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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 3 2020
Dates for your Calendar
New After School Care provider – TheirCare
Aboriginal Youth Music Video – One Point 5
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Library News
Sports News
Music News
Big Write Launch
Celebrating 100!
Year 6 graduation fundraiser
Parenting Tips
Collecting data on students with disabilities
Term 3 DigiTech Co-Curricular (Year 5 – 6)
SACS "not so isolated" trivia night
StartUp Finale
Jane Eyre major drama production online
Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer (new) of the Year Competition
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 3 2020


A big thank you to all the parents who accessed the online Webex link to be part of our very first online GPAC Meeting last Thursday from 2-3pm. This is a great way for you to see other parents within our Gawura community as well as meet some key staff from our school. GPAC Meetings are K-12 and we also had the Deputy Head of School Secondary, Mr Brad Swibel and also the Head of Middle School, Mr John Partington join us for the meeting who were able to answer the questions pertaining to our high school operations for parents. Webex is also a platform that can be used directly from your phone as well as a laptop computer. GPAC is held twice a term every Thursday in Week 2 and Week 8 from 2-3pm. The next scheduled GPAC Meeting is Thursday September 10.

Last week I let you know about the company One Box. As you may know our school is also involved with the Go Foundation who help with Indigenous scholarships in the high school. The Go Foundation was set up by ex Sydney Swans Indigenous players, Michael O’Loughlin and Adam Goodes. During the holidays the Go Foundation got in touch with us to say there is a company called One Box who provides free, weekly boxes of fresh produce to Australian schools, to support families going through tough times. The boxes contain fresh milk, bread, seasonal fruit and vegetables (around 10kg in total) and are delivered every school week at no cost to schools. If you believe your family would benefit from one of these boxes can you please let me know via text or return email and I will add you to the list. We have 25 volunteers from the SACS community who are willing to deliver these out to your homes. So far we have 12 Gawura families who have notified me to say they would like to receive a box of vegies.

One of our Gawura mum’s Alisha is the General manager of Souths Cares. Alisha has very kindly offered free tickets to the South Sydney Rabbitohs match this coming Friday night 7 and 8 August at ANZ Stadium against the Brisbane Broncos. Due to COVID Alisha cannot give you a hard copy ticket as previously before but she can give you an access code which you can redeem when you order your ticket online through Ticketek. If you are interested in gaining one of these access codes let me know via text or email and I will get the code to you. As always – Go the mighty Bunnies!!

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 during the holidays. Please see insert 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. We are mindful of the current second wave that Victoria are going through right now but 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 3

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 3:

  • Term 3 resumes Wednesday 22 July 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 3 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


Tuesday 4 August: Sydney Academy of Chess

Tuesday 4 August: Year 10 Theatre for Infants

Tuesday 4 August, 6pm: StartUp Finale ONLINE

Wednesday 5 August: Maths Olympiads ONLINE

Wednesday 5 August: Showcase Recording - Junior Choir

Thursday 6 August: Showcase Recording - Strings

Thursday 6 August: JSGS Athletics Carnival

Friday 7 August, 7pm: SACS "Not So Isolated" Trivia ONLINE

Friday 7 August - Saturday 8 August, 7pm: Jane Eyre ONLINE

Friday 7 August: Cru Fellowship @ Lunch

Friday 7 August: Year 1 Field Trip

Friday 7 August: Year 5 Music Concert

Monday 10 August: Public Speaking - Round 1 (Heats)

Tuesday 11 August: JSGS Cocurricular & Year 6 Photographs

Friday 14 August: Infants Music Concert

Friday 14 August: Lolly Bags fundraiser - Year 6

Friday 14 August: Cru Fellowship @ Lunch

Monday 17 August: Book Week begins

Tuesday 18 August: JSGS Book Week Parade & Author visit

Wednesday 19 August: Gifted & Talented evening ONLINE

Thursday 20 August: Author visit


New 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)


Aboriginal Youth Music Video – One Point 5


Stay COVID safe

My name is Mi-kaisha and I am a Darumbal Murri & Tongan woman born and raised in Sydney. I have just recently collaborated on a song & music video with rapper Nooky called One Point 5. We created the song and video to encourage Aboriginal youth to continue to stay COVID safe and also take care of their mental and physical health. The video was created to bring a sense of pride and hope to community at this challenging time. 





Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator



I wonder what you were taught growing up about friendships?  I wonder if you were taught how to build a friendship or what to expect from a 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 we will be addressing these important issues. The URSTRONG friendship program explicitly teaches children how to develop healthy friendships, how to manage conflict in a positive way, and helps them to grow strong and meaningful friendships.

As always, we acknowledge that raising great kids is a partnership and we want our parents to be informed and involved, so URSTRONG is providing parents with free lifetime access to their URSTRONG Family Membership. To access your complimentary membership, please visit here and use the coupon code URSTRONG.

Bronwyn Wake
Junior School Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Library News


Book Week

Book Week 2020

Preparations continue in the library. It’s our most exciting event of the year and 2020 will be no exception!  This week, your child would have received an entry to the Book Week Competition for their stage. Please check that it hasn’t disappeared to the bottom of their backpack. If you would like an electronic copy, let me know.

Infants (K-2) : Bookmark design competition
Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) : Create a 3-D curious creature
Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6) : Write or illustrate a story about a curious creature or a wild mind.

All entries close on Friday 14th August. Winners will be announced & prizes awarded on Friday 21st August – to culminate our wonderful week of Book Week celebrations.-

A reminder that this year our Book Parade will be on Tuesday 18th August. Children may come to school dressed in a costume of their favourite book character. Unfortunately, parents will not be able to attend the event BUT the parade will be recorded and video footage made available to our community at a later date.

And finally, if your child is in Year 3-6, to send in your pre-order form so that your child can receive a signed copy of a book of their choice from our visiting author, R.A. Spratt, during Book Week.

Celebrating the world of books and imagination together with you,

Nicole Cotter
JSGS Teacher Librarian


Sports News


Co-curricular program


We have begun Saturday sport again! 15 of our finest Stage 3 rugby players played over the weekend to kick off our Saturday sport program in style. They played four games of Rugby 7s and managed to win three of them, which is an impressive start to the season! They’d clearly been missing the opportunity to run around and looked like they were having plenty of fun.

K-2 has begun doing their gymnastics program for Term 3. This is very exciting and a fantastic way for all students to develop their fundamental movement skills. This will help them in any of their future sporting endeavours and even their day to day movements. It’s certainly a highlight for K-2 sport for the year!

Tony Dunseath
Coordinator of Sport and Co-curricular K-6, PDHPE Teacher


Music News


Special Visit

This week, our Year 1 and 2 students were fortunate enough to have a Music session with Ken Milton, one of our violin and viola tutors. Ken showed the students lots of string techniques, played the instruments for our students and impressed them with his knowledge. It was an engaging activity and we are grateful to Ken for his time and expertise.

Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K-6)


Big Write Launch


A UFO has landed at SACS!

Who is inside?

What is it doing here?
What is going to happen next?

We're all looking forward to finding out where our Junior School students will take us this Big Write...

Last week all of our students from Kindergarten to Year 6 were given a really exciting stimulus for writing a story about a UFO. For some, the opportunity to use their creative ideas in their writing is very exciting (particularly when spaceships and aliens are involved). For others, combining spelling, handwriting, punctuation, grammar and creative thinking skills is overwhelming. Throughout the week, our teachers supported students to improve their writing with a strong focus on oral language skills. We played with words, building students' vocabulary and ability to structure ideas using their 'writers voice'.

Likewise, our parents are no strangers to 'playing with words'. They have already played an integral role in the development of their child's oral language skills and continue to do so in the every day conversations they have with them. As a school, we hope to take advantage of the opportunity we have to partner with parents in this area of their child's education. Fortnightly 'talk homework' is designed to encourage rich conversations in the home. In these discussions, parents model the use of high-level vocabulary, students learn to generate and refine their creative ideas and families connect in new ways. The result: our students return to the classroom excited to write and confident in the words and ideas they have gathered before the English lesson has even begun.

We can’t wait to see what stories about space ships and aliens emerge!

Katharine Groves
Coordinator of Literacy K 6 JS & GS


Celebrating 100!


100 Days of Kindy!

WOW what a fantastic day we all had celebrating 100 Days of Kindy. KL, KM and KG spent the day completing activities that relate to 100. Dr Collier and Mrs Robson came to visit and we cut a ribbon to mark the celebration. Dr Collier asked the students what their favourite part of school was, some of the responses included ‘making and playing with friends’ ,'The Thrass rap’ and ‘learning new things’. Mrs Robson was very impressed that we could all count to 100! Everyone enjoyed a special cookie box to take home and are very excited about the rest of their Kindy year. Mrs Linnett, Miss Munden and Mrs Price are all very proud of the class of 2032!

Claire Linnett
Kindergarten Grade Leader, JS Teacher


Year 6 graduation fundraiser


Lolly bags, perfect for a family movie night!

Our first Year 6 Graduation fundraising event is coming up. This event is designed for Year 6 students to participate in as a fund-raising activity to raise money for their Year Six Graduation Dinner, which will be held on Friday 20 November 2020.

Year 6 will be creating Lolly / Party Bags rather than cupcakes this year. We will encourage the Junior School and Gawura students to purchase these fun family Movie Night Lolly Bags.

(NB: They will be packing the bags at school under careful hygiene supervision). All lollies will be individually wrapped, e.g. Freddo Frogs. We will ensure some nut free party bags are created as well.

These Lolly/party bags will then be sold for $1, $2, $3 or $5 on Friday 14 August.
It would be greatly appreciated if you could support our fundraising event by sending your child/ren to school on Friday 14 August with $1 - $5 to purchase some Lolly bags. Lolly bags will be placed in school bags and sent home for the family to share.

All proceeds will go towards decorations and reducing the costs for the Year 6 2020 Graduation Evening and toward the purchase of a gift for the Junior School on behalf of the Year 6 students.

Thank you for your generous support of our students in this venture.

Any questions please email or

Year 6 Teachers: Miss O’Malley, Dr Chalwell, Mrs Groves, Mr Murray, Miss Whelan, Miss McGrath and Mr Ralph.


Parenting Tips


Sleep tips for kids by Michael Grose.

Michael Grose is a parenting educator that I quote many times. His ideas are always simple and effective and most importantly, doable! This month he has written an excellent article from his Parenting Ideas blog. I hope you enjoy reading some of his ideas and perhaps use them sometime with your children.

Regularity and routine are the agents of sleep. It takes discipline to adhere to and commitment to making sleep a high priority. Helping kids understand how their body clock works, assisting them to work out their optimal bedtime and putting lifestyle habits in place can help them get the sleep they need to maximise their learning, wellbeing, development and overall performance.

Here are some tips to help:

Understand the body clock

Sleep is regulated by a 24-hour body clock that manages the secretion of melatonin to send us to sleep and cortisol to wake us up. This amazing body clock is reset every day when light first hits our retinas. Sleep in late and the clock goes out of synch. When your child works with the rhythms of their body’s 24-hour clock they will give themselves the optimal chance for sleep success.
The sleep-wake cycle for teenagers is delayed by up to two hours. That is, they are sleepy later and awake later than when they were children. Melatonin, which makes them sleepy, is secreted as late as 11.00pm for some young people, which makes the time before bed-time a sleepless zone. Cortisol, the chemical that wakes them up is released at close to 8.00am for many teens. If this is the case, your young person’s brain wants to be asleep when they need to be awake for school.

Stick to sleep recommendations

The Raising Children’s Network recommends between 11-13 hours sleep per night for young children, 10-11 hours for primary school children and 8-10 hours for secondary school-aged kids. As every child is different, you may notice that your child needs more or less sleep than is recommended.

Develop good sleep hygiene habits

  •  Start a regular bedtime routine at least 45 minutes out from bedtime to help kids get ready for sleep.
  • Eat and exercise at the right time. Sleep likes a relaxed body and a calm nervous system, so schedule exercise and active movement before mealtimes.
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Restrict bedrooms to sleep and relaxation quarters and find other places in the house for time out and reflection, school work and active play.
  • Keep bedrooms cave-like. A child’s bedroom should be cave-like – that is, dark, cool and free from electronic devices. Darkness encourages melatonin, which regulates sleep-wake patterns.
  • Get up at a regular time. For optimal sleep, bed and wake up times need to be as regular as possible.

Lifestyle habits that promote sleep

  • Teach your child or young person to put away digital devices ( in another room)at least ninety minutes before bed-time.
  • Minimise weekend sleep-ins and limit them to an hour more than usual, to keep the sleep clock operating on a regular basis
  • Encourage your child to go outside every day – take a walk, meet a mate (subject to COVID restrictions) or do an errand
  • Keep homework out of bedrooms, or at least out of beds. The brain associates activity with location, so if kids work while on their beds, it will be hard for them to mentally switch off from their schoolwork when the light finally goes out.
  • Confine caffeine to mornings. Consuming caffeine in any form close to bedtime is like throwing a wrecking ball through regular sleep patterns. The brain needs to calm down rather than be artificially stimulated if sleep is to occur.

Sleep is a critical component of enhancing a child’s wellbeing, learning, development and overall performance. Helping your child to get enough quality sleep will ensure that their brain and body are being used at full capacity.

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


Collecting data on students with disabilities


Please help us to update the learning needs of your child

This is to advise our families about the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with a Disability (NCCD).

All schools in all systems across Australia are required to participate in this mandatory census count at the start of Term 3 each year. All schools are required to provide data on their students who require additioal assistance or support as a result of cognitive, physical, sensory or social/emotional disability or difficulty, which impacts learning and educational outcomes and which requires ongoing adjustments int he classroom or in test situations.

The purpose of the NCCD is to provide government authorities with data on the number of students who require adjustments as a result of the impact of a disability or impairment. Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and current government funding processes for students with disability, the data supplied is used for the allocation of government funds to supplement and subsidise schools so that they are better able to cater for the learning and support needs of their students. NCCD data also informs policy development for future education and planning purposes for the benefit of all Australian school students with disabilities.

We gratefully request the cooperation and assistance of our parents and carers in advising and providing our Specialised Learning and Counsellor-psychologist team at SACS with updated medical information on an ongoing basis as this constitutes the main evidence base required under the NCCD guidelines. Medical information includes diagnostic reports, assessments and letters, from a registered doctor, psychologist, specialist or therapist, which confirms a child's disability or difficulty.

What information about your child will be collected?

All information submitted to the government, is confidential and de-identified. It does not include the names of any students. The NCCD is essentially a count of how many students within the various categories of disability requiring support, we currently have here at the school. All information collected is held in accordance with our school's Privacy Policy.

Specifically, our school will provide a summary of the following information:

The overall number of students at St Andrew's Cathedral School and St Andrew's Cathedral Gawura School K-6 who are currently receiving adjustments to enable them to participate in education on the same basis as their peers.

The type of disability or impairment which has impacted on their learning or behaviour over the past year (August 2019 to August 2020).          

The level of adjustment provided by the school. This includes individualised actions taken as part of the collaborative planning process, differentiation of teaching and learning, monitoring and support across a range of domains including social-emotional and physical support - up to a supplementary, substantial or extensive level, and provided in or outside of the classroom.

For further information on the NCCD, see the Fact Sheet for Parents Guardians and Caregivers here. To send in updated medical information on your child, please contact Mrs Cathy Dangar, (K-6 Specialised Learning Coordinator):


Term 3 DigiTech Co-Curricular (Year 5 – 6)


Resumes Thursday 6th August. It continues to run 3:30 – 5:00 in S426 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will be working towards the Vex IQ and Vex EDR competitions which will be held later this term. It is important for students to attend if they have committed to a team. Otherwise they need to let their team and Mrs Hoermann know that they no longer wish to be part of Robotics. There are limited spots remaining, as most teams are already full. Please contact Pip Hoermann ( for more information.

MakerSpace will continue to run on Fridays from 3:30 – 5:00 in the Design Centre. The Innovation and Enterprise team are working with the Design and Visual Arts Department to provide some additional opportunities through MakerSpace this term. Students in Year 6 are invited to sign up for the following MakerSpace projects:

  •  DYO/BYO Robot – Design and build your own robot Students will work with an electrical engineer and coding expert to use Arduino, servo motors, breadboards, ultrasonic sensors, laser-engraved chassis and more to design, build and code their own robots. Students can work independently in or groups if they prefer.
  • Plush Monster - Students will work with a textiles expert to design and make a light-up felt monster. They will be using coin cell batteries, LilyPad boards, conductive thread, LEDs and more to create their felt toy.

Note that there is a $20 fee for the plush monster project to cover the cost of materials as students will take their finished product home.

Please email Pip Hoermann ( to sign your child up for one of these MakerSpace projects.

Pip Hoermann
Head of Innovation and Enterprise


SACS "not so isolated" trivia night


SACS parents love a trivia night and COVID-19 will not stop the fun!

Join us for a night of NOT SO ISOLATED TRIVIA on Friday 7 August from 7pm (quiz being at 7.30pm).

Join or host a team from the comfort of your own home.

Depending on social isolation rules you may want to invite some members of your team to your home or all your team members can stay in their own homes and join you in a private team chat room that you will be given. It’s really easy.

If you would like to book a team of 10 people, please choose one of the team names and book and pay for the team for $190. 

If you would like to play but don’t have a whole team then please book your required number of individual tickets at $20 a ticket. Nominate the year group you would most like to join and we will allocate you to a team. You can stay at home and you will meet other parents in the comfort of your own chat room online to have fun, socialise and discuss your answers.

On the night, dress up or dress down. You can create a wacky themed background for your team if you would like to or do nothing but turn your computer on. The choice is yours. 

Book at

Please book quickly as numbers are limited. The evening of fun should last around 2 ½ hours.

Contact Rebecca at if you have any questions.

This event supports the Heath Bursary Fund.


StartUp Finale


StartUp 2020 Finale is on Tuesday 4th August from 6pm. Tune in at

After 6 weeks of learning about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, our finalists are ready to present their ideas and prototypes to a panel of expert judges who assume the role of investors.

Congratulations to Felix Kisa and William Wheeler (Year 6) who are the first ever Junior School team to be nominated as finalists in StartUp. Their business idea of video cards that connect people to their pets has already received interest from local vets and pet stores and we are positive we will see it in production soon!

Tune in on Tuesday night to see Felix and William compete for the title of Entrepreneurs of the Year and the opportunity to win $1000 to get their business off the ground.

Congratulations also to the following Junior School students who participated in StartUp 2020. They will present micro-pitches at Finale and compete for the People’s Choice Award.

• Art for Goldies – connecting young and old through memorable art experiences
Joe Scott, Alex Smallwood (Year 6)

• Highlighter Ring – a double-sided highlighter ring that doubles as a book holder
Cybele Knight, Audrey Ogden, Isabelle Tucker (Year 6)

• Insparkers – a platform where people can share ideas about a topic
Alison Ahn, Chelsea Chow, Jedidiah Sam, Benjamin Su, Andrea Trahana (Year 5 & 6)

Tune in on Tuesday night to vote for your favourite StartUp team to win the People’s Choice Award.


Jane Eyre major drama production online


Please join the SACS community to view our 2020 Major Drama production of Jane Eyre.

Event details:

Date: Friday 7 August and Saturday 8 August
Time: 7pmOnline: The link will be available closer to the event on our website events page and Facebook 


Please read and download the Jane Eyre program here.


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).


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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