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In this issue

Gawura news
Key dates
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Music news
Library news
Sports news
Art news
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Parenting tips
Computational and Algorithmic Competition
RSL & NSW Schools Remember ANZAC Service
Enlisting your support around dropping off and picking up your children from school
What's on : upcoming events and activities

Gawura news


On Wednesday 4 May our Gawura students from Years 5 to 12 were invited to participate in a game of Paddle Polo by Sydney Harbour Kayaks who are situated at the Spit Bridge at Mosman. The students took to the kayaks with great excitement and learnt very quickly how to navigate this type of water craft. Shannon from Sydney Harbour Kayaks explained the rules of Paddle Polo and our students had a ball playing this game similar to water polo but playing from kayaks. We’d like to thank Shannon and his team who have invited us back for a second session in Term 4 this year.

On Thursday 5 May last week our students from Years 2 to 6 participated in the annual Cross Country Carnival at Queens Park. Congratulations to Annie, Tilly, Winda, Talaara and Shane who all received ribbons on the day.

Also on the 5 May our four Go Scholars in the secondary school participated in the Go Foundation’s Culture Connect Day at the University of Sydney. Djillirra, Balan and Joylara all enjoyed meeting other Go Scholar students from a range of different schools across Government, Catholic and Independent systems. A highlight was hearing the personal stories of Go Founders, Michael O’Loughlin and Adam Goodes.

Just a reminder that GPAC will be held this week on Tuesday 10 May in the Council Room from 1:30pm to 2:30pm. People who do attend in person will need to provide proof of vaccination at Reception and if you are displaying any cold or flu like symptoms then please join online. For those who wish to join online the Microsoft Teams link will also provide access for you to do so if you can not make it in person. 

Thank you to those parents and students who attended the first Red Earth Departure meeting on Wednesday 4 May last week. We saw a wonderful presentation on this year’s On Country Tour to the Indigenous Homelands of Cape York. It was a great opportunity to speak with the organisers of this trip. One of the requirements this year is that all travelling staff and students are ‘up to date’ with their covid vaccinations. This is a request directly from the Indigenous communities of Cape York as they have many hundreds of students visit them from all over VIC, SA, NSW and South East QLD during the dry season and they wish to mitigate their risk of covid getting into their community and in particular amongst the Elders and Traditional Owners (TO’s). Any student who is not up to date with their vaccinations will be ineligible to attend. Parents of students still have time to meet these requirements if need be.

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


John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Monday 9 May Take Love Collection commences

Tuesday 10 May NAPLAN Writing

Thursday 12 May NAPLAN Reading

Friday 13 May NAPLAN Conventions of Language

Friday 13 May Infants Music Concert (Selected students)

Tuesday 17 May NAPLAN Numeracy

Tuesday 17 May, 6pm P&F Presents: Performing Arts

Wednesday 18 May, 5.30pm
School Readiness Information Evening

Thursday 19 May Year 2 Sleepover

Thursday 19 May 5O Parent Teacher Interviews

Friday 20 May IPSHA Debating Round 2

Wednesday 25 May National Simultaneous Storytime

Thursday 26 May National Sorry Day

Friday 27 May Kindergarten Day Camp

Wednesday 1 - Friday 3 June Year 5 Bathurst

Friday 3 June Year 1 Day Camp

Friday 3 June Take Love Collection concludes


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator



I wonder what you were taught about friendships when you were growing up? I wonder if you were taught how to make a new friend, how to build a healthy friendship, or even how to respond to friendship difficulties? For many of us, these questions were never explicitly addressed, and we were left to our own devices to navigate the complexities and challenges of friendships.

This term as part of our SEW (Social & Emotional Wellbeing) program a number of our students will be exploring these important issues, through the friendship program, URSTRONG. If you hear your child come home and talk about the friend-o-meter, friendship fires, or the friend-o-cycle, you might want to investigate the images in the back of the student diary and ask your child to explain them to you. We will also be running some parent seminars throughout the term to support you in reinforcing these ideas at home.

The URSTRONG program explicitly teaches children how to develop healthy friendships, how to resolve conflict in a positive way, how to respond to mean-on-purpose behaviours and helps them to grow strong and meaningful friendships. As we partner to raise great kids, you might like to know more about the program, watch the introductory video, explore the free resources or get a free family membership at

Classroom Surveys

At St Andrew’s Cathedral School we seek to use evidence based practices that are responsive to student needs. As a result, we regularly ask students to complete surveys about a range of topics. This term the surveys being conducted will include the BeYou Children’s survey ( and an internally developed Friendship Survey. If you would like further information about any of these please feel free to contact

Webinars for parents and carers

Join one of the free webinars for parents and carers run by the eSafety commissioner.

These live webinars give parents and carers the knowledge, skills and tools to support their children to have safe online experiences. This month’s webinar is:

Parental controls
Find out how to set up devices and apps to help keep young people safe online. This webinar will include practical tips, demonstrations and advice - designed for parents and carers of kids aged 4 to 13 years old.

The presentation will cover:

  • the benefits and limitations of parental controls.
  • how to safely set up iOS and Android devices.
  • how to safely set up popular games and apps,like YouTube and Roblox.
  • family tech agreements and other parenting strategies to manage online risks.
  • how eSafety can help you when things go wrong.

Term 2 dates (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
Tuesday 10 May 7.30 - 8.30 pm or
Thursday 19 May 12.30 – 1.30 pm or
Tuesday 31 May 12.30 – 1.30 pm

Register here


Bronwyn Wake
Wellbeing Coordinator


Music news


Last Friday, SACS was honoured to host international concert pianist Simon Trpceski who was in Sydney from Macedonia performing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Simon gave a masterclass to some of our piano players, which was an amazing opportunity for them to gain feedback from an expert and to improve their own practice.

Congratulations to Hiroki Takahashi-Zhong, David Kim and Eriko Miyagawa for sharing their musicality with everyone who attended, and well done for being courageous enough to perform in front of a world renowned musician! Many thanks also to SACS parent Janet Chakar for her help in facilitating such a wonderful event.

Congratulations to Sophia Theodosiou who has recently completed her Preliminary Piano Video Repertoire examination and achieved a High Distinction result.

Last week we also presented the following awards on the roof for external Music examinations. Some of these certificates had been awaiting presentation for some time, and we are so glad to have been able to publicly acknowledge the work of the following students:

Jonathan Liu – Honours – 7th Grade Piano Repertoire
Annabelle Douglas – Honours – Second Grade Violin Repertoire
Vanessa Tsui – Credit – 1st Grade Violin
Candice Yu – Honours – Preliminary Violin
Annabelle Tee – Credit – Preliminary Violin
Taali Paku – Credit - 3rd Grade Violin
Isabelle King – Credit – 1st Grade Violin Repertoire
Daniel Hezari – Honours – Preliminary Violin
Tennille Edbrooke – Honours – Preliminary Violin
Joshua Ahn – Credit – 1st Grade Viola
Violet Bloxsom – High Distinction – Preliminary Piano Repertoire
Isla Keeton – Honours – Preliminary Piano Repertoire
Siddhan Krishna – High Distinction - 4th Grade Piano Repertoire
Annabelle Douglas – Honours – 2nd Grade Piano Repertoire



Last week I attended training with the organisation Bigger Better Brains. The course reaffirmed why St Andrew's is such a strong supporter of Music and Music Education.

The course facilitator, Dr Anita Collins, has been a leader in neuromusical education in Australia, and shared some fascinating information with the course participants. One interesting fact relates to the ability of children to keep a beat. Did you know that if a child cannot demonstrate that they can keep a steady beat at 3 years old that this can be an indicator they will struggle with reading? Rhythm also plays an important role. The good news is that musical intervention can help, and this is because the area of the brain that processes speech and sound overlaps with the area of the brain that processes music. All sounds from 0-3 years are processed as music through the music processing network and sounds turn into speaking which then turns into reading. Have a read of this short article for more information: Rhythm and Reading - Bigger Better Brains.

Dr Collins described a visit she undertook during her research where she met a neuroscientist who could identify 7 from 100 musicians from images of their brains. The neuroscientist could accurately identify the brains of the musicians because music training permanently and positively changes the structure of the brain.

I hope to share more of my learning with you in the coming weeks.

If you wish to discuss your child’s musical education, please feel free to contact me any time


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


Library news


National Simultaneous Storytime

Term 2 is looking to be jam-packed with goodness in all corners of our school. In the library, we are looking forward to participating with schools, day-care centres and public libraries right across Australia in National Simultaneous Storytime. This year, on the 25th May, we will be reading the book Family Tree by Josh Pyke with illustrations by Ronojoy Ghosh, a heartfelt celebration of family, community and the seasons of life to cherish and to share.  #1millionkidsreading #NSS2022

As National Reconciliation Week and later in the term, NAIDOC week approach, Library Research lessons have been designed to investigate and explore First Nation perspectives, histories, cultures and contributions. In January, the Junior School library launched a brand-new website. Nested within that is a collection of digital resources we have called our First Nations Library. Parents can access that resource directly by following the link below. SACS is unique in the friendships that exist between students and teachers in the Gawura School and the Junior School. We are also incredibly privileged to have access to the wisdom, experience, advice and rich cultures of our school’s Elder in Residence, Leanna Carr-Smith, our K-12 Aboriginal Education Consultant, Lavinia Williams and our Wiradjuri Language and Culture teacher, Tanya McEwen. The First Nations Library was created through consultation with these colleagues and is a living document that will be growing, changing and being refined over time. Our hope is that as students interface with the First Nations Library, it contributes to the journey towards restoration that is happening in our school and in our nation.

First Nations Library Link Here


Nicole Cotter 
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy - JSGS


Sports news


ASISSA Netball Gala Day

On Friday 29th April a group of Year Five and Six students represented St Andrew’s Cathedral School at the ASISSA Netball Gala Day at Heffron Park, Maroubra. After a very competitive five games of netball, one student, Bridie Hansen, was selected to progress to the probables/possibles match at the conclusion of the day. Bridie was then selected for representation at CIS - a huge achievement!

The girls had a great day enjoying the sun and playing and witnessing some exceptionally high calibre netball. Well done to the following students for demonstrating excellent SACS pride and sportsmanship. A particular congratulations and good luck to Bridie!

Ili Karan, Violet Bloxsom, Madison Dockery, Bridie Hansen, Ingrid Chin, Carla Capolupo, Claire Buggy, Sofia Greenhow, Phoenix O’Loughlin, Amy Jung, Alizah Hays, Charlotte Hodgson

Alix Vanny
JS Teacher



Art news


Focus on a JS artist: Zac C Year 4


Zac C (below) is a new student at SACS yet already showing his talent as an artist!  He loves to draw – using fine line black pens – to create often tiny illustrations of plants, animals, environments and communities.  He has several working drawing journals filled with wonderful illustrations!  Zac can be seen at school, carrying his latest drawing journal, with a fine liner in hand and an intricate drawing in progress.  He has said : ‘I love to draw as it’s so much fun and I like to create using a pen, especially animals and plants’.


Art and competitions 2022

Competitions can be a great way to work in a focused manner on a high level piece of art. Each year, our students enjoy working collectively to enter several carefully selected Art Competitions. In addition, we encourage students to create at home a high-quality piece of art for our own in-house Young Andrean Art Competition.  

Our 2022 theme: EGYPT (to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb) is an exciting ‘opening’ theme that should allow for young artists to create using the concepts 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! Further information below regarding dates etc.


Textiles : Cocurricular in Term 2

We’ve just launched our brand new sewing machines (purchased with a generous gift from the P&F) with a group of enthusiastic Year 5 & 6 students on Monday afternoons at the Cocurricular Textiles Group in the Art Space.  Mrs Kate Collier, a secondary Textiles and Design teacher, is kindly joining us for these Monday afternoon sessions for this term and has guided the students in understanding how a sewing machines works.  Each student should be accomplished enough to have finished an individual garment by the end of term!


What’s On ?

  • Have you visited any fabulous Art/Museum Exhibitions with your child/children recently?  Perhaps in the holidays you managed to visit one of the exhibitions in Sydney, Canberra or Melbourne.  If so, I’d love to hear from you – with a short paragraph about what you saw and how the children responded, and ideally with a photo.  Send through to:

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 – a parenting skill for the ages.

by Michael Grose, September 2021

I think this is a very interesting article, not only for parents but teachers as well. It is well worth a read.

“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 kids 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.

My first parenting mentor 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:

1. It must have meaning
Appreciation must be real and related to a specific behaviour for it to be effective.

2. It should let the child 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.

3. It should be genuine
You can’t fake sincerity with a child or young person as they are generally adept mood detectives.

4. It’s best if it has small differences
Showing appreciation is not a one-size fits all behaviour. Appreciation should be shown 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.”

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Computational and Algorithmic Competition


AMT Computational and Algorithmic Competition

A number of Years 4-6 students were recently selected participate in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) Competition. The CAT is a one-hour problem solving competition designed to encourage student curiosity and promote multiple modes of thinking. It requires students to solve real world problems using algorithms.

The CAT includes some three stage tasks. These involve students developing informal algorithms and applying them to test data of increasing size and complexity. Other questions necessitate the ability to perform procedures or apply logical thought. Once we receive results from the Australian Maths Trust these will be distributed to students. High scoring students will have their certificate presented at a morning roof top assembly.

Below are some reflections from a Year 5 students Frederick Beck about the competition:

What did you enjoy about the competition?
I really enjoyed the challenge of the final three questions. In particular, the final question was about a girl hopping along a set of pavers in the most direct route. I liked that question because it required so much thinking and planning ahead. If you were doing the problem in real life finding the best route, you would have to see around the obstacles to find a solution.

What were the questions like?
The questions used computational thinking. You had a sheet with the question, but you had to work out the answer on your screen. For example, one of the questions had a group of lily pads on a pond. You had to go from one lily pond and find a route skipping across lily pads. You then had to find the final landing point. The question required you to follow a set order.

How did the competition challenge your thinking?
One of the questions was a game show. You had a set of numbers and you had to take numbers out one by one in the shortest number of moves. When I first looked at the question I didn’t know where to start. I looked at the diagram first and then this helped me know where to start to solve the problem.

How would these type of problem- solving questions be used in the real world?
You might use these skills if you get a cool job that requires you to solve a really hard problem. You can use computational thinking to help. Computational thinking uses logic so can help you solve complex problems.

Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinator JS and GS


RSL & NSW Schools Remember ANZAC Service


Every year the RSL and a number of schools across NSW gather together to commemorate past and present Australian Defence Force servicemen and women who have fought for and protected our country. This year St Andrew’s Cathedral School was invited to contribute by doing the Acknowledgement of Country which was performed by our SACS Yr 12 boy School Captain Josh Ralph. This was pre recorded at the new ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park which saw students come from across all sectors of education – government, Catholic and Independent. You can view this memorial service through the link here: RSL & NSW Schools Remember ANZAC Service

Mr​ John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Enlisting your support around dropping off and picking up your children from school


A heartfelt thank you to all the families who continue to help us safely and efficiently drop off and pick up their children each day. Mobilising your child or children to arrive before 8.30am, ready for school, is no mean feat! It is great to see our student body each morning, ready to start the day at 8:35am, for our whole school assembly on the rooftop.

Likewise for our pickup times, we appreciate each of you acknowledging our finishing time of 3.10pm each afternoon and the way you collect your children in a timely manner. Please note that at 3:30pm, or 4:30pm if they’re attending a co-curricular finishing at 4:15pm, school policy guides us to send any students not yet collected to be supervised by TheirCare, our afterschool program located on the rooftop.

There may be times where you may need to collect your child during the school day for medical appointments or similar – the best way to support us in this circumstance is to write to your child’s classroom teacher the previous day and copy in Junior School Reception

The School strongly discourages students from leaving early for or returning late from a vacation as there is ample holiday time during the year. However there may be extenuating circumstances where you simply require additional leave, if there is such an occasion, please access the Leave Form (found through the Parent Portal). Such absences will be recorded by the school and we ask that you be judicious in not requesting this too regularly, if avoidable.  Once you’ve submitted this form will reply after Mrs. Robson has assesed the application.

Finally, we appreciate that those picking up and dropping of their students are keeping an eye on the safety of the school community by being patient around the Kent Street School Zone, making use of the carpark where appropriate, and not parking on Bathurst Street.

With thanks,

Mr​ Selwyn Wu
Deputy Head of Junior School (Pastoral Care & Educational Admin)


What's on : upcoming events and activities


P&F Presents: Performing Arts

Orchestras, rock bands, ensembles, choirs, private tuition, musicals, stageplays,Theatresports, dance – the list goes on! St Andrew’s offers a huge variety of high quality performing arts opportunities.

Please join the P&F on Tuesday 17 May at 6pm in The Hub, St Andrew’s House or online. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our panellists and have all your questions answered.

The expert panel is comprised of:
Dr Christian Watson, Director of Performing Arts
Mr Ryan Desaulnier, Head of Drama and Dance
Ms Kate Robertson, Head of Music K-6

The panellists will give a short presentation which will be followed by a Q&A session.

Come along and meet these key members of school staff, the P&F Executive and other parents.  

To attend in person please RSVP hereWe request that guests are fully vaccinated and wear a mask to the meeting.

You can also join online via the link:


Is your pre-schooler ready to start school in 2023?

Do you or your friends and/or family members have interest in enrolling at St Andrew’s Cathedral School? At this information seminar, you will discover some of the developmental milestones are that point to whether or not your child is prepared for the learning that takes place in Kindergarten. Our education experts will share their wealth of experience to help guide parents on how to best prepare pre-schoolers for a more formal classroom learning setting.

Attendees will also discover:

  • what the school readiness indicators are;
  • the latest research on how to give your child the best start in their formal education;
  • what questions to ask your new school to determine whether it is the right school for your child.

Wednesday 18 May, 5.30pm

Bookings are essential. Please register your interest for the School Readiness talk for Kindergarten on our website.


Andrean Writer, Artist, Composer and Designer (new) of the Year Competition

We are proud to announce this year’s K-12 creative competition theme is – EGYPT. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, this year’s Andrean of the Year theme is Egypt. 

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! 

This year we have a NEW category – Designer of the Year – can you design something about Egypt? Design entries must be no larger than one cubic metre made from either timber, metal, plastic, textiles and/or computer programme with your name and year level clearly marked. All entries to be submitted to Mr Bacewicz in the Design Centre (Year 7-12) or Mr Ryman (Year 5-6) – computer programme entries need to be provided on a USB and need to be able to be run on school laptops without additional/specialist software. All Designer of the Year entries must include a 3-minute video explanation of how your Design represents the theme, addresses a market opportunity and demonstrates your product in use.

Judging and prizes

Entries will be judged on creativity, skill, audience engagement and originality in exploring the theme. Entries must be created in 2022 and no group entries are permitted.

First prize: $200 Secondary; $100 Primary
Runners up: $50 Secondary; $20 Primary

Click here for 2022 entry details and winners from past competitions. Entries close Monday 17 October (Term 4 Week 2).

Mr Brad Swibel
Deputy Head of School (Secondary)

     School Readiness talk for Kindergarten    

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