31st March 2023  
Layla Dayman
One of our acrobatic students, Layla Dayman was grateful to experience being a part of the Adelaide Fringe this year.  Through Circobats, Layla was chosen to take part in the show 'You're Glorious.'  She trained tirelessly and performed many roles across seven shows at both Gluttony and The Parks Theatre throughout the season.  In the last week, Layla stepped up like a true performer having to takeover an additional role, she did this with only having two short practices before taking it to the stage.  We are super proud of you Layla! Congratulations.
Emmaus Catholic Parish
Please follow the link below to access 2023 Emmaus Easter Mass Times
Find out more >
from the Principal ..........
Dear Parents,

This last fortnight has seen our community come together in varied ways, ranging from Ride to School Day, Learning Conferences, SACPSSA Swimming, Harmony Day, and Year 5 Mass. Through each of these occasions, we see the strength of our school-family partnership really shine. We know that, in addition to the high quality, everyday learning that occurs in classrooms, the ‘glue’ that holds everything together at St Thomas is our Catholic identity, our commitment to our Catholic ethos, our vision and our mission. Those key words: Faith, Family, Future, sum up succinctly our school priorities.

Whenever I meet new families for enrolment interviews, I often explain that this school-family partnership is crucial for a successful educational experience for each child. We know and recognise that parenting is a complex role. At times, it is nothing short of sheer hard work! Yes, there is an abundance of joy, pride, learning and success, but at times it can seem overwhelming. Our role as educators is to share this complex role with you. You are the first educators of your children and when you choose to join our St Thomas family in enrolment, you then entrust part of this complex role of ‘growing your child’ to us. Together, we share this responsibility and this awesome privilege.

In these conversations with new enrolling families, I say “this is a huge job, and we need to do this together! Neither of us can do this on our own. Nor should we!” So, when I see our yard filled with parents for Learning Conferences, parents, grandparents, friends, coming in for Mass and Community Prayer, riding to school and staying for Assembly, attending P & F meetings, attending Volunteer Inductions, I see this great partnership in action. For that I am truly grateful to you all. I recognise that attending school events is difficult when we juggle our own professional commitments. I am a working Mum, who has always juggled professional school life and my own children’s school life. So, for those who cannot be here in person, that is absolutely ok! Your partnership may consist of your supportive communication, your reinforcement of school values, of faith development, of learning, of extra-curricular opportunities.

I want to bring to your attention a few topics that call for our school-family partnership to shine brightly:

Strategic Planning

Following our Initial Consultation from earlier this term our School Board will work with our Leadership Team to prepare a Draft Strategic Plan for community consultation. When this is distributed, I encourage all parents to engage with this process and take the opportunity to give your feedback.

Unley Council

Community Consultation on Local Traffic Management

During February Unley Council conducted a process of surveying local residents of Angus and Rushton Streets with proposed changes to parking conditions and signage on these streets. Safe road practices and compliance to parking signage has been an ongoing concern for both residents and our school for a considerable time. The consultation has ended and the local residents have voted in favour of the proposed changes. Council will be installing new signage over the next few weeks and they have advised that there will be active patrolling occurring.

The changes include:

Angus Street - changing the existing No Stopping and No Parking times from 3pm-4pm to 2:30pm-3:30pm

Rushton Street - between Weston Street and Angus Street, changing the 15 Minute Zone to a 10 Minute Zone and changing the unrestricted parking on the eastern side of the street to No Stopping from 8am-9.30am and 2:30pm-3:30pm

To ensure both safe and respectful practices of both school and resident properties, I urge all parents to follow the new restrictions. A full and detailed copy of the new changes will be sent to all families early next week, including practical suggestions of how we can support new improved practice as a school.

We can continue to work together in great partnership to help with the smooth, safe and productive operations of the school ensuring:

Safe Drop-off and Pick-up

A reminder that our school yard is open for students from 8.30am. Prior to this, OSHC must be booked for earlier arrivals. We do not have supervision available prior to 8.30am so we ask that children do not arrive prior to this. Classrooms are open at 8.50am. If children arrive after 9am, we ask that you bring them to the Front Office for signing in. If early departure is needed, parents are reminded to ALWAYS come through the Front Office upon arrival and sign out students.

Continuing to report Covid cases

A reminder to parents that as a school we are still required to report to SA Health current cases of COVID-19. We ask parents to promptly inform us of a confirmed student case of COVID-19 and to follow SA Health guidelines with respect to staying at home while symptomatic.

 As always, I am extremely grateful to you all for your contributions and support.

Wishing you all a great week ahead and I look forward to sharing Holy Week with you next week when we come together each morning as a community for prayer. Wishing you all a very Happy and Holy Easter too and may the joy and peace of the Resurrection fill your hearts and homes this Easter.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Belinda Burford


School Calendar

Tues 4th        Holy Week Presentations 9.15am

Wed 5th        Holy Week Presentations 9.15am

Thurs 6th      Holy Thursday Presentations 9.15am

Fri 7th           Good Friday

Mon 10th      Easter Monday

Wed 12th      Whole School Easter Mass

Thurs 13th    Last Day of Term 3.02pm

Fri 14th        Pupil Free Day

Find out more >

It has been wonderful listening to students, parents/caregivers and teachers reflect on the renewed partnerships formed during our Learning Conferences. These moments of shared understanding are key to building and maintaining the partnerships that carry our students’ journey of learning and growing.

As part of our Visible Learning Project, in building student agency in learning, one of our goals this year is to further develop our structures for Learning Conferences. Our Year 3-6 classes have continued to place our students at the centre of these Learning Conferences. These conversations between teacher, parent AND student, play a fundamental role in developing our learner's personal responsibility and agency in the learning journey. This is the 'learning triangle' and it is more powerful when all 3 sides are present.

This is a powerful time for goal-setting with our young people. As follow-up from the Learning Conference, we encourage families to sit down together in the next week to support students in setting or revising goals for the year. It could be one goal or perhaps even three goals to support their wellbeing or learning. These could be related to their organisation, their focus, their literacy or numeracy skills or even building friendships. They could be based on the St Thomas Learner Dispositions. Displaying these and referring to them regularly can help our learners make it happen!  Even our youngest students can set a goal!

DAILY READING -the secret to success!

So, we all want our children to be successful, to be achieving their potential and going above and beyond in their learning. There are many ways we can support and encourage our children on this journey. This week, I wanted to remind you of one of the most powerful things parents can do which can boost learning across all curriculum areas- and that is READING! A DAILY DOSE OF READING! This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to support children’s learning.

As parents, it is essential that we take the time to read to our children EVERYDAY. This could be the bedtime story shared or the book shared on the couch after school. Whatever or wherever it happens, this time of modelled reading is essential in developing strong literacy skills and a joy for reading. Children learn how a book works, the direction of page turning, the importance of illustrations, the power of repetition and rhyme and the life lessons from how the characters make decisions.

As parents, it is also essential that we take the time to listen to our children read EVERYDAY. This could be readers supplied by their class teacher or books borrowed from the library. Whatever or wherever it happens, this daily reading practise is essential in developing literacy skills. Once students know how to read, continuing this daily practice of reading aloud then develops greater fluency and expression. So yes- even our Year 6 students need this daily practise!

Reading to and listening to children read significantly increases their exposure to new words and builds their vocabulary. If we can increase the amount of WORDS that children are exposed to and need to navigate, we increase their skills and knowledge of language. Take Child A vs Child B…

Child A is read to or reads for 1 minute every day. Let’s say they experience 50 words per minute.

Over 1 week, they will engage with 350 words. In a term, they will engage with 3,500 words and across a year they will engage with 18,200 words! From Preschool to Year 6, Child A will engage with only 145,600 words during this home reading time!

What if this time is increased…

Child B is read to or reads for 20 minutes every day. Let’s say they experience 50 words per minute.

Over 1 week, they will engage with 7000 words. In a term, they will engage with 70,000 words and across a year they will engage with 364,000 words! From Preschool to Year 6, Child B will engage with 2,912,000 words!

The cumulative effect of engaging with an increased number of WORDS while reading at home plays a significant role in developing literacy skills and building vocabulary.

Now imagine Child C, who never has the experience of reading at home. Imagine the short fall they experience across Preschool to Year 6; that is 3 million less words!

As parents, we need to decide what we want for our children. Will we offer the daily reading diet of Child A, Child B or Child C? What we offer is our decision and can’t be the responsibility of our children. And the decision we make now will impact on their future success in learning!

So in light of the cumulative effect of daily reading, let’s take on the 20 minute daily reading challenge! We want to see all our St Thomas Learners experience the benefits of 20 minutes of reading EVERYDAY! Both being read to and being listened to!

And follow this link for strategies to support your child’s reading development at home, especially in the Early Years….


Let’s continue to grow strong, capable readers at St Thomas School and Preschool!

Go gently,

Paul Mensforth

Deputy Principal

Dear parents, Caregivers and Friends,

Next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday our school community is celebrating Holy Week in the Church. Classes are preparing to present some stories from Jesus life and also recalling the Easter story.  Why is it so important to celebrate Holy week?

Easter is almost upon us. How different will Easter look this year? Usually, as Lent draws to a close, we start looking forward to the great feast of Easter. We usually take for granted wonderful liturgical celebrations and family gatherings and have come to expect them.

It is an opportunity for us to transform our lives and seek new ways to encounter God. It is the perfect time to consider all the good things in our lives, the things we can still be grateful for.

Pope Francis wants us to realise that God’s mercy and grace surround us not just in special times and places but especially during difficult times. Holy Week provides a timely occasion for us to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary, to be surprised by God’s mercy when we least expect it.

Think about what changes you want to see in your life and in the world. Think about the things we often take for granted. What do you find most challenging? What are you still grateful for and what will you no longer take for granted?

Holy Week is the most important week in the Church’s year. It is a time when we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We remember his actions, reflect on his messages and recommit to living as his disciples in the world today.

We look forward to sharing this time with you!

Thank you for your support,

Sebestyen Maglai   R.E.C.

from Chair of the School Board
Be that person – without them knowing.

When I was 26, I ran the New York Marathon. It was my first marathon. My training consisted of solo runs,  running the City to Bay the year before, and thinking “I can go a bit further.” It wasn’t a pretty race, but I finished it. It was actually quite unpretty…

Now, marathon number 12 is just a month or so away. I had 12 years break between marathon number 3 and number 4. I was that person when the gyms shut and covid hit, I took up running. But I recognised, I needed help. After a good 12 year running break, I joined a club, did the hard training kms and quit in my head probably 10 times a week.

Never in the first training runs for New York did I question if I could finish. At all. In hindsight, I should have questioned it! I ran solo, I made up my own training – I definitely should have listened others. I was young – I had the “nothing can hurt me, nothing is too hard mentality.” I don’t know when that mentality disappeared. But it did.

After coming back to running after 12 years break, after quitting numerous times in my head, I had people around me. People pulling my shoes back on; running the extra kms with me when the hills were too hard or bringing the kids out to the track to give me Gatorade. This marathon journey has taught me you must surround yourself with people that fill up your cup; that help you over that finish line. You can’t do it on your own.

These people in your life will vary. They will surprise you and a lot of the times; they may never know that what they did helped you over the last few steps.

So as Lent comes to an end, let’s turn our mind as to how we can fill up someone else’s cup. Without them necessarily knowing.

You will have so many people in your life that will hold you up. That will fill your cup and will force you over those last 5 km.

Be that person for someone else. Help your little ones to know the value of support when in may not be obvious.

Help someone over that finish line. Carry them, cheer them on and or just wait for them at the end.

Trish Jarvis

Final Reminders

Please be reminded that Term 1 payment for School Fees is now past due.

  • If you already have a direct debit set up please disregard this reminder.
Thank you for your prompt attention to payment of School Fees.

Jodi Jansons

Business Manager



Michael Grose, a parenting expert, author and former teacher, says, ‘Resilience is the art of staying steadfast in the face of life’s difficulties. It is the ability to bungy-jump your way through life when you experience loss, disappointment and hardship. We all want our children to be resilient. It will help them deal with some of life’s smaller and bigger hurdles.

In his book “Bringing Out Your Child’s Resilience,” Michael suggests that there are 21 attributes which contribute to the development of resilience.

Follow this link to discover all 21 attributes…

St Thomas Resilience Series by Michael Grose- 00 Attributes of Resilience.pdf

We will aim to provide ongoing information and resources on these 21 attributes to support our St Thomas families in the great work of growing their children!

Follow this link to access the second attribute… Responsibility….

St Thomas Resilience Series by Michael Grose- 02 Responsibility.pdf

Please see link below to access news from Camp Australia

 Rocketeers Mission IX Autumn 2023 - Flyer.pdf

Duck and Turtle
Duck and Turtle is back these school holidays with 3 days during that first week.

Nick and the team have also expanded to Nazareth Catholic College for Year 5-7 students for those with older siblings during the second week. Hit the link for bookings and more information through the website.

See you out there,

Nick Mezzino

 Duck and Turtle St Thomas Flyer copy.pdf

Oliphant Science Awards
The Oliphant Science Awards are a fantastic opportunity for our students (R-6) to develop their interests in science through a competition with a range of categories to suit a wide variety of abilities and interests. The Oliphant Science Awards are open to all South Australian school children.

St Thomas has a proud history of entering the Oliphant Science Awards. Our school would like to provide the opportunity for our students to join the competition in 2023. A decision to register for the competition must be made by 12th May 2023. Other key dates are included below, along with links to Oliphant Science Awards information. Reminders will be issued via the SkoolBag App.

Categories include: Computer Applications, Games, Multimedia, Models and Inventions, Photography, Inquiry, Writing, Computer Programming, Posters and Robotics. Students can enter as many categories as they like.

 Oliphant Science Awards Note 2023.pdf

Children's University - Last days to register
Our students have the opportunity to be involved in an exciting program: ‘Children’s University.’  Children’s University (CU) aims to encourage high quality out of school activities, we are offering the program to students in Year 3 to Year 6, engaging the wider community as learning partners in this process.  The most important principles of CU are that participation is voluntary and activities must take place outside the normal school day during lunch, after school, weekends and holidays. All CU learning is designed to inspire children to think about their futures with a greater knowledge of the careers and professions that they could aspire to.

Led by the University of Adelaide, CU aims to nurture aspirations and develop a love of learning. Children and young people enrolled in CU are issued with a Passport to Learning which records their individual learning journey. After the first 30 hours of learning, children are rewarded for their participation at a graduation ceremony held at the University of Adelaide or a prestigious venue in regional areas. Children can graduate multiple times depending on the hours they accrue. Information on the hours, and award levels, can be found in the Passport to Learning.

Participating students have access to activities at school, online and also in the wider community (Learning Destinations). These activities have been validated by CU trained staff as good learning experiences. Once your child becomes a member, a full list of Learning Destinations and online activities can be found by logging on to the CU Portal www.cuaportal.com.

Students are enrolled in CU when they receive their Passport to Learning. The annual fee for 2023 is $38.50 (inc. GST) per student, which includes a passport in the first year only.  All replacement passports will incur a fee of $7.70 (inc GST). Please note that membership fees for School Card Holders are only $16.50 (inc GST) per student with one passport included per membership year.

If your child would like to become a member of CU for 2023 please register through QKR by Wednesday 5th April.

For further details, please contact Katrina Woods.

FRENCH OPEN - Helen Rice Tennis School
Please see link below for details

 Helen Rice Tennis - French Open.pdf
The Adelaide University School Holiday Sports Program
For a limited time, we are offering 15% off bookings made before Thursday 6 April 2023.  Use the code: School15 at the checkout & save!<

 AUSF School Holiday Progam.pdf