St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2020 Term 2 Week 8


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

How great is it to be able to return to a phase where things are slowly returning to normal. For many the restrictions being reduced has meant that they can return to work, eat out, get a haircut or socialise in groups larger than our immediate families.

As adults we adapt and adopt new behaviours that enable us to function in this varied environment. For our children, Covid-19 has been a difficult time. There have been times where they have been scared as the news from around the world unfolded and restrictions came into play. They have seen parents either working from home or worse where they have lost their job entirely. Try as hard as we do this stress doesn’t go unnoticed.

So what do we as parents do? My only piece of advice is to talk. Ask if they have any questions / concerns and go from there. Sometimes they build up an unrealistic idea of what is going on and what will happen to them. At school they are following our routines of handwashing etc as we have explained the why behind the practice. 

By opening these lines of communication you build resilience in your child. As adults who have seen happy and sad moments we appreciate that we can lean on our strength in tough times.

Stay well and take care. 

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard

(on behalf of the St Bernadette’s staff & students)

 Attendance Rate: 83.8%  - To unpack this a little more, this means that 83.8%  of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%. 


Listening attentively

You will have noticed that over the last few weeks that our PBS4L focus is listening attentively. This is a really important skill to learn as we need it throughout life. When I am in classrooms, I have seen our teachers reminding students of good listening behaviours and having the children tune in to important information. Some students have struggled with good listening since we have returned to the classroom and it is easy to understand why. With all the recent upheaval, we have all been doing things differently, including the way we listen and attend to others. I think everyone has been on their ‘devices’ more. I know my own children seem to be able to watch and listen to their iPad and iPhone at the same time but I often wonder if they are really paying attention to either?

Our children (and sometimes ourselves!) need help learning to listen. We can do some small things as parents to help children with active listening.

  • Be a good role model. Let children finish speaking before jumping in, look them in the eye, really pay attention. Focus on them and what they are saying.

  • Use the right type of language. Is it age appropriate? Does the tone match the situation?

  • Make instructions or directions easy to follow and clear.

  • Watch for non-verbal signs they are not listening or understanding. Adjust what is being said or take away other distractions if you can.  

  • Sit in silence. This is a great relaxation tool at the end of the day but also helps children focus on small noises and their own breathing. It helps them tune into their listening.

Learning to listen, really listen, is not just a skill for learning, it is a skill for life. 

Mrs Willard

Assistant Principal


Sunday 28 June 2020

REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA

Today we are faced with the cost of discipleship, but we are also comforted by the promise of the providence of God. Baptism is for us both death and life. Through it we enter into Christ’s death and we die to lives of selfishness and sin. Through it we rise with Christ to a new life freed from everything that previously held us down. As glorious as this new life might be, it requires death to our old ways of living, and this is always difficult.

The cost of discipleship cuts right to the core of our beings, it lays bare the very structures of kinship. Baptism recreates us as children of God; through it we are given a new life and born into a new family. The bonds of discipleship are now even stronger than the bonds of blood.  Discipleship requires our very lives. As disciples we can no longer put ourselves first. We must be willing to spend ourselves and to be spent, to serve others in the day to day unfolding of life. We may find such commitment very demanding, but that is part of the cost of discipleship. God promises that if we lose our lives in this way, we will really gain them. If we are unselfish in the way we share ourselves with others, we will be enriched through our generosity. If we spend ourselves and are spent in our service of others we will be filled with blessings unimaginable.

First Holy Communion

Due to the final easing of some restrictions and after discussion with Fr Christopher Sharah, the Sacramental Program for First Holy Communion only will resume in Term 3.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Week 2 Final Lesson

As with earlier lessons you may choose from:

4:20pm or 6:20pm on Thursday 30th July


4:20pm on Friday 31st July.

Week 3 – First Practise

Sunday 9th August  3:30 - 5:00pm. Please meet in the church

Week 4 – Final Practise

Sunday 16th August 3:30 - 5:00pm. Please meet in the Church.

Week 6 First Holy Communion

Sunday 30th August at 11:15am.

More details to follow.

For your planning, I would like to advise that Fr Christopher has decided that there will be a quick Communion Breakfast after Mass in the Creative Arts Room. It is there that a group photo will be taken and certificates will be issued. We should be finished by 1pm so you will have time for your own functions.

The numbers able to attend will be dependent upon the level of restrictions advised on the 9th August 2020.

Kindest regards,

Frances Zore
Sacramental Co-ordinator

Sacramental Programs

Sacramental Programs have been impacted  by restrictions due to the corona-virus pandemic.

As a result, Fr Christopher has postponed our 2020 Confirmation Program to 2021( Confirmation is for those in Year 6 or above ).

If you wish for your child to be in the 2021 program, you are welcome to leave your name and contact details (preferably mobile and email address) with the parish secretary – 9871 4414. This information will be passed on to our Sacramental Co-ordinator who will contact you late Term 2 next year with the details of the Confirmation program. Most of the lessons are in Term 3, with Confirmation being sometime in September each year.

Alternatively, you may email the Sacramental Co-ordinator on with the details.

The First Reconciliation program should begin  as scheduled in Term 4, 2020  for children in Year 2 or older. Details to follow.

However, the  Information evening will be on the 16th October, followed by  5 lessons, a practise and First Reconciliation on the 2nd December 2020.


What do I do if my child is unwell

We ask that all parents keep their child/children home if they are unwell. Even with mild symptoms, we would appreciate that they are kept home. Please seek medical advice where necessary and obtain a medical certificate/clearance when they are well enough to return to school. Any child who is away sick will have their absence marked as 'sick'. Please remember to send a Skoolbag or note advising us that your child is away.

If your child becomes unwell during the day at school, we will be asking that they are collected from school immediately. Please note that all children upon entry to sick bay will have their temperature checked.  

As a Community of Learners

Over the past two weeks learning has returned to our new normal. Our teachers have worked hard to support their students in their transition back into the classroom. I have also had the opportunity to work in Kindergarten during their literacy time. Watching children as they learn to read reminds me of why I chose this profession. Seeing the joy in their faces as they show me work that they are most proud of demonstrates the love of learning and the need for knowledge which, when encouraged, sets them up to be lifelong learners.

An offer of support for local business

As a school community we would like to support our local businesses as they begin to reopen and continue to trade.

If you or someone you know would like to advertise in our newsletter we are willing to give you space. Just send a logo and a short blurb to our email address or drop flyers into our school office. We want nothing more than our families and friends to get their businesses back up on their feet.

Gentle reminder

This week you were sent home a detailed copy of how drive through operates in the afternoons.

Thank you for your ongoing support in keeping our staff and students safe as they make their way home each day. The back gate will remain closed while restrictions are still in place. There continues to be limited / no access to our school site by adults unless they have the need to be there for work etc.

From the advice we have received this will probably be until the beginning of Term 3 2020.

If you require a meeting with your child’s teacher please contact them directly or via the office so that arrangements can be made. I have encouraged staff to choose a mode of communication that they feel comfortable with so some meetings may be by phone or video conferencing.

Enrolments for 2020

We now have a full quota of students for Kindergarten 2021. We even have a small waiting list. However we do still have some places available in other classes should someone you know need to relocate their child.

Wearing our uniform with pride

We are now well into Winter Uniform, and we need to be consistent about some rules:

  • Ties to be worn at all times. Girls need their Tab Tie as well.

  • Boys winter shirts are tucked in, with the top button done up. We ask for your support in having shirts tucked in and buttoned correctly when the boys arrive at school.  

  • Only school jackets are to be worn to school. Gloves, bennies, scarfs etc can be worn but they must be school colours.

  • Hair ties must be school colours.

  • Sports uniform only on sports days. 

  • Black school shoes with school uniform, not joggers.

  • No hat, no play!


We have asked all staff to enforce the no hat, ‘no play’ rule. This means that if students don’t have a hat, they need to play under the undercroft area. This means that they cannot play on the artificial grass near the toy shed, they must stay under the shade.

Our first zoom assembly

On Friday we ran our first zoom assembly. It was a great opportunity to discuss our PBS4L focus and hand out awards from the SRC and Mrs Willard. Once we work through some minor technical difficulties we will have a go at sharing a link for parents to join us remotely. Watch this space!

Zoom Assembly


Our focus for Week 8 was we always try our personal best and this week we will also focus on keeping our hands and feet to ourselves.

Giving your personal best means:

  • perseverance, never giving up, having a go

  • trying again, learning from your mistakes

  • individual, worrying only about yourself, self focussed

At St Bernadette’s it is important that all students feel safe at school. You can be safe at school by making sure you keep your hands and feet to yourself and showing respect to others. A part of keeping yourself safe is also making sure you are in the right place at the right time. 

The students are very excited for the announcement of which colour house has the most Bernie Bright tokens. The final token count will be Friday Week 9 so please remind your child to bring in tokens that may be at home or in their bag.

The token count to date is:

BernadetteClare FrancisMackillop 

SRC News

This week for my SRC award, I am looking for a Student who is kind, responsible and will make it to their lines promptly. I see this when students are quick to their lines, and help others who might be hurt. - Zoey L

This week I am looking for a student who is kind and caring. I see this when they look after someone and be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing - Rick A

I am looking for students who are reverent and showing kindness and leadership to others. I see this when people include others and be responsible for their actions and think before acting and chose to perform good behaviour - Brandon N

This week I am looking for a student who consistently follows the school rules and PBS4L goals throughout the term, not only in the designated week. I see this when students wait for the toy shed to be opened by an SRC member, use toys and equipment responsibly, and wear their uniform properly and with pride.  - Mary T

As the SRC, we are looking forward to seeing everyone on a short ‘Zoom’ assembly, where each class will join together remotely and we will be able to give out our SRC awards again.

Happy Birthday

8/6 - Brandon T 

9/6 - Willem K L 

11/6 - Ansh T

13/6 - Eamon N 

16/6 - Rick A 

17/6 - Isabelle A 


Community Health Advice

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: 83.8 %