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In this issue

Message Stick Term 3, Week 2, 2021
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Dates for your calendar
Music news
Library news
Parenting tips
Write On competition
Start Up
2021 Junior Andrean Awards
P&F Presents Technology
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick Term 3, Week 2, 2021


Welcome back for Term 3 and to all our families who have commenced remote learning again. Sadly during the holidays we had to postpone our planned On Country Tour to Kuku Yalanji Nation in far north Qld but this is only a postponement. We still hope to attend this year but this will all depend on when restrictions are lifted. Our Year 5-12 students are looking forward to this unique opportunity and it will happen – I will advise dates once I know myself.

Thank you to all the families who are engaging with remote learning. Please have your child logon for the 9am conference call as this is when the rolls are marked. There are two other conferences at 11am and then an end of day conference at 2:45pm.

I have been advised that the One Box delivery of fruit and vegetables will be suspended while we are in lockdown. Once these restrictions lift they will resume and I will let you know of the first Wednesday delivery date.

Once again my sincere thanks to all the parents and Gawura staff who helped with last term’s NAIDOC Week activity. The costume working bee, rehearsals and all the planning and preparation paid off as the NAIDOC Assembly was truly stunning. Of course we couldn’t predict what was going to happen in regards to another Lockdown due to Covid but it was lovely to have had the opportunity to all come together and celebrate NAIDOC Week when we did.

I will keep you up to date with any changes in regards as to when school may resume but in the meantime please encourage your child to participate with the remote learning platform. I have seen many children celebrate and talk with each other during our class conferences which they themselves enjoying seeing the rest of their classmates.

Finally a big thank you to our Gawura bus driver Neal and our Aboriginal Education Assistant, Lauren who have taken out iPads, laptops and other school resources to our Gawura families during the past week.

Please take care, stay safe and we look forward to having all the students return to our school when we are able to.

Have a safe and wonderful fortnight ahead.

John Ralph

Head of Gawura


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Wellbeing tips for Remote Learning

Change has happened suddenly, and we are all in a situation which we had hoped to avoid. Many things have abruptly stopped or have been cancelled, and as a result, some of us may be experiencing an increase in tension, stress or worry, particularly as we recommence remote learning.

The following tips may be helpful in navigating this journey of remote learning with your children.
Adapted from:

1. Comfort — Children are incredibly intuitive and even if they don’t fully understand the scope and depth of this situation, they will pick up on the emotions of those around them. Make sure you comfort them and provide a strong sense of routine, safety and stability. Children crave and need this at the best of times, but especially when their world is disrupted by transition. Allow them to express their emotions about the situation and acknowledge and accept these.

2. Try to keep a routine — Try to set up a routine that works for your family. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation, so do what works for you and feels right to you. Build your routine around the school schedule and try to stick to it. However, accept when you can’t make it work, that’s okay too, we are all doing our best.

3. Exercise — Many sports and activities are cancelled because of our current restrictions. Make sure to fit in exercise for yourself and your children. Whether it’s going on a walk as a family, doing a family exercise routine, or each taking some time for yourself to exercise. There are many home exercise examples on YouTube and social media.

4. Remember that each child learns in a different way and at a different pace — This is something which every teacher will tell you. During remote learning you may become more aware of how other children learn.  It is ok if your child learns differently from their peers.  Communicate with your child’s class teacher and remember that we are all seeking to work together for the best learning outcomes for every child.

5. Take breaks – We all need breaks. Take deliberate breaks from remote learning and take deliberate breaks from each other. Give each other some time. Call it whatever you want, perhaps call it quiet time, but allow for a time when everyone in the house retreats to their own space. Of course this is not always easy with younger kids, but make sure that you find some time to yourself, whether it’s with the help of a partner, family, friend, or even screen time, but to work well together, we all need ‘me-time’ and actively ensure self-care.

6. Play, play, play – Play outside, play boardgames, play card games, create games, let your imagination run wild. Make sure your children have time to truly just play on their own, but also take the time to actively engage in play together, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Allow for creative play through painting, drawing and arts and crafts.

7. Be kind, generous, loving and forgiving – Most of us strive to do this at the best of times, but right now we need to more than ever. Being together all the time is not always easy. It allows for many more bonding opportunities but also many more opportunities for irritations. Take a deep breath. We are all trying our best, be forgiving and gentle with yourself and others.

8. Lift our eyes – It can be easy to get caught in the immediate stressors of our days which can seem overwhelming at times.  However, why not pause and lift our eyes to see the hidden blessings, the silver linings and the future hope we have?  Finding meaning and hope in something bigger than ourselves, such as faith, can help us to keep the day to day pressures in an eternal perspective.

Further Remote Learning links & supports for parents:

SchoolTV is a SACS P&F funded initiative to support the parents and caregivers of our students.

Bronwyn Wake

Wellbeing Coordinator & Counsellor


Dates for your calendar


Tuesday 20 July: WABIAD (postponed)

Thursday 22 July, 5.30pm: Too Much Too Young - parent seminar with Melinda Tankard-Reist (postponed)

Friday 23 July: IPSHA Debating (cancelled)

Tuesday 27 July: Kindergarten 100 Days Celebration (postponed)

Tuesday 27 July: Mathematical Olympiad (ONLINE)

Wednesday 28 July: Mathematical Games (ONLINE)

Friday 30 July: Year 5 Music Concert (postponed)

Tuesday 3 August: P&F Presents Technology (ONLINE)

Thursday 12 August, 7pm: Year 5 and 6 Drama Group: Sleeping Beauty (postponed)

Tuesday 31 August: P&F General Meeting (ONLINE)

Tuesday 7 September: Start Up Finale (new date)


Music news


Our students shine in Sydney Children's Choir (Godwana Choirs)

We are very proud of Annabelle Douglas (Year 3) and Freddy Beck (Year 4) who successfully auditioned for Gondwana Choirs this year and took part in their first performance with the Sydney Children’s Choir. Gondwana Choirs comprises the most accomplished choral groups of young people in Australia, so this is an incredible opportunity and we hope to see more of our SACS students involved in musical experiences like this!


Junior School & Gawura School Mini Musical postponed

We have sadly had to postpone ‘Sleeping Beauty – The Ugly Truth’ to a later date due to lockdown. Stay tuned for more information. Our cast are still busy memorising lines and practicing the songs at home and we love seeing their positivity despite the challenges.


Keep up the practice during lockdown!

This is the perfect opportunity for our students to get some more practice in on their instruments. Parents, even encouraging short 10 minute bursts of focused practice throughout the day is effective. You might also like to sit down with your child and come up with a few intentional practice goals that they can work on each week.

Ben Milis
Junor School Music Teacher and Chapel Music Coordinator


Library news


Stay connected

Starting a new term offsite is stressful, strange and feels disconnected. However, at SACS, our connection as a community is strong – strong enough to cover distance and disease. We’re in this together!

For however long we are learning remotely, the library is committed to nurturing our sense of community, injecting a sense of fun into the week and supporting students and families as we continue to read and to learn.

Students are encouraged to utilise the many resources they can access through the school library.


For ebooks

Students access through the student portal or students and families can access 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 stories
Password: sacslib


For videos

Students can access directly through student portal OR
Login: school email address
Password: school password

For research

Students can access through the student portal OR
Login: sacslibrary
Password: library


Keep reading!


Deadline: Friday 20 August

And remember that the Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) finishes on Friday 20 August, so keep reading! It is our goal that every student in our school successfully completes the PRC in 2021. We’re well on the way to achieving that goal. There are many PRC books available on Story Box Library and Wheelers. Once students have finished the challenge, they may enter the Junior School Library Extra Prize Draw each time they read a further 10 books. The prize draw will continue through remote learning, so record all the books you read and send in a list (signed by parents) to Mrs Cotter each time you finish another 10.

Standing with you at this time and always,

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JS & GS


Parenting tips


Stress O'Clock

In these days it is hard not to find stress creeping into our lives….again! We thought lockdown and remote learning were behind us…not so! Michael Grose has written this article last month and I think it may be a helpful read during the coming few weeks.

A recent Australian study found that 7.00am is the most stressful time of the day for working parents. Dubbed stress o’ clock, this is a time in the morning when work and family pressures and the deadline of the clock converge.

Recent conversations held with parents indicate that children and young people experience stress o’clock too. This is a time soon after a child wakes when self-doubt, getting ready for school and looming fears clash. Children’s tummy-aches and heads-aches often prevail at this time of day.

“Mum, I don’t feel well. I think I’ve got a cold. I don’t want to go to school.”

How do you respond when you suspect there’s more worrying your child than a sniffle, and you’re hurrying to get ready yourself? Most parents don’t have a script to guide them when stress o’clock hits.

Pandemic induced anxiety
Since the pandemic, adults and children are reporting higher levels of stress and anxiety. Morning is one of the worst times for anxiety to strike. Like a fox, anxiety comes in the night robbing children of their courage, replacing assuredness with self-doubt, apprehension and fear.

Dealing with a child or young person in the middle of their anxious moment is super hard, particularly when you’re still wiping the sleep from your eyes. In times of stress it’s always best to stay SOBER. That is:

Stop what you are doing and pay attention to your child and to yourself.
Observe the emotional reaction you are having to your child’s distress and ask what your gut is telling you.
Breathe deeply to remove yourself from panic mode (‘I can’t take this!’) and kick start your thinking brain that has succumbed to your survival brain.
Expand your vision and look at the bigger picture. Perhaps your child is genuinely nervous but it’s important that they sit the test that makes them feel awful. Allow the bigger picture to guide your actions.
Respond to your child or young person calmly. Empathy and understanding are in short supply in the mornings, but if you have practiced this type of response in low stress situations, you’ll be more than ready to respond appropriately, rather panic or over-react when your child is stressed.

Like everything in parenting, this plan sounds easy when there are no children around, but it’s important, nevertheless. A lack of a plan you can follow when kids are anxious is the major cause of parent stress. In times of stress, it always helps to have a plan to follow. When dealing with children’s nerves, tension and anxiety at stress o’clock this plan will really help you.

Hopefully, this blog will give you some things to consider working through, enabling you to reduce the stress o’clock in your mornings.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Write On competition


More entries from the Write On competition

The Desolate Street, by Henry Duke (4S)
Oh, the desolate street, oh the desolate street…
At lighting speed, rides the blood red bike, the loose jersey hanging over the jet-black handlebars. The cold wind swirls around the wheels as they spin and whir. As the bike accelerates the cogs spin rapidly, propelling towards the sunset.
As the sun lowers, the light dims, the sound of the highway, far, far, away; the silent street, the beauty sky, the eerie houses, the cobwebs and spiders. The wooden poles, electric bearers, high in the sky, as the sun sets, the glory of the cheese-like moon, the clouds in the sky, the beauty of the rye.
The fool of the street, the thief of the skies. The bike wheels continue spinning throughout the night. The journey never ceasing. Riding for joy, riding with passion, along the dusty road.
As the light appears around the early morning sun, the farmer dreams of endless fields of infinity green, the beauty of nature’s sheep, both black and white. The longest street, the longest road, the yellow stars sleeping far north, above the midnight sky. The round globe of gold high up in the sky, chasing the ball of silver, like an endless chase, an endless chase high, far up in the sky, forever and ever.
These grey dusky skies, oh the wintry nights. The cyclist shivers, the chilled air in his lungs. The brisk cold spurs him on his journey towards home.
The flock of black cockatoos nest for the night, waiting for tomorrow’s pink sunset and red roses.
Oh, the desolate street, oh the desolate street…


Adventure on the Way Home, by Emily Ratilal (2N)
Peter was cycling down the road. He had just come back from school and was very tired. Just then, he heard screams and yells.

“What’s that?!” He said to himself, shakily. Spying a long rope, he grabbed it and lassoed it around the window, and slowly climbed. Wow. In the tiny cramped room, Peter saw two men holding sharp, pointy knives and two girls begging for mercy.
Peter had been given his own phone for his twelfth birthday. He shakily took it out and dialled 000. Soon enough, two female police officers arrived, their white and blue outfits sparkling in the dark.
“Hi”, said one of them, “I’m Emily, and this is Emile.”
“We’ve got a big problem, said Peter, explaining what he’d seen through the window”.
The police officers broke down the door and shouted “STOP!”. One of the girls got up, looking confused.
“What’s going on here?” said Emile.
“We’re rehearsing a play. A pirate play. It’s our first show tomorrow!
“Oh”! said the officers and Peter together…
Later that night Peter sat eating his dinner, looking and feeling embarrassed. “Don’t worry Peter” his Dad said with a wink, “how about we go and see a Pirate play tomorrow….?!”


     The not so sleepy Year 2 sleepover!    

Start Up


Start Up

Our StartUp 2021 program comes to a head at the Finale on Tuesday 7 September. It is the culmination of 4 months of creativity and development by more than 30 students, who were guided by experienced start-up mentors.

After learning about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, our finalists are ready to present their ideas and prototypes to a panel of expert judges who assume the role of investors.

We are very excited for the StartUp 2021 Finale. Once again, we are producing a live multi-studio broadcast with the support of a number of our Old Andreans. Stay tuned for email updates or check Facebook for information about how to watch the show live. This is an event not to be missed!

Congratulations and all the best to our 3 finalists who will present a 5-minute pitch at Finale to compete for Entrepreneur of the Year.

FindMe App – your item found and your child safe and sound

Olivia Desillas, Maddison Dockery (Year 5)

Thank you to our Semi-Final judges who selected the finalists and provided valuable feedback to all teams.


Finale Judges

James O’Loghlin is an ABC television and radio presenter, author, MC, comedian, former lawyer and corporate speaker. James hosted over 300 episodes of ‘The New Inventors’ on ABC-TV,  and it was this role that fuelled his deep interest in innovation. He now speaks to, and works with, organisations to help them to become more innovative. He explains how individuals can become more innovative, and how organisations can create a culture that encourages everyone to be innovative. James is the author of 10 books, including five novels for children and a business book, ‘Innovation is a State of Mind’.

Michelle Long is the Associate Director of the Sydney Startup Hub, one of the largest innovation spaces of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. In this role, Michelle provides high-level advice relating to the Hub and its operations. She manages key stakeholders and tenants, and designs and implements programs which are aimed to strengthen and support the ecosystem and make NSW the most effective place to grow a startup.

Tania Price works alongside educators, government and enterprise partners to deliver entrepreneurship programs and higher-level learning experiences to primary and high school students in Australia and Asia. In the past 10 years her programs have been delivered to more than 25, 000 students.


2021 Junior Andrean Awards

    2021 Junior Andrean Awards    

The Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer of the Year for 2021 has begun. This year’s theme is a choice between four character strengths (Hopeful, Thinking, Persistent and Caring) – to celebrate our new Character Strength images around the school. Please click the SACSConnect link here for more details. Students have been communicated this through their classes and on Schoology. Competition closes 11 October.


P&F Presents Technology

    P&F Presents Technology    

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 8.00am – 12.00pm. The number of the practice is Ph: 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.


Resources for COVID-19


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