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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 1 Week 10 2020
Dates for your Calendar
From the Deputy Head of Primary School
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
URSTRONG- Free Family access
Library News
Parenting Tips
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Gala Dinner - The Titanic Sails Again

Message Stick, Term 1 Week 10 2020


Firstly I wish to say a very big thank you to all of our parents for engaging so successfully with the first week of our full remote learning. Students have been engaged across all year levels from Kindergarten all the way through to Year 12. Whether they are learning remotely at their homes in the city or as is the case with one our Gawura families learning remotely from a farm 20kms south of Narromine, all of our students have access to continued learning through our curriculum. The roll is still marked every day at 9am if your child is in K-6 or at 8:30am if they are in the secondary school. The school has set remote learning capabilities in place. K-2 students will be using the See Saw platform while students in Years 3-12 will be using the Schoology and One Note platforms.

School holidays will commence on Wednesday 8 April so please keep your eye on any emails that the school sends out during this time as to news about Term 2 and how this will look for our school. Although most of our students enjoy the online learning there is a common theme around missing their classmates and school itself! At the end of the day we are relational people so please keep in touch with one another and stay safe, stay well and stay healthy.

The annual Easter Hat parade will continue this year via virtual media. Just send a picture of your child with their hat (or even just the hat if they prefer not to be in it) to our school librarian Nicole Cotter to her email address which is

We were scheduled to have our next GPAC Meeting this coming Thursday but will postpone to another date in Term 2. I will let you know when this date is.

Have a wonderful and safe final week of school and then the school holidays that follow.

Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Gawura Kindergarten Enrolments

Enrolments process for Gawura Kindy 2021 will start in June.

Please ensure you have applications in for any of your younger children, and also please spread the word to anyone you know who has Kindy 2021 age children.

Application forms are available from our school website or from Mr John Ralph or Mr Bruce Perry


Dates for your Calendar


Wednesday 1 April: JS Parent Teacher Interviews - POSTPONED to a date to be confirmed

Thursday 2 April: GS Parent Teacher Interviews POSTPONED to a date to be confirmed

Thursday 2 April: GPAC Meeting - CANCELLED

Thursday 2 April: ASISSA Netball Gala Day – CANCELLED

Monday 6 April: End of Term Awards Assembly 9am Cathedral – POSTPONED

Wednesday 8 April: Virtual Easter Hat Parade - 9am

Wednesday 8 April: Easter Service 2.30pm Cathedral – CANCELLED

Wednesday 8 April: Term 1 concludes


From the Deputy Head of Primary School


Stop and Smell the Roses

One major theme in the New Testament is the challenge to God’s people to face difficulties and times of trouble, like right about NOW! We can see these times as a way to draw on our strength and character as Christians. James 1:2-4 tells us, “My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be tested. You know that when this happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. And you must allow this strength to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.”

This resilience is the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity and times of stress. To be able to draw on your strengths, to nurture and develop, to choose positive and effective thoughts and behaviours. Our SACS Character Strengths that in the light of Christ, we strive for our students to have Hearts that love, Minds that grow and Lives that give can be looked upon and referred to every day. You will find an illustration of the SACS Character Strengths on page 7 of the Junior School and Gawura School Student Diary. Here is an opportunity to share how you and your child/ children are continuing to build and develop these strengths in these uncertain and stressful times.

Meichenbaum suggests that resilience “reflects the ability to move from being a victim to being a survivor and even becoming a thriver”. This is our opportunity as a community to be reflective, to be communicative, to be hopeful and self-controlled. Our opportunity to be caring and grateful for what we have. Our opportunity to stop and smell the so-called roses, as long as you keep your distance! We, as teachers take our role in helping your beautiful children through this tricky time very seriously. Our learning curve insofar as new technologies, ways to connect, flipping our classrooms and maintaining and nurturing that very special teacher student relationship has been nothing short of phenomenal and your support, faith and understanding is very much appreciated!

What strikes me as being really encouraging is that people still have their sense of humour, the memes are coming through thick and fast on Facebook and Instagram and have me at times laughing out loud! Good medicine for isolation me thinks, although being home with 4 children, working remotely and trying to manage some sort of learning routine for them is proving to be rather challenging. But I know we will get through this. I have only, as my children describe it, ‘skitted out’ once so far, and it wasn’t that much at all. So, I am pretty happy with my 4.5-star rating! One thing I am hearing myself say is that “Well, I’m doing my best”. And you know what…. That’s good enough for me.

Just a couple of reminders to keep us all in check…

  • Everything you do online in any of the SACS and Gawura learning spaces (email, Seesaw, Schoology, OneNote) is recorded, even if you delete it. AI bots look at what is being written and alert us for cyber-bullying or inappropriate material.
  • Schoology provides a way for you to interact with your teacher(s) and other students, and such interactions should be of a similar tone to what takes place in physical classrooms and the school.
  • Interactions on Schoology/ Email /Seesaw / OneNote with teachers should only relate to schoolwork and school matters.
  • Students are not to be using phones during normal class times.
  • Teachers may have set times where students can chat with them online and stream teacher-generated instructional video lessons. These pre-arranged sessions will be clearly communicated by the teacher in the morning session.
  • It is important for you and your child to remember that teachers will be available to offer support and guidance where they can during school hours (9.30am-3pm). Please understand that if you email after hours your teacher will do their best to get back to you as soon as possible the next working day.

Last thing from me before I have my virtual morning tea of Tim-Tams and hot chocolate (Virtual because I have given myself a strict 2m square distancing protocol for chocolate) is stay safe, be kind and count your blessings!

Emily Edwards
Deputy Head of Junior School (Teaching and Learning)


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Wellbeing during Remote Learning

Remote Learning is now a reality and the daunting task for most parents and caregivers of establishing new routines and schedules for their children, whilst juggling work responsibilities, is likely to be challenging.

Some students will transition seamlessly to this new learning environment, whilst others may struggle. Therefore it will be vitally important for parents to be vigilant in looking for signs of worry and loneliness. Parents will need to continue to be reassuring and supportive in this time of uncertainty and acknowledge that this may be a stressful time for students of all ages.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral School is working hard behind the scenes to ensure each child’s academic needs are met, but parents will need to play a key role in providing them with the structure and groundwork for thriving. Young people will be looking towards their parents to keep things in context and help ease the transition to a different learning environment.

In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to navigate this time of transition with minimal disruption. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and how you can use it to support your family in this time of change. (Note: This special report uses the phrase ‘Home schooling’ which means the same as Remote Learning)

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report

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

Bronwyn Wake
Junior school Wellbeing Co-ordinator


URSTRONG- Free Family access


As part of our SEW (Social & Emotional Wellbeing) program we are planning to launch the URSTRONG friendship program across the Junior School later in the year.  This program explicitly teaches children how to develop healthy friendships and how to manage conflict in a positive way, helping them flourish.  However, in these current challenging times we believe it is critical that children continue to feel safe and connected while parents are provided with all the support they need. Our partner, URSTRONG, is helping us achieve this by providing parents with free lifetime access to their URSTRONG Family membership. To access your complimentary membership, please visit and use the coupon code URSTRONG.


Library News


Premier's Reading Challange

Story Box

In these changing times, we are delighted to let you know about the support you can access from our school library at home.

While at home, your child will be able to access Story Box Library, a wonderful resource where they can watch their favourite stories being read aloud by diverse and engaging storytellers. Story Box Library employs the talents of everyday sportspeople, musicians, grandparents, teenagers, comedians, actors and authors - each with varying accents and from different cultures - and each filmed reading aloud a selection of hand-picked classics and the newest popular book titles.

To access Story Box Library from home:

  • Visit
  • Choose Log In from the top right corner of the screen
  • Use the username and password provided to you

Enjoy the library of stories on any device that has  internet connection!

The following blog outlines how to make the most of Story Box Library at home. There are now activity pages linked to many stories.

Your child’s classroom teacher will direct you to the stories that the whole class will be studying together. Apart from those assigned texts, please feel free to explore the 350+ stories you will have access to.

The login details are
Username: SACSLIB
Password: sacslib

As members of the SACS community, you also have access to an eBook librariy from home. This eLibrary has a good selection of books, which are organized according to age, popularity and even Premier’s Reading Challenge categories.

With you in the joy of reading, whether at school, or at home,

Nicole Cotter

JSGS Teacher Librarian


Parenting Tips


Leading the way for children

Wow who would have thought that we would be here at this point in time?? I have never experienced anything like this and I’m sure I am not alone!!

My favourite author – Michael Grose has written an article this week in his Parenting Ideas blog that is well worth reading. 

"If you’re like me, the news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has your head spinning and your heart pumping. That’s only natural as life as we know has taken a seismic shift in recent days.

International travel bans, cancellation of sporting and cultural events, shopping frenzies and talk of school closures continue to dominate the airwaves. Terms such as social distancing, self-isolation and social lockdowns have entered our vocabularies and may soon become part of our daily lives.

Coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on our daily lives, and will probably do so for some time. While keeping ourselves and children healthy and safe is our main concern, it’s also essential to address the anxieties of children and young people during these changing times. Here are some ideas to help inform, reassure and keep children and young people safe.

1. Build on what your children know
Children and young people have already been exposed to a great deal of information about corona virus through media, digital means and direct social contact. Their understanding will vary depending on their age and also the quality of their information sources so you probably will need to help kids process what they already know.

2. Check your own thoughts and feelings
Check your own frame of mind and emotions about COVID-19 before talking to kids. Most children are astute mood detectives and they’ll gauge their safety by the way you communicate with them. If you tell a child, “You’ve got to wash your hands or you’ll get infected,” you are communicating your own anxieties, making it difficult for them to maintain a healthy state of mind. Have a think about how you can frame your instructions and their importance in a way that doesn’t heighten your child’s anxieties.

3. Stay informed
It’s difficult to work out fact from fiction, correct from incorrect, information from exaggeration when the news is changing so fast. However, you need to educate yourself about the virus itself, including how it’s transmitted and how to stay safe. Get information from trustworthy sources such as The Australian Government Health Department website and the current federal government corona virus information media campaign.

4. Answer questions truthfully
It’s important that parents and teachers answer children’s questions honestly in age-appropriate ways and within context of what is happening at the given time. If their sport or hobby has been temporarily cancelled empathise with their concerns, while helping them maintain a sense of perspective.

5. Initiate positive action
One way to reduce anxiety and allay children’s fears is to involve them in planning and preparation for their personal and group safety. Positive activities such as maintenance of personal hygiene, greeting people with an elbow tap and getting plenty of sleep can help restore a sense of control, that is so important for their wellbeing.

6. Find refuge in rituals
Regular rituals such as mealtimes, bedtime stories and regular one-on-one time provide both an anchor to normality and a sense of connection for kids at times of change. Consider reconstituting favoured family rituals at this time if they have lapsed due to lack of time, or lifestyle frenzy.

7. Look outwards
In difficult times there is a tendency to look inwards, which is a natural protective strategy. The alternative is to establish a sense of connection and community spirit by focusing on generosity and togetherness. Help children see past their own needs and look for ways to assist others whether it’s shopping for an elderly neighbour, helping a younger sibling occupy themselves, or planning an indoor movie night for the whole family.
The Coronavirus presents many practical challenges to parents and other important adults in the lives of kids. Staying calm, keeping informed, and adjusting our own habits are just some of the challenges we face. However, a significant challenge is one of personal leadership. That is, during these difficult times we need to be civil to each other, look out for each other and be mindful of the common good in everything we do. In this, we can all take a significant lead.”

I hope you are encouraged by this article as I was. We will get to the end of this tunnel!

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


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 8am – 12pm.The number of the practice is 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.


Gala Dinner - The Titanic Sails Again


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