St Thomas' News

11 February 2021

St Thomas’ Primary School is part of a faith community centred on the life of Jesus, as expressed in our Motto, ‘Together in Christ’

Our Vision is to 'Educate the Whole Child' and create opportunities for our children to become loving individuals with the skills to willingly contribute to make the world a better place.

Important Dates


Monday 15 February - Parent/Carer Information Session - 5.45pm

Tuesday 16 February - P & F Meeting in school Library - 7pm

Tuesday 16 February - Shrove Tuesday

Wednesday 17 February - Ash Wednesday Liturgy - (Students only)

Thursday 18 February - Meeting for Class Representatives - 9am

Friday 19 February - Swim Trials Years 3-6 @ 12-3pm

Friday 19 February - Sundowner - P & F (Parents only) 6.30-9.30pm

Friday 5 March - St Thomas' Swimming Carnival

Friday 19 March - Disco


God our Father,

as we begin this holy season of Lent,

help us to see that your merciful love is with us always,

even when we wander far from you.

With the help of your grace,

may our prayers and sacrifices over the next forty days

lead us closer to you and to each other,

the poor, the sick and the lonely

so that together,

we can fulfil your promises for all who live in your love.



Dear Parents and Friends

Welcome to the start of the new school year. We are thrilled to see the students return to school after the extended holiday break. A special welcome to our new students and their families. It is so lovely to see so many new faces in our school community. A special welcome to our new staff: Mr Heath Nankivell (Assistant Principal), Miss Georgia Lee (Pre-Primary), Mrs Corinna Herbert (Music & Performing Arts) and Miss Hannah Antulov (Education Assistant) who have embraced our school vision with their enthusiasm and dedication to student learning and building community.

As a faith community steeped in the charism and values of our founding ‘Presentation Sisters,’ we are reminded to be ‘bearers of light’ in our daily lives through our deeds and words. At St Thomas’ Primary we do this by living out our school values of:

  • Inclusivity

  • Excellence

  • Truth

  • Compassion and

  • Community

These values will be a focus at our student assemblies throughout the school year.

Parents & Friends Sundowner

In true community, we commence the school year for parents and carers, with our annual Sundowner on Friday 19 February. A big thank you to our P & F committee for organising this event for all our families. Information on this event can be viewed in this newsletter.

Year 6 Camp

I had the pleasure of joining our year 6 students and staff on camp this week. What an adventure! ‘Jarrahfall Bush Camp’ in Dwellingup provided us with the perfect bush camp experience to advance our Year 6 student leaders. Orienteering, kayaking, confidence courses, night walks, abseiling, archery, mountain bike riding, tree adventures, just to name a few; all activities focusing on team building, communication, confidence, co-operation, resilience and of course, having fun! We are blessed to have such a wonderful cohort of future leaders in our school. A big thank you to Mrs Gibbs for her impeccable organisation of this camp and to Mr Godsall and Mr Shoemaker for their support throughout the camp.

Classroom Information Meetings – Parents/Carers – Monday 15 February

As educators we are ever mindful of the very important role parents play in the education of their children and we value your support in their educational journey. Our Parent/Carer Information Meetings will be held in classrooms this Monday 15 February commencing at 5.45pm. Two sessions for each class will be offered to allow families with several students to attend. The first session will be from 5.45-6.30pm and then repeated during the second session from 6.30-7.10pm. It is important that at least one parent/carer attend a session, as vital information about the classroom programme will be provided. Babysitting will be available in the school Library for both sessions.

Bushfire Fundraising

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those impacted by the bushfires in Perth, the COVID-19 pandemic and the members of our St Thomas’ community who are in need of extra support at this time. On Tuesday 16 February, students are invited to wear free dress to school and bring a gold coin donation to assist with fundraising efforts of the Lord Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal.

Ash Wednesday

Next Wednesday 17 February, marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation for the gift of new life that we receive at Easter. During this time, we are called to reflect upon our need for God and to address those things in our lives that distract us from the wholeness that only God can bring. An Ash Wednesday Liturgy for staff and students will be held in the school hall at 9am.

P & F Meeting – Tuesday 16 February

Our first Parents and Friends (P & F) Meeting for the school year is scheduled for this Tuesday 16 February at 7pm in the school library. All parents/carers are welcome to attend.

May God bless your week

Natalia Thomson


Year 6 Camp

Meet Mr Nankivell

How excited I am to have joined the wonderful community of St Thomas’ Primary School.

My family and I have moved from Busselton, where I worked as the Assistant Head of Primary (Pre-K to Year 2) at St Mary MacKillop College. Prior to that I have worked at Aquinas College, Holy Rosary Doubleview and in Karratha and Merredin. I feel blessed to be working as an Assistant Principal and Year Four teacher here at St Thomas’. Thank you for the warm welcome – I look forward to meeting parents around the school, and hopefully recognising those I have already met, without our masks on very soon!


Students in Years Three to Six are working on rules for using iPads to assist their learning over the first few weeks of the year. To assist parents in supporting the appropriate use of iPads at home, an ‘iPad Rules/Contract’ sheet was (or will soon be) taken home to open communication about how children use their iPad at home. Resources and support for parents in setting firm boundaries for their children’s use of technology devices, and to gain a deeper understanding of strategies to help keep their children safe online, can be found at the eSafety Commissioner’s Website at This website is an initiative of the Australian Federal Government, and is charged with ‘helping Australians have safer, more positive experiences online’. We look forward to a year of creative, collaborative and safe use of the iPads to assist students in their learning.


The Early Years (Pre-K to Year 2) teachers met this week to revise the St Thomas’ Primary School Early Years Philosophy. Revisiting our Early Years Philosophy has given us the opportunity to ensure we are operating with a continuous improvement mindset, with the best interest of each individual child in mind when: planning our teaching and learning programs; considering health and safety requirements, providing an engaging and stimulating physical environment, maintaining staff to student ratios; and fostering positive relationships with children, families and the wider community. All these areas for part of the National Quality Standards. I look forward to sharing our 2021 Early Years Philosophy with you in the coming weeks, and welcome your feedback.

Mr Heath Nankivell

Assistant Principal

Religious Education News

It is wonderful to be back together as a school community!

We will be having Pancake Tuesday with our buddies next week to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. On Wednesday 17th Feb we will be celebrating an Ash Wednesday Liturgy in the hall at 11am. At this stage it is only school staff and students due to Covid requirements. There is a service at St Thomas’ Church at 9am for those who wish to attend Ash Wednesday Mass.

The Sacramental dates for this year are:

  • Eucharist- 25th June (Friday 5.30om)
  • Confirmation- 20th August (Friday 5.30pm)
  • Reconciliation- 25th & 26th Oct (after school – parents attend with children individually)

There are no Commitment Masses for 2021 due to the limits of people allowed in Church.

Project Compassion

Next Wednesday at the liturgy we will be distributing Caritas Project Compassion boxes. We know it has been a difficult year but would appreciate your support for this worthy cause.

Saint Oscar Romero is our inspiration for Project Compassion 2021, so in his words let’s

“Aspire not to have more, but to be more.”

Ash Wednesday – 17th February 2021

This week the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allows Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to alleviate poverty, hunger, oppression and injustice. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through your prayer, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion.

Wishing you a happy and blessed week

Mrs Nicky Sullivan

Assistant Principal

Advisory Council Meeting 2nd February 2021

Our first advisory council meeting on 2nd of February was virtual and a huge success, with 17 of us partaking.

We welcomed new staff member Heath Nankivell and new members to the advisory council this year, Liz Dawson, Brian Douglas, Chris Adams and Frank Di Latte. Nicola Ward also joined us to update us on the marketing for the school and Penny Billingham and Lea Hancock were there to support us on Finance.

We have two subcommittees; Risk and Audit and Grounds and Maintenance. Both committees have a number of strategic initiatives to complete this year and in the next few weeks will start to get a plan together of priorities. Please see the school website for the full list of all Advisory Council Members.

The Advisory Council’s key responsibilities are governance, strategy and financial oversight of the school.

This year we will be reviewing the school’s strategic plan and working with the school leadership team on a climate survey. Both of these are critical projects for the school and aim to assist with taking the school forward and supporting our wonderful community, staff and students.

Susan Swift

Advisory Council Chair 2021

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Parents & Friends (P & F) News

Welcome to the 2021 school year! Our St Thomas community is very special and the P&F is looking forward to providing some fantastic opportunities for our community to come together and ensure 2021 is a positive, fun and productive year.

Welcome Sundowner:

The P&F Welcome Sundowner has been rescheduled to Friday, 19 February 2021. We would love all St Thomas parents to join us for a drink under the stars to welcome in the new school year. This year the P&F is delighted to provide food and drinks so come along and relax, catch up with your old friends and make some new ones. Please RSVP for catering purposes. This is a parents only event.

P&F Meeting

The first P&F meeting will be held on Tuesday, 16 February at 7pm in the School Library. All parents are welcome.

Sponsorship: If any businesses within our school community would like to support the P&F by sponsoring or assisting us with an event or initiative, please contact me - we would love to hear from you!

Bianca Della Vedova

P&F President 2021



Years 3-6 Swimming Trials – Friday 19th February 2021

This year we are having swimming trials on Friday 19th February from 12 noon until 3pm. Below are the following times for each year level:

  • Years 4 and 5 – 12 noon until 1.30pm
  • Years 3 and 6 – 1.30pm – 3pm

Please ensure students have appropriate swimming gear, a towel, goggles and appropriate footwear to wear to and from the pools. Faction swimming caps will be provided on the day.

No thongs to be worn to school.

To be selected for the Championship points for the St Thomas Carnival and Interschool Swimming carnival, students must swim in 50m events.

We also need 8 parents to assist in the afternoon even if you can spare an hour this will assist us in the timing process. If you are available please indicate on the permission notes sent home or email Sharon Seaman directly. All notes are due this Friday. Year 6 parents can email them through as the students are on camp.

Thanks in advance.

Swimming Training for the Interschool Team will commence Week 5, after the St Thomas Swimming Carnival, Thursday 28th February and each Thursday and Friday morning from 7.30 – 8.15am, except for Friday 26th March.


  • St Thomas’ Swimming Carnival – Friday 5th March – Notes have gone home this week with the information.

We require a number of parent helpers on the day. If you are able to assist with the running of the carnival can you indicate on the form please.

  • Year 5 & 6 Tennis and Cricket Carnival – Friday 26th March. Need parental assistance on this day.
  • Interschool Swimming Carnival – Thursday 1st April

Back to school helpful hints

Encourage kids to set goals and take responsibility

Encouraging children to set goals and take responsibility for the upcoming school year is a great way to get in them in the right frame of mind. Research shows that kids who participate in setting learning goals are consistently more motivated and take learning more seriously. For younger children this may be packing their own bag, for older students a homework plan/ making lunches.

Engage with their curriculum

If you want to help your child set appropriate learning goals, it’s important to engage with their curriculum and be aware of what they will be learning and are expected to be proficient in.

Most children deal with some level of stress or anxiety about school. When parents are aware of what their kids will be learning, they’re better able to provide support and manage stress. The Curriculum Overviews sent by the class teacher are an excellent way to know what your child is learning at school.

Create a fun homework station.

We like to keep our workstations fun and organised because it motivates us to do awesome work. Nothing helps to get that homework done like a quiet, clutter-free area that is all their own.

Label your child’s belongings.

This means items of clothing can be returned if they are labelled so you are not wasting your money. It can be very upsetting for a child not to be able to play because they have lost their hat.

Show your kids love and support.

Going back to school can be stressful for kids, so make sure that you remind them that everything will be okay and that they can count on you being there for them no matter what. Knowing that they are loved and supported will help them in their wobbly moments!

Best of luck in the coming school year!

2021 Term Dates for Students

Term 1

Monday 1 February to Thursday 1 April

Term 2

Tuesday 20 April to Friday 2 July

Term 3

Tuesday 20 July to Thursday 23 September

Term 4

Tuesday 12 October to Friday 10 December

Pupil Free Days

Monday 19 April

Friday 4 June

Monday 19 July

Friday 24 September

Monday 11 October

Parking Reminders

A friendly reminder to our parents and families to consider where they park when visiting the Church and our school. Unfortunately there have been a number of parking incidents over the last week that have upset our neighbours. Please keep clear of driveways and avoid parking on verges. Thank you for your support with this.


AFL Football – If you would like to child to participate in AFL football for Claremont Junior Football Club registrations are open and you may also contact

UWA Judo Club – Thursday afterschool at St Thomas’ Primary School in 2021

UWA Judo Club is pleased to announce the commencement of Judo as an after-school activity. Lessons will run from 3.20pm to 4.20pm on Thursdays in the school undercover area. The classes will start on Thursday February 25th.

Students will be supervised by our experienced coaches from after school until the conclusion of the judo lesson. An initial free trial lesson is available for interested students.

If students wish to enrol, the cost is $90 for the term (6 lessons) with an optional $20 for judo suit hire. All participating students must purchase a compulsory $60/year club membership. This covers student insurance, access to internationally recognised gradings and competitions.

The term fees cover training at St Thomas Primary School and unlimited training at junior sessions run at our main dojo in Claremont. We run junior classes 5 days per week – please see the timetable or visit our website at

For further enquiries, if you would like to attend the trial class or enrol your child, please email Peter Swan at

Please see the attached flyer.

Sharon Seaman

Physical Education Teacher

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Keyed Up Music Lessons

Keyed Up Music will be teaching keyboard and drum lessons next year during school. Lessons start from $23.65 for a shared lesson. If you are interested in your child learning an instrument, ring Therese on 1300 366 243 or enroll at

Extend Before and After School Care

Click here to take you to the site.