St. Columba's Primary School


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Our Year 6 students and staff are enjoying themselves this week at Fairbridge Pinjarra Camp. With only one more sleep left the energy levels are still holding strong. We have challenged ourselves and developed our leadership skills while building relationships and having fun. We can’t wait to share our experiences with our parents tomorrow afternoon when we get back!

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Dear Parents and Carers,

Next Wednesday Christians around the world mark the beginning of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. This ancient day and season has a surprising modern appeal. Priests and pastors often tell you that outside of Christmas, more people show up to church on Ash Wednesday than any other day of the year—including Easter. But this mystique isn’t reserved for Christians alone. The customs that surround the season have a quality to them that transcend religion. Perhaps most notable is the act of fasting. While Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during the Lenten season, many people religious or not take up this increasingly popular discipline during the year.

Pope Francis asked us to reconsider the heart of this activity during the Lenten season. According to Francis, fasting must never become superficial. He often quotes the early Christian mystic John Chrysostom who said: “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.” Something for people to consider.

Next Wednesday St Columba’s will be celebrating Ash Wednesday with a service at 9:00am in the Church. All are invited to attend.

The P&F will hold their first meeting on Tuesday, 21 February at 7:00pm in the school staff room. All Parents and Carers are welcome to attend this meeting. Many thanks to the executive for organising the before school hockey clinic, it has been a great success. The P&F Sundowner will be at school this Sunday starting at 2:00pm.

I visited the Year 6 students at Fairbridge on their school camp yesterday and they were having a wonderful time. The weather was great and they were really enjoying the activities that they were participating in.

Please note that we are working to keep our students safe and are on a regular basis monitoring the air quality in our classrooms with a CO2 monitor. In the event that the air is not of a satisfactory quality an air purifier will be placed in the classroom.

Unfortunately, I have accrued a significant amount of long service leave and CEWA require me to use some of the days accrued to bring the accrued days back to an acceptable level. Therefore I will be on leave for Weeks 9 & 10 of this Term and Weeks 1 & 2 of Term 2.

Mr. Yock will be the acting principal in my absence.

God bless and keep safe.

Allen McMahon


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Important Dates

Tuesday 14 February - Year 6 Camp commences

Sunday 19 February - P&F Picnic

Tuesday 21 February - Shrove Tuesday

Tuesday 21 February - P&F Meeting at 7pm

Wednesday 22 February - Ash Wednesday Mass - Y1-6

Friday 24 February - Assembly - 3G

Thursday 2 March - CAPSS Swimming Carnival

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Merit Award Winners - Week 4

Year 1G - Vincent, Ava

Year 1W - Chloe, Lily

Year 2G - James, Ava

Year 2W - Charlotte, Judsen

Year 3G - Thomas, Alexis, Wesley

Year 3W - Iris

Year 4G - Dohyun, Charlene

Year 4W - April, Kyle

Year 5G - Orlando

Year 5W - Max, Martin

Year 6G - Sofia, William

Year 6W - Carmen, Tiana

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2023 St Columba's Swimming Carnival

On Thursday, 9 February at Bayswater waves, students in Years 4 to 6 attended the St Columba’s Swimming Carnival. The students represented their faction over various swimming strokes, distances, relays and novelty games. The students were wonderful sports people cheering their faction and competitors on. At the end of the carnival it was McMahon who proved themselves worthy to win the Carnival and trophy. Students that qualify (reserves if required) for the CAPSS Inter School Swimming Carnival will be notified. A special thank you to any parent helpers and supporters who attended the event.

Please see results below:

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NAPLAN Online 2023 - Parent Information

NAPLAN is a national literacy and numeracy assessment that students in Years 3 & 5 sit in March (this has been changed from May in previous years).

The NAPLAN Online test window begins on Wednesday, 15 March and finishes on Monday, 27 March 2023.

All students will be involved in a coordinated practice test in Week 5 this term to experience the platform and the different test formats.

The school has begun extensive School Readiness Testing procedures to ensure our devices and networks can support the online assessment.

Our school NAPLAN testing schedule will be released in Week 5.

A public demonstration site is available for parents and students to access. The link below provides access to the NAPLAN Online Demonstration site which provides examples of the different types of question formats as well as practice questions across all 4 testing areas.

Public Demonstration Site Link

More information is available at

We invite you to speak with your child’s classroom teacher if you have any concerns regarding the NAPLAN assessment.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Mass will take place for Year 1-6 classes at 9am on Wednesday, 22 February in the St Columba’s Church.

Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.

Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolise the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person's forehead, he speaks the words: "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year.

We invite all parents to join us for Mass on this reverent occasion.

School Fees

School fees were sent out this week to the primary contact for every family. If you have not received your fees please check your Junk/Spam folder or with your partner before contacting the school.

School fees are due by 31, March 2023 if paying in full, otherwise a payment plan needs to be selected.

Payment plan option forms are due back to the office by Tuesday, 28 February 2023, all families must complete a form.

If you have any queries regarding your fees please contact our Finance Officer, Narelle Foster.

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P&F News

Hi Everyone,

Last week, the P&F committee and the school met for the Annual Planning Meeting. At this meeting we discussed everything from our theme and vision, what events and activities the P&F will be running this year to our budget and expenditure forecasting. It was a fantastic meeting between Allen and the P&F Committee. We are looking forward to getting stuck into some amazing initiatives for the year.

The P&F are proud to be supporting the school's theme of "Community", which you will see come through in all of the activities and efforts we have planned for the year. If you have anything you will like to see the P&F achieve for the year, please let your class reps or anyone on the P&F committee know.

On that note, thank you to everyone who put their hands up to be class reps for 2023. Our first P&F meeting will be held in the school staffroom next Tuesday, 21 February at 7:00pm. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Lastly, it looks like Sunday is shaping up to be a lovely sunny day. We look forward to seeing everyone at the school for our Welcome Back School Picnic. Here are the details again-

Where: School Bottom Oval

Time: 2pm-5pm

What to Bring: Picnic blanket, food and drinks. The P&F have organised lawn games, free ice-cream and face painting.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Hayley Mitchell

P&F President

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Entertainment Books

The year starts from the date of purchase of your Entertainment Book.

Scholastic Books

Cash payments are no longer accepted. Payments can be made by credit card - Visit or download the LOOP app. Your order will be electronically linked to the rest of your school's order. You do not need to complete the order form.

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School Term Dates for 2023

Term 1: Wednesday, 1 February to Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Term 2: Wednesday, 26 April to Friday, 30 June 2023

Term 3: Monday, 17 July to Friday, 21 September 2023

Term 4: Monday, 9 October to Friday, 8 December 2023

Pupil Free Days for 2023

Term 1: Monday 30 January, Tuesday 31 January and Thursday 6 April

Term 2: Monday 24 April, Monday 15 May and Friday 2 June

Term 3: Friday 22 September

Term 4: None

Sacrament Dates for 2023

Sacramental Program Enrolment Mass: Saturday, 25 March at 6pm

Confirmation: Saturday, 27 May at 6pm

Eucharist: Sunday, 7 May at 9:30am

Reconciliation: Saturday, 11 November at 10am