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In this issue

Gawura news
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Art news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting Tips
Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards
What's on : upcoming events and activities

Gawura news


A very big welcome back to Term 3 and the beginning of Semester 2. I hope you all had a welcomed restful break and enjoyed NAIDOC Week from 3 July to 10 July. Thank you to all the families who attended our annual NAIDOC Assembly in the Cathedral on the last Thursday of last term. It was a lovely event which the students thoroughly enjoyed participating in and which they also mc’d.

We have just returned from our very first interstate On Country Tour to the Indigenous Homelands of Cape York and in particular to Kuku Yalanji Nation in far north Queensland. The Year 5 to 12 students had an amazing time learning Yalanji history and culture including some Kuku Yalanji language as well. The students also participated in an art lesson. We thank Aunty Marilyn and Uncle Peter for sharing their rich cultural knowledge with us throughout the week.

The students participated in a community project during their stay. The project was to help dismantle the chicken coup at Bloomfield River State School which also had 95% of students identify as Aboriginal. Our students also helped in the school classrooms with maths and literacy activities. The final 2 days were spent driving through the Daintree Rainforest along the Bloomfield 4WD only Track to Mossman where we camped for 2 nights. The students spent the final day snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef which none of the students had done previously. We visited 3 reefs in total along the Agincourt Reef system. All of the students swam and had a marvellous time. We would like to thank all the donors and sponsors who made this incredible immersion happen on the Indigenous Homelands of Cape York.

Our next GPAC Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 26 July from 2.30pm to 3.10pm in the School Council Room. This will be both available in person and online. Thank you to those parents who have already responded to the calendar invite.

We have a number of events happening this term including the annual JSGS Athletics Carnival and the Madagascar Musical which all students in Year 3 to 6 are performing in. Please check the dates below. Gawura Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 are all going to see the play themselves during school time. Students in Year 3 to 6 will receive 2 complimentary tickets each. A link will be sent out for you to nominate which performance you would like to see.

Welcome back again everyone and we wish you an enjoyable and safe fortnight ahead.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Wednesday 27 July 
Maths Games / Maths Olympiad – selected students

Thursday 28 July
Kindergarten 100 Days

Thursday 28 July, 5pm-8pm
Explore Year 7

Thursday 4 August
JS&G Athletics Carnival

Friday 5 August IPSHA Debating

Monday 8 August
Staff Development Day – Pupil Free Day

Monday 8 August
Madagascar rehearsals

Wednesday 10 August ICAS Writing

Friday 12 August
Year 4 Taronga Zoo geography excursion

Thursday 25 – Friday 26 August
JS&G production of
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.
NIDA Parade Theatre


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Let's talk it out

One of the four friendship facts that we teach our students in our URSTRONG programme is that ‘no friendship is perfect’. We want students to understand from an early age that small disagreements, or ‘friendship fires’ are a normal part of any healthy relationship and don’t mean that the friendship is destroyed. We discuss with students how to talk through these disagreements in a healthy way and seek to restore the friendship.

One of the tools that we use within this process is our ‘talk it out words’. Our talk it out words start by letting the other person know how their words or behaviours are affecting us and ask for change.  We also recognize that making mistakes is a part of learning and that there will be times when students need to apologise, so that they can acknowledge the impact of what they have done and seek the restoration of the relationship.

This type of language can also be helpful within the home, as the challenges and conflicts of day-to-day life arise. As parents and carers we know that a flippant ‘soz..’ is not the same as a meaningful apology and so we wanted to share this language with you as we partner together in raising great kids. Why not make it a part of your family’s language too?

Mrs Bronwyn Wake
Junior School & Gawura Well‑Being Coordinator


Music news



Congratulations to the following students on their wonderful eisteddfod results over the break:

  • David Kim
    Sydney Eisteddfod
    Event 226: Recital Award: Highly Commended
    Event 227: Piano Polyphony: 2nd place
    Event 228: Chopin Piano: 1st place.
  • Idelia Cao
    E-Piano Competition Napolinova - Category A. 2nd place
    Sydney Eisteddfod
    Event 233: 18th Century Piano 9 and 10 years: Highly Commended.
  • Hiroki Takahashi-Zhong
    Sydney Eisteddfod
    Event 229: 18th Century Piano (11 and 12 years): 3rd place.

AMEB results

  • Congratulations to Monica Tan and Mia Zhang who both received A+ in Preliminary Violin.
  • Kate Diaz has also achieved an A+ in preliminary flute and an A in 1st grade recorder.
  • Emma Dowsett and Daniel Lian both achieved an A in their Piano Grade 1 examinations, and
  • Tristan Lau achieved an A in Grade 3 Cello.

Well done to all of these students on their outstanding results.

Please continue to email any AMEB or eisteddfod results to so that we can share this wonderful work with our school community.


Dates for the diary

15 September
Students in Junior Choir (Years 3-6) will be performing at this year’s Showcase Concert on 15 September in the Town Hall.

12 August
Students in the Junior Concert Band will be performing at the Band Concert on 12 August in the Upper Chapter House. Please save these dates. More information to follow!


Mrs​ Kate Robertson
Head of Music K‑6


Library news


CBCA Book Week – Save the date!

This year SACS Junior School is celebrating CBCA Book Week 29 August – 2 September. The library will host special activities, games and competitions over each lunchtime during that week. This year, the talented naturalist author/illustrator Sami Bayly will be visiting students in Year 3-6. Infants (K-2) students can look forward to a visit from Matt Cosgrove. Pre-orders for both authors’ books will be available closer to the date, which can then be signed by the author on the day. The week will culminate with our Book Character Parade, Friday 2 September. Parents are welcome to attend this event, so please save the date.

CBCA Book Week
29 August – 2 September

Premier’s Reading Challenge closes 19 August
There is only four more weeks left to complete the PRC! Students can continue to borrow stickered books during their Browse and Borrow times and they can access eBooks through the Wheelers ePlatform app which has a comprehensive selection of PRC books for each level of the Challenge. Students in Stage 3 have been encouraged to enter titles read into their own PRC record. If parents of students in K-4 would like their child’s login details to be resent, or if your child is new to our school and you would like their record from their previous school merged, please feel free to contact me on

Looking forward to a great term.


Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – JSGS

JS&G Teacher Librarian


Art news


What’s happening in the Art Space?

Kindergarten are busy creating collage and montage in the style of Henri Matisse and Piet Mondrian. Colour and abstract shapes rule! Take a look at some of these artists with their masterpieces.


Year 4 worked as landscape painters throughout much of last term, finishing with a Landscape Watercolour in the style of 20 year-old UK artist, Kieron Williamson, who has become widely known as ‘the new Monet’.  Using proportion, fractions and line to build the structure of the work, these artists then developed texture and toned watercolours using fine brush strokes.  Well done Year 4 artists for your masterpieces, which will make great art for the wall at home!

These works by: Sam McC (4La), Oliver (4La) and Candace (4La)


What’s On – looking for a family exhibition to visit?

  • The Young Archie portrait competition
    Art Gallery of NSW
    Until 24 August 2022

  • Wildlife photographer of the Year
    Australian National Maritime Museum,
    Darling Harbour
    Until 5 March 2023


Young Andrean Artist of the Year Competition 2022

Don’t forget to keep working on your Young Andrean Artist 2022 piece! I’m sure you’re well aware that the competition theme is EGYPT - celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb. Consider the ideas of ‘exploration’, ‘discovery’, ‘mystery’, ‘curses’, or ‘adventure’ in either ancient or modern Egypt, or anything else you can imagine in the wonderful land of Egypt! 


Mrs​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator JS&G


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



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


Parenting Tips


Appreciation, by Michael Grose

This is a most interesting article from last year, by Michael Grose. It is about appreciation. Something we probably don’t think too deeply about but his thoughts here are well worth a read. Michael’s ideas of showing appreciation to our children are down to earth and very workable.

“Do you have a child who craves attention? Does their attention-seeking at times deflate and overwhelm you? If so, you are not alone. Attention-seeking is perhaps the most common misbehaviour in families.

“Look at me, mum” and its many variations become like a nervous tic driving parents to distraction. It’s good to give children your undivided attention but there are limits to how much attention you can give. Unfortunately, attention-seeking becomes a pattern of behaviour that’s hard to break.

Prof. Maurice Balson, author of Becoming Better Parents, believed that children who constantly seek attention are generally discouraged. “I am not good enough” is their belief.

The antidote to discouragement according to Balson, was to increase the amount of encouragement that a child or young person received. Encouragement, literally meaning ‘to give heart or courage’ focuses on the processes of improvement, effort, enjoyment and contribution.

The latter, contribution, is the most potent of these processes. Children will usually belong to their families in two ways. They are either contributing members, or are known for their poor behaviour. For children known for poor behaviour, their usual way of operating shows a mindset of “If I’m not appreciated, at least they’ll know I’m around”.

Attention or appreciation? There’s no contest. Appreciation is the genuine deal when it comes to helping children feel good about themselves.

Why appreciation works

Appreciation is highly motivating. Even adolescents will generally respond to a parent’s appreciative comments, although their faces won’t always not show it.

Appreciation has an old-brain connection. The job of our old brain or survival brain, is to keep us safe. Our safety can only be guaranteed if we are a part of a group, so parent appreciation helps children feel secure, preventing them from resorting to negative attention-seeking behaviour to feel part of the group.

Appreciation is approval on steroids

Approval says I like what you do. Appreciation means much more. It shows how behaviour impacts on another person on an emotional level, which has a stronger impact.

Showing appreciation is a wonderful way to shape a child’s behaviour in positive ways. “Thanks so much for cleaning your toys away without asking. It makes my life so much easier.” This type of comment will usually generate a dopamine (feel-good chemical) response from a child, which means they are likely to repeat the behaviour to replicate the feeling.

How appreciation works

There are four rules to be mindful of, when you show appreciation:

  • It must have meaning:
    appreciation must be real and related to a specific behaviour for it to be effective.
  • It should let children know the emotional impact of their behaviour:
    either with words (“It makes me feel happy”) or through non-verbals (a smile, a hug or high-five) your child should see that their behaviour has had a positive impact on you.
  • It should be genuine:
    you can’t fake sincerity with a child or young person as they are generally adept mood detectives.
  • It's best if it has small differences:
    showing appreciation is not a one-size fits all behaviour. Appreciation should be shown in a way that matches the situation and suits your child. Consider writing a note to show appreciation for something special. Boys often prefer private encouragement rather than public acknowledgement so consider when and where you shower them with encouragement.

Positive side effects

There are plenty of positive side effects to showing appreciation for a behaviour. An appreciative parent comment helps create a healthy, happy family atmosphere. Appreciation can change the mood of the giver and receiver and it’s a behaviour that if adopted by children can be experienced by the next generation. That makes parent appreciation a behaviour for the ages.”

Great advice and well worth having a think about what is written here.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards


Recently a number of our passionate writers entered the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. This competition is a unique opportunity for students to strive in literature. Students can take inspiration for their writing from any source. But there is also an optional theme students can use as a stimulus for their poetry. This year the theme was ‘In my Opinion’. The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards began in 1984 with just 300 entries. Now tens of thousands of students enter from across Australia. Below are some excerpts from some of our Year 2 students who entered the competition.

Mairah Kharwa 2S:
The beach is cloudy,
Rainy and very cold,
Waves splashing the shore,
The same sound and music told,
Messy seaweed,
Was everywhere in the sand,
The blue must last,
And if we only knew,
In its depths it has its pearls too,
In my opinion.

Bill Pan 2S:
In a world with pollution,
The sky would be grey and dusty,
It would be hard to breathe,
Trees would be bare,
Leaves would fall and turn brown.
In my opinion there should be no pollution,
The air would be fresh,
The sky would be blue,
The trees would have lots of green leaves.

Martha Howley-Wright 2C:
Eventually the sky started to glow yellow,
The storm had passed,
Everything was a mess,
Destroyed and washed away,
The town was broken,
The roads were crashed,
The houses were gone.
In my opinion, we all have to help,
We have to help the people who get hurt,
We need to work together,
To help people survive,
Terrifying tsunamis and storms.


Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS&G


What's on : upcoming events and activities


Pupil Free Day – Monday 8 August

As previously mentioned in the newsletter, Monday 8 August will be a Staff Development Day and there will be no classes running for K-12. Please find details on our website at


Learn to be a chess champion!

Learning and playing chess helps children develop their logical thinking and problem solving skills, improves their concentration and focus, while also being a great source of enjoyment. Activities include group lessons on a demonstration chess board or interactive whiteboard, puzzle solving and fun practice games. Students earn merit awards by making checkmates, or by displaying skills and positive qualities, which all good chess players strive to develop.

Coaching for students at St Andrew's Cathedral School (Junior) is held on:

Years 3-4: Tuesdays from 11:00am to 11:30am, starting 26 July 2022
Years K-2: Tuesdays from 11:30am to 12:00pm, starting 26 July 2022
Years 5-6: Tuesdays from 12:00pm to 12:30pm, starting 26 July 2022

For all enquiries, please contact: Sydney Academy of Chess on (02) 9745 1170. If your child is interested in taking part, you can email


Mr Daniel Murray
JS Teacher, Head of Co-curricular K‑6


The Junior School and Gawura Musical is coming this August!

Book your tickets today to see St Andrew’s Cathedral School production of Dreamworks’ Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr.

Our Years 3-6 Junior School and Gawura students are excited to bring to life the adventures of zoo friends Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman and their friends in this fun-filled musical story that highlights the value of friendship.

This all-ages production delivers plenty of colour, toe-tapping tunes and comic antics that will bring joy to all the family. 

Gawura families who have children in Years 3 to 6 will receive 2 complimentary tickets each, with a link to be sent out in the next few days.

Thursday 25 – Friday 26 August
NIDA Parade Theatre


Madagascar Sponsorship packages now available!

It’s nearly time to ‘move it, move it’ to the Junior School and Gawura production which will be held at NIDA on 25 and 26 August. Our dedicated students have been transformed into lions and lemurs, zebras and zookeepers and are excited to welcome you to the wilds of Madagascar for two musical nights of performances.

At SACS we strive to offer students with the opportunity to be involved in high quality productions, but this can be expensive. To support the students in this popular production we are offering sponsorship opportunities that will allow your business valuable exposure to our school community, as well as the extended community who will attend performances.

Each package offers an appropriate level of exposure through digital, print and venue advertising, complimentary tickets and hosting at performances.

Details of the sponsorship packages can be found here.

Please complete the online expression of interest form and submit by Friday 29 July.

(Please note that the Head of School has the right to refuse sponsorship to any individual or company)


Save the date!

We’re sorry to make you wait, but the ever-popular trivia night has been postponed until Saturday 15 October. Bookings will open later this term.

Always a highlight, trivia night this year will again be an action packed, side splitting evening of fun, entertainment, games, dressing up – and of course trivia.

Book early so you have your choice of the Musical Mayhem theme.

Saturday 15 October, 6pm
Heath Centre, SAH


Entries close Monday 17 October

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, this year’s Andrean of the Year theme is 'Egypt'.

Click here for 2022 entry details and winners from past competitions.

Mr Brad Swibel
Deputy Head of School (Secondary)

     School Readiness talk for Kindergarten    

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