School Newsletter

Term 4 Week 6 - 16th November 2020

From the Principal

Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of St Catherine’s,   

Last week was a busy one with students participating in swimming and water safety lessons at Woodside Pool. We have been fortunate with the weather on the whole, however as you would be aware made last minute arrangements to reschedule the Swimming Carnival day, due to the inclement weather, to this Tuesday 17th November. I acknowledge that this change may have caused inconvenience for some, but I am sure the students will appreciate and enjoy the time at the pool when the weather forecast to be a little warmer. 

On Tuesday 3rd November we held an official Blessing and Opening ceremony for the Siena Hall extensions and Masterplan Stage 1 upgrades which was attended by several distinguished guests including Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, Minister for Education - The Honourable John Gardner, Local MP -  The Honourable Josh Teague, The Chair of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools - Professor Denis Ralph and Director of Catholic Education SA - Dr Neil McGoran. It was great to be able to share these wonderful new facilities and our guests all spoke very highly of the students and their engagement with the ceremony.  

I shared with our guests that one thing is clear from my relatively short time as Principal of St Catherine's and that is whilst the school has continued to grow and evolve since it's beginnings in 1947, the things that were important to the community throughout the history of the school continue to be just as important today.  There continues to be a strong Parish and parent involvement with a common desire to be able to gather together, to pray, to celebrate, to share, and to learn as a community in a hope and faith filled environment. Despite the challenges that 2020 has delivered, we continue to be a thriving school community with over 200 students and now with the additional Stage One facilities completed, are in a wonderful position to continue to grow and provide a quality Catholic education for years to come. 

My sincere thanks to our P&F volunteers who offered their time to provide a morning tea at this special event. 

Year 6 Camp 

Two weeks ago our year 6 students travelled to Pt Hughes where they spent four days enjoying a range of aquatics and team building activities. It was great to see the smiles on their faces throughout their time away and, although a somewhat different experience to the usual year 6 Canberra trip, a great time was had by all. Thank you to Nikki Hall and Steven De Giovanniello for their support of this camp experience. 

Term 4 Special Lunches 

This term we have trialled having a lunch option available on a more regular basis. The Subway lunch option has been an effective and efficient arrangement given all the restrictions we are required to adhere to due to COVID. The hall kitchen renovation is just about complete and our P&F are continuing to explore various lunch options that could be made available in 2021. I am very grateful for the time, effort and commitment our volunteers make to supporting a viable lunch option for our students. Stay tuned for more information in the new year. 

Semester 2 Student Achievement Reports/ 2021 Class Structure 

Semester 2 student achievement reports which will be sent home on Monday 7th December. These reports will be a summary of the progress your child has made throughout Semester 2. I encourage you to use the reports as another learning opportunity for your child. What do they feel proud of? What has been a challenge for them? Can they think of an example of when something was difficult, but they stuck at it? These type of questions help reinforce that learning is an ongoing process. 

Over the coming weeks we will be establishing our class structures for 2021. The class structures will take into consideration the number of students enrolled in each year level along with other factors such as gender balance, student sociogram information, academic and social emotional learning needs. There will continue to be a mix of composite and straight year level classes across the school and students will have the opportunity to meet their 2021 classmates and teacher on Monday 7th December. 

Classroom Pulse Check Survey 

Last week all students participated in the Term 4 CESA Classroom Pulse Check Survey. Teachers will analyse the responses over the coming weeks to continue to track individual student engagement and wellbeing at school. 

Carols Evening 

Initially, we considered not holding a carols event this year given the uncertainty of how the year would play out. As the COVID restrictions have continued to ease we have decided to hold a simple carols evening involving our Reception to Year 4 students. The evening won't be a concert as such, but more a way of providing an opportunity for our school community to gather together to reflect on the season of Advent and message of hope that it brings, through the birth of Jesus.  

Finally, a reminder that the last day for students this year is Wednesday 9th December and school will finish at the usual time of 3.05pm on this day. 

Kind regards, 

John Low


St Catherine's School



November 3rd marked a very special occasion with the official opening and blessing of our completed Stage One building project which included the renovation of our Siena Hall, a new staff room, two new flexible learning areas and meeting rooms. We were delighted to have the blessing officiated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan with The Honourable John Gardner and Professor Denis Ralph declaring the building open. Our event was well attended by a number of distinguished guests with many classes viewing the service through MS Teams. Our senior students were pleased to represent our school community and the School Choir were outstanding in their musical contribution. While these areas within our school have already been in use this semester, the significance of this occasion was thoughtfully explained by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan as he addressed the importance of a schools foundation and the fundamental role which is played by each member of the community. We were reminded of the work of the Dominican sisters and those who helped first establish our school, and the way that has impacted the mission of our school today. 



We continue to live out Catholic Social Teaching principles this term through our fundraising appeal. Our focus is on St Vincent de Paul Society with our participation in the Christmas Hamper Appeal. In the lead up to this initiative we have spent time talking with students about their ability to positively impact the dignity of the human person through their generosity. Students have also participated in liturgies and masses which focus on charitable actions of compassion. We continue to be grateful for our many blessings and are excited about the way in which we can continue to make a difference through our work in supporting St Vincent de Paul Society.



Thank you to all those who were able to make our first Sacramental Workshop for 2020/2021. While a small group their participation was wonderful and we look forward to sharing in this journey with you. 


We started our term off with Fr Fred visiting classes to talk with students about the Hail Mary and how this is another way of communicating with God. We will be using this prayer as part of our liturgical celebrations throughout the remainder of the year as part of our devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This comes as a continuation of the work done last term about praying the Rosary. Already the students are becoming more familiar, with not only the prayer, but also the meaning behind the words. 


Thursday 24th December – Christmas Vigil

Friday 25th December Christmas

  • Mass Lobethal at 11.00a.m. (registration before Mass)

N.B. All registration need to be in by Monday 21st December 2020

Other School News

Term 4 Calendar Dates


16 Forest Friends 9am

17 Liturgy 2B 9am

17 Rescheduled Swimming Carnival

17 Blast Cricket R-2 3.15pm

18 Year 5 Woodhouse Camp

18 Footsteps Yr 6 1.40pm

18 Soccer Skills R-2 3.15pm

19 Year 5 Woodhouse Camp

20 Bambini 9am

20 Subway Lunch

23 Forest Friends 9am

24 Mass 3/4K & 3/4L 9am

24 Blast Cricket R-2 3.15pm

24 School Board 6pm

25 2021 Rec Transition Visit & Parent Information Session 9-11am

25 Footsteps Yr 6 1.40pm

25 Soccer Skills R-2 3.15pm

27 Bambini 9am

27 Assembly R/1OE

29 1st Sunday of Advent

30 Forest Friends 9am

30 2021 Sacraments Workshop at St Catherine's 6pm


1 Liturgy 1JD 9am

2 2021 Rec Transition Visit 9-11am

2 Footsteps Yr 6 1.40pm

2 Soccer Skills R-2 3.15pm

3 R-4 Carols Concert time to be confirmed

4 Final Bambini for 2020 9am

4 Subway Lunch

6 2nd Sunday of Advent

7 Forest Friends 9am

7 Other Years Transition Visit 9-11.30am

7 Student Reports go home

8 Pizza Lunch

8 End of Year Mass 6H 11.30am (Students/Staff only)

9 Graduation Mass & Awards Ceremony 9.10am (Families invited)

9 Final Day of Term 4 Dismissal 3.05pm

9 Yr 6 Graduation Dinner

10 Pupil Free Day

11 Pupil Free Day

13 3rd Sunday of Advent

SAPSASA Hills Athletics Carnival

On Thursday 15th October, 28 students form St Catherine’s participated in the annual SAPSASA Hills Athletics Carnival at Oakbank Area School. Students were involved in track event try outs (100m, 200m and 800m) back in Term 1 during lunch times and field events try outs (High Jump, Long Jump, Shot Put), Discus) during PE lesson back in Term 1. This Carnival was originally scheduled for the end of Term 1.

Some outstanding results on the day include:

Maggie Yr 4 – 200m – 1st, 400m - 1st, 800m 1st, 1500m – 1st

Hannah Yr 5 – 100m – 3rd ,

Jake Yr 6 – 100m – 1st, 200m – 1st, High Jump – 2nd

Julia Yr 5 – 200m – 2nd,

Carter Yr 6 – 100m – 3rd , 1st,

Noah Yr 4 – Long Jump – 3rd,

Elka Yr 6 – Shot Put – 2nd

Lochie Yr 4 – 400m – 2nd, 800m – 1st,

Angus Yr 5 – 400m – 3rd

Zoe Yr Yr 5 – 400m – 2nd, Long Jump – 2nd,

Max Yr 6 – 200m – 1st, 800m 1st,

Hugo Yr 4 – 200m – 1st, 100m – 1st, High Jump 1st,

Congratulations to Hugo, Maggie, Jake, Zoe and Hannah on their selection in the Hills District team. They will all compete in the State Championships on Friday 20th November at SANTOS Athletics Stadium. We wish them the best of luck on the day. They will compete in the following events:

Hugo Yr 4 – 10 Year old boys – 200m, High Jump, relay

Maggie Yr 4 – 10 Year old girls – 200m, 800m

Zoe Yr 5 – 11 Year old girls – Long Jump

Jake Yr 6 – 100m, relay

Hannah Yr 5 – relay

All schools were only permitted to take a limited number of individuals and students on the day. (only parent officials allowed to attend)

Thank you to Mrs Nikki Hall for assisting on the day and a big thank you to our parent helpers for officiating on the day, Mrs Helen Strachan and Mrs Kate Wall.


Steven De Giovanniello (Physical Education Teacher/Sports Coordinator).

Hills Athletics Carnival

SACPSSA Catholic Athletics Carnival

On Wednesday 4th November, 46 students form St Catherine’s participated in the annual SACPSSA Athletics Carnival at SANTOS Stadium, Mile End. Students were involved in track event try outs (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, Hurdles) during lunch times on the school oval and field events try outs (High Jump, Long Jump, Shot Put) during PE lesson since the beginning of Term 4.

Some outstanding results on the day include:

Maggie Yr 4 – 200m – 1st, 400m - 1st, 800m 1st, 1500m – 1st

Hannah Yr 5 – 100m – 3rd ,

Jake Yr 6– 100m – 1st, 200m – 1st, High Jump – 2nd

Julia Yr 5 – 200m – 2nd,

Carter Yr 6 – 100m – 3rd , Hurdles 1st,

Noah Yr 4 – Long Jump – 3rd,

Elka Yr 6 – Shot Put – 2nd

Georgia Yr 3  – 400m – 3rd, 100m – 3rd,

Flynn Yr 3 – 400m – 1st, 200m - 1st

Lochie Yr 4 – 400m – 2nd, 800m – 1st,

Elle Yr 3 – 100m - 2nd,

Angus Yr 5 – 400m – 3rd

Zac Yr 3 – 100m - 2nd,

Zoe Yr 5 – 400m – 2nd, Long Jump – 2nd,

Jasper Yr 3 – 200m – 1st, High Jump – 3rd, 800m 1st,

Giselle Yr 3 – 200m 2nd, 100m – 2nd,

Ellie Yr 3 – 200m – 2nd

Max Yr 6 – 200m – 1st, 800m 1st,

Hugo Yr 4 – 200m – 1st, 100m – 1st, High Jump 1st,

Louis Yr 4 – Shot Put – 2nd,

Jai Yr 6 – Shot Put – 2nd

Relay teams –

Year 3 Boys – 2nd (Zac, Jasper, Flynn, Archie)

Year 3 Girls – 3rd (Ellie, Elle, Georgia, Giselle )

Year 4 Boys – 1st (Hugo, Louie, Mack, Lochie)

Year 4 Girls – 1st (Maggie, Allegra Vi, Isla , Tilly )

Year 6 Boys – 1st (Jake, Joseph, Jai, Max)

Congratulations to Maggie Yr 4 on receiving the age champion medallion for year 4 girls on the day,  after finishing 1st in all her events including the 1500m open event.

Again, all schools were only permitted to take a limited number of individuals and students with only parent officials allowed to attend on the day.

Thank you to Mrs Pat Wheeler and Mrs Dawe for assisting on the day and a big thank you to our parent helpers for officiating on the day, Mrs Helen Strachan, Mrs Claire Wilde, Mrs Casey Huxtable and Mrs Kristen Beltrame. 


Steven De Giovanniello (Physical Education Teacher/Sports Coordinator).

Catholic Athletics Carnival

Can you volunteer? - We need your help with the School Banking program!

Our students really enjoy participating in the Commonwealth Bank School Banking program and to keep this program running we need your help. 

The program requires a volunteer School Banking Co-ordinator to facilitate the banking and distribution of School Banking rewards. The School Banking is processed at the same time each week and will only take a small amount of your time . The Commonwealth Bank will provide support in how to run the program. Your help with the program will greatly benefit students as they practice saving skills and also help our school with fundraising.

As part of volunteering you are eligible to receive a Certificate of Attainment that details the activities that you are involved in. For example: cash handling, program facilitation, account reconciliation and more. 

Currently, School Banking day is Thursday. However in discussion with the school principal this day may be changed.

If you are interested in volunteering for this great program, please contact the school Office: or 8238 8238.


Jacinta Toy

Parent volunteer - School Banking Coordinator

Professional Practice

A Celebration of Reading 

We had a wonderful week of celebrating books and reading in Week 3 this term. The children loved the opportunity to dress up for our Book Week parade. Thank you to Milly and Isla for their fantastic hosting. During Book Week we also held our annual Book Fair. This year our school raised $500 to go towards more books for the Treehouse.  

In addition to this, we have received an email from Mark Williams, Manager of the Premier’s Reading Challenge and our school has been selected at one of the 55 Outstanding Premier’s Reading Challenge Schools. This is a brilliant achievement and in ‘normal’ times we would be invited to the Premier’s Reception. The Premier’s Reading Challenge is a literacy engagement program that was introduced in 2004. The aim is for students to read more books and support a love of reading. The challenge involves students to read 12 books from the beginning of the school year until early September. Over the coming weeks we will be handing out the certificates and medals to students.   

Whole School Data Collection 

Your child may have come home in the past week or so and discussed with you some ‘testing’ they have been doing in class. Each year students from year 2-6 are part of our annual assessment collection – Progressive Achievement Testing (PAT). This year we introduced the Early Years achievement testing. Progressive Achievement Tests are designed so teachers are able to investigate and monitor student learning over time, as well as targeting teaching to improve learning outcomes.   

Corey Lewis 

Leader of Professional Practice 

Wellbeing and Inclusion


Supporting the wellbeing of children and young people is an important part of what students, families and schools do every day. It is especially important to ensure that children and young people’s wellbeing is looked after in times of uncertainty and stress.    

Over the past few years, children at our school have been participating in various Mindfulness activities as a way of learning about looking after our wellbeing.  If you enter classes after lunch you will see some students taking part in various mindfulness practices.  

Why Mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is a way of being that both adults and children can practice. It may sound complicated, but it really just means awareness. It is the practice of noticing things in the moment, especially those overlooked, such as one’s breathing, feelings, thoughts, or actions. 

Children are often quite naturally mindful, particularly when playing. However, these days, lives can be so busy and structured, children are often less in tune with their senses, actions and feelings. Today’s children may experience stress or anxiety as their world speeds up and more is expected of them. 

In times of heightened stress the areas of the brain that regulate our bodies, including the fight, flight or freeze response become over active. In addition, the frontal lobe of the brain, linked to self-regulation, decision-making, organisation skills, memory processing, as well as empathy and compassion can be underactive. 

Research has shown that regular mindfulness practice helps to subdue the fight/flight/freeze response, thereby reducing stress and anxiety. It has also been noted that regular mindfulness practice helps tore-engage and fire-up the frontal lobe of the brain. 

Mindful awareness is something we all possess that can be strengthened through regular practice. This can be through formal sitting meditation practices, or informal everyday mindfulness activities that use the senses to anchor the attention: such as mindful walking, listening to music, eating or conversation. Mindfulness is a clinically proven tool to support wellbeing and mental health by reducing stress and allowing life to be experienced more fully. 

When parents, or other trusted adults, share these activities with children there can be significant benefits for both. Take this as an invitation to ask your child to teach you about Mindfulness practices that they know.  

Melinda James 

Leader of Wellbeing and Inclusive Education.    

Some useful apps which some classes have used: 

Headspace, Calm, Stop breathe & Think, Smiling Mind, Mindfulness App, Mind Body 

Community Notices