11 August 2022

Dear Families

Last week I was fortunate to attend the Inaugural Special Olympics Fundraising Luncheon as an invitation from one our sponsor families of this wonderful event. There were speeches from parents, ‘Olympians’ and organisers and each one of them spoke from the heart with such honesty and connection, that the sense of belonging and purpose of this initiative was authentic and passionate. I felt humbled to be in attendance and warmed by a room of generous and supportive people. Mostly, humbled by families sharing their journey of living life differently to their expectations, but with love, community, and pride.

I mention this because there happened to be six other past or present families from St Andrew’s School at four different tables. This reminded me of the generosity of spirit our community has to each other, to different groups and the ways we can add value to our world, and to others. We have an enviable reputation as a community who band together when needed to support one another. Our Wellbeing Team are there for families and staff, and initiatives such as the Circle of Friendship, which supplies food and services for members of our community doing it tough, are the blessings our School can give to each other... We also now have three staff on our Wellbeing Team plus Panda and Pepper, our therapy dogs to support our community.

On a daily level, our connection and support of each other begins in classrooms and with friendships made between children and with families. Building communities and relationships are key to an excellent school, and we aim to foster, encourage, and support this in as many ways as we can. Covid restrictions hit schools hard, as we are naturally social creatures and the restrictions placed on us were difficult on so many levels. We are asking our community to be with us, support one another and share in the events and friendships on offer that you are potentially about to make!

For co-curricular we have two Care Clubs, where children raise awareness, funds and also support various local or global charities or events. Our IB Learner Profile of Caring is embedded in our curriculum as we aim to foster children ‘… who show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. Who have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.’ All around us, every day, there are examples of this profile in action. Our children are making a difference and strive to be, and do, their best, with compassion and kindness.

Already from student initiatives we have seen a can drive for homeless people, a pop-up café on Friday mornings to raise funds for refugees, a true connection to our RAP! in action towards each other, backpacks for Anglicare, the Book Swap to raise funds for Indigenous literacy plus many more but also, it can be the little things that show kindness and care. I received some notes from quite a few Junior Primary children last week for Principals’ Day (I didn’t even know there was a day!), the kindest thing for me was a note with simply…” Mrs Egarr, thank you for being a great Principal and being kind”. Being told I was kind, fills me with joy. Kindness and care are free gifts we give to one another, and as teachers, we share this with children and model it with our colleagues. We are truly lucky in our profession to be gifted with helping to raise globally minded, compassionate, and caring children who can make a positive difference, and already are.

Cathie Egarr
Interim Principal