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In this issue

Gawura news
Dates for your calendar
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Art news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting tips
Year 6 Canberra excursion
Head Lice
IT update: Enabling Single Sign On facilities
P&F Cheese and Wine Welcome
Gawura Cocktail Evening
Coffee in Chapter House
Kirrikee Picnic Day

Gawura news


On Tuesday 1 March I attended the Kirrikee camp site where our Year 5 Gawura students were enjoying 3 days and 2 nights learning in the outdoors with our wonderful Outdoor Education staff. It was quite wet over the three days but during my time there I saw the group participate in mountain biking where the rain had subsided and the students had full access to the mountain bike course. The instructor stated that if you come back with mud on you I’ll know that you have enjoyed yourself! Well the Year 5 students followed the instructions and had a great time riding through the bush track across tree roots, and muddy paths and certainly returned with a much dirtier bike that the one they originally started with. Our Kirrikee camps are a wonderful opportunity for the students to develop new friendships but also to consolidate existing friendships. The Kirrikee staff reported to me how wonderful the Gawura students were throughout the 3 days displaying exemplary behaviour and wonderful manners.

For those families who are utilising the Gawura bus service, just a reminder that if your child is going to be absent on a particular day can you please send a text to our Gawura Bus phone stating that your child will be absent from school for that day. Without notifying the bus driver, he will wait for a few minutes which puts the entire bus run behind schedule which impacts on the time students arrive at school. The number to text is 0439653334.

Our student leaders commissioning service where our new Gawura Captain will be inducted will now take place on Monday 21 March at 1pm. We congratulate Jenarose Jackson in Year 6 on her appointment and we look forward to the contributions that Jenarose will make throughout the year.

We trust you all have a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Dates for your calendar


Key dates

Tuesday 15 March, 6pm
P&F Cheese and Wine Welcome

Friday 18 March
Library Monitors badging assembly

Friday 18 March
ASISSA Swimming Carnival

Friday 18 March, 6pm
Gawura Cocktail Evening

Monday 21 March
Prefect Induction Assembly

Wednesday 23 March
Year 4 History excursion

Friday 25 March
ICAS Assembly

Wednesday 20 March
STEPS Vision Screening Kindergarten

Monday 4 April
End of Term Awrds Assembly

Tuesday 5 April
Parent / Teacher interviews

Wednesday 6 April, 2.30pm
Easter Service Cathedral

Friday 8 April
Easter Hat Parade

Friday 8 April
Last day of Term 1


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Coping with overwhelm

Many people that I have been talking with over the past few weeks have shared how life has been feeling a little overwhelming for themselves and their children. After all the energy that we have used to navigate the past two years, it is not surprising that we don’t have a lot left in our tanks to cope with the current challenges and uncertainties that surround us.

It can often seem like there are many stressful events occurring simultaneously, and the hyperconnected nature of our environment means we are constantly being reminded of the challenges we face via numerous media and social media channels. Our connectivity to the digital world exposes us to a barrage of messages that can often leave us feeling overwhelmed. Although we can’t provide our children with certainty about events in the world around them, we can provide them with the skills and strategies to cope to enable them to flourish.

This resource from SchoolTV - LINK gives a great overview of why we and our students may be feeling this overwhelm, and some helpful ways to support our children during these challenging times. At St Andrew's we also explore the Christian faith that provides a strong and secure anchor for our lives in times of turmoil and our school chaplains are available if you would like to learn more about this.


Bronwyn Wake
Wellbeing Coordinator


Music news


Congratulations Leon!

Leon Hoerr sat his Grade 4 Piano for Leisure Repertoire exam last month and received a High Distinction A+.

We are always keen to celebrate students and their musical successes. Please send through the details of any recent examinations or musical achievements to so that we can share these with our community.


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


Library news


Premiers Reading Challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge is off to a great start! We have a number of students who have already completed the Challenge. This year, in keeping with our theme in the library of Growth, students who complete the Challenge will have their names printed onto leaves which will be adorning a special tree in the library.

If your child attended a different school last year and completed the PRC there, please be in touch with me so I can request that their records be merged The library has hundreds of PRC titles available for students to loan, however we would also like to make you aware of the online and eBook formats that can be accessed from home.


For eBooks

Students access through the student portal OR
Students and families can access eBooks by downloading the ePlatform app onto their eReader device, choosing St Andrew’s Cathedral School and then signing-in using the student’s normal school login details.

Get the Wheelers app for Apple phones and tablets here.
Get the Wheelers app for Android phones and tablets here.


For read aloud books


Password: sacslib


Thankful for the opportunity to join your family as we read and grow together,

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator of Digital and Information Literacy – JS & GS


Art news


Taking journeys in the art space

As we progress through the term in our making and creating in the art space, we’re looking at the kind of journeys that we all make in life. One journey that we know well at school is the learning journey, which can require us to really grow and develop in our capacities and capabilities, as well as emotionally and spiritually. Amelie P, David K and Emelie F have depicted this kind of journey.


What’s new in the art space?

Our hard-working art captains for 2022, Miami M-G and Amelie P will be overseeing a small team of art monitors who sort art equipment, help put up displays, organise art journals, assist with younger students, create signs and a whole lot more. Thank you so much!

Also new is the delivery of our eight new sewing machines for use by Stage 3 students. Look out for the textiles co-curricular class on offer next term, where students can enjoy learning how to use these machines to sew some basic garments and bags. A huge thanks to the P&F for funding these machines.


Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS and GS


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Parenting tips


The debate rages about children and screen time!

Screen time for children without guilt – it is possible.
By Dr Kristy Goodwin.

Dr Kristy Goodwin is a digital parenting expert, speaker, author of Raising Your Child in a Digital World and mum to two energetic boys. She has written this great blog about this very issue. Hope you find it an interesting and encouraging read.

“You hand over your iPhone to your toddler, or switch on the TV for your pre-schooler and then come the pangs of guilt (or let’s be honest, sometimes it’s a deep sigh of relief because you might actually be able to complete a task uninterrupted!).

Parents are confused and concerned as we try to navigate our child’s digital world, where they learn to tap, swipe and pinch before they can grip a pencil or ride their bike. Our analogue childhoods involved us staring at the sky, not at a screen. But childhood AD (after digital) looks so very different and so we have no frame of reference! It’s only natural then, that we feel guilty about screen-time.

Parents simply need to carefully consider the three Bs: basic needs, boundaries and balance.

1. Basic needs
When our children are using screens there’s an opportunity lost that they’re not doing something else. An hour watching unboxing videos on You Tube is an hour not spent climbing a tree, jumping on the trampoline, or doing a Lego puzzle. For young children, given that the early years are a time of rapid brain and physical development (and that toddlers have limited hours awake each day), parents must ensure that screen-time isn’t interfering with the development of their child’s basic needs.

So, what are children’s basic needs? The neuroscience and developmental science consistently tell us that children have basic, unchanging developmental needs – relationships, sleep, play, language, physical movement and nutrition.

We can allow our children to switch on the TV or iPad, without feelings of guilt. The concern is, however, that young children’s time with screens is displacing other essential developmental priorities. For example, if children are spending too much time with screens, then their language skills can be impacted. A recent study found that there was a link between the amount of screen-time toddlers were exposed to each day and their expressive language skills.

On the flipside, technology can be used to support children’s basic needs. For example, video-chat technologies like Skype and Face Time can develop language skills. These interactive technologies provide serve-and-return interaction which develops language skills. This is wonderful news for parents who travel or who have families living overseas.

2. Boundaries
When it comes to technology, parents need to be the pilot, not the passenger of the plane. Parents need to establish firm boundaries from the start (the minute you hand your toddler your smartphone is when you need to start enforcing boundaries). Children need boundaries around how much time they can spend with screens, what they can watch/play/create on devices, when, where, how and with whom technology can be used.

There’s overwhelming research evidence that confirms that children learn much more from screens when they use them with someone else – a parent/carer, sibling or friend. In fact, the research suggests that children find it much more difficult to make meaning from a screen and relate it to the real world until they’re about two-three years of age. So where possible (and I know as a time-poor Mum that it’s not always possible to lie down on the lounge and watch TV when your little one does) try to use technology with your child.

The universal digital dilemma facing parents is how much time their child spends with screens. Whilst the Australian Department of Health provides screen-time recommendations, it’s impossible to prescribe ‘safe’ screen-time limits simply based on a child’s chronological age. These guidelines haven’t been scientifically validated and they consider all screen-time as equal (and we all know that 30 minutes watching mindless You Tube clips is very different to 30 minutes reading an interactive book app).

3. Balance
We need to balance children’s screen-time with their green-time. Children, more than ever, need time in nature. It helps to calm their brains; it encourages them to be physically active and helps them to enter mind-wandering mode (daydreaming). Recent research has also indicated that time in natural sunlight is vital to prevent the onset of myopia (near-sightedness) in children. Children need between 10-15 hours/week for healthy visual development.

If we consider the three Bs (basic needs, boundaries and balance) then we can put an end to our guilt about our child’s screen-time. We can hand over the iPad, or switch on the TV and feel confident that their time online is okay (in fact, it might even be helping them to learn).”


Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Year 6 Canberra excursion


Fun and sunshine!

Year 6 were very fortunate to be able to travel to Canberra last week and managed to avoid the rain while we were there!

We visited a variety of significant places in Canberra, with Parliament House being one of our favourites. It was exciting to sit in the Senate and House of Representatives and be able to learn more about politics and the leaders of Australia, past and present.

Another highlight was Questacon. Year 6 had so much fun trying out all of the experiments and games throughout! We visited Old Parliament House, the CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Sport, the War Memorial, a dinosaur museum, Mt Ainslie and also had an awesome time exploring the Arboretum!

Our bus drivers took us on a tour of all the embassies where we learnt about their purpose and the style in which they were built. Year 6 demonstrated exceptional behaviour and respect, while consolidating all of the learning we have done in class.


Katrina O’Malley
Year 6 Leader


Head Lice


The facts and the treatment

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

NSW Public Health:

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

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

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

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

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


IT update: Enabling Single Sign On facilities


Our IT system now requires users to add the school website to their normal username when logging into the Parent Portal. This enables all the Single Sign On facilities of our IT system which makes your experience much easier. Please follow the steps below when next logging in:

  • To access the Parent Portal, go to our school website and click on the ‘Quick Links’ button at the top right, then click on the drop-down menu item ‘Parent Portal’ link. From here, click on the ‘Parent Portal’ tile.
  • At the login screen type in your normal username followed by (eg
  • You will then be asked for your SACS password (this password remains unchanged). If you're unsure of your password and need to reset, please use this link: Password Reset
  • So, the only thing that has changed is the part after your username

The Parent Portal is where you can find all the latest guidelines, policies, assessment guides and information for parents at school. Often these are linked through to in newsletters.

Please email if you have any difficulties with logging in.

     IT update: Enabling Single Sign On facilities    

P&F Cheese and Wine Welcome


A relaxed evening hosted by the P&F

Parents and carers from the Junior, Middle, Senior School and Gawura are warmly invited to join the P&F for an informal cheese and wine night Tuesday 15 March.

This relaxed evening is a great opportunity to find out what is happening at the school and meet others in the St Andrew's Cathedral 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 find out a bit more about the P&F plans for this year and hear the latest report from a senior member of the St Andrew's staff.

Venue: The Hub, Level 4, SAH
Date: Tuesday 15 March 2022
Time: 6pm to 7.30pm

To join the meeting online please use the link


Book here


Gawura Cocktail Evening


Bookings are now open

You are warmly invited to join the Chair of the St Andrew's Cathedral School and Gawura Foundation Mr Peter Warne, and Head of School Dr Julie McGonigle, at the Gawura Cocktail Evening Fundraiser.

We are so excited to have this opportunity to get together and support the life-changing Gawura. Please join our generous donors as we come together as a community to enjoy an evening of delicious food, drink and entertainment, and share the story of The Emu in the Sky, a well known First Nations astronomical constellation that is the inspiration behind this year’s event.

We look forward to seeing you at this special evening in Chapter House and supporting First Nations students as they reach for the stars.

Venue: Chapter House
Date: Friday 18 March, 6.00pm to 9.30pm
Dress: Cocktail
Please RSVP to:


Coffee in Chapter House


Year 3 and 5 Parent Welcome

All Year 3 and 5 parents are warmly invited to join us for Coffee in Chapter House to meet other parents, key Junior School Staff and the P&F.

Monday 21 March 2022, 8am to 9am
Chapter House

Please click here for more information.


Kirrikee Picnic Day


Bookings open Tuesday this week!

Come and spend some time at a place your kids love.

Come and visit beautiful Kirrikee – just one and a half hours from Sydney near Penrose, in the beautiful Southern Highlands. 

There’s so much to do – high ropes, mountain biking (bring your own bike), abseiling, log rolling in the dam, 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.

For more than 20 years this event has run as a fundraiser for the amazing Penrose Rural Fire Brigade who help to protect Kirrikee and the local Penrose community.  In recent years especially, their tireless efforts have saved many lives and properties from fire.
Morning tea and lunch is included and there will be a barista onsite providing coffee all day for a gold coin donation. 

All the activities and lunch are run by Kirrikee outdoor education staff and parent volunteers.  If you can spare an hour to help with an activity or food service then please contact us at or tick the volunteer box on the booking form.

Date: Saturday 26 March
Time: 9am to 4pm


Book here


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