St. Columba's Primary School


"Believe in the whisperings of God to your own heart."

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop

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Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers

Many thanks to Lara Tulett and the P&F for wonderful Mothers' Day Breakfast last week. It was great to see the mothers catching up and at the same time having their children around.

This week the students in Year 3 and 5 have been participating in NAPLAN testing. There has been much media coverage concerning issues for student sitting the tests. I am pleased to say we have had a couple of minor glitches but have not had any real issues with the testing for students or parents to be concerned about. Our infrastructure and preparation was more than satisfactory for the testing.

A myth buster from the Strategic Plan Survey that was put out to families last term concerning school fees - “St Columba’s is continually increasing school fees”.

The school fees for St Columba’s are not set by the School Board and the Principal. Catholic Education WA has a formula that is set by the government and this identifies the amount of fees that each school has to raise. The School Board will then make a decision as to whether or not the increase will be implemented. The difficulty for the school in not increasing fees is that there is a requirement by the Federal Government for schools, depending on where they are located, to have a base income from families as a starting point. If St Columba’s does not reach this base fee then we do not receive extra funding to cover the shortfall in our budget. The school budget would then be in deficit, hence the increase in school fees to run a balanced budget.

With the implementation of the new accounting system email statements were generated and sent to all families today. The reason for the email was to notify families that their BPay reference number had changed and those making regular payments would need to change this reference to ensure payments continued to be made.

The new system has not automatically adjusted those families that paid their fees in full and therefore the annual discount is showing as an outstanding balance. To those families we apologise for the inconvenience. Please disregard the email as these balances will be manually corrected in the coming weeks.

We thank you for your patience with our new administration system.

God bless.

Allen McMahon


What a Week!

Important Dates

Friday 17 May

  • NAPLAN Testing
  • Winter Sports - Years 5 and 6 - 2pm to 3pm

Wednesday 22 May

  • Year 5 Reconciliation at 9am
  • APSMO Olympiad Competition - Senior LEAP Students

Friday 24 May

  • School Cross Country - Years 3 to 6 - 8:50am to 10:50am
  • Winters Sports - Years 5 and 6 - 2pm to 3pm

Sunday 26 May

  • National Sorry Day


Tuesday 2 July

  • Singfest

Click on this link to view the full Term 2 Calendar (last updated 16 May 2019).

Merit Awards

Congratulations to all our Merit Award recipients at last Friday's morning assembly.

Please note that there will be no Merit Award Assembly next Friday 24 May, due to the School Cross Country event from 8:50am to 10:50am for Years 3 to 6.

Code of Conduct

This week we will unpack Statement 8 of our Code of Conduct.

We support all members of the school community in making informed decisions about students.

We recognise that parents are the first educators of their children and equal partners in the education of students. We actively share information about students with their parents and the Principal so that informed decisions about students can be made. We listen to everyone with courtesy and treat the opinions of parents and school staff about the education and well-being of students with respect and dignity, even if we do not agree with these opinions. We engage with all parents equally and fairly, mindful that, in the absence of court orders to the contrary, each parent has equal and joint parental responsibility for their child.

Examples of how we adhere to this statement:


  • Disseminating information to parents who are not able to attend information nights.
  • Informing parents about academic concerns before reports are distributed.

  • Represent information correctly to staff or parents.

  • Attending requested parent/teacher interviews.
  • Respect school procedures and policies.

Year Ones Nail It

Last Thursday, Bernie and Jess from Bunnings East Victoria Park came to help us create our Mothers' Day presents. The children created breakfast trays out of wood, using the hammers and nails to make something special. It was a great experience for all involved. Thank you to all our parent helpers!

Inviting New Families to Apply - Kindergarten 2021

St Columba's is now accepting Kindy applications for new students for 2021 - please help to spread the word!

Our Kindy is fully booked for 2020 (but ‘waiting list’ applications are still welcome) and spaces for 2021 are filling up fast - so we encourage families to enquire now. Our school offers a welcoming and supportive community; committed and caring teachers; outstanding location and facilities; and students who love to learn.

Interested families can call (08) 6436 9500 or email

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Artist of the Week

Zara from Pre-Primary is the Artist of the Week! She was chosen because of her adorable Macca the Alpaca art. Zara loves to draw. She likes to draw butterflies. To make her Macca the Alpaca artwork, Zara used paper, pencils, cotton balls, oil pastels and edi-col dye. Zara's favourite thing about her work is the rainbow colours. She also loves the 'Alpacas with Maracas' story!

Skyla and Layla

Year 6 Art Ministers

Musician of the Week

Skyla from Year 6 is this week's Musician of the Week. Skyla plays the piano and has been playing for 5 years. Her favourite performance is when she played 'Circus March'. Her favourite performance is 'Hedwig's Theme'. In the future, Skyla would like to continue learning the piano. Her other hobby is reading.

Skyla and Layla

Year 6 Art Ministers

Library Roster

Monday 20 May - Lara Tulett

Wednesday 22 May - Mary Donovan

Happy reading.

Sandra Malarkey and Alice Shaw

News from our Recycling Team

Wednesday is our day to collect organic waste to feed the chooks. Organic waste collection buckets are in the senior school to collect apple cores, food scraps and other crumbs that would normally go in the bin. Ms Shaylor's chooks are great "composters".

Eventually, food waste will be collected on a larger scale and composted for the school garden.

Tip of the Week: Reduce our Carbon Footprint

Ways that we can do this include:

  • Recycle what we can in the correct bins.
  • Plant more trees. This can be in your own garden or helping out with a tree planting project.
  • Litter free lunchboxes. Choose items for your lunchbox that has little or no packaging.
  • Make every drop of water counts. We live in the driest continent on the planet. Take shorter shower and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
  • Reduce: Think, do you really need more toys or items that will eventually end up in landfill?
  • Reduce energy use. Turn off appliances when they are not in use.
  • Change your transportation. Can you ride your bike or catch the bus instead of driving?
  • Reuse or repair. Can the item be fixed or do you really need to buy a new one? Find a handyman or community group that do repairs.

Light globes are now being collected at our Recycling Station, along with batteries, printer and toner cartridges, mobile phones, Terracycling, dish and air care packaging, Post packs, toothbrushes and oral care packaging and bottle tops. Come and check out the recycling station in the undercover area.

Erin Shaylor and Brianna Bechelli

St Columba's Recycling Team

Uniform Shop News

The new uniform supplier, Nell Gray, has advised that all school uniform stock has arrived in the store. Parents are welcome to place orders or visit the shop for future uniform purchases.

Our own uniform shop will continue to open on Tuesday mornings 8:30am to 9am. There is a supply of second hand and new uniforms available for purchase. These uniforms can be worn for the next two years.

Uniform Concepts Nell Gray Store Hours:

The Uniform Concepts Nell Gray store is open 6 days a week providing greater accessibility for uniform purchasing and convenience to the school community. (Store is closed all public holidays.)

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 5pm.
  • Thursdays from 9am to 6pm.
  • Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.

For online ordering please visit their website: Below is the 2019 Order Form and Price List.

Wellness Week - Week 6

Parents Belinda Hill and Shalini McCullough have, along with school staff, formed a Wellness Committee. A productive meeting about the re-framing of wellness in our school was held and some new ideas discussed for Wellness Week.

We all know wellness is important, but what does it mean to be well? How do we nurture wellness in ourselves, our families and our school community? Our aim in Wellness Week this term is to establish a shared understanding and language of Wellness.

Mapping Wellness:

At the start of the week, teachers will lead a classroom activity to explore the concept of the human person as a unity of body, mind and soul. From there we start to appreciate that to be really well - to flourish rather than merely survive - we need to make intentional choices that are good for our body, our mind and our soul. And because we are relational beings, our own wellness is always in service to the wellness of our community.

Everything we do at school should have the aim of contributing to Wellness. In this week, special attention will be given to identifying practices that nurture and promote wellness of our body, mind and soul.

Wellness Pledge:

Rather than framing Wellness as an absence of homework or screen time or a break from routine, everyone will be invited to make a pledge committing to one wellness practice for their body, their mind and their souls. We encourage you to discuss creative options that your children, and perhaps your family might commit to.

Some ideas might include:

  • Body: Plan and cook a favourite healthy family meal, set the table beautifully and eat together, aim for an extra 30 minutes sleep, enjoy an outdoor activity.
  • Mind: Introduce your children to a favourite book of your own, choose a book about something you love or don’t know anything about, listen to a piece of classical music with your eyes shut, try 1 to 2 minutes of a practice such as mindful breathing, meditation, mindful eating or walking.
  • Soul: Read some poetry, go to the beach or a park or outside at night where your sense of the sacred is awakened, spend a few minutes at the dinner table or before you go to bed in gratitude or delight, saying thank you for the day and for the people and things you have encountered, discuss ways you can be generous towards those less fortunate or with specific needs, identify one thing or practice that ‘sparks’ joy for you or someone else and do that thing, go to a church service where you can receive Communion or a blessing and be reminded in community that you are loved by the God.

Mindfulness Session:

To enable students to develop a tool kit of mindfulness practices, Shalini McCullough (Mother of Talin in Year 1B) will introduce each class to a series of simple exercises focusing on breath, balance and mindful eating. Once the foundations for these practices are established, teachers will be encouraged to incorporate them into the daily rhythms of the classroom.

Wellness Meal Competition:

Students will be invited contribute an idea for a wellness meal or snack they would like to see available in the School Canteen. 5 entries will be selected for the judges to sample, and all students will be able to vote for their choice during lunch time of Thursday 6 June (Week 6, Wellness Week). The winning meal or snack will feature on the Canteen Menu for Term 2. Please see the entry form below that outlines the criteria for selection. All entry forms are due back to the school office by Monday 27 May (Week 5).


During Wellness Week students can choose to wear either the school sports or formal uniform (maybe the wellness of whoever does the washing should be the main deciding factor here!)

As we create space next week to consider what Wellness is, and ways we can nourish our body, mind and soul, our aim is that this shared language and understanding will permeate through everything we do at St Columba’s. We will return to these concepts each term and add to our toolkit of wellness practices.


Thank You from the P&F Committee

The Mothers' Day Stall was a fun time for the children. Thank you to the Year 2 classes for organising.

Mothers' Day Breakfast was a well received morning with mum's being spoilt and catching up with each other. A very big thank you to the Pre-Primary class reps Katherine Higgins, Kym Banes and Rosie Parker for their amazing organisation. It takes many hands to make these events work. Thank you to all the Pre-Primary families for making and supplying food, helping setup and cleanup. A huge thanks to the wonderful dad's that gave up their mornings to help heat and serve food, and for their tea/coffee making skill. It allowed the mum's some time off!

Thank you to the following families and businesses for the very kind and generous donations for the raffle prizes.

Liquor Barron's on Angelo Street, Lux on Angelo Street, Signature Nails, Dale James, Fridays Cakes (Raquel Morrison PPF), South West Honey ( Kym Banes PPF and Year 2C), Officeworks Vic Park and Signature Floral Design (Annalise Maffescioni Year 1).

Congratulations to all the lucky winners!

Thank you for the parents that attend this weeks P&F meeting. A great turn out and an evening of awesome brainstorming. We look forward to seeing you and more at the next meeting on Tuesday 11 June at 7pm.

The P&F have some exciting events coming up through the year, so stay viewing to mark your calendar with ' ave the dates'.

The P&F also granted some of the students requests on the wish list for the play area.

Lara Tulett

P&F President 2019

TravelSmart to School Raffle

TravelSmart Raffle:

At last week’s assembly a raffle was conducted for students that had been Travel Smart in Term 1 (chose active travel for school: walk, bicycle, scoot, use public transport or park the car 5 to 10 minutes away). To enter, children had to be Travel Smart a minimum of five separate journeys. The winners received Verde Brio Vouchers!

Well done to:

Year 2: Luca and Aidan

Year 3: Sebastian and Lucas

Year 4: Chloe R, Holly B and Gabriella

Year 5: Claudia, Matilda P and Celeste

Five lucky children also received spokey dokes for their bicycles.

Amanda Johnson (Edith Year 5)

Walk Safely to School Day - Tomorrow

All active students will receive a sticker!

Tomorrow, Friday 17 May, is an annual national event when all primary school children are encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It promotes physical activity, road safety, public transport and the environment.

Everyone benefits when active travel is chosen for school journeys. Students are more attentive, there are less cars on the road (better for the environment/safer), and it really is a nice way to meet people.

Children really do love to walk and talk!

  • Visit the Walk Safely to School Day 2019 Website!
  • Walk this Friday!
  • Walk with friends!
  • Park the car at Angelo or Mends Street Shopping Precinct and walk!
  • Cycle!
  • Walk on the Walking School Bus (departs 8am Sandgate/ Hensman Street).

Amanda Johnson (Edith Year 5)

DOSC's 2019 Footy Tipping Competition

Just when we may have thought there was some predictability in results Round 8 results prove otherwise. A big range of tipping results this round from 8 all the way down to 3.

Round 8 Results:

O¹Eagle ­ Oliver P with 8 correct tips and margin of 2 points.

Top 10

1. MC The Best - Matthew C - 49

2. The Mighty De's - Neilsen D - 44

3. Collins Gang - Grant C - 44

4. Kennedy17 - Christian P - 44

5. Scarymans - Mark S - 43

6. Goal Sneak - Todd D - 43

7. Lorraine J - 43

8. Iuliano Family - Paul I - 43

9. Team McKenzie - Josh M - 42

10. R-K-S - Rob B - 42

Todd Dawson

Footy Tipping Coordinator

Woolworths Earn and Learn

  • Collect as many stickers and you can between 1 May to 25 June 2019.
  • Stick them on the sticker sheets and place the completed sheets into the collection box in store for St Columba's or our collection box located outside the library.
  • Extra sticker sheets are available from the school office.

Entertainment Books 2019/20

The Entertainment Books ($70) are available for purchase from the school office. The P&F receives $14 commission for each book sold. To order a digital book please click here for the Online Order Page.

Bricks4Kidz at St Columba's

Bricks4Kidz after school enrichment classes are being held at St Columba's on Wednesday afternoons until 26 June this term. Classes commence at 3:30pm in the library. Please follow the link for the After School Enrolment page. All enquiries are to be directed to Bricks4Kidz.