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In this issue

Gawura News
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting tips
What's happening in the Art Space?
Australian Maths Trust Maths Challenge
Recycling Project
IPSHA Public Speaking
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Gawura News


On Wednesday 9 November I had the pleasure of attending the Music Strings Soiree from 6pm in the Fairfax Room within our Music Department. Various students across the entire school from Kindergarten to Yr 10 performed a piece of music for their parents who were in the audience.

I was truly delighted to see 8 of our Gawura String students attend the evening with their parents including a number of fathers as well. Some of our younger students demonstrated how they can pluck the strings on their instruments as they learn the different sounds and notes that each string represents. Our older Gawura students played a piece of music in its entirety.

I am very excited about where this Indigenous strings group will head into the future and the possibility of performances not only in Sydney but interstate and possibly even overseas, could well be on a future agenda. A big congratulations to the 8 marvellous performers on the night. They were Patricia, Teliyah, Leroy, Kallarah, Mizpah, Talaara, Annie and Tilly.

We are over half way through Term 4 and there are many activities still to occur as we approach the end of the school year including our marvellous Year 6 Graduation Evening. Please keep an eye on the Dates to Remember section so that you can see what they are and when they will occur.

I wish you all a very happy and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 15 November
Year 7 Orientation Day

Thursday 17 – Friday 18 November
Year 6 Lolly Bag Fundraiser

Friday 18 November
Infants swimming
Ensembles Concert, 6pm

Saturday 19 November, 5pm
P&F Rooftop Christmas Markets

Tuesday 22 November
Gateways Years 1-6 selected students

Thursday 24 November, 9am
ICAS Assembly

Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 November
Scrooge's Christmas

Friday 25 November
Year 3 Excursion – Bondi to Bronte walk
K-2 Incursion – James Madsen music
Infants swimming

Wednesday 30 November
EOT Awards Assembly

Friday 2 December
Year 6 Graduation 

Tuesday 6 December
Evening of Celebration and Prize Giving 

Wednesday 7 December
Junior School and Gawura Picnic Day

Thursday 8 December
Term 4 concludes – students

Friday 9 December
Term 4 concludes – staff


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Our Junior School and Gawura are busy with service-learning this term. Service-learning is about encouraging our students to put their time, talents and treasure into action for the service of others, particularly living out our Character Strengths and Christian calling to love others. This newsletter is about how you can support your children in their service projects, letting them see you role model service in action!

Anglican Aid Christmas Stall

Our wonderful Stage 3 students have been busy creating Christmas gift tags to sell in an SRC-run stall in aid of Anglican Aid’s Adjumani refugee school in Uganda.

  • Dates: Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November 2022
  • Time: 3pm-3.30pm (after school)
  • Cost: $5 for five gorgeous Christmas tags – cash only
  • Location: outside the foyer in the Square

Click here for more information.


Toys & Tucker Appeal

Our stage 2 students are enthusiastically coordinating the collection of items for the annual Toys & Tucker appeal to create hampers for families in need at this time.

  • Dates: we will be collecting until 18 November 2022
  • What to bring: Hamper items and new toys Hamper Items link
  • Where to bring: there will be a collection box in each classroom
  • More info


Service learning in the school holidays

Kids Giving Back: Cook4Good – Little Helpers School Holiday activity

Help prepare easy meals for those experiencing homelessness and tough times. The meals will be donated to charity partners who will distribute to their clients. The Cook4Good programme, empowers kids to 'give back' in an age appropriate, meaningful way.

Click here for more information.


URSTRONG – Friendship family session

Throughout the Junior School and Gawura we use the URSTRONG language of friendship as we teach children how to grow healthy friendships. If you would like to find out more about this programme and access all their materials and family resources for free there is a special Language of Friendship for families session being run by their founder online (children are welcome to participate).

Click here for more information.

Mrs​​ Bronwyn Wake
Junior School & Gawura Well‑Being Coordinator and Psychologist/Counsellor


Music news



Congratulations to Leon Hoerr who received a Credit in his Grade 3 Trumpet Examination recently, and to Violet Bloxsom on receiving a High Distinction in Preliminary Music Craft.


Congratulations to Isaac Sole and Annabelle Douglas who performed at the AmCham Alliance Gala Awards Dinner last Tuesday evening. These students performed the national anthems of the USA and Australia for the function, and impressed the many dignitaries in attendance, including Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Thank you to Ms Szu Yu Chen for accompanying these students and to Dr McGonigle for attending and supporting them.

(Photos above left, Annabelle and Isaac with AmCham CEO, April Palmerlee, and right, Annabelle and Isaac with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy)

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


Library news


International Games Week

Over the coming week, the library will be on dopamine overload as we participate in International Games Week. Students who come to the library will be able to have lashings of old-fashioned fun playing games like ten pin bowling, quoits, darts (safe ones, of course) and Twister. There will be word games, mind games, team games and as is our tradition, the Wii controllers will be dusted off for Mario Kart races.

Looking forward to a week of pure joy,

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


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



Click here for the latest Heart, Mind, Life & Uniform awards.


Parenting tips


Five secrets to raising a happy child

By Holly Garcia, 11 October 2022

I came across this very interesting article recently and thought it was worth sharing. It combines many ideas that I have written about in previous Parenting Tip articles.

“As a parent, there is nothing you want more than to make sure your child is happy. Their contentment and wellbeing, after all, is—in some ways—within your power. Many of these things are within your control. But what makes a happy child? Is it giving into their every whim—and granting them more screen time—or is it about patience, secure attachments, and validating their experiences?

Mary Beth DeWitt, Ph.D., Chief of Child Psychology at Dayton Children's Hospital, had this to say...

What makes a happy child?

While happiness may seem rather basic—one is either happy or not—many things can contribute to your child's happiness. External stimuli, for example, may make your child happy (or, conversely, it could make your child sad). Validation can result in peace and contentment, and friendships can be full of pleasure and joy. But there is no one thing which makes your child happy. There is also no way to keep a "happy child". Full-time happiness is a myth, one which is impossible to attain. Still, there are skills you can teach your child to help them experience joy, Dr DeWitt explains.

"Teaching kids to be resilient allows them to discuss their ability to successfully adapt, positively transform, and return to their baseline despite being surrounded by stressors and adversity," says Dr DeWitt. Empowering our children to be resilient sets them up for positive, constructive experiences and helps them learn how to deal with hard situations. It can also help them bounce back, when stressors occur.

So what goes into teaching children to be resilient? Dr DeWitt shared a few skills that parents should be nurturing and encouraging in their children every single day.

  • Problem-solving: In school, in teams, and with friends, problem-solving is a skill that will stay with your kids.
  • Autonomy and self-efficacy: Having control over their own decision-making and being confident in their decisions is life-changing. Teaching children to believe in themselves is never a bad decision.
  • Empathy: Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes is a skill everyone should learn. Children especially benefit from appreciating each other's differences and being understanding.
  • Emotional regulation and impulse control: Depending on how old your child is, emotional regulation and impulse control might not be something they have mastered yet. But incorporating mindfulness into their routine and encouraging them to be aware of their feelings is a step in the right direction.

What are the benefits of happiness, according to research?

Being happy, proud, and fulfilled aren't just emotions that leave us feeling warm and fuzzy. Concrete positive outcomes are also associated with genuine happiness—and better school attendance, better academic performance, better self-esteem, and better overall health. There is also a lot of research showing that children who don't experience happiness or things like secure attachments, nurturing environments, or adults that validate their feelings, can be negatively impacted.

How can you raise happy children?

While children need to feel supported (and be loved) there are other ways you can help them become happy and healthy. Below are five ways to instil joy in your child.

  • Foster connections
    Parents should be involved in their children's lives, have conversations with them about what is happening, and help them to problem-solve difficult situations and understand emotions and boundaries. By talking through these hard situations, you help your child learn how to handle the problems they're facing now and that they will face going forward.
  • Model what happiness means to you
    From practicing self-care to meditating, reading, and moving your body, engaging in activities that bring you happiness and joy will encourage your child to do the same. Parents should ensure proper health, including sleep, nutrition, and exercise. One of the best things you can do for your child's emotional well-being is to attend to yours.
  • Practice gratitude
    Parents can help their children feel safe, secure, and happy by expressing gratitude. Harvard Health reminds us that in positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
    But how can you foster gratitude in children? Ask them to take time daily—before or during a meal, for example—to name aloud something they are thankful for. Then, make it a regular ritual. "This is one habit that will foster all kinds of positive emotions," says sociologist Christine Carter, Ph.D., Executive Director of the University of California at Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, an organization devoted to the scientific understanding of happiness. "It really can lead to lasting happiness."
  • Don't try to make your child happy
    It sounds counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do for your child's long-term happiness may be to stop trying to keep them happy. "If we put our kids in a bubble and grant them their every wish and desire, that is what they grow to expect, but the real world doesn't work that way," says Bonnie Harris, founder of Core Parenting, in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and author of When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: And What You Can Do About It.
    To keep from overcoddling, recognise that you are not responsible for your child's happiness, Harris urges. Parents who feel responsible for their kids' emotions have great difficulty allowing them to experience anger, sadness, or frustration. We swoop in immediately to give them whatever we think will bring a smile or to solve whatever is causing them distress. Unfortunately, Harris warns, children who never learn to deal with negative emotions are in danger of being crushed by them as adolescents and adults.
    Once you accept that you can't make your child feel happiness (or any other emotion for that matter), you'll be less inclined to try to "fix" their feelings—and more likely to step back and allow them to develop the coping skills and resilience they'll need to bounce back from life's inevitable setbacks.
  • Allow for failure—and success
    Of course, if you really want to bolster your child's self-esteem, focus less on compliments and more on providing them with ample opportunities to learn new skills. Mastery, not praise, is the real self-esteem builder, says Edward Hallowell, M.D., Child Psychiatrist and author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness. "The great mistake good parents make is doing too much for their children," Dr. Hallowell says.

Some fabulous suggestions here that you might like to think about and maybe put into practice.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


What's happening in the Art Space?


Canvas painting on Thursday afternoons

A co-curricular learning experience can give students an opportunity for extending a particular passion in learning – and our Term 4 Canvas Painting class on Thursday afternoons has allowed 20 of our Stage 3 artists to do just that. It’s been a joy to see these keen young artists at work in the Art Space as they take a large empty canvas and then carefully build their envisioned piece through to completion using a range of deliberate brush strokes and carefully blended acrylic colours.

Images above:
Mountain by John Gillen
Mushrooms by Helena Stenstrom
In full display by Lilian Smallwood
Simple by Anneke Ho



Making a mess in the Art Space…

If there is a place in our Junior School and Gawura where mess is made daily, it’s the Art Space! Year 3 have recently been elbow-deep in glue, wet paper and paint during their papier mache experience. It’s a good moment when students are delighting in creative mess!

Images above: 3F at work on their papier mache journey, Benji Mc, Tom X

Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator Junior School and Gawura


Looking for a family exhibition to visit?

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Australian National Maritime Museum,
Darling Harbour until 5 Mar 2023




An epic battle of wits

Theatresports, like any competitive endeavour, can see a match turn on a single play. So it was when the Junior School team of Violet Bloxsom, Ili Karan, Meera Joshi, Rafferty McGonigle and Lucas Shi took to the Black Box stage on Tuesday night in the finals of the Primary School Theatresports Schools Challenge. The theatre was packed with impro fans, five teams were keen for victory and so the stage was set for an epic battle of wits.

The first half was tight, with only four points separating the teams. St Andrew's had the last scene before interval – an Expert Double Figures scene about teaching ducks to fly helicopters – which gave them a solid 4-4-4 and the lead by a single point. The team were going into the final round confident they could bring the trophy home until the boys from Cranbrook Prep created a simply stunning improvised Broadway Musical that blew the audience away, which earned them a 5-5-5 from the judges, and saw the trophy heading off to the Eastern suburbs until next year.

Congratulations must go to the team and coaches, Cameron Ryan and Will Torney, for all their hard work, and thanks to Mr Murray for his constant assistance and support.

As we like to say in Theatresports: Getting on stage and playing is the real reward…

… and there’s always next year.

David Callan
SACS Theatresports Coordinator


Australian Maths Trust Maths Challenge


We have received exciting results from the Australian Maths Trust for students who participated in the Australian Maths Trust Maths Challenge Competition earlier this year.
Congratulations to: Carly Ou, Oscar Xu, James Yeung, Ili Karan, William Edwards, David Kim, Siddhan Krishna, Jonathan Liu, Leroy Melki, Thomas Owens, Lucas Shi, Emily Wang and Adele Wong who all received a distinction. Distinction certificates have been handed out in a rooftop assembly. Participation, proficiency and credit certificates have been handed out in class.

Australian Maths Trust creates problem solving challenges that prepare students for real world problems. The questions require ingenuity, creativity and determination to solve. In a rapidly evolving world, we do not know the problems of the future. Therefore, it is vital that our students develop capacity to solve complex problems. Australian Maths Trust seeks to empower students to be stronger problem solvers at school so they can be creative solution-finders in the future. Below are some reflections from Siddhan Krishna (Year 6) about the competition.

What did you enjoy about the competition?

"I enjoyed solving challenging problems using methods that encouraged me to think more logically."

What did you find challenging about the competition?

"Something I found challenging in some of the questions was figuring out all of the possible solutions. For example, I’d have to use a certain method to calculate how many possible answers were there for a question."

What application can you see for maths problem solving in real world contexts?

"Certain responsibilities in the real world such as banking or shopping are dependent on mathematical problem solving. Maths plays a significant role in our daily life and knowing how to use it effectively is crucial in real life situations."

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Junior School and Gawura

Time to challenge your mathematical thinking!
Here is one of the problems from the Year 3-4 competition:


Recycling Project


They’re calling on you

During the month of November, 4N will be collecting unused mobile phones and accessories (including headphones, chargers and cables) to support Sydney Zoo's 'They're calling on you' recycling project.

Collection boxes will be located in both the Level 7 and SAH Foyer reception areas. If you are interested in recycling a mobile phone or accessory, please find a collection box and make your donation before 30 November. Remember to ask for permission if you are taking an old mobile phone from a family member or friend.

Why are we doing this?
The minerals used to make mobile phones are mined out of chimpanzees’ and gorillas' habitats in Africa, which is one of the main reasons they are endangered. An example of these minerals is coltan, a metallic ore used in mobile phones and other devices. Mining is continuing to destroy these creatures' vital habitats, which may lead to their extinction.

Who can get involved?
Everyone! Students, teachers and families of students can bring in mobile devices or accessories and put them in the box to be collected. The more the merrier; the more devices that we collect, the more chimpanzees will be saved and able to thrive in their natural environment.

Bligh Jordan and Genevieve Williams, 4N


IPSHA Public Speaking


On Friday 11 November, four representatives from St Andrew’s Cathedral School had the opportunity to participate in the 2022 IPSHA Speakers Challenge at William Clarke College.

Madison Dockery (Year 6), Alec Chakar (Year 6), Rafferty McGonigle (Year 5) and Ava Chakar (Year 5) prepared and presented their speeches on the topic ‘When the going gets tough…’. All four students represented the School beautifully at what was an extremely high calibre event.

Competing against 80 other students from independent schools around Sydney and beyond, both Madison Dockery and Alec Chakar were acknowledged as Highly Commended in the Preliminary Finals in their respective competition rooms. The students then had the privilege of watching the finalists present their prepared speeches, as well as the impromptu round on the topic Dangerous Ideas.

Well done Madison, Alec, Rafferty and Ava on your extremely hard work and preparation. We are very proud of you all!

Miss​​ Alix Vanny
Junior School Teacher


What's on: upcoming events and activities


P&F Rooftop Christmas Markets are this Saturday

Catch up or meet new friends, purchase your Christmas gifts, enjoy a cheese platter and a glass of wine, or something tantilising from our food stalls, all while listening to our amazing student performers.

It’s been a while since we have been able to welcome our community to an iconic rooftop event. It’s quite special.

Saturday 19 November, 5-9pm
SAH iconic rooftop
Only $10


Bookings are open!


Highlights include

  • 15+ Christmas market stalls
  • Live music from our talented St Andrew's Cathedral School students
  • Food stalls
  • Mystery Prize Board
  • The first ever Christmas Cake-Off
  • Coin Toss (so bring those coins)

You can pre-order a cheese platter for two when you book your tickets. Last orders need to be received by Tuesday 15 November.

Family and friends are welcome, but please note that this is an adult only event.


Join our festive Christmas Cake-Off – open to everyone

Show off your cake decorating skills at our first ever Christmas Cake-Off competition.

All you need to do is collect your cake box from SAH or BBC Reception. Bake a cake, decorate in your best Christmas theme, label your cake and deliver it to the Rooftop Christmas Markets on Saturday 19 November.

Judging will take part on the night with the winners being announced at 7.30pm.


Volunteers requested to make the evening fun and successful

One of the best ways to make friends, and also help the P&F. Can you volunteer to help set up, to decorate, to greet guests or help during the evening?

You can sign up here. Additional information on the P&F Rooftop Christmas Markets can be found on this webpage. It will be regularly updated so keep checking in.


For more information

Click here to find out more about this wonderful event.

This page will be regularly updated with information about the programme, stallholders and prizes.



Please email eventsp&

Rooftop Christmas Markets Organising Committee
Parents & Friends Association


An opportunity to join the P&F

Please join the P&F Executive and other parents at the annual AGM on Tuesday 22 November.

This is your opportunity to join the friendly P&F Executive for 2023.  As stated in the P&F Constitution all positions will be made vacant although there are members of the current P&F Executive who are willing to continue if unopposed.

If you are interested in joining the P&F Executive then please complete a nomination form below and return it to P& by midday on Monday 21 November. All parents who paid the P&F subscription in Term 1 are eligible to nominate and second.

The nomination can be found here: Nomination Form
The AGM agenda can be found here: AGM Agenda
This will be followed by a General Meeting. The General Meeting agenda can be found here: General Meeting Agenda

** This is an ‘in person’ meeting only.

Tuesday 22 November, 6pm
The Hub, Level 4, SAH


Book your tickets now to our Middle School Drama - Scrooge's Christmas

The 2022 Middle School Drama Ensemble present Scrooge’s Christmas by Ken Jones – an adaptation of the Dickensian, A Christmas Carol.

On a frigid Christmas Eve after returning to his dark, cold apartment, a mean-spirited, greedy old man named Ebenezer Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley relates his unfortunate story: as punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same penance. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights.

Will Scrooge be transformed by what he sees, or will he be doomed to share Marley's fate?

Come and enjoy our Middle School Drama Ensemble performance! You can download and share this digital event flyer with family and friends.

Thursday 24 November, 6.30pm
Friday 25 November, 1.10pm
- (Preview show: limited seats available)
Friday 25 November, 6.30pm
Saturday 26 November, 6.30pm - Sold out

Black Box Theatre, BBC


Book tickets here!


World-premiere screenings – Short Film Fest!

Rediscover the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s golden era in our own Oscars-inspired event – the Close-Up film festival!

We will be presenting world-premiere screenings of a range of short films, created by our talented and passionate Year 9 Drama students. Our celebrity panel of judges (Year 12 Drama and Theatre students), will award excellence in a range of categories, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Visual Effects and of course Best Film! As an audience you will have a say on who will win the coveted ‘People’s Choice’ award, decided by the scientifically accurate ‘applause-o-metre’.

Come out and celebrate the achievement of these wonderful students. Black tie optional.

Wednesday 30 November, 4pm
BBC Auditorium
Admission free


Book your free seat!


Gift a Christmas – Anglicare Christmas Hampers

Support Year 10 to prepare Anglicare Christmas Hampers

Donate for Anglicare and help Year 10 students raise over $10,000. We aim to create hundreds of meals for families in need this Christmas but this can only be achieved with your generous donations.

Help us give them the gift they won't forget!

Please get your donations in by 25 November. Scan the QR code above or click on the Donate now! button below.


Donate here!


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