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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 4 Week 1 2020
Dates for your Calendar
After School Care provider – TheirCare
Library News
Sports News
Public Speaking
Parenting Tips
Ultimate Andreans 2020
"The Outlet" at the Anglican Church Rozelle
NSW Health Message
Step by Step
Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer (new) of the Year Competition
P&F Presents
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 4 Week 1 2020


A very big welcome back to everyone for Term 4. Although this is only a short term of 8 weeks, term 4 is usually the busiest with so many activities and curriculum to get through. This term is no different. Our annual NAIDOC Event which this year had to be postponed from July will now take place online on Tuesday 10 November. This year’s theme of Always Was, Always Will Be is most appropriate and we will let you know further details on how you can view this closer to the date.

Some COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted for schools in Term 4 which means our students are now allowed to attend excursions and also camps. All Indigenous students across K-12 will be attending a cultural excursion to the Sydney Botanic Gardens on Wednesday 28 October to look at what life would have looked like for the Gadigal clan and also Indigenous foods, instruments and tools. Gawura students will be allowed to wear their cultural shirts for this Indigenous field trip.

Mrs Robertson our JSGS Director of Music has taken possession of a number of pianos for our Gawura students to practice on at home. These have been delivered and if your child is not currently learning how to play the piano and you would like them to start, just let me know via return email or text me and I will pass your details onto our Music department. There is a piano or two that is still available which we can arrange to be delivered to your home.

Please see further information below about the new After School Care service called Their Care who are now involved in our Junior and Gawura Schools. Their Care are offering their services for free to Gawura Scholarship students including Vacation Care even during the school holidays. Please see below for details on how to register and enrol your child if you wish to use this service.

If your child is presenting with any cough or cold, flu like symptoms please keep them at home and see a doctor. All the students at school are highly aware of the safe hygiene practices that will help keep coronavirus out of our school. With continued safe hygiene practices we hope to continue to keep all of our students, staff and school community safe as well. We are ‘in this together’ and together we can get through this.
Have a safe and pleasant fortnight ahead.

John Ralph
Head of Gawura


COVID-19 Restrictions and Term 4

Our current restrictions continue this term. Please click here for school procedures.

It is worthwhile for parents/carers to be aware of the following changes for Term 4:

  • Term 4 resumes Monday 12 October between 8am and 8.35am
  • School concludes at 3.10pm, students to be picked up by 3.30pm
  • Students who have returned from Victoria or overseas must self-isolate at home for 14 days and notify the school
  • Parents/carers and visitors are not permitted on school grounds or events unless by appointment. This includes not attending assemblies, presentations, events, training, carnivals whether on school grounds or off site venues
  • Term 4 Sport resumes this week; however, no spectators are permitted at this time - this includes parents/carers
  • The School encourages students and staff to wear masks when travelling by public transport
  • Assemblies and Chapels will remain online at the moment and resume later this term
  • Any student who is ill must not come to school

Dates for your Calendar


Monday 12 October: Term 4 begins

Thursday 15 October: Allwell Testing

Friday 16 October, 7pm: Step by Step Dance Performance ONLINE

Friday 16 October: Year 6 Market Stall

Wednesday 21 October: JSGS Term Service

Thursday 22 October: GPAC Meeting

Tuesday 27 October: P&F Presents: The branches of the SACS family tree

Wednesday 28 October: Indigenous cultural excursion to Sydney Botanic Gardens


After School Care provider – TheirCare


After School Care for Gawura Students

TheirCare is the new After School Care provider for St Andrew’s Cathedral School and Gawura School. They have offered free after school care for Indigenous students on the Gawura scholarship which also includes Vacation Care during the school holidays. All you need to do is register your child online. The prices stated below do not apply to Gawura students. Gawura students can attend for free as long as you enrol and let them know that your child will be attending.

If you have any questions about TheirCare or would like to enrol your child, please contact Lianna or Rebecca.

Liana Wotton – St Andrew’s Area Manager 
M. 0455 552 231

Rebecca  - St Andrew’s Coordinator (day to day contact)
M. 0407 895 967 (Operating hours only)


Library News


Although we don’t have many weeks in this final term of 2020, we will be packing in as much as we can in the library, starting with International Games Week next week!

Our library will join over a thousand libraries around the world during International Games Week as they transform their libraries with play. Students can look forward to a selection of longer-range board games and puzzles that can be played over the whole week. As in previous years, we will dust off the Wii for some Mario Kart racing. And our K-2 students can look forward to some more messy play than we normally have in the library.

We will be celebrating NAIDOC week from 9-13 November with special lunchtime activities which will be hosted by Middle and Senior School student-leader volunteers, and we will be highlighting some of the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples authors and illustrators.

We will wrap up the term with a LEGO Masters’ Competition (23-27 November). Stay tuned for more details. Looking forward to a wonderful term of reading, learning and fun.


Nicole Cotter
JS & GS Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy


Sports News


Cross Country & Mini Athletics

On Thursday 17 September we held our annual Cross Country Carnival at Queens Park. This was due to happen earlier in the year during Term 2, however, due to COVID we had to delay the prestigious event. We managed to find the hottest day since summer, but the students certainly put their best foot forward and completed the challenging course without trouble. It’s always impressive watching cross country and how students demonstrate perseverance and determination to the challenges presented. Well done to all students who completed the course and particularly those who managed to gain a ribbon on the day!

On Thursday 24 September we had the K-2 Mini Athletics Carnival at Moore Park. It was a beautiful day full of action and fun events for students to participate in. It’s designed to give students the opportunity to have a go at athletic based activities to test out their fundamental movement skills and prepare for carnivals in the upper primary years. All students did a fantastic effort and there were plenty of stickers handed out to recognise this!

Tony Dunseath
Assistant Year 8 Coordinator, Curriculum Coordinator, JS Teacher


Public Speaking


2020 Public Speaking Competition

During Term 3, the Junior School and Gawura School participated in its Annual Public Speaking Competition. The aim of the Public Speaking Competition is to provide students with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to express themselves clearly, with confidence and power, in a variety of speaking situations.

Congratulations to all students who prepared and presented speeches, with a particular congratulations to those who represented their class in the Public Speaking Grand Finals. The calibre of speeches and range of topics this year was outstanding and made for some difficult decisions for our adjudicators.

Well done to the overall winners of the 2020 Public Speaking Competition:

Kindergarten: Liam Koo
Year One: Violet Pendlebury-Simmons
Year Two: James Yeung
Year Three: Violet Bloxsom
Year Four: Siddhan Krishna
Year Five: Milo Davies
Year Six: Joseph Scott

Miss Alix Vanny




Online School Readiness Test

As the school prepares for NAPLAN Online assessments from 2021, both Year 2 and Year 4 students will undertake a readiness test in Week 3 of this term.

We have trained key staff across the school and feel we are very well placed to undertake the step into NAPLAN Online assessments from next year. These sample tests will not be marked, nor recorded, and we will use pseudonyms.

The test will focus on the school’s capability, rather than on student readiness. Nonetheless, we believe it will benefit Year 2 and Year 4 in familiarising them to the process in preparedness for NAPLAN testing next year.


Parenting Tips


Preventing parent burnout

Well here we are; Term 4 is ahead and then the end of the year, to which many of us will say wooo hooo. Bring it on!! Michael Grose has written this blog this month on Preventing Parent Burnout. Something we can all have a read through and ponder his simple but effective ideas and suggestions that you may well be doing already.

The longevity of the COVID pandemic is an enormous challenge to many of us. Our capacity to adapt to acutely stressful situations such as natural disasters has been severely depleted by the long-term nature of the pandemic. Our surge capacity, an adaptation mechanism that helps us survive short-term difficulties, is not designed to get us through long term disasters such as the pandemic.

There is no handbook for functioning in a pandemic however it’s apparent that we need to accept that life will probably be different for some time. Putting in place strategies that maintain our personal wellbeing is now a priority.

Ironically, many of us are denied self-care activities as a result of the pandemic. For many people coffee with friends, a massage or a visit to the gym are the types of self care activities that are now out of reach, so flexibility and resourcefulness is needed.
Here’s some researched-based strategies to practise at home that will help develop feelings of equilibrium and calm.

Take some deep breaths

Neuroscience shows us how breathing shifts the brain into different states. Short, sharp breaths send a message to the brain that we are moving, even though we may be sitting in a chair. Conversely, slow, rhythmic breathing tells the brain that we’re calm and feeling good. It’s the quickest way to engage the body’s relaxation response.

Implementation tips:
Make regular deep breathing part of your day. Choose a time of the day that suits you to practise and stick to it. Consider linking deep breathing to regular activity such as before the start of the day, during lunchtimes, or when you take a daily walk.

Create mindful moments

The human mind is restless, wandering all over the place. This is exhausting, particularly for anxious personality types. Mindfulness is a simple way to make your wandering mind rest and settle into the present, closing the fight or flight response in our amygdala, the part of the brain which plays an important role in emotion and behaviour.

Implementation tips:
Mindfulness can be practised anywhere, anytime, such as when we’re eating lunch, taking a walk or sitting in a chair at home. It can be done in short two to five minute sessions, which means it can be squeezed in between many regular commitments.

Get moving

Exercise is a healthy way to improve mood, relieve tension and prepare for sleep. Endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that increase feelings of wellbeing, are released which explains why many people get hooked on running, walking and other forms of movement.

Implementation tips:
Exercise can easily be set aside when life pressures mount, unless it’s embedded in your lifestyle. A Penn State University study found 30 minutes of exercise a day has a significantly measurable impact on a person’s effectiveness and wellbeing. The study’s founders recommend that people make use of hidden moments such as power walking from place to place, standing and moving around more, turning wait time into movement and stretching time, and getting up ten minutes earlier to exercise and set the movement tone for the day. These are simple measures that every person can do regardless of how busy they are.

Find green

Science supports the impact of green time on our mental health. Researchers have found a direct correlation between time spent in natural environments and a lowering of cortisol levels, the stress hormone that helps maintain our anxious states. The human brain was designed to cope with outdoor living, so it feels most comfortable in that environment.

Implementation tips:
Visiting the bush or beach may be out for now but a daily walk in a park, garden, or backyard will bring similar wellbeing benefits. Bring some green inside with some indoor plants strategically placed at home. Regular green time is a wonderful natural remedy for anxiety and stress and a natural antidote for many of the mental health problems caused by increased screen time.

If you’re already practising self-care then set aside any feelings of guilt and simply enjoy the calm it brings. If looking after yourself has never been a high priority then now is a great time to start. Begin with small steps – pick one or two activities and build from there. The key is to make these wellbeing treats habit-forming behaviours so that they become a regular part of your daily life.

Great advice!
Looking forward to a wonderful Term 4. 😊

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Ultimate Andreans 2020


13 Years at SACS!

Congratulations to our Ultimate Andreans, including our first girls Ultimate Andreans who received their medals this Monday at the Junior School farewell to Year 12. Ultimate Andreans are our students who commenced at SACS in Kindergarten and continued all the way through to Year 12. As Kindergarten has only been part of SACS since 2005, this is still a very small and special group. Our newest Ultimate Andreans are:

Jaspar Harris
Dominic Kerin
Jack Nicholls
Keziah Bailey
Eleni Newbery
Jason Inglezos
Daniel Magee
Jeffrey Pullen


"The Outlet" at the Anglican Church Rozelle


Sunday's at 9.30am - students welcome

If you have a high school student and they are looking to work through some of those more curly questions about Jesus, God, or how the bible fits together, they can join The Outlet on Sunday at 9.30am which will run until end of term 4. The Outlet is held at the Anglican Church, 668 Darling Street, Rozelle and runs at the same time as church service from 9.30am -10.45am.  There are also activities for Junior School and Pre-school children. Come along, meet new friends, get involved, contribute, and have some fun in the process.

A youth band practices directly afterwards for anybody interested in getting involved in music. Parents are welcome to join the main church service.

Please contact Byron Patching via email or phone 0411 511 914 for more information.


NSW Health Message


NSW Health Clarification provided to schools - identifying and responding to unwell students

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste, and loss of smell), even mild symptoms, should not be at school.
  • Where a student is unwell, arrangements should be made to send them home.
  • Schools should encourage parents to arrange for the student who is unwell to be tested so they can return to school as soon possible once their symptoms have resolved to minimise the absence from school. For people who are unwell with respiratory symptoms, a negative COVID-19 test result must be received and sighted by the school.
  • If, after testing negative, the student has ongoing symptoms which persist beyond 10 days, the student should see their doctor. The medical assessment should consider whether the symptoms are typical for that person (for example seasonal, allergic rhinitis), and provide documentation for the school if this is the case. If there are new symptoms at any time, the person should be tested again.
  • Some parents have reported concerns with obtaining COVID test results. Where a parent/carer is unwilling to allow their child to undertake a COVID test or provide the school with a negative COVID-19 test result, the student is to be excluded from school for a 10 day period. Additionally, the student must have been symptom free for at least 3 days before returning to school.

Step by Step


Step by Step is the annual SACS Dance showcase and features highlights of Dance activities from across the school community. This year we will be featuring dances from the Dance Ensembles, Year 8 elective Dance, HSC Dance major works and more.

If you are a student or staff at SACS we hope you can join us to celebrate our night of dance.

For the rest of you in our SACS community, we hope you will enjoy a streamed recording of this in the near future.

Ryan Desaulnier
Leader of Learning – Dance and Drama


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


We are proud to announce this year’s K-12 creative competition theme is – SYDNEY. Our school is located in the middle of the best city in the world. Sydney is part of SACS DNA and we are keen to see how students will creatively represent it. This year we have a NEW category - music composer of the year – can you compose a song/music about Sydney?

Thoughts to get you started:

  • Explore Sydney’s past, present, or future
  • Explore Sydney’s setting (eg city) for your story, artwork, music
  • Explore Sydney’s culture – diversity, multicultural, aboriginal
  • Explore Sydney’s vibe – positive, future focused, busy, modern
  • Explore Sydney’s beautiful natural setting – harbour, parks, headlands, towns, architecture
  • Explore Sydney’s people – homeless, business, students, shoppers

Click here for 2020 entry details and winners from past competitions.

Entries close Monday 19 October (Term 4 Week 2).


P&F Presents


The branches of the SACS family tree

Have you ever wondered how all the different parts of SACS fit together, and what they all do? What are the School Council and Foundation responsible for? What is the relationship between the school, the Cathedral and the Anglican Diocese? How do the P&F, OAA and Hessians fit in? How does the School Executive work with all these groups?

P&F Presents the branches of the SACS family tree will answer these questions, provide an insight into the various different groups that together contribute to making SACS the school it is.

The P&F Executive and Dr Collier will be joined by guest panellists including:

• Rev Kanishka Raffel – Chair of School Council and Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral
• Ms Nicola Warwick-Mayo – Executive Director of School Services
• Ms Lyn Jarvis – Director of Community Engagement

Details of how to log on to the event, will be provided closer to the event date.


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.


Resources for COVID-19


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