St Anthony's Primary School Girraween

Term 1 - Week 2 - 2021

From the Principal

Welcome new staff and students

A new year brings us the gift of new members to our school community. We warmly welcome new staff, students and families to St Anthony's in 2021.

  • Staff: (L to R) Mrs Jessica Camilleri (Yr 2), Miss Nikita Hubbard (Yr 5), Ms Anne Buttigieg (Yr 3), Miss Vanessa Robinson (Yr 6), Mrs Sasi Rajendran (Yr 3).
  • Families: we have 39 new Kindergarten families and welcome the following families who have children starting in Grades 1-6: Bazouni, Dineshkumar, Ghannoum, Gupta, Karmacharya, Lakeman, Saide, Samnani, Rai.

Welcome to our Kindergarten students!

On Monday, 61 Kindergarten students attended their first day of school. There were many excited and nervous students as well as a few parents.

The children have had a wonderful week of learning and making new friends. They are settling in well to all the routines throughout the whole day and across the week, especially as they realise it's a full time commitment.

Kindy 2021


Seesaw accounts are functional for each grade and are the easiest way to contact your child's teacher regarding absences, student information or making a request for a meeting/phone call. Classroom teachers are always the first point of contact for any school matters regarding your child. The stage coordinator, assistant principal and principal are the next points of contact.

Stage Coordinator

Mrs Venessa Ward

KGSarah GrahamKWMarina Agaiby
1GLouise Desira1WRachel Grima

Robert Barden and

Christina Nubla

2WJessica Camilleri

Stage Coordinator

Mr Patrick Cairns


Luisa Onorato and

Anne Buttigieg


Sasi Rajendran and

Anne Buttigieg

4GCharlene Sheraton4WDeepa Francis

Stage Coordinator

Mrs Amanda Smith

5GSonia Awkar5WNikita Hubbard
6GCaitlin Dooley6GVanessa Robinson
PrincipalLinda Ducksbury
Assistant Principal 

Patrick Cairns

With Sympathy

As a community, we keep Mrs Rowena Laurie and her family in our prayers. Mrs Laurie's mother passed away last week and we extend our condolences during this time of loss.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.

Catholic Faith and Life

Upcoming Liturgical Celebrations

At St Anthony's, we celebrate major feast days and seasons of the Catholic Church's year, as well as occasions important in the lives of the students.

Our first celebration as a whole school will be for the Commencement of the School Year on Friday 12 February.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only the parents of our elected 2021 school leaders may attend this celebration.  Those students will be commissioned in their roles, and we will ask for God's blessing on those new to our school: students, staff and families.

The season of Lent will also begin soon with Ash Wednesday.  We will gather together as a school community on Wednesday 17 February to begin this season - a season that reminds us to continually try to live out our baptism through deepening our relationship with God and doing good deeds for others.  This celebration will be for students and staff only.

Project Compassion

Each year during Lent, Catholics show their commitment to living better lives through prayer, fasting and almsgiving (giving freely of time, gifts or material goods for the benefit of others).  In Australia, parishes and schools engage in Lenten almsgiving by contributing to Project Compassion.  Project Compassion is the annual appeal of the Australian division of Caritas, the Catholic Church agency for international aid and development.  As in previous years, your family will be provided with a Project Compassion box so that you can make this practice part of your observance of Lent at home, and at the same time, support Caritas Australia in providing assistance to people in need both in Australia and overseas.  Students will learn more about Project Compassion and the people it supports in Religious Education this term.

Learning in Religious Education this Term

Students across the school are already beginning to engage in their Religious Education learning cycles for this term.  These will give them the opportunity to learn deeply about aspects of the Catholic faith.

Find out more about the Driving Questions and Essential Content for each grade

St Anthony's is continuing to teach the draft new Religious Education Curriculum this year.  The final draft of the curriculum will be released during 2021.

School News

Important Dates

Mondays in Term 1Dance Fever lessons K-6 
Friday 12 FebruaryCommencement of School Year Liturgy
Wednesday 17 FebruaryAsh Wednesday Celebration of the Word
Thursday 25 FebruaryYear 1 Excursion to Rouse Hill House and Farm
Tuesday 9 MarchOpen Evening for Enrolments
Thursday 11 - Friday 12 MarchYear 6 Excursion to Canberra
Thursday 18 MarchCross Country Carnival and Fun Run
Thursday 1 AprilLast day of Term 1
Monday 19 AprilFirst day of Term 2

Current Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

In continuing our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and families, St Anthony’s follows advice from the Government, NSW Health and Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP). The current advice for schools continues to guide our practices.

Procedures for Student Arrival and Dismissal

  • Parents will not be permitted to enter school grounds before and after school

  • In 2021, we are returning to our normal bell times of 9:00am-3:15pm

  • Available options for drop off of your child/ren in the morning between 8:25-9:00am

    1. Drop and farewell your child outside the Girraween or Targo Rd gates

    2. Drop your child off using the kiss and drop car zone on Girraween Road  

  • Available options for picking up your child/ren in the afternoon between 3:15-3:45pm

    1. CAR PICK UP: use the car zone on Girraween Rd for pick up between 3:15-3:45pm

    2. IN PERSON PICK UP: between 3:15-3:25pm from two assembly points

    A. Carinya Road gate (staff carpark) - students in McAuley and MacKillop

    B. Targo Road gate (uniform shop) - students in Padua and Enda

        - after 3:25pm, the Carinya and Targo Road gates will be closed and all remaining children will be brought to the Girraween Rd gate 

  • Please discuss your family’s choice of these options with your children to ensure a smooth dismissal.

    We appreciate your support in adhering to these school based procedures and explaining them to your children in order to maintain the health and safety of everyone in the St Anthony’s community.

    Car Name Signs - for afternoon pick up

    Order your family name sign for display on your car dash, window or visor.

    Car Sign Order Form

    This assists us greatly with a smooth dismissal procedure in the afternoon as your child can be called and move to the green line to get into their car.

    Maths Assessment Interviews (MAI)

    Thank you to all families who booked in a time slot for their child’s Mathematics Assessment Interview (MAI) on Wednesday and Thursday last week. The Mathematics Assessment Interview provides insights into children's current mathematical thinking. We receive valuable information from this one on one assessment and allocate a Growth Point to each student in the four domains of Counting, Place Value, Addition and Subtraction and Multiplication and Division.

    "Growth Points are like milestones or major pathways to mathematical understanding.  It is not claimed that every child passes through all growth points because children's learning pathways are highly variable.  However the Growth Points provide a useful framework for reflecting on and evaluating the knowledge and strategies a child uses to solve numerical problems."

    Ann Gervasoni, Extending Mathematical Understanding, 2015, p31

    Growth points are useful because they help teachers:

    • Understand how children learn;

    • Assess and monitor children’s growth in mathematical understanding;

    • Identify children who are at risk;

    • Identify the next point of challenge in children’s learning;

    • Plan & target teaching so that teachers can identify the experiences that will most effectively help children achieve the next growth point in their mathematical learning.

    In the coming weeks, you will receive an outline of your child’s progress and their growth point achievements for Counting, Place Value, Addition and Subtraction, and Multiplication and Division. 

    Dance Fever

    We are pleased to advise that we have our 9 week ‘Dance Fever’ dance program that commenced on the 1st of February and will conclude on the Monday the 29th of March (Week 10). 

    Years 3-6 will participate in a 40 minute dance lesson and Kindergarten to Year 2 will participate in a 30 minute lesson, run by two Dance instructors, each Monday. All students will need to wear their sport uniform. 

    The “Dance Program” is curriculum based, to teach children a variety of dances and dance styles including dance used by cultural groups. Children will work individually, with a partner, and groups, providing a platform to develop students’ interpersonal skills, social skills, peer respect and etiquette. Students will explore the elements of Dance and practise fundamental movement skills. Also covered will be improvisation, where students will be able to create movements or dance sequences using different body parts and in response to various stimuli, concepts or ideas.

    This program has been designed to fulfil the Dance Outcomes in the Creative Arts K–6 Syllabus but certainly has a strong cross curricular relationship to the outcomes in the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Syllabus.

    Sports Uniform

    Last term, students wore their house coloured t-shirt for the Multisport Athletics program as the activities required house colour teams.

    In 2021, students are to wear their ST ANTHONY'S SPORTS SHIRT on their sports days.

    The COLOURED HOUSE T-SHIRT is to be worn when advised for special house colour events and sporting carnivals.

    Scholastic Book Club

    It is found that students who choose their own books to read and are encouraged to read for pleasure develop a lifelong love of knowledge and curiosity.  Our school participates in Scholastic Bookclub which allows students to purchase age appropriate books of their choosing.   Twice a term your child will bring home a  brochure for Bookclub.  You and they can then look through this brochure and choose any items that your child would like to purchase.  You then simply need to go online at and place and pay for your order using a credit card.  Although cash payments are mentioned on the  order form in the brochure, our school no longer accepts these for Bookclub.  (Therefore you do not need to fill in or send to school any forms).  All orders will then be electronically linked to our school  and the bookclub organiser will validate them and do one group submit on the Monday after the brochures have gone out and then another the following week.  Orders are then received at our school within a couple of weeks which are then bagged and sent home with students.  Any late orders submitted after the second submit will require parents to pay for books to be shipped to their homes.

    Ordering with the Scholastic Loop system is easy: 

    • Sign in or register an account at:
    • Click on ORDER and select St Anthony’s School [GIRRAWEEN]  and your child’s class
    • Add your child’s first name and last initial (This way we know who the book is for when the books arrive at school)
    • Enter the product item number from the Book Club catalogue
    • Make payment via credit card, and take note of your receipt number
    • All orders are attached to the school account and will be submitted to Scholastic by the school book organiser.

    Brochures can also be viewed online at the Scholastic website. 

    All moneys spent through bookclub earns reward points for our school which in turn allows us to purchase some great resources for students. 

    Any questions please contact Mrs Heness in the library on a Monday or Tuesday.

    School Community Group (SCG) News

    SCG Executive Committee 2021

    Our 2021 School Community Group Executive Committee members will work together on community events, school fundraisers and fun activities for the children. We thank them for putting themselves forward for these roles and know they will be well supported by the generosity of our many other parents who volunteer for events as they arise throughout the school year.

    PresidentDavid HalabiSebastien (Y2) and Benjamin (K)
    Vice PresidentHugh McDermottGeneva (Y3) and Camille (Y1)
    SecretaryStephen KeaneLiam (Y2)  and Joshua (Y1)
    TreasurerCathy HallAshton (Y4)
    Assistant TreasurerRichel GnanapragasamJayden (Y2)
    Social CoordinatorNatalie LetteOscar (Y4)
    Assistant Social CoordinatorDayan LavaluAmari (Y2) and Aria (Y1)

    Save the date for our Term 1 meetings:

    Wednesday 24 February - 7:00pm - Library

    Wednesday 24 March - 7:00pm - Library

    In 2021, due to ongoing covid restrictions to parents on site and the format of events, we will advertise for parent volunteers as each event arises.

    Safer Internet Day - 9 February 2021 eSafety Webinars for Parents/Carers

    At Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP) we see parents and carers as partners in your child's learning journey. In partnership with the eSafety Commissioner, CEDP would like to invite you to join the following free webinar for parents and carers:

     eSafety’s parent guide to cyberbullying and online drama 

    • Tuesday 9 February 7.30 to 8.30 pm

    • Wednesday 10 February 12.30 to 1.30 pm

    • Wednesday 10 February 7.30 to 8.30 pm

    • Monday 15 February 12.30 to 1.30 pm

    • Monday 22 March 12.30 to 1.30 pm


    This live webinar will include case studies, research and targeted advice so you can support the young people in your life to have safe, enjoyable online experiences. All sessions are delivered by the eSafety Commission’s expert educators.

    About the webinar

    The session will cover topics including:

    • starting conversations with your child about their online friendships and positive ways to deal with changing relationships

    • understanding the rights, laws and community expectations that govern social media use

    • where to seek help if your child is involved in a cyberbullying incident.

    What you need to do

    Please register for the course via the eSafety Commisions website via the following link: 

    If you have any further enquiries please email

    Online Parent Workshops - Supporting Students with Autism

    Positive Partnerships will be holding online parent/carer workshops from 2-24 February. They will provide the opportunity to listen, share and learn together ways to support students on the autism spectrum.

    The first is a 4 week series of 2 hour sessions and the second is a full day workshop. Please see the attached flyers for full details.

    Topic covered include:

    • Diversity of Autism
    • Understanding Behaviour
    • Sensory Processing
    • Working Together with your child's school

    St Anthony's Uniform Shop

    St Anthony's uniform shop opening hours:

    TUESDAYS  & THURSDAYS 8:30-9:15am            WEDNESDAYS 2:15-3:00pm

    Outside of these times, orders and payments can be placed in person through the front office if the size of the item is known.

    See our school website for uniform requirements and price list.

    All students commence Term 1, 2021 in their summer uniform.

    Community News

    Mel's Tasty Bites - Canteen Update

    MENUS - check out the St Anthony's menus at

    CANTEEN ACCOUNTS - consider opening a canteen account to minimise cash handling, see information on our website

    BIRTHDAYS - Canteen options are available for a child to celebrate their birthday with their classmates. 

    * Animal Pops Bucket - $1 each ice block

    * Cupcakes with frosting - $2 each cupcake (72 hours notice required)