St Mary's School Donnybrook

2023 Term 4 Week 5

We want our students to graduate as confident, capable and compassionate members of society who lead with their head, their heart and their hands

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Dates to Remember

Week 6 Monday 13 - Friday 17 November: Years 3-6 swimming lessons

Monday 13 November @ 6pm: SAC meeting

Tuesday 14 November @ 2:15pm: Year 5 Leadership speeches in the Multipurpose Room

Tuesday 21 November @ 6pm: P&F and SAC Annual Community Meeting in Multipurpose Room

Friday 24 November: PUPIL FREE DAY

Wednesday 29 November @ 5.30pm: Christmas Concert on the oval

Thursday 30 November @ 9-10am: 2024 Kindy Orientation in the Kindy Room

Thursday 30 November @ 9.40 - 10am: 2024 Kindy Parent information session in Multipurpose Room

Friday 1 December @ 9am: Year 6 Graduation Catwalk Assembly

Friday 1 December: P&F Colour Fun Run

Tuesday 5 December @ 5.30pm: Awards and Presentations Evening on the Basketball Court

Thursday 7 December: Scitech Incursion (PP-Year 6)

Friday 8 December @ 9am: Thanksgiving Mass in the church

Friday 8 December: Last day for students

A note from the Principal

Dear Parents & Caregivers

Following our last assembly, I sat with the students, staff and some parents and shared photos and stories from my recent trip to Mt Everest Base Camp (EBC).

It was a rewarding but very challenging adventure that gave me plenty of time to reflect and appreciate the things that we often take for granted.

It was interesting learning about the conditions in which people live and how they go about surviving in the harsh environment that is the Himalayas.

The people there, who are 80% Hindu and 20% Buddhist, are such gentle and affectionate people who show great love for one another. They have very little and really do make the most of what is provided naturally to them. Higher up in the Himalayas, where there are no trees, the people collect horse and yak poo which they dry and then use to burn in their fireplaces to keep their families warm. They grow vegetables, mainly potatoes, out the front of their homes and are often seen working in the rich soil which they have cultivated. They always welcome you with a smile and a “namaste”.

The guides, porters and sherpas who work the mountains walking up and down carrying huge loads are incredible and show great strength, resilience and determination as they work to support their families and travelers to the region.

On reflection, I feel like we in the western world could learn a lot from these people. There are many studies out there about happiness, with many researchers believing that having purpose, quality relationships and practicing gratitude will contribute to a more fulfilling life. The challenge, I think, for us is to ensure that our energies are invested in the things that support us in building a fulfilling life, rather than buying into advertising and the false images presented to us via social media. It’s certainly a challenge but one that if we can master, I think, will benefit our lives and those of our children.

Year 6 Camp

Our Year 6 students are currently attending camp this week at Point Walter. So far, they have had a great time and have been ice skating and engaged in different teambuilding and challenging activities at the camp school. Thank you to the P&F for their financial donation to the camp, the Year 6 parents, students and families who supported with fund raising.

Swimming Lessons

Thank you to Mr Skehan for his efforts in coordinating the swimming program for 2023. It has been an extremely difficult task this year and he has worked effectively with swimming WA to ensure our students still had the opportunity to participate despite swimming instructor shortages. This week we have had our Year 1 and 2 students complete their lessons, next week our Year 3-6 students will participate in theirs.

New Sound System

Thank you to the Bendigo Community Bank Donnybrook, the Donnybrook Shire and our P&F who have supported us in purchasing a new sound system with portable microphones. The sound system will support the school and be of great benefit at all outdoor events including the Christmas concert and sports carnivals, as well as being used for assemblies and other community events.

Kindy OP Shop

The Kindy ‘Pop Up’ Op shop was a huge success raising $433.95 for Telethon from sales at the Op Shop, plus $348.55 donated from Andrew Forrest' s Minderoo Foundation, is a grand total of $782.50 donated to Telethon from St Mary's Donnybrook Kindy!! Wahooo!!!


We have two more assemblies planned for 2023, being Thursday 16th November at 2:30pm and Friday 1st December at 9am. The 1st of December will be our Year 6 assembly and a special occasion for our graduating class. Please mark these in your calendar.

BCC Orientation Day

Our Year 6 students will be participating in a BCC orientation day on Tuesday 21st November. More information will be shared with those parents involved shortly.

School Advisory Council and Parents and Friends Annual Community Meeting

Our 2023 SAC and P&F ACM is being held on Tuesday 21st November at 6pm in the Multi-purpose room. All parents and friends are invited to attend the meeting, participate in the nomination and voting process for executive members, and be updated on what is happening across the school in both these parent groups. Please note that no general business will be discussed at this Annual Community Meeting. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me directly. Nomination forms for both SAC and P&F executive positions can be found on our school website under the school information tab.

Pupil Free Day

There will be no school for students on Friday 24th November. On this day staff will be engaged in professional learning looking at behaviour management.

2024 Kindergarten Enrolments and Orientation

Our Kindergarten orientation morning will be held on Thursday 30th November. Information was circulated to those involved. If you are interested, or know of anyone who is, then please ask them to contact us on 97324700 to book a school tour and/or complete an enrolment form.

Colour Fun Run

Thanks to our P&F, our students will participate in another Colour Fun Run on Friday 1st December. More information about this day will be sent home soon.

Christmas Concert

This year’s Christmas concert will be held on Wednesday 29th December at 5.30pm. Whilst the school and students have enjoyed working with Taryn Lindsay in the past, the decision has been made that the teachers will prepare the students for the concert the year. More information will be sent home to parents shortly regarding timings and dress for the occasion.

Graduation and Awards Evening

This year, our graduation and awards evening will be held on Tuesday 5th December. More information regarding this event will be sent home closer to the date.

Thanksgiving Mass

Our end of year Thanksgiving Mass will be held at 9am on Friday 8th December (which is the last day for students). All parents and friends are invited to join us.

Loog Guitars

A massive thank you to our P&F who have supported our music program and purchased 27 Loog guitars for our students to learn on. Loog guitars are a smaller, three stringed version of a guitar which makes learning chords and songs easier for students. It has been great to hear Mr Skehan and our students playing music in the school and the guitars are a great addition.

2024 Staffing Announcement

It is hoped that staffing will be announced to the community towards the end of Week 6, Friday 17th November. Please understand that much consideration goes into staffing placements, and meeting the collective needs of all our students is at the forefront of our decision making.

Student Enrolments

We are currently open for enrolments across all year levels for 2024. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please ask them to contact the office and I will give them a personal tour.

Kind regards

Andrew Gammon


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