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In this issue

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 4
Heart Mind Life Awards
Gawura Cocktail Party
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Sports News
Library News
Music News
Parenting Tips
Staff News
Camp Australia Information
Drop Off and Pick Up Zones
A safety message from AUSGRID
P&F Presents Cheese and Wine
Balmain Area JS Breakfast and Church Service
Jane Eyre
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao

Message Stick – Term 1, Week 4


What a wonderful day we all had at last week’s swimming carnival. Our Gawura students performed so well in the pool and those who were not very competitive had lots of chances of earning points for their House by swimming in the Lizard Lane. What makes our JSGS swimming carnival unique is that those students who swim competitively can do so and then go on to represent our school at a regional swimming carnival competing against other schools and then those who are not the most competent of swimmers have just as much opportunity to earn points for their House – everyone contributes and brings value to the day! A special thank you to all the Gawura parents who were able to attend as well.

Yesterday Year 5 Gawura and Junior School students visited the Museum of Sydney and took part in the Garuwunga Gurad Stories. This was a wonderful excursion where our students learnt about stiries form our marvellous Indigenous culture. The highlight was sitting in a room with carpet which represented a yarning circle around a fire pit. Students laid on their backs to look at the ceiling, where once the lights were turned off the night starry sky appeared and the ‘Emu in the Sky’ was highlighted. We heard stories about the Emu in the Sky and how certain times of the year it’s formation lets Indigenous people know that this is the time collect emu eggs and when it is time not to collect emu eggs. A special ‘thank you’ to Mrs O’Donnell, Year 5 teacher in the Junior School for arranging this excursion for over 90 students.

Thank you to all the parents who attended last Thursday’s Parent Information Session about our upcoming On Country Tour to Kuku Yalanji Nation in Cape York, Far North Qld. This is going to be a wonderful event for our students in Years 5-12. Please complete the permission forms given out on the evening and return to me asap so that we have final numbers and flights can be booked.

Our next scheduled RAP Meeting has been locked in for Tuesday 3rd March from 3:30-5:15pm in the Community Hub on Level 4. We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Next Thursday 27 February our Gawura K-2 students have been invited to attend a special screening of the NITV animated series Little J and Big Cuz. SBS TV will show two episodes and have a general discussion about the characters. Notes will be sent home today with further information including a photography permission slip from SBS.

Finally please refer to the insert in this Message Stick for the Gawura Cocktail Evening (our major fundraising event for the year) which will be held on Friday 13th March at Macqaurie Group, Level 10, 50 Martin Place from 6:30-9:30pm. Our own Gawura string instrument students will be performing at this event as well.

Have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar

Tuesday 18 February: Year 6 Parliament House excursion

Tuesday 18 February: Kindergarten Steps Vision Screening

Tuesday 18 February: P&F Presents Cheese and Wine 6pm

Friday 21 February: SRC & Library Monitors Induction Assembly

Wednesday 26 February: Paul Kelly Cup (Yrs5/6)

Wednesday 26 February: CIS Swimming Carnival (selected students)

Thursday 27 February: K-2 screening of Little J and Big Cuz at the Powerhouse Museum

Friday 28 February: Year 2 Science Excursion

Wednesday 4 March: Year 6 Kirrikee Camp

Tuesday 3 March: RAP Meeting

Friday 6 March: Year 4 Sydney Observatory Excursion


Heart Mind Life Awards

Djillirra Haynes Year 5 For helping out without being asked
Shane Jackson Kindy For careful writing
Bokhara Rossiter Kindy For beautiful colouring
Latrell McGrath Year 1 For always displaying a 'can do' attitude!
Graham Jackson Year 2 For great sentence writing.
Maya Hughes Year 2 For participating in all classroom activities when visiting 2B.

Gawura Cocktail Party


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Introducing School TV

At St. Andrew’s Cathedral School we understand that education is a partnership between our families and the school and we believe it is vital to support our parents in the tough job of parenting their children. We know that as parents you are faced with many challenges and that there may be times when you are unsure about the best way to respond and because of this we have partnered with our SACS P&F to provide parents with vital support, in the form of SchoolTV.

SchoolTV is a world first, wellbeing platform featuring Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and many other leading Australian experts.  It addresses the modern day realities faced by schools and parents who increasingly need clear, relevant and fact-based information around raising safe, happy and resilient young people.

Whilst there is a great deal of information available online, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance. SchoolTV addresses this issue. It is an online resource designed to empower parents with credible, sound information with realistic and practical strategies. Parents are able to access it through the SchoolTV icon on the SACS parent portal, through hyperlinks within the regular school newsletter or through the web address:

We hope that this is a valuable resource for you as you continue to raise great kids!!
With thanks to funding provided by the SACS P&F.

Bronwyn Wake
Junior School Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Sports News


The Junior School and Gawura held their annual Swimming Carnival at Drummoyne Swimming Centre on Tuesday 11th February. The rains over the weekend couldn’t dampen spirits and students were as vocal as ever in support of their house and classmates. The humid conditions meant there was plenty of action in the pool with some of our highest participation rates ever. All students were impeccably behaved and fantastic representatives of the school throughout the day. Congratulations to all students who participated on the day and in particular Canterbury house for taking out the carnival!

ASISSA Boys and Girls Basketball trials were held this week, with the Junior School and Gawura sending along 5 students to try out for selection. In very demanding conditions they demonstrated outstanding skills and character, which is becoming synonymous with each of them. Congratulations to each of the following students for their efforts – Phillip Jorden, Sebastian Agriogiannis, Lily Bennett, Julia Dzioba and Stephanie Whetters.

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


Library News


Love your Library!

We have been celebrating Love Your Library week in the JS & GS Library. Students have been writing notes and decorating the library with a whole lot of love. The week culminated with a Bookmark Designing competition. Winning bookmarks will be turned into real bookmarks which will be available in the library for all students to appreciate and use.

Our Stage 2 and Stage 3 book clubs have begun. This year in Book Club, we will be focusing on a different genre each month so that our students get a breadth of exposure to and understanding of fiction literature. During the year, special emphasis will be given to Australian authors in our support of the National KOALA (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards) initiative.

Your child should now be aware of what day of the week they visit the library for Browse & Borrow time. Each year-group may borrow a certain number of books for two weeks. After that time, parents will receive an automatic overdue reminder email. Once per term, accounts will be settled for long-overdue and lost books.

  • Kindergarten may borrow 1 book in Term 1 and then 2 books.
  • Year 1 & 2 may borrow 3 books.
  • Year 3 & 4 may borrow 4 books.
  • Year 5 & 6 may borrow 5 books.

*All limits are doubled for holiday borrowing.

The library is open every lunchtime for games and activities. This year, a different activity will be offered each day of the week. There has already been much fun and joy shared in the library space over lunch.

Finally, Library Monitors have now been announced and will be receiving their badges at a special induction assembly on the 21st February. We have a wonderful bunch of kind-hearted, hard-working students in this year’s intake and I look forward to seeing them develop in their role over the coming weeks and months.

I invite you to follow our official @sacslibrary updates on Facebook and Instagram.
With joy as we read, learn and grow together,

Nicole Cotter
JS and GS Teacher Librarian


Music News


Congratulations to the following students on their AMEB results:

  • James Yeung - High Distinction in Piano Grade 2
  • Rebecca Cranes - High Distinction in Preliminary Piano for Leisure
  • Benjamin Su - Honours in Trumpet Grade 5
  • Hiroki Takahashi -Zhong - High Distinction in Violin Grade 1 and High Distinction in Piano Grade 6
  • Wilson Liu - Honours in Violin Grade 1
  • Jeremy Reaidi - Credit in Piano Grade 5
  • Allegra Summerill - High Distinction in Piano Grade 1
  • Jonathan Liu - High Distinction in Piano Grade 4


AMED Diploma Success
Congratulations to David Kim who has recently been awarded his AmusA in Piano. This is an outstanding achievement. David will attend his ceremony in the coming weeks. Well done to David on this incredible achievement!


Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K-6)


Parenting Tips


Building healthy relationships with teachers.

As we start the new school year, I thought this advice from a leading Australian parenting educator, Michael Grose, in his February Parenting Ideas blog, is a most helpful read .
“Studies show that healthy parent–teacher relationships are a more significant factor in student success than parent income levels or social status. Parent–teacher relationships require effort and energy from both parties if they are going to really benefit children and young people. Here are some suggested strategies to help you build a healthy working relationship with teachers in the year ahead.

Get to know them
For your partnership to be meaningful and successful, you need to meet with your children’s teacher(s) with the goal of forming a respectful professional relationship. Be willing to share your aspirations for your child and be willing to build the teacher’s knowledge about your family.  For balanced perspective, also gain an understanding of the teacher’s approach and what focus areas they have for their particular year group. This can be done formally by attending start of the year information evenings and informally through conversations, reading newsletters and staying in touch in digitally and in real-time.

Trust their professionalism
Children need to know that their parents are fully behind what their teachers are trying to achieve if they are going to commit fully to learning. The best way to support your child’s teacher is to trust their knowledge, professionalism and experience. Avoid the temptation to question the expertise of teachers in front of students, particularly when the teachers use methods that you are unfamiliar with. Initiate conversations with teachers around methodology to give them the chance to explain the approach they are taking.

Go through the right channels
Despite the best teaching practices things do go wrong at school. Kids experience learning difficulties. Conflict and peer rejection happen. Kids will often come home from school with grievances, and call on you for assistance. Resist the urge to react emotionally. If you need to contact teachers do so respectfully, calmly and through the correct channels. A measured response will generally achieve the best result for your child.

Utilise their resources
Teachers and schools often put a lot of work into sourcing and sharing credible resources that they think will help parents. Take the time to read, utilise and enjoy the information provided to you. It’s intended to make your parenting journey easier, which will also benefit your child not just at school, but at home.

Build links to student learning
There’s a huge body of research that points to the correlation between parent engagement in student learning and their educational success. If you want your child to improve their learning, take an interest in what they are doing. Follow school and teacher guidelines about helping at home and attend as many conferences, meetings and events involving your child as possible. This strategy has a significant, long-term impact on your child’s attitude to learning.

Stay in touch
Life’s not always smooth sailing for kids of any age. Family circumstances change. Friends move away. Illness happens. Mental health challenges can hit anyone at any time. These changes affect learning. Make sure that you keep teachers up to date with significant changes or difficulties that your child or young person experiences so they can accommodate your child’s emotional and learning needs at school.

Be loyal
Show your loyalty to your child’s teachers by being an advocate. Talk positively about your child’s teacher and school, rather than being negative about them when speaking in the wider community. Teachers hold very public positions and generally work hard to build good reputations both within their school and their wider education community.

Building healthy parent–teacher relationships doesn’t just happen
It takes goodwill from both sides, a commitment to setting aside the time necessary to support the home-based learning tasks that are expected, and a willingness to communicate both concerns and commendations through the correct channels.”

I think this is really helpful advice for us as teachers. Staff at SACS endeavor to do follow the same suggestions when we are working alongside you as parents.
The key thing is to talk through your ideas, thoughts or concerns with your class teacher.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Staff News


School parent Mrs Emma Newling has for the last few years taught within our Christian Development faculty at St Andrew’s Cathedral School.  She is theologically trained, with a Bachelor of Theology from Moore College, the Anglican training college for clergy. It appeared to us here that we could give Mrs Newling greater platform if she were to be formally ordained as an Anglican minister. The Archdeacon for Women, the Ven Kara Hartley agreed, as did the Archbishop, Dr Glenn Davies, who ordained Rev Newling in a lovely service in the Cathedral on Saturday 15 February.

Dr John Collier
Head of School


Camp Australia Information


Please register & enrol your children as per below, or click on the image for more information.


Drop Off and Pick Up Zones


Kiss and Drop 2 minutes stop only permitted

A reminder to all parents that Kiss and Drop is meant to be literally that.  Please do not leave your car for any reason, this constitutes parking and you can be booked by Council Rangers who patrol Kent Street regularly. It also means that the traffic will not flow if a parent leaves their car, impacting everybody. Staying longer than 2 minutes also constitutes parking.

If you need longer than 2 minutes, please drive around the block or make use of the Wilson’s Car Park under the School, where parking is free for 30 minutes, all day every day. If you park for less than 30 minutes go to the boom gate in your car and insert your ticket. Do not go to the ticket machine or you will be charged.

The staff on duty will assist your child accessing your vehicle. Please be aware that if you park illegally you can cause the traffic to back up through the intersection which is extremely dangerous.

On rainy afternoons there can be extra traffic, plan to use the Car Park rather than chance a spot in Kiss and Drop.

Rather than come early, try timing it to arrive after 3.15pm so you are assured your child has been brought down safely to Kent Street to be picked up.


A safety message from AUSGRID


The recent severe weather conditions have resulted in fallen trees and powerlines across the State and power outages in some areas.

As a result, Ausgrid has been working to ensure the network is safe and to restore power as quickly as possible.
It is always important to remember to stay safe:

  • Watch out for electrical hazards hidden in storm debris; trees and flood waters can hide fallen powerlines
  • Fallen powerlines are very dangerous; do not touch fallen powerlines and always assume they are live
  • If you see a fallen powerline, stay at least 8 metres (as long as a school bus) away from it and anything it may be touching. Tell an adult and call triple zero (000)

In the meantime, should you wish to find the latest information regarding outages in your area, please call our contact centre on 13 13 88 or visit our website for the latest outage updates at

Yours sincerely,
Richard Gross
Chief Executive Officer


P&F Presents Cheese and Wine


Join the P&F for the first P&F Presents of 2020 on Tuesday 18 February at 6pm in the Community Hub on Level 4 of St Andrew’s House.

This first relaxed meeting of the year is a great opportunity to meet the P&F Executive and other parents while enjoying wine and cheese.

The P&F meet regularly across the year and all our parents and carers are encouraged to attend. These meetings allow parents to gain a more detailed insight into what is happening at the school. Matters as diverse as curriculum, student welfare, development at the school and topical issues of the day that affect our school and community are addressed by the Head of School or special guests.

Event details:

  • Dates: Tuesday 18 February
  • Time: 6pm (5.45pm for Convenors)
  • Venue: Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew’s House, Sydney Square.
  • Cost: Free event

Balmain Area JS Breakfast and Church Service


Get to know your local SACS Junior School families in the Balmain and surrounding areas

You are invited to a fun morning with other JS families and Darling Street Anglican Church for Breakfast followed by Church. The children have been practicing the songs that will be sung on the day, there will be a delicious breakfast, a jumping castle, activities for the kids and time to meet new friends.


  • Date: Sunday, 1st March, 2020
  • Time: 9am Breakfast and kids activities, 10am Church
  • Where: 668 Darling Street, Rozelle

For more information




Jane Eyre


Performing Arts invites you to the Major Drama Production 2020 Jane Eyre, a dynamic re-imagining of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece by The National Theatre UK. This vivid adaptation uncovers one woman’s fight for liberty on her own terms. From her humble beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and betrayal to find her place in an unrelenting context with resilience and hope. Newcomers and Brontë-holics will be amused and moved by this powerful Drama.

Event Details:


  • Thursday 26 March
  • Friday 27 March
  • Saturday 28 March


  • Thursday and Friday Matinee - 11.45 am 
  • Saturday Matinee - 2.00 pm                                     
  • Thursday - Saturday Evening Performances 7.30pm

Book Now


Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao


Wednesday and Friday Appointments Available.

I would like to advise you that we have secured the services of a very generous doctor in the city who is willing to see our Gawura students and their families free of charge (he will bulk bill through Medicare) if the need arises. Dr Shuo (Shore) Zhao is located at Level 1, 70 Pitt St, Sydney. You can book an appointment with him on any Wednesday and Friday morning between 8am – 12pm.The number of the practice is 02 9233 3399.

We understand that many parents already have their own doctor that they use, possibly even through the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in Redfern but this is just another option for you to use if you choose to do so and one that is located in the city, near our school.


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