St Thomas' News

22nd November 2018


Don’t become preoccupied with your child’s academical ability but instead teach them to sit with those sitting alone.

Teach them to be kind.

Teach them to offer their help.

Teach them to be a friend to the lonely.

Teach them to think of others.

Teach them to share.

Teach them to look for the good.

This is how they will Change the World.


Wednesday 28 November: Astronomy Night - Year 2

Friday 30 November: Kindy Parent Meeting

Monday 3 December: 2019 Kindy Orientation

Tuesday 4 December: End of Year Concert – 6.00pm sharp

Wednesday 5 December: Graduation Liturgy

Wednesday 5 December: Graduation Dinner

Thursday 6 December: Adventure World – Year 6 Excursion

Thursday 6 December: Road to Bethlehem – St Thomas’ Parish

Friday 7 December: Last day students/Reports sent home

Friday 14 December: Last day staff


Dear St. Thomas' Community,

AGM: I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and staff for their attendance at the Parents & Friends/Board AGM on Tuesday evening. It was a fantastic opportunity to review the year’s events and to acknowledge all the hard work done by everyone involved. It was also an opportunity to show our appreciation to departing members from the staff, School Board and P&F executive. Thank you to those who have stepped up to take on the roles left vacant and to those who are continuing in their respective roles for another year.

The members of the School Board for 2019 are: Peter Gibbons (Chairperson), Peter Lorbeer, Susan Swift, Paul Indaimo, Felipe do Valle, John Prichard, Steven Dunn, Rosemary Roach, X Officio – Father Wayne, Principal - Justin Tuohy, Parish Representative – Ann Johnson and P&F Representative – TBA.

P&F: The current P&F Executive have all completed their two-year commitment as executive members, therefore we are looking for a new P&F President, Treasurer, Secretary, Parent Rep Coordinator and Fundraising Coordinator. Unfortunately, we did not have any nominations for the key roles on the P&F for 2019. We are in desperate need to fill some of these roles to ensure the ongoing viability. I certainly acknowledge that everyone is extremely busy and therefore you may have noticed that over the past few years we have tried to reduce the considerable work of the P&F by introducing a levy and outsourcing the Royal Show Parking. We are trying to ensure that the P&F continues to play the very vital role of bringing the St. Thomas’ community together with a smaller emphasis on fundraising. If you can assist the school by undertaking a role in 2019 please see me and I can share with you our future direction and give you a full description of these roles. Why not speak to some friends and make a commitment as a group. I am more than happy to outline our very minimal plans for 2019.

2019 Staffing:

Pre- Kindy: Mrs Kate Byrne

Kindy: Mrs Karen Jones

Pre-Primary: Miss Gemma Canalini

Year One: Miss Nicola Ward

Year Two: Mrs Sam Valentine/Mrs Val Dragon

Year Three: Mrs Nicky Sullivan/Mrs Lisa Keatch

Year Four: Mrs Lisa Meyers/Mrs Lisa Keatch

Year Five: Miss Chelsea Hubbard

Year Six: Mrs Lila Gibbs

Teaching Assistants: Mrs Virginia Gamble (Pre-Kindy & Support)

Mrs Jeanette Koong (Kindy)

Mrs Sue Vincent (Kindy)

TBA (Pre-Primary)

Specialist Teachers:

Mrs Lisa Keatch (Science & E-challenge)

Mrs Kate Byrne (Art)

Mrs Cathy Cotton (Music)

Mrs Sharon Seaman (Physical Education)

Mrs Ann Barry (Health)

TBA (Library)

Support Programs:

Mrs Ann Barry (EMU & Levelled Literacy Intervention)

Mrs Virginia Gamble (Levelled Literacy Intervention)

Office Personnel:

Mrs Julie Wray

Mrs Leanne Hancock (Bursar)

School Fees 2019: The School Board, after much deliberation, has decided to increase the school fees for the 2019 school year by 4.4%. School Board Treasurer Mrs Linda Foot outlined the reasons for the increase at the recent AGM. The most significant reason for this increase is due to the new funding model our school needs to implement in accordance with Catholic Education Office policies. This increase equates to $199extra a year for the first child of each family at St. Thomas’. I would also like to point out that St Thomas’ fees are considerably less than competing schools. Please see table attached to email notification of newsletter.

As I have stated on numerous occasions in newsletters and mentioned at enrolment interviews, if you are facing financial difficulties please do not hesitate to make an appointment with me to discuss these issues. All discussions will be maintained in the strictest of confidence. It is paramount that all children have the opportunity to access a Catholic education and not be adversely affected by financial constraints.

Resiliency Parent Workshop: I would like to thank the parents (approximately 50) who attended the Resiliency Workshop last Wednesday evening. It was an amazing presentation with a number of quality ideas which parents and teachers can implement to help children develop their resiliency skills. If you have the opportunity to listen to Claire Orange present in the future, or seize an opportunity to see her complete this presentation again, I urge you to attend. Thanks to the P&F for funding the workshop and to Mr. von Bergheim for coordinating the event. I also want to thank the staff for their attendance.

End of Year Concert: St. Thomas’ End of Year Concert is on Tuesday 4 December commencing at 6.00pm sharp. Children will need to be seated in their allocated area by 5.45pm. Families are more than welcome to bring picnic rugs and a picnic dinner for this wonderful community event.

Thanksgiving/Graduation Liturgy: Please remember that our Thanksgiving/Graduation Liturgy is on Wednesday 5 December at 9.00am in the Church. This is an important time to come together in thanksgiving to God for the wonderful school year and to formally farewell our Year 6 students and acknowledge the contributions of those staff leaving at the end of the year. If you have not been to this Mass before, I urge you to come along as it truly is a beautiful and moving occasion.

Kindy Orientation: This year we are trialling a different approach to our Kindy Orientation. On Friday 30 November the parents will be meeting with Mrs. Jones to hear an outline of the program for 2019 and then on Monday 3 December our new Kindy students will be having an early orientation experience in the Kindy classroom. We will welcome our Pre-Kindy students to the ‘big’ school and also welcome the children who will be attending St Thomas’ for the first time.


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Mrs. Lisa Meyers to the St. Thomas’ staff. Lisa has been appointed Assistant Principal and will also be teaching the Year Fours in 2019. I know you will join with me in welcoming Lisa to the St. Thomas’ School Community.


Thank you: A very big thank you to our wonderful community for the generous support towards our community outreach giving programs. The St Vincent de Paul baskets are overflowing and the Romily House Christmas Gifts look amazing. This will make it a special Christmas for some people in our community who otherwise would have nothing.

Mrs. Cotton, Mrs. Gamble, Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Dragon and several parents attended Romily House last week to see our choir perform for the residents. The choir, as per usual, performed beautifully. Thank you to all for giving your time so generously.


Outstanding School Fees

It is extremely important that all outstanding 2018 school fees and levies are finalised prior to the end of the school year. Your urgent attention to this matter is appreciated. Please ensure payment is received no later than this Friday 7 December.

School Disco

What a fantastic night was had by all at the school disco. Thanks to Mr von Bergheim and the Year 6 Student Leaders for coordinating the event. Also thanks to the P&F for assisting in the preparation and on the night.

Celebrating World Teachers Day

Feloora Kiani from the Bahá'í Faith came to our school on Friday 9 November with a delicious morning tea. The Bahai Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people.

The morning tea is in celebration of World Teachers Day which was October 26th. The Bahai Faith values Education and hold teachers in high esteem. The staff were very grateful for this special treat!

Building Resilience in Children Parent Workshop

The workshop on Resilience, presented by Claire Orange, was attended by over 50 parents and staff last Wednesday night! Claire was an absolutely outstanding, engaging and knowledgeable presenter, and offered valuable information on how we can build resilience in our children. Building resilience in children is extremely important and the building of these skills in our children cannot be under-valued. For those unable to attend, we highly recommend checking out her website and resources:

The school will be engaging Claire again next year for presentations on other topics, so keep an eye out!

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Digital Technology Guidelines for Parents

Continued from last Newsletter... Tips and suggestions for establishing rules for iPad/device usage at home.

Tip #7: Keep digital devices out of the bedroom

If there was one rule that you should stay firm on, then this is the one. Many young people are in a constant sleep deficit as it is without bringing digital devices into the mix. They may say they want to charge it in their room. Keep the charger in a public place. They may even want to use their mobile or tablet to wake up in the morning. Applaud them on wanting to wake up on their own, but get them a regular alarm clock instead. This is one of the main suggestions we make at the iPad Parent Night - keep devices out of the bedroom!

Tip #8. Have a ‘digital detox’ one day a week

The only way that this idea will work is if you join them in making one day a week a digital device-free day. They will probably not like it, and neither will you, but the point of having one day off is to prove that they can live without their digital device, and involve them in different forms of communication and entertainment.

Tip #9 coming next Newsletter...

Ryan von Bergheim

Assistant Principal

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Introducing Boomerang Rubbish in 2019

At St Thomas Primary School we are committed to developing our sustainability programme.

In 2019 we will upgrade our once weekly Nude Food Day to a take in/take home (Boomerang Rubbish) initiative, whereby all students and staff will take home any lunchbox rubbish that cannot be disposed of in the compost bins.

Our aim is to teach and develop environmentally-sound attitudes and practices which raise awareness through learning about the role and impact of food packaging. We hope to encourage students and staff to think about the amount of packaging they are using in their lunchboxes and make changes to reduce the amount used resulting in sending less to landfill.


Cricket Regional Carnival

On Thursday 8 November the Year 6 Boys and Year 5 & 6 Girls cricket teams represented the school at the state regional cricket finals held at Yokine Reserve after winning their competition in Term One. The boy’s came 2nd and the girls came 4th in their division. Congratulations and well done!

Soccer Clinics – School Holidays

Andy Cartwright from pro Football Academy came to the school to do some soccer clinics in week five for our Kindy, Pre Primary, Year 2 and Year 3 students. Andy is offering students the opportunity to attend clinics during the summer holidays. The clinics run through December & January.

To register please email with the following information or alternatively call to register your child over the phone 0401 254 260.

Clinic Venue/Date:

Child’s Full Name:

Date of Birth:

Mobile Contact:

Email Address:

Any Existing Medical Conditions:

Rugby Roos

Students in Year 1 - 6 had the opportunity to develop and test their rugby skills in Week 5 of this term. Many of the students enjoyed the program and asked about how to join!

For further details please head to or email

Once on the website and click on the school holidays link you can enrol for school holiday programs.

Surfing Lessons

On Fridays throughout Term 4, the Year 6's participated in Surfing lessons from 7-8am at Trigg Beach. The class absolutely loved the experience! Surfing skills improved greatly and many students have developed a love of the sport and are keen to continue surfing outside of school lessons. Surf's Up Year 6!!

Holiday Adventure

If you are looking for a gift or holiday activity with a difference for the 10 -14 year olds in your life, why not book them into a Magnificent Holiday Adventure right here at the Perkins’ own BioDiscovery Centre?

On Wednesday January 23rd and Thursday Jan 24th the Cells and Proteins Adventure* is on offer.

Child(ren) will:

Magnify the microscopic world of the human body!

Investigate how your cells function using micropipettes, microscopes and other cool equipment used by medical research scientists.

Discover how scientists use cells in research

Simply click the link below, choose the day for attending and register.

Places are limited to 16 places only so book early to avoid disappointment.

*Please note, this program is NOT suitable for prior attendees of The Magnificent Holiday Adventure.


Next Year Keyed Up Music will be teaching during school times Keyboard lessons and Drum lessons. Lessons start from $17.55 for a group lesson. If you are interested please ring Therese on 1300 366 243 or enrol at:


We have had heaps of fun activities over the past two weeks such as Balloon Rocket science project, origami, cheerio bird feeder, storytelling ”The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and pretend play which helped us enhance our creative imagination, social skills and communication skills. We enjoyed our cute animal fruit and veggie in plate activity and Honey Joys cooking activity. We have had newspaper flower and hat making, egg carton dinosaurs, mini lid banjos and plastic bottle lanterns. Everyone has been so cooperative and helpful in promoting sustainability by using recycled materials for our craft making. We learnt about environment, caring for plants, and most importantly how to be responsible individuals. We continue to encourage families if ever you have scrap paper, cardboard, clean jars, containers and dress ups that you will no longer use at home anymore, we would be really grateful if you could please bring them into the centre so we can recycle them here for the children’s art and craft experiences.

Our Extend Superstars are:

Alana Nguyen for having an extraordinary skills in making crafts like origami and mini book making and for sharing you brilliant activity ideas in the program. Thank you Alana for being such an inspiration to others!

Amelia Nguyen for always being thoughtful and considerate to others. Your great effort in participating Extend activities and helping your friends especially the little ones is impressive. Well-done Amelia!

What’s on next week?

Monday 26 November - Nature Painting and Basic Photography

Tuesday 27 November - Chocolate Banana Muffins cooking activity, Picnic and Outdoor Games

Wednesday 28 November- Jewellery making and Lego Beyblade

Thursday 29 November- Basic Sign Language with Liezel and Music Sesh with Jo

Friday 30 November - “The Rainbow Fish” story telling and Rainbow Fish craft

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Liezel Menguito

Extend Service Coordinator

I am highly thankful to you all for your kind and affectionate greeting congratulating me on my nomination and for your good luck wishes. Thank you Lauren S. and Rebecca W. for a surprised poster and heartfelt letter of appreciation.
Extend Before and After School Care

Click here to take you to the site.

St Thomas' Community Partners