Principal's Post


Welcome to Week 5 of Term 4! I know, hard to believe, as it is absolutely flying. I was thinking about our Year 1 assembly last week, and watching our little guys get on the microphone with such confidence, speak and dance with such personality, and realised just how important it is to be who we are meant to be. Our Year 1 sparkled with a sense of who they are, and they are only 6 years old. They get it. They get St Catherine of Siena’s quote above. They set the assembly ablaze through being exactly who they are meant to be.

I do not know about you, but I have spent so long trying to work out what I should be. Since coming to St Col’s, I think I am finally getting it. Maybe, I am just getting older and see the world differently, finding out what is most important I guess. I reckon it also has to do with being immersed in environments that enable us to be who we are without any fear of what others may think, their perceptions. Maybe it is because we finally accept the person we are and embrace it. Maybe it is when we just make the decision that it is simply time to get on with being. It is truly a wonderful thing to know you can find this, a sense of being at peace with one’s self. ‘Living in Peace’ is part of our motto as well, which makes it just work here at St Columba’s.

One of the most freeing things for us as people, is to discover this. Just think about what it is we do on a daily basis that enables us to be exactly what we should be. Our families and mates have an enormous impact on who we are shaping to be as people. We in turn shape them. In whatever we do, in however we interact with others, the question for all of us is to be this authentic person others enjoy having in their lives. We create this when we are who we should be.

Some of the most enlightening conversations I have here at St Col’s is with our grandparents. There are a couple of grandads who chat with me regularly before school. I am in awe of their wisdom. I just realised as I write this Post, ‘seek wisdom’ is also a part of our motto. When I talk to our grandparents of St Col’s, there is a definite sense of them being what they should be. There is a sense of calm and contentment. They have a story of their own which I love being privileged to hear. This sense of commitment to family, this sense of joy. It is what we build our cultures upon.

I was speaking to our Year 6s on camp this week at our liturgy. My first official ‘homily’ of sorts. We spoke about our kids being the light for the world for the future. It is when reflecting on this that I found this quote. It is all about the moments.

Esther suggests, maybe it is in these moments for which you have been created. Why is it a young fella in Year 6 goes up to his mate to check if he is going okay? In that very moment we see the gentleness that expresses a deep empathy for another. This is the moment he was created for. BTW, I saw three acts over the day that showed the truth that sits within this kid. The moment one of the students was unsure of themselves in the kayak, but other students and staff encouraging and supporting. A moment we were created for. The efforts on the flying Big Fox and the pamper pole. Courage required. I reminded the kids, these are the moments for which they have been created. In every moment our kids find a way to meet their challenges, and this is because they already understand that in these moments they are who they should be. What a gift my role as Principal is! I witness such goodness, such resilience to push through.

Over the next week, maybe we all stop for a moment, and be present. Imagine the day when we all can take care to remember every moment as one for which we were created. A massive ask, but is it? As I drive into work most days, I always see the ‘Focus and Be’ yoga studio. I mean, it should be something that I use as a motivator each day to ensure I live in these moments of being. Really, it does not get much better in life, than to see others around you being who they are. Just Be!

Look after yourself through all of this selflessness, you will continue to be a light for others in your life.

In gratitude for your continual support and care for our kids. Keep up the wonderful way you go about things with your children and with our staff.


A few things from the desk:


Regional Spelling Bee

Congratulations to our champion spellers from Years 3-6 who will be representing St Columba’s at the Regional Spelling Bee at St Peter’s this Friday. We wish them all the best.

Year 3: Aoife Rattray and Orlando Martino Da Fonseca

Year 4: Lila Brown and Miel Fuentes

Year 5: Brody Clark and Leah Purcell

Year 6: Roman Kaless and Jasmine Mann


Year 5 Summer Sports Competition

The Year 5 students will be participating in a Summer Carnival this coming Friday, 15th November. The students will compete against schools in our Inter-school competition in their nominated sport of either ultimate frisbee, tennis or cricket.


Nut Aware School

Please be reminded that we are a ‘nut aware school’. As such, no nut products should be brought to school. This is 100% about the safety of our students. Thank you for your support in this matter. I have to say our kids are pretty outstanding in keeping on top of this.


Car Parking in the Kiss and Drive

Please remember the Kiss and Drive is not a parking area between the times of 7.45 am and 9.00 am. We have an arrangement that parishioners will park in this area from around 8.50 am in the morning for daily Mass. It is important to respect this arrangement between the school and parish with regard to this shared space. While we all appreciate the busyness of parents in the morning, and the rush that comes, let’s be mindful of this mutual agreement. Your efforts are appreciated in the management of this in the future. The parishioners appreciate our consideration.


Families leaving at the end of 2019

If any families are not returning to St Columba’s in 2020 please notify the office in writing as soon as possible if you have not already done so.


Booklists 2020

In 2020, we will be continuing the trial this year of having bulk orders for all booklists. We trialled this in Year 1 and 2 in 2019, and have had great success in reducing booklist costs, but also assisting in the management of stationery across for the year. These booklists will come through in the next couple of weeks. Parents will be required to complete this order through our stationery provider. Specific details will be forwarded in the near future.



Important Dates to remember

Monday 18/11 to Friday 22/11 – Year 3 swimming lessons continue
Friday 22/11 – Final Assembly
Monday 25/11 to Friday 6/12 – Year 1 and 2 swimming lessons
Saturday 30/11 – Parish Christmas Carols & Mass
Monday 2/12 – Year 6 Graduation Mass & Awards (Years 4 – 6 to attend)
Friday 6/12 – Whole school end of year Mass 9.00am & end of year concert 6.00pm
Wednesday 11/12 – Year 1 – 5 Incursion and Year 6 Excursion
Friday 13/12 – Term 4 ends for students



School Counsellor News

Too much screen time hinders brain development in preschoolers

It’s fairly settled by now that too much screen time isn’t good for kids, but for specifics we have to turn to science.

A new study from researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center may have filled in some of the blanks, finding that preschool-aged children had lower levels of white matter in their brains the more they deviated from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations on screen time.

This is concerning because white matter is the type of brain matter that supports language, literacy and cognitive skills, and develops most rapidly in early childhood. Tests of the children’s language use and cognition also showed that the earlier and more frequently they had been exposed to screens, the worse they performed.

The study indicated an association but not causality, meaning that screen exposure may not be directly causing harm but rather taking time from activities that would help with brain development. It also used a small sample of children and measured results only once, so further research will be needed not only to support the results but also to understand the nature of the link.

The study highlights the AAP recommendations, particularly in regards to non-screen playtime and avoiding the use of screens as ’emotional pacifiers’. A list of tips for children and media from the American Academy of Pediatrics is as follows:

  • Make your own family media use plan. Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep. Make your plan at
  • Treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children’s friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.
  • Set limits and encourage playtime. Media use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children.
  • Screen time shouldn’t always be alone time. Co-view, co-play and co-engage with your children when they are using screens – it encourages social interactions, bonding, and learning. Play a video game with your kids. It’s a good way to demonstrate good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette. Watch a show with them; you will have the opportunity to introduce and share your own life experiences and perspectives, and guidance. Don’t just monitor children online, interact with them – you can understand what they are doing and be a part of it.
  • Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you’ll be more available for and connected with your children if you’re interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen.
  • Know the value of face-to-face communication. Very young children learn best through two-way communication. Engaging in back-and-forth “talk time” is critical for language development. Conversations can be face-to-face or, if necessary, by video chat with a traveling parent or far-away grandparent. Research has shown that it’s that “back-and-forth conversation” that improves language skills—much more so than “passive” listening or one-way interaction with a screen.
  • Limit digital media for your youngest family members. Avoid digital media for toddlers younger than 18 to 24 months other than video chatting. For children 18 to 24 months, watch digital media with them because they learn from watching and talking with you. Limit screen use for preschool children, ages 2 to 5, to just 1 hour a day of high-quality programming. Again co-viewing is best when possible and for young children they learn best when they are re-taught in the real world what they just learned through a screen. So, if Ernie just taught the letter D, you can reiterate this later when you are having dinner or spending time with your child.
  • Create tech-free zones. Keep family mealtimes, other family and social gatherings, and children’s bedrooms screen free. Turn off televisions that you aren’t watching, because background TV can get in the way of face-to-face time with kids. Recharge devices overnight—outside your child bedroom to help avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. These changes encourage more family time, healthier eating habits, and better sleep.
  • Don’t use technology as an emotional pacifier. Media can be very effective in keeping kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, come up with activities to manage boredom, or calm down through breathing, talking about ways to solve the problem, and finding other strategies for channeling emotions.
  • Apps for kids – do your homework. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research has demonstrated their actual quality. Products pitched as “interactive” should require more than “pushing and swiping.” Look to organizations like Common Sense Media ( for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children.
  • It’s OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds. Many teens need to be reminded that a platform’s privacy settings do not make things actually “private” and that images, thoughts, and behaviors teens share online will instantly become a part of their digital footprint indefinitely. Keep lines of communication open and let them know you’re there if they have questions or concerns.
  • Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting. Teens need to know that once content is shared with others, they will not be able to delete or remove it completely and includes texting of inappropriate pictures. They may also not know about or choose not to use privacy settings, and they need to be warned that sex offenders often use social networking, chat rooms, e-mail, and online gaming to contact and exploit children.
  • Remember: Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents must observe carefully their children’s behaviors and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician.


Read the full article by Eleanor Goldberg Fox: There’s evidence that high levels of screen time in preschoolers may hinder brain development


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 Tuesday 26th November in the library.



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





Class of the Week





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:

Ava Giangiordano 3G
Nam Huynh 6W
Charlotte Eaglesham PPG
Harrison Smith 1W
Grace Masnyk PPG
Matthew Li 3G

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 6 – 20/11/2019
Week 7 – 27/11/2019

Kindy Green

Week 6 Luke Magee
Week 7 Stefano Mustica

Kindy White

Week 6 Mia Fernandez
Week 7 Jonathon Truong

PP Green

Week 6 Kathleen Vaccari

PP White

Week 6 Ava Scali
Week 7 Kirana Stahl

Year 1 Green

Week 6 Sana Bezich
Week 7 Harry Blake

Year 1 White

Week 6 Tony Masek

Year 2 Green

Week 6 Kaleb Smart

Year 2 White

Week 6 Milla Robbins
Week 7 Harvey Lindsay

Year 3 Green

Week 6 Alyanna Genete
Week 7 Matthew Li

Year 3 White

Week 6 Brielle Donovan
Week 7 Derek Ong

Year 4 Green

Week 6 Keelan Stanmore

Year 4 White

Week 6 Zac Armstrong

Year 5 Green


Year 5 White


Year 6 Green

Week 6 Brooke Thompson
Week 7 Nicholas Wiinschl

Year 6 White

Week 6 Keshav Tewari
Week 7 Emily Castellano

Community Notices



Mercedes College 2020 Enrolments

A sound education is an investment in the future of your daughter.  Mercedes College is committed to providing an affordable education for those families seeking an all girls’ Catholic education in the Mercy tradition.  For those families wishing to explore options, the Principal is always available to speak with you.  Vacancies are still available for 2020; for more information please contact the Enrolment Officer on 93231323.



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