Dear Families

I am consistently in awe of the amazing efforts, achievements, and moments of our young, primary aged children. There are not many opportunities in life, for those not in education, to witness the daily joys of children and their knowledge, learning, innocence, and their ability to be risk takers. Equally, their sense of ‘just getting on with it’ and ’having a go’. As adults, we can learn a lot from children and I do, every week in a new way. With so much happening in our School, I hope to share and capture as much as possible through this fortnight’s article.

Since the last Bell so much has happened in the world which has also shaped some of my own experiences. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II was significant. As an Anglican School, named after St Andrew of Scotland, and as part of the Commonwealth, we were thrown into the mix of this very visual and prominent historical event. I was fortunate enough to take our School Captains to Government House to sign a condolence book for the Queen, and to place flowers and a card at her statue. It was to honour a remarkable lady, who served her country and Commonwealth for over 70 years. As an IB and Anglican School, we hold service to others dear to our hearts. Our Year 6 School Captains also served their school well by going to Government House. This was a moment in history I am sure they will remember, as will I.

This week I also received an email from a past student, Dr Matthew Sorrell, who advised that St Andrew’s Church would be ringing their bells, with bell ringers, for three hours on Monday 19 September. The last time this happened was in 1952 with the death of King George VI. It was quite a significant and moving sound that resonated across our grounds and many classes enjoyed a close-up performance by listening from the school oval, while looking at the Bell Tower.

Our NAPLAN results arrived which once again demonstrated our strong academic successes, but more importantly, reminds us of the significance of a holistic education. Our children had higher than average attendance for 2022 across Australia and they participated with a calm and measured sense of importance, knowing that this is just one assessment on one day. It is not defining. We have our wonderful teachers to thank for this, for their ongoing support of children and the opportunities they provide to support their willingness to participate and have a go. While we know it is just one day, we also celebrate the tremendous success of our NAPLAN results. These were either equal to our excellent 2021 results or better in all areas. Well done to all involved. Full results in comparison to National and State averages will be known later in the year.

We also had our first Welcome to House Celebration events on Friday of Week 8. Traditionally, children have joined a House in Year 3, but we now welcome children to their houses from Reception. Our two events, for Receptions and Year 1, now ensures all children from Reception belong to a House. It was especially lovely to have our House Captains assist with certificate presentations and to talk about each House to our guests. Our wonderful drummers then processed each House through the School Hall and back to their classrooms. It was another event that welcomed families back on site, to celebrate our wonderful community and their House connections.

When I last wrote for The Bell I recall writing about the Quiz Night and hoping to ‘see you there’. Well, what a wonderful evening this was, and a beautiful community event. A huge thank you to the Parents’ Association for organising this successful evening and I look forward to the 2023 Quiz Night.

The recent Parent Teacher Interviews also provided a dedicated time for intentional conversations about your child or children. The feedback is always positive from staff, as it does provide that intentionality to share and discuss all things relevant to your child. Thank you for participating in this on the various mornings, afternoons or evenings that were available to you.

I am heartened by the capacity of our staff to constantly think of ways to enhance all that our School provides and the opportunities we present, for our children. In 2023 we are having our first ever Musical Theatre Camp, with the performance of Matilda Jnr. This will be led by Ms Sharyn Iadanza and supported by several other staff. As this is a significant event, it will run from Term 4, 2022 to Term 1, 2023. We thank Sharyn for coordinating this and I am very much looking forward to this event in 2023.

In these school holidays we also have our Vacation Care Program running for our ELC – Year 2 children. Bookings can be made via this link. Please note that bookings close at 4pm today. For our older children, we are offering the very exciting Safari Camp with Mr Boden and Mr Hannigan and guest staff each day. I am so appreciative of staff who step up and arrange these wonderful opportunities… something for everyone!

I also received a wonderful letter from the SAPSASA North Adelaide District Netball Association. They wanted to personally acknowledge a St Andrew’s student who was selected in the SAPSASA team. The qualities they praised of Ava Moukachar are attributes that so many of our children share and that we as a School, value in all children. These included her effort, teamwork, her manner in the way she conducted herself and the way she, “…conducted herself as an outstanding ambassador for your school.” Thank you and congratulations Ava, we are very proud of you.

Thank you to the many parents who have already completed the Parent Survey sent to all our community, including staff. Surveys help to inform future decisions and this particular survey, that is conducted biannually, also provides a system to track areas to improve across the School, as well as opportunities for commentary on areas that families feel we are doing well.

The St Andrew’s in Concert on Wednesday night was outstanding. Each year I think it is impossible to improve upon the previous year’s signature Music Concert, and each year, I am again in awe of our children’s ability, passion, and obvious joy in sharing their musical talents. To our wonderful Musical Department, thank you for all the work and love you put into this area of the School.

Other highlights across the School this fortnight include:

  • being part of Mrs South’s Year 1 JP Assembly - it was utter joy and I sincerely thought they could sell the school, with each child describing, photographing and illustrating their favourite part of school which was so nice to see and share;
  • the Girls In Tech Expo for all our Year 6 girls - what a wonderful event to be part of;
  • the announcement of the winner of the photo competition at UP Assembly, with the JP assembly winner to be announced next week; and
  • the Tournament of Minds teams presenting at UP Assembly - what a wonderful experience for our students to be part of at Flinders University.

What a dynamic place we are.

Finally, Sports Day Finale that takes place today for our Year 3- 6 children. As this article is already written before the day, I can only comment on the wonderful event that this will be. Another opportunity for our community to come together. The Houses being led by our drummers to Walkerville Oval and the general community feel as children participate in their finale events is always a joy to attend. I look forward to seeing families gathering together for this.

Have a lovely weekend all, and if I do not see you before the October School holidays, I hope you find some time relax, do something special and enjoy this time. Once again, thank you for your support of my position for Term 3. I have thoroughly enjoyed so many aspects of this role and have learnt so much along the way. I am so proud to be part of this school community and am looking forward to the remainder of this year, in this role.

Cathie Egarr
Interim Principal