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Parent Handbook

The Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need.  You can download a copy by clicking 'Print to PDF' above.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact the school office by phone on 4735 1930 during school days between 8:15 am and 3:15 pm.

  • Welcome to Our Lady of the Way
    • Principal's Welcome

      Dear Parents,

      On behalf of the school and parish community I welcome you to Our Lady of the Way Primary School.

      Our school exists solely as a ministry of the Our Lady of the Way Parish, supporting you as parents as you continue to nurture your child in the Catholic faith, which we all share. By enrolling your child in our school, you are continuing the promises you made at their Baptism, to bring them up in the Catholic faith – we thank you for entrusting our school to share in this responsibility with you.

      In working with you to develop your child, we use the witness that is Christ. With Christ as our guide we live by our school motto –

      ‘This is the only thing that God asks of you:
      To act justly,
      Love tenderly,
      And to walk humbly with our God.’
      Micah 6:8

      This motto is brought to life in our school community in the following ways.

      1. To act justly - all personal interactions are built on the example of Jesus. Students, teachers and parents give example to this in how they treat one another, the life choices that we make and the bringing to life of the Gospel that guides us.

      2. Love tenderly - life is given to us through the love of God and the love of our families. Our Lady of the Way School strives to create this loving comfort of family for the students in our care. School should be a place of personal safety, where each child feels loved and encouraged to achieve their very best. The power of love allows each of us to be the person that God truly intended us to be.

      3. Walk humbly with our God – this is a description of our heart’s attitude towards God. We need to depend on God and be committed to justice and love. School is not a place of learning everything that is needed in life, but rather it is a place to learn how to love learning and love one another. To be truly alive, learning does not stop when we leave school but school gives us the skills and the passion to want to keep learning throughout our lives.

      As a school community we will work with you in developing Christ in your child’s life through their actions, their relationships and their learning. We thank you for entrusting our community in sharing in the development of your child. This is a responsibility we are honoured to share.

      With Our Lady of the Way by our side, we pray we will respond with a Godly heart outwardly (do justice), inwardly (love mercy), and upwardly (walk humbly).

      Yours in Christ,

      Mrs Sue Veling

    • OLOW School and Parish information

      Our Lady of the Way Primary

      17 Troy Street
      Emu Plains NSW 2750
      Phone: (02) 4777 7200
      Email: olow@parra.catholic.edu.au
      Website: www.olowemuplains.catholic.edu.au

      Our Lady of the Way Parish

      15 Troy Street (PO Box 27)
      Emu Plains NSW 2750
      Phone: 02 4735 1041
      Fax: 02 4735 7832
      Est. 1974
      Very Rev. Michael (Mick) O'Callaghan PP, EV

      Mass Times

      Monday - 9:00am
      Wednesday - 9:00pm
      Thursday - 9:00am
      Friday - 9:00am
      Saturday - 9:00am
      Saturday - 7:30 am; Vigil 6:00pm
      Sunday - 8:00am & 9.30am
      Third Sunday - 11:00am (Filipino)

      Children's Liturgy Sunday Mass Times

      9.30am (1st & 3rd Sunday)

      Reconciliation Times

      Saturday 5:00 – 5:45pm

    • Vision & Mission

      Our Vision is to be:

      • a centre for progressive, high quality Catholic education setting the foundations for lifelong learning
      • a living faith community noted for its ability to welcome and respond to change and as a place of peace and hope for all.

      Our Mission is to be:

      • a Catholic community in which children, teachers and parents nurture a sense of personal worth as they work together in a safe, happy, challenging and faith-centred learning environment.
    • Values Statement

      ‘This is the only thing that God asks of you:
      To act justly,
      To love tenderly,
      And to walk humbly with our God.’
      Micah 6:8

      We are a Christ-centred Catholic faith and learning community. By living out our school motto we help each other to see, feel and act as Christ would, and to be the person we are created to be.

      As Christians who live by the gospel values of faith, hope and love, we believe integrity is essential in living the values of being:

      • a safe and inclusive community
      • compassionate
      • respectful
      • just and fair
      • responsible
      • cooperative

      We are a community who looks to Mary, Our Lady of the Way, to guide us on our journey and help us on our way as we live out these values to be the best people we can be.

    • Our Learning Platform
      OLOW Learning Platform

      Creating Engaged, Resilient Learners

      At Our Lady of the Way we provide a safe, welcoming, stimulating environment as a prerequisite to productive learning that recognises the unique learning path that each child takes. We believe that students construct learning through exploration and experimentation, through questioning and with the experience of appropriate learning tasks, activities and technologies. Teachers facilitate children’s learning by:

      1. addressing the literacy & numeracy needs of the learner
      2. catering for the individual needs and learning styles of their students
      3. providing positive modelling experiences in the classroom
      4. encouraging students to reflect and act upon their learning experiences
      5. creating a classroom environment that is well managed with defined expectations and routines
      6. fostering a student’s self esteem by facilitating a responsibility for their own learning
      7. providing constructive and encouraging feedback that fosters future learning.

      Education at Our Lady of the Way School is the development and nurturing of the whole child in the Catholic tradition, in order to become life-long learners who interact positively with others and with the world around them.

      By providing a rich array of stimulating learning experiences we give our students every possible opportunity to:

      • learn how to be
      • learn how to think
      • learn how to choose
      • learn how to learn
      • learn how to relate.

      Our teachers engage in continuous professional development to maintain relevant and effective teaching methods and to upgrade skills, including areas such as information technology. We encourage a learning dialogue between parents, teachers and students to raise awareness of students’ learning needs and to establish routines that support learning.

    • Our Story

      Our Lady of the Way Primary School was opened in 1979.

      In 1979 the school had a total of 52 children in two classes - Kindergarten and Year 1. By 1983 the school population had grown to 223 with nine classes, some of which were housed in demountable buildings. In October of 1982 a new primary block, comprising eight classrooms, was officially opened and blessed by Bishop Bede Heather, and in 1985 four additional Infants classrooms were added.

      In 2007, ten of the classrooms were refurbished to provide considerably expanded and modern learning spaces. During 2009–10, a further two learning spaces were built and the Kindergarten classrooms were completely refurbished.

      A major refurbishment of the student toilet facilities was undertaken in 2012-2013, along with a ‘breezeway’, which connected each side of the school.

      In 2016, major building works were started with the construction of a new administration block and staffroom on the cottage playground with the entrance in Troy Street. The school changed the street address to reflect this. In 2017 comes the demolition of the existing administration buildings and a redesign of the main playground. A large COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area) will also be constructed later in the year.

      This year proudly celebrate 38 Years of Catholic Education at Our Lady of the Way.

      As the population of the Nepean/Lower Mountains region continues to grow and expand, we can look towards a very encouraging future where Catholic education can evangelise and continue to spread the Word of Christ.


      Miss Shirley Wilks 1979 to 1982
      Mr Patrick Magee 1982 to 1992
      Mrs Georgina Cox 1993 to 1995
      Mrs Kerry Mahony 1995 to 2000
      Mr Peter Gibson 2001 to 2002
      Mr Allan Jones 2003 to 2013
      Mrs Sue Veling 2014 to present


      Parish Priests & Administrators
      Rev Kevin Hannan 1974-1997
      Rev Zvonimir Gavranovic (Administrator) 1989-1990
      Rev Paul Roberts (Administrator) 1997
      Rev Geoff Dickinson 1997-2003
      Rev Christopher Sharah (Administrator) 2003
      Rev Robert Anderson 2004-2014
      Rev Michael O'Callaghan 2015-present

    • Staff
      2017 Leadership Team
      Principal Mrs Sue Veling
      Assistant Principal Miss Emma Mizzi
      Religious Education Coordinator Mrs Carole Day
      Kinder and Diversity Coordinator Mrs Linda Flanagan
      Stage 1 Coordinator Miss Emma Mizzi
      Stage 2 Coordinator Mrs Bernadette Curry
      Stage 3 Coordinator & Sports Coordinator Mrs Kirsty Reynolds

      Teaching Staff
      K Gold Miss Therese Coutinho K Green Mrs Rebecca Blazek
      1 Gold Mrs Joanne Thomas 1 Green Mrs Deanne Kuipers
      2 Gold Mrs Rebecca Kakoschke
      Mrs Anne-Maree McKeon
      2 Green Miss Sofia Lamaletie

      3 Gold Mrs Cecelia Johnston
      Mrs Jenni Walsh
      3 Green Mrs Carole Day
      Mrs Jenni Walsh
      4 Gold Mrs Bernadette Curry 4 Green Mrs Dolores Grima-Starkey

      5 Gold Miss Megan Vella 5 Green Mrs Patricia Scott
      6 Gold Miss Kirsty Reynolds
      Miss Jenni Walsh

      Diversity Support Team
      Diversity Support Team Mrs Jenny Hensen, Ms Michele Glynn,
      Mrs Linda Flanagan, Miss Emma Mizzi,
      Mrs Dianne Khalifeh 
      Reading Recovery Teachers Mrs Jenny Hensen
      Ms Michele Glynn
      Emu Specialist Teacher Year 4
      Emu Specialist Teacher Year 1
      Mrs Linda Flanagan
      Ms Michele Glynn
      Targeted Learning Program Mrs Michele Glynn, Mrs Jenny Hensen & Miss Emma Mizzi
      Family Counsellor Mrs Barbara Mulligan
      Teachers’ Assistants Mrs Jade Nixon
      Mrs Anne Mathison
      Ms Rochelle Mason

      Library and Technology
      Library Assistant Mrs Sue Masters
      LTST Miss Therese Couthino
      Miss Emma Mizzi
      Technical Support Trainee Mr Kyal Judson

      Special Support Programs
      Music Program (K-6) Mrs Elizabeth McGregor
      Japanese Program (K-6) Mrs Kate Schafer

      Ancillary Staff
      School Secretary Mrs Julie Irvine (Mon - Fri)
      Senior Finance Officer Mrs Pascale Vion (Mon - Thurs)
      School Secretary Mrs Sarah Zarlenga (Thurs - Fri)

      Support Staff
      Grounds and Maintenance Mr Mathew Sharp

      Parish Team
      Parish Priest Rev Fr Mick O'Callaghan
      Parish Secretary Mrs Chrissy Rannaste

      P & F Executive
      President Kiery Pascoe
      ​Vice President Kate Andrews
      ​Secretary Rochelle Bahlmann
      ​Treasurer Jane Cashel
      Fundraising Coordinator Vacant
      Fundraising Assistants Vanessa Keller-Garrahy
      Sarah Pereira
      Social Media Administrator Julie Woods
      P & F Committee Members Regina Hawkes
      Kevin Houlihan
      ​Fete Coordinator Ben Cremen
      ​​​Fete Executive Kelly Leehy
      Melissa McGrath
      Michelle Cullen
      Lauren Urquhart
      Lisa Crambrook
      Belinda Wade

    • Student Leaders 2017
      Leadership Team
      School Captains Layla Starr, Benjamin Robinson, Jorja Tabor, Daniel, Prendergast
      SRC Leaders
      Bailey Latham, Espri Footman, Kennedy Storr, Sophia Lusk
      Sport Leaders
      Yellow (CLARK)
      Blue (BEDE)
      Green (MANNING)
      Red (BENJAMIN)

      Blake Skinner and Jessie Whitely
      Declan Cremen and Jayden Roots
      Liam Darke and Brianna Mangan
      Charlize Risse and Thomas Vanegas

    • School Dates 2017
      Friday 27th January 2017
      Staff Professional Learning Day – Testing of students K-6
      Monday 30th January 2017
      Staff Professional Learning Day – Testing of students K-6
      Tuesday 31st January 2017
      Kindergarten testing continues
      Tuesday 31st January 2017
      Students in Years 1-6 begin school
      Wednesday 1st February 2017
      Students in Kindergarten begin school 8:45am – 12noon
      Monday 6th February 2017
      Students in Kindergarten full day 8:45am – 2:55pm


      TERM I: Monday 30th January – 7th April (11 Weeks)

       TERM VACATION Monday 10th April – Friday 21st April

      TERM 2: Monday 24th April – Friday 30th June (10 Weeks)

       TERM VACATION Monday 3rd July – Friday 14th July

      TERM 3: Monday 17th July – Friday 22nd September (10 weeks)

       TERM VACATION Monday 25th September – Friday 6th October

      TERM 4: Monday 9th October – Friday 15th December (10 weeks)

       TERM VACATION Monday 18th December/strong>

    • Bell Times
      School gates opened and playground supervision commences
      8.45 - 10:45am
      School begins
      Assembly (Monday only)
      Morning block of teaching/learning
      10:45 – 10:55am
      Supervised eating for lunch
      10:55 - 11.25am First break
      11:25 - 1:25pm
      Middle block of learning
      1.25 - 1:55pm
      Second break
      1:55 – 2:55pm
      Afternoon block of learning
      School finishes - Children dismissed

  • What to do when...
    • You wish to see the Principal or Assistant Principal

      If you wish to see the Principal or Assistant Principal you will need to contact the school office to make an appointment.

    • You wish to see your child’s teacher

      Throughout the year you are always welcome to come and discuss your child's education with the class teacher. We do ask, however, that you make an appointment by phone, email or letter so you are able to discuss any issues in a relaxed manner at a mutually convenient time.

      If you have any concerns regarding your child, please make an appointment to see the class teacher first.

      If you wish to discuss the matter further, the stage/grade coordinator is the next point of contact.

      Kindergarten Coordinator - Mrs Linda Flanagan
      Years 1 & 2 Coordinator - Miss Emma Mizzi
      Years 3 & 4 Coordinator - Mrs Bernadette Curry
      Years 5 & 6 Coordinator - Miss Kirsty Reynolds

      Please do not seek interviews with the teacher during class time or while the teacher is on playground duty, on their way to class or afternoon duty.

      If you have further concerns then please contact the Principal by making an appointment through the school office.

    • You change your address or telephone number

      It is essential that you notify the school, in writing, of any changes. If your child is ill, it is most distressing for them if the school is unable to contact parents because our records show an incorrect telephone number or emergency contact number.

      It is very important that your child's teacher and the office staff are informed immediately in order that you may be contacted in the event of an emergency.

    • You are requested to complete forms

      If you are requested to complete forms by the school please do so immediately and return same to your child's teacher or the office as required.

    • Your child is not well

      Parents are asked not to send their child to school when they are not well. Children become very distressed when they are sick and they also run the risk of infecting other children. If your child is well enough to return to school, but still requires medication, written notification stating dosage and the times medication is to be administered should be given to the office. Medication should be in measured doses. Please refer to the Medication article in the procedures section of this Handbook for further details. Where at all possible, medication should be administered at home.

    • Extended illness/absence due to injury

      If your child is absent from school for a long period of time due to injury or illness, please contact your child's teacher to discuss what suggested activities could be done during this time. Normally we would want you to focus on helping your child make a speedy recovery without the worry of 'school work'. We also ask you to appreciate that because of the way learning happens in school these days it is difficult to send class work home for children to do if they are not present for the classroom teaching and learning experiences.

    • Other leave

      Leave reasons may include misadventure, an unforeseen event, funeral attendance, special event not related to school e.g. family wedding, holidays. New legislation requires teachers to mark children ‘absent’ for absences other than sickness – no exemption will be granted unless approved by the principal. It is not possible for teachers to set additional work for children who are taking extended holidays. Children are encouraged to read daily where possible and keep a diary or scrapbook of their adventures if possible.

    • You will be late collecting your child

      If you have been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, please contact the school office by telephone no later than 2:30pm so that a message can be passed onto your child before they are dismissed.

    • Your child loses a school uniform item

      We encourage students to be responsible for their clothes and belongings. However, occasionally these items are lost or misplaced. If each item is clearly labelled with the child's name we will be able to find the owners. All other items are placed in the lost property boxes. Items unclaimed after four weeks will be given to the clothing pool.

  • Procedures and general information
    • Absences from School

      When your child is absent from school due to illness or other unavoidable circumstances a note must be sent to the class teacher as soon as they return to school containing the following information:

      1. child’s name
      2. date(s) absent
      3. reason explaining absence
    • Late Arrival

      At Our Lady of the Way School we value and protect all-day learning time. Punctuality assists children to settle in the morning and reduces the amount of interruptions to a class. However, there will be times when children arrive late. Your child is considered late if they have not arrived at school by the first bell at 8:45am. Children arriving late to school must collect a 'late note' from the school office prior to attending class.

    • Early release from School

      The end of the day is an important time of day for children and their teachers. Teachers give out information regarding work that needs to be completed at home and reminders about events happening the next day. It is important that children do not leave school early unless absolutely necessary. If you do need to collect your child during school hours, you will need to call at the office to sign them out. The office staff will then follow school procedures and have your child come down to the office. Parents are not to go to their child's room during class time.

    • Accidents

      In the event of an accident at the school, the following procedures will be taken:

      • The school will ring the child's parent/guardian.
      • If the parent/guardian is unavailable, the school will contact the emergency contact person nominated by the parents.
      • Children in need of urgent attention will be transported to hospital by ambulance. The school is a member of the Ambulance Fund.
      • The school will, in all cases, take necessary steps to ensure the wellbeing of the child.
    • Anaphylaxis and Food Allergies

      A number of students at school have severe allergies, which are potentially life threatening. While Our Lady of the Way School is not a nut free school, we do ask for everyone's cooperation in minimising the risk to our children.

      Catholic Education Office protocols stipulate that staff receive training in the management of anaphylaxis every two years. The school follows the protocols set out in the document Anaphylaxis Training, Guidelines, Procedures for Schools and Children's Services.

    • Animals on Site

      To ensure the safety of students, animals such as family pets are not to be brought onto the school site. Animals can only be brought onto the site for educational purposes with the approval of the Principal. The following procedures must be adhered to:

      • You are required to write to the Principal to seek permission in advance with at least 2-days notice.
      • You are required to make arrangements with the child's class teacher in advance. If there is a casual teacher in the class, please do not bring the animal to school.
      • The animal must be taken off school premises after the class has seen it. It may be advisable to bring the animal at the end of the day if you are unable to take it home in the morning.

      We also ask families not to bring dogs into the school grounds. Arrival and dismissal times are very busy times. There are also babies and toddlers around. It is simply not safe to have animals at school at this time. These guidelines are for the safety and wellbeing of students, teachers and the animals and are in line with the Animals in School (2001) Animal welfare guidelines for teachers.

    • Attendance – EVERY DAY COUNTS - Student Attendance Guidelines

      The Attendance Guidelines are based on current legislative requirements, research on attendance and best practice.

      • Attendance affects a child’s academic achievement and their overall wellbeing.
      • There is NO safe threshold of absence – every day counts.
      • School attendance patterns are established early in a child’s schooling – research shows Year 1 attendance is a predictor of future attendance patterns.
      • The effects of school absenteeism accumulate over time and affect children’s development now and into the future.
      • Daily punctuality is important. The early part of each day is critical. Important learning is scheduled during this time when children are rested and receptive. Key concepts are built up in the time.
      • Sporadic absences can affect academic achievement as much as absences over consecutive days.
      • We ALL need to work together with our children’s best interest in mind to ensure that students are at school every day that they are well enough to attend – they only get one go at this part of their education and every day counts.

      Below is a table showing the thresholds established across the Diocese for student attendance and the accumulated effects over 10 years of school time lost.

      Attendance Rate
      Days absent
      per year
      Cumulative Absence
      over 10 years of school 
      90% or more
      Low or zero
      20 days or less
      Adds up to 1 year or less schooling missed 
      Between 20-40 days Adds up to 1-2 years schooling missed
      Between 40-60 days
      Adds up to 2-3 years schooling missed
      69% or lower
      60 or more days
      Adds up to 3 years plus schooling missed

    • Birthdays

      Children often enjoy celebrating their birthdays with their classmates. Should parents choose to, they are able to bring in special treats for their child to share with the class. These can include:

      • cupcakes OR
      • doughnuts OR
      • lolly bags (these will be sent home for children to eat)
    • Canteen – Our Health Promoting School

      Our Lady of the Way canteen operates five days a week and is managed by a contractor Total Canteen Solutions. Menus and price lists are regularly distributed to students with updated menus and/or price changes. The Canteen operator adheres to State Health Department guidelines for a ‘Healthy’ School Canteen and aims to develop an understanding of the factors that influence a healthy lifestyle. Canteen orders can be made on-line through ‘Munch Monitor’, directly at the canteen before school starts or by placing an order and money in the classroom basket.

    • Complaints and Grievances

      If, at any time, you find that you have a concern with the school, you are encouraged to come to the school and speak with the teacher/s, Assistant Principal and/or Principal, to find a resolution for your concern. It is our aim to work with all members of our school community to ensure that we do the very best we can to provide a productive, safe and enjoyable learning experience for our students and a professional fulfilling experience for our staff.

      If you would like to raise a concern formally, the Catholic Education Office has procedures for ensuring that complaints are handled fairly. Information about how to lodge a complaint and a complaint form are available from the school office or in Complaint Handling Policy and Procedures. These documents can be accessed on the school website or system website (www.parra.catholic.edu.au)

    • COSHC – Catholic Out of School Hours Care

      A COSHC is provided at OLOW and is situated in the parish hall. Hours are:

      • Mornings between 6:30am-8:45am
      • Afternoon between 3pm-6:30pm
      • Enrolment forms can be obtained directly from the COSHC which is run through the Catholic Education Office. The school and COSHC work closely together, sharing information and supporting behaviours.
    • Custody and Restraining Orders

      If a Custody or Restraining Order (AVO) exists within a family relationship the school must be provided with a copy of the legal document so to monitor parental contact with a child. This is a legal requirement. Upon enrolment, all families are required to provide such information. Alternatively, family situations can change and families are asked to inform the Principal of such changes. Office staff, through the Principal, assume responsibility for filing and communicating such matters.

    • Extreme Weather

      At times we can experience extreme weather conditions. On these days there is special first and second break supervision whereby the children are kept out of the heat/cold/wind and remain in air-conditioned classrooms. Students are allowed access to water bottles during class time.

    • Gossip

      From time to time when people come together, some find the need to talk about others and pass on tales whether true or not that can hurt, defame or disrespect. Our Catholic faith instructs us to "not bear false witness against our neighbour." Aside from the inappropriateness of gossip and slander is the hurt that it causes to people's reputations, esteem and feelings. Teachers, parents, children and our community should not be damaged by the whispers of gossip. If we are truly building the Kingdom of God here at OLOW, we should think before we talk and choose our words based on the Gospel values. After all, this is what we are trying to teach our children.

    • Health

      The NSW Health website provides detailed and regular updates regarding public health issues.

      The Principal must be notified immediately if your child enrolled at the school is suffering from one of the following infectious diseases:

      • Diphtheria
      • Mumps
      • Poliomyelitis
      • Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib)
      • Meningococcal disease
      • Rubella (German Measles)
      • Measles
      • Tetanus

      For the protection of other children in the school, the following periods of exclusion must be observed.

      • Chicken Pox:
        Exclude until fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 5 days after the first spots appeared and until all blisters have dried

      • German Measles (Rubella):
        Exclude until fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 4 days from appearance of rash

      • Infectious Hepatitis:
        Exclude until medical practitioner certifies recovery

      • Measles:
        Exclude for at least 4 days from the appearance of the rash

      • Mumps:
        Exclude until fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 9 days or until swelling goes down

      • Whooping Cough:
        Exclude for 5 days after starting antibiotic treatment

      • Conjunctivitis:
        Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased – minimum 1–3 days

      • Impetigo:
        Exclude from school until appropriate treatment has commenced- sores need to covered with a watertight dressing

      • Ringworms, Scabies, Head lice, Trachoma:
        Exclude from school until appropriate treatment has commenced
    • Leaving the School

      When students are leaving the school, a full term’s notice in writing must be given to the Principal otherwise a full term’s fees will be payable. It is a requirement of the Board of Studies that you inform the principal of the school your child will be attending. A form can be obtained from the school office.

    • Medication

      Parents are required to complete a Medication Administration Form before medication can be administered at school. School personnel are only permitted to give medication prescribed by a doctor.

      They are unable to give any types of pain relievers, such as paracetamol or cough medicines. Medication should be sent in the original container with the child's name, dosage and time of administration clearly marked. A letter is required from the doctor stating the type of medication prescribed, the dosage and the time it is to be administered.

      Many doctors agree that medication to be given three times a day does not need to be administered at school. It can be administered: morning - breakfast; after school; before bed at night. No children are to carry medication in their bags (with the exception of asthma relievers).

    • Parents and Friends Association (P&F)

      Parental engagement with school enhances the learning experience for the child and contributes to their general sense of well-being. Parents are an integral part of the community and assist staff in a myriad of ways. Our Lady of the Way School has a very active P&F who strive to work with the Principal and staff to build community, support families, facilitate parent education and provide funds for student and school resources. Subcommittees of the P&F include Fundraising and Special Events such as the Fete. Meetings are held twice a term. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

    • Privacy

      From time to time, photographs and videos of students are used in school and Catholic Education Office promotional materials and websites. If you do not wish any photos or videos of your child/children to be used in such instances, please notify the Principal in writing. For further information see the CEDP Privacy Statement.

    • Protocols Concerning Classroom & Playground

      If there is an issue in the classroom or in the playground, parents should initially contact their child's class teacher. If necessary the next person to be contacted is the stage coordinator. If a satisfactory resolution has not been reached, parents may contact the Assistant Principal or Principal. It is not appropriate for any parent to approach either other parents or their child/children with the intention of resolving a school issue.

    • Pupil Free Days (Staff Development Days)

      The Catholic Education Office allows the school six pupil free days per year for the staff to use a block of time to develop school-based curricula or other approved staff development exercise. The NSW government has deemed that first of these days is the ‘teacher only’ day before the start of the school year and two of the days are the last two days of the school year. Prior notice of the remaining three days each year will be given at least six weeks before the scheduled day.

    • Sacramental Program

      Sacramental Programs are Parish based and in 2017 will fall in the following terms:

      • Term 1 - Reconciliation for Year 3 students & students in Years 4, 5 & 6
      • Term 2 - First Eucharist for Year 4 students & students in Years 5 & 6
      • Term 3 - Confirmation for Year 5 students & students in Year 6
    • School Fees

      Catholic systemic schools aim to keep their fees as low as possible and can provide flexible payment arrangements for families. Students who meet the enrolment criteria will not be refused enrolment because of a family’s genuine inability to afford school fees. Schools are able to reduce or waive fees for families suffering financial hardship.

      There are three levels of annual fees, billed in instalments during Terms 1, 2 and 3:

      • Annual Diocesan Tuition Fees set by the Catholic Education Office
      • Diocesan Building Levy set by the Catholic Education Office
      • School-based fees

      There are very significant discounts for the second (25% reduction) and third (50% reduction) children enrolled from the one family. There are no fees for the fourth and subsequent school children.

      Visit the 'School Fees' page of our website for the full fees schedule of Diocesan and school-based fees.

    • Sporting House Colours

      The school is divided into four Sport Houses: Benjamin - Red; Bede - Blue; Gold - Clark and Green - Manning. School Leaders are elected to lead their teams at Athletics Carnival, Cross Country and Swimming Carnival during the year. Children in the same family will always be in the same house colour.

    • Sport/Fitness Programs

      In 2017 Our Lady of the Way will participate in the following specialist programs:

      • Term 1 - Gymnastic
      • Term 2 - Skipping
      • Term 3 - NRL (5 weeks) & AFL (5 weeks)

      Qualified instructors run the lessons for Years K-6. These programs are part of the PDHPE program and students are supervised and assessed by their classroom teacher.

    • Sunsmart Policy

      The Sun Smart Policy is in place year round at Our Lady of the Way. All students will wear a hat that provides good cover to the face, neck and ears when they are outside. Care is taken during peak UV times to reschedule outdoor activities. Programs on skin cancer protection are included in the curriculum. Students who do not have appropriate hats are asked to sit outside the office and the ‘NO HAT, NO PLAY’ policy applies.

    • Swimming Program

      Currently Our Lady of the Way participates in an intensive swimming program each year. Lessons are conducted in Term 4 (1hr X 5 days) for Years K-4 and are levelled to suit each child's ability. This program is compulsory for all students in Years K-4.

  • Bus and road safety
    • Bus Conduct

      A large number of students use buses as transport to and from school. All students are to behave in manner that ensures both their comfort and safety and the comfort and safety of other passengers and the driver. There is a Bus Code Of Conduct. This publication, in full, can be found on the Transport NSW website (http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/ssts)

      The Code of Conduct for school students on buses is as follows:

      • Respect the needs and comfort of all passengers, such as no use of offensive or racist language, fighting, spitting, placing feet on seats, throwing things in or from the bus, eating or drinking - except water.
      • Follow the driver’s instructions about safety on the bus e.g. where to sit.
      • Keep arms, legs and heads inside the bus.
      • Refrain from attracting the attention of the driver except in the case of emergency.
      • Protect bus property.
      • Tap on and tap off when using the OPAL pass.
    • Bus Travel - School Student Transport Scheme

      Travel is free for approved applications. Forms are available from the school office and all applications need to be submitted to the school office for the Blue Mountains Bus Company. The application will be processed and an OPAL pass will be sent to the school and then forwarded to the student.

      • Infant pupils attending Kindergarten to Year 2 classes, irrespective of distance from home to school, are entitled to apply for a pass.
      • To be eligible, pupils (other than those in Kindergarten and Years 1 and 2) must reside more than 1.6 kilometres from the school 'as the crow flies'.
      • If your child loses their OPAL pass an application must be made directly to the appropriate bus company, not the school office.

      Please note that clarification of bus routes and times should be made directly with Blue Mountains Bus Company on (02) 4751 1077, not the school office. Students are expected to behave themselves at all times while travelling on public transport. Parents are asked to reinforce these expectations. The bus company has the right to withdraw travel privileges due to inappropriate or unsafe behaviour.

    • Children's Crossing

      The pedestrian crossings in Forbes Street and Troy Street, are part-time crossings that operate just before and after school hours. The crossings are highlighted by flags with the words CHILDREN CROSSING on them. When the flags are displayed, traffic must slow down and stop before the stop line if a pedestrian is on or entering the crossing. You must not proceed until all pedestrians have left the crossing. There is one children's crossing located in Troy Street and one in Forbes Street. The speed limit in a school zone is 40kph.

    • Road Signs

      In Troy and Forbes Streets the following signs appear along the streets:

      Bus Zone
      This sign means that in the direction of the arrow or arrows you are not allowed to stop your vehicle in the hours of operation. The restrictions apply for the times stated.
      No Parking
      These signs mean you must not stop for more than two minutes in a No Parking area. You must remain in or within three metres of the vehicle. The restrictions apply for the times stated. (At OLOW this is a Kiss & Drop Zone in the morning and is manned by staff from 8:20am.)
      No Stopping
      This sign means that in the area in the direction of the arrow you must not stop your vehicle at any point on the road or kerb, unless there is a medical or other emergency.

      Please be considerate of our neighbours in adjoining streets and do not park in driveways. Do not park in the parish driveway; this needs to be kept clear at all times.

    • Bicycles and Scooters

      In keeping with RTA and Department of Education guidelines only children in Years 5 and 6 are permitted to ride bikes or scooters to school, provided they:

      • are at least 10 years old
      • have their parent's permission in writing - to be provided to the class teacher at the beginning of each year
      • obey all road safety rules when travelling to and from school
      • walk their bike/scooter while in the school grounds
      • wear a helmet

      For the protection of the children and other road and footpath users you are urged to take some time to talk to your child about bike safety and the laws they are required to follow. The privilege of riding to school will, after consultation with parents, be withdrawn from any student known to be behaving in a dangerous or unsafe manner while riding to and from school.

      Year 4 students participate in the C.A.R.E.S. Bike and Road Safety Education Program.

    • Parking

      There is ample parking in the streets surrounding Our Lady of the Way School. We are very fortunate to have at least three streets around the school in which to park. We are far better off than most other school communities. Special care needs to be taken when parking, dropping off or picking up children, including:

      • Not parking in the Forbes Street staff car park or the Troy Street staff and Parish car park
      • Following all parking and road signs, especially near the crossings
      • Being thoughtful and considerate towards residents by not parking across driveways
      • Not parking in the driveway designated for the parish, when visiting the school
      • Using the designated 'Kiss and Drop’zone near the church driveway in Troy Street in the morning.
  • Communication
    • Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences

      Early in Term One, parents are invited to attend a meeting with their child’s grade teachers. The purpose of the meeting is for students to present their personal learning goals to their parents and for teachers to gain insight into the student by parents identifying strengths, interests and areas of need. In Terms 2 and Term 4 a conference is available once reports are sent home. However, parents who have concerns regarding their child, are encouraged to request an interview at any time through the office staff.

    • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram etc.)

      With the growing popularity of Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, it is essential to remind parents that photos of school students/events cannot be placed on personal pages or sites. This is to ensure that privacy and child protection practices are not breeched. Parents are also reminded that in keeping with our Catholic faith and respecting the dignity of each person, it is not appropriate to make comment on other parents, children or staff on social media sites.

    • Assessment and Reporting

      Teachers employ a variety of techniques and strategies to monitor children's development of skills and knowledge, such as observations and written assessments and state-wide assessments such as the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy).

    • Half Yearly and Yearly Student Reports

      Families will receive a written school report at the end of Term 2 and again at the end of Term 4. Reports in Years 1- 6 are standards-based reports and use the mandated Plain English E to A scale for each Key Learning Area. Children in Kindergarten are not graded using an A-E scale, but rather by their own level of development over the first year at school.

      Student achievement is assessed against specific learning outcomes and assessment standards. These outcomes are taken from the syllabus documents set by the NSW Board of Studies for each Key Learning Area. The Term 4 report is sent home at least seven days before the end of the school year.

    • Important information to give teachers

      So that we may do everything possible to meet your child's learning needs the class teacher must be informed if your child:

      • must wear glasses
      • has a hearing aid
      • is under medical treatment
      • requires medication
      • needs to be collected from school early
      • has a medical appointment during school hours
      • has recently experienced any major upsets, (e.g. family break-up, death of relative, etc.)
      • is attending speech/occupational therapy/psychologist
      • any other information that is relevant to your child's learning.

      Please inform the class teacher in writing via the office.

    • Parent Newsletter and Information Updates

      The Parent Newsletter By the Way, is uploaded to the School's website fortnightly on a Thursday and archived there to be read at your convenience. It is a valuable source of information about events within our school community. It is important that parents read the newsletter and all notes carefully. Parents are able to register their email address via the school website so that they receive an automatic email each time there is a new Newsletter or an important announcement is made. Please see the school notes page for instructions on how to register.

      The Parent Newsletter is an important means of communication between school and home, so please ensure you read this each fortnight.

      Parents are invited to contribute to the Newsletter. If you or someone you know has family, cultural, sporting or other news or achievements you would like us to share and/or celebrate, please forward the details in writing to the school office.

    • Staff Professional Learning Meetings

      Staff Professional Learning Meetings are scheduled each Wednesday after school and each Thursday before school. Staff members are not available at these times.

    • Parent Calendar

      A parent calendar of school events is available through Google Calendar. Also, see the website for Upcoming Events.

    • Website

      Our Lady of the Way website is regularly updated and is a valuable source of information. Families can access the parent handbook, relevant school policies and plans, e-newsletters, student matters and current news stories. The web address is: http://olowemuplains.catholic.edu.au

  • Volunteers and visitors
    • Working With Children, Volunteer Training, Mandatory Reporting And Confidentiality

      The NSW Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 requires schools to ask anyone who is performing a task for the school and may have direct, unsupervised contact with children, if they are a prohibited person. This includes all parents helping in classrooms, canteen, excursions, sporting events and any other activities where they may have direct, unsupervised contact with children.

    • If you want to Volunteer

      Step 1: All Volunteers must complete the ‘Building Child Safe Communities – Undertaking for Volunteers’ Form if you wish to help at Our Lady of the Way School. A notification of your successful completion of the form will be sent via e-mail to school and to your email address. (Please click on the link below to find the form)

      Step 2: It is also a system requirement that volunteers complete an on-line training module ‘Child Protection Training’. An online training module is available to volunteers by accessing the link below. You must complete this module to be eligible to volunteer. After successful completion of the module, volunteers are required to fill out the form by typing your name, email address, contact number, contact address and the school. A notification of the successful completion of the module is sent via e-mail to the school and to the volunteer.


      All volunteers have an obligation to maintain strict confidentiality regarding any student and to maintain appropriate volunteer/child boundaries at all times.

    • Visitors

      For the safety of all students and staff members, parents and visitors are not allowed on the school grounds during school hours unless they have signed in at the office and are wearing a visitor’s badge. Access to the school during school hours is via the office entrance in Troy Street.

      If staff see someone on site without a visitor’s badge, they must make enquiries of them under Child Protection legislation.

  • Student management and care
    • Our Shared Values

      At Our Lady of the Way School from Kindergarten to Year 6, we have shared values, which provide: teachers and children with the language to discuss behaviour in a consistent way. These values are the basis for the agreements for responsible behaviour in each classroom, and provide the focus for reflection about any behaviour. They include:

      • Having integrity
        To have Integrity is to do what you believe is right and stand up for these beliefs.

      • Having the right to a safe and inclusive environment
        Every child has the right to be safe and to feel safe physically, psychologically and emotionally.

      • Being compassionate
        Being compassionate is showing care for self and for others.

      • Being respectful
        Being respectful is a fundamental principle of living, working, learning and playing together. If we want to be respected, we have to respect other people too. We must respect people, animals, nature and material things and we should be careful about the way we say and do things.

      • Being just and fair
        To be just is to treat all people fairly. All members of our community have the same opportunities and we work to make this possible for other people in our world.

      • Being responsible
        Being responsible means being accountable for our own actions and words.

      • Being cooperative
        Being cooperative is working together for the good of everyone.
    • Positive Behaviour

      At Our Lady of the Way School, behaviour has a positive focus, describing what we want for our children, quality behaviour, and how we support its development.

    • Quality Behaviour & Student Wellbeing Policy

      Our Lady of the Way School is a welcoming Catholic community. We have a history of inclusive education, welcoming individuals and groups of children.

      Our policy promotes a climate of respect and justice for all, by nurturing the self-worth and dignity of each individual. We are committed to and responsible for, living out the gospel values of justice, respect, dignity and acceptance within the network of relationships that make up our school community. We value our school/parish partnership, which contributes to the total care of students, families and staff.

      We aim to develop in each child a respect for each other. Each member of our school community is held in high esteem and our Quality Behaviour & Student Wellbeing Policy is seen as part of this broad dimension of pastoral care.

      We seek to provide a stimulating, safe and positive learning environment. A positive and supportive approach to school by parents, staff and students will be reflected in the children’s attitude and success.

  • Teaching & Learning
    • Statement on Learning

      In planning programs we take into account the wide and varied needs of students in our school. School curriculum is grouped into broad subject areas called Key Learning Areas. We follow the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus documents, which outline what is to be covered in each Stage. In addition, we follow the Diocesan Syllabus Sharing Our Story for the teaching of Religious Education.

      Following is an outline of how our classes are structured:

      • Early Stage 1 (Kindergarten)
      • Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2)
      • Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4)
      • Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6)
    • Homework

      Our Homework Policy takes into account the need for students to have a balanced lifestyle. This includes sufficient time for family, recreation and cultural pursuits. The responsibility for overseeing homework lies essentially with the parents. Homework need not be a cause of stress or upset for children or parents. The emphasis should always be placed on the learning value.

      Our Lady of the Way places a great focus and energy on literacy, numeracy and inquiry learning skills. Reading is a significant and essential component of homework in all grades. The rote learning of number facts, table & division facts and the spelling of sight works, familiar words and unfamiliar words is encouraged at home with parental guidance. The time suggested for homework is:

      • Kindergarten, Year 1 & Year 2 students - approximately 15–30 minutes daily
      • Year 3 and Year 4 students - approximately 30–45 minutes daily
      • Year 5 and Year 6 students - approximately 45–60 minutes daily.
    • My Teacher Wasn't At School Today

      The educational scene is changing rapidly. Children now have multiple teachers in their primary school day - the PE/Sport Teacher, Music & Japanese Teacher, Librarian/IT Person, Diversity Teacher and so on. There are many teachers in their daily lives and this increases as they journey on to high school.

      Teachers are now called upon to be experts/professionals in a broad range of areas - from technology, quality learning, curriculum, child welfare, etc. A doctor, for example, who is not continually updated on current medical practice, medical technologies, medicines or related medical issues (e.g. Counselling patients/parents) would quickly lose credibility and integrity.

      Teachers are also continually called upon to develop themselves in all areas so as to better assist the child - from first aid to counselling to using technology in teaching, to developing themselves spiritually so they can better transmit Catholic values and teachings to the children. Teachers may be asked to attend various professional development opportunities to assist in the achievement of school goals (e.g. maths meetings) or to assist the school (e.g. taking sporting teams to various carnivals).

      Another complexity is the changing industrial entitlements in education and other sectors of society. Many teachers have accumulated significant amounts of long service leave over the years and are now encouraged by the Catholic Education Office to take this leave to assist renewal of our passion for education. Of course, other typical entitlements such as sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, funeral attendance, etc. are available to teachers, as you would expect.

      Some teachers are also on our leadership team. They are given release time to carry out the educational and organisational duties associated with their role in such a big school. Furthermore, Kindergarten and Year One teachers have extensive assessments to do with each child at the start and end of the year.

      So occasionally, we have teachers away for a variety of reasons. Hopefully, this information will help you better understand the situation when your child comes home and says "My teacher wasn't at school today!" When teachers are absent, qualified relief staff are employed to teach the children. Where possible it is aimed to provide a degree of continuity. The relief teacher will normally follow the program of the classroom teacher.

    • Grade Excursions and Incursions

      After careful consideration of the value of the excursion as a positive and relevant learning experience, teachers will inform parents about the details of venue, transport, costs, supervision and other arrangements.

      Every effort is made to keep costs to a minimum. Other types of 'at school' incursions, e.g. cultural performances, Life Education, Musica Viva, are included in the Activities Fee. These are important and educationally enriching and give the children a wider experience of their curriculum.

    • Student Assessment Protocol

      The first week of each school year is dedicated to completing individual student Mathematics Assessment Interview (MAI) organised through the on-line booking service provided by the school. In addition, Kindergarten and Year 1 also complete the Early Year Assessments (EYA), which is a compilation of literacy screeners. The data collected from these assessments inform the direction that learning will take place in the classroom from Week 1.

  • School Uniform
    • Uniform Guide

      Each child at Our Lady of the Way is expected to wear the uniform as stipulated below. The full school uniform can be purchased from Lowes – Shop 106, Westfield Penrith, 585 High Street, Penrith. Phone: (02) 4721 4340.

      All articles of clothing and belongings must be clearly marked with your child's name.

      Girl's Summer Uniform Girl's Winter Uniform
      • Green and white check dress
      • Bottle green jumper, zip jacket or school sloppy joe with school emblem
      • Black leather school shoes (no black joggers)
      • Plain white ankle socks (not sport anklet socks)
      • Bottle green school hat with school emblem
      • Green, white or gold hair ties
      • Grey/Green Plaid Tunic & White Blouse with Peter Pan Style Collar
      • Bottle green jumper, zip jacket or school sloppy joe with school emblem
      • Black leather school shoes (no black joggers)
      • Black tights/stocking (no dance pants or leggings etc.)
      • Bottle green school hat with school emblem
      • Scarves, gloves or beanies worn in winter must be school green only


      Boy's Summer Uniform Boy's Winter Uniform
      • Grey ‘blocker’ school style shorts (cargo style or corduroy are not permitted) & mint short sleeve shirt with school logo
      • Bottle green jumper, zip jacket or school sloppy joe with school emblem
      • Black leather school shoes (no black joggers)
      • Grey ankle socks (not sports anklet socks)
      • Bottle green school hat with school emblem
      • Grey pants – long school style (cargo style or corduroy are not permitted) & long sleeved mint green shirt with school emblem
      • Bottle green jumper, zip jacket or school sloppy joe with school emblem
      • Black leather school shoes (no black joggers)
      • Grey ankle socks (not sports anklet socks)
      • Bottle green school hat with school emblem


      Boy's and Girl's Sports Uniform
      • Bottle green unisex knee length sports shorts with school emblem and bottle green polo shirt with gold side panels and white trim with school emblem
      • Bottle green jumper, zip jacket or school sloppy joe with school emblem
      • Sports shoes - predominately white with white laces (Fluoro or multi coloured shoes are not permitted)
      • Plain white ankle socks with school emblem on cuff
      • Bottle green school hat with school emblem
      • Bottle green track suit with school emblem


      All students wear their sports clothes on Monday & Friday

      * The Our Lady of the Way school hat is compulsory to wear
      ("No Hat / No Play" policy is enforced for sun protection for all children.)

      The following items may be purchased from the school office:
      School Hats; School Library Bags; School Back Packs and white school sports socks with OLOW logo.

      Second hand uniforms can be purchased through the Clothing Pool. The Clothing Pool is run by parents and in 2017 is open on Monday morning and Friday afternoon.

    • Hair Styling, Grooming & Jewellery Expectations

      Students are expected to keep their hair clean, neat and tidy at all times. Students are to keep hair off their face and out of their eyes. Haircuts are to be in a sensible and conventional style. There are to be no extremes of fashion in hairstyle cut or colour. Shaving of any part of the head, lines or undercuts, and haircuts with a number 1 or 2 blade are not permitted. Rat’s tails of any sort and the use of gel and hairspray to spike hair is not permitted. For girls, long hair below the shoulder should be tied back by a ribbon, ‘scrunchy’, hair band or clip.

      In the interest of safety and security, no jewellery should be worn. A watch, gold or silver bangle or bracelet that cannot be removed, are permitted. A plain gold silver or gold chain with a religious symbol or medal may be worn under the child’s shirt out of sight. (However, this is not recommended due to valuable items being lost in the playground and children and parents being greatly upset at the loss). If a girl’s ears are pierced only one pair of sleepers or plain studs are to be worn in the lower ear lobe. Boys are not permitted to wear earrings at school or at any school activities. No other jewellery is permitted and teachers will ask students to remove inappropriate jewellery. Children are not to wear leather necklaces with beads or the like. In extreme cases, jewellery will be confiscated, secured and returned at a later time to the student or parent.

      Make-up and nail polish are not part of the school uniform. Students wearing make-up or coloured nail polish will be asked to remove it.

    • Valuables

      Valuable toys and equipment should not be brought to school. Children are encouraged to bring small inexpensive items to play with such as a tennis ball, skipping rope, small toy car or the like. Students are not to have mobile phones at school. If, for an extreme emergency, your child needs to have one for after school they will need to leave it at the school office during the day. A letter of explanation will need to be sent seeking approval from the Principal.

  • Other Information

Parent Handbook

  • The Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need.  You can download a copy by clicking 'Print to PDF' above.

    If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact the school office by phone on 4735 1930 during school days between 8:15 am and 3:15 pm.

  • View Parent Handbook
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