Principal's Post

Last week’s Professional Learning Day for staff was inspiring. Our focus was on Social Justice, ‘Making the World a Better Place to Be’. There were so many connections to what we currently do, but also so many ways to look at things from a different angle. The gift of the day was the presenter, Nathan Leber. To say he made an impact on every one of us, would be an understatement. For staff who attended, lives were changed for ever from the experience. There is something about deep faith and trust in God, trust in people and the gift of being you.

The one statement I did love, and I know you will too, it was that God created you to be you. However, that may be, wherever that may be, there is real purpose to your being. Be your true self is all God asks of us. We have it so good! Yes, I get it, sometimes we just have to be something we do not really want to be. That is cool, God gets it more than we do. It might just be me, but as I get older, I think I become a little wiser. Okay, that is debatable, but I experience so many different things as a Principal. It is something I am so grateful for. I learn stuff every day about ‘the human side of life’. You know who I learn it from? Your kids, my own kids, you, my parents and staff, my family and my mates. I learn it from the bloke who served me when I grabbed petrol the other day, the guy who served me at Bunnings, the delightful lady at Train Stop Bakery, okay, she always gives a bonus jam donut. I cannot say no, that would be rude.

You will know that I live by a few mantras, here are two. They say it all and I need to say no more.

I am sure I have shared this Maori saying before. But I discovered it while in NZ a few years ago. Always sits right in front of me. No choice, once you commit to it. As Principal I discovered Saint Mary MacKillop. She changed me forever, for the better. Stopped thinking about the impact of things on myself and have a commitment I made to her when I left Ballajura as Principal, that I would not deviate from this. I am not perfect at this, but I think that is what Mary MacKillop likes best. She was a rebel, which makes her a great Saint. Funny, I have been Principal at St Augustine’s, he was a good bloke. Smart, but very cheeky. He was always a worry for his mum. Definitely a rebel. And St Columba. Well he likes to get on with things in his own way. Another ripping great Saint.

All three were themselves, and lived it that way. I guess that is where I started at the beginning of this Post, that is what we are called to be by God. Embrace it this week. The quote below is something from the PD last week that is a bit of GOLD! Probably key to social justice and what we can do starting this very moment in our next interaction.

So, tomorrow brings our Year 1 to 6 Athletics Carnival. This is going to be a ripping good day. The weather perfect, sort of. Well, a little bit chilly. I always enjoy these days because they are filled with joy and goodness. It brings kids and families together supporting their factions and each other. The best part is seeing kids support their mates, even if their mates beat them in a race. Even better is seeing how the parents not only look out for their own kids, but all our St Col’s Kids. We always talk about what we stand for, well this is it in action. I also know how my competitive side would always come out when I watched Holly and Skye run, just happens, cannot control it. We just want our kids to do well. The thing about a great athletics carnival is what Evonne Goolagong Cawley says about her time as a superstar of tennis.

I wish to thank all our kids for their efforts in the lead up events and having a go and giving their best. We will keep pushing that these days are all about fun, but also about competition, because there are so many learning opportunities that happen on days like this. Just think about how much courage it takes a kid who does not see running as their favourite ever past time, to stand in front of everyone and have to sprint a 200 m race. I know you will cheer every one of our kids on as if they are your own. This is why I am blessed to be Principal of quality people. Huge thanks to Jo McCluskey for organising the day. There is much work that goes on in the background for these days. A massive effort. Remember we are at a new venue, Bayswater Little Athletics, Noranda.

Another person who is pretty chilled about life, is Usain Bolt. Love his relaxed manner and his humour. The quote below says it all about him and probably why he ran like the wind. This is the attitude we want on the day from all our kids. Spiders, yep, had me as soon as I read it.

St Columba’s School Bayswater – Taking the Pulse Survey


As you know, we love feedback here at St Columba’s School. We are about being the best we can be for our children, our families and our staff. A survey is now available for any parents who wish to give feedback on where we are at as a school and a community. The focus is on finding out about our school and what we stand for. Please note the following:

  • The survey is an opportunity for you, our parents, to let us know how things are going for you and your children.
  • We value your feedback and will work with the information that is provided.
  • Your feedback does not include the data of individuals; rather, feedback involves a graph based on feedback from all parents. To ensure anonymity, aggregated scores are not provided for groups of less than four parents.
  • There are no right or wrong answers. We are open to whatever comes our way. We are realistic about the need to celebrate what we do well, but also to look at how we continue to improve things for our students.
  • The response format requires parents to consider how often each statement takes place in terms of: Almost Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often and Almost Always.

The survey is available from today.  Please refer to the attachment to this newsletter for further details.

Please note the survey will close at 12.00pm Friday 27th September.

Here is another survey below from CEWA, if you are interested. The survey below is system based.

CECWA Policy Development Process

An Invitation to Have Your Say

The Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA) is reviewing our system policies supporting our 75,000 students and 12,000 staff in 162 schools. We invite all students, parents, CEWA staff and members of the community to help by telling us:

What makes a good Catholic school?

Facilitated sessions will take place at our Leederville office. You can book your preferred session time online and choose from:

* Early Years LOFT Sessions (for Pre K – Year 4 Students and their Family)

* Open LOFT Sessions (Years 4 – 12 Students, Families, Staff and Community)

During the school holiday sessions, participants will also help to create a mural alongside local artist Linzi Carter. This is an evolving creation, whose form will develop with each session. We welcome you to participate in this unique opportunity to have your say on the future of our schools.

For more information and to register for a session, see:


Enjoy your week ahead. May it be filled with good things and an abundance of joy. Many blessings to you and your family. Remember what Mother Teresa taught us. See how we all go with this over the next few days.


Faction Athletics Carnival

Year 1 to 6

Friday 20th September

Venue: Bayswater Little Athletics Centre

Wylde Road, Noranda

Start Time – 9.30 am

The Year 3 to Year 6 400m events will commence immediately at 9.30 am.

End of Carnival – 2.15 pm

This is one of the best days of the year! Come along and enjoy seeing how wonderful St Columba’s Kids are at having a go and supporting their mates. It is all about fun and being a part of a faction and a team.

Students going home with parents at the end of the day

Parents will be able to take their children directly home from the carnival at the end of the day. Please let your classroom teacher know if you will be taking your child home. This will allow us to plan the number of buses required for the return trip to school.

Our classrooms will be open at 8.20 am for our teachers and students to get ready for the day and get straight onto the buses by 8.40 am at the latest.

 Before school, the buses will be lined-up along Milne Street. Please do not park in any of the bays on the school side of Milne Street on this day.

Schedule for the events for the day will be posted on the school website under Parents Information > News section, by Monday 16th September.  A Text message will be sent once it has been uploaded.

Sausage Sizzle closing date is Wednesday 18 September. Thank you to the Parents and Friends for organising this for us.

There will also be a cake stall, along with a coffee van.



Last Thursday, our Year 5 GATE students, as well as students from Trinity, St Paul’s, Our Lady’s Assumption and our host school St Peter’s, participated in activities designed to ensure students had time to connect, understand, and reflect on practices that enhance wellbeing and mindfulness. Through discussion and visual presentations, invited speakers explained how to identify stressors and demonstrated strategies to help manage and support wellness.

Students engaged in activities such as team building and yoga, constructed brain hats, practised mindfulness and assembled ‘Wellness Care Packages’. They also had the opportunity to interact with like minded students and establish new friendships.

The highlight of the day, however, goes to Doogie – the very cute and friendly care dog. I think Mr Lombardi may be getting a few requests in the week ahead for our very own St Columba’s care dog!


Olivia Ioppolo
(GATE & Support Teacher)



Thank you to Ariane Mazurak for volunteering to take on the role of School Banking Co-ordinator. Ariane will now conduct school banking on a Thursday morning, in the canteen, commencing next Thursday 19th September. We again thank Jennifer Benfell for her time and commitment to school banking for the last couple of years. We sincerely appreciate the time committed and the passion with which Jen took this on.



Mercy Mission Day will be celebrated on Tuesday 24th September. This is our major fundraising event for the year, the proceeds of which will go to the Mercy Missions and other local and global Catholic Missions and outreach agencies.

Details of the day:
9:00am Mass
11:00am-1:00pm Stalls

Each class organises a stall and the students join in fun and activities on that day.   It is requested that students bring small amounts of change (not notes) to spend at the stalls. Classes may also request small donations from families to run the stalls. This will be communicated via SeeSaw.

Students may wear free dress for a gold coin donation.

Thank you for your support.




School Counsellor News

Managing your child’s anxiety

by Michael Grose

If your child feels anxious, reassure them that these feelings are a normal response to new people, events or potentially challenging situations. Help your child understand that there is a great deal they can do to manage their anxious feelings, so they can get on with the activities they enjoy.

Explain anxiety

If your child is anxious he may struggle to explain how he feels. An important first step in anxiety self-management is explaining to your child how anxiety works.

Sufficient sleep, good nutrition and exercise are essential for anxious kids. Support your child to adhere to their optimal bedtime so they wake naturally each morning, reduce sugar, take care of their gut health through good nutrition and encourage regular exercise for optimal mental health.

  • Teach your child that the part of the brain that protects them from danger (the amygdala – pronounced ahh-mig-dah-la), is always on high alert when they are anxious
  • Explain that the amygdala sees danger where there is none, but the body prepares to fight for life or flee from danger as if it’s protecting them from a hungry lion
  • Discuss that the amygdala can’t differentiate between a hungry lion and public speaking or some other task they must face
  • Talk about the changes that happen in their body to power them up to fight or flee, including increased heart and breathing rates and the pumping of the blood from the stomach to the arms and legs, which can cause nausea and even vomiting for some

Help recognise anxiety-inducing events

There are many things that can evoke anxiety in your child, including:

  • Stressful events
  • Life changes
  • Transitions
  • Difficult experiences
  • New or unfamiliar situations

Help your child to recognise the specific situations and events that make them feel anxious such as meeting new friends, sitting tests and fear of rejection. In this way you can help your child manage and minimise their feelings of anxiety.

Respond with empathy

When your child feels anxious, the part of the brain that controls rational thinking, decision-making and concentration temporarily goes offline. They can feel easily overwhelmed by simple, everyday events and situations. Rather than protecting your child by allowing them to avoid meeting these challenges, or dismissing them as trivial, validate their feelings with statements such as:

  • “I can see you’re feeling worried about going to camp without your brother.”
  • “Thanks for telling me you feel nervous about the test. It’s understandable.”
  • “I see you’re really anxious about this right now. I know it’s hard for you.”

Resist the temptation to rescue or fix a situation. Respond with empathy and understanding to your child’s concerns.

Manage anxious moments

Help your child develop the tools to regulate and push their anxious feelings to the background. Practise these anxiety management tools when your child is feeling calm, and it will be easier for them to practise when they are nervous. These include:

  • Taking some deep breaths: Deep belly breathing from the diaphragm calms the amygdala, reducing feelings of anxiousness
  • Bringing their attention back to the present: Use their senses to bring their attention to the present moment and away from their worries – “Tell me five things you see, four things you hear and something you smell.”
  • Getting them moving: Physical exercise is not only a great distraction but it releases feel-good endorphins that help children and young people feel better and more optimistic about the future.
  • Defusing their thoughts: Anxious thoughts can get stuck, refusing to budge no matter or how unwanted they are. Help your child to distance themselves from their thoughts by placing distancing statements in front of their thoughts. Replace “I’m going to fail the test” with “I had a thought that I’m going to fail the test.” Rather than changing their thinking, assist your child distance themselves from unhelpful thoughts.

Get the fundamentals right

Sufficient sleep, good nutrition and exercise are essential for anxious kids. Support your child to adhere to their optimal bedtime so they wake naturally each morning, reduce sugar, take care of their gut health through good nutrition and encourage regular exercise for optimal mental health.

There is a great deal you can do to help your child manage their anxiety. Start by assisting your child to understand the fundamentals of anxiety, show your genuine understanding of their feelings and be ready to support them emotionally to push their anxiety to the background.




Jennifer Maughan
Social Worker
Tuesday & Wednesday
9208 2703



P & F News

Colour Run

On Friday the 25th of October we will be holding a colour run fundraiser for all children. This will be in the morning on the school oval. It promises to be a fun event. Children will be allowed to come to school in free dress (please dress children in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty). Information packs will be going home shortly with all the details. Parents are encouraged to come and cheer on the children.


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.



Rachel Lange
P&F President

Library News



A warm invitation is extended to all families to visit the library from 8:15am most mornings.  

(Please note, when Mrs. Cuthbert is unavailable, the library is closed)

Kindy & Pre-Kindy families take advantage to come and read all our fabulous picture books with your little ones till 8:45am.  

YES! Library open most lunch times 1:15 – 1:35 daily




Class of the Week

Pre-Primary Green







If any families have childrens magazines that they no longer need, the students at lunch time would enjoy reading them.








Homework/Library Bag

Just a reminder that students require the school green

‘Homework and Library Bag’ in order to borrow from the Library.

Many students will already have the green school

‘’Homework and Library Bag’ from previous years.

‘Homework and Library Bags’ can be purchased

from the Uniform Shop at a cost of $10.

Parents please order via the QuickCliq website







Rita Cuthbert
Library Officer

Pastoral Care

Happy Birthday to:

Zoe Ierace 4G
Jayden Thistle 4G
Nicholas Kryachok 5G
Reilly Dudley 5W
Asher Shrivastava PKG
Tommy Gibson KW
Camille Tribut 2G
Hannah Kemp 4G
Xavier Robinson 2G
Amber Nguyen 5G

Families rostered to bring in the raffle prize will be notified through the newsletter and on lists outside the classrooms. New families to St Columba’s will be rostered later in the year. Pastoral Care Team

Week 9 (18/9/19)

Kindy Green

Week 9 Aleksander Tuma

Kindy White

Week 9 Connor Campbell

PP Green

Week 9 Havarna Bova

PP White

Week 9 Keely Hardeman

Year 1 Green

Week 9 Kensi Winkler

Year 1 White

Week 9 Hannah Hinks

Year 2 Green

Week 9 Kai Fermanis

Year 2 White

Week 9 Jack Gilbert

Year 3 Green

Week 9 Kate Rattray

Year 3 White

Week 9 Reilly Bruce

Year 4 Green

Week 9 Matilda Panizza

Year 4 White

Week 9 Amelia Brajevic

Year 5 Green

Week 9 Brody Clark

Year 5 White

Week 9 Lilly Smith

Year 6 Green

Week 9 Monique Ward

Year 6 White

Week 9 Marko Dimitrijevic

Community Notices



Redhage Basketball school program is back in Term 4.  Please refer to the flyer attached to this newsletter.








The Council for Australian Catholic Women (Perth) invite you to hear New Testament lecturer, Dr Michele Connolly RSJ at two free events in Perth.

Michele is a Sister of St Joseph of Lochinvar NSW and has studied in Melbourne, Chicago and Berkeley. She has taught at the Catholic Institute of Sydney since 2001.

Friday 25 October 6-9pm – WOMEN in the CHURCH: REFLECTIONS FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT – men and women invited. Light refreshments served from 5.30pm.

Saturday 26 October 9.30 – 4pm – WOMEN and the GOSPEL OF MARK: INSIGHTS FOR TODAY – a day for women. Light refreshments served from 9am. Light lunch included.

Both events will be held at James Nestor Hall, Catholic Education Office 50 Ruislip St Leederville. 

RSVP by 21 October. Email:; Phone: 08 9397 5988; SMS: 0400 886 835.









St Columba’s School Bayswater

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