Principal's Post

Welcome back to the 2020 school year. Huge thank you to everyone for making a wonderful start to the year. You already look like the routines of school life have clicked in, and the busyness of life continues to roll on. The best part is seeing just how much the kids are feeling like home back here at St Col’s. Hopefully you are starting to feel the same as parents. We know how precious your children are and that you entrust us with their care throughout their time here. You know how I roll with this. I see everyone as family. I treat our kids as my little nieces and nephews, you like my cousins and our staff like my brothers and sisters. It is just how it is for me now. Feel so blessed that everyone allows me to be the ‘true Art’. One of the blessings I am grateful for every single moment of my day.

So, yes, we have it good here. Joshua 1:9, above, is something I briefly talk about at parent nights this week. The reason, well, one of our key statements, motto, is Grow in Faith. Faith is knowing God is with us. I do not know, but I am always trying to plan for the future. One thing I am learning more and more as I go through life, is that he is the one who has the plan. Just probably where I am at in life I guess, just sense that he puts me where I am meant to be. Faith, trusting in something greater than ourselves, not sure really, but just the vibe of my life currently.

Which leads me to Ubuntu, my personal theme for the year. My non-negotiable belief that I must stand for in my life. Purpose filled for 2020.

The thing is, these things come to me over the summer break where I get to stop my world for a bit and reassess what it is that I truly believe. By no means am I perfect at this stuff, far from it, fail all the time. That is the beauty of it. But we know the world is all about connections, truly what life is about. It is something that I will work on being front and centre every time I engage in a situation throughout 2020. I then know because of my commitment to it and the habit it will form, then it will be with me for life. At the parent nights this week I talk about my last four years of being focused on a purpose for my life and then the results that come from it. Believe me, it took me nearly 50 years of living on this earth to get to this point, realising why I was put on the planet.

This is my favourite stuff in life. I have the privilege of being our principal. From my faith, sort of fail with this at times, to my knowing that we must all do what is good for our soul, right through to our life here at St Col’s. In every situation now, I am called to this belief that I am, because we are. Already using this, it is hard to find blame in any situation. In all situations I have found we just work through things together. Cannot be laying blame when I am because we are, and you are because I am. I know I am probably simplifying it, but there is such a truth to this.

I was talking to a dad this morning while on before school duty. I mean how blessed am I when I can listen to a story from a dad and know that the world is a better place because this dad is actually living the Ubuntu. He would not know this, but as I listened, all I could think about was his kindness and compassion, but more than this, he is because of someone else. Amazing how if we stand by a belief strongly enough to take the forces of nature, those storms that come in life, then we create something pretty special within ourselves. I do not know what it is, but I get on these rolls when I write to you in the Donegal. I think I am going to start doing a video instead, three minutes of just talking, after all I am writing this without any true editing and basically straight out of what is in my head.

Ubuntu, just have a look around. It is already alive here. We all get the chance to seriously bring it to life in where we are at. All different, all with our stories. I live by my last three years of belief, entheos – enthusiasm that comes from God within us, gratitude and waking up each morning thinking of three things I am grateful for, then who will it be today that I serve, and then what is exciting about the day, from there I then have my ikigai, the belief that the grass is always greener on my side of the fence, and that I no longer need to compare myself to anybody else, that’s what we have here at St Columba’s is green grass that brings an abundance of life and joy. Now do not look for punctuation as I have not drawn breath as I have written that last paragraph. Just embrace it I reckon.

Anyhow, that is probably enough from me, but I just get so passionate about things when it comes to our people and our kids.

A few things for the start of the year


At our first school Mass of the year, Friday 7 February, at 9.00 am, we will present our 2020 student leaders from Year 6. Our School Board and P & F Executive members will be commissioned for the year.


  • First Community Mass of the year on Sunday 16 February at 9.30 am.
  • We would love to pack the church full with our families at this Mass.
  • It is our chance to give thanks for what we have at St Columba’s School and parish.
  • Our Community Mass is something we wish to continue to grow in 2020.


Please be aware that this may change over the coming months and that it is important to continue to check for updates in the Donegal and the website during the year. Whole year start and end of term dates are confirmed below, along with the Pupil Free Days being held during the year.


Term 1 Start Date Students                Monday 3 February
Term 1 End Date Students                  Thursday 9 April

Term 2 Start Date Students                Tuesday 28 April
Term 2 End Date Students                  Thursday 2 July

Term 3 Start Date Students                Monday 20 July
Term 3 End Date Students                  Thursday 24 September

Term 4 Start Date Students                Tuesday 13 October
Term 4 End Date Students                  Friday 11 December

Pupil Free Dates Professional Learning Days [Staff] 2020

Friday 28 February
Friday 29 May
Friday 3 July
Friday 25 September
Monday 12 October

Please note, these dates are subject to change. If these dates for Professional Learning do require amending, parents will be notified well in advance.


A very special welcome to our new students and their families. We know you will love it here. Our new parents have already spoken about how beautiful our families are here at St Columba’s School. You have been amazing in making this a very special place. Please keep an eye out for the new parent faces and say hello. A smile their way is often one of the best things ever. You all have this down pat, so thanks for making it feel like home for others around you.


In 2020, we will not be running our Italian program, but will be transitioning to another language. I am working with SCSA and our Catholic Education consultant on how this will look for us here at St Columba’s School. Currently, LOTE is mandated for Year 3, 4 and 5. These year levels will have a language taught this year. We will keep you informed of when this will begin. We will be investigating options for our Year 6s to find their passion for languages through an on-line app later this term. At present, we are not planning to have LOTE being taught in our PP to Year 2 classrooms in 2020. Please do not hesitate to see me directly if you have any questions regarding this change.


At the end of the 2019 school year, we reviewed the swimming lesson program at St Columba’s. As a result of this review, we have made the decision that we will no longer provide these lessons through the school for our Year 1, 2 and 3 students. The two-three-hour disruption to the learning throughout the day, along with escalating costs, and value for money were reasons behind the decision. This change was made after due consideration and the evaluation of the program.


Canteen days continue as Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only. Chisholm College will continue to supply our lunches through their canteen in 2020. Our school canteen is open for snacks etc at recess and during the lunch break. Orders can be placed on-line through

Focus Area as PRIORITY – Predominantly white sport shoes, black school shoes and school sport socks

I love the fact that in 2019 our kids and families worked really hard at taking pride in how we present. School uniforms can be a frustration for parents as much as it can be for us in leadership. The thing is, we have a policy we need to adhere to and we need parent support, so thank you.

The majority of students wear their uniform with pride and adhere to the high expectations set by staff and parents. Please note the target area for the start of the 2020 school year:

Sport Shoes

The Number 1 target has been to tighten up the predominantly white sport shoes. While this was impressive in parts, we did slacken off towards the end of 2019. We continue to work with some families on this and will continue to persist in 2020.


St Columba’s sport socks also need to be worn as part of the sport uniform. These can be purchased from the uniform shop. As part of the academic uniform, girls wear white ankle socks and boys wear grey ankle socks. These are not available at the school uniform shop and can be purchased from other retailers.

Black School Shoes

These must be black school shoes, not sneakers. Again, there are many options available, including Athlete’s Foot, Morley.

As I have said the diligence around the wearing of the school uniform impacts on how we feel about our school and our respect for who we are. If parents ever need support with the school uniform in any way, please feel free to speak with me directly.


  • Sport uniform days will be allocated by classroom teachers during the first week.
  • Specialist learning areas in Physical Education, Music, Technology and Science will commence Week 1 of the term.


  • Before School Supervision starts at 8.15 am. Two areas will be supervised. The school oval and the undercover area. Please remember no ball games on the oval before school. The upper playground, students can play handball and shoot baskets/nets.
  • After school, students move to the three exit points. The Kiss and Drive pick-up area, the Milne Street gate and the administration gate.
  • No students should be using the OSHC gate unless accompanied by an adult as this is a car park. Parents should not be using this car park as a drop off and pick up area, unless using OSHC.
  • Tip for after school pick-up: Arrive around 3.10 pm and traffic delays are alleviated to some degree. Traffic around schools during peak times before and after school are a natural part of the day. I wish to thank parents in advance for your patience and courtesy.


  • Before and After School Care is available on-site every day of the school year, as well as during school holiday breaks. Details available through the school administration.
  • Operates from 7.00 am to 8.30 am and 2.45 pm to 6.00 pm.


A gentle reminder to everyone about parking around the school grounds. At times residents will make contact with us here in admin to ask that parents refrain from blocking their driveways. They do appreciate the situation, as we all do. Please be mindful of neighbours. If ever there is an issue, do the St Columba’s thing, be gentle and polite and we will work through it. We get the busyness of the mornings and afternoons.


Thank you to Ariane Mazurak for volunteering to be School Banking Co-ordinator again this year. This is much appreciated by everyone. School banking will commence this Thursday 6 February from 8.15 am -8.30 am in the school canteen. Any new families wishing to open and account, please see Ariane on Thursday morning.

WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY: [Venue – Undercover Area]

Whole School Assemblies will be held on Friday mornings (fortnightly) commencing 14 February at 8.45 am. Please check term planner, newsletters and website to check dates.


Please note the school fees will be coming home next Friday 14 February. We are trialling this through our new Administration of Schools software that Catholic Schools have started to roll out. As an early adopter, there are times when the system will not work as planned. We will keep you posted on developments if they impact on the delivery of your fee schedules.


Teachers would have handed out the student family details forms at their parent night. We need these signed and returned for our record keeping and management of information. Please return either to your classroom teacher or directly to Lisa in the administration. Thanks for your assistance with this information.

MAINTENANCE over the School Holiday Break

Some of the projects and maintenance included:

  • Painting program – Year 2, 3 and 5 classrooms, Kindergarten/Pre-Primary/Year 1, external rafters, gutters, posts, toilet doors in upper playground and Pre-Primary blocks, all posts along Year 2 and the library.
  • Oval top dressing and general maintenance.
  • Shade sails installed in the nature play area near the administration.
  • General maintenance including mulching of grounds, maintenance of all playground timbers and wooden decking, pressure cleaning, plus more.
  • High pressure cleaning of the undercover area and bird proofing of the area. Special thanks to Michael Gardiner for completing these works over the holiday break.
  • Greg Martin Pavilion sign has been placed in the undercover area. Big thank you to David Cooper for making this happen.
  • Whole school summer cleaning maintenance.

Now that was a lot of information to take in. Please look after yourself this week and find time to recharge your own batteries. I see how busy you all are. Always remember our staff are here to support you and your kids.

Good things your way and enjoy the week.




School Counsellor News

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus Outbreak

TIME Magazine

An ongoing coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China in December and has since sickened more than 20,000 people across the globe has raised plenty of questions: How long will the outbreak lastCan it be containedWill scientists find a treatment?

These questions don’t yet have clear answers, making them difficult for even adults to wrap their minds around. That uncertainty, in turn, leaves many parents nervously wondering what they are supposed to tell their kids.

Molly Gardner, a pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, has some simple advice: Stay informed, keep perspective and be honest.

“Kids’ emotions feed off of parents’ emotions,” Gardner says. For that reason, it’s important that adults stay up-to-date on the news, so they can answer kids’ questions to the extent possible, but avoid falling into a pit of anxiety about the outbreak.


“Being informed and being anxious are two different things,” Gardner adds

Parents should also tailor their approach depending on their child’s age, information processing style and exposure to news about the virus, says Ellen Braaten, co-director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. “You have to know your child,” she says. “Does more information help them cope, or does more information make them anxious?”

Adolescents, who have likely been exposed to information about the outbreak online or at school, can probably handle a frank discussion, Braaten says. She suggests asking them what they think about the outbreak or if they’re worried about anything in particular, then sharing your own thoughts about the situation.

For younger kids, Braaten suggests listening more than you talk. “Find out what it is they’re fearful of and what they already know about it,” she says. Try to answer any specific questions they have, even if those questions feel uncomfortable.

“It’s okay to use words like death and dying,” Gardner says. “The more we beat around the bush with kids, the more they might get confused.” (That said, Gardner says it’s probably smart to turn off the news — which could contain scary images — when young children are around.)

It can be helpful to put things in perspective for a child by explaining that it’s unlikely they or anyone they know in the U.S. will get sick, but Gardner urges parents to avoid over-promising, given all the unknowns about the outbreak. “Just say, ‘We’re going to do everything we can to stay healthy. We’re going to keep informed, and if we have other questions we don’t know the answer to, let’s go talk to your doctor about that,’” she suggests.

It can also be comforting to reiterate that doctors around the world are working to find solutions and care for people who are already sick, Braaten says.

But perhaps the most useful approach for kids of any age, Braaten says, is reminding them of things that are in their power, like washing their hands and covering their sneezes and coughs to avoid getting and spreading illnesses of all kinds. “Knowing there’s something we can do makes us feel less powerless,” she says.

Even after following all of this advice, parents may notice that their kids are worried or anxious about coronavirus. That’s a perfectly normal reaction, Braaten says — adults should just keep an eye on it. If kids are worried to the point of struggling to sleep or being afraid to go to school for days on end, for example, it may be time to call a mental health provider for extra help.





Jennifer Maughan
Social Worker
Tuesday & Wednesday
9208 2703


P & F News

The next P&F meeting will be held on Tuesday the 18th of February at 7pm in the Library.

All are welcome to attend

The P&F would like to welcome all families back to school and we hope you all had a fantastic Summer Break. We look forward to a fantastic year of fundraising and bringing our wonderful school community together.

Class Representatives

We invite parents to nominate to be a class representative for the year. We require at least 1 parent from each class to represent their class at the P&F meetings. This is a great way to find out what is happening around the school and to meet other parents.

Please email Pippa Harris if you require more information or you would like to nominate for your class.

The meetings will be held at 7pm on the following dates:

February 18th
March 17th
May 19th
June 23rd
August 18th
September 15th
October 20th


Outdoor Movie Night

The P&F invite all families to join us at the outdoor movie night to welcome everyone to another fabulous year at St Columba’s.  Aladdin will be screened on the school oval on Friday 21st February, gates open at 6.30pm with the movie starting at 7.15pm. . Please bring along a picnic, low back seating, picnic rugs, beanbags and cushions. We kindly request no glass and that all children are supervised by their parents. There will be no staff providing supervision on the night.

Entry will be through the staff carpark gate and all other gates will be locked. There will be no access to other parts of the school.

Gold coin donation per person at the gate.

We have hired a coffee van to provide hot beverages and the canteen will be open and will be selling the following items:

Icy poles
Soft drinks

If you are able to volunteer an hour to help out on the night in the canteen please email me

We will be drawing a fantastic raffle on the night and tickets will be available for purchase before school during the week leading up to the night and on the night.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Rachel Lange

P&F President




777 Pharmacy 

Don’t forget to mention that you are a St Columba’s family if you are shopping at the Maylands or Bayswater 777 Pharmacy. 10% of all retail sales goes towards the P&F.



Pastoral Care

Happy Birthday to:

To all students and staff who will be celebrating their birthday over the holidays and:

Oliver Minchin KG
Jonathan Truong PPG
Maya Katich PPG
Stefano Mustica PPW
Luke Magee PPW
Daniel Wilk 1G
Sebastian Kaless 2G
Lucas Giuffre 2W
Jack Hutton 2W
Hannah Mutsaers 4W
Emily Thoms 6G
Lily May 6W

Welcome back everyone.

Our Pastoral Care team are in the process of preparing the rosters for our weekly raffle which commences in Week 3 – Wednesday 19 February 2020.

Class rosters will be posted outside classrooms by next week as well as in the weekly Newsletter.

Raffle tickets are 20 cents each with a maximum of 3 tickets per child.

Each child will be rostered once a year to bring a prize to the value of $5.

Your continued support is greatly appreciated by our school community.


Pastoral Care Team.





St Columba’s School Bayswater

32 Roberts Street, Bayswater WA 6053
PO Box 61, Bayswater WA 6933
Phone: (08) 9208 2700