The School Newsletter Week 3, Term 2 2020

From the Principal

Yesterday and today, there was a great deal of excitement on the playground before school as the students returned to school after a lengthy break. The thrill of seeing the students meet up once again with their friends was beautiful. The students look fabulous in their winter school uniforms and I thank the parents and carers for adhering to the uniform code.

The COVID-19 virus has forced all of us into a "new normal". The world as we know it is different, and we are asked to constantly adapt to closures and disruption to our regular patterns of work, routine and social lives. We are being asked to lockdown and practise self-isolation and social distancing. Some people are being quarantined and we are being asked to work from home as much as possible. The thought of being isolated from our regular friends, work colleagues and the people we associate with every day is not only inconvenient but also distressing.

Where is God in all of this? Perhaps this time can be viewed not as a restriction but rather as an opportunity to engage our spiritual lives. Perhaps we can see this time as a spiritual retreat time where we can rediscover our interior lives and contemplate the natural wonders of our being. How can we support our spiritual selves at this time?

  • Some people like to keep a journal of events, memories or inspirations that they receive throughout the day.
  • Prayer is a wonderful to discover the connection between our spiritual selves and our loving creator.
  • A contemplative walk can be an opportunity to contemplate nature and listen to the sounds around us.
  • Reading a good novel can be a wonderful way to connect with the spiritual. Real-life stories of people can offer a spiritual message to reflect upon.
  • Stillness and silence, with no distractions from watches, phones and other devices, can enhance our awareness of our spiritual lives.
  • Writing a letter of affirmation to someone to encourage them and support them is a wonderful way to affirm the deep spiritual connections that we have as one human family. We have recently received a number of lovely emails from parents and carers who have thanked and encouraged our teaching and support staff for the exceptional ways in which they have adapted to the demands of working remotely. It means a great deal to us to receive such support from you, and we thank you sincerely for your thoughtfulness.

Coronavirus has placed many of you under enormous stress. Each day brings new concerns: your children, your elderly parents, your friends, your neighbours, and for some of you . . . your livelihood.

Loving Creator, as families adjust to closures, lockdowns, isolation and loss of income, we ask that You guide people in their new realities. Give spouses grace for each other. Prompt worn-out parents to speak words of kindness and encouragement to their children. Help children to find creative ways to experience the beauty of all You have created and continue learning. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

Peter Green.

Kindergarten 2021

Enrolments are open for 2021 - please let your friends and family know what a great school St Patrick's is.


In the interests of maintaining our high standards of hygiene, we have implemented some measures that are designed to safeguard the health of the students and staff:

  • The school is being cleaned daily. Cleaning and disinfecting of used high-touch surfaces such as benchtops, desks, doorknobs, taps, and handrails is a priority for our cleaner.
  • During weeks 3 to 5, each class has the use of two classrooms as a means of maintaining social distancing measures between the students.
  • External providers (occupational therapists, music teachers, etc.) will not be permitted to enter the school until further notice.
  • The staff will maintain ventilation in classrooms by keeping windows open.
  • Although the Catholic Schools Office has declared playground equipment to be safe to use, we do not currently have enough staff to supervise all areas of the school playground, with half of our teachers still teaching from home. Therefore, until further notice, our playground equipment will not be available for use by the students. The sandpit is available to the students, but all of the toys from the sandpit have been packed away.
  • Sport equipment will not be available to the students until further notice. Students will not be permitted to bring soccer balls, etc. to school.
  • The teachers will remind the students to wash their hands regularly, using the hand sanitiser, soap and paper towels that have been supplied in each classroom.
  • The students will not assemble in close proximity to one another. Friday assemblies have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Parents and carers are respectfully asked not to enter the school site unless you have transactions to make at the school office. Exceptions have been made for three parents whose children need to be accompanied onto the school site in the mornings.
  • The canteen has been closed until further notice.

The school has been issued with personal protective equipment for use primarily by the school’s first aid officer, Mrs Sartori. The equipment includes:

  • 1 laser gun thermometer
  • 12 pairs of eye protection glasses
  • 50 masks
  • 5 ponchos
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant wipes

I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work done by our school cleaner, Brigitte, to maintain high standards of cleanliness and hygiene in our school. Brigitte takes great pride in her work. She is following the Catholic Schools Office recommendations to all schools in regard to cleaning. Thank you, Brigitte!


Just because we are not at school full time doesn't mean that book club can't continue. click- the link below and go directly to the fantastic issue that Scholastic have put together. You can place your orders via LOOP or send your orders into school if you prefer to order that way.

Orders are due by Thursday 21st May

News From the Home front

Another week of home learning has provided lots of new experiences for everyone. Below are each teacher's reports with work samples and photos of tasks that have happened in each class.

Our weekly Seesaw summary for K-2 really is quite amazing. Have a look at the amount of work that has been going on!

Our Seesaw Weekly Summary

From Mrs Ogden, Mrs Hyland & Mrs DEVLIN

Thanks Mum! Honouring our Year 1 mums. In our library lesson, Year 1 listened to the story ‘Some Mums” by Nick Bland. They took a selfie with their mum or a special woman in their family. Wishing all our mums a Happy Mothers’ Day. We hope you were spoilt.

FROM MRS CURK (Yr 1 Science, Yr 4/5/6 History)

Year 1 Science: We investigated different items in our home that could stretch. Some of us investigated which was the stretchiest item we had. Have a look at Sophie's home investigation. (Picture attached).

Year 4 History: We are learning about the First Fleet. This week we focused on the living conditions in London in the 1700's and why the prisons were overflowing with criminals. We wrote a journal entry from the perspective of a convict:

By Layla Wass

Hi. My name is Addison. I am a convict and even this diary is stolen. I am on a boat travelling to Australia and in this diary I will tell you about why I am going to Australia. It all started when I was hiding behind a shop. A boat was taking people in so I made my move. I slipped into the line, put my head down and crossed my fingers. Then, from out of nowhere, a police officer yelled "Oi you!" and the next thing I knew I was at court. When in court, the judge said 'Addison, you are in court now because you were caught trying to go to Italy. "You are sentenced to 7 years in Australia unless you have a reason to convince us." I said my reason for the crime was "I want a better life in another country and I don't care which country I go to!" The judge did not like what I was saying and sent me to Australia. So this is why I am on a boat to Australia.

By Hayden Wallwork:

I stole a horse and I got transported to Australia. It was fun there but I was far from home. It was scary at first but I eventually got to like it there. And after seven years they said you can come back to England, but I didn't want to go back because I didn't know who my mum was. It was a long way back home so I decided to stay in Australia.

By Jessica Quiggin

I stole a loaf of bread because I would have died if I didn’t. It didn’t go well because my whole family was apart; my dad was in jail, my mum was in jail in America my sister and I were on the First Fleet. We were so sad to leave our Grandma because she needed help walking. I was too scared to see her face. It made me cry when they showed a picture of our family.

Year 5/6 History: We are learning about famous Australians in the 1800's and the significant contributions they made to shaping the colony. This week we looked at significant Australians on our bank notes. Have a look at some fact files below.

By Caitlin Farrell

  1. Name: Banjo Paterson, $10 note.
  2. Time period in Australian history: 1864-1941.
  3. What was their significant contribution to the colony? Poet. Wrote the song 'Waltzing Matilda' and 'The Man From Snowy River'.
  4. Explain how this person helped shape the colony: He was able to show what it was like to live in the bush for those who didn't live there.

By Lacey Joyce

  1. Name: Mary Gilmore, $10 note.
  2. Time period in Australian history: 1865-1962.
  3. What was their significant contribution to the colony: She was a teacher and a writer who was the editor of the women's pages of the Australian Worker newspaper for 23 years.
  4. Explain how this person helped shape the colony: She became the first person to be appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire for contributions to literature.

From Mrs Koster (Yr3)

  • This week in Religion, Year 3 reflected on what makes us happy. Evan created a 'happiness' poster showing all of the things that make him happy while he is learning from home.
  • Elliot interviewed his Mum about her school experience in Spain. This is a Venn diagram he made, comparing it to his own school experience at St Patrick's.

From Mr McCarthy (yr 3)

The children completed some great tasks on Seesaw this week .

  • Blake went on a noun hunt
  • Eva's ideas about how she is able to show respect
  • Shyanna using Data in Maths
  • Flynn and Elliot worked on some origami tulips for Mother's Day

From Mrs Walker (Kinder)

This week's collection of Kinder photos are of the following

  • Archer made 2D shapes using sticks.
  • Kingston did a directed drawing of a mother and child.
  • Layla made a maraca as part of her music lesson.
  • Ryker painted, worked in his number booklet and rode his bike for exercise.
  • Scarlet drew her own weather symbols.
  • Laith used lego pieces to show how numbers are made up of tens and ones.

From Mrs dent (Yr 5/6)

Another busy week of learning for Year 5/6 . Below are some pieces of writing by Dylan and Craig, and the photos here are of the Wijnans enjoying family time, and what yesterday’s Maths lesson looked like with Craig on Zoom.

Why plastic bags should be banned, by Dylan Wilks

Do you want the future of our world covered in half decomposed plastic bags? With the number of plastic bags that we are throwing away, our world will become a wasteland and the creatures of the ocean will perish due to so much plastic particles in the water. We need to change!

It won't just be the ocean full of plastic. It will be your bins and cupboards too, because every time you go shopping you pick up 15 to 20 single use bags which clog up quite quickly and just go straight to landfill and take 10 to 20 years to decompose. Multiply that all by 7.5 billion people, and the world is about to get messy if this goes on.

Multi use bags cost money so people won't buy as many and will take more care of them, which will mean less in landfill and in our cupboards. You know about how I said you take 15 to 20 bags per shopping trip? Well, with multi use you take about 7 per year instead, which means the earth is much cleaner with the use of multi use bags.

Instead of banning plastic bags completely, creating multi use plastic bags still gives shoppers the convenience of bags. So more people will agree with it and will increase the effectiveness of having less plastic in our landfill and in our environment. If we just got rid of bags, people would bring their own bags and just throw them away again and again.

So, will you join me and use multi use plastic bags, because together we can make a difference and save the creatures of the land and sea from single use plastic bags.

Why plastic bags should be banned, by Craig Warden

Did you know an apple core takes two months to break down, but a plastic bag takes 1,000 years to break down? We have used so many plastic bags that there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of rubbish in the ocean. This rubbish has killed some of our most beloved species of birds and marine life.

This is because a plastic bag only lasts 12 minutes of use which we would likely throw away. Does this seem fair that we spend so little time using it for it to end up in the ocean for hundreds of years? If we only use them for 12 minutes there are better alternatives such as:

  • Paper – this can be recycled.
  • Cardboard – you can use it multiple times and it is recyclable.
  • Reusable bags – you can use them more times than cardboard or paper.

Over 1000 turtles are killed from plastic every year. I am 11 years old. This means that 11,000 turtles have been killed while I have been alive, because plastic can cause blockages in their intestines and even pierce the intestinal wall, causing internal bleeding.

Perhaps the most distressing fate of all is when the plastic in the turtle’s stomach imitates the sensation of being full. Turtles then neglect to seek out other food sources and ultimately die from starvation.

Sadly, it’s not only the consumption of plastic that poses a threat to these marine reptiles. When turtles get entangled in plastic debris, they risk choking to death, losing limbs and generally injuring themselves, sometimes beyond repair.

From Mr Lockwood (Yr 4/5)

This week Year 4/5 have continued to focus on their persuasive writing skills. They have been very convincing in expressing their point of view. We have also participated in Kahoot quizzes about time on Maths. Well done to the winners.

The Kahoot games have been great this week and I have really enjoyed the Zoom meetings, being able to see my friends and familiar faces. I even did a zoom meeting with cubs to make damper. Although I have enjoyed being home, I’m really looking forward to returning to school.” Jessica

I was thrilled to receive this feedback from Jessica’s mum. Thanks – it means a lot!

“I would like to express my appreciation and to say thank you to you and all the staff at St Patrick’s for your dedication in providing support to our Jess and to us. I congratulate you all on the success of the home learning implementations and guiding us through it as well. I know this has not been an easy process. Again I say thank you. We are very fortunate that we have had the support that you have provided.”

From Mrs Stewart (Yr 2)

Another fabulous week of home learning in Year 2.

  • Zahlia Conway has welcomed a new baby sister – Nevaeh.
  • Sienna Parker used mental strategies for addition and subtraction.
  • Rhys Stewart wrote about how plants make their own food.
  • Max Summers made a beautiful Mother’s day flower for his Mum.


This week I asked all students to create their own musical instruments and play along to their favourite song. I had so much fun watching all of your rockstar performances! We have such a talented school of musicians. It’s been lovely to hear you all singing solo and having your moment to shine, as sometimes in class I can’t hear each student individually. Special shout out to Grace in Year 2 . . . I nearly fell off my chair when I heard her sing her solo. She is the next Whitney Houston I think! Such a beautiful voice. These pictures are of Sophie and Eva playing their home made instruments. See you all soon. Mrs Tanchevski.


To help Australians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, NBN is providing up to $50 million to assist phone and internet providers to support low-income family households with school-aged children who do not currently have an active NBN connection at home. This funding will help phone and internet providers create more affordable offers to connect eligible families during term two of school. For further information please click here. An up-to-date list of phone and internet providers participating in the COVID-19 relief and assistance package, that have consented to their details being provided by NBN and are ready to connect customers, is available at: https://www.nbnco.com.au/response



by Gayna Turner

Our new school psychologist, Gayna Turner, has provided us with these handy tips:

Firstly, well done to all those parents who have been doing their best to juggle parenting, home learning programs and working in a job. It has been challenging. Now it’s time for kids to start returning to school and to let the teachers answer those millions of questions you have been fielding each day. I don’t know how they do it. Who else has had to look up Youtube to find out how to multiply decimals or refresh on trigonometry?

For students, a certain degree of worry and fear about returning to school, especially following this time away from face-to-face teaching and in the current pandemic, is normal. We are currently in uncertain times. However, most students find that these worrying feelings decrease over time once they are back at school and following the school routine. For those children, young people and their families who are vulnerable to COVID-19 as outlined by NSW Health, please contact your school about your circumstances and school attendance.

Here are a few things that parents can do to help their child who may worry about returning to school:

  • Listen to and help your child to identify their emotions. It is healthy for children to talk about their feelings. They don’t benefit from “not thinking about it.” Be empathetic, but also gently remind your child that they have done this before after long school holiday breaks.
  • Talk about returning to school and help them to prepare for the transition. What will school look like? What will be the same? What might be different?
  • Develop a calm morning routine. Organise and pack the night before.
  • Develop and follow a quick goodbye routine. Leave without fanfare. Tell your child that you are leaving and that you will return. Then go. Don’t stall or make it a bigger deal than it is.​ Remember that they are safe and cared for at school.
  • Encourage your child to meet up with friends before going into school.
  • Reassure your child that feeling anxious to new situations is normal and that they can do things to help manage these feelings such as mindful breathing, relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise, getting a good night sleep, positive self-talk, talking to friends.
  • Help them to understand that delaying the return to school is likely to make things harder in the future.
  • Build confidence in them: “I know it feels hard, but you can do it”.
  • Help them to develop coping statements to use at school: “As the day goes on, I will feel less worried”. “All the teachers care about me and are there if I need them”.
  • Discuss and identify safe place​s and people who they feel comfortable talking to at school.
  • Send notes for your child to read at lunch ​time.
  • Draw a love heart on your hand and on theirs as a reminder that you are always thinking about them. When they press the heart it’s like getting a hug from you​.
  • Give your child something of yours to keep while at school (nothing expensive or sentimental). Maybe your favorite scarf, a hat or a special photo.
  • Read a social story about returning to school. The school can help you with this.
  • Reward your child’s efforts. Give them something to look forward to at the end of the day. Maybe their choice of dinner, or a special walk around the park, or some afternoon game time.

I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. If you are concerned that your child’s worry is becoming persistent and intense, please contact the school and discuss this with your child’s class teacher. Additionally, please discuss any major concerns with your GP or mental health care provider.

Take care.



Later this year, ASPIRE’s Senior Theatre Makers program will be putting on a performance that’s all about our current situation, with a focus on isolation. The people at ASPIRE want to hear what life is like in isolation so that they can use it as source material in their play. What will you write about? Do you like isolation? What are your thoughts on the reactions of world leaders to the outbreak? What is the main thing that you miss doing that you can’t do now? Who are the main people that you are missing? What are you doing at home to stay entertained? Are you seeing a different side to the people you are living with? Was there something hilarious that happened to you in isolation? Was there something sad?

You can answer one of these questions, or you can write about whatever you find interesting. It can be as long or as short as you like. It does not have to be in an essay form . . . Think of it more like a journal entry. Most importantly, they do not want to hear lots of fancy words; they want to hear your voice though the writing!

If there are any students interested in this project, send your submission to ollie.crawford@mn.catholic.edu.au by 29th May. They may use your piece of writing in their script.

Calling all inspired art students!

This year’s ASPIRE production is called The Pecking Order and some of the main characters are birds. In honour of our feathered friends, we would like to invite students, of any age, from our diocesan schools to create a model bird that will be displayed in the foyer during production week.

Our aim is to create a wonderful art exhibition at the Civic Theatre for the duration of the production to showcase the work of our talented Visual Arts students.

For more information on closing dates and prizes to be won click the link below


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Created By
St Patrick's Swansea


Created with images by Aaron Burden - "Writing with a fountain pen" • Caroline Attwood - "untitled image"