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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards
School Services news
Enrolments news
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Performing Arts news
Sports news
Library For All
What's happening in the Art Space?
Gifted and Talented Education
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


A very big welcome back to all of our returning families and a special welcome to the 6 brand new Kindergarten students and their families joining our wonderful Gawura School. Gawura has the largest enrolment ever in our school’s short history. We have a total of 40 students across our K-6 primary school. We have another 20 Aboriginal students in the secondary school which takes our K-12 cohort to 60 Firs Nations students in total.

Preparations are already under way for this year’s NAIDOC Event to be held on Thursday 27 June this year with the theme Keep the Fire Burning – Blak, Loud and Proud. Please put this significant date into your calendars now. The NAIDOC Assembly will commence at 9.30am in the Cathedral followed by Morning Tea immediately afterwards.

A very big congratulations to all students who participated in our school’s annual swimming carnival last Thursday 3 February at Drummoyne Pool. It was a lovely day and it was wonderful to see so many parents present plus the amazing Year 2 students who participated in their very first intra school sports carnival. Well done to all the students!

Finally our first GPAC meeting for the year will be held on Tuesday 13 February in the Bennelong Room on Level 6 from 2pm. All Gawura families are invited to attend. Just a reminder that our Yarning Session With Parents will be held on Tuesday 27 February with Aunty Barbara Simms hosting us at La Perouse from 10.30am. Please put this in your diaries as well. This event was postponed from Term 4 last year.

Please reach out to myself or your class teacher if you have any queries around the term ahead. We are delighted to have all the children back at school and look forward to having a wonderful term of learning in front of us.


Staffing update

There have been some changes within Gawura teaching staff for 2024. This year on Kindergarten we have Mrs Jane Price, Stage 1 teacher is Mrs Gibbs-Williams, Stage 2 is Mrs Crealy and Stage 3 is Mr Murray. Mr Kirk will be teaching Aboriginal Culture and Language across all K-6.

We are pleased to welcome some wonderful new staff: Mrs Rachael Cosentino as our new Library Coordinator; Mrs Katherine Willems as a teacher of Year 6; Mr Jonathan Spencer and Mr James Mannah will also be teaching Year 6; Mrs Sophie Garrick joins the Year 3 team; Ms Jillian Duncan will be teaching Year 2 and Mrs Sally Williams will be teaching Year 1. They are all experienced, highly qualified and very well referenced. We are excited to have them join us. We would also like to welcome Mr Luke Wheeler as a new Teacher’s Aide. Finally, we are extremely pleased to welcome back Mrs Grace Denny, who has returned to us from Maternity Leave.

We were very excited to learn that Mrs Katharine Groves gave birth to a baby boy, Samuel, in early January (pictured above).


Congratulations to Mrs Kate Robertson

Recently Mrs Kate Robertson (Head of Music K-6) was invited to present another workshop for Musica Viva Australia Professional Development, this time at Plunkett Street Public School. Musica Viva Australia have long recognised Mrs Robertson’s expertise in the area of music education, and recently wrote to us after the workshop, sharing the following: “She (Mrs Robertson) is an asset to the MVA programme bringing a wealth of experience of teaching music in the primary classroom, a genuine dedication and love of teaching music and a warmth that encouraged all teachers in the room (all generalists) to engage and participate in a collegial and interactive workshop.” Thank you to Mrs Robertson for so generously sharing her expert knowledge and love of music teaching with a wider network of primary school generalist teachers. We know that her time with them will positively impact the lives of many children. How fortunate we are at St Andrew's Cathedral School to have specialist music teachers growing a similar love of music in our students.


May grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 13 February, 2pm

Thursday 15 February, 8am 
Coffee in the Hub – Kindergarten parents

Tuesday 20 February, 6pm
P&F Presents: Wine and Cheese Welcome

Friday 23 February, 7.15am
Community Prayer Breakfast

Tuesday 27 February, 10.30am
Yarning Session with Parents

Thursday 29 February, 8am 
Coffee in the Hub – Parents of aspiring musicians

Tuesday 5 March
ASISSA football trials

Wednesday 6  Friday 8 March
- Year 4 Kirrikee
- Year 5 Canberra

Friday 8 March 
CIS boys and girls basketball

Friday 8 March, 6pm
Gawura Cocktail Evening Fundraiser

Saturday 16 March, 9am-4pm
Junior School and Gawura Kirrikee Picnic Day


Heart, Mind, Life and Uniform Awards



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


School Services news


Dear Parents and Guardians,

This is a reminder that purchases at the Canteen and Uniform Shop can no longer be purchased ‘on account’. No student or parent will be able to make a purchase and put it on their School Account. The Canteen and Uniform Shop will only accept EFTPOS or cash for purchases made in store.

Online canteen orders can still be made up to four weeks in advance through to 8am of the day required. Uniform Shop purchases can still be made online via the Parent Portal.
Emergency slips will still be obtained from the Middle School Office on Level 6 or the Junior School Office on Level 7 of St Andrew’s House.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this transition. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Accounts:

Kind Regards,

Ms Nicola Warwick-Mayo
Executive Director School Services


Uniform Shop open hours


The Uniform Shop is open during term time:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8am-3.30pm.

For information regarding school uniform, including uniform guidelines, or to place an online order, visit the Parent Information microsite here or go to Quick Links at the top of the School website.

Mrs Larissa Taylor
Uniform Shop Manager


Enrolments news


Calling all siblings for 2025!

If you would like a younger or older sibling to be considered for enrolment in 2025 (or beyond), please ensure that you apply as soon as possible. Places for 2025 across the School are very limited.


Updating contact details

Have you moved or changed your phone number or email address? Please ensure you log onto the Parent Portal to update your contact details.

Mrs Claire Linnett
K-6 Enrolment Specialist


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Student diary – merit system

Our School’s strength-based merit system is grounded in the understanding that every student is infinitely precious and gifted for a purpose. It is a key part of our Pastoral programme which shapes and affirms each individual student’s efforts as we seek for them to achieve their personal best every day. It motivates and celebrates their achievements across all areas of life at St Andrew’s Cathedral School: learning, character, attendance, uniform, and excellence. Our desire is that as students grow and develop, the behaviours and attitudes recognised through these merits will move from being externally rewarded, to being internalised in growing the heart, mind and life of students.


  • Character Strength stickers – collected in the diary.
  • Character Strength certificates (10 points) – a full diary page (20 stickers)
  • Heart, Mind, Life awards (5 points) – awarded at weekly assemblies.
  • Uniform awards (5 points) – awarded twice a term.
  • Attendance awards (5 points) – awarded semesterly.
  • End of Term awards (15 points) – awarded across subject areas at EOT assembly.

As these awards are collected over a number of years, students can work towards a Certificate of Excellence to celebrate their efforts (100 points). Three of these certificates can then earn students an Award of Distinction, including a badge of recognition which may be worn on their blazer.

Students have the responsibility of collecting all certificates and awards. When a student has collected sufficient awards for the Certificate of Excellence, they will bring these to the Deputy Head of School (Pastoral) to be congratulated and recorded. Collection of points continues throughout Junior School and Gawura and across stages. The student diary has space to record these merits and further information on pages 114-124. We look forward to partnering with you in celebrating our students' growth in character, engagement and achievement in this way.

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Head of Character & Wellbeing (K‑12)


Performing Arts news


2024 Music information

All music ensembles start in Week 3 from Monday 12 February. In the Junior School and Gawura, tutors will also commence instrumental / vocal lessons from this date.

Ensemble information (choirs / strings / bands etc.) has been published in the Co-curricular booklets, available on the Parent Info Microsite and the Parent Portal. A reminder that music ensembles are an annual commitment. Music Reception can assist if you need assistance locating the Music information via Please be aware that booking via the Co-curricular links is not required for music ensembles and any new students in Junior School and Gawura can contact Music Reception or Mrs Robertson to sign up.


Year 3

All Year 3 students participate in an Instrumental programme. More information has been sent to Year 3 parents, including a survey relating to instrument selection over the next week. Please complete this form as soon as possible to assist us in the smooth running of the programme. Students will be trying out their allocated instruments on Monday 12 February.


AMEB examination results

Congratulations to the following students who have recently completed AMEB examinations:

  • Declan Wu – Grade 2 Theory – High Distinction
  • Monica Zhang – Grade 3 Violin Video Repertoire – Honours
  • Zachary Beck – Grade 1 Double Bass Video Repertoire – Honours
  • Olympia Arvanitellis – Grade 3 Piano Comprehensive – High Distinction
  • Harriet Loe – Grade 3 Clarinet – Credit
  • Shaheli Peiris – Grade 2 Piano Comprehensive – Honours
  • Olive Haoui – Grade 2 Violin – Honours
  • Matthew Ting – Grade 5 Piano Comprehensive – Honours
  • Violet Bloxsom – Grade 2 Piano Comprehensive – Credit
  • Genevieve Williams – Grade 1 Piano Comprehensive – Honours
  • Hugo Martin – Grade 1 Piano Comprehensive – Honours
  • Nathan Zhang – Preliminary Piano Comprehensive – Honours
  • Patrick Bloxsom – Preliminary Piano Comprehensive – High Distinction
  • Damian Briffa – Preliminary Piano Comprehensive – Credit
  • Leon Kenny – Preliminary Piano Comprehensive – Credit.
  • Elliot Fok – Grade 1 Piano – High Distinction
  • Freddy Beck – Sydney Children’s Choir Grade 3 Theory – 94%.

Congratulations to Claire Lou, who has been selected to join the Sydney Children’s Choir Junior Performing Choir for 2024.

Ms Alison Goodworth, our wonderful Performing Arts Administrator, has also started learning the harp and has recently completed 2nd Grade with honours! Well done Ms Goodworth on being a life long learner!


Sydney Youth Orchestra Opera House Performance

On Thursday 23 and Saturday 26 November, a number of our students performed at the Sydney Opera House with Sydney Youth Orchestras for their 50th Year celebrations.
Congratulations to: Tynan McDonald, Patricia Mundine, Laura Wu, Bunty O’Donnell, Hugo Gilmovich and Brandon Cheung on their involvement in these performances.

Miss Sandi Oh, Coordinator of Strings, conducted the premiere of a piece she wrote for Sydney Youth Orchestra (SYO Prep Ensemble) titled “The Opera House.” Ms Szu Yu Chen (School Accompanist) was also involved in performing at this concert. Congratulations to all involved.

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


Sports news



Congratulations to Aliyah Gordon (Year 11) and Nyarla Gordon (Year 6).

Both represented NSW at the Australian Indigenous Schoolgirl Netball tournament that was held on the Gold Coast in the first week of January. Nyarla played in the U12s team and Aliyah in the U18s. It was a six-day tournament where they played other state teams. Nyarla’s team missed out on the grand final but Aliyah’s team went through to the grand final and won it!

At the end of the tournament they announced the selected Australian teams and both girls made the Australian sides with Nyarla selected in the U12s and Aliyah selected in the U18s.

Aliyah Gordon has also made the U17’s Rabbitohs Lisa Fiola rep side.

Mr​​​​ John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Library For All


Dear Gawura Community,

We have received an email from Jessica Wimbus who is a Gubbi Gubbi woman from Queensland and works for a not-for-profit organisation called, Library For All.

They are working with the Redfern Community Centre on the 19th of March to facilitate a writers workshop for Indigenous people to have the opportunity to write a book for the collection. If you would be interested in joining this workshop please use this Link.


What's happening in the Art Space?


How wonderful is the natural and revealed light!

"God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light." – (Genesis: 1:3). In 2024 in the Art Space we’re drawing on Dr McGonigle’s focus on LIGHT to understand who God is, our world, our place in it, and the impact of light in all created work. Our young artists have been busy creating and painting to show how light is revealed through painting with shadow, reflection, shaded form, tone etc.


AGNSW Young Archie Competition

In Term 1 during Visual Art lessons, Year 6 students will be creating a portrait in preparation for the AGNSW Young Archie Competition, which will also form part of our own in-house Young Archie Competition (more details to come). 

All students, however, are encouraged to enter this excellent competition by creating a portrait and submitting individually from home.

The 2024 Young Archie Competition’s theme is a portrait of a person who is special to the entrant, who is known to the entrant and who plays a significant role in their life.

In 2024 the following criteria will apply; the relevance of the submitted artwork to the theme, as decided by the judges; artistic interpretation of the theme, as decided by the judges; originality of the submission.

  • Entries must be received: before 17 March 2024, 5pm.
  • Young Archie exhibition is at the Art Gallery of NSW: 8 June – 8 September 2024.
  • Entry forms MUST be submitted online. You don’t upload an image. After the online form has been completed, original artwork needs to be sent to the Gallery, along with the completed form, by 17 March 2024.
  • ​Entry forms will be available during February (date to be advised).
  • Please find more information here.

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


Gifted and Talented Education


An overview of Gifted and Talented Education in our Junior School

To begin the school year, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide an overview of Gifted and Talented Education in the Junior School. This overview provides the context for planning academic provisions and extension opportunities for gifted students.

In education, giftedness is a specific term associated with significant research. Giftedness is the untrained and spontaneously expressed natural ability or aptitude, placing an individual in the top 10% of age peers. Talent is the superior mastery of systematically developed abilities or skills in at least one field of human activity, again placing an individual in the top 10% of age peers. It is important to note that a gifted student may be underachieving and therefore not performing in the top 10%. This does not mean they are no longer gifted. It just means their giftedness has not fully developed into a talent.

The terms 'gifts' and 'talents' can appear complicated in Christian school settings. The Bible refers to spiritual gifts for the body of believers in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. However, the biblical definition of God given spiritual gifts differs greatly from the educational definition of giftedness.

Giftedness in the field of education is advanced development and the potential to perform at levels significantly beyond chronological age. Whereas in the Bible, spiritual gifts are God given abilities that are given to every Christian to be used to bless the church.

Identifying a gifted student does not make them more valuable than other students. God has created each student in his own likeness and each is infinitely valuable and precious. Gifted education is therefore considered from the viewpoint of need. Gifted students and students with a learning disability both have very specific educational needs. They both require the curriculum differentiated or adjusted for their ability level. Therefore, identifying the learning needs of all students (including giftedness) is essential to support them educationally but also a means to value God ordained diversity.

St Andrew’s Cathedral School has a reputation for having excellent academic programmes and provisions for gifted students. As such, the Junior School has a significant number of gifted students. Seventeen staff members have training in Gifted Education through UNSW ranging from Certificate to Master level. Consequently, the teachers are very skilled in supporting and differentiating for gifted students.

The first line of provision for gifted students is differentiation by classroom teachers with additional input from the Gifted and Talented Coordinators. Teachers adapt the curriculum by increasing the complexity, depth and pace of learning. Additionally, our gifted students may be invited to participate in a range of specific provisions and programmes to suit their academic needs. These include Accelerant Classes in Years 3-6, Short Sprint Extension Groups, Inquiry Passion Projects, Project Catalyst Mentoring and a myriad of competitions, workshops and events.

If you have any questions regarding the Gifted and Talented programmes in the Junior School please contact our two coordinators Rebecca Lord Years K, 3-6 and Emma Clemens Years 1-2.

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Learning Coordinator – Junior School and Gawura


What's on: upcoming events and activities


An invitation to Kindergarten parents

All Kindergarten parents are warmly invited to join us for Coffee in The Hub to meet other parents, key Junior School staff and the P&F. Download the flyer here.

Thursday 15 February, 8am-9am
Community Hub, Level 4, St Andrew's House (SAH)

Please RSVP by Monday 12 February.


RSVP here


P&F Cheese and Wine Welcome Evening

Parents and carers are warmly invited to join the P&F for an informal wine and cheese night on Tuesday 20 February.

This relaxed evening is a great opportunity to find out what is happening at the School and meet others in the School community. You can chat with the P&F Executive, key members of the School staff, Year Conveners and other parents while enjoying a glass of wine and a plate of cheese.

Come along and hear about the year ahead from the 2024 P&F Executive and a senior member of School staff.

Tuesday 20 February, 6pm
The Community Hub, Level 4, SAH

Please RSVP for catering purposes.


RSVP here


Join us for prayer and breakfast!

You are invited to join School Council, staff, parents and students for our first St Andrew's Cathedral School Community Prayer Breakfast of 2024. Our guest speaker will be Dr Laurel Moffatt, Principal of Mary Andrew’s College. We look forward to joining together in the new year, with prayer and breakfast.

Friday 23 February 7.15am-8.15am
Chapter House, Sydney Square


RSVP here


Parents and carers of Junior School and Gawura aspiring musicians

This is an opportunity to learn how your child can be involved in music, what is on offer and how to be a part of the programme.

It is also a chance to receive some practice tips, tricks and encouragement, whether your child is new to learning an instrument or has been learning for some time. Download the flyer here.

Thursday 29 February, 8am-9am
Community Hub, Level 4, SAH

Registrations will open Wednesday 14 February. Please RSVP by Monday 26 February.


RSVP here


Join us to celebrate Gawura at the annual Gawura Cocktail Evening !

Come along and introduce your friends, family and colleagues to Gawura. Hear about the impact that our unique "school within a school" is achieving and hear stories on the totemistic system within our First Nations culture. This year’s theme is “Totem Dreaming”.

Meet new friends and old, yarn with our Gawura teachers and Gawura alumni, all while enjoying fine food and wine on the newly refurbished St Andrew's Cathedral School rooftop playground.

Friday 8 March, 6pm-9.30pm
SAH Rooftop, Sydney Square


Book now!


P&F Kirrikee Picnic Days – This year it's double the fun!

Come and visit beautiful Kirrikee and enjoy a fun day out in the country. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit our Outdoor Education Centre – just one and a half hours from Sydney near Penrose, in the beautiful Southern Highlands.  

There will be lots to do – high ropes, mountain biking (bring your own bike), abseiling, fun in the water, billy karting and lots more. With its combination of rolling, cleared grazing country, bushland and wetlands, Kirrikee is a fantastic place to visit, rain or shine. 

Morning tea and lunch is included in the day ticket price and there will be a barista onsite providing coffee all day for a gold coin donation.  

Don’t forget to bring your swimmers, sun screen and camping chairs. Dogs are welcome on a lead.

For more than 20 years this event has run as a fundraiser for the amazing Penrose Rural Fire Brigade who help protect Kirrikee and the local Penrose community. In recent years especially, their tireless efforts have saved many lives and properties from fire. 

To help with overwhelming demand we are offering two P&F Kirrikee Picnic Days this year.

  • Saturday 16 March is aimed at Junior School and Gawura.
  • Saturday 23 March is aimed at Secondary School.

If you have students in both schools please pick the date that is most convenient for you and take both your children on that day.


Day tickets

Saturday Day Picnic only tickets are available which include Saturday 9am-4pm.


Overnight stay tickets

Love it so much you’d like to stay the night? If you would like to extend your stay you can bring a tent or rent one of ours and stay overnight. Numbers will be capped at 60 guests and places sell out fast so don’t delay! Basic dinner and breakfast are included in the overnight price (or you can bring your own) and the campfire is thrown in for free! 


Ticket sales open from midday Friday 16 February! Get in quick!


Junior School and Gawura: Saturday 16 March

Day Ticket, 9am-4pm:
$30 per adult / $15 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities. The High Ropes queue will close at 3pm. All activities stop between midday and 1pm for a BBQ lunch.

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay:  
$60 per adult / $40 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities as well as overnight camp site, dinner and cooked breakfast.  

Tent rental:
$40 for a 2 person tent with camp beds 
If you don’t have your own tent or campervan then you can hire a tent from us. There are 20 tents available to hire. Each tent sleeps two people and campbeds are provided. Please bring your own bedding.


Day Ticket only: Saturday 16 March

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: Saturday 16 March


Secondary School: Saturday 23 March

Day Ticket, 9am-4pm:
$30 per adult / $15 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities. The High Ropes queue will close at 3pm.  All activities stop between midday and 1pm for a BBQ lunch.

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: 
$60 per adult / $40 per child  
This includes morning tea, lunch and all activities as well as overnight camp site, dinner and cooked breakfast.  

Tent rental:
$40 for a 2 person tent with camp beds 
If you don’t have your own tent or campervan then you can hire a tent from us. There are 20 tents available to hire. Each tent sleeps two people and campbeds are provided. Please bring your own bedding.


Day Ticket only: Saturday 23 March

Day Ticket plus Saturday overnight stay: Saturday 23 March