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Principal News

Welcome everyone to Week Seven, as our first term together continues at a rapid pace! We continue to remain focused on the safety and wellbeing of every one of our students during this critical phase of monitoring the risks associated with Covid-19, and our school is taking all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus here at school.

I am aware that there may be some concern amongst our school community at the moment regarding the COVID-19 virus and the health of students. Your ongoing vigilance will support the effort to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools play a vital role in this work and we appreciate your continued support and attention to actions.

Please let me reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of every one of our students is our highest priority.

Our school is taking all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus at school.

Extra attention to planning and attention to the health and hygiene measures employed across Sacred Heart Primary School include the following:-

  • The provision of digital thermometers for staff to use in the event of a student presenting with symptoms. If a fever is present, the student will be isolated in the Medical Room, and parents will be contacted to collect their child.
  • All classes have always been, and continue to be provided with hand sanitising dispensers and liquid soap to further support good hand washing hygiene.
  • Contract cleaners continue to undertake their supervised and thorough daily cleaning- including the cleaning of high contact surfaces that are touched by many different people, such as light switches, handrails and door knobs and handles.
  • Classroom doors and entrance doors to toilet blocks remain opened back, to minimise contact with door furniture.
  • The movement of students is in lines that allow for adequate personal space, and staff supervise children in their eating spaces to ensure this social distancing is maintained.
  • The completion of our school’s Six Step Plan for dealing with a confirmed case of Covid-19- Completing this plan is essential for all schools in minimising the risk to students, staff and communities during this time.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID -19 in WA schools. If there is a confirmed case, the Chief Health Officer will provide advice on a temporary school closure while an assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted.

Accompanying today’s Newsletter are some resources that you may wish to use at home, to remind your children about their obligations to safe hygiene practices. These have been provided at school for use in all classrooms and toilet areas, and I commend our boys and girls as they attend to the directives from all staff.

In undertaking a new risk assessment of gatherings in our school community, we have had to consider such factors as potential for contact with members of the public, cleaning and hygiene arrangements provided at external venues, and the capacity to isolate a suspected COVID-19 case amongst students or staff. This has applied to school excursions and retreats. Because these risk factors cannot be sufficiently mitigated, the following decisions have been made regarding gatherings for the remainder of Term One- including the following:-

  • 2020 Interschool Swimming Carnival and all swimming/sports Training sessionscancelled
  • 2020 Tennis and Cricket Interschool Carnival cancelled
  • Year Three Penance Retreatcancelled and content delivered within classrooms
  • Masses and liturgiescontent delivered within classrooms
  • ANZAC Daycancelled and content delivered within classrooms
  • Assemblies, Hymn singing sessions, excursions and incursions-cancelled
  • School Board and P and F meetingscancelled
  • Book Faircancelled and orders to be placed
  • Second Hand Uniform Sales (Wed, Thurs and Fri) cancelled
  • Uniform shop Friday openingscancelled- orders can be collected from Office
  • Stations of the Cross content delivered within classrooms
  • Easter Bonnet Parade cancelled
  • Week Nine- Work Sample Folders and iMaths tracker books (as appropriate) will be issued, however, Parent interviews will be scheduled to Term Twodates to be advised


The school continues to promote the highest standards of personal hygiene and the supply of soap and hand sanitiser. All teachers are continuing to communicate to students about the practice of “social distancing” and the necessity for vigilant personal hygiene. All visitors to the school during this time are limited, and in the event of presenting with a cold/ flu like symptoms, or indeed any other symptoms of illness, you are asked to remain away from the school setting.

Parent Help within classrooms at Sacred Heart Primary School is suspended for the remainder of Term One. Our students are to provide their own water bottle daily, to fill from the drink fountains, and children are not permitted to access the bubblers directly, until further notice.

The school strongly encourages parents and students from Years 1-6 to access Sacred Heart Primary School via the Drive Through bays on Mary St, and we hope to provide access to additional bays, and request all cars to exit and ONLY turn left into Mary St, to assist with traffic flow.

From next Monday, it is strongly encouraged for a Kiss and Drop in Drive Through each morning for all children in Years 1-6 and those children in Pre Primary are strongly encouraged if possible, to access  Drive Through to lessen congestion in the school and on the red bricks.

I am compelled at this time of the term, to remind us all of the busyness and challenges that the beginning and end of the school day presents to all, and once again, remind parents, particularly of our younger students, that all playgrounds, including the Oval,  are out of bounds both before and at the conclusion of the school day.

Additionally, children are not permitted to bring their own sports equipment to school for play and use. The benefits of play and activity cannot be discounted, and with this in mind, perhaps parents may consider an organised walk after school for a picnic afternoon tea and a play at the very beautiful Hyde Park?  The continued good weather during this Autumn, makes for a perfect opportunity to enjoy family time.

As the Term progresses, our staff are busily preparing for the distribution of the Term One Work Sample Folders in Week Nine, representing the children’s progress in each of the Learning Areas. I’m sure as parents, you will enjoy being led through each sample with your child’s perspectives and reflections being shared.

The purpose of the Folders, is to identify areas worthy of celebration, and enable you all to establish goals for the coming term. I would like to acknowledge the hard work that our teachers, Specialists and Education Assistants undertake to ensure the folders are prepared well for you all as families.

It has been a very real pleasure to work in partnership with our families during this week in the scheduled meetings with teachers and parents for some of the Curriculum Adjustment, and Individual Education Plans to be discussed, and secondly, in last week’s coming together for our Parent-Child Workshop for the Sacrament of Penance, where we explored what we can do to restore our relationship with Jesus, when actions we have taken or omitted to take, have broken that special relationship.

These occasions are the result of much ‘behind the scenes’ preparation by our staff, and I extend my thanks to them all for their commitment and dedication to their roles as the teachers of your children.

Education – Catholic Schools of Excellence (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

Learning continues in our classrooms and specialist areas, with our children having continued with their standardised assessments in Reading, Mathematics, Grammar and Punctuation, and the individual interviews focused on the skills of literacy and numeracy.  Together with other in-class work and assessments, these results have assisted our teachers in preparing for both IEP and CAP Meetings.

The Term One Work Sample Folders that will accompany children in Week Nine, will contribute to all parents’ understanding of their child’s progress and capabilities.

A special thank you to our class and specialist staff, for their work in preparing for our reporting and assessments.

The National Assessment Program –Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)  is an annual national assessment of all students in Years 3,5,7 and 9. All students are expected to participate in the testing, when they will be assessed in language conventions, (spelling, grammar and punctuation), writing, reading and numeracy. The test results provide a snapshot of a student’s achievement in comparison to all students of the same year level across the country. They assist teachers to better identify students who require additional support or enrichment, and enable schools to identify strengths and weaknesses in teaching programmes.  However, you may be aware this morning the Ministers of Education in Australia as the Education Council announced NAPLAN testing this year will not go ahead.  This is in response to the COVID-19 issue and the health imperative for our students.

From the memo sent out earlier today to Principals from the Education Council:

The decision to not proceed with NAPLAN in 2020 has been taken to assist school leaders, teachers and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education, including potential online and remote learning. Further, the impact of responses to the COVID-19 virus may affect the delivery of NAPLAN testing, including the operation of centralised marking centres and the implications for nationally comparable data if an insufficient number of students are available to do the test.

The decision to not proceed with NAPLAN in 2020 also means that the scheduled testing of the NAPLAN Online platform, known as the Coordinated Practice Test (CPT), will not proceed. Ministers acknowledge the work that departments and schools have undertaken in preparation for the anticipated CPT which was due to commence next week on 23 March. 

Community – Catholic Pastoral Communities (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

Last Monday our senior students gathered in the city at the Perth Convention Centre, attending the 2020 Young Leaders Day- this event provides our students with exposure to prominent sporting, political, entertainment and health professional identities, who share their experiences of leadership and influence.  We have enjoyed the students’ tales of reflection following this event, and extend our thanks to Ms Byrne-King and Mrs Wyre for their work in co-ordinating the class’s attendance at this event.

Together with our school’s Social Worker, Ms Hilary Campos,  we have prepared information and support materials for this year’s 2020 P and F Class Representatives,  in an effort to provide clear information about the role and its importance to ensuring our school is a place of welcome, and that the opportunity to share giftedness here is always present. Thank you to this year’s Class Reps who have volunteered/ accepted the invitation for this year.

The Parents and Friends Association Executive for 2020 is as follows:

President- Mrs Lindsay Fletcher-Hammond

Vice President- Mrs Natali Gregory

Treasurer- Ms Anita Pavic

Secretary- Mr Damian Lailey

Our 2020 Class Representatives are as follows:

PRE-KINDY Claire Giumelli
KINDY Francesca Parr
KINDY Adrian Fratelle
PRE-PRIMARY Georgia Cacares
PRE-PRIMARY Melissa Vinci
YEAR 1 Amanda Morgan
YEAR 1 Helen Lukey
YEAR 2 Kelly Rimpas
YEAR 2 Suzie Priolo
YEAR 3 Lindsay Fletcher-Hammond
YEAR 3 Anne Binetti
YEAR 3 Clare McLean
YEAR 4 Eugenie Pophillat
YEAR 4 Helen McNally
YEAR 5 Damian Lailey
YEAR 5 Georgie Strain
YEAR 6 Annmarie Baltov
Event Co-ordinators Camila Machado
Event Co-ordinators Georgia Cacares

Our Parents are encouraged to watch for contact and communication from this year’s Class Reps.

Stewardship – Accessible, Affordable and Sustainable System of Schools (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

The work of the Sacred Heart School Board continues, with its particular focus on our financial management being an important part of this new school year. I remind all families that the School Board’s role is one of financial planning and management, and of an advisory nature to the review of school policy, and that any operational matters or queries are not the domain of elected School Board members. Parents are encouraged to bring matters of query or concern in the first instance, to their class teacher, and subsequently, to me, as the School’s Principal.

Our external financial audit has been prepared and the preparation of the 2019 Annual Financial Statement (AFS), has also been completed.

Most families have completed their obligations to nominate their payment plan for the 2020 School Fees, and I thank them for their commitments. Please ensure an appointment has been scheduled with me, to discuss any variations to fee structures, or any circumstances that have the potential to impact on your family’s obligation to meet your 2020 School Fees.

 Yesterday our Sacred Heart Leadership Team hosted the Term One School Improvement meeting, that saw us for discussion of 2020 plans, including our School Improvement and Curriculum Plans. We were joined by our school’s CEWA School Improvement Advisor, Mr Michael Ciccarelli, together with our CEWA School support consultant, Mrs Wendy Manners.

Discipleship -How did I live out the teachings of Jesus today?

As the Lenten season continues, I thought it may be timely to share the following reflection, that calls us to examine our conscience in the context of our Ten Commandments. I hope you enjoy it.

A Brief Examination of Conscience   Based on the Ten Commandments

I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me. Have I treated people, events, or things as more important than God?

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Have my words, actively or passively, put down God, the Church, or people?

Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Do I go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) and on Holy Days of Obligation? Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday?

Honour your father and your mother. Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have?

You shall not kill. Have I harmed another through physical, verbal, or emotional means, including gossip or manipulation of any kind?

You shall not commit adultery. Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself?

You shall not steal. Have I taken or wasted time or resources that belonged to another?

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Have I gossiped, told lies, or embellished stories at the expense of another?

You shall not covet your neighbour’s spouse. Have I honoured my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love?

You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods. Am I content with my own means and needs, or do I compare myself to others unnecessarily?

Christ’s Two Commandments

How well do we love God and others? Do we love as Christ calls us to? In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ gives us Two Commandments: “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments’” (Mt 22:37-40).

Not sure what love is?  St. Paul describes it for us in his Letter to the Corinthians. Is this how you love God and others?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:4-8)

In closing, can I wish everyone well for our coming week, and ask for your prayers, fasting and almsgiving to continue during the Church’s Lenten season. We call for prayers during our Lenten season, as we acknowledge a world filled with people less fortunate than we are.

As a Catholic community, we can extend our prayers for all of those impacted in Australia and abroad, and show care and support for all members of our community. Much like the flu that affects many people each year, it is not out of the question that people we know may be ill with symptoms caused by COVID-19, and if so, it is important that we offer them our support, while we follow advice from health authorities.

As parents, the best teachings for our children, are grounded in our actions- what conversations are happening in your family about commitments to Lenten promises?

Enjoy God’s blessings over this coming weekend!

Many thanks and God Bless

Mrs Tanya McGuire


Gatherings and Social Distancing And School Closures

Whilst the Prime Minister has referred to possible school closures, schools currently remain open for the time being, as an essential service. There is a possibility of a school closure in the future and any such closure would be under the direction of the Department of Health. Our school is currently preparing its Educational Continuity Plan to ensure the continuity of learning for students. Our staff are working together to provide the best possible educational provisions, should this occur. SEQTA and See Saw enables us to deliver platform learning to students and will be our primary sources of information dissemination to students. A detailed plan will be communicated to students and parents, if school closures eventuate.

As we continue to respond to COVID-19 in our community, please be assured that the Department of Education, Catholic Education Western Australia, (CEWA) and the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia will continue to respond as a collaborative team to advice from the WA Department of Health and provide updated advice to schools and staff as appropriate.

Sacred Heart Primary School will respect such advice as it is provided, respond accordingly and promptly and inform families as appropriate. If you have any questions in relation to this advice, please direct any questions to me in the first instance.

The WA Department of Health has updated information including frequently asked questions about the COVID-19. To view this information visit

Thank you for your ongoing support regarding this significant public health matter.

Mrs Tanya McGuire

Sacred Heart Primary School


40 Mary Street, Highgate WA 6003
(08) 9328 8817