Arts & Academic Festival 2023 & Holiday Wishes

We have enjoyed another wonderful week of events this week at our 2023 Arts & Academic Festival!

We watched and celebrated as 167 of our Primary School students took part in the 10 different categories.

This year, Charis were the clear winners for both the Arts Shield and the Academic Shield and, of course this meant they also won the overall event.  Second place overall was contested all the way until the end with Parresia moving ahead after the Music section.

Congratulations to all who took part and also to our wonderful audience who supported their peers with such respect and enthusiasm.  There is a selection of photographs from the week below for your enjoyment.

Wishing our students and community a wonderful break and we look forward to welcoming our students back on Tuesday 25 July after the Primary Reporting day on Monday 24 July.

Arts & Academic Festival 2023 – LAUNCH DAY!


Today we are very excited to launch the 2023 Arts & Academic Festival!

Entry Forms have been placed in the Forum this morning for students to collect for the areas in which they would like to enter.   Other information for each of the sections can be found by following the links below.  There are categories available for students from Years 1-6 to enter, specific information is noted on each entry form.  As this is a House competition, a reminder that all members of a group must be from the same House

Completed forms (together with any attachments) need to be submitted to the A&A Entry Desk which will be available each morning from 8.15am – 8.45am from 31 May to 2 June.  We ask that forms are checked & signed by parents & they will be checked again as they are submitted.

The entry deadline is Friday 2 June.  A Festival Schedule will be prepared and advertised on the blog in Week 9 after all entries have been processed.  So join the fun and get ready to shine for your House!!



Audience: Parents/guardians are welcome to attend

Electronic Media must be submitted by Mon 12 June (we will attach it to your Entry Form for you which you must have submitted by Fri 2 June)


No audience


No audience


Monologue Scenes

Group Scenes

Audience: Parents/guardians are welcome to attend


No audience


Audience: Parents/guardians are welcome to attend

Music must be attached to Entry Form at time of submission


No audience


Audience: Parents/guardians are welcome to attend


Audience: Parents/guardians are welcome to attend

Music/lyrics must be attached to Entry Form at time of submission


No audience

Final Assembly and Winning House Announcement

Audience: Parents/guardians are welcome to attend the Assembly

Should you have any further questions please contact Mrs Louise Streeter or Mrs Rosie Gamble via email on

Madame Isabelle Pilote

Special Edition: Parent Rep Events

Mother’s Day Stall

One special gift being offered for sale is a personalised make up pouch for Mum.  The order form for this can be accessed here:  Mothers Day Pouch Order Form  There will also be some printed copies available for collection from Reception.

Completed order forms and correct payment need to be returned to the Mother’s Day Stall or can be dropped off at Reception.  The order deadline is strictly Wednesday 10 May so that the pouches can be made and delivered to classrooms on Friday 12 May.

To allow all students access to all other items on offer, the stall will be open for sales to the Year groups as below :

Tuesday 9 May

8:00am – 8.30am – Kindy & Pre-Primary students (accompanied by a parent)

8.30am – 8.45am – Year 6 students

8.45am – 9:00am – Year 3 students

9:00am – 9.15am – Class 4SH

Wednesday 10 May

8.00am – 9.00am – Pre Kindy students (accompanied by a parent)

8.30am – 8.45am – Year 5 students

8.45am – 9.00am – Year 2 students

9.00am – 9.15am – Year 1 students

Thursday 11 May

8.00am – 8.30am Class 4BA

8.30am – 9.15am – Anyone who hasn’t purchased and wishes to do so

Thank you to all of the volunteers who have put their name down to help with the stall next week!

Primary Disco

A big thank you to the parent volunteers who managed the Disco Booking Desk this week.  The event has proved to be very popular again this year and we look forward to seeing everyone’s moves on the dance floor!

For students who were on camp this week and didn’t bring their completed form & payment to the Booking Desk, please ensure you hand them in to Reception before the end of the day on Monday so that final details can be confirmed for catering etc.

Please keep an eye on the Blog for information on how to volunteer on the night as there will be more parent helpers required.


Finally, a special thanks from me to our Parent Rep coordinators who are working behind the scenes to bring both of these wonderful community events together.  Madame Pilote


Arts & Academic 2021 – Music & Assembly

Arts & Academic Festival

Please follow the link below to see the video of the Music section on the final day together with the announcement of the winning Houses for 2021.

Arts & Academic Video – Final Day

Because of the size of this video, it has been uploaded using Office 365, rather than Vimeo. To access it, you will be prompted for your Parent (or you can use your child’s Student) User Name and School Password.

Academic Winners – Charis House

Arts Winners – Makaria House

Overall Winners – Charis House

Wishing you all a wonderful break.

Madame Isabelle Pilote

Term 2, Week 8

Fundraising Term 2

Canteen Meal Deal Offer


A reminder that the due date for the next Scholastic Book order is this week, Thursday 18 June.


Parking at the end of the day

Just a reminder to please obey the road/parking rules and regulations when collecting your child at the end of the day. Unfortunately, we have too many driving over the footpath to park under the trees, some parking in the disabled bays and others accessing the turning circle through the Staff Carpark; all of these are open to fines from the Police or the Local Government. Thank you for addressing this concern for the safety of our students and for the well-being of your wallet.


The Danish Way of Parenting ‘E’ for Empathy

Every time I take a new family through our campus, I always reflect on our school core value of Service with them, emphasizing that this core value enables students to develop Empathy (something much needed in our world today). In my nineteen years at St Stephen’s School, I have seen extraordinary moments of Empathy in action through the many Service Learning opportunities our school offers our students. This is why St Stephen’s School is such a special place to be 🙂 .

Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand the feelings of others. It is the ability to feel what someone else feels – not only to feel for him but feel with him. Empathy cannot be taught like Maths or English, it needs to be felt and experienced in order to understand it. Danes have a fundamental belief that caring about others’ happiness is crucial for their own happiness, something that resonates really well with me. Here are some pieces of advice found in the book in relation to


  • Understand your own empathic style. Remember that children are mirroring you… as parents and educators, we have a responsibilty.
  • Understand others. Practise understanding others instead of shaming them. Help kids to do that too.
  • Help kids see the good in other children. See the behaviour being affected by circumstances rather than labelling other children as mean, selfish or obnoxious.
  • Notice an attempt to identify emotions. Help your child see others’ emotions as well as experiencing his own without imposing your judgement.
  • Read, read, read. Read books that encompass all emotions, including negative and uncomfortable ones. Dealing with reality, even at the level kids can handle, is honest and authentic and is proven to significantly improve empathy.
  • Improve meaningful relationships. Try using emptahy to patch up some of your own relationships… Meaningful friend and family relationships are the most important factors determining true happiness, well above having lots of money!
  • Be vulnerable. Try to be a better listener and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable and having empathy brings us closer together.
  • Seek out empathy in others. Surround yourself with friends and family who want to practise empathy.

I really enjoyed the section of The Danish Way of Parenting that explores the importance of Empathy and would like to end this week’s Blog with this quote from Daniel Siegel, clinical professor of psychology at UCLA:

“Empathy is not a luxury for human beings, it is a necessity. We survive not because we have claws and not because we have big fangs. We survive because we can communicate and collaborate”.

Madame Pilote

Term 2, Week 6

Entertainment Book

Please follow the link below to order the latest Entertainment Book:

Entertainment Book – ‘Renew & Support Us’

Arts & Academic Festival

With the current restrictions in place, we have decided to postpone this year’s Arts & Academic Festival, usually held in the last week of Term 2. New dates (and possibly new format) are currently being looked at. We understand how important this event is for our children and are therefore currently considering several options. Stay tuned!


As we enter the “cooler & wetter” season, we encourage our Upper Years students to wear their red jumpers (or SSS jackets on PE days) and our Early Years students to wear their SSS jackets. Please note that if students choose to wear a scarf , it should be the school one (available from the Uniform Shop). Thank you for your understanding.

Primary Interhouse Cross Country (Year 2 – 6)

We will be running a modified Interhouse Cross Country on Friday 26 June (Week 9) for all students in Year 2 – 6.

Due to the restrictions currently in place, this year’s Interhouse Cross Country has been modified, in order for our students to still have the opportunity to participate.

  • The course will be contained within the school boundaries and students will run on the secondary oval.
    Although the course will look very different to previous years, distances will still be the same for each year group. (Year 2: 750m, Year 3: 1.5km, Year 4: 2km, Year 5 & 6: 2.5km)
  • There will not be a ‘carnival’ style event – year groups will participate at allocated times throughout the day. A gathering of students to spectate and support will not be possible this year.
  • Sadly, parents/guardians will not be able to spectate this year.
    While it may be possible to witness races from the car park or verge, we are unable to endorse this behaviour, as it would be a violation of government restrictions placed on schools at the moment. We appreciate your support in this matter.

The NIPSSA Interschool Cross Country event will not be taking place this year, however we are hopeful that perhaps the Champion Schools State Cross Country event may still take place on Thursday 30 July, for students who achieve highly at our Interhouse Cross Country.

We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing your child participate in this year’s Interhouse Cross Country!


‘A’ is for Authenticity

Being a model of emotional health is powerful parenting. Emotional honesty, not perfection, is what children truly need from parents. We have to model honesty for our children and let them know that it is OK to feel all of their emotions.

Fairy-tale endings are not always the way to go…. Danes believe that tragedies and upsetting events are things we should talk about too. It is important to examine all parts of life. It is more authentic and creates empathy and a deeper respect for humanity.

Being exposed to peaks and valleys of life encourages empathy, resilience, and feelings of meaningfulness and gratitude for our own lives. Here are some pieces of advice found in the book in relation to Authenticity:

  • Use process The most meaningful and useful praise is based on quality, not quantity. Keep the praise focused on the process or effort rather than on innate abilities.
  • Answer with honesty. By not being authentic, you undermine your child’s ability to sense what is true and false.
  • Use examples from your own childhood. This lets them know that their situation is normal even if they are scared, happy or sad.
  • Teach honesty. Talk about how important honesty is in your family, make it a value. Teach your kids to be courageous enough to be honest and vulnerable and confess when necessary.
  • Read stories that encompass all emotions, not only happy endings. Children learn a lot from sadness and tragedy, being age appropriate of course!
  • Focus on effort – and keep it genuine. By focusing on the effort involved in learning, we create a growth mindset. This mindset is helpful in all aspects of life.
  • Don’t use praise as a default response. Don’t overuse praise, it can teach your child that he is only praiseworthy when he completes a task quickly, easily and perfectly and that does not help him embrace challenges.
  • Teach children not to compare themselves with others. Not everyone can be the best at everything, but you can be the best for yourself, this fosters well-being.

When reading the chapter on Authenticity, what resonated the most with me was how to praise children, focusing more on the effort and the process. I have found myself many a times over praising my daughter, when she was younger, on the end product rather than praising her on the effort she had put it throughout the process. I guess parenting never ends !

A reminder to all Primary parents

Please remember our request that, in the current environment, parents are not to enter any building on campus and this includes the Library. We appreciate your attention to this matter and, as soon as there are further easing of restrictions, we will reconsider our position.

Term 2, Week 5

Reminder from Mr Roberts

This is just a reminder that when dropping your child off to school or, when collecting them at the end of the day, you need to do so without lingering for a conversation with other parents and please don’t let your child run off to play. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made to cooperate with this request over the past few weeks and ask that you continue to be diligent in this approach – we are blessed that we don’t have a front gate you can’t go past or the situation where we need to do a ‘drive-thru-and-drop’ like many other schools. I guess the rain and the cold weather makes it a bit easier to leave quickly too!

School Banking – Message from Commonwealth Bank

We have been continually monitoring the situation with Coronavirus in each state and territory, with regards to the easing of restrictions. The health and safety of communities and people remain our priority. While School Banking is still paused, we are now considering how best we can deliver the program in a Coronavirus-safe environment.

In the meantime, Start Smart Parent Resources have been created to assist parents and carers in improving their children’s money management skills. These free, short videos and worksheets can be accessed from home and are designed to give students the confidence and skills to make smart decisions about money. To find out more, visit


As mentioned in my previous Blog, what I value most as a parent is to see my daughter happy. Circumstances of life can no doubt impact on people’s “level of happiness”, but I’ve learnt (and still learning) that the more resilient children are, the happier they will become as adults, even when facing adversity. It is how a person sees and deals with a situation that will determine how quickly they will “bounce back”.

It is extremely difficult to see your children sad or upset, but I have learnt, over time, that my role as a parent isn’t to “try to make life perfect” for my daughter. The world is unfortunately not a perfect place and challenges (small and big) will always come about. It is therefore better for me to support my child to “problem solve” rather than “do it for her” (even in adulthood!). This helps her to become more and more resilient.

“The Danish Way of Parenting” believes in 6 principles which I would like to explore with you this Term:

P for Play

              A for Authenticity

           R for Reframing

        E for Empathy

                 N for No ultimatum

               T for Togetherness

P for Play

Like the authors, I believe that free play teaches kids to be less anxious and more resilient. Resilience has proven to be one of the most important factors in predicting success as an adult. Play is crucial for learning how to cope with stress. The more children play the more resilient and socially adept they will become. As a school, we believe in the value of play. Play-based learning and Nature-Play form an important part of our fabric and we believe is essential for the development and well-being of our children. Here are some pieces of advice found in the book in relation to Play:

  • Turn it off!!! Imagination is essential
  • Create an enriching environment. Having a variety of materials that can stimulate all the senses enhances brain development during play.
  • Use Art. Don’t show children how do do it, just put out the art supplies and let them create spontaneously.
  • Let kids explore the environment.
  • Mix children of different ages. Children learn to participate as well as challenge the game. This is teaching the self-control & negotiation skills. Also helps them see that everyone has positive qualities and that everyone needs to help each other reach the next level.
  • Let them be free and forget the guilt! Free play is what they are missing!
  • Be real! A little “real” play time with your kids on their level is worth more than any toy you could buy.
  • Let them play alone! Great for developing their fantasy, imagination and they can reenact what is happening in the real world which is hugely therapeutic!
  • Create an obstacle course. Let them be free to play, climb, explore and create and don’t stress about it!
  • Avoid intervening too quickly. Learning how to deal with others provides kids the biggest lessons in self-control and resilience.
  • Let go. When you feel the need to “save” them, step back and take a breath. They are learning some of the most important skills to take them through life.

 Some food for thought.

Madame Pilote


Term 2, Week 4

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you are well and keeping safe. As a parent myself (of a young adult now living overseas), I’ve often asked myself this question: “What do I, as a parent, really want for my daughter?”. Over the years, the same answer has always come to mind: “I just want her to be happy”. Interestingly, that’s the same question and answer I find when discussing with parents in our school community. I am therefore assuming that this is basically what most parents want! I had read somewhere last year that Denmark had been voted as having the happiest people in the world by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) almost every year since 1973! Intrigued, I decided to research what could possibly be the key to their consistent secret.

This is when I came across “The Danish Way of Parenting” where the authors, Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandhal, explore what makes Danish people the “happiest people in the world”.

Whilst the key to happiness is different for everyone and the book is not meant to be “the answer”, it certainly provides some essential principles which can be very useful in our parenting approach. Whilst reading this book has provided me with the opportunity to reflect on my own parenting with my daughter (and at times think I should have or could have done better or more…), it gave me an excellent insight on how, as an educator, I can contribute in shaping “happier children” moving forward.

I look forward, in coming Blogs this term, to sharing some of “The Danish Way of Parenting” content with you and hope that you can find some of the “parenting tips” helpful or at least insightful.

Madame Pilote

Icy poles are back!

Our Captains will continue selling icy poles this Friday at Recess for 60 cents! Please note that we are changing the “sale format”. Captains will now be going to every year level courtyard to sell the icy poles every Friday at 10:50AM, just before play time. A reminder that all profits go to charity.

Scholastic Book Club

The new catalogue can be viewed online and the deadline for ordering is 18 June 2020.

Drawing Competition

Theme: Out of this World (think space, astronauts, stars, aliens, etc.)

Colouring pages are available in the Primary Forum or print your own. Printable Entry Form

1 entry per student

Option 1 – using any drawing material drawing your own original drawing

Option2 – submit a completed colouring in page

Please label your drawing clearly with your name and class.

Please place all completed entries into the entry box  located in the Primary Forum by Friday 22 May.

Please see Mrs Zuchetti in the Art Room if you have any questions.


Term 2, Week 1

Welcome back & important message from Madame Pilote

(Password: ssscp)


Transition back to Term 2

As per the email from our Principal, Mrs Donella Beare, we will be staggering students return to face to face learning in Term 2.  Online learning will continue as it did at the end of Term 1, for all students this week. From Week 2, Monday 4 May we encourage our younger years from Kindy – Year 2 to return to school for face to face, teaching and learning.  Our Year 3 – 6 students will be able to access the online learning for that week.  Face to face teaching for our senior students (Year 3-6) will resume on Monday 11 May.  Please note that our Pre-Kindy program will continue to operate online for Term 2.

Class Supervision for Week 1, Term 2

Students who need to follow the online program from school and be supervised by staff, will need to go to the following classrooms via the external doors when being dropped off each morning:

  • Students in Kindy & Pre-Primary: Please report to the Kindy Playground
  • Students in Year 1 & 2: Please report to 2W classroom
  • Students in Year 3 & 4: Please report to 4F classroom
  • Students in Year 5 & 6: Please report to 5S classroom

Keeping in mind the Government directives regarding social distancing, we ask for all parents to either drop their child off outside these classrooms’ courtyards or in the Primary car park.  Again, following the advice from the Government, parents are unfortunately still not permitted inside the school buildings.  We really look forward to welcoming our community back to normal conditions as soon as we are able to.

Resource Packs

As per correspondence sent on the last day of Term 1, Resource Packs will be available in classroom courtyards this Friday 1 May from 8am – 3:30pm.

  • Kindy – Year 2:  Please only collect your child’s pack if you plan to keep them at home next week.  Otherwise, these packs will be used here at school and need to stay on site.
  • Year 3 – 6: Please collect your child’s pack as they will compliment their online program next week.

Important message for Pre-Kindy – Year 4 Parents 

Following the message sent through Year level blogs earlier in the holidays, we ask that parents download TEAMs.  In the event  that we have to return to online learning, this will enable our school to deliver continuity of education through this platform. We would appreciate if you could complete this before the end of the week. Thank you.