St Carthage’s Primary School Lismore

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2 Dawson St
Lismore NSW 2480

Phone: 02 6621 5529

School Newsletter

Jan's Bucket Club


Home Reading Tips and Information for Parents

Should the books be easy or difficult?

The books that children bring home to read, should be at a slightly lower level than what they are reading in the classroom. It is meant to be an enjoyable experience for both parents and their children. Not stressful!

If your child is getting stuck on every second word, then the book is too hard for them. This can get frustrating for both you and your child which is not setting them up for a positive experience. Organise to meet with their teacher if you feel that the book is too difficult.

Organise a routine

Find a quiet, comfortable spot that is the go-to reading spot with your child. If you have other children, this can be tricky. It’s about finding the right time for you and your child. Whether it be just before they go to bed, or first thing in the morning. Do what works for you!

Ease into the book

Get your child thinking about what the book might be about by asking some questions before you start reading. Here are some examples of what you could ask:

  • What do you think this book is about? Why?
  • Do you think this is a story or a fact book? Why?
  • Can you read the title? Does this give you some more clues?
  • What can you notice about the picture on the front of the book?

Don't tell them, guide them

If you tell your child every word they get stuck on, they won’t learn to use the reading strategies they are learning at school and will expect you to tell them every time. This isn’t going to help them to develop and grow as readers.

Here are some basic reading strategies your child may have been taught in the classroom:

  • Can they use the picture to help?
  • Stretch out the word – so for the word shouted – ‘sh-ou-ted’.
  • Can they see for chunks in the word, or smaller words in a larger word – so for shouted – they could see ‘shout’, or ‘out’.
  • Can they sound out the word?
  • Get them to read to the end of the sentence for further clues. What would make sense?
  • Get them to work out the first sound of the word and get their mouth ready for the word.

Comprehension is important

Your child’s comprehension is a vital component of them learning to read. Getting into the habit of asking some questions will help your child with their comprehension skills.

They don’t have to be difficult questions, here are a few that you may like to ask:

  • What was your favourite part of the book and why?
  • How did you feel when you read that story?
  • What did you learn from this story?
  • What was the problem in the story?
  • Which character did you like and why?

Read a variety of texts

Although readers are sent home with your child, don't limit reading time to just reading these books. Look for different opportunities and a variety of texts such as magazines, cooking books, small novels and picture books. Choose texts that interest them and it is ok to read a book many times. This might drive you insane but allowing your child to choose their favourite book on a regular basis will keep their love of reading alive.

Most of all - Make it enjoyable!

Reading is meant to be a fun enjoyable time with your child.

If you are getting frustrated, this will rub off on them. If they are finding it hard or they are too tired – read a page each. Get them to follow along with you and make silly mistakes! Your children will love correcting you. If this is still too difficult, enjoy some time reading to your child with no pressure at all. Often we feel that once our child starts school, they should be the one always reading. Reading to your child can be a special time that promotes a love for books and builds connections. 

38,010 Children Reading Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

We encourage students to be active in acting to serve others.

If they see a need, they are asked to 'look with the eyes of Jesus' and ACT to make their world a better place...


Our Next Family Night is next Monday evening!

Our first 'Family' night was an enjoyable occasion!

Families meeting families, families talking to each other about change, some FABULOUS food and some really useful information!

Thank you to our fabulous Parent Assembly who made it all possible!

Our next Family Night is next Monday Night - it is VERY IMPORTANT that if you are booked in for Monday night but will now NOT BE able to attend PLEASE contact the school office ASAP to give your apologies as the night is catered. Thank you!

Talking about families...I have always loved this idea and thought I would share it with you!

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; you can rest assured they are always watching you.”

St Carthage’s Parish and School Sacramental Program 2022

At the moment we only have a date for the Sacrament of Confirmation - Year 3 - 26 October, 2022 – in the Cathedral from 5:30pm. Dates and arrangements for Reconciliation and Eucharist will be advised as soon as they are confirmed.

We don’t wish any child to miss out on any Sacrament as they are special events in the lives of children and their families. Children who have missed the opportunity to participate in any of the Sacraments may still enrol in a Sacrament e.g. a Yr. 6 student may be enrolled in any missed Sacrament.

Information - the Sacrament of Confirmation


A copy of a Baptismal Certificate needs to be provided for any child who is enrolled in a Sacramental program unless your child was Baptised in the Cathedral Parish or you provided one to the school during the enrolment process. If you do not have this, please contact the Parish where your child was baptised to obtain one as soon as possible.

A Sponsor (a practicing Catholic over 18 years of age) needs to be nominated for each student to accompany them on the evening of their Confirmation. If the Sponsor is unable to attend the Confirmation evening a parent/carer can 'stand in' for them during the Confirmation ceremony.

Parental Authority - Both parents need to authorise the reception of these Sacraments. If only one parent has signed the enrolment form and there are Court Orders in place a copy of any Court Orders concerning residential arrangements for the Candidate, time spent by the Candidate with either parent, all parenting issues must be supplied with the Enrolment Form.

Enrolment Forms for the Sacrament of Confirmation will be issued to all students in Year 3 and will also be available in the School Office. Enrolment Forms will also be available in the office if your child is in Years 4-6, Baptised but yet to be Confirmed. These children will be prepared in a small group with Mr Hatchman.

Staff Spirituality

This week all staff were invited to spend time after school reflecting upon how we can continue to build ‘right relationships’ within our school community. Bishop Greg spoke by video about how the Pandemic, though bringing great suffering to our world, has also helped us re-focus on what really matters; our relationship with ourselves, others and God.

Staff spent some time putting aside the busy-ness of life and simply reflect on the power of healthy relationships. A section I particularly liked was the following:

Jesus also understood that the flow of loving energy between people is a direct path to developing a deeper relationship with God (which is why loving our neighbour is such a prominent teaching). Saint Teresa of Calcutta develops this idea, “It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

The great wisdom teachers throughout history all seem to point us in the same direction; there are things that we mistakenly think will deliver to us a rich and fulfilling life, but they offer only temporary respite from that which we most deeply and truly yearn for. Love of God, love of self and love of neighbour, it really is as simple and as difficult as that.

We ended our session in small groups using a contemplative practice - Visio Divina uses art and requires us to slow down and truly look at an image. The image we used was Rembrandt’s Christ in The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.


World Meeting of Families

Over several days June 22-26, delegates from around the world will gather in Rome with Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families. But it’s not just an event for the select few in Rome. The Pope has also encouraged local families to celebrate the occasion in parishes, dioceses and small groups.

CathFamily have provided a free printable handout for use by parishes and schools exploring the official theme of the event - Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness. The PDF document may be viewed here.


Date Claimers

  • Sacrament of Confirmation - 26th October, 2022 – in the Cathedral from 5:30pm
  • The Catherine McAuley & Mary MacKillop story - a Play - offered to Year 3 students - 24th June
  • Feast of the Sacred Heart - 24th June
  • NAIDOC Week - 3rd to 10th July

Parent/Teacher Interviews

At St Carthage’s we place great importance on teachers and parents being in partnership with each other so that we can provide the best outcomes for all our students. We will be holding Parent/Teacher Interviews in Week 10 of this term (Monday 27th June – Thursday 30th June). We invite you to attend our Parent/Teacher Interviews so that you can discuss your child's Semester One report.

These meetings will run for 15 minutes and they will take place in alignment with COVID safe practices. Please sanitise your hands when entering the classrooms and if you are unwell at the time of the interviews please reschedule for a later date.

Please go online to your Compass portal to book a Parent/Teacher meeting with your child’s classroom teacher. Bookings will close at 9am on Friday 24th June 2022. I have attached two documents to guide you through how to make a booking online. If you have any issues please don't hesitate to contact me.

Please note Mrs Farmer (Kindergarten Gold) will be on leave during these interviews. She is offering interviews next term and will be in contact with you regarding these.

How to book an interview via the Compass app


Aboriginal Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We commit ourselves to actively working alongside Aboriginal people for reconciliation and justice.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity is an Important Foundation for Life ...

Dear Families,

We have had a very busy couple of weeks; our school Athletics Carnival today, AFL Gala Day and Diocesan Cross Country to name but a few.

On Wednesday evening we had our first Family Night organised and led by Jo Kelly from Parent Assembly and Mrs Janita Thompson, Parent Partnership Lead in the Catholic Schools Office. It was a wonderful opportunity for our school families to reconnect, and for our new families to meet each other. The night began with a meal and time to socialise, followed by a presentation led by Janita. This included games, information sharing and strategies to assist with feelings around change and challenge. There was a lot of laughing and family sharing and we all learnt a lot about rock hoppers!

We have our second night on Monday evening. If you are booked in for Monday night but due to changed circumstances will now NOT BE able to attend please contact the school office ASAP to give your apologies as the night is catered. Thank you!

We thank Jo, Janita and Parent Assembly for providing this opportunity for our school families. 

Please see some photos below of our Family Night.

At this time of the year, teachers are also very busy finalising students’ assessments and Semester One reports. The lead up to writing reports this semester has been challenging. We have had disruptions due to the floods, students and staff absence with Covid, flu, colds etc but amidst all of this, teachers have worked tirelessly to assess students progress and write reports reflective of students performance and effort. I frequently hear them talking and discussing work covered, results gained and effort applied, in order to decide on a final grade. Reporting is not an easy process and there is much time, thought and deliberation put into the final result. I congratulate all staff on their commitment in ensuring that students’ reports are a true and accurate reflection of their progress and effort. School Reports will be emailed home on Friday, 27th June.

I share the following reflection, Beatitudes for Teachers, as they prepare these reports for their students:

Blessed are you who are called to teach, for you walk in the footsteps of the Master.

Blessed are you who sow peace and harmony in your school, for yours will be the joy of the Lord.

Blessed are you when you share your faith with others, for your name will be written in their hearts.

Blessed are you who plant seeds of hope in youthful hearts, for your legacy will be the harvest.

Blessed are you who are sensitive to the cries of youth, for you will become their voice.

Blessed are you who anguish now when your students are difficult, for your effort will be their light.

Blessed are you when you leaven your teaching with patience and empathy, for this is to teach as Jesus did.

Blessed are you when you reach out for your students, for you will find God and rejoice.

Blessed are you who lead your students in the ways of all virtue and love, for yours is the Kingdom of God.


Teachers use their professional judgement to determine a student’s grade. Both formal and informal assessments are undertaken throughout the reporting period. An overall achievement judgement call is made by the teacher, based on data and evidence of what the student has demonstrated, the standards described in the A-E grade scale and the NSW Syllabus documents.

Your Child’s Report

All schools in NSW are required to use the A-E (the Common Grade Scale) reporting system for students from Year 1 onward. What does this mean? The Common Grade Scale describes performance at each of five grade levels as set out below.

A The student has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the content and can readily apply this knowledge. In addition, the student has achieved a very high level of competence in the processes and skills and can apply these skills to new situations.
The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the content and a high level of competence in the processes and skills. In addition, the student is able to apply this knowledge and these skills to most situations.
C The student has a sound knowledge and understanding of the main areas of content and has achieved an adequate level of competence in the processes and skills.
D The student has a basic knowledge and understanding in few areas of the content and has achieved very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.
E The student has an elementary knowledge and understanding in few areas of the content and has achieved very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.

Parent Teacher Interviews Reminder

These interviews are on Monday 27th – Thursday, 30th June. Our Compass Booking site is now open to enable parents to book interviews for your child/children at a time which is suitable for you. At our interviews, parents and teachers have the opportunity to celebrate successes and also to work through any recommendations and goals to improve learning outcomes for the remainder of the year. As you know, Legislative requirements mandate that students are assessed using an A-E grade scale and this can cause some anxiety for parents. These interviews can allay any of these anxieties by discussing and supporting grades which have been given by teachers.

Athletics Carnival

What a fantastic day we had at our Athletics Carnival today where we were blessed with perfect weather. The change from our normal venue did not detract from the carnival spirit or the great performances. From our budding athletes to our infants children just having fun it was a great day for all. It was fantastic that we could all be together again for our carnival.

A big thank you to Mr Tickle for his organisation prior to, and today that ensured everyone was included and had a great day. Thank you to our staff for supporting Brendan by helping with the set up, assisting with events and packing up. 

Photos will follow later.

Enrolling for Kindergarten 2023

If you have a child beginning school next year, or know of anyone who does, would you please advise them to go onto our school website and complete the Online Application form. of this.

School Uniform

Thank you for the great job that you do in ensuring your children are dressed in the correct school uniform each day. Lately we are noticing, however, that some students are choosing to wear the wrong uniform, particularly the wrong sports shoes and socks. As it is the end of term we have been a little lenient, however, the expectation is that all students will return from the holidays in the correct uniform. Wearing our uniform correctly promotes a sense of belonging and pride in our school. If your child is not in the correct uniform I ask that parents/carers provide a note explaining why they are out of uniform.

Year Six Writing

'Journey To An Unnamed World'


This term, students in Year Six have been learning how composers transport their readers/viewers to other worlds. They are applying this learning to their own writing where they are learning how to compose a text with engaging atmosphere, setting and characters. 

At St Carthage's we encourage students to (SEE), then to' look with the eyes of Jesus' (JUDGE) and then ACT to make their world a better place...

However, the home is the greatest teacher of children. The role of the family in helping children discern right from wrong is the strongest influence upon their future.

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday

Our students in Year 2 learning about and celebrating Pentecost!

How can you use this occasion to influence your children?

First, arm yourself with knowledge - Read Acts 2:1-4

Or watch this 2 minute video

Talk with your child about how the Apostles must have been feeling - It was 50 days after the Resurrection - They were worried - Jesus had gone and they were alone!

Imagine if you were there in the room with them. What would you be thinking?

Then, something amazing happened. The doors slammed shut, a sound like wind was inside the room. Fire appeared. Fire! It rested on their heads and everything changed.

What did they hear and see? Was what was happening normal? Ask them about a time their world was turned upside down...


If the Apostles were empowered through receiving the gift of COURAGE from the Holy Spirit...What do they think they can achieve??

A prayer to the Holy Spirit - for Adults

We can feel the work of the Holy Spirit in the joy, the courage and the strength he gives.

The Holy Spirit brings a holy-ness to a restless world.

It is a fire that lets us burn for the good.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit prods us! Do something! Help! Get involved!’

Sometimes he is like a quiet guest who lives in our soul, changing us from inside out and making us into a new person.’

Holy Spirit, ‘come to us, we pray’ 


Don't forget our fabulous Family Nights!


Click here to download Family Night Registration


It's time to thank a number of schools who have helped support our school community. Our first school we would like to thank is St Saviours Toowoomba


We received the following message from their school.

"We had our Free Dress Day today and it seems we have raised around $700 which is a good effort and Fr Michael from St Patrick’s Cathedral also decided that the Parish will also contribute! This hasn’t happened before so how good is that!! ...the kids raised $700 which is more than we usually do!"

From: Judy Smith Assistant Principal: APRE

We have sent a message of thanks to the entire Catholic school community and to Fr Michael! Here are some of their students working hard to raise funds!

Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT- Upcoming Free Parent Webinar "Helping Kids Thrive Online"

The Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT have arranged a free webinar in partnership with the eSafety Commissioner for parents and carers of children aged 5-12 years. The title of this years’ seminar is: Helping Kids Thrive Online.

This webinar offers tips on how to support young people to socialise, learn and have fun online in a safe manner. It explains how to access information, use technology safely and navigate new online platforms.

It will cover:

  • how to talk to young people about online risks on different social media platforms and games
  • how to help young people develop skills to protect themselves when they are online
  • where to go for help if things go wrong and how to access mental health support and information through eSafety.

Register here:

Who should attend? Suitable for parents and carers of children aged 5-12 years

Date/Time: Wednesday 8 June at 7:30pm

Stormbirds Program - Update

There will be an information session explaining the Stormbirds Program in Week 1 of Term 3. (Tuesday 19 July from 5:30pm-6:30pm). The meeting will explain the aims of the program and answer any questions you may have. In the meantime you can find out about the program by visiting



  • Queensland Day - 6 June
  • Family Night (1) - Invercauld House - Wednesday 15th June from 5.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Family Night (2) - Invercauld House - Monday 20th June from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Information session - Stormbirds Program - Tuesday 19 July from 5:30pm-6:30pm

St Carthage's Athletics Carnival 

The St Carthage's Athletics Carnival will be held on Friday 17th June at Hepburn Park. An event can be accessed via your Compass Portal to view all necessary information. 

The 1500m event will be held on Tuesday 14th June at Hepburn Park. This sits within the athletics event and permission is provided for both days when you accept the event. 

The Lions Club will be holding a sausage sizzle for $2. There will also be drinks and packets of chips to purchase on the day. Alternatively, your child can bring a packed lunch. All children are encouraged to bring a packed morning tea and fruit break. 

Located below is a timetable for the day. Please note that this is a guide and may change slightly on the day. 

We hope to see you at the athletics carnival!


NSWPSSA Australian Football Carnival

Congratulations to Zachary Cohen who travelled to Coffs Harbour to participate in the NSWPSSA Australian Football Carnival last week. This carnival brings the best 11-12 year old's from across the state to participate in a 3 day long carnival. Zac was a member of the Polding team which is all Catholic schools from the northern half of the state. 

Polding finished first in their pool with 3 wins from 3 games. They then progressed to a match against North Sydney. After a close defeat Polding was placed in the in the 7th/8th game. Polding won that game convincingly, finishing 7th overall. Zac had an amazing time and mentioned the extremely difficult competition at the carnival. Congratulations Zac, this truly is an amazing achievement and I'm sure an experience that you will never forget!

AFLQ Schools Cup

Our Year 5 and 6 students always make the most of every opportunity that they are given!
On Tuesday 31st May, 43 students travelled to Byron Bay to take part in the AFLQ Schools Cup. All three teams showed significant improvement throughout the day and our Girls Blue team made it all the way to the final. It was wet and muddy, but if you ask the kids they will tell you that it made it an even better day.
A massive thank you to AFLQ for donating footballs to our school to replace those lost in the flood!
Thank you to Mr Camilleri and Miss MacDonald for taking the students down to Byron. Without your support we would be unable to provide our students with these opportunities. 

AFL Kids Go Free

Round 14 to 17, all kids under 14 will get free* access to Toyota AFL Premiership matches across Australia.


Please visit for more information. 


Netball Gala Day

Students from Year 3-6 that are registered netball players have been given the opportunity to nominate to be a part of one of our school netball teams. The netball gala day will be held in Week 3, Term 3. Please check with your child if they have nominated.

Lismore Diocesan Rugby Union Gala Day

The St Carthage's Rugby Union Team will travel to Coffs Harbour on Thursday 16th June to participate in the Lismore Diocesan 10 a side Rugby Union Gala Day. The team comprises of Year 5 and 6 boys and is coached by Mr Tate Bailey. They have been busy trialling over the last few weeks. The standard at the trials was extremely high and we are very fortunate to have two shadow players that are still attending training and ready to step in if needed. 

We wish Lachlan Allen, Henry Begley, Archie Da Fre, Jack Elphick, Jimmy Field, Jonah Hudson Sheaffe, Harry Jenkins, Will Lynch, Hugh Marshall, Darcy Paisley, Joel Tulk, Jude Wagner, Wez Weekes, Zavier Zorzo and Oscar Maher the best of luck and look forward to hearing how you went. 

NORPA Workshop - Flow

On Thursday all our Year 4 students participated in the "Flow" NORPA On Demand workshop facilitated by Mitch King. The Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools and NORPA have continued their partnership with the aim to provide students with access to high quality theatre experiences and performance workshops to enhance the curriculum and teacher professional learning.

The On Demand workshops focus on:
• engaging and collaborative learning
• skills, techniques and language of drama and dance
• investigating and processing contemporary topics
• providing resources to enhance the experience for students and teachers

Our Year 4 students enjoyed their experience with the On Demand workshop and were highly engaged in all activities. Their workshop was focused on dance.

Aboriginal Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We commit ourselves to actively working alongside Aboriginal people for reconciliation and justice.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity is an Important Foundation for Life ...

Dear Families, 

This weekend we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. The Church celebrates Pentecost (so called because it is fifty days after Easter), as the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, gathered in an upper room with Mary, mother of Jesus, "as a mighty, rushing wind", fulfilling Jesus' promise when he "breathed on them", as recorded in John's Gospel (Chapter 20). This event, which marks the beginning of the Church, is recorded in the book of Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2. The liturgical colour for Pentecost is red, a reminder of the flames that "rested on them". Another symbol for the Holy Spirit is the Dove, usually emitting golden rays of light. The Holy Spirit gave the apostles gifts of grace through which they would undertake the evangelical mission of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles were given the miraculous "gift of tongues", so that everyone from every country understood the Christians’ inspired message of salvation as if they were hearing it in their own languages. Thousands were converted by the preaching of Peter and the other apostles.


The Solemnity of Pentecost ends the Easter Season. For centuries, the Sundays of the Catholic Church year between Pentecost and Advent were numbered as "after Pentecost". Since the Second Vatican Council, this period is called "Ordinary Time" (the first period of Ordinary Time is that between the Epiphany and Lent). Three Solemnities are celebrated in the weeks immediately following Pentecost: Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ) and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As parents, you have given life to your children and are their principal educators. It is in the family group that Christian values are first instilled and Christian attitudes formed. As you took your children to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, it is your role to walk with them as they continue their initiation into the Church through the reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation, Reconciliation and Eucharist.

Traditionally we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in the week after Pentecost, however, due to the closure of the Cathedral this special sacrament will be celebrated in October. In this Sacrament, the Holy Spirit calls, helps and co-operates with us in our efforts to become witnesses to Christ in our family, school, workplace and community. It is an effective sign of God’s presence and activity. It is a Sacrament of process, of change and growth. It is kept alive by the way a person, with the help of the Holy Spirit, tries to overcome negative forces in their lives.

 ‘Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful

Kindle within us the fire of your love

Send forth your Spirit

And we shall be created (and even re-created)’

National Sorry Day

Last Thursday our school community participated in a prayer service in recognition of National Sorry Day. Observed annually, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as 'The Stolen Generations'. 

We thank Mr Condie and our indigenous students for preparing and leading our prayer service.

School Reports and Interviews – advance notice

School Reports will be sent home electronically on Friday, 24th June (Week 9) and interviews with teachers will be held in Week 10. We will again be using the online booking format for Parent/Teacher interviews and more information will be sent home with the Event Code and a reminder on how to book these interviews electronically in the near future.

Kindergarten Enrolments 2023

Parents of children who are ready to start school in 2023 are asked to fill out the online Enrolment Application so that we can begin the enrolment process.

Please pass on this message to family and friends who are intending to enrol children in Kinder next year. Children must turn five by 31st July 2023 to be enrolled in Diocesan schools.

School Fees Credit

For those families who have requested a refund for fees paid to date you should see this reflected in your bank accounts over the next couple of weeks as Warren works through this process. You will have noticed on the recent fee statements sent out by the CSO that there were credit balances (minus sign) which reflect the credit given for all fees paid.

Whole School Writing Focus

In 2022, Writing has continued to be a focus for staff professional learning. This year we have started to explore Lyn Sharratt's Assessment Waterfall Chart which incorporates five components of effective assessment practice. Although the components of this chart will be used across all curriculum areas, our learning is specifically focused on building students who are 'Assessment Capable Learners' when writing. 

What is an Assessment Capable Learner?

Assessment capable learners understand what they are supposed to learn, monitor their own progress, set goals, and reflect on their learning. This is achieved through a strong partnership with the classroom teacher. The teacher guides every student to be reflective in their learning by incorporating five effective practices.


Five Components of the Assessment Waterfall Chart
  • Establishing learning intentions that are drawn from the relevant syllabus and clearly describe what students should know, understand and be able to do at the conclusion of a unit of work
  • Creating success criteria that describe what success looks like in relation to the learning intentions and are co-created by students and teachers
  • Providing explicit descriptive feedback to students in a timely manner and ensuring that it is clearly understood by students
  • Building the capacity of students to peer assess and self-assess using the success criteria as a reference
  • Developing the capacity for individual goal-setting by students, which includes students asking questions such as ‘What do I need to improve?’ and ‘What is my next step?’.

Five Powerful Questions
To support students through this process, five questions can be asked to help gauge students understanding about what they are learning, how they are going and how they can improve.


Richmond Zone Cross Country

After being postponed 3 times and numerous venue changes, the Richmond Zone Cross Country was finally held at Hepburn Park on Wednesday 18th May. 42 students from St Carthage's participated in the cross country. Congratulations to those students who attended the cross country and those who were eligible to attend but were unable to due to illness or other commitments. Your effort, behaviour and sportsmanship was outstanding once again. 

Ebony Andrews, Zander Annetts, Louis Bailey, Henry Begley, Lexi Behan, Cooper Bennett, Kaley Bennett, Billy Bradfield, Lara Brown, Hayley Cittolin, Nadia Cittolin, Miller Clarke, Emma Clement, Gus Collings, Vito Cook, Mali Cooper, Alexander Crane, Jack Elphick, Caitlin Gapes, Chelsea Gosling, Ruby Hall, Luella Harris-Kerr, Zara Hellyar, Jonah Hudson Sheaffe, Sammie Jones, Ava Lane, Isla Lindsay, Luca Lombardo, Veiko Lovell, Gene Lovell, Oscar Maher, Jimmi Matthews, Archie Matthews, Eloise McFarlane, Zarni McGregor, Tyler McLennan, Grace Mills, Cooper Munro, Dylan O'Brien, Mila Olivieri, Archie Pietzsch, Bella Sauer, Owen Sauer, Archie Sauer, Amirah Shah, Lacey Simpson, Sarran Thind, Louie Ware, Myles Weekes, Mya Weekes, Isaac Wicks, Jordy Williams, Zavier Zorzo and Eliza Zwiers.

Congratulations to Luella Harris-Kerr, Zara Hellyar, Ava Lane, Luca Lombardo, Veiko Lovell, Gene Lovell, Archie Pietzsch, Archie Sauer and Amirah Shah who placed in the top 8 and will now travel to Grafton on Tuesday to participate in the Lismore Diocesan Cross Country.


St Carthage's Athletics Carnival

The St Carthage's Athletics Carnival will be held on Friday 17th June at Hepburn Park. The carnival will look different to how it has in previous years. Unfortunately Riverview Park is unavailable and the only suitable grounds for us to use are Hepburn Park. 

The students in Years 2-6 will commence competitive shot put and long jump during sport time in the coming weeks. 

Additional information will be provided in the Week 6 newsletter. 


Congratulations to all our Year 3 and Year 5 students who have now completed their NAPLAN tests. They all did us proud in the way they approached all the tests and tried their best. 

Thank you to our Year 3 and Year 5 teachers who ensured that the tests ran smoothly throughout the last two weeks.

School Uniforms

We have been made aware that our school uniforms are now available for purchase at Lowes in Ballina Fair Shopping Centre. We also still have a number of second hand uniforms available at school from the Clothing Pool. The Clothing Pool is open between 10:00am – 12:00pm Wednesday & Thursday. 

Aboriginal Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We commit ourselves to actively working alongside Aboriginal people for reconciliation and justice.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity is an Important Foundation for Life ...

Dear Families,

I have recently had both the privilege and pleasure of meeting some of our new Kindergarten students and their families for 2023. Many of them are new to our school community and when asked why they have chosen St Carthage’s for their child/children they have unanimously said that they have heard great things about the school. Word of mouth is our best advertisement and it is affirming to hear that our parents are speaking so highly of our school to others and I thank you for continuing to support St Carthage’s. 

St Carthage's Feast Day
Monday 16th May was the Feast of St Carthage. St Carthage is the Patron Saint of our parish and our school. Bishop Doyle and the Presentation Sisters who established our school 135 years ago decided that the Cathedral School of our Lismore Diocese should be named St Carthage‘s in honour of a great Saint who was an inspirational leader and a great teacher. St Carthage, whose name is also given as Mochuda, was born of a good family, in what is now County Kerry, Ireland, about the year 555. Mochuda’s father was an important man in the village so he was given everything that he wanted or needed. When he was young, a group of priests were walking through his village singing songs of praise and he was so fascinated that he followed them to the monastery gates. A while later he decided to join this group of priests and was ordained as a priest in 580 when he was thirty years old. Mochuda was very close to his head priest and took his name, Carthage. Later on young Carthage founded a monastery for young priests and he lived there for forty years. Carthage was an inspirational church leader who set up a monastery that attracted 1000 young men to the priesthood. He set up a school that produced many excellent scholars and the school became famous around the country for encouraging a love of learning.
Later in life, Carthage was consecrated Bishop of Lismore, Ireland. He died on May, 14th 637. After his death the church and school were named St Carthage’s in his honour.

St Carthage's Family Night

As a community and as a school we have faced a lot of challenges and changes. Parent Assembly are providing an opportunity for St Carthage's school families to come together to share a meal and listen to a short presentation to help families learn ways to manage the 'Big Feelings' associated with changes and challenges. 

This will be a great opportunity for our school community to come together and enjoy some social time and share a meal.

As we are still limited for space the Family Night will be at held at Invercauld House on Wednesday 15th June from 5.30-7.30pm. Everyone is invited.

Please see the flyer and click on the link if you are able to attend.


We have a significant number of students with Covid-19. As we know this virus is very contagious and spreads quickly. We ask that you continue to monitor your child/children for symptoms and test as necessary. Please advise the school if the results are positive.

Close contacts may attend school but must have a negative RAT for 5 school days. We have a limited number of Rapid Antigen Tests for students. If you require these please contact the school. Visitors who are close contacts must advise the office staff and wear a mask when indoors.

We also have a couple of students who have been diagnosed with Influenza A.

If your child/children have cold and/or flu like symptoms they should not attend school. 

St Carthage's Learning Statement

Staff developed the following Learning Statement a couple of years ago and it is something that we remind our students of as they continue their learning journey. I thought it appropriate that we share this with our families so this message can be shared at home.

At St Carthage's we believe all students will learn with high expectations, focussed intervention and a collaborative culture.


Congratulations to our Year 3 and Year 5 students who completed the National Assessment in Literacy and Numeracy over the past 2 weeks. 

We thank Mrs Deeps, our Year 3 and Year 5 teachers for ensuring the assessments went smoothly.

Professional Learning Days for Staff – (Pupil free days)

  • Friday 1st July (Last day of Term 2)
  • Monday 18th July Term 3 (First day of Term 3)
  • Friday 23rd September (Last day of Term 3)

Flood Updates

We are slowly returning to our regular classrooms. Our Year One and Year Two students should be able to move back into their rooms in the next couple of weeks. There is work progressing in our hall and administration areas.

We are hopeful that when our bottom playground is dry enough to mow we will be able to use this again. We are grateful for the work that is continuing to happen to get our school operating as normal. We thank our students, staff and families for your patience and flexibility at this time.

There is work also in the Cathedral and the hope is that it will be operational again in September.

Please click on the link to see some photos of our school during and immediately proceeding the flood.

School Protocol
There are times when issues may occur at school, both in and out of the classroom, which may need clarification for parents/carers. It is important that concerns related to school are directed back to the teacher or the Leadership Team. If your child goes home and tells you of an incident that you are concerned about please follow our school protocols of ringing the Office to make an interview time to talk about your concerns. Under no circumstances are parents permitted to approach a student to gain information or deal with such issues.

I appreciate your understanding and support in dealing with these matters according to school procedure.

School Reports and Interviews – advance notice

School Reports will be emailed out on Friday 24th June (Week 9) and interviews with teachers will be held in Week 10. We will again be using the online booking format for Parent/Teacher interviews and more information will be sent home with the Event Code and a reminder on how to book these interviews electronically as the time draws closer. 

School Improvement Review
Our school will undergo a School Improvement Review early next term. All Lismore Diocesan Schools undergo this process every three years. School improvement is a continuous process, centred on maximising outcomes for all students, and sustaining this improvement over time. 

School improvement;

  • is not an event that happens every few years, it is regular and ongoing
  • involves all stakeholders; students, staff, parents, the community.
  • is about looking forward not back.
  • is driven by data and research.

The ultimate purpose of the School Review is to improve the learning and wellbeing outcomes for all students.

The School Review uses the National School Improvement Tool (NSIT) and looks at the following 9 Domains:

  1. An explicit improvement agenda
  2. Analysis and discussion of data
  3. A culture that promotes learning
  4. A targeted use of school resources
  5. An expert teaching team
  6. Systematic curriculum delivery
  7. Differentiated teaching and learning
  8. Effective pedagogical practice
  9. School-community partnerships

More information to follow.

We encourage students to 'look with the eyes of Jesus' and ACT to make their world a better place...


Happy Mother’s Day!

This weekend we celebrate and give thanks for all the women who gave us life or who continue to nurture us in many different ways.

We thank God for the wonderful gift of mothers, mothers-to-be and grandmothers, as well as those who love and care for children like a mother. We praise and thank our God for the nurturing love that you bring to your families.

Month of May

This is also the month of May with a focus on our Heavenly Mother, Mary. The staff have prayed to Mary, asking that her intercession may bring peace to troubled areas, especially Ukraine.

Staff prayed two different prayers. The first from the 3rd Century when Prince Yaroslav the Wise consecrated Kyivan Rus (modern day Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) to the Virgin Mary in 1037. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis encouraged the Church to pray this prayer to the Mother of God for healing.  

Pope Francis said, “Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God and say the invocation ‘Sub Tuum Praesidium.'” As war continues in Ukraine, we commend the praying of this prayer to the Mother of God, asking for an end to conflict.

We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God. Despise not our prayers in our needs, but deliver us from all dangers, since you alone are pure and blessed.

O most glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers and present them to Your Son and our God, that for the sake of You, He enlighten and save our souls.

The second prayer Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has made available the following prayer for use at this time.

Prayer for Peace and Justice in Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
who change the hardened heart
and break the power of violence,
we entrust the people of Ukraine to you.

Protect them in this time of mortal peril;
let them know not death but life,
not slavery but freedom.

You are Father of all;
we are brothers and sisters.

Give us the strength
to live that truth in love,
choosing peace not war.
Through Christ our Lord.



Saturday 14th May is St Carthage’s Feast Day


St Carthage is known for his great reverence for God and was responsible for the building of several famous schools and monasteries. 

He was born in County Kerry in 564 and herded pigs as a young boy where he used to hear the Elder St Carthage and his monks chanting Psalms as they passed him. 

St Carthage was a person who loved learning and spent much of his life teaching. His learning was guided by the older Saint, Bishop of Castlemaine and was eventually ordained a Priest. 

Living in a Monastery, he showed us the importance of solitude, fasting, prayer and study. 

He established the Monastery of learning in Lismore, Ireland where he died on the 14 May, 637.

The students will learn about the story of St Carthage and the qualities he lived.


Stormbirds Program - Commencing this Term

The Stormbirds Program was developed following Black Saturday fires In Victoria and is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and natural part of life.

The program offers students an opportunity to:

1) Share their experiences of change and loss in safe ways

2) To understand and attend to their feelings

3) To learn skills for adapting and recovering

It is important to know that the program is not seen as therapy and students in the program is delivered to small groups of their peers over four sessions. The group is led by a 'Companion' who stays with the group for the four sessions. 

Our school action plan to provide this program for our families is:

  1. Offer information sessions for families to learn about the program
  2. Families decide if the program would benefit their child and, if so, nominate their child using the approved Nomination Form
  3. Teachers may also suggest to families that a child in their class may benefit from the program.

Information about the initial Family Information Evening / Day session to hear about the program will be sent to families soon. 



REMINDER - Incitāre - We have a new date – next Thursday 12 May!!

Those students attending this Retreat have been very patient and we look forward to travelling to Tullera Hall for this wonderful opportunity. A reminder….

  • Dress: School sports uniform, including hat/school bag.
  • Cost: Nil. All transport and booking expenses met by the Catholic Schools Office.
  • Transport: A bus will transport students (9:05am pick up from school/2:55 drop off back at school)
  • Morning Tea and Lunch: Students bring their own. (including water bottle)



Compass - Event reminders/information 

All information for sporting events, including permission notes will be distributed through Compass. If the event is postponed or additional information needs to be provided this will be sent as an email through Compass. Please ensure that your Compass emails are not going to your spam. To refer back to the note/event information please use the event tab within Compass.


Polding Winter Sports Trials 

St Carthage’s Primary School was well represented at the Polding Winter Sports Trials in Bathurst on Friday 29th April. Congratulations to Max Allman, Hugh Marshall, Lachlan O’Brien, Taj Vantaggiato (hockey), Archie Matthews, Jimmi Matthews and Jak Scofield (football) who participated in these trials. Lachlan O’Brien and Hugh Marshall were selected in the Polding team that will complete at the NSW PSSA Hockey Carnival later this year. In addition to this Hugh Marshall was selected as Vice-Captain. Archie and Jimmi Matthews were both selected in the Polding Football team that will compete at the NSW PSSA Football Carnival later this year. What an amazing achievement to have two students from St Carthage’s selected in both the boys hockey team and football team.

Unfortunately, Grace Edmonds was unable to attend the Polding Netball Trials. We congratulate her on being selected to attend these trials and hope that she continues to play and love the sport of netball.

Congratulations to all 7 St Carthage's students. We are extremely proud of your achievements and they way that you continue to represent yourselves and our school. 


St Carthage's Cross Country

We were finally able to hold our cross country last week. It felt like it had been planned and postponed for months. My personal highlight was seeing the excited faces of Year 2 as they got off the bus and walked down the hill to get ready to run. These students have had very minimal opportunities to go on an ‘excursion’ because of COVID. To see the joy on their faces certainly made my day. Listed below are the results of the top 5 students in each race.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
8 yrs girls Zarni McGregor Emma Clement Eloise McFarlane Kaley Bennett Nadia Cittolin
8 yrs boys Zander Annetts Owen Sauer Louie Bailey Vito Cook Cooper Munro
9 yrs girls Ebony Andrews Caitlin Gapes Ruby Hall Mila Olivieri Eliza Zwiers
9 yrs boys Archie Pietzsch Miller Clarke

Myles Weekes

Jordy Williams

Gus Collings Jack Watson
10 yrs girls Lara Brown Luca Lombardo Grace Mills Lexi Behan Isla Lindsay
10 yrs boys Archie Sauer Veiko Lovell Isaac Wicks Alex Crane Cooper Bennett
11 yrs girls Ava Lane Chelsea Gosling Mali Cooper Luella Harris-Kerr Mya Weekes
11 yrs boys Jimmi Matthews Tyler McLennan Louie Ware Xavier Zorzo Dylan O'Brien
12 yrs girls Amirah Shah Zara Hellyar Bella Sauer Sammie Jones Sarran Thind
12 yrs boys Archie Matthews Gene Lovell Henry Begley Jonah Hudson-Sheaffe Jack Elphick

These students will now represent our school at the Richmond Zone Cross Country in Week 4 (date TBA). We wish you all the best of luck!


The free 7-week program will commence on 18th May and run from 4-5pm. It will be held at Hepburn Park Goonellabah. The program runs in conjunction with AFLQ development staff. There are limited spots so register now! 

Enter code at payment section – 9306196C



NAPLAN tests will be completed during Week 3 (Tuesday 10th May - Thursday 13th May)  for Year 3 and Year 5 students. The catch up tests for those who are absent on the test days will occur on Friday 13th May and then Monday 16th to Friday 20th May 2022.

Just a reminder that all students sitting the NAPLAN assessments need to have a set of headphones at school to use during these assessments.

Below is the timetable for the NAPLAN assessments. If you could please ensure that your child/ren are at school on time on these days it would be greatly appreciated.



Start Time

Finish Time


Tuesday 10th May

Year Three



Writing (paper)

Year Five




Wednesday 11th May

Year Three




Year Five




Year Three



Conventions of Language

Year Five



Conventions of Language

Thursday 12th May

Year Three




Year Five




The below PDF provides parents and carers some information regarding NAPLAN.

NAPLAN Withdrawals

NAPLAN tests are a routine part of the school calendar. However students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer if there are religious beliefs or philosophical objections to testing. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents/carers in consultation with their child’s school. If you wish to withdraw your child/ren from NAPLAN testing please contact me and I will send home the form for you to complete and return to school. This needs to be done prior to the testing period.

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)



Be Bus Aware

Aboriginal Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We commit ourselves to actively working alongside Aboriginal people for reconciliation and justice.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity is an Important Foundation for Life ...

Dear Families, 

Welcome to our students and families for Term 2. I hope that everyone had a great holiday and found plenty of time to rest and relax after a challenging Term One. We had some very excited teachers and students on Monday as they moved back into some of our affected classrooms. Our Kindergarten students, some Year Two classes and Year 5 Blue returned to their classrooms. This enabled our Year Six, Year Five, Year Four and Year Three students to return to their regular rooms as well. The infants play areas were also restored and when it is dry enough we will again be able to use these.

We are hopeful that all students will be able to move back into their rooms by the middle of this term. Our bottom playground and ovals across the road are still too wet for us to use at the moment.

We are slowly returning back to normal and we look forward to a very busy and productive Term Two. 


Thank you to the many students who participated in the Anzac Day March last Monday. This was a wonderful show of community spirit after the CBD was inundated in the floods. The number of students who participated was outstanding and the respectful manner in which they did so is to be commended. As a school, we believe it is very important to support the wider community on this day, to show our appreciation and give dignity to those who have worked so hard, some even losing their lives, to bring peace to our world. I thank our students for giving up their time to represent our school at such a significant event. Thank you also to our parents for making it possible for the children to be present on these occasions. We have received many compliments and all students were a credit to their families. Once again, thank you to all students, families and teachers who were able to support our participation in this very important community event.

Mother's Day
Next Sunday, we celebrate Mothers’ Day – a very special day when we say thank you to our mothers for everything which they have done for us. For some of us, it is a time to remember the past and for others, it is a time to celebrate the future. I am sure that each of us has a very special memory of our mum and on their special day we honour them. Mothers are the precious treasure troves which remain an important part of one's life. There are times when we just sit back and think about the times we learnt from our mother, or suddenly after tasting a dish you prepared, you think of how your mother used to prepare it. These are some precious moments that we are reminded of, even after many years. Such reflections never fail to bring
a smile to our face. Mothers are such that they become a part of your psyche, as cherished memories.

I wish all our mums a very happy Mothers’ Day for Sunday, 9th May.

Traditionally, May is the month when we remember, celebrate and thank Mary, the mother of God, in a special way. During his 26 year pontificate, John Paul II frequently reminded us that the month of May is, in a particular way, dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. In their reflection on the significance of Jesus’ passion, the Church fathers understood that when Jesus, dying in agony on the Cross, said to John, “This is your mother”, he was not merely entrusting Mary to John’s care, but also to making Mary the spiritual mother of all followers of Christ. In Mary’s life on earth we see a strong woman, the author of the Magnificat, who was willing to embrace motherhood as a vocation from God in all its joys and sorrows. Every mother will know exactly, the meaning of the prophet Simeon’s words to Mary, when Jesus was presented in the temple in Jerusalem: “A sword will pierce your own
heart”. She was with Jesus at every important moment of his life: from his conception, his birth in Bethlehem, during his public ministry, at his crucifixion, and with the disciples on Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit came down upon them.
In following the footsteps of Jesus, and in the richness of the Christian tradition, we find in Mary the perfect mediator between mankind and God, in who we can confide our most private thoughts and deepest fears, asking her intercession in the confident
knowledge that Jesus will hear her, as happened at the Feast at Cana. During this month of May, dedicated to Mary, we are encouraged to pray to her to intercede on our behalf.

Covid Updates

The NSW Government has announced close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case will not be required to isolate, provided they comply with NSW Health guidelines. This includes students. There are no changes for positive cases: the seven-day isolation requirement remains in place for anyone who has recorded a positive RAT or PCR result. They must follow NSW Health’s Testing positive to COVID-19 and managing COVID-19 safely at home guidelines.

Close Contacts Attending School

Students, staff and visitors who are close contacts and have no symptoms can continue to attend school if they follow the guidelines below:

● They must notify the school and their outside of school hours care (Active Kids) if they are intending to return under this provision.
● They should conduct a daily rapid antigen test (RAT) and return a negative result each morning before attending school for 5 school days.
● Primary school students are recommended to wear a mask indoors (except when eating or exercising).
● No student or staff member identified as a close contact will be permitted to participate in overnight excursions, including school camps.
Any visitor to a school site who is a close contact is required to advise the school that they are a close contact before they come on site. These visitors should conduct a daily RAT and return a negative result before attending. They must also wear a mask indoors at all times. 

Staff and students cannot attend school if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
If symptoms occur at any time, students should not attend school and should undertake a rapid antigen test (RAT).

Masks are not mandatory for staff in primary schools and early childhood settings.
Staff and students will be supported to wear a mask if they choose to do so.

Kindergarten Enrolments 2023

Parents of children who are ready to start school in 2023 are asked to go onto our school website, click on the Enrol Now tab and complete the online Enrolment Application to begin the enrolment process.

Please pass on this message to family and friends who are intending to enrol children in Kindergarten next year. Children must turn five by 31st July 2023 to be enrolled in Diocesan schools.

School Behaviour Management:

Our school made the decision 3 years ago to base our Behaviour Management Policy and Procedures on the PBS (Positive Behaviour Support) Model. Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a whole school framework which helps our school to create positive learning environments. Our school values, defined by the community, guide the behaviour of everyone in our school; staff, students, parents and community members. This is achieved by developing proactive systems to define, teach and support appropriate student behaviour.

At St Carthage's our four focus areas are:
                                                              Be Respectful
                                                              Be Safe
                                                              Be Responsible
                                                              Be Your Best

Respect for All Members of our School Community

Respect is one of our school values and something that we are constantly talking to our students about. Respect for self, respect for others and respect for our environment is a message that our students hear regularly, and we encourage them to reflect on what this looks like in their daily interactions with others.

It is important that, as adults we also show respect to our students and families in all that we say and do. Similarly, we ask that our parents and families show that respect to each other as well. I know that there can be times, particularly around drop off and pick up times, there can be frustration and annoyance, however it is important that we remain respectful and patient to all members of our school community. I ask that we refrain from speaking negatively or disrespectfully, as this does not set a positive example to our children.