St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2019 Term 4 Week 2


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

Welcome to Term 4! 

I cant believe how quickly this year is flying!

This term brings a great year to a close. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of you for making my first year as Principal such a great one. While it has been a steep learning curve, I have never woken up and wished that I didn’t have this wonderful job. So thanks to all who have embraced the challenge with me.

Our enrolments are in a great place for 2020 as we welcome many new families into our school family. Over the past weeks the one comment I have heard over and over is that there is a great vibe when they walk into our school. Many have expressed a sense of calm that they felt and that was a significant factor in choosing St Bernadette’s as the place of learning for their child.

This feeling is a direct result of our staff, students and families working together and supporting each other in whatever capacity they can. In my mind this is our faith in action. A chance to be the face of Jesus for another is the quintessential element defined in the Gospels. 

It gives me constant joy to be a part of this amazing community. 

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard


Sunday 27 Oct 2019 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time C

REFLECTION by Greg Sunter

Gospel Reflection

This week’s gospel passage flows on directly from last week’s gospel and continues the teaching of Jesus about prayer. Whereas the preceding passage emphasised the need for persistence in prayer, this passage is about the way in which we come before God in prayer. It is the tax collector, whose simple prayer is ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner,’ who goes home at rights with God. In this simple prayer, the tax collector recognises that he is not in right relationship with God and asks for God’s mercy. This is a hallmark of the lowly and outcast in the gospel of Luke: they recognise their need and seek God’s forgiveness and mercy. The model of faith that is depicted over and over again in this gospel is the one who recognises their need for God’s loving mercy and asks for it. We are repeatedly reminded that God’s mercy, forgiveness and abundant love are constantly out-flowing towards us and all we have to do is humbly desire and welcome them.

Humility is at the heart of this parable. The Pharisee is representative of those who are assured of their own rightness but who rely on comparison with others to make themselves feel righteous and justified. The actions of this man were not limited to Pharisees alone, nor are they limited to a particular time and place. This man’s attitude of asserting his own faithfulness and religious observance by comparison with others can be easily seen in the world today. All faiths seem to be afflicted with these characters who assure themselves of their own ‘goodness’ by railing against those who are different. But, as the parable assures us, it is the humble who are exalted by God.

Living the Gospel – Competitive prayer!

For the Pharisee, his prayer is a competition. He prays aloud so that others can hear him and be impressed. Perhaps he thinks that God is as impressed as those who look up to him? His prayer is also an opportunity to make himself look good at the expense of another. Certainly, prayer is a time to celebrate with God our triumphs and successes, but above all it is an opportunity to be truly honest with God and with ourselves. The prayer of the tax collector is the most honest of prayers. This honesty is what is impressive; not the competitive showing off.

From the perspective of … The Tax Collector

Wouldn’t you know it? I thought the Temple would be quiet at this time and I snuck in the back to whisper my prayer to God. But one of the great men, a Pharisee, was there praying. He proudly declared before God his good works. Every word he spoke reminded me of how I fail time and time again to do what is right with God. I realised that I didn’t belong in that place. My prayer went out of my head and I muttered a few simple words. Why would God listen to me, a sinner?

Gospel Focus – At rights with God

We are told that the tax collector, after his simple prayer, went home ‘at rights with God’. What does it mean to be at rights with God? It is nothing more and nothing less than the entire Judeo-Christian story. The story of the Old Testament is the story of God calling the people to live in right relationship with God and with one another. The Gospels are the story of Jesus calling all people to a richer understanding of his compassionate Father so that they may once again be at rights with God. The story continues and it is our constant challenge to be at rights with God also.

© Greg Sunter

PARISH: Altar Servers' Roster July 6 - Nov 3, 2019



Upcoming Events for Term 4

25/10 - School Banking

25/10 - Whole School Mass lead by Year 4 

25/10 - Feast of St Francis 

25/10 - Captivate Performance 12:30pm COLA 

25/10 - Assembly 2:30pm

28/10 - Stage 3 Excursion 

29/10 - School Photo Day 

30/10 - Kindergarten 2020 Transition Session 1

31/10 - Reconciliation Lessons 4pm - 5pm 

1/11 - Whole School Mass lead by Year 3

1/11 - Feast of All Saints

4/11 - P&F AGM 6:30pm

6/11 - Kindergarten 2020 Transition Session 2

7/11 - Reconciliation Lessons 4pm - 5pm 

2019 Term 4 Parent Calendar


School Photo Day - 29 October 2019

School Photography Date: 29/10/2019


Online Order link:

School photography day is coming up very soon. This year we are using a new company to take our school photos and you will have the option to pay online. DO NOT FORGET to place your order!

Group and portrait photographs can be purchased by following the link above or by using the envelope that has been sent home.

Important Information:

  • School photos purchased online DO NOT require envelopes returned to school

  • Don’t forget to order your sibling photos now

  • Late fees/additional charges will be applied for purchases after photo day

  • Photos will be returned to your school for distribution approximately six weeks after photos are taken

Sibling photographs must be ordered either online or by order envelope prior to the day of photography.  A photograph will not be taken without an order. Sibling photographs only apply to children enrolled at the school.

Thank you and we look forward to a successful photo day! 

Happy Birthday

4/10 - Lenita S

4/10 - Kobi M

6/10 - Orlando C

7/10 - Jessica K 

7/10 - Louis B 

8/10 - Johnluke A 

10/10 - Amelia N 

10/11 - Afreen M 

11/10 - James B

12/10 - Emily B 

12/10 - Rebecca K 

12/10 - Takara C 

12/10 - Jessica E 

19/10 - Mikaella M 

22/10 - Daniel J 

Principal Awards

Kindergarten - Chloe X & Dimitrios M 

Year 1 - Mia G & Hayden W 

Year 2 - Alex J & Tara L

Year 3 - Robert W & Kaitlyn T 

Year 4 - Emily B & Youran D 

Year 5 - Jessica M & Antonio S

Year 6 - Isabella W & Jaiden Y

PBS4L Week 2

At the end of Term 3 Clare won the star token tally that recognises students’ positive behaviours. Last week Clare enjoyed their free afternoon, which included activities such as playing their devices, drawing, playing board games and enjoying some yummy snacks.

The upcoming PBS4L focuses are:

  • Week 3: We Move Safely and Quietly around the School

  • Week 4: We are in the right place at the right time doing the right thing all the time 

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As a community of learners

During the past two weeks we have begun our dance classes. Blake, our teacher, has had us moving, shaking and above all have fun while learning. The children will be showcasing their dance items at our Carols evening on December 6th, 2019. So keep your eyes and ears open for details.

Attendance Matters

With the warmer weather returning there is the chance that we can put all of the nasty winter illnesses to rest. Please remember that if your child is unwell that you need to let your child's teacher now via Skoolbag, email or note upon their return.

As we know:

5 minutes late everyday = 25 minutes per week = 250 minutes per term of learning time is missed!

Understanding our Attendance Rate

 Attendance Rate: 83.2%  - To unpack this a little more, this means that 83.2%  of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%. 

Kindergarten 2020 Orientation and Transition to School Program

We have our Transition Program for children starting Kindergarten next year taking place in the Kindergarten classroom. Children are asked to bring along morning tea to have during ‘Little Lunch’.

Session 1 will be held on Wednesday, 30 October 10:00am to 11:30am

Followed by Session 2 on Wednesday, 6 November 10:00am to 11:30am

Parents and children are invited to attend the Transition Program together so that the children will become familiar with their school. Whilst the children are in the Kindergarten classroom, parents are invited to the School Hall where various guest speakers will offer valuable information about preparing your child for school. 

We are looking forward to working with you in partnership and seeing you at the Parent Orientation Evening and also seeing you during the Kindergarten Transition Program.


Last Thursday evening marked the beginning of our Reconciliation program. If you were unable to attend or missed out on signing your child please contact the Parish Office on 9871 4414. 

Uniform Reminders

There seems to be an increased number of students wearing of nail polish, excessive jewellery or non uniform items at school. We would appreciate your support in our quest to represent our school in the correct uniform on the appropriate day.

It supports our PBS4L framework in which we have the goal of ‘wearing our uniform with pride’ . Taking pride in our appearance is an important social skill that puts our students in a good place as resilient, confident member of society.

Book Club Issue 7

Book Club Issue 7 catalogues have gone home and orders are open to be placed online. 

This will be your last opportunity to order Book Club for 2019. Online ordering will close on 1st November 2019.  

Gentle Reminder

It seems that the celebration of Halloween is becoming more popular as it is commercially promoted. As a school we don’t celebrate this at all at Fr Christopher’s request, so please don’t send in treats or lollies to share as the teachers will send them home with your child at the end of the day. I appreciate that this may not sit well with some families but it is a decision that has been made as a Parish community.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.


PSSA Softball

In the last week of Term 3, Lily P competed in PSSA softball in the Mackillop team. Mackillop placed 7th out of 13 teams. Lily played her heart out, 12 games over 3 days. Well done, Lily!

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Children's Corner

Year 5 Dancefever

This term all of students will be participating in Dancefever. It is a great opportunity for the students to be active and have fun through movement and dance. 

Here are some fun photos of our Year 5 students practicing their dance moves!

Year 5 practicing their Dancefever moves!


Message from the P&F

Welcome back to term 4! We hope you all had a wonderful break and are ready for the last term of the year. We look forward to a term filled with happiness, kindness and giving as we enter the festive season. Have a fabulous term.

AGM and P&F Meeting

In the past our AGM has been held at the beginning of each year. As per the constitution the AGM is to be held in Term 4 at the end of each school year. A note will follow with more information and we really hope to see many of you there. Please save the date, Monday 4th November, 6:30pm.


Christmas and Picnic Carols

There will be more information to come, but we would love to see as many faces as we can at the Christmas & Picnic Carols. Please save the date:

Friday 6th December beginning at 5pm.



Catherine McAuley Westmead Enrolments for Year 7 2021

Catherine McAuley Westmead is now accepting enrolments for Year 7 2021. The closing date for Year 7 2021 applications 1st round offers isFriday, 27th March 2020.


Parents and their daughters have the opportunity to tour the school campus at one of our upcoming school tours specifically for Year 7 2021 applicants, but open to any year group.


Tuesday 12th November and Thursday 5th December 2019

9.15 – 11am


These mornings will provide parents and students with the opportunity to tour our school on a normal school day. You will be able to view our school grounds and facilities, go into classrooms and meet our students and teachers. Enrolment packs will be available on the day.


Contact our School Reception on 9849 9100 to book a place on a school tour.


Please note that following these tours there will be no other school tours held until our Open Afternoon in early March 2020 (date still to be confirmed).

St Bernadettes Primary School

St Bernadette's Primary, Dundas Valley is a community focused, Catholic parish school catering for boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6. The school strives to build a Christ-centred community where faith is integrated with daily life. We provide learning and teaching experiences which enable the children to deepen their faith understandings, investigate, solve problems and explore their learning. We recognise the importance of creating a learning environment that provides opportunities to develop 21st century learning. Technology is integrated into the learning at St Bernadette’s in all Key Learning Areas.

Attendance Rate: 82.6%