St Canice's Primary School Newsletter

19th November 2019 Term 4 Week 6

Address: 158 Katoomba Street Katoomba

Phone:     4780 6800



Facebook: St Canice’s School Katoomba


Mass Times

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish

Parish Priest Fr Carlos Walker         Assistant Priest Fr Omar Mazzega

 Presbytery Contact  Ph: 02 4782 2804

                                         Fax: 02 4782 6090


Mass Times

Friday: Katoomba 12 noon Mass

Saturday: Katoomba 9.30 am Mass Saturday Vigil: Leura 5pm Mass

Sunday: Wentworth Falls 8am Katoomba 10am Leura 5pm

Rosary: Monday Katoomba 8.30 am, Tuesday Leura 4.45pm,

Wednesday Wentworth Falls 9.30 am, Friday Katoomba 11.30 am.

Saturday Katoomba 9 am.



A Message from Mr Geerligs

At St Canice’s we practice our emergency evacuation or lockdown drills at least once a term.  Earlier this month our emergency drilI took 4min and 18sec for everyone to evacuate the school from the time the siren started to the point when every person on the school site was accounted for. This is getting faster and more efficient every time. It is very important for you to know that St Canice’s school is well prepared for an emergency.  We have procedures, equipment and supplies to cater for the school in an emergency. We all pray that nothing will happen that will threaten our school’s safety, but should it happen we have plans in place. Our Fire and Snow Emergency Policy was sent home via the Skool Bag App on Friday.

Last Tuesday was declared “Catastrophic” conditions.  Due to this decision by the RFS, the school enacted the Diocesan Policy to temporarily close, as we are deemed to be in a fire-prone area.  Thank you for all your support and understanding of this decision.  

Our role at the school is to continue to be alert. We also need to keep doing what we do here at the school and focus on each student to ‘Grow through Love and Learning”.  

Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 21: 5-19) tells us that while we are waiting for Jesus to return, we need to keep doing what we are meant to do.  We need to keep being the good people we are.  

Mr Mark Geerligs


Notes that have been distributed

Mr Geerligs Farewell

Temporary School Closure

Snow and Fire Policy

Stage 3 Growing and Changing

Filming Visit

Mufti Day

Head Lice

Christmas Hampers

Snow and Bushfire Policy

In the event of snowfall or a bushfire during school hours the following procedures must be followed.

When heavy snowfalls or there is a bushfire throughout the Mountains, the emergency personnel (Police and SES) provide advice to the school in respect of road conditions and closures and evacuation notice.

Should a decision be made for the school to evacuate, the school will take the following measures according to Police and SES advice:-

If it is safe to evacuate the students to their residence:

  • Students who normally catch buses will be assembled ready for the buses.

  • Students who live close to the school and normally walk will be given permission to do so unless otherwise advised by parents. 

  • The school will attempt to contact parents where children are unsure if anyone is home and if they live a long distance from a bus stop.

  • Students who do not catch buses or walk will remain at school until parents collect them.


If it is unsafe to evacuate the students to their residence:

  •  the school staff will care for the students in a safe location according to the advice from the Police or SES.

It is impossible to telephone every family as the time frame for this operation is short. However, every avenue to contact parents will be sought. Communication will also be placed on Facebook and an alert sent via Skoolbag. 

The school will remain open and therefore parents of bus travellers and walkers who require their child to stay at school can make that choice. 

At all times the children’s best interests will be paramount.

Parents are asked to discuss arrangements they require with their children so that students know what is expected of them.

What happens when a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating is declared?

St Canice’s Katoomba has been identified by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, as a school at increased risk if a bush fire were to break out on a day when a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating is issued for our area.


To ensure the health, safety and welfare of students and staff, on days when a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating is issued for our area, the school will temporarily cease operations for the day(s) the rating is current, and alternative arrangements will be put in place. The school will only receive notification of a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating after school hours the day before the forecast is issued. You will be notified as soon as possible after the Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating notification is received. 


A Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating is likely to occur on a very small number of days during the bushfire season, if at all. On days when the school is not operating due to a catastrophic fire danger rating, there will be no staff on site. In such circumstances, you will need to ensure that you put supervision arrangements in place for your child.


Such action is normally taken for one school day only unless there are exceptional circumstances, e.g. the school is temporarily unsafe for use. The school community will be advised of a return to normal operational services or alternative arrangements as soon as possible.


To assist the School in contacting all parents and carers in the event of a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating notification, please ensure that you have provided any change in home or after hours contact details to the school Office 4780 6800. 

Up to date bush fire information will also be available to you on NSW RFS Fire Danger Rating website.




Mark Geerligs


Skoolbag App

Please ensure you have the skoolbag app for all current and up to date school alerts.

Download skoolbag from the app store

Select St Canice's Catholic Primary Katoomba

Filming at St Canice's

Tuesday 19th November, some members of the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta team will be filming a video at St Canice’s which will feature some of our students as well as some of the great things that our school offers. The video will include some students and teachers. The final product will be a short 30-second video which will be used on the school’s website and social media channels during the lead-up to 2020 enrolments.

Christmas Hampers -Can You Help?

Can you help St Vincent de Paul Katoomba and a Farming community

spread Christmas cheer around?

We will be supporting both Katoomba and a drought affected community;Trangie- in North Western NSW.

Can you give a little bit extra so that we can help both communities?

Children are asked to bring in items for the Christmas hampers that St. Canice’s organises each year.

We require these items to be at school by 

Friday 28th November 2019.

If possible, so that there is a variety of items to fill the hampers, could the children bring in items as per the list below.

Kinder - Tins of fruit, christmas cakes, puddings or other dessert       items.

Year 1 - Tins of vegetables, pasta, gravox, rice, biscuits.

Year 2 - Custard, cream, milk (all long life), jellies, jam, honey,          vegemite.

Stage 2 - Drinks eg. soft drink, fruit juice, cordial , coffee, tea, sugar, hot chocolate, Milo.

Stage 3 -Tins of shoulder ham, salmon, tuna, stews, lollies, chips.


As well you might like to include Christmas Bon Bons, decorations or napkins to make Christmas a little more special for needy families in our community and those affected by drought.

Thanking you for your continued support

Mini Vinnies

Rotary Raffle

Rotary has commenced their Annual Christmas Treasure Trove Raffle for 2019. Thank you to all who have sold and returned tickets.

St Canice's are participating in this fundraising event where a percentage of funds from tickets sold will be donated back to our school.

As an auditory requirement, ticket numbers must be recorded for both sold and unsold tickets.

All sold and unsold tickets are due back at school on Wednesday 27th of November.

Platinum Awards

Our award system at St Canice’s rewards and acknowledges students who receives 5 Gold Awards with a platinum award.

If you have 5 Gold awards please hand them into your Teacher no later than Friday 15th November. This will allow for time to order the awards and have them engraved in time for our End of Year Mass on Friday 13th December 12pm - 1:30pm. Please see Mr White by Monday 18th November if there are other issues.

Attendance Matters

Early Morning Fun!

Periodically before morning assembly we start our school day with bubbles or chalk on the playground. This is enjoyed by all students and allows them free time before the start of their busy school day.

I encourage all students and their families to consider the many benefits of early morning school play before morning assembly, some of which include allowing students to think, imagine, move and socialize outside of the classroom.

This can further allow students to perform better cognitively and also form strong friendships with their peers. This is also a great time for parents and carers to meet and forge relationships with others in our school community.

I look forward to seeing you on the playground.

Miss Elizabeth

Attendance Family Liaison Officer

Farewell Liturgy for Mr Mark Geerligs

It's time to say farewell to our much-loved Principal Mr Mark Geerligs.

You are invited to attend a liturgy and afternoon tea to celebrate the years of Mark's dedication and commitment to Catholic Education since 1981.

Friday 22nd November 2019 @ 1:00pm

St Canice's Catholic School Hall, Katoomba 

We anticipate the liturgy will conclude at approximately 2:40 pm.


My School Lunchbox

My School Lunchbox delivers every Monday & Friday. My School Lunchbox is offsite with orders being placed via Payment is made by credit card or PayPal. Simply browse the menu and select the desired food and drinks. My School Lunch Box exists to ensure kids receive the healthiest, fresh lunches in a convenient way.

Preschool reading Group


Preschooler’s and parents are welcome to join Mrs Friend's Preschool Reading Group in the library every Tuesday morning for a fun story reading session from 8:40-9:00

Plenary Council

The parents and school staff of St Canice’s  Catholic School are encouraged and are most welcome to attend the Blue Mountains Catholic Community Forum as part of the Plenary 2020 process.

This forum is not a repeat of the forums we had last year and early this year but this is a part of the second phase, the listening and discernment phase. We will be using a traditional discernment process in small groups. At the forum we will be considering and discerning the most common responses that made up a large part of the 18,000 responses to the first phase. The object of this forum is to hand on our results to the Plenary Council.  Participants will have some choice as to which themes they can reflect upon. The Plenary Council has divided the findings into six overarching themes.

Missionary and Evangelising

Inclusive Participatory and Synodal 

Prayerful and Eucharistic 

Humble Healing and Merciful 

A joyful, hope-filled Servant Community 

Open to Conversion, Renewal and Reform

The members of the Catholic school community are considered by the Blue Mountains Deanery as key members of the local Catholic community. Therefore their participation in the discernment process is vital to the future of the Catholic Church reforms in Australia and especially in our diocese.

Our forum will be held on 

 Sunday 24th November at 2pm at St Thomas School Hall Springwood

“Many lay people are freed and invigorated when they feel we clerics are genuinely listening and are inviting them to participate in an adult way. They love their church and want to be involved and have their say. They have theological and pastoral insights that don’t occur to us, the clerics”  Fr Noel Connelly 

Year Six Graduation

The 2019 Year Six students will have their Graduation on

Tuesday 17th December

5:30pm - 7:30pm

School Dates

Whole School End of Year Mass - Friday 13th December 12 - 1:30m

The last day of the 2019 school year for all students will be Wednesday 18th of December.

2020 Dates

Staff - Tuesday 28th January

Year 1 - 6 - Wednesday 29th January 

Kinder-  Assessments Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th January

Kinder- First Day Friday 31st of February

CamBROdia 2020

Over 11 exciting days in January 2020,

Mr Wedesweiler and his son Gabriel are travelling to Cambodia for Catholic Mission’s Ride and Stride.

If you would like to help by donating to this worthy cause, you can sponser CamBROdia  using the following link.

All funds raised will directly be used to support life changing projects within Cambodia.


Over 12 exciting days, you’ll ride and stride deep into the Cambodian countryside and explore Cambodia’s unique historical landmarks. Best of all, you will raise vital funds for Catholic Mission to continue supporting projects in Cambodia, and see firsthand some of these life-changing projects.


If you would like to volunteer at our school, this is what you need to do:

Log in to

Hover over “Our Schools”    and select Parents as Partners     Scroll to Volunteer Training     Select Volunteers or Contractors

Step 1 – Complete either Volunteer or Contractor Form

Step 2 – Complete Training Module

You will receive a confirmation email once the forms have been submitted.

Parents and close relatives of a child who volunteer do not require a WWCC.

A WWCC is required if

  • A volunteer is part of a formal mentoring program.

  • Where volunteering involves intimate personal care of children with a disability.

Volunteers are not parents or close relatives.

Maths Challenge

The Counting Game

The counting game is a game that is played verbally. In this version, two or more players take turns counting up from one.

The first player says 1 and then each player on their turn can say the next one, two or three numbers counting on from where the preceding player left off.

The person who says 13 is out. 

The game starts again at 1 with the remaining players. Keep playing additional rounds until there is a final winner.

An example game with two players is below:

Player 1: one

Player 2: two, three

Player 1: four, five, six

Player 2: seven

Player 1: eight, nine

Player 2: ten

Player 1: eleven, twelve

Player 2: thirteen ...

player 2 is out!

Since no equipment is needed, this game can be played anywhere... on car trips, while waiting in a long line, or sitting around a campfire. It is also a great way to practice counting in another language.

This game can be changed to finish at any number or to allow each player to continue with a different amount of numbers on their turn. 

For example, "Add at most 4; lose on 21".

Overdue Accounts

Outstanding School Fees and private music tuition accounts are now overdue.

Please finalise by Friday 29th November.

If payment arrangement needs to be made, contact the Office as soon as possible.

Student Banking is Every Tuesday


Opal Cards

Students using an Opal card t travel to and from school are required to tap on and off each trip.

Please remember not to throw away Opal cards at the end of the year as eligible cards will be automatically updated for the new school year.

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Bishop Office

Upper Blue Mountains Adoration Chapel

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish in the Upper Blue Mountains has opened an Adoration Chapel at St Canice’s Church, Katoomba. If you would like further information or would like to sign up for a weekly hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, please call the parish office on 02 4782 2804.

Bishop’s Christmas Appeal

Help vulnerable people in crisis turn their lives around, recover and thrive. Your compassionate gifts and prayers will help CatholicCare to connect people with support and services to build strong foundations for self-sufficiency, fulfilling family relationships and brighter futures. Please give generously to the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal via

CEDP High Support Learning Centres

Kirinari, located in Llandilo and Wiyanga, located in Dudas, are purpose built centres for learning that provide an inclusive education for students with a moderate intellectual disability and high support needs. If you have a child or know someone who would benefit from an alternate platform for learning in Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, please phone 02 9840 5689 for further information.

ACBC National Prayer Campaign for Drought

The Catholic Bishops of Australia have announced a National Prayer Campaign for Drought to take place during November. People across the country are encouraged to pray for the gift of rain, for people affected by the drought and to provide practical support, where possible. The Bishops note that large parts of the country are directly affected by the drought, but the impact is national – and so should the response be national. Access resources and find out more at:

Country Care Link Volunteers Needed

Open Support, a not-for profit, community service organisation is in need of volunteer drivers for their Country Care Link program, which is a transport service for regional NSW families, couples and individuals when in Sydney for medical appointments and hospital stays. For more information or to receive a volunteer information pack, please email, call 02 8382 6437 or visit