Term 3 - A Different Beginning

Mrs Michelle McDonnell - Principal

It seems strange that only 4 weeks ago, we were celebrating with our whole school community, the many talents of our students and staff as we staged our musical, Matilda Junior.  While the late changes to audience numbers was a precursor of what was to come, we certainly made the most of Week 10 - an unprecedented 6 performances by our fabulous cast.  

Fast forward only 24 hours and we were faced with a holiday at home - perhaps not the holiday that we had planned, but hopefully still a time for families to be together, gaining some rest and relaxation following what had been a very busy term.  I'm sure many, like me, explored their local area on their daily exercise outings.
Our current time of Off Campus Learning has us spread far and wide in our homes around the Macarthur area - but still very much connected.  The Zoom check-ins have been a highlight of the day in each class, students are learning and demonstrating this in many and varied ways, and teachers are giving valuable feedback to students about their learning.
Meanwhile, we are still planning many events for our students, both for while they are at home and when they return.  
Today during the Junior Primary Zoom calls, Kindergarten - Year 2 teachers announced the class award winners who would have received awards at Assembly today - congratulations to those students who have received an award.  These will be physically given to students as soon as we are able, however, we were excited to be able to celebrate your efforts today. Our Primary class awards will be announced next week during Years 3 - 6 Zoom calls.
Our Kindergarten students will celebrate 100 Days of Kindergarten on Tuesday.  At this time, the party isn't quite as originally planned, however, our fabulous Administration Team have ensured that a special parcel of goodies is making its way to our Kindergarten homes as we speak.  Our Kindergarten classes will celebrate their 100 days over Zoom with their teacher and friends (and we might just have to have a second celebration at school, once we are all back together again).
Our school photos planned for this week and next have been postponed - we are excited that we have been able to secure alternative dates later in the year with the photographers so that families will still have their record of school at St Peter's in 2021.
Later this term, we will celebrate Father's Day.  While we are not sure what exactly our events for this will look like, we have begun purchasing and wrapping gifts so our students can go shopping for their Dads or other special people who play this role in their lives.  
I encourage you to keep an eye on our newsletter for information regarding these and other special events still to come throughout this term and beyond.  I know I speak for all the staff at St Peter's when I say, "we can't wait to be back together again soon"!

2022 Term Dates

The 2022 Terms dates have now been published on the School website.  Please click here for the term dates.

School Drive Subsidy

The School Drive Subsidy (previously known as the Private Vehicle Subsidy) is administered by Transport for NSW and is available to NSW residents in areas where there is no public transport, to drive an eligible student all or part of the way to school. The subsidy is only intended to partly offset the cost of using a private vehicle to drive the eligible student and is not intended to cover all costs.

The subsidy is for driving school students to school or to the nearest transport pick up point, by car, motorcycle or boat.

For further details, please head to:

Off Campus Learning 2021

Mrs Melinda Richardson
As we face another period of time completing off campus learning, I am encouraged by the growth we have all made as a result of 2020. I know as a parent myself first and foremost, I have approached this period with a positive difference, cheesily with the song from High School Musical 'We're all in this together' playing in the background of my mind. We often say that as a school we cannot do what we do without partnership with our parent community, and off campus learning really enforces how crucial this relationship is. 
The greatest priority in all we do needs to be wellbeing - wellbeing of our students, wellbeing of our parents and wellbeing of our teachers. We recognise that the greatest loss at the moment, is connection and relationship. Based on feedback from 2020, we have incorporated Zoom as a tool for our teachers to connect with students daily. This also enables our classes to come together daily, and share some insight to their daily lives. I know that our teachers have planned for some fun, interactive activities during these times, to further increase connection and promote relationships.
Connection for parents is ideally through email, however, we are always simply a phone call away! Please also keep an eye on our social media pages, where regular updates and information will be added, to assist our school community to reflect and connect. 
It is also important to recognise that Off Campus Learning cannot be a 'one size fits all' model. We are trying our best to create a system that can adequately work for the majority of our community, balancing a vast range of family situations - be it siblings learning together, shared devices or parents working from home to name a few. 
Our teachers have spent hours converting what was planned onsite learning, into Off Campus Learning within a short period of notification. We were certainly blessed to have the Professional Development week last week, to assist in this process. I have been incredibly impressed with the way our teachers have dedicated themselves to considering engaging ways to keep their students learning over the next two weeks from home. Families should see a clear balance between tasks requiring students to work on a device, as well as tasks utilising materials we would assume all homes would generally have. If you have any difficulties in completing set tasks for whatever reason, please simply email your child's teacher. 
We continue to explore how Zoom may be utilised to provide intentional teaching moments, recognising the myriad of additional roles our teachers currently face, and will utilise pre recorded sessions to assist with explaining tasks or providing explicit teaching where appropriate. 
The radio station, Hope 103.2, recently shared a Public Service Announcement, which rang true to me. It stated 'Parents: What we are being asked to do is not humanly possible. There is a reason we are either a working parent, a stay-at-home parent, or a part-time parent. Working, parenting and teaching are three different jobs that cannot be done at the same time. It's not because you are doing it wrong. It's hard because it's too much. Do the best you can. When you have to pick, because at some point you will, choose connection.' (Emily W King, PhD)
Whatever your situation is at the moment, we applaud you for simply doing the best you can!

New Students

We would like to welcome the following new students to our school:






Year 1


Positions Vacant

We are currently advertising for the following positions:
  • Head of the Preparatory School - (Deputy Headmaster) - Closing Friday, 6 August 2021
  • Head of the Middle School - Closing Friday, 6 August 2021
  • Team Leader - St. Peter's Heart - Closing Friday, 6 August 2021
  • Classroom Teachers (Casual)
  • Bus Driver (Permanent & Casual) 

Please visit our School Website to apply: https://www.stpeters.nsw.edu.au/discover/employment/

Prayer Points

  •  We give thanks that God is in control of all things and we ask to be blessed with tremendous faith to rest our hope and trust in our Heavenly Father.
  • We pray for blessing in the current lockdown situation in our country, for our State and Federal Leaders and for the people of NSW that we can each do our part to help reduce the number of COVID cases within our community. 
  • We give thanks for the blessing of our school. We pray for each of our staff, students and families as we navigate the challenges (and joys) of Off Campus Learning. We pray for wisdom and guidance that we can seek opportunities to show patience and kindness to each other. 

School Calendar

Term 3
Monday, 19 July 2021 - Friday, 17 September 2021
Week 2 

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

100 Days of Kindergarten via Zoom
6.00pm - 7.30pm: Online Secondary School Information Session 

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Postponed - Photo Day (Sibling, Class, Individual & Prep - Echidnas & Wombats 
Postponed - Matilda Cast After Party 
6.00pm - 7.30pm: Online Secondary School Information Session 

Week 3
Monday, 2 August 2021

Postponed - Photo Day (Co-Curricular & Prep Koalas & Possums)

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

9.00am - 9.30am: Chapel (Kindergarten - Year 2)

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

9.00am - 9.30am: Chapel (Years 3 - 6)
Rep Sport - BYE

Thursday, 5 August 2021

8.30am - 9.15am: Executive Drop In

Friday, 6 August 021

8.15am - 10.00am: Coffee Cart
St. Peter's Olympics (Prep - Year 6)

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There is certainly an element of being somewhat flat at the moment isn't there? 

Over the weekend, I found myself craving the relaxing nature of the waves at Wollongong, one of my favourite places at the moment, yet Wollongong is a little more than the 10km permissible for exercise at the moment. It has me thinking forward to a time where the simple things such as this will be able to occur. 

Despite this, over recent weeks, I've found myself quietly celebrating some of the exciting things that are occurring at the moment. Like many, the success of Ashleigh Barty in her Wimbledon win was a real highlight. The Blues taking the State of Origin, despite not being able to physically attend, was outstanding and worthy of celebration. Likewise, how exciting to see Brisbane declared the host of the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics. I am certainly hoping that we will be free to attend the many events free of current restrictions. 

It has also been terrific to be able to see some of the events and highlights of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Just as exciting is to see former students like Gabrielle (Gabbie) Plain competing in the Australian Softball Team. Our students have the world at their feet and should actively pursue their passions and dreams. Our job as educators and parents is to support our students/ children to be all they can be. How exciting to see students like Gabbie living their dream! 

Isn't it good to have some things to celebrate at the moment!  

I have been very impressed with the way our students have moved back comfortably to OCL (Off Campus Learning). Whilst not the same as being face to face, our students, and parents are to be commended. Please ensure you've referred to my separate communication around OCL moving forward.  

As always, if you have any specific need or concern, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Reading Development in the Early Years at St Peter’s

Day two of Kindergarten, in one of my very first years of teaching, a parent approached me at the end of the day for a friendly ‘check in’. I asked him how his daughter had enjoyed her first few days of school and the father boldly stated, “She’s actually really disappointed!” After scraping my jaw off the floor, we had a laugh (somewhat nervous on my part) and I questioned what had happened to cause her such disappointment. This young (barely 5 year old) student, fresh into Kindergarten, filled with anticipation, enthusiasm and expectation, had expressed her great disappointment that in the first two days of school, I had failed to teach her to read!  

This innocent and hopeful expectation continues to drive and challenge my teaching to this day. If you ask any of our Prep and Kindergarten teachers what brings them great joy in their role as an early years educator, it’s fairly certain they will have quite a bit to say, but I can guarantee that joy would be written all over their faces as they express the privilege it is to teach a child to read. We take on this responsibility with great anticipation, enthusiasm and expectation for all of our students. 

There is no denying that over the years, there has been extensive time and effort invested into debating the best practice for nurturing students’ literacy development, particularly in the area of reading. With the recent NSW curriculum review there has been a focus on building ‘foundational’’ literacy skills in the early years of schooling. From the perspective of reading, It has become increasingly evident that oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension all play an essential role in guiding young learners towards reading success.  (National Reading Panel, 2000).

In our early years (Prep and Kindergarten) programmes, these 6 key elements of reading development shape a significant part of our pedagogy and are naturally embedded into our daily teaching and learning practices. Through purposeful instruction, students begin to develop early reading skills from the very first moment we welcome them through our doors as 4 and 5 year old learners. Our Prep children explore sounds and rhymes through chants and songs, develop their knowledge and vocabulary through shared texts, count syllables, listen for beginning sounds in spoken words, blend and segment sounds using movement and voice and manipulate phonemes to produce real and ‘silly’ words. All of these learning experiences are provided through a balance of play and explicit instruction.

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St Peter's Anglican Grammar

Our website and social media pages have begun transitioning to our new school name, St Peter's Anglican Grammar, particularly to assist people in finding information about the School. We officially change in January 2022.  

I've been delighted with the high level of interest in Secondary Education.

Information sessions will be held online on: Tuesday, 27 July 2021 and Thursday, 29 July 2021. Please click here to register.

Please ensure you've registered so the links can be sent to you before the sessions.  

It has also been encouraging to see many families already applying for Year 7 in future years. Current families will need to apply for Year 7. The application fee is currently $60.00. Existing families will not pay the enrolment fee again. 

Please click here to apply.

If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact: secondary@stpeters.nsw.edu.au

St Peters' Heart

Our new small school (Heart) commencing in 2022, catering for students with moderate intellectual and/ or moderate autism spectrum disorder is also gaining a high level of interest. 

Information sessions for Heart will be held on: Tuesday, 3 August 2021 and Tuesday, 10 August 2021 - 1.30pm - 3.00pm. Please click here to register. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact heart@stpeters.nsw.edu.au 

Prep / Kindergarten 2022 Information Sessions

We are excited to run two online Information Sessions for those families who would like to join our growing school in 2022 for Prep or Kindergarten.  Many of our school families enrol as a result of recommendations by current members of the St Peter's community.  If you have friends or family who have a child ready for Prep or Kindergarten in 2022, please ask them to register their interest for either of our information sessions being held on:

Thursday, 12 August 2021 6.00pm - 7.00pm
Thursday, 19 August 2021 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Please click here to register and a link will be sent prior to the session.
If there are any current families still to enrol younger siblings for Prep or Kindergarten in 2022, please here to apply.