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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart Mind Life and Uniform Awards
Wellbeing Initiatives
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Message from the Registrar
Message from our Grade 3 Leader
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

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


Last Thursday 7 September and Friday 8 September our Gawura students in Years 3 to 6 participated in the JSGS musical production of My Son Pinocchio Jr. Our students danced and sang in three performances across two days and had a truly marvellous time. A very special thank you to all 40 Gawura Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Nans and Pops who attended the shows and supported your Gawura children. A very special mention to Nana Ruth who travelled all the way from Port Augusta in South Australia to see her grandson Marlon perform on the Friday night. Our students loved seeing their family members in the audience and a very special thank you to Rev Emma Newling who was behind all the organisation for the show, Mr Ben Millis who was the Production Manager and Mrs Kate Robertson who was the Director of Music. It was an entire team effort from all staff who allowed our Gawura students to shine in this wonderful opportunity. A very special mention to Year 6 student Mizpah who was also in the main cast, who acted and sang beautifully. We plan to have a JSGS production every second year and a secondary high school production every alternate year.

Last week several Gawura students participated in the ASISSA Athletics Carnival and although there were many pleasing results, we congratulate Nyarla on her superb effort of throwing the discus 16.5 meters to take First place. We also congratulate Maya on coming Second in the 100 metres, First in the 200 metres and First in High Jump. Both these students will go and represent our school at the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Athletics Carnival.

This coming Friday 15 September we will be holding our next Aboriginal Secondary Student Wellbeing Lunch from 12.00 to 12.30pm in S511. The last Wellbeing Lunch was attended by 98% of our Indigenous secondary students. There are still some secondary students away on camps so all they have to do is RSVP by replying to the email they were sent from Mrs Giannini. We look forward to seeing them this Friday.

Just a reminder that the school has arranged for free Optical and Dental health exams for our students commencing on Monday 18 September and concluding on Thursday 21 September, subject to eligibility through the Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS). For your child to receive and participate in these, please click on the link HERE for Optical and/or HERE for Dental before Wednesday 13 September at 10.00am to complete and submit the forms online, if you have not already done so. The Optical and Dental health exams will take place on site.

Finally, school will conclude for Term 3 on Thursday 21 September and return on Monday 9 October.

We wish you a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead and a relaxing, enjoyable September/October school holidays.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Monday 11 September
- Junior School and Gawura Year 12 farewell assembly
- Public Speaking Round 3 (this week)

Wednesday 13 September
The Great Book Swap 

Thursday 14 September
- Coffee in the Hub – Year 4 parents, 8am
- Year 1 to Tumbalong Park
- IPSHA Debating Gala Day

Friday 15 September
- Year 6 Music Concert
- Public Speaking Grand Finals:
      - 9am, Years K-2 
      - 10am, Years 3-4 
      - 10.50am, Years 5-6 

Tuesday 19 September
- Junior School Parent Teacher Interviews, 8am-6.30pm
- CIS Carnival
- Celebration of Bands Concert (Year 3-12), 5.30pm

Thursday 21 September
- K-2 Mini Athletics Carnival
- Term 3 concludes (Years K-6)

Friday 22 September
Staff Development Day


Heart Mind Life and Uniform Awards



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


Wellbeing Initiatives


In the lead up to the Voice Referendum later this year we have been advised by parents at our recent GPAC Meeting of a wonderful resource about Wellbeing Initiatives for First Nations Peoples to use if they wish to as we approach the date, click here


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Belonging and celebration

What a wonderful week we have shared with our Junior School and Gawura Musical, My Son Pinocchio Jr! We celebrated the talent, character and commitment of staff and students both on the stage and behind the scenes as they persisted through the many challenges to produce such a fantastic musical. Congratulations to all involved!

Yet, the benefits of a school musical production extend far beyond the fun and joy of the show. Such productions are also powerful in building a special sense of belonging to the School community. Research shows that a student's sense of belonging at school is strongly related to their academic achievement and wellbeing. It also has a significant influence on the academic motivation of students and thus is related to their academic outcomes. This is because students who feel that they belong to their school community also have greater interest in school activities and are more confident to give new learning challenges a go.

With all these benefits of school musicals, I can’t wait for the next one!!

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


Message from the Registrar


Withdrawing children at the end of the year

To everyone in the St Andrew's Cathedral School Community, this is just a reminder that if you are intending on withdrawing your child at the end of the year, please send an email to myself, and the relevant Head of Division, as soon as possible. The School does require ten School weeks notice of withdrawal as per the enrolment terms and conditions (otherwise ten weeks of School fees will be charged).

Mr Bruce Perry


Message from our Grade 3 Leader


Gearing up to be sun safe

With spring in the air and the weather warming up, I am requesting parents and carers ensure their children are bringing the School bucket hat or sport cap to school, especially for Thursdays. This request is in-line with the Junior School and Gawura School Uniform Policy. The intention behind the policy is to ensure all children are prepared for outdoor activities and ‘sun safe’, particularly as the UV Index rises.

To make things easier, students are encouraged to bring their hats to school every day, as this reduces the confusion of having to remember to pack it for Thursdays and allows students to wear their hat to the roof for playtime.

Please also check to see whether your child’s name is written in the hat. From time to time, students misplace their hat. If a name is recorded on the inside of the hat, it allows teachers to return it to the correct owner.

To add some extra motivation for students to remember their hats for Thursdays, Mr Wu will focus on classes that all have their sport hats in the next few weeks for his weekly Uniform Trophy. For those who might want to remind their children, classes awarded this trophy are in the running for a pizza party at the end of the term. We love recognising the efforts of our students to represent themselves, and the School, well!

We are keen to encourage students to be sun safe. As part of this, we will record students who don’t have their hats as a way of tracking and supporting this process. Grade Leaders may also intervene as part of this initiative.

However, if a student repeatedly is without a hat on Thursdays, he or she would be in breach of the Uniform Policy and will have this recorded on Edumate. The student will then attend a lunchtime detention / reflection time and be sent to the Uniform Shop to collect a new hat, which will be billed to parents, to ensure their sun safety.

Mr​​​​ Rhys Finemore
Grade 3 Leader, Junior School Teacher


Library news


Premier’s Reading Challenge final update

The Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) ended with a flourish this year, with many students making it across the finish line right up to the last day.

Congratulations to 87% of our Junior School and Gawura students who successfully completed the challenge.

The following classes with 100% completion can expect an ice cream party in the coming days to celebrate their efforts: KGW, 1-2GP, 3-4GM, 5-6GK, KJ, KN, 1M, 1R, 3/4V, 4F, 4L, 5/6O, 5L and 5W.



The Great Book Swap - bring your gold coins!!

The Great Book Swap is happening this Wednesday 13 September! Students can participate by bringing gold coins to swap for donated books. Parents can assist by making sure students have sufficient money to bring home a healthy collection of new favourite reads.

The funds raised help provide culturally relevant books and learning resources to children and families living in remote communities across Australia. Donations also support the publishing of books written by communities, for communities, in languages of their choice.


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


Music news



Congratulations to Oliver Boncukcu (Year 4) who has recently completed his Grade 2 Flute examination, achieving Honours.

Taali Paku (Year 6) has recently completed Grade 4 Piano, also achieving Honours. Well done, Taali.

Year 3 and Junior Concert Band

Please remember that for Year 3 students playing woodwind, brass and percussion instruments as part of the instrumental programme, as well as the students in the Junior Concert Band, there will be a performance on Tuesday 19 September. There will also be a rehearsal occurring on the same day. Please email if you have further questions about this, or if you did not receive the information note via email regarding the concert.


Thank you to all the cast and crew of My Son Pinocchio Jr for your outstanding commitment to this year’s production. It was a delight to see the joy of each student in Years 3-6 perform in such a successful show. Thanks to our parents for being such strong supporters of Performing Arts at St Andrew's Cathedral School.

Save the date!   K-6 Music and Art Showcase

More information will soon be released about our K-6 Music and Art Showcase which will take place on Friday 17 November. Please save this date if your child is in any of our ensembles, as all ensembles will perform at this event.

Individual music tuition

Individual tuition at St Andrew's is often in high demand and the Music Department is often asked for information on how to sign up for lessons. The link here will take you to the 2023 sign up form. Please email Mrs Robertson if you would like to discuss music tuition, or your child’s music education further.

Mrs Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


Sports news


Saturday sport

Girls touch football Round 7 game reports

Year 5 won in their game against SCEGGS, 8-1.
Another amazing team performance with tries to Genevieve Williams, Annabelle Douglas and Grace Woodall.
Year 6A had a win over Kincoppal, 5-3 in a gripping game, with great play from both teams. The St Andrew's girls came out on top with Violet Bloxsom scoring three tries and some awesome defensive work from Leni Mulcahy.
Year 6B drew against SCEGGS, 2-2. This was a tough game! Both teams played well and highlighted their defensive efforts to keep each other out.


ASISSA and IPSHA Athletics results

Forty-four Junior School students represented St Andrew's Cathedral School at both the ASISSA and IPSHA Athletics Carnivals over the last two weeks. All students participated to the best of their abilities and demonstrated true St Andrew's sporting spirit at these carnivals.

Eight students have been selected to represent ASISSA at the CIS Carnival on the Tuesday 19 September, which means they placed either 1st or 2nd over-all on the day.

CIS Qualifiers:

Katia Delic
Girls 11 years 100 metre – 2nd Place
Girls 11 years 800 metre – 1st Place
Girls 11 years 200 metre – 2nd Place

Nyarla Gordon
Girls 8-10 discus – 1st Place

William Hawkes
Boys 12-13 discus – 2nd Place

Maya Hughes
Girls 11 years 100 Meter – 2nd Place
Girls 11 years 200 Meter – 1st Place
Girls 11 years long jump – 1st place

Ned Robertson
Boys 8-10 high jump Junior – 2nd Place

Alexandre Schlomka
Boys 11 years 200 metre – 3rd Place

Florian Spender McGuinness
Boys 11 years high jump – 2nd place

Annabelle Douglas
Girls 8-10 long jump – 2nd Place

Not qualified for CIS but placed in event:
Talaara Simpson
Girls 12 years 800 metre – 3rd Place



Kavin Shukla (Year 6) won the Grade A Junior Sydney Open tournament organised by City Tattersals group last Sunday. It was a great win for Kavin taking his national ranking from 21st to 14th in Australia. Great work Kavin!

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


What's happening in the Art Space?


Year 2

Year 2 have been learning to sew. The process of sewing requires a range of fine motor skills as well as patience and attention to detail. Year 2 students are working on these skills and attributes to sew a felt puppet by hand. The sewn puppets will each depict a character which will then be used for a puppet show next term.


Lost and found!

Thank you very much to our Year 6 Art Captains, Lili Smallwood and Meera Joshi, who have designed and painted a fabulous new Lost & Found box for Trish Williamson at Reception in the St Andrew's House Foyer. Trish is delighted with the newly minted box – and is hoping it won’t get too much use from students!


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

It’s time to get creative and to start thinking about your entry for this special annual competition. This year it asks our young artists to create a piece of work around the iconic Sydney Opera House.  The work must be done by students.  Entries must be A3 size, no more than 5mm thick, and can be in all formats – painting, textiles, drawing, printmaking, photography, graphic design etc.  For more information download the flyer.

Entries to be submitted to the Junior School Reception with name and Year level clearly marked on the back of your work, please.

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


Parenting tips



A wonderful resource for parents in keeping the family safe online is the eSafety Commissioner's web site. it has very useful  online safety advice and education from this Australian Government agency. Importantly, if you or your child is experiencing serious cyberbullying or harassment, you can make a complaint through the website.

There is a particular section of the site for parents where they can learn about the digital environment and keep updated on their children’s technology use.

Here you can find guidance for using safety settings on your family’s web-connected devices, tips for choosing movies and games and strategies for keeping young people safe online. It is a site well worth a look. Some articles from the site are listed below and are excellent resources for parents, including the following:

  • cyberbullying.
  • supporting your child's safe use of social media 
  • supporting your child's safe use of mobile devices.
  • supporting your child's safe use of online games and in app purchases.

The Chatterbox videos are also worth viewing for tots, teens and in betweens.

There has been much discussion recently about how this generation of children face unprecedented influence and pressure in this area. Tim Bowden, Principal of Trinity Grammar School in Sydney quotes Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego University. "Twenge makes the case that the current generation of adolescent people are demonstrating abrupt differences with previous generations with reference both to their behaviours and to their emotional states." Her argument is that "The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health."

Please take the time to visit the eSafety web site eSafety's advice on Smartphones below is well worth a read.


It’s hard to imagine a world without smartphones — they keep you connected to friends and family, and most importantly, allow you to keep in contact with your children and their whereabouts!
While a smartphone can provide many benefits, careful monitoring and open communication is important, especially around the use of apps and access to online content that you may not want them to see.

Age guides 

Parents are best placed to know when their child is ready for a smartphone and its associated risks — their level of maturity and critical reasoning skills may help determine this. Check out our guidance on what to consider before giving your child their first smartphone.

What to look out for

  • Children may be inadvertently exposed to content you might not want them to see.
  • The amount of time your child spends on their smartphone may take them away from outdoor activities or time with family.
  • Social networking or messaging apps downloaded on smartphones may allow content sharingmessaging/online chatphoto or video sharingvideo calling and live streaming.
  • Many apps and smartphones allow you to share your location at a point in time or in real-time.   
  • Some apps downloaded on smartphones may include in-app purchases.
  • If the wireless connection or information storage is inadequately secured, the data and recordings may be accessed by other people and shared without consent, and may allow outsiders to contact your child online without you knowing.

How to stay safe

  • Help your child to set a strong passcode.
  • Consider using parental controls to block or restrict specific apps, features and access to inappropriate content.
  • Set boundaries around the times and areas in the house smartphones can be used.
  • Install software updates as they are released.
  • Disable location services when they are not needed.
  • Secure your home network external link; it’s wise to change your wi-fi password on a regular basis especially if you’re still using the default password.
  • Use secure public wi-fi hotspots if you’re out and about.
  • Only pair via Bluetooth with another device you are aware of and can control.
  • Help make your child’s accounts private on social networking apps to avoid unwanted contact.
  • Remain engaged in your child’s online life and let them know you’ll be there to support them if something goes wrong online.

I hope you find this article helpful and a great future resource.

Mrs Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Gifted and Talented Education


HICES Gifted and Talented camp

From Monday 28 August to Friday 1 September, five students from Year 6 attended the 2023 HICES Gifted and Talented Camp in Douglas Park. The students joined together with over 100 other students from 12 HICES schools across Sydney to explore a range of subjects and activities in an enrichment setting, including robotics, chemistry, entrepreneurship, drama, film production, authorship, architecture, astronomy, sustainability, and debating. The students thoroughly enjoyed learning new concepts in their choice of core and elective classes, as well as developing strong friendships with peers from other schools. When they weren’t studying, the students got to enjoy a range of fun activities, including the gorge swing and a disco with DJ Kit Kat!

Well done Amy Codrington, Ameline Coveney, Henry Duke, James Ni and Ethan Wilkinson on a fantastic week of learning and collaboration.

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



Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge

In Weeks 6-7 selected students from Years 1-6 participated in the CSIRO Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge. This competition assesses student’s problem solving and computational thinking skills which are highly sought after in current and future digital careers. The competition includes 15 questions. The level of difficulty determines how the question is scored. Questions build in complexity across the challenge.

Computational thinking is a set of skills that underpin digital technologies education. These skills help students to engage with the process and techniques of using digital systems. Some of the key computational thinking skills include:

  • Decomposition: breaking down problems into smaller, easier parts.
  • Pattern recognition: using patterns in information to solve problems.
  • Abstraction: finding information that is useful and taking away any information that is unhelpful.
  • Modelling and simulation: trying out different solutions or tracing the path of information to solve problems.
  • Algorithms: creating a set of instructions for solving a problem or completing a task.
  • Evaluation: assessing a solution to a problem and using that information again on new problems.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the competition. Once we receive the results, the Distinction, High Distinction and Honour Roll awards will be published in the newsletter and presented in a rooftop assembly. All other certificates will then be handed out in class. Below are some reflections from two students about the competition.

I really enjoyed the Bebras Challenge. Some of the questions were hard to understand and you had to read the details carefully. For example, in one question someone had made a path for robots, but I forgot that part of the solution was that the robot had to cross the bridge. Another question I enjoyed was about a golden ticket that had a secret code. In this question there was a code that represented letters. It was hard to find the matching code. The questions in Bebras were a lot harder than in class, but this made the competition interesting. - Henry Dethridge (2C)

The Bebras Challenge lets you extend your mind with logic and mathematical thinking. I found it really enjoyable. Sometimes you can figure out the challenge after getting stuck. You have to persevere so that you can complete your goal. One of the questions involved a colour code with hexagons. There were conditions you had to follow. If there was a triangle of tessellating hexagons, you had to either have all the same colour or all different colours. You had to fill the full shape of tessellating hexagons by keeping to the code criteria. Another question involved navigating through a ski course using different paths, but you could only use each path once. To work out the solutions you could use some guess and check, but you also had to follow the conditions in the question. - Prince Tashi (5W)

Here is a sample question from a past Bebras Challenge, see if you can solve it.


Mrs​​​​ Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Learning Coordinator ‑ Junior School and Gawura


What's on: upcoming events and activities


Last chance to RSVP today!

All Year 4 parents are warmly invited to join us for Coffee in the Hub to meet other parents, key Junior School staff and the P&F.

Thursday 14 September, 8am-9am
The Hub

Please RSVP by Monday 11 September


RSVP here


Celebrate our musical talent!

You are warmly invited to our annual Celebration of Bands concert on Tuesday 19 September at 5.30pm in St Andrew’s Cathedral.

Our Year 3 Band programme band will perform for the first time, and will be joined by our Junior Concert Band, Concert Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band and Jazz Orchestra.

Our students and staff can't wait to share the music they have been working on this year!

Tuesday 19 September, 5.30pm
St Andrew's Cathedral


RSVP here


Thank you sponsors!

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors of the St Andrew's Cathedral School's Junior School and Gawura production of My Son Pinocchio Jr. Providing opportunities for our students to be involved in a musical theatre performance of this calibre is not inexpensive and your support is both valued and much appreciated.

Thank you!


Pinocchio Level



Gepetto Level



Blue Fairy Level


Code Camp – book now for the School holidays

Code Camp School Holiday programme is available to book now.

Click here for more information and early bird discount.


TheirCare School holiday programme

Please Note: Term 3 ends on Thursday 21 September for Junior School and Gawura Students.

Friday 22 September is a non-school day. Please book your child or children into TheirCare for 22 September.

Click here for more information.