wake up).
  • Interrupted sleep cycles – the presence of digital devices in bedrooms can interfere with completed sleep cycles. Each night kids/teens should go through five stages of sleep and repeat that cycle 4-6 times each night. If they have a device in their bedroom, the alerts and notifications can interrupt the sleep cycles.

Simple and realistic solutions:

  • Keep devices OUT of bedrooms – the presence of digital devices in bedrooms can increase the likelihood of sleep delays in children and teens using devices (unsupervised) throughout the night.
  • Establish a digital bedtime – ideally screens should be switched off 60-90 minutes before kids / teens fall asleep. This helps to calm the brain and prevent the adverse impact of blue light.
  • Do a tech-swap before bed – for some families screens are part of the evening routine. So instead of using a smartphone or tablet (which are interactive and emit blue light) before bed, allow children to watch TV.
  • Use tech tools – use Night Shift mode on iOS devices, or Blue Light Filter or Twilight on Android devices and f.lux on laptops and desktop computers.
  • Establish a landing zone – nominate a specific place in your home where all digital devices go at night. It may be the kitchen counter, the sideboard or a laundry bench. This way, you can do a quick digital headcount before bed.
  • Preserve green time – kids need time in natural sunlight each day to help regulate their circadian rhythms (and ward off myopia, near-sightedness). Ideally, kids should be exposed to natural sunlight between 8am-12pm each day.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative.

Mrs Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Gifted and Talented Education


World Scholar’s Cup Global Round

During the Term 3 school holidays, Camilla Mao, Isabelle Wood, and Vanessa Yang attended the World Scholar’s Cup Global Round on the Gold Coast, Queensland. As a team, the students participated in a range of academic events, including the Team Debate, Scholar’s Challenge, Collaborative Writing and the Scholar’s Bowl. The students thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of each event, as well as the opportunity to meet new people with incredible talents and personalities. The team achieved an array of outstanding results in each event and qualified for the Tournament of Champions at Yale University. Congratulations Camilla, Isabelle and Vanessa on this wonderful achievement!

Below are some reflections from Camilla, Isabelle and Vanessa about their favourite events at the World Scholar’s Cup Global Round:

The event that brought me the most joy and created lasting memories was the Collaborative Writing. During this event, students would work together as a team to produce three different styles of writing, each centred around a specific topic related to the competition's theme for that year. Although it was a challenging and sometimes stressful experience, there were moments that stood out and made it all worthwhile.”– Camilla Mao.
“One of my favourite parts of the World Scholar's Cup was the World Fair. Here students can set up booths that showcase their hobbies or heritage. I especially enjoyed the delicious food samples from countries like New Zealand and Cambodia and learning about cultures such as Vietnam. As for the hobby booths, there was a dinosaur exhibit, a water display, a Rubik's cube station and even a Weetbix challenge where you had to eat an entire Weetbix in 30 seconds. It was an absolute blast, and I would do it all over again.”  Isabelle Wood.

“The thing that really brings the World Scholar’s Cup together is the team debate, in my opinion. Everyone is split up into their teams to debate with others. This allows all students to reach their full potential in that area while debating comfortably, as there is no audience watching you. It is so fun yet chaotic in the 15 minutes you get to write your speech, and this bonds your team before the Scholar’s Bowl. I thoroughly enjoyed debating about the curriculum provided, which included things like, “Should we modify music to match the era of newer generations?” and “Should we invent a technology that allows us to see our ancestors’ memories?” Overall, the World Scholar’s Cup has become a second home for my team, and I really encourage others to give it a shot too!” – Vanessa Yang.



IPSHA Debating Gala Day

At the conclusion of Term 3, the IPSHA Debating team participated in the IPSHA Debating Gala Day at Meriden Junior School. In teams of four, the students debated both for and against the following motions: that we should require all schools to have a student-maintained vegetable garden and that team sports are better than individual sports. The students demonstrated excellence in their ability to speak clearly, concisely and persuasively. They were fortunate to win all their debates across the day. Congratulations Violet Bloxsom, Ava Chakar, Annabelle Douglas, Henry Duke, Bligh Jordan, Archie Lo, Rafferty McGonigle, Koji Takamura, Jamie Tan, Genevieve Williams, James Yeoh and Vanessa Yang on your achievements at this event. What a fantastic way to end the debating season!

Below is an excerpt from one of the speeches presented on the day:

“I'm going to focus firstly on the benefits team sports have when it comes to illness and injury. In individual sports, such as swimming, the pressure sits solely on the individual. You may train with a squad, but when the time comes, if you're ill or injured, the impact is immense. You either miss out completely, or you risk your own health by pushing yourself to compete anyway. For example, we often hear stories of professional solo sport athletes sacrificing so much to train for years to make it to the Olympics, only to suffer injury or illness and lose their chance altogether. Compare that to a recent team sports example, where Sam Kerr started the Women's World Cup injured and on the bench. However, because she was part of a great team, they could carry on without her and were able to welcome her back as and when she was ready.”  Archie Lo

Mrs​​​​ Rebecca Lord
Gifted and Talented Coordinator Junior School and Gawura


What's on: upcoming events and activities


Drop off your clothes THIS WEEK in the SAH foyer

We're thrilled to announce the return of our clothing drive in partnership with Anglicare. Your support is crucial in this effort. By donating gently-used, still-in-good-condition clothes (excluding undergarments), you can provide comfort and love to those in need.


Anglicare clothing drive drop off:
Monday 23 – Friday 27 October, 7.30-8.30am

St Andrew's House (SAH) foyer

Your generosity matters! Let's come together to bolster Anglicare's mission. Click here to read more details on the flyer.

Year 10 Students


Year 6 parents – join us for a Junior School farewell cuppa

Parents and carers of Year 6 students are warmly invited to Coffee in the Chapter House for a farewell event.

Come along and share a coffee with staff and other Year 6 parents to celebrate and reflect on your Junior School years and look forward to and prepare for the next adventure!

Thursday 26 October, 8am-9am
Chapter House


RSVP closes today, Monday 23 October


Come along to the inaugural K-6 Music and Art Showcase

The inaugural K-6 music and art show brings together our talented artists and musicians from Kindergarten to Year 6.

All of our ensembles look forward to performing and sharing their music with you. Meanwhile our young artists are keen to see you engage and interact with their creative art exhibits and installations.

Art show – Chapter House
• Thursday 16 November, 3pm-5pm
• Friday 17 November, 2pm-6pm

Music concert – St Andrew’s Cathedral
• Friday 17 November, 6pm-7.45pm


RSVP here


Shop, eat, listen to beautiful music - and more - under the stars

Our annual P&F Rooftop Christmas Markets is on again, Saturday 18 November, from 4pm to 9pm! Be dazzled under the starry night sky of the city as you sip cocktails, enjoy the musical talents of our ensembles, taste delicious food and shop a wonderful array of gifts to tick off your Christmas checklist.

This event is open to all St Andrew's families and their friends. You can purchase tickets, see updates on the programme and see how you can join us at this wonderful event below.

Saturday 18 November, 4pm
SAH Rooftop, St Andrew's House


More information here


Save the date!

Our 138th Evening of Celebration and Prizegiving will be on Tuesday 5 December in the magnificent Sydney Town Hall. Mark the date in your diaries and join our School community to celebrate this year’s highlights together.

More information to come soon.


TheirCare Halloween Spooktopia!


Designed by student Konstantouras Konstantinos (Year 6).