St Peters Lutheran School Newsletter

Term 3 Issue 1 - 25 July 2019

From the Principal - Mr Mark Rathjen

GROWing Strong

Our school’s new GROW with us’ motif, reminded me of something Martin Luther once said about the significance of education - “When schools flourish, all flourish”. 

To flourish is togrow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment’ (so says the Google dictionary).

I particularly like this definition as it shows that for something to flourish or grow, that it is a result of the place where it is planted. In respect of a plant, the seed/plant requires nutrient-rich soil, appropriate amount of water, warmth and sunshine. A seed will not grow without the right conditions. So too the environment for children, they need a loving and caring environment where they have all the right conditions in which to learn and grow.

As you know, our school’s future plans use the acronym G.R.O.W.  In chapel this term we are unpacking what this means for us in our school community each and every day. Remember G.R.O.W. means:

God in all Things – our spiritual purpose

Relationships – our community purpose

Ownership – our teaching and learning purpose

Well-being – our health and welfare purpose

At Wednesday’s chapel I used the analogy of students at our school being like young saplings. Saplings when planted out are often staked so that they can grow with some protection of the elements around them.  I talked to them that our school and home environments are a bit like that stake which guides them and helps them to grow into the young men and women they are meant to be.  The elements of the G.R.O.W. in our school, are like the soil, sun, water and the stake that help us to flourish.

St Paul uses this idea too, that to be strong and resilient people, we need to put our roots down into the source of where our life comes from.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness”. Colossians 2:7 (NLT)

God has provided our students with a wonderful environment at St Peters in which to grow and flourish.  Our prayer is that each one will grow strong with the love and support around them, enabling them to, in turn, contribute to the wider communities in which they will find themselves to help others to flourish too.

Mark Rathjen

New Students

A very warm welcome to all of our new students and families who are beginning at our school or in the ELC this term.


Jonathan C, Jonte S, Kimmi R, Sebastian F, Mila M, Alexander S and Halle T


Paul O, Liam G, Lily M, Lachlan Z, Almos M, Dawson M, Charlotte B, Peyton M, Rosie M and Eliza W

Professional Development for staff – Restorative Practices

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, our staff were very fortunate to have had Bill Hansberry with us.  Bill, an expert in this field, led us through the theory and practical of Restorative Practice.  St Peters has long been a school where we use aspects of restorative processes in how we work with students in the classroom and the yard.  This was a great time to affirm the work we already do, but also to brush up on the skills required to do this even better in our school. Bill gave insights as to how we can use these practices more consistently in our interactions with each other as staff and students. The underlying premise of Restorative Practice is to create trusting learning communities where we can, when things go amiss, have the important conversations with one another to fix up and heal our relationships.  What important life skills for our children. 

To paraphrase the Forward (by Margaret Thorsborne), from one of Bill’s books; she says this about Restorative Practice “This is all about relationships – and healing- in schools, the places where we spend a great deal of our time in our formative years and where experiences can profoundly shape our view of the world. It’s about the healing of harm done when someone, adult or child, in a school, does or says something to hurt another. It’s about all the ways that healing can be accomplished, and how to build relationships that we care enough in the first place, so that healing matters”.  (Page 11, A Practical Introduction to Restorative Practice in Schools, Bill Hansberry, 2016).

If you would like to know more about Restorative practices, come and speak with one of us about it. We would be happy to share what we have learned and how this might be utilised in our classrooms. 

Marketing St Peters to our community

One of the key aspects of our new strategic plan is to develop and implement a new marketing plan for our school. The school has recently appointed a communications consultant to create a plan to help us to reach out more effectively to our community.  Mrs Linda Theel will be working in our school over the next term to assist us to find new ways to celebrate our school and share that which is special with the wider community. Linda currently works at Concordia College as the registrar and has also worked in the marketing and communications arm of the college at a high level. Linda will be here on Fridays this term, getting to know our community, seeking to understand the things that are special about our school, helping to articulate our Strategic Plan message and create strategies that we can use to be better known in wider Blackwood and beyond. Linda would most likely want to speak with staff, students and parents about our community.  Please make her welcome should you bump into her. (We are thankful to Lutheran Education, SA, NT and WA [LESNW] who have kindly supplied our school with a grant to allow this to happen). 

Important Dates ahead for Term 3

School Photos – Monday 12 August

Book Week – 19-23 August

Father’s Day Breakfast – Friday 30 August

Musical – Tuesday 3 and Thursday 5 September

Pupil Free Day (Show Day) – 6 September

R-3 Swimming – 16-26 September

Parents and Friends

Welcome back everyone! We hope you had a restful couple of weeks with your families.

A big thank you to everyone who supported the Bunnings BBQ on the first day of the school holidays, Saturday 6 July.  A special thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who helped with set up and pack up, and who cooked and served sausages and drinks - Narelle Adams, Heather Stevens, Alex Speed, Mark Rathjen, Tim Geue, Damian Revell, Louise Khouri-Revell, Amy Anderson, Steve Hepworth, Penny Rawinski, Ruth Scott, Nathan Purdie, Jason Willson, Sonya Hughes, Laura Foti, Ian Baldwin, David Hughes, Rebecca Tannock, Jenna Phillips-Wilkinson, Alex Wilkinson, Ros Green, Paula Angerstein, Sue Rodger, Jamie Tomalin (and Caitlyn Tomalin, our resident spruiker!), Dy Smith-McCue, Carlo Cocci, and Bec Geue. We had a steady turnout all day and raised just over $1200 towards our new nature play space, which is a great result, considering we were competing with the Showdown!

This term we are running an aprons fundraiser to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and as a perfect gift for Father's Day.  Your wonderful children have already drawn some lovely self portraits, which will be printed on the aprons with our 20th anniversary logo.  Order forms for aprons will be going out tomorrow and will be due back with payment by Friday 9 August.  This is the date given by our supplier to ensure that they are printed and reach the school in time for Father's Day.  Aprons will cost $20 each and can be paid by cash, cheque or direct debit.  The more orders we get, the less we pay for the aprons, and the more money we will raise for our new nature play space, so please consider buying aprons for grandpas, uncles, cousins, other family members and friends, as well as dads of course!  A sample apron is on display in the front office foyer.

The annual Father's Day Breakfast will be held on Friday 30 August from 7.30-8.30am, so please put this date in your diaries now.  The breakfast will be provided by parents in Room 5/Mr B's Year 3/4 class.

We also have some more cake stalls and special food days coming up this term, as well as a couple of other possible fundraising events, so please make sure you keep up to date with what's happening in the newsletter and on Facebook at

The next P&F committee meeting will be held at the school next Thursday 1 August at 6.00pm.  Everyone is welcome to come along and hear about all our exciting plans for this term and contribute ideas and suggestions.

Thank you for your support.

Heather Stevens
P&F Chairperson

General Information

Diary Dates

For important dates and information regarding upcoming events, please go to the Events page of our Skoolbag app.