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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 7 2020
Dates for your Calendar
New After School Care provider – TheirCare
Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Library News
Sports News
Music and Art Competition
National Science Week 2020
Parenting Tips
MYP - Middle Years Programme
Wilson Parking
NESA Exam Supervisors
Code Camp
Anglicare Food and Clothing Drive
Middle School Drama: Stories in the Dark
Showcase: Into the Light
Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer (new) of the Year Competition
URSTRONG Parent Seminar
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 7 2020


What a wonderful morning our JSGS students had on Tuesday 18 August as we celebrated Book Week. The students looked amazing in their book characters and it was lovely to see everyone become involved in this annual event. The Mandalorian made a special appearance and a number of staff went dressed as a character from the various Dr Seuss books. We thank our school librarian, Mrs Cotter for her wonderful planning and hosting of the event.

On Wednesday 2 September JSGS will be participating the annual Indigenous Literacy Foundation Book Swap Day. This is an annual event that not only our K-6 school supports but also our high school from Yrs 7-12 also bring in books and donate funds raised to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. A gold coin is all that is required, which goes to providing books and programs for remote Indigenous communities.

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 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


Friday 28 August: Stage 2 Music Concert

Friday 4 September: Stage 3 Music Concert

Friday 4 September: Year 5 Chowder Bay Field Trip

Friday 11 September: Middle School Drama-Stories in the Dark ONLINE

Friday 11 September: Gawura Parent Teacher Interviews (further details will be sent closer to the date)

Thursday 24 September: End of Term 3 (K-6)

Friday 25 September: Staff Professional Development Day


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)


Message from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Corona Coping

Navigating the ups and downs of the current Covid-19 reality is proving to be confronting for many people. The uncertainty of not knowing what will happen next may have an impact on many students and their families. There is a concern that mental health issues, worry and sadness may increase, especially amongst young people. As an adult carer, it will be helpful to look after your own wellbeing during this time. Ensure you make time to de-escalate your own nervous system and maintain your sleep routine, healthy eating habits, get some regular exercise and reach out virtually to friends and family.

In this Special Report, families are encouraged to embrace the guidance offered to help minimise the impact of this corona coaster. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

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.


No Scaredy Cats

No Scaredy Cats is designed to support parents as they work to reduce anxiety and build resilience in children aged 2-12 years.  This program aims to support you and your child through the ups and downs of life. Designed & developed by psychologist, author and teacher Michael Hawton, it equips you with a practical and easy set of tools, and a solid understanding of the theory behind these to enable you to build resilience in your child. It is not a school run course, however it may be supportive to some parents in the challenges of raising great kids! For more information or to book click link:

Bronwyn Wake
JS and GS School Counsellor and Well Being Coordinator


Library News


Thank you!

Thanks to everyone in our community for a wonderful Book Week! Even in these unusual circumstances, we managed to successfully have the whole school participate in a live Book Parade … and love it! This year’s Book Week theme – Curious Creatures Wild Minds - gave the creatives among us a real chance to shine. If you haven’t seen photos or video from the day yet, I encourage you to follow the links that were sent through by Ms. Banks.

During the week we were also able to host real-live author and illustrator visits. Again, both were some of the best we’ve hosted at our school. R.A. Spratt entertained students in Year 3-6 with much hilarity and a dramatic reading of the first chapter of her latest book series (The Peski Kids) which was not only great fun, but quite an impressive feat. Our infants classes learned about the process of writing and illustrating a book from Gabriel Evans, culminating in drawing their own copy of Gabriel’s character “The Cute Penguin”. We hope those drawings made it home. Thanks to the generosity of our school community, we were also able to make a significant donation to the charity Room to Read, which will mean that some other children in the world will benefit from the fun we had during Book Week.

Our next big event is already upon us. In support of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), we will once again be hosting The Great Book Swap in the library. We will be accepting donations right up until Wednesday (2nd September). Books will then be available to purchase for a gold coin donation. We have lots of generous families in our community, so be sure to give your child a pocketful of gold coins to support this worthy cause and come home with some good quality pre-loved books.

Finally, by the time you receive this newsletter, the Premier’s Reading Challenge will be over for another year. Big congratulations to all of the students in our school (and their supportive, reading families) who successfully completed the challenge. Certificates & awards will be presented towards the end of Term 4. All of the students who completed the challenge have a star with their name on it in the library. They often come in to check that their names are on our window of reading stars.

There is much to give thanks for as we celebrate the joy of reading together with you.

Nicole Cotter
JS & GS Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy


Sports News


Unfortunately interschool sport programs have been cancelled for the remainder of Term 3. However, we managed to finish the rugby and touch football seasons with a very successful weekend. We won all four games of rugby 7s and our first and only game of girls touch footy for year! This is a testament to how hard these groups have trained and how much enthusiasm each of the players bring to a game. Well done to these students and I look forward to seeing how they continue to develop in these respective sports in older years.

K-2 has been working extensively at our expert gymnastics facility throughout Term 3 and it’s been pleasing to hear how much they’ve been enjoying themselves. These sessions work on fundamental movement skills necessary for all physical activity and are the stepping stones to successful development in a range of endeavours. Next term they’ll shift their focus to our learn to swim program, so keep an eye out for information notes which will be sent in the coming weeks!

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


Music and Art Competition


Stage 1 and 2 Christmas Card Competition

Stage 1 and 2 Christmas Card Competition

Help our Music Department and Junior School with their Christmas Card Design for 2020!

Design a card for Christmas to be used to send to our community from the Junior School which incorporates the character strength of HOPE.

Design a card for Christmas to be used to send to our community from the Music Department, which represents not only Christmas, but something of JOY and MUSIC.

There will be one winner from each category and the judging panel will choose the artwork that is the most creative, carefully drawn and thoughtful.

Entries should be submitted in hard copy format to JS Reception by Friday 18 September, with name on the front.

Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K-6)


National Science Week 2020


Stage 3 celebrated National Science Week from the 15th August to the 23rd August. The Theme this year was “DEEP BLUE innovation for the future of our oceans”.

In Stage 3 we looked at one of the problems in our oceans – Plastics. Most students saw a moving video on the effect of plastics on the wildlife that use the ocean and its environment for survival. After understanding the problem, we looked at solutions which included the work being done by the CSIRO, large companies such Country Road and the Plastic Bank in developing nations such as Haiti, The Philippines and Indonesia.

The students drew posters highlighting the innovations and then at the end of the class we played a new game developed for Junior School, SeaSnakes and Ladders. Instead of plastic counters we used shells which were ethically collected and the students could keep the shell.

Jim Boddy
Stage 3 Science Teacher


Parenting Tips


Parenting when you don't see instant results

Our daughter has a 7 month old and is a mum to 2 stepdaughters. She commented this week,
“Mum, how did you survive baby teething, sleepless nights and dealing with homework?”
So, when do we stop being our child’s coach and cheer leader? Ha ha, the answer, of course, is that you can’t!

Sometimes our children, yes even adult children, need some encouragement to keep going!
And to be honest don’t we all from time to time?
Michael Grose comments that “That’s why it is useful to remind yourself that parenting is a long-term activity!” He suggests these thoughtful comments.

The Einstein factor.

I think all parents need to channel the Einstein Factor. Inventor Albert Einstein maintained that he was no smarter than anyone else, he just stayed on problems longer than most people.

With some children you have to stay on the job longer than with others.

  • If you have a shy or socially-challenged child you have to stay on the job perhaps until adulthood when he or she finds their own way of building a network of friends and colleagues. In the meantime support, coach and cajole!
  • If you have a child with ADHD you have to keep on the job longer, keeping him or her out of trouble. You may not see the results until their mid 20’s when all that energy goes into starting up their own business or doing something absolutely amazing. In the meantime explain, teach and be firm!
  • If you have a late-bloomer you have to keep them interested in learning, so that they readily learn the practical skills needed to succeed in the workplace and in business, where many kids who struggle at school end up. In the meantime encourage, scaffold and model learning!

We all want instant results in whatever we do. Parenting is no different! It’s hard when the results don’t come. But you’ve got to keep on doing the right things and making the best choices for your kids. In other words, bring the Einstein factor into your parenting. To help do this:

  • Get support and feedback from your partner, or a colleague. Feedback fires you up.
  • Keep building your skills and knowledge that will help your kids be successful or overcome individual challenges. Kids get lifelong learning from parents, more than school.
  • Be around people who fire you up, support you and energise you. It’s no coincidence that great parents hang out together. Support keeps you grounded.

Small hinges swing big doors.

A former parenting mentor used to say, “Small hinges swing big doors.”  He meant that it’s the little things done on a regular basis by parents that make the biggest difference to kids. You’ve just got to choose the right actions and keep doing them….day after day. And have faith that the results will come……eventually! ….Eventually 😊

Joy Rohrlach
Year 5 Leader


MYP - Middle Years Programme


Assessment in the MYP (Middle Years Programme)

When your son or daughter moves from Year 6 into Year 7, they will notice some differences to the school day and what classes are like. They will have 5 different teachers in the day and a tutor who looks after their well-being and academic growth and who will be your key contact point. They see them about 30 minutes every day. Even moving from Year 6 into Year 7 in the same school there will be some big changes such as the timetable, increased homework and changes to assessment.

Later this term I will run an online session in which I will invite all Middle School Parents and parents of Year 6 to have an online meeting where I will repeat the parent talk I gave at the start of the year to parents about the MYP and Assessment. Year 6 parents will receive an email with a link for this later in the term.

One aspect of school life that is different to the Junior School is Summative Assessment. Summative Assessment in the MYP is different in that it is criterion based with every subject having 4 criteria, all out of 8. Each level of achievement has a descriptor which describes the skills and knowledge needed to reach that level. All students and parents are provided with an Assessment Calendar at the start of Year 7, 8 and 9 so they can map out the formal assessments for the year. Two weeks before each assessment, all students and parents are provided with a notification which outlines the assessment as well as the assessment criteria allowing students to know what they need to do to achieve their best. Parents then also have the opportunity to sit with their child, talk about the assessment and contact the teachers well ahead of time if further guidance is needed. In the online meeting at the end of this term I will share examples of this with you.

I look forward to meeting with you remotely this term so you can learn a little more about the MYP and more specifically, assessment.

Mrs Kate Layhe
Director of Learning (Middle School)


Wilson Parking


Ticket Validation

We’ve now finalised our arrangement with Wilson Parking.  The arrangement provides for a charge of $Nil if parents stay in the car park for less than 15 minutes and a charge of $5 if they stay in the car park for between 15 and 30 minutes.  After that, the normal casual rate will apply.  The arrangement is activated through the validation of your parking ticket.  We have received the ticket validator and it is now set up on a table at the entrance to our SAH reception.

Please note the new process:

  • Park in the car park
  • Deliver/collect your child/children
  • Validate your ticket in the ticket validation machine.  There will be a guided path to move along – entering through the main reception doors and exiting through the glass fire exit door.
  • Go to SAH car park
  • Pay for your ticket at the ticket machine before going to car
  • Exit through the boom gate using the validated paid ticket

Nicola Warwick-Mayo
Executive Director School Services


NESA Exam Supervisors


NESA is seeking Expressions of Interest for HSC Exam Supervision

NESA launched a web page to collect expressions of interest from public who may be interested in supervising the HSC written exams. NESA > About > Jobs > Expression of interest for HSC exam supervision

If you are interested in this position complete this form to register your details with NESA.

By completing this form you agree that NESA may pass your contact details to schools near you if they request assistance from us in recruiting exam supervision staff.

HSC supervisors

Supervisors assist presiding officers during the HSC exams. They also supervise students.

Supervisors receive a roster from their presiding officer. The number and length of shifts varies depending on the number of exams held at each school. Supervisors may supervise at more than one school.

Essential requirements

Supervisors must:

• have a valid Working With Children Check clearance for employment
• work as part of a team
• have attention to detail
• be able to carry out duties confidentially and discreetly
• be able to stand for long periods of time.

Supervisors must not have a friend or close relative sitting the HSC at the same school or be an employee of the school.

Eleni Tatsis
Director of Learning (Senior College)


Code Camp


Online Code Camps

Join us at our new online Code Camps. We have released virtual versions of our beloved Spark, Ignite, Blast 3D, and Web Builders camps which the kids will be able to do from the comfort and safety of their home. Book now


Anglicare Food and Clothing Drive


Help St Paul's and Canterbury support families in need

Anglicare is a Christian not-for-profit organisation that provides practical and long-term solutions for families in need. Each year, St Paul’s and Canterbury House work together to gather long-life foods and good quality hand-me-down clothing to send to families in need. In this time of the COVID-19, many have lost their jobs and their financial stability, so we are doing what we can to support and provide for those in need.

Please donate, good quality clothing and long life food.

When:  Monday 7 to Friday 11 September, 7.50am to 8.25am
Where: Students will be available each morning outside the entrance to SAH to collect items.


Middle School Drama: Stories in the Dark


Please join the SACS community to view our Middles School Drama production of Stories in the Dark.

Event details:

Date:     Friday 11 September
Time:     7pm
Online:  the link will be available on our website event page closer to the date.

Please download the program.


Showcase: Into the Light


This annual concert has a history of demonstrating the breadth and depth of performing arts talent at SACS across both our Junior School and Secondary School. This year will be no different, with professional filming of ensemble performances taking place over two days and two nights in the newly renovated Chapter House.

This years theme of 'Into the Light' acknowledges the sometimes chaotic and difficult times we have all recently experienced due to the impact of a world pandemic. From bushfires to the pandemic and everything in between, 2020 has us searching for meaning and hope.

Event details:
Date: Wednesday 16 and 17 September
Time: 7pm

The two streamed video performances can be viewed on our website at or on our YouTube channel at


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).


URSTRONG Parent Seminar


The URSTRONG friendship program teaches children how to develop healthy friendships, how to manage conflict in a positive way, and helps them to grow strong and meaningful friendships. Parents and carers are invited to join us for an online seminar and hear how our Junior School students have been learning about these things all term.

Event details:

Date:     Wednesday 16 September
Time:     1.30pm-2.30pm
Online:   For more information visit our website 

If you are unable to attend, you can view the recording after the event. A link will be published in the Junior School newsletter.


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


Get connected on our social media

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Follow our Twitter: @gawura_sacs

Follow our Instagram: @gawura_school

Visit the Gawura Website:


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