St Thomas' News

25 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 1 March - Public Holiday

Tuesday 2 March - Advisory Council Meeting 7pm (Library)

Friday 5 March - St Thomas' Swimming Carnival Years 3-6

Wednesday 17 March - St Patrick's Day

Friday 19 March - Harmony Day

Friday 19 March - Disco

Friday 26 March - Cricket Carnival Years 5 & 6

Tuesday 23 March - P & F Meeting 7pm (Library)

Tuesday 23 March - Parent Teacher Interviews - Kindy, 1, 3 & 5

Thursday 25 March - Pre-Primary, Years 2, 4 & 6

Tuesday 30 March - Advisory Council Meeting 7pm

Wednesday 31 March - Stations of the Cross - Year 5 to lead.

Thursday 1 April - Interschool Swimming Carnival - Years 3-6

Thursday 1 April - Last day of term for students


Monday 19 April - Pupil Free Day

Tuesday 20 April - Students commence back at school

11 -21 May - NAPLAN Years 3 & 5

Project Compassion Prayer

God of all peoples and nations,

As you accompany us on our Lenten journey,
May our fasting strengthen our
Commitment to live in solidarity.
Our almsgiving be an act of justice, and
Our prayers anchor us in love and compassion.
Through living simply and loving generously.
May we care for our global family
And our common home, as we
“Aspire not to have more, but to be more”*
We ask this in Jesus’ name.

*Saint Oscar Romero


Dear Parents and Friends

It was lovely to see so many parents attending our P & F Sundowner last Friday evening to come together at the start of a new school year and to welcome our new families. A big thank you to our P & F team ably lead by our President Bianca della Vedova and executive Tom Curnow, Mel Trend and Melissa di Latte. 2021 is going to be a wonderful year with many exciting initiatives and celebrations as we journey through the year.

Catholic Education WA Celebrates

2021 marks the dual celebration of 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia as well as 50 years recognition of the Catholic Education System in Western Australia. CEWA’s 50 year celebration, marks the joining together of Catholic Schools across four dioceses into one state-wide system. Since 1986, CEWA has been driving the strategic direction and mission of all of our Catholic schools with a distinct educational framework that motivates students and staff to achieve their full potential. We will acknowledge these celebrations at our Feast Day Mass on 2 July and look forward as a school, to honouring these two remarkable milestones.

Parent/Teacher Interviews

St Thomas’ Primary School will be holding face to face parent/teacher interviews in Week 7 of this term. These interviews are scheduled for:

-Tuesday 23 March - Kindergarten, Year 1, 3 and 5

-Thursday 25 March - Pre-Primary, Year 2, 4 and 6.

Parents are requested to book a time through the Parent Teacher Online (PTO) booking site. Instructions on how to book a timeslot through this booking site will be emailed to parents.

If you have concerns about any aspect of your child's progress please feel free to contact your class teacher to organise a meeting prior to these interviews.

School Fees

Fee statements were emailed to families last week. Fees form an important part of school income and ensure the delivery of a quality Catholic education. There are a number of options for payment and families are asked to submit a payment option form to by 5 March. If you have any queries regarding the fee statements, please contact the office at your earliest convenience.

May God bless your week

Natalia Thomson


Our Merit Award Winners

Opportunities for students at break times

At St Thomas’ we provide many opportunities for children to engage with a variety of activities, both active and passive, over the week. This year we have opened the Library for students to access during the lunch break. Passive activities such as reading, colouring and board games can be played here, providing a quieter, calmer space for children who prefer, or need a break from the business of the sand pit, pirate ship playground, grassed areas, and basketball court.

The nature play area offers a quieter outdoor space for students to go also. Vigorous activities such as ball games, climbing and running areas cater for students who enjoy playing sports such as soccer, basketball, football, cricket, handball and other ball games. Each class has a variety of sport equipment that can be readily accessed by students at break times.

I encourage parents to discuss with their child/ren the spaces they frequent during break times, and discuss playing in a variety of areas over the week, with a variety of peers, involving themselves in a variety of activities (both passive and active). If students encounter disagreements during play, or students don’t feel comfortable with the game they are playing, they can choose to change spaces and engage in different activities (we call this their ‘Plan B’ – which will be different for each child and good to have ready just in case!).

Clubs and activities during lunch time include: Choir, Mini-Vinnies, Green Team, and Chess Club, and give children yet another avenue to engage with like minded peers who enjoy similar activities.

Mr Heath Nankivell

Assistant Principal

Mini Vinnies & Class Mass Times

Mini Vinnies is up and running for Term One and we welcome lots of new faces from Year 4!

We are busy organising for our famous Easter Raffle and planning our fundraising activities for the year.

To strengthen our School/Parish relationships students we will be attending Parish Mass at 12.30pm once a Semester (please see dates below).

Class Mass Times - 12.30pm

Year 6 - Wed. 24th Feb.

Year 5 - Wed. 10th March

Year 4 - Wed. 24th March

Year 3 - Wed. 5th May

Year 2 - Wed. 2nd June

Year 1 - Wed. 16th June

We welcome Parents and Guardians to attend.

At this stage our Saturday night mass & sausage sizzle are postponed but we look forward to them returning in the near future.

Wishing you a happy and blessed week

Mrs Nicky Sullivan

Assistant Principal

Year 6 Incursion

Australian Red Cross delivered an interactive and informative incursion for the Year 6 class on Tuesday, that taught students about refugees and people seeking asylum around the world and in Australia. During the In Search of Safety program students had the chance to imagine what it would be like to flee their homes quickly through an engaging simulation, and to hear from children their age about their experiences of seeking safety. A great opportunity for the students to learn about human rights, why people need protection and they’ve all been given an activity to practice humanitarianism at home!

Sustainability at St Thomas’


In 2015 Pope Francis wrote the Encyclical Letter: LAUDATO SI’ which means –“Praise be to you, my Lord”.

Pope Francis’s encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, says that climate change is real and mainly “a result of human activity.” The focus of this letter is a call for us to care for creation.

Because we are part of God's creation, human beings are connected with all creatures, the natural world and the whole universe. The two accounts in Genesis show that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and are to be responsible for the care of all creation, a God-given role which, as Christians, we must take seriously.

In justice, it is an urgent task for Christians today to be reconciled with all creation, and to undertake faithfully our responsibility of stewardship of God's gifts. Catholic parents, as the primary teachers of their children, can help them discover the wonders of nature.

Young people and children, guided by conscientious, environmentally aware teachers, are at the forefront of the developing interest and action for preserving our unique heritage.

We at St Thomas,’ take this responsibility seriously and have a focus on Sustainability. We have the Green Team for Years 3-6 and many initiatives to promote Reduce, reuse and recycle. The Green Team meets on Monday and Tuesday lunchtime for tasks such as gardening, emptying the recycling bins, caring for the Worm Farm.etc..

The P& F gained funding from Bunnings for a new Vegetable Garden and seedlings which will be installed soon. The school received a Waste Wise Grant which will be used for Worm farms, Recycling Bins and Plants and reticulation for the garden outside our library.

These are projects that are currently running at St Thomas’ to promote sustainability:

· Paper recycling

· Compost

· Worm Farm

· Soft plastic recycling

· Collection of Woolworths seedlings

· Recycling of Bread tags (outside Library)

· Battery and Mobile phone recycling (outside Library)

· Containers for change

We look forward to adding to this list over the year.

The United Nations sustainable development goals note that children are

‘Critical agents of change and will find in the new goals a platform to channel their infinite capacities for activism into the creation of a better world.

Thank you for your support

Green Team Leaders

Mrs Kirkbride, Ms Campbell & Mrs Sullivan

Numeracy in today's world

As a learning community, staff at St Thomas' are undertaking a focus on Numeracy in 2021.

Our Numeracy Position Statement is based on the understanding that:

“Numeracy comprises the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need in order to use mathematics effectively in a wide range of situations"

(Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority).

To be numerate is more than being able to manipulate numbers, or even being able to 'succeed' in school or university mathematics. Numeracy is a critical awareness which builds bridges between mathematics and the real-world, with all its diversity.

One of the key outcomes of research is that the numeracy related tasks that people undertake involve much more than basic arithmetic skills and straightforward procedural competence.

Increasingly, research is showing that life and work in in the 21st century is requiring higher levels of mathematics and numeracy of its citizens. Numeracy and mathematics are intrinsically connected and BOTH are needed in our ever changing, globalised and technological world.

Contemporary research about learning and the brain has dispelled many common and pervasive myths including:

  • gene myth – you either have a maths gene or you don’t
  • gender myth – one gender is better than another at maths
  • speed myth - ability in mathematics can be measured by how quickly a problem is solved
  • memory myth - maths is only about memorising facts, rules and procedures
  • perfection myth- mathematicians never make mistakes
  • creativity myth – maths is not a creative pursuit as there is usually one right way and one right answer.

Parents as the first educators of their children, lay the foundation for future educational success. They make a difference to a child's attitude, motivation to learn, and academic achievement through showing their positive attitude towards mathematics and being engaged in mathematics and numeracy at home.

Below is a link parents may find useful in helping their children develop Numeracy Skills at home

Mrs Sam Valentine

Literacy Co-ordinator

First week of Lent - Jamila's Story

We begin our annual Lenten Project Compassion journey by learning about the story

of Jamila and her family.

Jamila, 22, is a Rohingya woman, living in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. A single mother, she fled armed conflict in Myanmar to save herself, her elderly mother and eight-month-old baby. With the support of Caritas Australia, through Caritas Bangladesh, Jamila was able to access emergency food and shelter. She also received counselling, emotional support and learnt sewing skills, to help her earn an income.

Jamila now feels less alone, with a sense of community around her. She is able to ‘Be More’ to her little family.

· 860,494 people remain in the densely populated camps, in desperate need of

humanitarian assistance, especially due to COVID-19. (UNHCR)

Watch a short film about Jamila’s story

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

Please support Project Compassion:

Lenten Pastoral Letter

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe wishes to share some important understandings and reflections as we enter this season of Lent. I have shared his Lenten Pastoral Letter on the website and encourage all parents to take the time to read and reflect on its contents.

As Archbishop Timothy explains:

“In Lent, we seek to renew our response to the Christ whose divine life we share. As we do so, the power of his life grows within us, moving us to think, speak and behave more like him.”

Sport News

Years 3-6 Swimming Trials

Thank you to all of the parent helpers last Friday, at the swimming trials as this made the day run smoothly.

St Thomas’ Swimming Carnival – Friday 5th March

A reminder that all students are to be dropped off to the pool from 8.30am, not earlier as staff are setting up for the Swimming carnival and they will not be supervised.

Swimming Training for the Interschool Team will commence after the carnival and a letter will be going home to those who have been selected. Training is on Thursday nad Friday morning from 7.30 – 8.15am, except for Friday 26th March. Parents are responsible for dropping off and collecting their chld.


Year 5 & 6 Tennis and Cricket Carnival – Friday 26th March. Need parental assistance on this day.

Interschool Swimming Carnival – Thursday 1st April

Mrs Sharon Seaman

Physical Education Teacher

Afterschool Activities

A friendly reminder to all parents to please supervise any child/ren who are onsite for after school sport training. School rules for playing on equipment or areas around the school, still apply for safety reasons.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Parents & Friends (P & F) News

Welcome Sundowner

A fantastic night was had by all at our 2021 P&F Welcome Sundowner! The sun was setting, the lights were twinkling and delicious canapés and drinks were enjoyed by all as old friends caught up and new friendships were made. Thank you to those parents and staff who joined us to welcome in the new school year. Special thanks to:

  • the hard working P&F Executive Team - Mel Trend, Tom Curnow and Mel Di Latte;
  • Celeste and Chris Hartfield, Joep and Jen Vaessen, Chiara Curnow, Ross Trend, Daniel Della Vedova and Sha Ragnauth (and our mini helpers the Curnow and Trend children) for your invaluable help before, during or after the event;
  • Mrs Natalia Thompson, Mrs Julie Wray and Mr Ron Wray for your ongoing support and assistance; and
  • Pete Telford and Chris Adams for your generous assistance with the Sundowner bar.
We value and appreciate your support, and look forward to hosting more fun events for our community throughout the year.

First P&F Meeting

Many thanks to those who attended our first P&F Meeting for 2021. We had a very productive meeting and we value the input, insight and ideas of those who attended. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 23 March at 7pm in the School Library.

P&F Survey

We invite all parents to complete our P&F Engagement Survey which can be found at the following link:

It will only take a few minutes to complete and will provide valuable insight as we plan this year's P&F initiatives and events. The survey is anonymous and will be open until Thursday, 11 March. We value your opinions and would love to hear your ideas.

Catering Coordinator

The P&F is looking for a volunteer to assist with our student catering services. This role will involve liaising with Lunchbox, our canteen provider, maintaining an inventory in the school canteen and providing support to the P&F Executive regarding canteen/catering matters and ideas from time to time. We do not expect this to be a time intensive role. If you are a bit of a foodie and interested in kids nutrition or just want to get involved and help out our school, we'd love to hear from you. No experience necessary. Please contact me at with any questions or to express your interest. Many thanks to Damira Relota for all her hard work in managing the canteen to date.

Warm regards

Bianca Della Vedova

St Thomas P&F President

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

Sporting Communities

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

See the flyers at end of this newsletter.

UWA Judo Club – Thursday afterschool.

Judo 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 flyer below.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

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.