School Newsletter

Term 3 Week 5 - 21st August 2020

From the Principal

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

We started the term with a sense of cautious optimism and now, half way through the term, we are enjoying school life that is more familiar with some of the government restrictions having been eased. With the changing landscape of COVID-19 however, we need to remain ever vigilant and responsive to information we receive from Catholic Education and SA Health. To date, we have been able to proceed with our scheduled events, however we are aware that changes may need to be made at any point in time to maintain the safety of all our staff, students and families. I'd like to acknowledge and thank all our parents for their ongoing support during these times. 

St Dominic's Week 

The Feast of St Dominic was celebrated on Saturday 8th August. Leading up to this day, students celebrated the life of St Dominic by engaging in activities aimed at helping them learn more about St Dominic's life and work through the Four Pillars of the Dominican Way.  We came together as a school community for a whole school Mass held on Tuesday in our newly refurbished hall and it was great to have parents and grandparents join us.   

Catholic Schools Open Week 

This year Catholic Schools Open Week took place during the week of August 10-14. We held a Principal's Tour the week prior to this (which was the first one since COVID restrictions came into place) to invite families to see the fantastic learning environment on offer at St Catherine's. During Catholic Schools Open Week, a journalist from the Courier Newspaper visited to talk with myself and our School Captains about the new classrooms and hall refurbishment and the article appeared in the Wednesday 19th August edition of The Courier.  


Our three debating teams participated in their second debate at Pultney Grammar School on Tuesday night this week. The students did a fantastic job, presented their arguments clearly and provided effective rebuttals as part of their debates. All three teams won their respective debates and I'd like to congratulate Genevieve in Year 6 who was awarded a 'Speaker of the Night' award. Thank you to Corey Lewis for facilitating the debating practices and to Krystina Dawe for supporting the students at each of the competitions. Information regarding the competition can be found on the Debating SA website:  

School Musical 

Kathryn Thompson has begun rehearsals for our school musical performance, Matilda which will take place next term on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st October. The year 5 and 6 students are working hard to learn their various parts and are looking forward to sharing their performance with us. Further details regarding performance times and ticket purchases will be communicated with families in the coming weeks.   

Hockey Clinic 

We have been fortunate enough to have a Sporting Schools Grant which will enable us to run hockey lessons across the school between weeks 7-10 this term. Each class will participate in 4 x 40 minute hockey lessons on either a Thursday or Friday during those weeks. 

School Pick-Up 

I'd like to remind parents and carers that the drop off and pick up zone has a speed limit of 5km/h. This limit applies as soon as you enter the carpark driveway. There have been several occasions recently where people have not adhered to this speed limit, putting the safety of the children, our staff and other parents at risk. Please ensure you slow to a walking pace and remain at this speed along the entire drop off zone.  

To support the flow of traffic and to ease congestion on Ayers Hill Rd, please consider parking and collecting your child. I also remind parents and carers that we have staff supervision available after school until 3.30pm and that if you are able to time your pick up to be between 3.15 and 3.30pm that this also helps ease congestion. 

Strategic Planning Parent Survey 

Parents should have received an email with a link to a St Catherine's Strategic Planning Parent Survey earlier this week. The information gained from this survey will be used to inform our strategic direction for the school over the coming years. If you can spare 5-10 minutes to complete this survey, it would be very much appreciated. 

Staff Formation Day 

Next Monday, 24th August is a Pupil Free Day and as a staff, we will be involved in further developing our understanding of how ecology and ecological conversion forms part of our Catholic Identity. This ongoing work is a strong foundation of the teaching and learning at our school. 

Stay dry and warm.  

Best regards,

John Low


St Catherine's School

St Dominic's Celebrations and Debating

A Message to Families from Dr Neil McGoran

Earlier this term, Dr Neil McGoran shared a message to all families in Catholic Schools in South Australia. Included in the message is reference to ways in which we enable access to our quality Catholic education through a review and reduction of fees for every diocesan Catholic School. This is very exciting news and the specific details of the fee reductions at our school will be published in September following a decision by the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools. 

A message to families link

Principal Tour Bookings & Liturgy/Mass/Assembly Registrations


Catholic Charities Appeal

Today you will have received a Catholic Charities Appeal Brochure. Catholic Charities supports people to live with dignity, feeling welcomed, included and supported in their lives through agencies such as Catherine House, Centacare and Hutt Street Centre. They rely on ongoing support to be able to continue to provide assistance to those in our community who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. You are invited to make a monetary donation to support the 2020 Catholic Charities Appeal.  

St Dominic's Celebrations

This term we have focused a lot of our learning around St Dominic and his significance to the Dominican heritage of our school. Working in our sporting house teams students rotated through 4 learning experiences which were focused around the Dominican Pillars of Spirituality being study, prayer, service/ministry and community with activities including making rosary bead symbols, letter writing, team games and stitching bookmarks. One of the highlights was seeing students engage in new learning about St Dominic and Dominican Spirituality. These aspects continue to be as important today in the Catholic Education received at St Catherine's School, as they were in the early years of schooling at St Catherine's. While we were also hoping to conclude the week with a celebration at Morialta Conservation Park, the weather meant that we had to postpone our Whole School Excursion. We are now looking forward to sharing in this experience on Friday September 4th.  

St Dominic's Celebrations

A Graced Catholic Schools Week

During Catholic Schools Week Catholic Schools across South Australia took time to pause and share in the ritual of Grace as a means of giving thanks to creation. This also helped mark the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si' and was a way to recognise our connectedness as a system and our commitment to integral ecology and ecological conversion. Students and staff across the school shared in Grace but also spent time wording their own Grace to use at school and at home. It is hoped that this rituals continues to find life as a means of thanksgiving. 

Assumption of Mary

This term we have celebrated the Assumption of Mary. This can be a difficult concept for children to understand but as a significant Feast Day it is important to take time to remember when Mary ascended into heaven. Even though Mary has now entered the Kingdom of Heaven, we know that she is always with us, and as classes have prayed the rosary they have been able to remember this and know her endless love for us.  

Sacramental Program

As the students prepare for their Sacrament of Confirmation and Holy Communion on Saturday September 19th we continue to keep them in our prayers. 

Other School News

Year 1JD News

A very big welcome to Harper and his family who joined our class at the beginning of this term. 

Our learning this term has a focus on the environment around us and looking at plants and flowers.  We have been investigating what is living in our environment, what living things need to survive.  This has then led to investigating kinds of seeds and seedlings that we can plant which grow in Stirling in August/September, are bee friendly, produce colour, produce food.

We have been a little disappointed to find out that our favourite fruits of mangoes, pineapples and bananas will not grow well in Stirling. 

We have picked flowers and have begun the process of pressing them and drying them for an art project later in the term.

To link with this learning, our art has a focus on flowers and plants where we are looking at various techniques artists use to create flowers.   We have used wool to wrap cardboard to create our own blossom trees.  

Year 1JD photos

More 1 JD photos

Book Fair is coming! Save the date - Term 4 Week 2

The Book Fair will coincide with Book Week.

There is SNOW much to read! A blizzard of books is arriving in Term 4 Week 2.

Bundle up for an Arctic Adventure. It will be the coolest place to be!


SACPSSA Netball Carnival 2020

On Wednesday 29th July, our year 6 students participated in the annual SACPSSA Netball Carnival at Price Line Stadium, Mile End. Each team played 6 matches on the day against various Catholic Schools across the state and although the teams participated for fun and didn’t keep score, if there was a trophy at the end, I’m certain we would have won it!

This year there were some restrictions implemented by SA Health meaning our school could only take a limited number of individuals and students. This meant that unfortunately most of our students and all parent helpers as well as spectators had to miss out. Hopefully this will change by next year and we can include everyone.

Thank you to Mrs Nikki Hall and our fantastic Cabra umpires for their assistance on the day .

Our year 5/6 students will participate in the Hills Regional Carnival in week 8 this term - look out for the QKR and skoolbag notifications on this.


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

SACPSSA Netball Carnival

St Cath's Students Shine in Sport

Maggie Champion two years in a row!

Congratulations to Maggie, Year 4, who finished 1st in both the State U10 Little Athletics Cross Country Championships and the SACPPSA Cross Country Carnival. Maggie defended her title from last year in both events and has now finished 1st two years in a row at both Carnivals!

Max Selected in SAPSASA Hills Soccer Team

Congratulations to Max, Year 6, on his selection in the SAPSASA Hills Soccer team for 2020. Max will participate in the State Championships in week 6 of this Term at Barrett Reserve, Henley Beach. Best of luck Max!

Chloe Selected in SAPSASA Hills Netball Team

Congratulations to Chloe, Year 6, on her selection in the SAPSASA Hills Netball team for 2020, Chloe will participate in the State Championships in week 8 of this Term - Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th September at ETSA Park stadium. Best of luck Chloe!

School Banking

Welcome to our new savers…….

……Aston, Xavier, Lina and Eliza, hope you are enjoying the savings journey and redeeming some fun rewards along the way.

Now that physical tokens are not being issued just a reminder about the app that you can use to track tokens.

The CommBank Youth app provides a hands-on experience teaching your child to earn, save and spend their money responsibly. With the CommBank Youth app your child can:

·         Check the balance of their Youthsaver account

·         View School Banking deposits in their transaction history 

·         Track the number of Dollarmites digital tokens they earn towards receiving a reward

·         Set up savings goals and track progress

·         Create a list of chores/jobs they can do to earn pocket money.

Get Started:

1.              Download the CommBank Youth app on any iOS 9+ device.

2.              Your child can securely log on to the CommBank Youth app using their NetBank client number. If your child hasn’t got a NetBank client number, you can set this up by visiting your nearest Commonwealth Bank branch with your driver licence and child's birth certificate.

Jacinta Toy

Parent volunteer - School Banking Coordinator

Wellbeing at St Catherine’s

Student wellbeing is centred around empowering our children to have confidence in their ability to manage life’s bumps and to come out stronger.

Life has changed over the last 40 years, with our lifestyles becoming very busy. The changes in life have not always resulted in a greater quality of life or better wellbeing.  It is well documented that depression rates have actually increased about ten times in the same period of time, particularly in young adolescents.  In 2020, we have also been faced with unprecedented changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This year many people may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, scared, uncertain or wondering what life will look like in the next few months. 

Thankfully there are some simple things we can do to help our children cope with busy lives, friendships, school, big feelings and just feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. We teach them how to manage feelings by providing them with age appropriate strategies and tools. Social and emotional learning is carried out in all classes through ‘What’s the Buzz’ lessons, Circle time, Mindfulness, ‘Peaceful Kids’ and other learning experiences that allow children to become more aware of their feelings and manage situations that they are faced with.

Melinda James (Leader of Inclusive Education and Wellbeing)

Resources for Kids:

Friendships and Conflict

by | Jan 17, 2018 | Blog |

During primary school children go through many stages of making friends and along the way will experience conflict at some stage. It is very normal for children to experience conflict from time to time as this a way of children discovering what works with friends and what doesn’t – put simply children are developing their social and emotional skills. Some children may get confused when they have a disagreement or conflict with another person and may call this bullying. There is a great difference between conflict and bullying and here is a simple way to differentiate between them:

·  Misunderstanding – usually problems around communication.

·  Disagreement – do not agree on something and both want their own way.

·  Conflict – people usually want to solve the problem. Can be over a period of time if not sorted properly.

·  Bullying – threatening, repetitive, targeted, deliberating wanting to harm, abusive, no attempt to resolve issue.

If your child does experience conflict, this is a wonderful teaching moment to guide them and help them learn about how to get along with others. Sometimes children can resolve conflict themselves, particularly as they grow into the upper years of primary, but when they are young they may need guidance, and most importantly emotional support.

The best way to give emotional support is to use ‘reflective listening’. When we practice this type of listening, we listen to the content of what your child is saying and listen for the emotion and then we reflect back what they are saying e.g. “it sounds as though that really frustrated you when you did not get to play your game”. We can then try to help them problem solve the situation by giving them lots of opportunities to brain storm a solution without stepping in too early to solve it for them.

Conflict teaches kids:

·  How to give and take

·  How to come to an agreement

·  How to compromise

·  How to solve problems

·  To build empathy

·  To understand others and their needs

·  How to get along in a group

·  How to develop successful, loving and healthy relationships as adults.

Achievement Standards – what are they and how are they used for your child?

The Australian Curriculum is designed to teach students to become critical and creative learners who are active contributors to society as informed citizens. All around Australia, from the first year of schooling until Year 10, students work towards knowledge and skills in eight learning areas:

·         Mathematics

·         English

·         Science

·         Humanities and Social Sciences

·         The Arts

·         Technologies

·         Languages

·         Health and Physical Education

At St Catherine’s School, students also are engaged in Religious Education. Each of the learning areas contain achievement standards which describe what students should typically be able to do, know and understand by the end of the year level, at each year level. The achievement standards along with the content descriptors provide the broad curriculum from which teachers design learning opportunities and assessment. The sequence of achievement standards across the Australian Curriculum describes and illustrates progress in the learning area. This assists teachers to plan for, and monitor learning, enabling them to make judgements about the extent and quality of learning. In addition, the achievement standards support formative and summative assessment and provide a basis of consistency for assessment and reporting.

How can I help my child at home?

As a parent or carer, you can support your child’s education by familiarising yourself with the Australian Curriculum to gain a general understanding of what your child is learning at each stage of their schooling. Please go to for more information.

Corey Lewis (Leader of Professional Practice)

Rooster to give away.

We have a young rooster to give away.

If you are interested, please contact Gerry McCarthy

Community Notices

St Francis de Sales College Mt Barker

Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic

Short term respite accommodation