Primary School News

Last Friday the Primary School went to the Sydney Writers’ Festival at Town Hall where they had the opportunity to listen to an array of outstanding authors and illustrators, including bestselling children’s author Morris Gleitzman, the UK Children’s Laureate (2015-2017) Chris Riddell, award-winning Australian author, Katrina Nannestad and A.F. Harrold, an English poet and writer.  The girls very much enjoyed the day. Please read their reflections below:

“Last Friday we all went to a really fun day in the city.  We heard from authors and illustrators on how to write a story. I really loved seeing Chris Riddell draw funny photos about what the other authors were saying.  We even heard from a poet who actually did some ballet on the stage and shared some funny poems about breakfast.”  – Hayley Livy, 5A

“It was very interesting and the writers taught us techniques on how to write interesting stories.  Chris Riddell was able to draw very detailed cartoons. Morris Gleitzman was very funny and was great at describing how stories need a problem.  If it is just happy all the time it can be quite boring. I loved getting my bookmark signed by all the famous authors.” – Ivy Hain, 5A

“The Sydney Writers’ Festival was so much fun.  We got to meet many authors who write great books for kids. I liked how Chris Riddell drew photos of Donald Trump and Oliver Phommavanh who was the host of the day. It was so interesting to see the writers explain how they became writers and how they get their ideas. I was amazed to hear that Katrina Nannestad didn’t like reading when she was little but that was just because she didn’t find the right book for her.”  – Audrey Kirk, 5A

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the world’s greatest thinkers. He demonstrated an ability to perceive the interconnected nature of knowledge and embraced learning with a lifelong passion and determination to uncover the unknown. The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines including engineering, mathematics, code breaking, art and poetry, science and English. The Decathlon competition places a particular emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity.

This term we have selected two teams of girls from Years 5 and 6 to participate in the da Vinci Decathlon which will take place at Knox Grammar School. In selecting the teams, we considered the program’s criteria and the skills the girls have demonstrated to meet them. Our aim is to provide an eclectic balance of skills that will contribute to the synergy of a creative team. We look forward to a wonderful day of challenges.

Congratulations to the following girls:


Year 5

Year 6

Amy Bourke Josephine Egan
Ruby Harrison  Ivana Antony
Rosemary O’Brien Chiara Leonardi
Sofia Palermo Chelsea Gleeson
Rachel Walsh  Annelyse Seymour
Indiana Thom Tahlia Moses
Emma O’Brien Lauren Lawer
Lucy McKenna  Errin Conlin
Reserve:  Lily Sorensen Reserve:  Alexis De Zotti


Next Tuesday the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) begins. Below are some handy hints to help your daughter prepare for the week.

  1. Encourage her to focus on doing her best and trying hard. As with all learning activities her focus should be placed squarely on effort rather than results.
  2. Listen to any concerns she has. If your daughter confesses to some nerves then validate her feelings.
  3. Give her some relaxation ideas. Anxious or nervous children will benefit from some simple relaxation strategies. Taking some deep breaths, changing her thinking and exercising the morning of the test are some simple ways to help get some feeling of control.
  4. Have your daughter prepared with a good night’s sleep, an adequate breakfast, getting to school on time and having a pencil and a rubber to do the test.


After four years of dedicated service to the Primary School, we bid farewell to Mr Jonathan Adams, who has accepted a position at Abbotsleigh as ICT Integrator (K-12). We thank him for the contribution he has made to the Primary School and wish him well for the future.  Mrs Louise Florance, who has been working in the Primary School this year will continue with 5A for the rest of the semester.

This morning in the glorious (but chilly) sunshine we celebrated Mothers’ Day in the Primary School COLA. The girls dutifully served their mums some delicious treats. Thank you to Katrina Leonardi, Jo West, Anne Roche, Kate Beat, Janet Doyle, Sarah Hickey, Amanda Timmins, Sally Lee and Melissa McCormick for providing the breakfast delights. The girls also shared a letter they had written to their mums about how special they are. One mother remarked, “It was such a lovely day, just like being with family.”

We wish all of our beautiful mums a very Happy Mothers’ Day this Sunday. I hope you have a wonderful time with your families and have the opportunity for a bit of rest and relaxation.


Loving God,
as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,
so you watch over your Church.
Bless these women,
that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.
Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
may honor them always
with a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.



Mrs Maryanne Dwyer

Head of Primary