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In this issue

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 5 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
Year One Field Trip
Parenting Tips
MYP - Middle Years Programme
Father's Day
NESA Exam Supervisors
Into the Light
Join the Great Book Swap!
Andrean Writer, Artist and Composer (new) of the Year Competition
Gawura Doctor - Dr Shuo Zhao
Resources for COVID-19

Message Stick, Term 3 Week 5 2020


On Thursday 6 August the JSGS held the annual Athletics Carnival at the ES Marks Field. It was a beautiful day and a number of our students participated in all events and did quite well. Congratulations to Talaara who received 4 ribbons across the various events. Well done to all students who ran in the various events and contributing points to their House.

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.

Also in what is a lovely turn of events we have just entered into a positive relationship with Woolworths Town Hall. Aunty Cheryl has been working there for over 10 years and have seen various Gawura students enter with friends and family. Aunty Cheryl made contact with our school and has arranged a weekly box of fruit and vegetables to be delivered to Gawura to help with breakfast and lunch supplies. We thank Aunty Cheryl and the Store Manager – Jason for making this possible for our students.

Congratulations to Jakayla Reid who alongside her Aunty Teela Reid has created a book about the strong female leaders in her life. Jakayla has told us that they have won first prize. An artwork will also be created and we can’t wait to see the book once it is published.

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 18 August: JSGS Book Week Parade & Author visit

Thursday 20 August: Illustrator Visit (Yrs K-2)

Monday 24 August: ICAS Digital Technologies

Monday 24 August: Rd 2 Public Speaking (in class heats)

Tuesday 25 August: Amazing Me (Yrs 5-6) Personal Development ONLINE

Wednesday 26 August: ICAS English

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)


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


School Refusal

School refusal, sometimes called school avoidance or school phobia is different to being absent from school for normal illnesses and ‘wagging’ or truancy. It is often related to worry or anxiety-related issues about going to school or leaving home. School refusal may start gradually or happen suddenly. Although it is normal for a child to occasionally miss a day of school, parents should only be concerned if a child regularly complains about feeling sick or often asks to stay home due to minor physical complaints.

School refusal is a complex issue as there is rarely a single cause. It affects children of all ages across primary and secondary levels. It can often occur during times of transition at school. More recently, the Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the educational experience of all students, affecting some more than others. Dealing with a school refusal child can affect the whole family, adding pressure to an already challenging time. School refusal is not considered a formal psychiatric diagnosis. It’s a name given to an emotional and/or behavioural problem.

In this edition of SchoolTV, adult carers will learn how best to approach this issue and work towards a solution. 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 this month's edition

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

Bronwyn Wake
Junior School Wellbeing Co-ordinator


Library News


Book Week

Book Week 2020 is THIS WEEK!

It is going to be a wonderful week of non-stop celebrations.

  • Monday: Lunchtime Activity; DIY Curious Creature Mask with a visiting guest Illustrator
  • Tuesday: Book Week Parade, Author Visit for Stage 2&3, Lunchtime Activity; Curious Creatures, Board games, Puzzles & Colouring
  • Wednesday: Lunchtime Activity; Carnival
  • Thursday: Illustrator Visit for Infants, Lunchtime Activity; Wild Minds Trivia
  • Friday: Book Week Competition Winners Announced, Lunchtime Activity; Curious Creature Costume Creations

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.

Looking forward to a fantastical week in the library and in our school.

Nicole Cotter
JS & GS Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy


Sports News


Athletics Carnival

On Thursday 6th of August we held our annual Athletics Carnival at ES Marks. Despite being a pretty chilly start to the morning, it cleared up for a perfect day of athletics. It was disappointing not to have any parents in attendance, but the students certainly made the most of their opportunity and provided plenty of enthusiasm throughout the day. This was highlighted by the house captains beating the staff in the end of day relay for the first time in a number of years! I have it on good authority that the staff team has begun training for 2021 so this doesn’t happen again. Congratulations to all students who gave their best on the day and in particular those in Westminster house, who were overall champions for the carnival!

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


Music News


Congratulations to our performers at the Year 5 concert last week and the K-2 concert this week. It is wonderful to see so many talented musicians at SACS! We hope we will be able to invite parents to watch soon, but in the meantime, recordings will be sent to parents of those who have played.

Thank you to our musicians who participated in the recording of our Showcase Concert. We are looking forward to seeing the final copy.

Kate Robertson
Head of Music (K-6)


Year One Field Trip


Year One field trip to Oatley Park

What an incredible day Year One had last week on our Field Trip to Oatley Park. The sun was shining, and the students were at school bright and early to head off on their adventure for the day. 1R, 1V and 1G spent the day at Oatley Park carrying out activities including bug hunts, collecting items for landscape dioramas and fun games on the oval. The students were enthusiastic and ready to learn more about their local environment and build their knowledge for their Science, Geography and English units this term. The afternoon was a delight with the students being able to enjoy playing outdoors on the equipment the park had to offer.

Some highlights for the students included:

“My favourite thing was when we collected our things for our dioramas because I liked being able to choose my things” - Audrey

“Going on the big slide because it was so dark in there and my shoes lit up" - Lexi

“I liked picking up big rocks because I’m really strong and my friends helped me" - Alex

“The slide was my favourite thing because it was dark" - BJ

“I liked the flying fox and Miss Vanny went on it too" - Idelia

Definitely a Year One highlight for many.

Mrs Lynn Reddy
Year One Grade Leader


Parenting Tips


Developing Emotional Intelligence in Children

Teaching Stage Three students can be a tricky experience! Hormones are going nuts and emotions are certainly quite often, off the scale. So how do we as teachers and parents, help our children navigate this area safely and calmly?

As a parent to grown up children with their own families, occasionally I receive a call from them asking for advice or more often just listening to them vent over some issue. I don’t really have all the answers to their concerns but Michael Grose has written this excellent Parenting Ideas blog and it contains some very helpful ideas. So, I have found it particularly useful when dealing with Stage Three or 35 and 38 year olds!!

Ever told a child to calm down only to see their emotions escalate instead? That’s a yes, most definitely from me! Children, like adults, need to recognise their feelings before they can regulate their emotional state, and that’s not easy. Emotional recognition is a complex process that takes practice. Even when we are good at it, we don’t always get it right. Learning to recognise your feelings is a continuous process that’s best started when young, before the ups and downs of adolescence show up.

Listen without judgement
When your child fusses and fumes about some wrong-doing or hurt they’ve experienced, clear your mind and hear them out. Avoid trying to fix the situation; just show them compassion and understanding. There is no better feeling then being understood.

Contain, rather than manage, their feelings
Children’s behaviour is often tangled up in their upsets and disappointments. It can be hard to separate their actions from their feelings. Sometimes as a loving, caring adult, you just have to absorb their frustrations, and give them the time and space to vent and soothe their own souls. We don’t have to process their emotions for them.

Know that emotions can be pleasant and unpleasant
We often place value judgements on emotions by portraying some emotions as good or positive (happy, motivated, energised) while some are bad or negative (sad, worried, sullen). Avoid passing judgements like these. Recognise that emotions span a whole range of pleasant and unpleasant feelings, and that all emotions are acceptable. But certain behaviours (such as hurting someone, both physically and emotionally, when you are angry or at anytime) are unacceptable.

Help your kids recognise, then regulate emotions
Emotional intelligence is best learned when it becomes part of your family’s culture, or way of doing things. When it becomes part of your family’s cultural DNA then emotional intelligence will be passed down from generation to generation. You’ll know it’s had generational impact when your children credit you as the person who taught them the skills of emotional intelligence.

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)


Father's Day


We’re looking for all Dads or Uncles, Grandad's or Pops, brothers and cousins and nephews -  to submit a quick video of their best 'dad' (or bad) joke for our ‘SACS Father’s Day Video’. If your special person is camera shy, students can submit a dad joke on his behalf.

Please upload your clips to or email to by Wed 2 Sept.

To ensure we can include your contribution, please make sure:

  • Your file is named with the both the joke teller and student names: eg – John Smith and Peter Smith Year 7
  • Your video is 1 Dad (or bad) joke only  - no more than 15 seconds
  • You shoot the video in LANDSCAPE mode
  • You upload your video as an MP4
  • You can appear in the video with your person, or it can just be or yourself telling the joke.

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)


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


Join the Great Book Swap!


Junior school library invite you to join them for this year’s Great Book Swap in supporting Indigenous Literacy Day. The money raised will go towards helping increase the literacy skills of remote communities.

Please donate your good quality second hand books to the Junior School Library up until Friday, 28 August.

Event details:
• Date: Wednesday 2 September
• Time: Lunchtime
• Venue: Junior School Library
• Students can purchase books for a gold coin donation


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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