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Mr Shaw's News


Our Annual General Meeting (ACM) was held on Monday 27 November. After enjoying snacks and drinks, we heard reports from our P & F Committee and School Advisory Council, as well as my Principal’s Report. Our School Advisory Council and P & F Committee for 2024 were announced. I thank these parents for volunteering their time and expertise. We are always looking for more parents to assist our P & F Committee throughout the year. Please contact me if you are interested in doing so. Every parent is considered a General Member of the P & F. 

School Advisory Council 2024 

Nicolene Vallentgoed, Alyce Meldrum, Genevieve Hull, Chantelle Hoffrichter and Simone Bennie – Elected Members  

Fr Paul (Parish Priest), Luke Shaw (Principal) & Lorna Russell (Assistant Principal) 

I thank Rochelle Kihi for her service to our School Advisory Council. Rochelle concludes her three-year term, which included two years as our Treasurer. Thank you, Rochelle. 

It is great to have Chantelle Hoffrichter continue as part of our School Advisory Council next year, elected for a second term. Thank you, Chantelle. 

Parents & Friends Committee 2024 

Tina Francis, Ryan Rawlins, Kara Auricht, Rachel Rawlins – Elected Members 

Tina Francis joined our P & F Committee this year as a co-opted member for 2024. I thank Tina for nominating to continue as a P & F Committee member next year. 

To our departing P & F Committee members, Stephanie Gilmour, Michelle Atkins and Tash McCarthy, thank you for your service as P & F Committee Members over the last two years. I particularly acknowledge our outgoing P & F Chair, Tash, for the dedication, initiative and energy she has brought to the role over the last two years. Thank you, Tash.  


We gathered as a school community on Thursday for our Graduation and Thanksgiving Mass. During this mass, we celebrated our achievements as a school community and said farewell to our Year Six students. I thank Mrs Erin Tyrrell for her organisation of this important occasion and Fr Paul for leading Mass. With our Year Six students leaving on Friday, we also say farewell to a number of OLSOTS families. To the Barrett, Batchelor, Bronca and Pike families, thank you for being a part of our school community.  


I present our full staff list for 2024. Parents were advised of class teachers and education assistants after our recent move-up morning. 

Teaching Staff: 

Pre-Kindy (Tuesday): Coralie McLeod  

Kindergarten (Wednesday – Friday): Coralie McLeod  

Pre-Primary: Melissa Hayes (Monday – Thursday) & Kara Auricht (Friday) 

Year One/Two: Laura Connolly (Monday – Wednesday, Friday) & Lorna Russell (Thursday) 

Year Three: Janica Sell 

Year Four/Five: Hannah Starcevich 

Year Six: Erin Tyrrell 

Auslan: Melissa Hayes 

Science: Deb Sanger 

Physical Education: Anna Swan 

Art: Anna Swan 

Performing Arts (Dance/Drama): Ashleigh Shaw 

Enrichment: Ashleigh Shaw 

Playgroup: Coralie McLeod 

Education Assistants: 

Leia Brennand (Pre-Kindy), Karen Florisson (Kindergarten), Donna Edwards (Kindergarten), Gayle Berg (Pre-Primary), Bec Devitt (Year 4/5 & Year 6), Debbie Herbert (Year 4/5 and Year 6), Carmel Halls (MiniLit & MacqLit) 

Non-Teaching Staff: 

Finance & Administration Officer: Tammie Florisson 

Administration Officer, Uniform Shop Coordinator & Enrolments Coordinator: Pippa Crane 

Grounds & Maintenance: Sonya Lawry & David Eltringham 

Library: Debbie Herbert & Cat Moir 

Leadership Team:  

Assistant Principal: Lorna Russell 

Principal: Luke Shaw 


It is always at this time of the year that we say farewell to staff moving on from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School. This year, we will say farewell to four of our wonderful teachers. 

Miss Bella Cowie joined our staff in 2022. Bella is a dedicated teacher who has created a welcoming and positive classroom environment for her students. Bella works diligently, building and maintaining genuine relationships with her students, approaching each interaction with kindness.  

Mr Ian Puzon, Mr P, joined our staff mid-2021. Ian’s generosity and commitment have been appreciated by students and staff alike. Ian is a team player, who has taken on extra initiatives such as Chess Club, STEM Club and a Digital Learning Leader role during his time at OLSOTS. 

Mr Pat McCarthy has taken on a range of teaching roles during his time at OLSOTS. Pat has taught Physical Education, Art, Science and in the classroom. Pat has formed positive relationships with students across the school and has always been happy to assist where required. It’s not goodbye, as we will no doubt see Pat next year in a relief teacher capacity and as a parent.

Mrs Carla Maguire, a longstanding member of staff, joined our school in 2013. Carla’s time at Our Lady Star of the Sea has seen her teach in a range of year groups and take on the specialist roles of Physical Education, Drama and Enrichment. Carla brings positivity each day and has built authentic relationships with students, staff and parents during her time here. Carla, thank you for your great contribution to our school community. 


We welcome three new teachers in 2024 – Hannah Starcevich (Year 4/5), Kara Auricht (Pre-Primary) and Anna Swan (Physical Education & Art). We also welcome two returning Education Assistants, Donna Edwards (Kindergarten) and Gayle Berg (Pre-Primary). 

Performing Arts 

Mrs Ashleigh Shaw’s role will be extended in 2024, as she takes on the role of Performing Arts Teacher. This will see Ashleigh teach Drama and Dance, with students engaging in one semester of each. Ashleigh, a qualified Dance teacher, is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with our students. The addition of Dance will enhance our Arts offerings, being Visual Arts, Drama and Dance.  


Our Year Five students recently presented their speeches for School Captain and/or Faction Captain roles in 2024. I congratulate our successful candidates, as well as all who spoke on the day. It is with great excitement that I share our student leadership structure for 2024 with you. 

School Captains: Teal Dell’Agostino & Spencer Mott 

MacKillop Faction Captain: Meeka Pelly 

Xavier Faction Captain: Riley Thomas 

Salvator Faction Captain: Orla Hoffrichter 

Our remaining Year Six students will form our Student Ministry groups next year – our MJR Ministry and Environmental Ministry.  


Earlier this year, the Australian Government announced an investment of $203.7 million to help young people in every school across the country through the rollout of the Student Wellbeing Boost. Following consultation with CEWA’s Wellbeing Team, we have decided to use our wellbeing boost to have all staff trained in the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) and URSTRONG, over 2024 and 2025. This is an exciting opportunity for our school, with access to high quality professional development that builds capacity in staff and promotes student wellbeing.  

The Berry Street Education Model equips both mainstream and specialist schools with practical, classroom-based strategies to increase the engagement of all students, including those with complex, unmet learning needs. Berry Street enables schools to support students’ self-regulation, relationships and wellbeing to increase student engagement and significantly improve academic achievement. 

Berry Street training takes place over four days – two days in 2024 and two in 2025. The training will be online, with a facilitator in person to assist with activities and discussions. 

URSTRONG’s whole-school friendship strategy has improved the social climate in schools around the world, connecting over a million kids, parents, and teachers with a common language of friendship. URSTRONG provides teachers with a friendship skills curriculum, Friendology 101, that helps kids establish and maintain healthy relationships, manage conflict with kindness, and increase their overall resilience.

URSTRONG training takes place over Term One, with a series of online modules. Teachers will be ready to implement URSTRONG from the beginning of Term Two. 

Mrs Erin Tyrrell will be our Leader of Wellbeing in 2024, assisting with the implementation of Berry Street and URSTRONG. 


We gathered as a school community on Tuesday evening for our Christmas Concert and CORE Awards Presentation – and what a night it was! A huge thank you to all involved in preparing for this event – I have already received a few positive comments regarding the event. To our class teachers, thank you for preparing our students. All students presented with confidence, joy and enthusiasm. I particularly acknowledge the efforts of Mrs Laura Connolly and Miss Melissa Hayes. Laura and Melissa led the charge with the coordination of our Christmas play. A big thank you to Mrs Lorna Russell, Mrs Pippa Crane and Mrs Tammie Florisson for completing all the important behind the scenes work.  

As well as presenting our Christmas item, the presentation of our annual CORE Awards also took place. Classroom teachers are responsible for selecting two CORE Award recipients. These recipients have shown our CORE Values – Courage, Optimism, Respect and Excellence – consistently throughout the school year. In addition to our class awards, our Specialist Teachers choose one student, from any year group, who has displayed CORE throughout the year. I congratulate our CORE Award recipients, listed below  

Pre-Primary: Meave Bertola & Sidney Gilmour 

Year One: Keza Kinyai & Hudson Bertola 

Year Two: Karter Godden & Arnab Slathia 

Year Three/Four: Sascha Francis & Abigail Butler 

Year Five: Imani Kinyai & Austin Watts 

Year Six: Dalian Leitu & Mitchell Barrett 

Physical Education: Dalian Leitu 

Art: Amanda Grzybowski 

Science: Orlaith Connolly 

Drama: Forest Bradley 

Auslan: Elliott McCarthy 

I also acknowledge, Elliott McCarthy, from Year Three, who was presented with the Esperance Library Friends (ELF) award.  

I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank our generous sponsors of our CORE Awards this year. The list is below.


I congratulate our Year 3-6 students on their efforts at the recent Interschool Athletics carnival. It was great to see our CORE Values in action as students tried their best and encouraged others.


End of Year Reports will be available via SEQTA Engage on Friday 8 December. Please take the time to read your child’s report, celebrating their achievements and acknowledging areas for growth. I thank our teachers for preparing End of Year Reports. I enjoyed reading each child’s report. Please see Mrs Russell’s section of this newsletter for additional information regarding End of Year Reports.


This term we have moved to tri-weekly newsletters, in weeks three, six and nine. This decision was made after reflecting on several factors, including newsletter readership and other existing communication platforms, such as Seesaw, termly Curriculum Updates, Facebook, Instagram and our live school calendar. The tri-weekly newsletter has been supported with regular Seesaw updates regarding the events ahead. I welcome any feedback on this newsletter frequency as we move into 2024. Please email any feedback to  


Our school fee structure for 2024 was shared with our school community at our ACM and is now available on our website at School Fees. Further information regarding our school fee structure for 2024 was included in our previous newsletter. 


As we are preparing for 2024, please ensure the school is provided with any updated details e.g., change of address, email address, medical information, Baptism information. This information can be emailed to 


Term Dates for 2024 are now listed on our website . Should these need to be changed, parents will be notified accordingly.  


Thank you to all members of our school community for their contributions during 2023. It is an honour and a privilege to lead this wonderful community. Thank you for working in partnership with staff, in the best interest of our students. I wish you a happy and Holy Christmas. 

Mrs Russell's News

Advent is an excellent way to prepare your mind and heart for Christmas.   

The Advent candles remind us of the light of Christ.  

The 1st Sunday of Advent symbolises Hope with the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming. 

The 2nd Sunday of Advent symbolises Faith with the “Bethlehem Candle” reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. 

The 3rd Sunday of Advent symbolises Joy with the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus. 

The 4th Sunday of Advent symbolises Peace with the “Angel’s Candle” reminding us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” 

We would like to thank the Sisters of St Joseph and Helen Johnston for giving the school a set of books on the story of Saint Mary of the Cross. These books will be added to our school library.  

A big thank you to all the families who kindly donated to our Christmas Tree appeal – a great way to Make Jesus Real in our school community.  


On Friday 8 December, your child’s report will be available through SEQTA Engage. Please take the time to look through the report with your child and praise their wonderful achievements and effort. We always encourage students to apply their best effort, regardless of the outcome. Not everyone can be a talented academic, gifted artist or super athlete; however, every student should aim to give his/her best effort.

This report provides parents with an overview of how their child has progressed, across the entire year, in relation to the end of year Achievement Standard for each learning area for their year level. The grade provided is based on the curriculum which has been taught and assessed across the entire year, not just Semester Two.  

Understanding the Grading System – Pre-Primary 


The student demonstrates excellent achievement of what is expected for this year level.  

The student demonstrates high achievement of what is expected for this year level. 

 The student demonstrates satisfactory achievement of what is expected for this year level. 

 The student demonstrates limited achievement of what is expected for this year level. 

 The student demonstrates very low achievement of what is expected for this year level.  

The descriptors summarise the standard (or quality) of achievement associated with each level. The scale describes the depth of knowledge and understanding and the range of skills that students typically show.  

Maintaining a level in a learning area from one semester to the next is an indication of positive achievement and expected development. 

 A child who is on an Individual Education Plan will have progress reported against learning outcomes outlined in the Individual Education Plan. 

Understanding the Grading System – Years 1 – 6 


A The student demonstrates excellent achievement of what is expected for this year level. 

B The student demonstrates high achievement of what is expected for this year level. 

C The student demonstrates satisfactory achievement of what is expected for this year level. 

D The student demonstrates limited achievement of what is expected for this year level.  

E The student demonstrates very low achievement of what is expected for this year level.  

The A – E grade scale summarises the standard of achievement associated with each learning area. The scale describes the depth of knowledge, understandings and skills that children working at that standard typically show.

If your child receives a ‘C’ grade, they are achieving at the required level for their year. 

Maintaining a grade in a learning area from one semester to the next is an indication of positive achievement and expected development.  

A child who is on an Individual Education Plan will have progress reported against learning outcomes outlined in the Individual Education Plan – not using A-E grades. 

Is a ‘C’ grade good? 

Yes, you should celebrate C grades as this indicates that your child has progressed to the desired level of understanding for his/her year level. 

 Is a ‘C’ grade just a pass like when I was at school 

No, a C grade today, is the expected Achievement Standard for each year level and each learning area.  

Does an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade mean my child is working a year or two above their current grade? 

No, an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade means that your child is responding to the content taught to a deeper level. They may be thinking more critically about the content, which is a wonderful skill to demonstrate.  

How are final grades determined?  

Teachers collect numerous samples of work and assessments to determine the final grade. The grade is determined with the use of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s (SCSA) Judging Standards. For more information on this go to 

We hope this information assists you to understand the reporting process at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School.

I wish all our families a holy festive season. May each and everyone be safe, healthy and happy as I look forward to seeing you all well rested in 2024. God Bless.


What an amazing year we have had! We have incorporated all of our literacy skills together and have written a letter to Santa. We are so proud of everything our students have achieved this year and have loved being a part of their learning journey. May everyone have a Merry and safe Christmas.

Year Two & Six

This week Year 6 and Year 2 came together for our final buddy class activity for 2023. We listened to the story ‘The Nativity’ and retold this as a class. The Year 6 students taught the Year 2s how to create stop motion using the iPads. Together we created a stop motion movie to retell the Nativity Story. It has been a great year working together on many different activities and spending time with our buddies.

Year Six - Christmas Appeal

On Thursday the Year Six students helped Father Paul sort the food donations for the Christmas Appeal. These have been left under the Christmas Tree in the church for anyone still wishing to bring in a donation.


Enrichment this term has had a Mathematics focus. Selected students begun the unit competing in Have Sum Fun Online. Have Sum Fun Online is a team and individual competition run by the Mathematics Association of Western Australia. OLSOTS entered three teams and one individual competitor. Students completed three rounds of ten questions, which had to be solved in no longer than one hour each. It was a challenging but enjoyable experience for those involved.

The second part of the unit saw students working either individually or in a pair to ‘Plan a Trip on a Budget’. They had $10,000 hypothetical dollars each to plan a trip to anywhere they wanted. Students had to consider details including flights, passports and visas, accommodation and activities. Some of the locations that students planned to visit were Maui, Rome, Ohio and Paris. They presented their trip planning to the other Enrichment students in Week Eight.

Community Notices

The Dental Therapy Centre will be closed from Friday 22nd December 2023 and will re open on Monday 29th January 2024.
For any emergency treatment during the closure please contact a private dentist or attend the Esperance hospital.
Year 6 children will continue to be seen at the clinic until they reach the age of 17 or year 11 ( which ever comes first )
All appointments and correspondence are sent by mail . So if you have recently changed address please let us know
Phone : 90711781
We hope that you all enjoy your Summer holidays 🙂
Belinda, Sue and Faith.
Kind Regards

Susan AhChee | Dental Assistant | Esperance DTCDental Health Services


Esperance Dental Therapy Centre

C/ Esperance Primary School, Windich Street Esperance W.A. 6450

T: (08) 90711781

E: Susan.