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Parent Handbook

The Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact Mother Teresa Primary by phone on 9687 5852 or email during weekdays between 8:00am and 3:30pm.

  • Handbook Information
    • Access to our School Site

      There is one access point onto our school site on Darcy Road, which is Gate 3 on the driveway opposite Westmead Private Hospital. The electronic gates will be open in the morning to allow access to the Kiss & Drop area and again in the afternoon from 2:20pm. At all other times the gates will be closed and you will need to call the school to gain access. Your school entrance permit must be clearly displayed when entering the school in the afternoon, as only Mother Teresa Primary parents are able to enter from that time.

    • Accidents

      If your child has a serious accident, we will inform you by way of your home, work or emergency contact number. If time does not permit, the Principal assumes responsibility and seeks medical or hospital treatment immediately. If your home, work, emergency contact phone numbers or address changes, please advise the School Office immediately.

      Members of staff are continually updating their first aid skills, with some members holding current First Aid Certificates and CPR Certificates.

    • Attendance

      Students are required to attend school all day of every day that school is open. Regular attendance at school is essential for progress. Please send your child on time each day.

      Where illness or another reason prevents a child's attendance at school, parents are required to inform teachers in writing of the reason for the absence. If your child is absent from school for more than 2 days, a call to the office or an email explaining the reason for the absence would be appreciated. On return to school, your child must bring a note to confirm the information given on the telephone.

    • Catholic Out of School Hours Care Centre (COSHC)

      A Catholic Out of School Hours Care Centre (COSHC) is open on site at Mother Teresa Primary School. The centre is run and staffed by employees of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Parramatta and delivers a high quality, consistent service for our community. For further information see www.coshc.catholic.edu.au or email COSHCMotherTeresaWestmead@parra.catholic.edu.au.

    • Child Protection

      Mother Teresa Primary School follows the Catholic Education Office policies on child protection matters. If you would like to assist at school you must complete the online Child Protection Training Module at http://childprotection.parra.catholic.edu.au/volunteers.

    • Collecting children from school and late arrivals

      If you need to collect your child early a 'partial absence note' must be signed at the office and before any child can leave the school premises. The learning studio teacher will not allow the child to leave the school without this permission slip being signed. A 'partial absence note' signed by the parent/guardian is also required upon late arrival at school.

      Please ensure you accompany your child to the office to obtain this note. To protect our valuable learning time, we ask parents to ensure that your child is punctual to school, as children arriving late can cause disruption to the whole learning studio.

    • Communication

      At Mother Teresa Primary we believe that effective communication between home and school is essential. The following communications are offered by the school:

      Heartlinks (school newsletter)
      This is uploaded to our school website fortnightly. Families will also be notified by an alert from our school App. The daily happenings of our school are given here, so that parents can share as fully as possible in all that concerns their children. The newsletter provides relevant dates, curriculum news and details of learning studio activities and school celebrations.

      Skoolbag is a mobile app which allows the school to communicate directly to you, school information to your smartphone.

      A School Calendar is available to all families. This calendar displays all significant dates and school events for each term of the school year. Any changes to dates will be updated as soon as possible to ensure the calendar is current at all times. Events are advertised in the newsletter or via other written communications.

      Parent Information Nights

      Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews and Half-Yearly Learning Report

      Parent Support Network meetings

      End-of-Year Learning Report

      If you have any concerns about your child, an appointment should be made with your child's teacher for a mutually convenient time, either by phoning the school office or with your child's learning studio teacher. Discussions with the learning studio teacher can only be held outside teaching hours. Parents are very welcome to discuss any issues with the learning studio teacher first. If necessary, parents are welcome to make appointments with the Assistant Principal or Principal.

      Areas of concern outside your child's learning or learning studio behaviour can be discussed with the Principal by making an appointment e.g. unresolved issues regarding learning studio, financial concerns, clarification of issues, discussion of educational policies, whole school program.

      It is essential that, as members of a school community, we continually strive to develop open channels of communication. This can be achieved by bringing any concerns and issues related to the school to the attention of the relevant staff member. Only when we are aware of a concern can we begin to address it in partnership. Please ring the office to make appointments with relevant staff.

    • Complaints

      Refer to ourComplaints Handling Policy under the 'Policies' page for more information.

    • Curriculum

      The learning program for students is divided into seven subjects or Key Learning Areas (KLA's). These include:

      • Religious Education
        The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Religious Education program

      • English
        Reading, Writing, Talking & Listening

      • Mathematics
        Working Mathematically, Number, Measurement, Data, Space and Geometry, Patterns and Algebra

      • Science and Technology
        Using Technology, Investigating, Designing and Making

      • Human Society and Its Environment
        Social Studies

      • Creative Arts
        Music, Visual Arts/Craft, Dance, Drama

      • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
    • Custody Information

      If you have sole custody of your child/children, it is requested that you send a certified copy of a court order to the Principal.

      If you delegate a friend or relative (unknown to us) to take your child/children from school for you, a phone call or a note from you advising us of this will ensure your child/children's safety.

    • Enrolment

      Who can enrol in a Catholic school?

      Children whose fifth birthday occurs on or before 31 July are eligible for enrolment for Kindergarten that year. By law, all children must be enrolled in school by their sixth birthday. A new Enrolment Policy for Parramatta Diocesan Catholic schools has been introduced which offers Catholic families greater choice by allowing them to apply for enrolment at a Catholic school anywhere in the Diocese.

      Where places are limited, priority will be given in order to:

      • Catholic children who live in the local parish
      • Catholic children from other parishes
      • Children of families who actively participate in the life of the school and local parish community (e.g. siblings)
      • Orthodox children
      • Children from other Christian faiths
      • Children of non-Christian faith

      Catholic schools have a strong religious dimension and people of other faiths who wish to enrol in Catholic schools should be willing to participate in the religious activities of the school. Check with the Principal of the school you are applying to.


      Siblings of children already enrolled in the school are considered by the same criteria above.

      However, within each of these categories, a sibling of a child already enrolled will have preference over an applicant who does not have a sibling enrolled in the school.

      What if my child already attends a Catholic primary school in the Diocese?

      A child who has completed primary education in a Catholic parish-based primary school will usually be offered continuity of enrolment in a Catholic secondary school. If no places exist at the chosen school, Catholic Education's Director System Performance will assist families to enrol in another Catholic secondary school in the Diocese.

    • Entrance Permits

      All families will need an 'entrance permit' to gain access to our school site. These will be sent home to families. The permit shows our school crest and your family name. Please display this clearly on your dashboard at all times when coming to school.

    • Excursions

      Excursions are a valuable tool in enhancing the teaching and learning program. Thereby all children are expected to participate in excursions. When an excursion is organised, parents will be notified of the nature and purpose of the excursion and be required to sign a Permission Note for their child to participate.

      Rather than collect excursion money throughout the year, the school charges an excursion fee, which is calculated on the cost of the excursions and visiting speakers/artists your child may be attending. This will be approximately $60 per child.

      Excursions are seen as a privilege not a right. The Principal has the discretion to withdraw this privilege dependent upon a student's behaviour prior to the excursion.

      Parents assisting on excursions would have completed a 'Prohibited Employment Declaration' form and the online child protection training module beforehand.

    • Extended Absences in School

      Application for leave from school for holidays/overseas trips in school time must be approved by the Principal. A letter indicating the reason and the dates must be forwarded to the Principal, giving at least four weeks notice where possible. You will be required to sign an Application for Exemption from Attendance at School. The Principal will then grant leave by providing a Certificate of Exemption from Attendance at School.

    • Infectious Diseases

      The school needs to be notified of any incidence of the following infectious diseases.

      Disease Notes
      Chicken Pox Exclude for 7 days after the first spots appear
      German Measels Exclude for at least 7 days after the first spots occur
      Mumps Exclude for 10 days from the onset of the swelling
      Ringworms Exclude until appropriate treatment has begun. If condition is not completely cured, children are allowed to attend school if infected area is covered.
      (Eye Infection)
      Exclude until discharge from eye has ceased
      Impetigo Exclude only if on exposed surfaces such as scalp, face, hands and legs. Children are allowed to attend school if sores are effectively covered.
      (Lice in hair)
      Exclude until hair is completely cleaned, neither nits nor lice being present. Approximately 1 day.
      Whooping Cough Isolate immediately. Exclude from school for at least 3 weeks from the onset of the whoop, until fully recovered or a medical certificate is obtained.
      Scabies Notify the school. Keep child at home until you have seen a pharmacist and begun suitable treatment. The school may ask for a medical certificate.


      It is important that parents seek medical advice if an infectious disease is suspected. Many of these diseases require that the patient (and sometimes contacts at home) be excluded from school for varying lengths of time.

    • Medication

      Staff are under no legal obligation to administer drugs or supervise the administration of drugs. The taking of medication at school should be absolutely avoided unless essential.

      In the case of asthma, children need to be able to administer their own medication. It is important that they carry their medication with them at all times and supply the school with a current asthma plan from their doctor.

      A parent, or their adult representative, MUST come to the office to complete Medication Forms. These forms inform the Office Staff of the type of medication to be given, the dose and time. The forms MUST be signed by the parent, or their adult representative, thus giving the school permission to administer the medication.

      Medication will not be accepted from a child.

    • No Hat - No Play Policy

      The school has this policy in place to protect the children from the harmful rays of the sun. If a child does not have their hat on before school, at recess, lunch, or for outside activities/sports, they must sit in the shade and cannot play in the playground.

    • Office Procedures

      To assist with administration of money matters at school, you are asked to support the following procedures:

      1. Where possible please send the correct amount
      2. Please place payment in an envelope, clearly marked with your child's name and learning studio, indicating for what the money is intended
      3. Please remind your child to hand money to the Learning Studio teacher.
    • Pupil Free Days/ Staff Development Days

      As education continues to change, all staff engage in regular professional development. This takes the form of staff meetings, in-service days, release time, university courses and Staff Development Days. Each year the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta allocates 4 - 5 days per school for Staff Development Days where staff work together on professional development initiatives. These days are pupil free days. Teachers are released from the learning studio each week to undertake learning studio administrative responsibilities and to prepare work for the children. During this time, special programs which cover aspects of the curriculum are taught. Additionally, when a teacher is on a professional development day or an in-service course, a casual teacher is engaged to carry on with routines and the teaching program.

    • School Hours

      Our day begins at 8:35am and ends at 2:45pm. There will be a short fruit and water break during the morning session, and we ask that each child bring one small piece of fruit.

      A member of staff will supervise the children from 8.10am each morning. We ask that the children are picked up from school no later than 3.10pm. However, we understand that individual circumstances may prevent this.

      The school day begins with certain routines and activities e.g. prayer, roll call etc. so it is essential that children arrive at school by 8.35am. The school grounds are open to pupils from 8.10am each morning and remain open to pupils until 3.10pm each afternoon. At all times outside these times, from Monday to Friday, the school grounds and buildings are out of bounds. Parents are requested to make arrangements for before and after school care if your child will arrive prior to 8.10am, or be picked up after 3.10pm.

    • School Uniforms

      The Uniform is as follows:

      Summer Uniform (Worn 1st and 4th Terms)  
      • White short-sleeve shirt with crest
      • Navy shorts
      • Navy socks
      • Hat
      • Black shoes
        (those which can be polished – no joggers or skate shoes)
      • Summer dress
      • White socks
      • Hat
      • Black shoes
        (those which can be polished – no joggers or skate shoes)
      Winter Uniform (Worn 2nd and 3rd Terms)  
      • White short-sleeve shirt with crest
      • Navy shorts/navy long pants
      • Tie
      • Jumper
      • Bomber jacket (optional)
      • Hat
      • Black shoes
        (those which can be polished – no joggers or skate shoes)
      • Winter tunic & tie
      • White long-sleeve shirt
      • Navy tights/white socks
      • Jumper
      • Bomber jacket (optional)
      • Hat
      • Black shoes
        (those which can be polished – no joggers or skate shoes)


      ***All socks must cover the ankles***

      Unisex Sport Uniform Winter
      • Sport shorts
      • Sports polo shirts
      • Girls (white socks) - Boys (navy socks)
      • Joggers
      • Tracksuit top
      • Tracksuit pants
      • Red long-sleeved t-shirt
      • Girls (white socks) - Boys (navy socks)
      • Joggers
      Worn on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
      Worn Monday and Friday



      Girls are permitted to wear plain, simple jewellery i.e. small gold or silver stud earrings or sleepers. For safety reasons, it is preferred that studs are worn. Only one stud per ear lobe is permitted. No other piercing is allowed. Chains or necklaces can be worn with a religious symbol (e.g. crucifix). Costume jewellery, bracelets and bangles are not permitted.

      Hair Cuts

      Haircuts are to be appropriate for school (NO MULLETS, SPIKING, RAT’S TAILS, ZIG ZAGS or RAZORING). Children with hair longer than collar length are to have it tied back with the hair accessory in school colours. Hair is not to be coloured for either boys or girls.

    • Serious Incident and Procedural Fairess

      The principles on which we base our behaviour management practices at Mother Teresa Primary demonstrate procedural fairness. We believe that procedural fairness is a basic right of all children when dealing with school authorities. We apply the 'hearing rule' and the 'right to an unbiased decision'.

      When it is necessary to investigate a serious incident or serious disciplinary situation, the following will be implemented:

      • A member of the leadership team will investigate the situation, and then report findings to the Principal, both orally and in written form
      • Students involved are also entitled to be heard by the Principal and have the right to an unbiased decision
      • After considering (a) and (b) above, the Principal will then decide on an equitable course of action e.g. time out away from learning studio or a behavioural contract which will be written and signed by the Principal, teacher, parent and student
      • At all times, the Catholic Education Office Parramatta Diocesan Policy 'Suspension, negotiated transfer and exclusion of students in Catholic Systemic Schools' will be followed.

      The following principles of procedural fairness underpin the Serious Incident procedure to ensure all incidents are addressed appropriately:

      • all situations will be investigated in a fair and impartial manner
      • confidentiality will be observed
      • the procedure will be conducted in a manner that is respectful of all parties
      • all situations will be addressed in a timely manner.
    • Sickness at School

      If a child is sick at school:

      • Parents will be contacted
      • If parents cannot be contacted then the nominated emergency contact person will be contacted
      • The school will always act in the best interests of the child
    • Student Photos

      At times, student's photos are submitted to the media with articles about school events. Parents give their permission as part of the Enrolment Application. If you do not want your child's photo published, please indicate this to the Principal in writing.

    • Student Support Team

      At various times throughout their schooling, students may need assistance in learning. The Student Support Team provides support to these students in a variety of ways. Some of our work includes assisting students in the Learning Studio, working with teachers to develop appropriate learning tasks, assisting parents to access support from appropriate outside agencies and arranging assessments through the Catholic Education Office and other agencies.

      The Student Support Team work in consultation with the Principal, Assistant Principal and School Counsellor.

Parent Handbook

  • The Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need.

    If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact Mother Teresa Primary by phone on 9687 5852 or email during weekdays between 8:00am and 3:30pm.

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