St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2019 Term 4 Week 8


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

As a faith community we welcome Advent as a time to reflect and prepare for Christmas in whatever form that takes in our lives. Be it a time for reflection on our life choices or the path that our journey has taken. It is a time to remember that we are not alone and that we are surrounded by people who are willing to be a part of our lives if we just let them.

As a school community we encourage the children and staff to take stock of how far they have come and to remember that without mistakes there is no learning. 

As this is our last newsletter for 2019 I would like to take the time and reflect on an amazing year at St Bernadette’s. While we farewelled a number of key people who are sorely missed, we managed to gain some new staff members & students who feel like they have been here forever. To all of you who are leaving our community we send love and best wishes in your future and we thank you for the opportunity of being a part of your journey for however long we were blessed with your presence.

For all our families and friends we say a huge thank you for all that you have contributed to our school this year. We wish you a blessed Christmas and look forward to seeing in the new year.

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard

A special thank you

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Parents and the wider community for all of the support you have given to our school this year. Traditionally we have had a motivated P&F to drive fundraising and community events but clearly they cannot do this on their own.

So I thank all of you who have supported us financially, physically or both.

St Bernadette’s has always been a community who is driven by building relationships rather than financial gain. Moving into 2020 I feel confident that this will continue and that we can find a way to support and build positive relationships where all feel included and welcome.


REFLECTION by Fr Michael Tate Sunday 8 Dec 2019 Second Sunday of Advent A

John proclaimed that the reign of God was ‘at hand’ as he immersed and plunged followers into the waters of the Jordan River. (His nickname was John the Immerser, or ‘baptiser’ in the Greek.) He used flowing water to symbolise the washing away of the past for those who repented so that they could be totally focused on the ‘at hand’ person who would inaugurate God’s kingdom.

In this passage, John does not identify the ‘Someone’! But he realised that this ‘Someone’ would have divine power to affect the future by immersing, baptising, his followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

At this stage of Advent, we should be like John’s disciples, filled with a sense of anticipation, looking forward to the coming towards us (‘Advent’ in Latin) of the One who can flood our minds and bodies with the Holy Spirit and can immerse our hearts in Divine Fire.

We could pause for a moment to thank God that, even though we are unworthy to carry His sandals, there is One who is coming towards us wanting to transform us with Divine Power.

© Fr Michael Tate;

Busking for Social Justice

Thank you to all the wonderful St Bernadette’s Buskers, who shared their gifts and talents with us on Wednesday 27th November. We raised just over $500, which will go towards purchasing a bubbler for the community of St Francis Xavier School, Daly River, NT.

St Francis Award

The St Francis award is awarded once a year at our St Francis mass to one child from each class. The qualities that St Francis showed are compassion, perseverance, commitment, humility and generosity of self. These children display many of the virtues and qualities of St. Francis. 

We congratulate the following children upon receiving the St. Francis award for 2019.

Kindy - Vince A

Year 1 - Megan L

Year 2 - Stefan S and Natalie H 

Year 3 - Renee T

Year 4 - Mary T

Year 5 – Lauren T

Year 6 - Aaliyah M


Last night Miss Simone, Mr Kensell and myself had the pleasure of attending the First Reconciliation celebration. It was  lovely to see the younger members of our community receive this important Sacrament.

Thank you to all of the celebrants, the Parish Choir and our sacramental facilitators for preparing the children so beautifully.

PARISH: Altar Servers' Roster Nov 9 - March 1, 2020



Upcoming Events for Term 4

6/12 - Christmas Picnic and Carols

10/12 - Reports to go home 

11/12 - Swimming Carnival

13/12 - Whole School Graduation Mass - Year 6 

13/12 - St Bernadette's Got Talent

16/12 - Year 6 Graduation Dinner at Dooleys 

17/12 - Free Ice Cream Day 

17/12 - Last day for students 

Please note:

Meet the new teacher - Next Monday afternoon 9th December our students will spend some time with their teacher/s for 2020. During this time the children will be provided with a 2020 Resource List. We will also add these to Skoolbag for your reference.

Swimming Carnival -  is next Wednesday 11th Dec at Epping Pool. 

Christmas Carols Night - This coming Friday (weather permitting)

Graduation Mass & Dinner - Mass will be next Friday Dec 13th at 9am and the dinner will be held at Dooleys Silverwater on Monday Dec 16th.

Final Assembly - Our final assembly will be held at 2.15pm on Monday Dec 16th.

2019 Term 4 Parent Calendar


Important Dates for Term 1, 2020

YEARS 1 - 6: 

Students in Years 1 - 6 will complete their MAI testing on Wednesday 29th Jan. 

The first day of Term 1, 2020 for students in Years 1 - 6 will be Thursday 30th Jan. 


Kindergarten MAI testing will be held over two days, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st January. The first day for our Kindergarten students will be Monday 3rd February, 2020. 

Notes have gone home to all families with details of how to book in for the MAI tests and the dates of school commencing. 


Student Representative Council - SRC - 2020

Recently many of our Year 4 & 5 children presented a speech in order to be considered as a Student Representative Council member for 2020. Following this their peers had the opportunity to have a say by voting for who they would like to represent them.

Congratulations to the following children, who will be inducted into the SRC at our first whole school mass in 2020:

Rick Atie

Eamon Bonora

Charles Cardwell

Chloe Dellas

Jessica Elias

Ella Gavet-Knox

Zoey Loo

Brandon Nakhoul

Eloise Sheridan

Lauren Tallaridi

Mary Taouk

Lenita Taylor-Soto

NSW Premier's Reading Challenge 2019

Thank you to all the students who participated and completed this year's reading challenge and thank you to all parents for supporting your children's literacy learning through this challenge. 

The certificates for all participants will be distributed at the last school assembly on Monday 16 December at 2:15pm.

Congratulations to the following students who will receive the following certificates - 




Kinder - Ryan D, Mia L, Dimitrios M, Tahlia N, Aaron S

Year 1 - Shane F, Megan L, Caitlyn O

Year 2 - Natalie H, Eva L, Caleb L, Afreen M, Elena M, Christian P

Year 3 - Ian B, Renee T

Year 4 - Marie-Elise B, Emily B, Eamon B, Chloe D, Marcus K, Lucas N, Heidi S

Year 5 - Zoey L, Brandon N, Lauren T

Year 6 - Melanie M, Amelia N

Understanding our Attendance Rate

Attendance Rate: 81.5%  - To unpack this a little more, this means that 81.5%  of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%. 


The Semester Two student reports will go home to families next Tuesday afternoon. Should you wish to speak to your child’s teacher please contact the teacher for an appointment as trying to have these important conversations on the fly doesn’t usually satisfy.

Gentle reminder

It has come to my attention that a number of classes have Whatsapp groups. While I am all for open communication I can’t support this as an opportunity to make negative comments about school matters. This should also not be used in a way that makes other parents or community members feel uncomfortable. 

St Bernadette’s is a community that upholds the Catholic values where the dignity of the person is paramount. So please consider this … If it is not something that you would say to the person concerned personally then you should probably not post it on social media.

Staffing for 2020

For 2020 the staffing is as follows:

Kindergarten - Mrs Maria Sadler

Year 1 - Mrs Angela Femia

Year 2 - Mrs Stephanie Bonora & Mrs Carly Lake

Year 3 - Mrs Leanne Cakmakci

Year 4 - Miss Simone Farago & Mrs Louise Williams

Year 5 - Mr Anthony Kensell & Mrs Kerrie Kavanagh

Year 6 - Mrs Corinne Brooker & Mrs Kerrie Kavanagh

CBA School banking – Last school banking will be 13 Dec

Please be advised that the last day for school banking 2019 will be Friday 13th December.

Notification of leaving

If any family will not be returning to our school next year it is imperative that you notify us as soon as possible. You will need to collect a Student Leaving Form from the school office. Thank you for your cooperation.

COSCH is moving space

Our Cosch is now moving to the demountable classroom for 2020. They will begin the move next week so some sessions may be held in the Hall but the members of Cosch will be sending their own note out this week to advise all families concerned about the changes to operations.

Executive Director's Summer Reading Challenge

These summer holidays, the Executive Director Mr Greg Whitby is again launching his Summer Reading Challenge and encouraging all students to read, read, read! 

Students can read anything they like to enter the challenge, whether it’s a comic, play, a piece of poetry, book, e-book or animated novel. 

Taking part in the Executive Directors Summer Reading Challenge is easy! Students just need to read something they enjoy and tell us in 50 words or less why they loved it. The more a student reads, the more times they can enter the reading challenge and the more chances they have of winning one of two Chromebooks or one of thirty runner-up gift vouchers to the value of $30. Students can enter online by visiting the CEDP website.

Entries opened on 2 December 2019 and close at 5:00pm on 2 February 2020. Terms and Conditions can be found here.

Don’t forget, students can access our online library (e-library) to borrow books. This is a great way to keep up your reading throughout the school holidays!The e-library can be accessed via classm8     OR

Add a title

Terms and Conditions of entry


Happy Birthday

23/11 - Arabella K L 

26/11 - Jeremy F 

2/12 - Ryan M

4/12 - Heidi S 

4/12 - Jayden L 

7/12 - Olivia N 

12/12 - Ian B 

13/12 - Gianluca B 

13/12 - Kaitlyn T 

14/12 - Annabella A 

17/12 - Natalie H 

18/12 - Lydia G

29/12 - Richard Y


Holiday Writing Competition

Well done to all the students who entered the Holiday Writing Competition.

Congratulations to Youssef, Samara, Eamon and Heidi who were the winners. Enjoy reading their wonderful texts celebrating the Feast of St Francis.

Writing examples

Fagan Park Excursion

As you can see from these amazing photos a great day was had by all of our Infants students who attended our Fagan Park excursion. Thanks to all of the staff and parents who supported the students on the day.


2019 Primary Diocesan Sport Awards

On Wednesday, 4th December, two children from St Bernadette’s were honoured at the 2019 Primary Diocesan Sport Awards evening. They were among only 34 children in the entire diocese to receive this award for their outstanding achievements in sport throughout 2019.

Congratulations to Kiara B, who received an award for her success in football, playing in the NSWPSSA State Football Team in a national competition. 

Congratulations to Heidi S, who received an award for her 8 medals, 4 of them gold, at the School Sport Australia National Swimming Championships. 

Heidi was also the recipient of the Ann D Clark Memorial Award for Excellence in Sport! This is the highest honour bestowed on the night.


Canteen snack day

Thank you to all the parents who came and volunteered their time at the canteen on Tuesday. The children were excited to have such delicious treats served at the canteen! A total of $264 was raised from our canteen day.

Christmas Picnic

Tokens have been sent home already. If you have NOT received them, please contact us immediately. Please ensure that you bring this with you to the picnic to redeem your meal. We look forward to a festive and wonderful time with you all.

Fingers crossed for better air quality!

A message from the President

To the school community,

I would like to thank you all for your continued support, contributions and generosity throughout 2019. The P&F is not able to do what they do without your support, and for that we thank you. To everyone who has taken the time to volunteer at our school events we also thank you.

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a Blessed and Merry Christmas & a safe and prosperous New Year.

Nancy Assad


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: 81.5%