2020: Term 1 Week 2

Principal’s Message

The 2020 school year has got off to a fantastic start and we hope your children are enjoying their first week in their new classes. This year we have 23 classes (details below). Our teachers have been very busy through the holidays and the past weeks getting ready for their classes and I know our learners are very keen to get started on their learning journey this year.

On Monday, we had a rainy start to the year for our new Kindergarten students. Despite the wet weather there were plenty of smiling young faces and it was so nice to meet many of the new Kindergarten families at the Tea and Tissues morning tea.

The first day of Kindergarten is a whole new adventure for both parents and children. We are really excited to be part of this milestone in your children’s lives and we hope to provoke your child’s curiosity and promote a lifelong love of learning.

Meet the Teacher – Wednesday 19 February

Meet the teacher evening is a very important aspect of school life. It is a great introduction to the year whilst establishing a clear understanding of the expectations within the classroom, for stage/grade opportunities and the general organisation for the school.

  • Kindergarten are meeting in classrooms from 5.00pm
  • Year 1 & Year 2 are meeting in classrooms at 5.30pm
  • Year 3 & Year 4 are meeting in classrooms at 6.00pm
  • Year 5 & Year 6 are meeting in the Library at 6.30pm

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please Note: Time does not allow teachers to discuss individual learners on this night. If you do have any concerns that need to be addressed immediately, please call our school office to make an appointment to meet your child’s class teacher or Stage Supervisor.

Defence School Mentor Position – Now Advertising

We are currently advertising for a new Defence School Mentor. A Defence School Mentor (DSM) provides assistance and support to the children of Australian Defence Force members as they move from school to school and during times of parental absence.

The DSM would develop and implement a range of resources and activities to assist these children and their families to integrate into the school community and to increase their ability to cope with the military lifestyle.

This is a contract position until end of the school year 2020.

The continuation of the position beyond this date is dependent on funding from the Australian Department of Defence.

The DSM is an employee of South Coogee Public School and is responsible to the school principal or nominee for everyday activities.

Interested applicants may obtain a copy of the DSM role description and selection criteria from the school office. Please email sthcoogee-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au for an application package.

Applications close on Friday 6 March 2020.

School Maintenance

If you have been into the school recently you would have noticed a large amount of painting taking place along with the completion of our newly returfed paddock. The students currently have access to the AstroTurf soccer field and will have full access to the paddock from week 4 onwards. I’m sure you’ll agree this a wonderful improvement to this outdoor space. Thank you all so much for your support, patience and understanding with our school improvement efforts.


Stay Up to Date with School Events

One of the most rewarding parts of my role is belonging to such a positive school community. We have parents and community members involved regularly in supporting our school. The partnership between families and our school is vital, and we encourage you to be engaged in your child’s education and participate in school events. Make sure you keep up to date through:


Our school website https://www.southcoogeepublicschool.com/

Our school calendar https://www.southcoogeepublicschool.com/calendar/

P & C website http://www.southcoogeepublicpandc.org.au/

P&C Facebook https://m.facebook.com/SouthCoogeePublicSchool/

Our first P & C meeting is on Wednesday 12th Feb and our ‘Welcome to School BBQ & Film Night ‘ is on Friday 20th March (more information to follow in upcoming newsletters).

I trust all families are now getting settled back into the routines of school life and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Marion Walsh-Gay

Relieving Principal


Deputy Principal’s Message

This year, we will be continuing to implement the Grow Your Mind program across our school. Grow Your Mind is designed to develop children’s understanding of mental health. Grow Your Mind wants to see children, families and teachers with the same awareness of looking after their mental health as they do for their physical health. It aims to make topics such as brain awareness, resilience, mindfulness and compassion relatable for young and old(er)!

The Grow Your Mind website, https://growyourmind.life/ has great resources for families, including a blog which has useful articles to support Grow Your Mind at home. Here is the latest article:









The theme of this blog – essentially maintaining a small piece of the parent you were during the holidays as you embark on a new school year. We have 4 invitations on savouring the good times and bringing some of the holiday chilled vibes to every day working week mayhem.

  1. Section off some time to reflect on the holidays

Whether your children be 3 or 15, invite everyone to write or say a few reflections on the following:

  • 1 brave thing I did
  • 1 kind thing I did
  • 1 new thing I learnt
  • 2 of my most favourite parts of the holiday

Reflect together – out of these answers what strengths did they show? Can they use these strengths to help them for a new year at school?

Why do this exercise? You are practising authentic gratitude which has a host of benefits AND you are pausing for a moment before rushing onto the next thing. Which is a simple way to be mindful.

  1. Decide on your family values

Draw a compass and explain to your family that you are all going to come up with a set of values that represent what is important. The values that you decide on will act as a guide to enable you to get on well, to help each other and to make decisions. Values are different from strengths, although they may overlap. Strengths are what we inherently have within us, values are what we choose our lives to be about.

Next to each value, come up with an example that represents it. e.g. say you choose respect: We speak in a nice way to each other even when we don’t agree with something Or: We pick up after ourselves. Potentially a value is gratitude: We focus on what we do have as opposed to what we don’t.

Why do this? Because knowing our values can help to steer us in the direction we want to proceed and it can be a positive reinforcement for how we want to behave. It’s also an opportunity to connect in moments of friction and conflict….e.g. It feels like we are compromising our value of …… honesty….. how can we do things differently to get more in line with that? Display your compass in a visible part of your home.

  1. Make a be of benefit mindmap

Brainstorm all of the ways to be of benefit at home. What does this mean – ways we can help. In our school program, we call it the BOB movement. Be of Benefit. You could extend this outside of the home too. What are some tangible ways we can help? Feeding animals, vacuum, empty dishwasher, pick up rubbish that’s not yours, cook etc. You could assign names to tasks or agree on making sure they are achieved once a day/week etc. The empowering message in this is: everyone can be helpful.

  1. As a parent prioritise your own wellbeing

If we want our children to be kind, we need to be kind to ourselves and to them also! If we want our children to be calm, we need to be able to display how we also can emotionally regulate. Make time, every day for your own wellbeing. What brings you joy? Organise a way to fill your cup! And try and carve out go slow time in 2020. If you want more ideas about taking care of your mental health we have an abundance of resources and blogs to assist you and your family.






To read the full blog, please click on this link: https://growyourmind.life/blogs/how-it-begins-at-grow-your-mind/holiday-parent-vs-school-parent-4-tips-to-keep-your-cool-with-school

We look forward to sharing more Grow Your Mind blogs with on the SCPS Facebook page.

Chantal Cake

Relieving Deputy Principal


South Coogee Staff 2020

At South Coogee PS we do everything we can to help your child to be their best. Let us know if we can support you. Remember we operate an open door policy – feel free to book an appointment with your child’s class teacher or Assistant Principal if you have concerns or need support, help or advice.






















Welcome to our New Staff

We are very excited to have a number of new teachers and administration staff joining our South Coogee team.

Swimming Carnival

The swimming carnival was so much fun! There were many excited students at the swimming carnival. All of the children participated to a high standard and their behaviour was fabulous as they cheered on their peers.

We would like to thank the many parents who were in attendance on the day for supporting our children and lending a hand.

In addition, we would also like to thank our wonderful team of teachers who assisted on the day!

Mrs Pitarelli and Ms Thomas

Update Advice for Parents – 2 February 2020

Current advice from the Australian Government Department of Health for parents in regards to the Novel Coronavirus is:

  • Any student and staff arriving in Australia from 1 February 2020 who has been in mainland China or transited through mainland China (not just Hubei province) is excluded from school and child care services for a period of 14 days from the date they left mainland China as the Novel Coronavirus’ incubation period can be as long as two weeks.
  • Any confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus will be excluded until they are medically cleared to return
  • Close contact of a confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus will be excluded for 14 days since last contact with the confirmed case.
  • Any student and staff arriving before 1 February our previous advice remains that students and staff who were in Hubei province are excluded from school or child care services for 14 days, and those who were in the rest of China are requested not to not attend school or child care services for a period of 14 days after leaving China.
  • More information can be found at NSW Health.

Students who returned to Australia from mainland China more than 14 days ago and have shown no symptoms are able to return to school.

The Ministry of Health has processes in place to identify any close contacts of cases confirmed in Australia. Advice about not attending school would be provided to these close contacts by the Ministry of Health.

There has been a small number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in NSW.

Consistent with current guidelines, staff and students who are unwell with respiratory illness should remain at home until symptoms resolve. In accordance with our current practice if any child becomes unwell we will implement our infection control guidelines and follow the advice provided by the Ministry of Health as appropriate.

The Department of Education will continue to work with the Ministry of Health to monitor and respond to the unfolding international novel coronavirus situation.

Instructions for the Kiss and Go Zone – Tucabia St

South Coogee Public School is committed to providing the safest possible environment for all children, staff, family and visitors. To assist parents and guardians with the safe drop off and pick up of children, please follow the instructions below for using the Kiss and Go Zone.

Please do not park in the Kiss and Go zone. Use the 10min or unrestricted car park spaces.

Morning Drop Off

  • Drivers should remain in their vehicles at all times in the Drop-off and Pick-up zone.
  • Make sure children use the Safety Door (the rear footpath side door) to get in and out of the car.
  • Make sure the handbrake is applied when the vehicle is stationery.


Afternoon Pick Up

  • Please display your name on the left visor so we can ensure your child is ready when you arrive at the loading area.
  • Do NOT wait at the Kiss and Go zone before 3pm. You will be asked to move on.
  • Please stay in your vehicle in the Kiss and Go zone. A staff member will assist your child to get into your car.
  • Children will be supervised behind the school gates until the staff member on duty calls them to the pick up bays.
  • Do not attempt to call your child to your car even if you can see them waiting.


Please Note

In the event of wet weather children must be collected from their classrooms.

Children in K-2 can only attend Kiss & Go if they are collected by a sibling from Years 3-6.

Ethics Coordinator and Teachers Needed

Ethics classes are available at South Coogee Public School as an option for children who don’t attend Special Religious Education (SRE/scripture).

Ethics classes support children in developing skills in ethical reasoning, critical thinking, collaborative enquiry and how to support their arguments with evidence. The lesson materials have been approved by the Department of Education.

We currently do not have enough volunteer ethics teachers to meet the demand for classes in 2020. This means that a number of students across the grades will miss out on ethics classes this year unless we find volunteers to facilitate classes.

We are also looking for a volunteer to coordinate the ethics program at South Coogee Public School.

Volunteering is a great way to engage with the school. Volunteer ethics teachers do not need a background in teaching or ethics, just a willingness to learn how to deliver classes. They must complete a two day workshop and other online training and accreditation requirements. The approved lesson materials are provided. Ethics teachers must commit to conduct classes each week at the school during school terms for at least one year (Thursdays between 11.30-12pm (K-2) and 12-12.30pm (3-6). The more children and stages we have requests for, the more will be needed.

The Ethics Coordinator is a very social role and would suit people with good organisational skills. It acts as a liaison between Primary Ethics and the school and organises recruitment and coordinates the Ethics Teachers. The time is flexible, approximately 1-2 hours per week and can be done predominantly online. Structured training for the ethics coordinator is provided online.

For more information about Primary Ethics, the curriculum or to volunteer as an ethics coordinator or teacher, please visit www.primaryethics.com.au where you can complete an on-line application. Alternatively you can contact Katja Klikauer (katja.klikauer@gmail.com) to find out more about the experience of teaching Ethics at South Coogee Public School.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bushfire Advice

This school holidays Australia experienced Bushfires on an unprecedented scale which caused widespread destruction and have deeply affected us all. Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted. The Department of Education NSW has developed information to support school staff and assist families and communities who have been impacted by recent events. The information provided will assist families and teachers in supporting children who have been affected by these events.

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas from Cancer Council NSW

Cancer Council NSW is here to help you kick start the year easily, packing healthy lunch boxes your kids will enjoy. Developed by dietitians healthylunchbox.com.au is a one-stop shop for everything families need to know about packing a healthy lunch box.

Here’s what you will find: