Principal's Post

How good do I have it? This is the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I am standing out on duty before school, or when at Kiss and Drive in the afternoons. It is the best! I get to watch the buzz of kids coming into school and the pure joy in the morning, and then the excitement at the end of the day, when kids are getting into their cars, or seeing them walking home with their parents. There is something pretty special about these times of day, and I get to see it and experience it. Good times!

Let’s do this, I say! A Top 5! I hear your excitement.

Here we go! Top 5 in no particular order:


Number 1: Prayer

So why would I start with a verse from the Bible as my Number 1? Well, I guess when I was listening to Fr Andrew at our Community Mass, and he spoke about prayer, I got thinking, even though I have always been connected to going to Mass, even when there have been times in my life that I may not have attended as much as my mother may have liked, I have always had a connection to prayer. Hard to explain it I guess. Maybe it is because I have always taught in a Catholic school, maybe that makes it easier to connect. Not sure, but the one thing I do know is that prayer brings people together. I get to just be when we are at Mass, no distractions, and there I am being drawn to speak quietly to the bloke upstairs about stuff that is on my mind. As I sat at Mass and looked across at our staff and our families, our St Col’s kids, it was easy to be very grateful for what I have in my life. And when we think about it, prayer always has us appreciating what we have.

I love it, like really. I just find that the bloke, Jesus, I call him the ‘J Man’, is everything we talk about in being a good person. Fr Andrew talked about the importance of prayer and how we are drawn to be one with God. This is my Number 1 this week, because I realised as I looked at the altar servers, our readers, our two St Col’s kids making their Holy Communion, just what I have to be grateful for. I know the effort it takes to attend the Community Mass. I am so grateful for the number of our staff that attend, not because I make them, but because that is what they wish to do. They get the same joy I do from what our families and kids bring to St Col’s. Thank you to all families who were able to attend on Sunday, as we appreciate how much you have on at the moment.


Number 2: Colour Run and Other Things

Now, that was a cracking good day on Friday at the Colour Run. I mean how good are our P&F and all their support crew. Events like this only happen because of the work of our parents. The joy that comes on the day, only comes through seeing the excitement within our kids. With parent support, things happen. I wish to thank all our P&F members who contributed to the day, to all our parent helpers and to all who were able to pop in and see the moments of fun. Especially to the Exec members, Rachel, Pippa, Bec and Leston, along with sausage cooker, Nick, thank you, you must be so proud of the way the day turned out and the support you had from our families. The money raised from this event will be used to purchase new reading resources across the school.

It is like the quote below says, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’. I know all those involved get this. You know you get it too. Just think about the times where we stop thinking of ourselves, what happens. Discover something special about us as people.

It is like the running of the uniform shop and how Bec goes about this in her own time. How our parents set up for the brekky for our interschool athletics team this morning from 6.30 am. How Tammy assisted in the training sessions for our kids in the lead up to the carnival. To the parents who brought in morning tea on Friday for World Teachers’ Day. The teachers and staff wanted me to say THANK YOU.  I can go on and on about what I witness every day here at St Col’s. Need to look no further than our Pastoral Care Team to know we have so much to be thankful for. Keep enjoying the gifts you bring through losing yourself in the service of others.


Number 3: Telethon

Where do we begin when talking about our kids who ran the Telethon fundraiser to support one of our families that had been doing it tough recently. Again, these acts of love bring a sense of peace to our lives when challenges come our way. I mean, is this not what we are truly called to be. Think of the words of Mother Teresa and these acts of love, no matter how small will change lives. We all have this within us, and have opportunities throughout the day to be exactly this. Our students did us so proud on Saturday night. As parents, you must have thought to yourself, if these are the quality of kids St Col’s is producing then this is the place to be. Thank you to our parents who instill this within their children, and to our staff who were involved in supporting them, well, enough said, QUALITY! Very proud to be sitting at home watching this the other night. Had a moment of feeling like I had a cricket ball in my throat, a bit emotional seeing how proud they were to be St Col’s Kids.


Number 4: Administration of Schools

I do love how VVG goes about things. I mean, this quote is genius. If you have popped into the office this week, you would know we have training going on with the Administration of Schools [AoS]. All Catholic schools are going through the transition to new software for all our administration of students and finance in the next six months. It has been a long process in the lead up over the last five weeks, with on-site training taking place this week and next.

I wish to thank Peta and Lisa for their amazing efforts in keeping the day to day operations of the school running smoothly, while continuing to be trained on the new system. We also wish to thank our parents for your patience and understanding. Your support is very much appreciated.


Number 5: Kindergarten 2020

This week we held our 2020 Kindergarten Parent Meeting. It again confirmed why we are called to be here at St Columba’s School. It is just where we are all meant to be. We have many returning families from our Pre-Kindy, but also many of our existing families. So many siblings coming through. This is wonderful. We also have our new families joining us in 2020. The feel at the meeting is exactly how we like to roll here. There was already a sense of connection being built and we have not even started the year.

Mahatma Gandhi’s quote says it straight up, and this is exactly what I felt already happening within our Kindy group for 2020, ‘A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and soul of its people’. So many parents keep telling me this about St Columba’s, and as I said to all our families, this only happens when every parent, every staff member and every child lead through their care of others. You have got this covered.


A few other things happening:


Interschool Athletics Carnival – A Division

Tomorrow, Thursday 31 October at WA Athletics Stadium [Challenge] Floreat. We wish all our students the very best as they move from B Division to the A Division this year. As B Division Champions in 2018, we are raring to go in 2019. A terrific bunch of kids who will represent St Columba’s with enthusiasm. The one thing I know for certain is their care for each other and their encouragement of their mates is second to none. I have to say, the parent support at the interschool events is always top notch. The best part is how our parents are so excited by the efforts of not only their own kids, but of all St Col’s kids. Do you know how good that makes kids feel? Like, this is special.


All Saints Mass

This Friday, 1 November, we will be attending Mass as a whole school for All Saints Day. This is a solemn day where we remember those who have passed away and are in heaven with God, our Father.


Year 6 Camp

Our Year 6’s will be going on camp from Monday 11 November to Wednesday 13 November. We will be travelling to Forest Edge Recreation Camp in Waroona. I will be attending the camp for the three days. If there is anything you need during this time, please contact Megan Dwyer or Deb Klatt, our Assistant Principals. Camp is always a wonderful experience for our kids. We are looking forward to the excitement of the three days. Matthew Hubbard, Year 4, will also be attending the camp, along with our Year 6 teachers, Leesa, Amanda and Jo. There will also be two other of our casual staff attending.


School Fees – Reminder Statements

Reminder statements were sent home over the past couple of weeks. If no direct debit is set up on your account or you have alternative arrangements in place, full payment is required by the 30th November.

Thank you to all our parents for the efforts in maintaining payment of the school fees. This is very much appreciated

Method of payment is either by cash, cheque, EFTPOS, BPay or Direct Debit.

With our new audit procedures the school is required to account for outstanding school fees at the end of each year.

If you are unable to pay the account in full and have no alternative arrangements in place, please contact Peta Santella on 9208 2705 or email to make a repayment plan.

Please remember, we are here to support families experiencing financial hardship and we are happy to meet with you to discuss this or any other matter. We understand that these are not easy conversations to have, but also know we are genuine in our support of your family. Your attention and co-operation to this matter is appreciated.


Pre-Kindy 2020 Parent Meeting

On Monday, 4 November, we will hold our Pre-Kindy Parent Meeting for 2020. This will be held in the school library from 9.15 to 10.00 am. We look forward to welcoming new families to St Columba’s. We also look forward to welcoming our siblings of existing families.


May your week be filled with good things. You deserve it. Hopefully you find a few minutes to just be this week. I see and appreciate how busy everyone one is. Be good to yourself.

Take care and God bless you abundantly!



School Counsellor News

Staying relevant in your child’s digital world


by Martine Oglethorpe


As technology continues to advance at breakneck speed and our lives become more deeply immersed in the digital world, the challenges faced by parents in this uncharted territory can often feel overwhelming.

As a parent, worrying comes naturally. We hear so much about the dangers of the digital age: the predators, the pornography, the pedophiles, the gaming obsessions, the screen addictions and the cyber bullying.

We hear so much about the pitfalls and dangers of the connected world, we often overlook the vast possibilities digital technology can offer. 
Through digital devices, we now have countless amazing ways to connect and collaborate, raise awareness, create, learn and share. For young minds, this is a tremendous opportunity, and making full use of these tools can give them a big lead in today’s competitive world.

So how can we ensure that our kids can reap the very best of what technology has to offer, while at the same time protecting them from those negative elements?

Take an interest in current tech trends. Talk to your kids, make them feel secure enough to discuss difficult topics with you, and put yourself in the best position to remain relevant to your child’s world. Be the one they come to should things go wrong. Be the one they come to share the positive experiences they have online.

Make time to talk

One of the best ways we can help kids make the most of these opportunities is to stay relevant. But how do we do that in a world that seems to move faster every day? How do we keep up when our kids already seem to know so much?

We start by taking the time to get to know the kind of world they are growing up in. We try to understand the challenges they face. Because even if it seems they know a lot, kids do face challenges, and they will make mistakes. As parents, we need to ensure that those mistakes are ones they can recover from, and learn from.

Be their guide

Kids may well have a lot of knowledge when it comes to all things digital. But they are not necessarily as wise as their parents. Generally speaking, parents have a much deeper understanding of the world, the intricacies of different interactions, relationships and the complexities of human behaviour than kids do. Our kids are interacting and connecting with others in a world that is often beyond what they are developmentally and emotionally ready for. We need to help them cope with that.

Play and interact more

Sure, we all love the babysitting power of an iPad to ensure we can finish our coffee while its hot, or get dinner cooked without any interruptions. But if we also take the time to play with our kids and their devices, and take an interest in their digital playground, we can get a whole new perspective about what they enjoy. We get the bonus of staying current with interactive technology, as well as time to bond with them and enjoy some family time together. We also put ourselves in a much better position to set relevant boundaries and help kids understand those boundaries.

Listen to others, and listen to your child

If your friend’s child is playing a certain game, has a social media account or enjoys certain websites, then there is a good chance your child does too. Just as we would play at the park or hang out at the milk bar where our friends were when we were young, so too our kids will hang out where their mates are playing. So listen to those parents in the playground. Listen in to which popular apps and games are being talked about in the media. 
Listen to your child. Ask them what they like to do. Ask them about their concerns and their challenges. You may never keep up with every single app or site that your child visits, but if you have a good understanding of the ways kids are using technology and the sorts of things technology is capable of, then you are in a much better position to help them use it safely and smartly.

Be open and honest about what’s out there

While there are times we get nostalgic about the good old days when screens and social media were not such an integral part of our lives, we can’t afford to live in denial about the role technology is playing and will continue to play in the lives of our children. 
So rather than ignoring it completely or trying to avoid it, we need to be ready to have conversations that we may prefer not to have. We need to face the fact that the average age a child first sees pornography is about 11, and understand that this is a very real possibility for our children. So how do we prepare them for that? What conversations would we need to have if we suspect this has happened? Because we want to make sure that the education they are getting comes from us, and not from some random online source that we have no way of checking.

So seek out knowledge. Take an interest in current tech trends. Talk to your kids, make them feel secure enough to discuss difficult topics with you, and put yourself in the best position to remain relevant to your child’s world. Be the one they come to should things go wrong. Be the one they come to share the positive experiences they have online.

Our role as parents is not to shut down the internet accounts and take away the screens, but rather to ensure we are giving them the skills, the support, the understanding and the critical thinking skills to make the very best decisions every time they go online.


Martine Oglethorpe is an accredited speaker with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and has presented to numerous parent groups, schools and teachers. She is a speaker, counsellor and educator with a passion for building resilient kids in a digital world. Contact details:,



Jennifer Maughan
Social Worker
Tuesday & Wednesday
9208 2703



P & F News

We have now finished our official meetings for the year, but all parents are welcome to attend the AGM on Wednesday the 27th of November in the library.


Colour Run Explosion

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Colour Run Explosion on Friday, we hope your children had a fun and fantastic time!

A reminder that fundraising money needs to be finalised by the 6th of November, if you are fundraising online you can then order your child’s prize from the 7th-13th November. If you are not fundraising online, please indicate what prize your child would like on the back on the sponsorship booklet and hand your booklet and money to the office by the 6th of November.

Thank you to the many volunteers that helped to make the day a huge success! We couldn’t have done it without you and it is very much appreciated by the P&F executive and the school community.

Thank you to Melissa Dawes, Kerry Anne Brown, Renee Ross, Jasmine Hornby, Alexandra Wright, Aoife Stanmore, Karen Bedell, Kathryn Bentley, Rebecca Mann, Alison Jarvis, Kirsty Byatt, Catherine Rattray, Ameika Hartus, Karen Felton, Angela Dinh Nguyen, Sari Landis, Smita Verma, Nicole Cornwall, Carolyn Smith, Nicky Hein, Tammy Fernandez, Sarah Sorgiovanni, Joan Lee, Angela Dudley, KC Fang, Dianne Murnane, Maria Balla, Antoinetta Juma, Rachel Cameron, Pippa Harris, Rebecca Scott, Leston De Mello, Larissa De Mello, Shannan Lee and Jeannie Germano.



Rachel Lange
P&F President or 0401 856 385



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.



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



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:

Harriet Webb PPG
Keira Nguyen 4W

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 4 – 6/11/2019
Week 5 – 13/11/2019

Kindy Green

Week 4 Cherubim Vu
Week 5 Bianca Milhinch

Kindy White

Week 4 Quill O’Brien
Week 5 Kelvin Quach

PP Green

Week 4 Grace Masnyk
Week 5 Allegra Pizzata

PP White

Week 4 Amelia Yee
Week 5 Shishir Berigai

Year 1 Green

Week 4 Chloe Bouteloup
Week 5 Kaitlyn Bidwell

Year 1 White

Week 4 Scarlett Fernandez
Week 5 James Hodson

Year 2 Green

Week 4 Camille Tribut
Week 5 Blake Poletti

Year 2 White

Week 4 Grace Hamilton
Week 5 Shanal Udugama Korala

Year 3 Green

Week 4 Max Kryachok
Week 5 Katie Kealley

Year 3 White

Week 4 Alexander Ward
Week 5 Charlotte Pitter

Year 4 Green

Week 4 Noah Smith
Week 5 Mia Partington

Year 4 White

Week 4 Drystan Chaloner
Week 5 Heidi Meyers

Year 5 Green

Week 4 Max Wittkowsky
Week 5 Ella Maio

Year 5 White

Week 4 Sithmi Ratnasekara
Week 5 Zoe Wolters

Year 6 Green

Week 4 Samuel Kemp

Year 6 White

Week 4 Arwen Dias

Community Notices

Saint Columba Dolphins Swim Squad – Current Year 3-5 Only

With summer around the corner and the faction swimming carnival in Term 1 we are delighted to start another fantastic season of swimming!

The first session will kick off on Friday November 29 from 6:30am – 7:30am at Bayswater Waves followed by breakfast in the parish hall during the school term.

Fun school holiday sessions are also available at a more reasonable time.  These are a great way to get the kids out of the house and swim with their mates!

Please see enrolment form attached to this newsletter for further details.   Enrolment forms and fees are due November 22nd.




Bayswater Primary School

As you may be aware, this year is the 125th anniversary of Bayswater Primary School.

The Parents and Citizens Association will commemorate this event as a part of our biennial fete.  With the anniversary in mind we have decided to organise around the theme “Back to the Future.”  This year’s fete will be held on Sunday 24th November 2019 from 10 am till 3 pm.  A copy of the poster has been attached.

We are also holding a School Reunion Luncheon as part of the above.  Further details are found here










St Columba’s School Bayswater

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