School Newsletter

Term 2 Week 1 - 1st May 2020

From the Principal

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

Welcome to the first edition of our school newsletter for Term 2.

It has been a strange experience beginning my time as principal with the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. It feels very unnatural to be meeting members of the school community without being able to shake hands, however I look forward to the weeks ahead in anticipation that gradually these restrictions will be lifted.

I am thrilled to have been appointed at St Catherine's and am looking forward to working in partnership with families, staff and students to build on the great work of the school into the future.  

A little bit about me…

I am married with two children - Joshua, 14 and Harrison, 11.  I started working in Catholic Education SA in 2005 after spending several years teaching overseas in London and Japan. Over the past ten years I have worked as an education consultant for Catholic Education SA as well as in Acting Deputy Principal, Head of Primary and Principal roles. For the past 18 months I was the Principal at Tenison Woods Catholic School, Richmond. I am confident that what we have to offer as Catholic school communities is life giving and meaningful for those students and families that choose us as a place to educate, nurture and grow young people.

I'd like to acknowledge and thank Erika for her leadership at St Catherine's last term. No one could have predicted the world events that were to take hold and she maintained the school’s direction throughout this time. I'd also like to thank all the staff for their commitment and flexibility in what have been challenging times.

This term we welcome Mrs Nikki Hall to St Catherine's. Nikki has been appointed as the Year 6 class teacher and I know she is looking forward to getting to know our senior students.

I've enjoyed visiting each of the classes this week to meet the students and have learnt already that many of the children love their outdoor spaces, being active and that the majority of families have several pets of some kind or another!

Term 2 Learning

This week, all classes have been engaged in an online mode of learning. The students have adapted extremely well and apart from a few internet or log in issues, all has gone smoothly.

Based on the parent survey results at the end of last term, we were expecting 30% of students to return to school this week. As you are aware the advice from CESA and SA Health changed late last week and students have been encouraged to return to school. On Wednesday we had 70% of students at school and so we are now reviewing how learning is presented moving forward as we transition to a face to face mode of learning again. I am very appreciative of the effort families have been making for those that are learning from home, especially in supporting their child to connect with the class teacher each day via SeeSaw, OneNote or Microsoft Office 365. Please remember to contact the school office if your child is not participating in learning on a particular day (whether at home or school) as we will follow our usual process of phoning regarding absentees.

If your child displays any symptoms of being unwell, please do not send them to school.

We continue with the current restrictions in place regarding parents/caregivers entering the school until further notice. We also are unable to hold large gatherings such as whole school assemblies, Masses or liturgies however are exploring ways to engage children in these events by streaming them internally to classes across the school with a class hosting the event.

Parent Teacher Interviews

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parent teacher interviews were postponed last term. We have rescheduled these meeting times to week 5 this term which is the week beginning Monday 25th May. Parents will receive information about how to  book a meeting time next week. Whether the meetings are offered as face to face or over the phone will depend on the health advice at the time.

Baby Chicks

New life has appeared in the form of 3 baby chicks which hatched in Cluckingham Palace late last week. The children are very excited about getting to meet these new additions.

Building works

The building works are progressing well. The new staffroom area has been completed and the new meeting rooms are just about ready for use. Each day there is a hive of activity and we now have the framework of the new classrooms as well as the beginnings of the undercover walkway. We are all looking forward to seeing the finished product towards the end of this term.

Kiss and Drop

As more students return to school and as the colder/ wetter weather sets in, I ask all families to exercise extreme care when using the kiss and drop zone at the front of the school.  There should only be 3 cars between the yellow pedestrian crossings at a time and children should only enter/exit cars when they are between these yellow crossings. For everyone’s safety, please remember to use your handbrake when children are entering or exiting the car.   

I am very much looking forward to getting to know the families, staff and students at St Catherine's. The coming weeks and months are going to require a great deal of flexibility, compassion and innovation and I'm sure the St Catherine's school values of Respect, Commitment, Sustainability, Honesty and Compassion, will provide a robust foundation on which to navigate the time ahead.

God bless,

John Low


St Catherine's School

COVID-19 Stop the spread

Term 2 Learning and Baby Chicks

Building works


Welcome back to Term 2

As we enter this term we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Easter this year may have been celebrated differently in the way that families prepared for Holy Week and engaged with the story of Jesus’ passion and death. The unique situation of Covid-19 challenged people to look at new ways to interact with their faith communities and recognise this significant time in the liturgical calendar. This can be quite testing but finding time to pray continues to be as important as ever, with many people finding themselves facing situations of illness, income loss, depression and anxiety.  Aid to the Church in Need shares with us this prayer and you are welcome to this to pray as a family. 

Welcome to John Low

I would like to formally welcome Mr John Low to our school community. You may have already had the chance to meet John as he has been keen to greet students as they arrive each morning. The students have loved meeting John with him spending time in classes, learning names and hearing about the interests of each student.

St Catherine’s Feast Day

This week we have celebrated the Feast Day of St Catherine of Siena. Our acknowledgement of this day has not included whole school celebrations as it usually would, however classes have continued to develop their understanding of the life of St Catherine and her significance to our school community. We were also fortunate to have Fr Fred visit classes to have a talk about this Feast Day. Students were given the chance to ask questions and hear new information about St Catherine. 

Project Compassion

Thank you to all those families who were able to make a contribution to Project Compassion during Lent. If you still have a collection box at home we are encouraging those to be returned to the front via students.

Sacramental Program

This term we continue to await further direction regarding the Sacramental Program as there continue to be restrictions in place regarding these gatherings. As we hear more information we will review the dates of workshops and share with those families the new timeline. It is hoped we will be able to resume our Sacramental Program as soon as possible, however the health and safety of our students and the wider community remains paramount at this time.


Classes will continue to celebrate in a weekly liturgy this term however for the moment we are unable to invite families to attend these occasions. Each class will have a turn at hosting a liturgy which can then be viewed by other students who are on site. As a result of copyright restrictions and student privacy we are unable to share these liturgies to the wider community but feel this method of engagement will allow us to continue to come together for prayer digitally as community each week. For those who have children who are learning from home, you are encouraged to use these weekly liturgy times to engage in prayer at home as a family. Teachers will upload the PowerPoint from the weekly liturgy to the class pages on Office 365 for families to access to assist with this process. 

Adelaide Hills Parish Mass

Our Family Mass for this term is yet to be confirmed awaiting further direction regarding gathering for Mass. For now Fr Fred has arranged for the weekly Mass to be streamed via the following link each week. You are welcome to use this resource as to be able to take part in the weekly Mass from the comfort of your own home.

Krystina Dawe


St Catherine's Feast Day

Other School News

Breaking News!

The new public Face Book page for St Catherine’s School has been launched!

We encourage all our parents to visit,  like / follow the page and of course, to share it with friends.   This page will be the official page and will be used to promote the school to the wider community. 

The link is :



We will continue to use our closed parent group page to keep you all updated on matters of the day to day nature.  If you still don’t have access to this group, please email the office so that we can send you a link for joining and approval.  Only parents of students currently attending will be approved to join this group.  Any queries, please contact the office.

Look forward to seeing many new followers on the official page!

Check out these new titles now in our school Library and available for borrowing!

Library Stocktake

A big thank you to everyone for their patience while we underwent a Stocktake of books in the Library at the end of last term and beginning of this term.

You might like to know that we have 6,731 Fiction and Non-fiction books alone in our library and have added 1,725 new books in the last 5 years, including the 50 new books pictured above.

We have also recovered 285 missing books! So it's really important to keep returning books - especially overdue books or lost books that you find.

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

Keep Reading!


Cathy Fischle

St Catherine’s Second-hand Uniform

Due to COVID-19 the St Catherine’s Second-hand Uniform Shop will no longer be open.  If you are in need of second hand clothing, please can you email Sophie Hage: with the size and the item you are wanting.  Sophie will then check the stock and, if available, will send the item home with your child.  If the item is appropriate the cost is $5 per item, if it is not appropriate please send it back to the office.  We currently don’t have many sports uniform items available due to the recent change of uniform.

Message from Commonwealth Bank

The health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and our people remains our highest priority. Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, the School Banking program will remain on hold. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed with any updates including how we will be managing Dollarmite tokens for students. 

In the meantime, here are some handy online resources for parents who wish to maintain momentum with their child’s financial education:  

  • Start Smart: these resources have been created to improve children’s money management skills, and is aligned to the Australian Curriculum and the National Consumer Financial Literacy Framework. 
  • The Beanstalk: offers videos and fun activities for children to learn about money.

New Coordinator for OSHC

Community Notices

Parent Workshops

LBI Foundation Parent Workshops Living through Uncertainty

How can we reassure our kids and support them to grow and thrive?

Practical advice for parents, caregivers and teachers to support primary and secondary students through times of change and uncertainty 

We are offering these workshops to help families and schools support children to feel well, deal with stress and be successful while the coronavirus continues to affect their schooling, social activities and daily family life.

The first workshop will look at primary school students and will be held on:

Thursday 14 May from 7.00 – 8.00 pm (Week 3)

The second workshop will look at secondary school students and will be held on:

Tuesday 19 May from 7.00 – 8.00 pm (Week 4) (students can join in side by side)

Who are the presenters, and will I be able to ask questions?

The workshops will be presented by Dr Ivan Raymond (psychologist|researcher), Kylie Agnew (psychologist|teacher) and David Kelly (manager for school programs like the IMPACT program at Tenison Woods College, Mount Gambier). You can ask questions and we encourage you to. 

How much will each workshop cost me?

Nothing. The Federation is sponsoring these foundation workshops and six others across Term 2.

What technology will I need?

You will need a device (e.g. computer, smartphone, tablet) and you will need to download the free version of ZOOM. More information about how to join in will be sent to you when you enrol.

How do I enrol?

Click on the link(s) below for the workshop(s) you would like to attend and give your email address. You will receive an email confirming your registration from the LBI Foundation.

If you experience any problems, call one of the Federation’s Parent Engagement Officers for help.        Nicole: 0407 394 732. Lisa: 0400 680 601.



Cabra College Enrolment Application Update

We will proceed with our regular Principal’s tours when the health authorities deem it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, we welcome families to continue to register for the June tour dates and will be in contact with all registered attendees, should there be a change to plans.  Alternatively, we are planning Virtual Tours and Small group Tours.

Virtual Tour

We are currently in the process of creating a Virtual Tour showcasing the college’s extensive campus and beautiful, functional learning spaces.  The Virtual Tour will be visible on our website in the coming weeks.  We invite families to visit our Locations & Galleries page for updated photo galleries of our new facilities and uniform.

Small Group Tours

In the week of Tuesday 12 May – Friday 15 May, 2020, we will be offering boutique college tours with a member of our Senior Leadership team and student representatives.  Due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations, the tour groups will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.  If families are interested in attending a tour, please contact Lee-Anne Fosdike directly via email or phone 8179 2429  to reserve a place or alternatively head to our website at

Year 7, 2022 intake (for students currently in Year 5) applications closing date

The closing date for enrolment applications is now FRIDAY 22 MAY, 2020.