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In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Message from our Technology Coordinator
Library news
Music news
Sports news
What's happening in the Art Space?
Parenting tips
Gifted and Talented Education
What's on: upcoming events and activities

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


What a busy fortnight we have just had in Gawura. Firstly, a very big thank you to all the parents who helped with the amazing Book Week Character costumes. The students looked amazing last Friday 25 August. The colour and excitement certainly reverberated throughout the Cathedral.

On Friday evening 18 August we held the annual Gawura Cocktail Evening with the theme being First Inventors, Tomorrow’s Creators. It was a wonderful evening of performances from our Gawura students Indigenous Strings Group and thanks to Ms Williams who shared her Indigenous knowledge of the Brewarrina Fish Traps which Aunty Leanna Carr-Smith helped to prepare. It was a lovely night to have the opportunity to yarn and mingle with people across our entire school community who help support our Gawura Program.

Also last Friday 18 August we held our initial Aboriginal Secondary Student Wellbeing Lunch which was attended by 98% of our Indigenous secondary students. We plan to do this twice a term with the next one being in Week 8 on Friday 8 September.

A big thank you to the Gawura families who attended the Yarning Session With Parents on Tuesday 15 August at the Long Room at Redfern Oval. Indigenous artist (Peter Joy Williams) lead the group through bracelet making and basket weaving activities. Our next event will be held at La Perouse with us being hosted by Aunty Barbara Simms. Look out for a calendar invite in the coming weeks.

On Monday 14 August our students attended a cultural excursion to Muru Mittigar at Rouse Hill. Students learnt about Aboriginal art, culture, food and technology and throwing boomerangs. Our Gawura students also invited a friend from their Junior School buddy class to go with them. Please see some attached photos for some highlights.

Finally, we would like to remind everyone of the upcoming JSGS Musical Pinocchio. Our students have been rehearsing solidly throughout this term and it’s always a highlight to see the students performing on stage along with their friends.

We wish you a wonderful and safe fortnight ahead.
May grace and peace be yours in abundance.


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Monday 28 August
Public Speaking round 2 (this week)

Tuesday 29 August
Years 3 and 4 Taronga Zoo excursion

Wednesday 30 August 
ICAS Mathematics

Thursday 31 August
- Pinocchio rehearsal Years 3-6
- Year 2 to Tumbalong Park

Monday 4 September
Maths Games and Olympiad Competition

Tuesday 5 September, 6pm
P&F General Meeting

Wednesday 6 September
- Pinocchio dress rehearsal Years 3-6
- Gateways Ignite

Thursday 7 September
- ASISSA Athletics Carnival
- Junior School and Gawura production of My Son Pinocchio Jr

Friday 8 September
- K-2 excursion to Pinocchio
- Junior School and Gawura production of My Son Pinocchio Jr

Monday 11 September
- Junior School and Gawura Year 12 farewell assembly
- Public Speaking round 3 (during this week)

Wednesday 13 September
The Great Book Swap

Thursday 14 September, 8am
Coffee in the Hub – Year 4 parents

Friday 15 September
Year 6 Music Concert


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



For a full list of the latest Heart/Mind/Life and Uniform awards, click here


Wellbeing Initiatives

In the lead up to the Voice Referendum later this year we have been advised by parents at our recent GPAC Meeting of a wonderful resource about Wellbeing Initiatives for First Nations Peoples to use if they wish to as we approach the date, click here


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


Respectful Relationships

A key aspect of our explicit teaching of friendship skills and the PDH programme throughout Junior School and Gawura is equipping children with an understanding of healthy versus unhealthy relationships. This understanding assists them to make informed choices, foster positive connections, and set boundaries that contribute to their emotional wellbeing. Understanding the nuances between healthy and unhealthy relationships provides children with the essential tools to navigate their social world, build self-esteem and cultivate meaningful relationships.

Similarly, fostering an environment of respectful relationships within your family holds the key to not only harmonious living, but also improved academic outcomes for your children. As parents and caregivers, embracing the art of teaching children about respect at a young age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy interactions and empathetic understanding. It helps to cultivate a positive environment where communication flourishes, conflicts are resolved constructively and bonds are fortified.

Teaching children to respect themselves and others opens avenues for effective communication, active listening and an understanding of compromise. This helps to provide children with a solid foundation that will transcend family interactions and help them collaborate effectively with peers, teachers and the broader community. If you would like to learn more about how to foster positive relationships with your child and in your family take a look at this edition of SchoolTV.

Mrs​​​​ Bronwyn Wake
Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Coordinator and Psychologist/Counsellor


Message from our Technology Coordinator


Charging devices

In the last few months there has been an increased number of students in Years 5 and 6 who are coming to school without charging their School issued device. This creates added stress to students who worry that they won’t make it through the day and then impacts how they can be involved in classes. While we balance the use of devices in the classroom, students still need to be able to access their device for a variety of subjects and not having it hinders their involvement. In many classes a log is kept of students who regularly come to school without charging their device, with consequences for students who are regularly unprepared for lessons.

With this in mind, it would be helpful if parents and guardians could remind their children of the importance of charging their device every night.

Tips for charging devices:

Responsibility: By Years 5 and 6 students should be responsible for charging their own device. They shouldn’t require someone else to charge it for them.

Reserve: Have a location set aside for charging, outside of the bedroom, in a position that won’t cause someone to trip on the charging cable and most importantly won’t cause distraction of an evening.

Routine: Similar to cleaning teeth every night before bed, students should have a routine, that when they finish their homework for the night, they put their device on to charge in their designated position.

Reliable: By using the School issued charger, devices charge efficiently and quickly.

Restart: It is helpful for students to regularly restart their devices. This is useful as it pushes through updates and flushes your system's memory.

Remember: In the morning students need to ensure that they have packed their device.

Mr Tim Ryman
Technology Coordinator Junior School and Gawura


Library news


Book Week thanks

Thanks to all the families, students and teachers who made last week a wonderful celebration of books. In the library, Mrs Bennett had prepared amazing craft activities, each of which was connected to one of the Shortlisted books. Lunchtime visiting students made frogs, giraffes, scratch art, magic clay animals and miniature houses from recycled materials. Morris Gleitzman generously shared his number one most important writing tip to students in Years 5 and 6, and Ben Wood led students in Kindy to Year 4 in how to create expressive illustrations. Some students were fortunate enough to take home books signed by one of our talented visitors. The week ended with our Book Parade Spectacular! Our many thanks to parents who support their children to embrace the day in such an amazing display of colour, extravagance and creativity – all to celebrate books!


Shadow Judges

This year, for some months, two groups of students have been ‘shadowing’ the official CBCA judges, learning to critique one of the categories of Shortlisted books. Students in 3/4 Gawura were Shadow Judges for the Picture Book category, while a select group of keen readers from Years 5 and 6 judged the Younger Readers category. For the first time ever, these groups were empowered to have a voice and cast a vote for their choice of the Book of the Year. The process shed light on the criteria that is used to select the Book of the Year and equipped students to read more widely and with more attention to the details that make stories great.

The shadow judging experience culminated in two extraordinary opportunities. 3/4 Gawura Shadow Judges were invited to star in the filming of the official announcement of the Kids Book of the Year, while Shadow Judges of the Younger Readers category were invited to attend the official Book of the Year announcement. Rafferty McGonigle represented our School magnificently, reviewing Xavier in the Meantime, by Kate Gordon, for the audience, as a teaser before the announcement was made.

“I thought it was fun bouncing off all those ideas with each other.” – Emma Dowsett, Year 5

“I read a lot of books I would have never picked up.” – Camilla Mao, Year 6

“I found it interesting that the books I enjoyed the most were the ones that I would probably never look twice at. – Clementine Collier, Year 6


The Great Book Swap

The next big event on the Library calendar is The Great Book Swap. ‘As new’ books may be donated to the Junior School and Gawura Library up to Friday 8 September.

The Book Swap will be held on Wednesday 13 September.

Students donate a gold coin for every book they want to purchase, with proceeds going to support the work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Grateful to be part of the growing of young minds and hearts through words on a page,

Nicole Cotter
Coordinator Information and Digital Literacy – Junior School and Gawura


Music news



Congratulations to all students who participated in the Cello Masterclass with Paul Ghica on Thursday 24 August. Matthew Ting and Rafferty McGonigle performed and received feedback on their playing in front of the audience which was a courageous thing to do. Well done on the preparation of your pieces and for being willing to be placed in the spotlight in this way, for the benefit of not only your own learning, but that of others too. Thank you to Miss Sandi Oh for organising this fabulous event.

Thank you to Hugo Gilmovich, Idelia Cao, Brandon Cheung and Koji Takamura who generously gave up their evening on Monday 21 August to perform at the Junior School Twilight Tour event. All students played beautifully and it was a joy to see them perform.

Congratulations also to Bryden Walker, Kallarah Silva, Nyarla Gordon and Mizpah Klink for their excellent performance at the Gawura Cocktail Evening on Friday 18 August, as well as Ms Niamh Armstrong for preparing and running the string group item on the night. These events were all expertly accompanied by Ms Szu Yu Chen. Thank you all!

Mrs Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K‑6)


Sports news


Girls touch football Round 5 game reports

  • Year 5A – Highlighting their continual improvement and demonstrating their high level of skills, the girls defeated Meriden 6-1.
  • Year 6A – A fast game saw quick tries scored by both teams, but ultimately the St Andrew's girls were winners with a 3-1 score line over Ascham.
  • Year 6B – Displaying an outstanding team effort with a lot of quality passing movements, the girls defeated Kambala 6-4.

IPSHA Code of Conduct links

IPSHA have asked schools to distribute the Code of Conduct as a reminder for parents and spectators attending Saturday sport.  Please click here to see the IPSHA Sport Code of Conduct.

ASISSA and IPSHA Athletics

50 Junior School students will be representing St Andrew's Cathedral School at both the ASISSA and IPSHA Athletics Carnivals being held in the coming weeks. We wish these students all the best – we know you will do St Andrew's proud.

Term 4 sports outlook

We are in the process of finalising the Term 4 sporting programme in the Junior School. Saturday sport will be focused on cricket and basketball for both boys and girls. The Thursday afternoon sporting programme will again include some positive changes to allow for a more diverse offering and wider student participation. Kindergarten and Stage 1 will be heading to the Aquatic Centre for swimming lessons. Stay tuned for more details to come soon.

Mr ​​​​Oliver Denny
Head of Sport Junior School


What's happening in the Art Space?


Year 5 linocut printing

Just as the sensation of the first printing press hit the western world in the 15th century with Gutenberg’s transformational invention, the art of printing has captured the imaginative and creative capacity of many of our Year 5 students this term. It’s a detailed process whereby students create a drawn image before transferring it onto a print block (lino block), then carve out the image with a range of carving tools. The finished carved-out block allows the image to be printed multiple times and in multiple ways, adjusting the effects with each print.


2023 Young Andrean Artist of the Year Awards: The Opera House

It’s time to get creative and to start thinking about your entry for this special annual competition, which this year, asks our young artists to create a piece of work around the iconic Sydney Opera House.  The work must be done by you – the student.  Entries must be A3 size, no more than 5mm thick, and can be in all formats – painting, textiles, drawing, printmaking, photography, graphic design etc.  For more information download the flyer.

Entries to be submitted to the Junior School Reception – name and Year level clearly marked on the back of your work, please.

Mrs​​​​ Miriam Daly
Visual Arts Integrator Junior School and Gawura


Parenting tips


Navigating tricky friendships

My best friend and I had a huge difference of opinion many years ago. We didn’t talk for some years. It is all fine now and our friendship has healed. On reflection I said something to her that was probably harsh and hurtful. I thought I was being helpful and a good friend!

At school we often see friendship fires between students. Sometimes this is due to misunderstandings or differences of opinions on things. We are endeavouring through our SEW lessons each week, to help students navigate these misunderstandings and differences, by providing scenarios, language and strategies to enable this to happen... hopefully!

Sharon Witt, author for Parenting Ideas, has written an article about friendship and she has raised some interesting and helpful ideas. She talks about friendships in school and how these can be complex as children navigate and find their place in the world. Sharon says: “in the early years, many friendships are developed through manufactured situations and groups we are involved in as parents. First time mother’s groups, antenatal birthing classes, playgroup, church groups and other friendship groups for mothers, often become the first opportunities that our children have to play and develop these early skills of relating to their peers. It is during these early toddler years that we can safely observe and guide our children’s play time. We can help them deal with minor disputes over whose turn it is to play with the truck, use the dress up cape or the blocks. We teach our children to play fairly, share and take turns.”

“As our children enter their early Primary School years, these friendships develop more out of our earshot. Some parents may even feel a little concerned that they will not know each of their child’s friends at school and whom they choose to be influenced by.”

So what makes a good friend?

From an early age, we can have conversations with our children around what makes a good, healthy friendship. What are the qualities we look for in a friend? Honest, trustworthy, friendly, dependable, kind-hearted, humorous, forgiving. So as parents and teachers what can we do to help our children be a good friend? Sharon Witt gives us this very valuable advice.

1. Lead by example
Whether we like it or not, our children are observing us all the time. They watch how we speak, act and conduct our own friendships.

2. Model your own positive friendships
Demonstrate that a friendship is a two-way street by phoning your friend occasionally, sending an encouraging note or card, or making a meal for them if they are unwell. When we do these things naturally in our own relationships, we are teaching our children how supportive real friendships can be.

3. Dealing with tricky friends
We will always encounter friendships that can become a little complex or tricky at times. Our children will find this very difficult when it occurs but we can teach them how to handle this effectively and let them know that it is okay to set their own boundaries and enforce these when necessary.

4. Hurt feelings
Feelings will often be hurt during our friendships – that is the nature of living in a relationship and part of a community. However, it is how we deal with hurt feelings – that is most important. When your child experiences hurt feelings, try and use this as a teachable moment! We cannot possibly protect our children from having their feelings hurt or having to deal with difficult people but we can teach them how to respond and learn valuable life skills about navigating tricky friendships.

5. Most friendships won’t last forever
The reality is, most of our early friendships don’t continue on forever and this is a good point to teach our children. Some friends are with us for a reason, and some for just a season. But each will bring something unique to our lives and perhaps teach us a lesson – even if that lesson is what we don’t want or need in a friend.

6. Be friendly!
As much as this may seem like such a simple point to make, it is important that our children learn to be friendly – even to those who are unkind or cause conflict in our lives. There will always be people who annoy us, speak rudely to us for no apparent reason. But we are not always privy to what is going on in their lives. If someone is mean on purpose or nasty to your child, explain to them that we don’t always understand why people choose to be rude to us or react in certain ways. What we can do is demonstrate some grace and act with kindness.

Lastly, on a very positive note, Elbert Hubbard said: "In order to have friends, you must first be one."

This is a good quote to teach our young people. “So often, our children complain that they have no real friends, or they are not popular at school. But this quote is a timely reminder that they need to practice being a friend. The more you practice being friendly and being interested in others, the more people will be drawn to you.” Sharon Witt – Parenting Ideas blog April 2018.

Mrs Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Gifted and Talented Education



Mosman Youth Awards in Literature

Congratulations to Violet and Patrick Bloxsom for their achievement in the 2023 Mosman Youth Awards in Literature. Violet achieved First Place in the Primary Prose category, and Patrick achieved a Highly Commended award!

Below is an extract from Violet’s story, titled ‘Betty’:

“Down in the laundry, Betty stretched pantyhose over her bruised shins. She slipped a pastel pink petticoat over her bony hips. She pulled on a stiff corset, doing her best to adjust the thick laces at the back. She selected a freshly laundered blouse, arranging the frills around her neck and wrists. She adjusted bustles around her bottom and fluffed a heavy skirt to the ground, making sure to cover her prison boots. She swept her knotted locks into a bun at the base of her neck and, finally, she placed the warden’s wife’s finest straw sunhat atop her head. Dressed head to toe in stolen clothing, it had taken for Betty to go to prison to become a criminal.

Swiftly, silently, Betty slipped into the crowd. Her heart was pounding and she swallowed hard. She smiled politely as she sauntered past guards, pausing briefly among different groups of women so as not to appear suspicious. Betty took a deep breath and with a final look over her ruffled shoulder, she simply strode straight out of Melbourne Gaol, never to be seen again.”

Interschool Chess Challenge semi-final

On Wednesday 23 August, Zaccary Chieng, Blake Harvey, Leon Kenny, Karen Preston, and Koji Takamura competed in the Interschool Chess Challenge semi-final at Ku-ring-gai Town Hall. The students played brilliantly in the 7-round ‘Swiss’ competition, with Blake Harvey placing fourth in the competition overall. The enthusiasm and team spirit that the students demonstrated was particularly outstanding. Well done to all involved!

Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee

Congratulations to Patrick Bloxsom, Elliot Fok, Benjamin McDonald, Tom Xue and Vanessa Yang for progressing to the State and Territory Finals Competition Round of the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee. This achievement places the students in the Top 100 of all entrants from the School Competition Round. Good luck to the students this week as they participate in the next stage of the competition!



Extension Philosophy Club

This year Philosophy Club has been a wonderful extension opportunity for Years 1-2 high ability students. Philosophy provides a framework for students to think deeply about the world and society.

In Philosophy, students ask deep questions which explore connections between human thought and life experiences. Ideas in Philosophy are often abstract but still connect to real world contexts.

Types of questions asked in Philosophy may include:

  • What is good?
  • What is beauty?
  • Do we have free will?
  • What makes good friendship?
  • What is truth?
  • What is evil?
  • Do you have to see to believe?
  • What is the connection between mind and body?
  • Is it more powerful to love or hate?

The study of Philosophy does not promote one correct answer. In fact, in the field of Philosophy there is great dispute and disagreement about philosophical questions. Consequently, Philosophy is a wonderful extension avenue for high ability students as it encourages critical and analytical thinking.

This year selected students in Years 1-2 explored Philosophy in two units. Firstly, the platform for philosophical discussion was a range of picture books written by Anthony Brown. Silly Billy explored the concept of reality and fantasy as well as whether it is fair to share worries and burden with others. Willy And The Cloud looked at emotions represented by types of weather and how people can have different emotional experiences of the same reality. Willy and Hugh provided discussions about how outward appearances may not match inward character. This is why we can be fooled by outward appearances.

The second Philosophy unit engaged with a series of philosophical stories of 'Frizz and Shine' by Steve Williams and Jason Buckley. The Book Of Life looked at good and bad leadership and whether we should enjoy following a leader. The Race addressed the idea of winning and losing. Students discussed if winning is about knowing that you beat others. Growing Friendship explored sharing friendships – do we halve friendships when we share a friend. Deserving addressed good and bad consequences and whether these are always deserved.

Below are some reflections from students:

I like Philosophy Club because you can make suggestions and answer questions that don’t always have one answer. We have different opinions, but we have to explain why. I like the short stories that help our discussion. Some of the ideas we’ve discussed this term are friendships, promises, deserving and leadership. – Queenie Ainsworth (2C)

Philosophy means love of wisdom. So in Philosophy Club we are trying to think about what is wise and true. In Philosophy Club we have had to make predictions and then explain them. We have discussed what makes a good friend and what makes a good leader. We talked about what is certain – for example it is certain that we will grow old. But then there are lots of uncertainties whether we will go to school, the future, inventions and people.
 – Tyson Happer (2C)

Mrs Rebecca Lord
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Junior School and Gawura



What's on: upcoming events and activities


Term 3 – P&F General Meeting

Please join the P&F Executive, a senior member of the School Executive and other parents at the next P&F General Meeting. We will discuss school activities, focuses and future plans in an informal setting.

There will also be a discussion on co-curricular sport and the opportunity for a Q&A with a member of the sports department.

No RSVP necessary. In person only.

Tuesday 5 September, 6pm-7.30pm
The Community Hub, Level 4 St Andrew's House


We can't wait to see our Junior School and Gawura students perform this classic Disney tale – next week!

Sometimes, discovering what you have…  is better than getting what you want.

Next week, Junior School and Gawura will bring Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr to the stage at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. All students in Years 3 to 6 are involved in this musical adventure.

In this twist on the traditional Pinocchio story, Geppetto’s wish for a son is granted by the Blue Fairy, but parenting is not quite as he imagined it to be. Pinocchio has a mind of his own, which Geppetto doesn’t like. Because even when Pinocchio tries to follow Geppetto’s instructions, he somehow lands in trouble. Knowing Geppetto’s disappointment, Pinocchio sets out to make his own way in the world, but this too is not as easy as it seems. With the greedy puppeteer Stromboli keen to hold on to Pinocchio, the promise of a perfect child for Geppetto, and the lure of Pleasure Island for Pinocchio desperately seeking freedom, will Pinocchio and Geppetto ever be reunited?

Download the flyer and share it with family and friends.

Join us for the St Andrew’s Cathedral School’s Junior School and Gawura production of Disney’s My Son Pinocchio Jr! Tickets are on sale through The Concourse Theatre.


  • Evening Performances
    Thursday 7 September, 6.30pm
    Friday 8 September, 6.30pm
  • Matinee Performance
    Friday 8 September, 12.30pm: Students in K-2 and Year 7 will be taken to see this performance. Parents and carers of children in K-2 are welcome to join us for our 'Afternoon at the Theatre'.

Buy tickets to see My Son Pinocchio Jr


Thank you sponsors!

Thank you to our generous sponsors who are supporting this production of My Son Pinocchio Jr:


Pinocchio level



Gepetto level



Blue Fairy level


Code Camp – Book now for the School Holidays

Code Camp School Holiday programme is available to book now.

Click here for more information and early bird discount.