St Canice's Primary School Newsletter

2nd February 2021 Term 1 Week 2

Address: 158 Katoomba Street Katoomba

Phone:     4780 6800



Facebook: St Canice’s School Katoomba


Mass Times

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Parish

Parish Administrator Fr John McSweeney

 Presbytery Contact  Ph: 02 4782 2804

                                     Fax: 02 4782 6090



Monday 8.30am Friday 12.00pm Saturday 9.00am Sunday 10.00am


Saturday 9.30am Confession outside this time is available on request


Saturday Cenacle Rosary and Consecration following benediction after 9am Mass

Stations of the Cross

1st Friday of month, 12.30pm

Exposition of Blessed Sacrament

Fridays (Except 1st Friday) 12.30pm


Benediction Saturdays following 9am Mass

Weekly Divine Mercy Hour

Sundays 12.00pm to 1.00pm


4th Monday of month - 6pm

A Message from Ms Meaney

Dear Parents and Carers, 

All of our students K-6 are now at school. Our students who are familiar with the school have been enjoying connecting with friends and getting to know new teachers. Our new students in Kindergarten have made a wonderful start to their schooling. A very big thank you to our Kindy parents for ensuring a smooth start for their children and also to our wonderful teaching staff in the Kindergarten space. 

I would like to spend a few moments explaining how we are ensuring that your child is learning according to his / her learning needs at St Canice’s. We have expanded our teaching staff considerably to ensure that we can provide additional  individualised and group support for every student at St Canice’s.  You will see from the table below the human resources we are making available to meet the diverse learning needs of all of the children. Oversight for children who need additional support in their learning rests with Ms Honeyman and Mr White is working with teachers and students to ensure that our most academically capable students are also being challenged in their learning. CHALLENGE. This is the key word for 2021. At St Canice’s we know that all students must challenge themselves and be challenged if they are to grow as learners. I should note that the level of support is equitable across all classes.

Kindergarten and Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

Mrs Kellie Clarke (K)

Ms Alice Krawczyk (S1)

Ms Sally Piggott

Mrs Diana Laznik

Mrs Kate Micallef

Ms Colleen Bourke

Stage 2 (Years 3-4)

Mrs Angela Wedesweiler 

Mrs Rose Gillespie

Mr Jan van der Walle

Mrs Rosana Friend

Mrs Michelle Sztelma

Stage 3 (Years 5-6)

Ms Kayleen Magann

Mrs Jessica Karatovic

Ms Alison Morley

Mr Patrick McCarthy

Ms Teresa Horan

Ms Corinna Welch

Ms Taylor Ferey

I would like to welcome our new students for 2021 to our school community. Welcome to Violet in Stage 1 (Year 2) and to Tamryn in Stage 3W (Year 5), along with all of our new Kindergarten students. We are delighted to have increased our enrolments into Kindergarten significantly this year. Many thanks to those of you who are working hard in the community promoting our great school. Keep it up, Parents. Make sure to spread these positive messages. This is the time of year when we commence our enrolments process for 2022.

Our COVID restrictions are easing somewhat and I am pleased to advise that we will be able to host our “Meet and Greet” meetings at the school in Week 5. These meetings put your child and yourself in the driver’s seat as you both have the opportunity to tell us about your child as a learner. The purpose of the meetings is twofold:

  •  To establish / continue a partnership with you as the first educators of your children. 

  • To support your child in developing a confident voice in talking to key adults about his / her learning

You will also have the opportunity to see your child’s learning space and classroom. We will provide information as to how to book your interview time in the days ahead and look forward to welcoming many of you back to the school for the first time since last March!

Homework is always a topic of great controversy. There are those who see it as vital to learning and others who think that it does little to enhance student learning. I would like to categorically state that at St Canice’s, there is no such thing as no homework. Teachers might not set prescribed tasks to be completed at home on a weekly basis but every child from Year 1  in the school understands the necessity to read daily at home. Children need to be reading from a wide variety of reading material daily in order to increase their reading stamina and to improve as readers. Parents, I encourage you to develop the habit among your children of reading, uninterrupted, for at least 15 minutes a day if it is not already set. Reading is the key to learning and better readers make for better learners. 

Learning Overviews will be sent home in Week 3. Please take the opportunity to show your interest in your child’s learning by sharing and discussing the plan. I suggest keeping it at hand over the course of the term to pick up on the conversation along the way.

Mrs Wedesweiler is working with Fr John to coordinate our Opening School Mass. This will take place in the school hall on Tuesday next 9 February at 12pm. We can ensure adherence to COVID restrictions by celebrating in the hall. Mrs Wedesweiler has also organised a prayer gathering for staff on Friday mornings and I know that she is hoping to engage parents in something similar going forward. Our Faith In Action Team is about to commence its great work leading faith development at student level. On the subject of prayer, we continue to pray daily for Mr Geerligs, past Principal at St Canice’s and currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

I informed you in my opening letter of the year that, sadly, Mrs Sharon Debien has resigned. I would like to acknowledge the great contribution Mrs Debien has made to our community over her 10 years at St Canice’s. Sharon commenced at the school in 2009 and supported student learning in a variety of roles up until her departure in 2020. In her most recent position as Year 2 teacher, she took great care to ensure the learning and wellbeing of her students. She was in constant communication with parents, collaborating with them around the children’s needs. She was a great leader of many initiatives at the school. The Chicken Diva Reading Day last year and Mrs van der Walle’s farewell are two such events that immediately spring to mind. We will acknowledge Mrs Debien’s great contribution and provide an opportunity for the children to farewell her at a whole school assembly in the hall on Friday 19 February at 2:10pm.

Parents I am requesting that teaching staff at St Canices are not contacted on their personal mobile phones going forward. Teachers are professionals and the protocols that exist when we contact other professionals such as doctors and dentists must also apply to them. Email is the preferred way to communicate with your child’s teacher / teaching staff. We have included a list of teacher email addresses and roles to enable you to be able to do this. Please understand that teachers need time to respond to an email. We will be endeavouring to get back to you within 24 hours of receiving your email. If you need to urgently contact us, the phone continues to be the best way of doing this. In particular, advice about your child’s absence or transport arrangements should always be rung through to the office.

Please always feel free to contact us. Pre-arranged meetings are welcome should you wish to discuss any matters with us. A reminder that matters related to your child’s wellbeing or learning should be discussed with classroom teachers in the first instance.

I look forward to sharing a great year of learning and joy with you all,

God bless,

Important Dates

Week 2
Wednesday 3rd February

Ensemble 8:20am

Stage 2 Strings Program

Captivate Private Violin Lessons

Thursday 4th February
Friday 5th February

Captivate Private Cello Lessons

Whole School Assembly

Whole School Sport - Dance

Week 3
Monday 8th FebruaryLearning Overviews sent home
Tuesday 9th FebruaryOpening School Mass 12pm
Wednesday 10th February

Ensemble 8:20am

Stage 2 Strings

Thursday 11th February
Friday 12th February

Whole School Assembly

Whole School Sport - Dance

Week 4
Monday 15th February
Tuesday 16th February

Dates to Remember

School Photos - Thursday 25th February

Mrs Debien Farewell Assembly - Friday 19th February 2:10pm

Meet and Greet Week - Monday 22nd - Friday 26th February

Last day of Term 1 is Thursday 1st April

Good Friday Public Holiday - Friday 2nd April

Staff Development Day - PUPIL FREE DAY - Monday 19th April

First Day of Term 2 - Tuesday 20th April

Congratulations to the Jones Family

Congratulations to the proud parents Sam and Peter Jones on the safe and healthy arrival of baby Harrison Richard Jones.

Harrison arrived 5 weeks early on the 20th of December 2020 and weighed 2.5 kgs. 

Andrew is a big brother again along with his siblings Lachlan, Taylor, & Pheobe.

 A 2020 Blessing - Welcome to our St Canice's Family! 

Welcome Kinder 2021

January Birthdays

Happy Birthday to all our lovely students who celebrated their birthdays during January.


Alex T




Billy W

Sophia H










Oliver G


February Birthdays

Happy Birthday to all who will be celebrating in February


Sofia S

Jonah C




Grace L


Thank You from Rural Aid

Rural Aid have presented St Canice's with a Thank You certificate for all the beautiful christmas cards we made for our farmers, Rural Aid would like to say thank you for our creativity and kindness.

Attendance & Punctuality

When a child is marked absent from school you will receive a text message notifying you. 

Please reply to these texts as we then enter the explanation into the attendance register.

If you know your child will be away for an extended period please notify the office and we can enter the leave so that you do not receive the texts.

Coming to school on time not only helps students learn the value of punctuality and routine, but helps children build and maintain friendships with other students.

Regular school attendance is essential in building a solid foundation for your child's future. It is also compulsory.

As a school we are required to monitor each and every students attendance and to follow up on any unexplained or unsatisfactory absences.

Please note that late arrivals /early departures are recorded as a  partial absence and must be explained.

You can help your child be the best that they can be by:

Being punctual in arriving at school and collecting your child on time.

Work in partnership with the school on intervention strategies to improve attendance.

If a student is absent for three or more days without the school being notified, the school will contact the parent/caregiver for an explanation .

Positive Partnerships will be holding online parent/carer autism workshops from 2-24 February.

These workshops are not region specific and will cater for any NSW parents, grandparents or full time carers. 

Back to School Nutrition


Positive Partnerships NSW Parent / Carer Online One Day Workshop


Art Classes


Policy Change 2021

The Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP) will implement policy in term 1 2021 in relation to Externally Funded Service Therapy/ Allied Health Providers in Schools (EFSP). Such services include those services funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

In 2021 it will become CEDP policy that EFSP will not be able to operate in CEDP schools effective 1st April 2021.

However, the collaboration and exchange of information between EFSP and schools, after written consent has been given by parents/carers/guardians, continues to be desirable.  For example, with parent permission, a student’s psychologist or speech therapist may consult with the school to provide expert advice and support the personalised planning process.

2021 School Travel Applications

Applications for student travel in 2021 opened on Monday 12th October 2020.

 Students who require a School Opal card or travel pass for 2021 can now apply online. A new application should be submitted if a student is applying for a school travel pass for the first time or requesting an additional pass as a result of a new shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody).

Students who have changed school/campus, changed address, repeated a year or received an expiry notification from Transport for NSW for their school travel entitlement should re-apply or update their details.

Where there is a change of distance eligibility based on a student’s grade, the system will automatically update a student’s entitlement if they meet the new criteria. If they do not meet the new eligibility criteria, they will receive an expiry notification via email.

Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition which is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.

Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply.

Applications need to be submitted before 31 December 2020 to ensure that current student entitlements are updated and their current entitlement/card remains valid. If their application is submitted after 31 December 2020, the system will automatically cancel an entitlement/card and a new one will need to be issued.

 Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out from January 2021.


Students residing in Rural and Regional (R&R) areas should receive their travel pass at the commencement of the new school year from their nominated operator, this may be distributed via the school or sent direct to their address. Note: some R&R operators do not issue travel passes. Students/Parents should confirm with their nominated operator if they do not receive a pass.

Bushfire Policy

In the event of a bushfire during school hours the following procedures must be followed.

When there is a bushfire throughout the Mountains, the emergency personnel (Police and SES) provide advice to the school in respect of road conditions and closures and evacuation notice.

Should a decision be made for the school to evacuate, the school will take the following measures according to Police and SES advice:-

If it is safe to evacuate the students to their residence:

  • Students who normally catch buses will be assembled ready for the buses.

  • Students who live close to the school and normally walk will be given permission to do so unless otherwise advised by parents. 

  • The school will attempt to contact parents where children are unsure if anyone is home and if they live a long distance from a bus stop.

  • Students who do not catch buses or walk will remain at school until parents collect them.


If it is unsafe to evacuate the students to their residence:

  •  the school staff will care for the students in a safe location according to the advice from the Police or SES.

It is impossible to telephone every family as the time frame for this operation is short. However, every avenue to contact parents will be sought. Communication will also be placed on Facebook and an alert sent via Skoolbag. 

The school will remain open and therefore parents of bus travellers and walkers who require their child to stay at school can make that choice. 

At all times the children’s best interests will be paramount.

Parents are asked to discuss arrangements they require with their children so that students know what is expected of them.


We continue to have good interest by prospective parents in our school and this often results in new enrolments. The children are always excited to welcome new children to St Canice’s and we too are always eager to expand our community by welcoming new families.  Parents who visit tell us that it is word of mouth that encourages them to have a closer look. Parents and Carers, thank you  for speaking highly of this great school in the community. I hear praise of our teachers and of our beautiful students from prospective parents time and again. I want to encourage you to keep up this great work. It has been proven beyond doubt that the single greatest advertisement for a school is the good word that is passed on. 

Term 1 - 2021 Captivate Strings Program

For those students participating in private lessons, please ensure your child brings their instrument to school on the following days

Starting in Week 2

Ensemble - Wednesday Morning 8.20am - 9am with Bonita Silva

Starting in Week 3

Cello - Tuesday with Paul Smith

Violin Lessons - Wednesday with Bonita

Kinder Enrolments 2022

We are now taking enrolments for Kindergarten 2022, if you know of people looking for a school for their child (even if it is for the other grades), please let them know about St Canice’s. The power of your words of recommendation has an enormous effect on our enrolments. Let’s keep working together to make St Canice’s that great school that has been in operation for the past 120 years.

Skoolbag App

All messages and notifications from the school are sent through the "Skoolbag" app.

Please make sure you have this app on your devices for all current and up to date school alerts.

Download skoolbag from the app store

Select St Canice's Catholic Primary Katoomba

If you have any difficulty accessing the app, please contact the school so that we can ensure everyone is receiving information sent out.

New Training Module for ALL Volunteers

Building Child Safe Communities - Volunteer Undertaking

Dear Parents/Carers 

All Volunteers have until 30th September 2020 to submit a new Undertaking in the new system.

In Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP), we see parents and carers as partners in your child's learning journey. Parents and carers are encouraged to become involved in our schools in many important ways such as supporting classroom learning, being part of advisory groups, mentoring programs, coaching sporting teams and supporting other extra-curricular activities and other kinds of help.


A range of checks and undertakings are required for people who work for or provide services to CEDP. These checks reduce potential risk and form part of our strategy to build child safe communities.


CEDP has launched a new Building Child Safe Communities form and online training module that all volunteers are required to complete. 

The purpose of this training is to inform you of the standards of behaviour and other requirements that must be adhered to when volunteering for CEDP.

The undertaking should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and the training module approximately 10 minutes. Once the form and training modules are submitted, an automated email will be sent to you within two business days to confirm the status of your submission.

The undertaking form will expire within two years or when your Working With Children Check expires (if applicable), whichever is sooner. At that time you will need to complete the undertaking form and training module again. You will receive an automatic reminder email when this occurs. 

Further information on the new online form and training module can be found at and clicking on about us/building child safe communities. Within the form you will also find help sheets and a video tutorial to assist you. 

Thank you in advance for your support.

Enrolling Now

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Bishop Office

New Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards Website:

The Diocese of Parramatta’s Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards (OSPS) has launched a new website, strengthening their ability to deliver advice and support to parishes, agencies and ministries to ensure the Diocese is safe for all people. Visit the website at

KU Bilya Gulyangarri Preschool Enrolling Now

KU Bilya Gulyangarri provides high quality, community-based preschool education for children aged 3 - 5 years old, including: 

An educational, play-based curriculum Qualified, caring and experienced staff A large outdoor environment promoting sustainability Located next to North Katoomba Primary School Rated as ‘Exceeding’ the National Quality Standard 

To learn more, visit or contact: 

KU Bilya Gulyangarri Preschool Cnr Verdun and Barton Streets, North Katoomba T 4782 5847 E