Principal's Post

Welcome to the second last Donegal for the year. I know, hard to believe, but true. Well done for getting through the year, as it certainly does get busier by the day. I can only imagine how rapid the days are travelling for all of you with kids in schools, especially the little guys. You have been amazing this year in the support for your kids and our school. Another week, and you will be close to finding some slower pace in your mornings.

Last weekend at Mass, I was reminded we were entering into the season of Advent. I had totally forgotten about it. This means I am either getting old, this is true, but maybe I use the excuse that I just have a lot going on in my head at the moment. Maybe I can blame it on missing Skye, my daughter, who is doing some volunteer work in Nepal for three weeks. Yes, let’s use that excuse. I mean how many times can I be distracted at the moment by checking in on WhatsApp to see if she is messaging. Anyhow, my point I had started with was, it is Advent.

What is Advent? The word Advent means the arrival of an important person or thing. It is derived from the Latin word “Adventus” which means coming. For Catholics, Advent is the four-week season leading up to Christmas. During Advent we anticipate the coming of Jesus. This is a time of reflection, excitement and hope. Week One of Advent is a week for Hope. Jesus is our Hope in this world and we place hope in our hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ with our family and loved ones.

This is timely for all of us, especially our Year 6s as they prepare to leave us for new and exciting beginnings in secondary school. At our Graduation Mass on Monday evening, I was privileged to be able to speak to our Year 6s about being the best they can be. I spoke about a South African word, Ubuntu, defined as ‘humanity’.

It says much to who we are as people. Ubuntu, the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others. It is a year where we have talked about the value of ‘compassion’ and how we can bring this alive for them, it is a wonderful thing when you get to see it in action. Spending three days on camp with our kids, the one thing I know, even above the bravado of not always wanting others to see, our 6s lived this out to the full. Their care for others, their deep care, is something that stood out about them as young people. They shone in their appreciation for each other and thought of others before self. Their willingness to encourage and genuinely want others to have the best time on camp is what ‘ubuntu’ is all about.

Our Year 6s further showed their deep compassion when we received the sad news regarding one of our parents, Paul Durack, dad of Oscar [Year 3] and Gabe [Year 6], who sadly passed away last week. Our Year 6s have grown beautifully over the last six months and responded with sensitivity and love. In the sadness, the children throughout our Year 3 and 6 classes, show a gentleness that we are all moved by and can learn much from. I spoke about our Year 6s at Graduation and what I have seen in them over the last couple of years. Nothing more needs to be said except that as parents, we know we have done our job when we see their softness and care for the ‘humanity’ of others.

Our St Columba’s School community are generous in their love. We offer our support to the family and thank you for the care you show as parents and staff. We keep Paul and all his family and friends in our prayers and thoughts during this time of sadness.

As we move into the last week of the school year, there is much happening. Please take note of the information in The Donegal to keep up to date.


  • Our last whole school Mass, for PP to Year 6, will be held in the parish church at 9.00 am this Friday 6 December.
  • This special occasion will include a dramatic presentation of the nativity by the Pre-Primary classes, the farewell to families leaving St Columba’s at the end of 2019 and the final farewell to our Year 6 students.
  • Students leaving at the end of the year will receive a candle for their family to remember their time at St Columba’s School.
  • Parents are most welcome to attend the Mass.


  • This Friday evening commencing at 6.00 pm. The evening will be finished by 7.30 pm.
  • We will commence with the Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students.
  • Information has been coming home via Seesaw regarding the evening.
  • Warm weather for the evening is predicted. Please make sure you bring along water as we are outside in the undercover area.
  • There will be some chairs for parent seating, however you may wish to bring your own fold up chairs to the evening, as we will not have enough chairs for everyone to be seated.
  • It is a relaxed evening to celebrate the work our kids have done through the dance program this year.


  • Class lists coming out this Thursday [tomorrow]. These will be placed outside classrooms at the end of the day. Students will get to see who their classroom teacher will be and who the students will be in their classrooms throughout the day with their teachers.
  • We keep this low key with the kids.
  • Teachers and leadership spend much time in ensuring classes are allocated in the best interest of our kids. It is funny, but as a parent of kids in a double stream school when they were in primary school, I never worried about where Holly or Skye were placed. The reason, my wife Linda is a secondary teacher, and I knew whatever experiences they had in primary school, especially with class allocation was going to hold them in good stead for their secondary transition. Builds resilience in our kids and ourselves as parents. I know parents who have had students transition to high school understand what I mean by this. Kids are placed in classes where they know nobody and have to establish relationships very quickly. It is good for them.
  • We have 100% faith in our teachers and in the process we follow regarding allocation of classes. We know you trust us with your kids.
  • It is important to note that our teachers work very closely with each other, with a key target for 2020 being our students collaborating across the classrooms in their learning.
  • Our teachers at St Columba’s School, work diligently in making every one of our families feel very welcome in their new classroom.
  • Enjoy the excitement that comes with a new school year.


  • This Monday 9 December from 9.00 am -10.00 am we will be holding our transition hour.
  • Students will meet their 2020 class teacher and be with their classmates for this hour of transition. It allows teachers and students to make connections before the start of the new school year.


  • These lists will be out early next week.
  • All lists are now bulk orders. Teachers have sent bulk orders through to our school supplies provider, who will deliver all items to St Columba’s before the start of the school year.
  • The fee will need to be paid directly to the supplier by Friday 10 January.
  • In 2019, we trialled this system with our Year 1s and 2s. We will now be using this system across the school from Year 1 to Year 6.
  • Please follow all details on the forms which will come home next week.

SEMESTER 2 REPORTS Pre-Primary to Year 6

  • Our reports will be out on-line to parents o2 Tuesday 10 December.
  • I wish to thank all teachers and parents for the work in supporting our students during the year to be the best they can be. Strong partnerships between school and home lead to wonderful results for our students.
  • Always be affirming with your kids at report time. There will be things to celebrate and things to continue to encourage in their learning.
  • We are all about finding ways that allow our kids to show their true abilities as a learner with unlimited potential.


  • School Fees are now due and full payment is required before the end of this school term (Except for families that are on direct debit or have made alternative arrangements)
  • 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.
  • 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 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.


  • Tomorrow, Thursday 5 December will be the last day for school banking.
  • School banking will recommence on Thursday 6 February 2020.
  • Big thank you to Jen Benfell and Ariane Mazurak for coordinating the school banking over the year. Your contributions to the running of this service for our kids is much appreciated.


  • Year 1 to 5 will have their water slide day next Wednesday 11 December.
  • Details for the day will come home through your classroom teachers.
  • NO CANTEEN from Chisholm College on this day


The Term 1 Planner will be sent home next week, with the full calendar being uploaded to the school website before Friday 20 December. 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. Semester 1 start and end of term dates are confirmed below, along with the Pupil Free Days being held during the year.

TERM DATES 2020 Semester 1 only

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

Pupil Free/Professional Learning Days [Staff] 2020

Friday 28 February

Friday 29 May

Friday 3 July

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

Enjoy the next few days until we see you all on Friday evening for the dance extravaganza. Your kids are absolute rippers and have had so much fun getting ready for the concert.

Blessings your way!


P & F News

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



The library has lots of books needing covering.  If you can help out by taking a small number of books home to cover over the holidays, please call into the library. Your help is greatly appreciated by staff and students.





ALL Library books

are due back NOW!



Congrats to the following classes that have returned all their library books and have received their Zooper Doopers:

PrePrimary Green

Year 1 Green

Year 5 Green





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:

Christian Parola 3G
Keelan Stanmore 4G
Mary Wishart 5G
Sebastian Strachan PPG
Tyson Hayward 2W
Milan Dimitrijevic 4W
Scarlett Fernandez 1W
Oliver Bonnett 4G
James Savage 5G
Isaac Bristow-Baohm 6G

Community Notices



Early in 2020, Mercedes College will commence interviewing Year 4 & Year 5 students who are due to start Year 7 in 2022 & 2023 respectively.  If you are considering enrolling your daughter and have not yet requested a Prospectus, please contact Mrs Julie Lamb on 9323 1340 as soon as possible.

Enquiries are also welcome for places in Year 7 for 2020 and 2021.   For more information please refer to the College website,










St Columba’s School Bayswater

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