St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2022 Term 1 Week 6


Dear Families of St Bernadette's

This week marks a number of changes to our Covid restrictions. While we still have to wear masks inside until next Monday, we can relax our rules on cohorting and visitor access. 

With this in mind we have organised an event for next week during Catholic Schools Week. It will be a great opportunity to not only celebrate Catholic Education but it will be the first time in what feels like forever that we can welcome Parents to a Liturgy and Open Classroom. Further information will be sent out as this event draws closer.

On Monday we had 5 students compete in the Zone Swimming Carnival. We congratulate them on making it this far. Their amazing results will be documented later in this newsletter.

This week we celebrate the beginning of Lent. On Ash Wednesday we took the time to reflect and receive ashes during a liturgy. It was a great way to take a moment and begin our preparations for Easter.

As a Catholic community we continue to celebrate and mark these occasions that are special to us in prayer. 

Stay well and take care.

Love & Light  

Lisa Gerrard

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


Many students have been asking about the oval and when we will be able to use it again. I’d like to give the whole community an update on what is happening in terms of our grounds. 

You might remember that our long-time groundsperson, Barry, retired at the end of Term 1 last year. We then employed another groundsperson who had to leave suddenly for family health issues, and then our latest groundsperson, Rodney, who had to leave due to a previous work commitment. We were without a groundsperson for all of Term 4 and recruiting a new one took much longer than expected. We finally found Bill a few weeks ago. We know you will make him feel welcome if you see him around.

While we didn’t have a groundsperson, our equipment was not maintained correctly and as such, our leaf blower/catcher and ride-on mower are not working and need extensive repairs. These repairs are underway.  

Now we add the problem of the terrible weather and we have a very overgrown oval and many leaves on the playground. 

Rest assured, Bill knows what needs to be done and is just waiting for some dry weather to attend to these jobs. He has made some great progress on trimming some hedges around the place and can’t wait to get stuck into the bigger jobs when we see the sun again.   

Have a wonderful week, 

Jackie Willard

Assistant Principal


Sunday, 6 March 2022

REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA

Lent is a time when we are reminded that there is nothing we can do to win our salvation. It is a pure gift from God. Like Jesus in the wilderness, we are to allow God's plan to unfold in and through us. Lent is a time for us to enter actively into the mysteries of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and there to marvel at what God has done for us.

The temptations of Jesus are the same temptations that we face when we are inclined to think that somehow we are in control. While the goals of the temptations may be admirable – feed the hungry, bring the world under the control of good, trust in God's power to protect us – we often choose to accomplish them in ways that are less than admirable. We try to perform the extraordinary so that what we do reflects favourably on us. We use brute force in order to achieve control. We put God to the test rather than live peacefully with God's plan as it unfolds within and around us. We seek to become the super-hero, the super-minister, the super-Christian on our own. In his responses to the tempter, we see Jesus constantly deferring to the power of God: It is not by bread alone . . . worship only God . . . do not put God to the test. In a real sense, these temptations are a reminder that the fundamental temptation is to deny our human limitations and refuse to let God be God for us.

Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday, 2nd March we gathered together to celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Church’s season of Lent. The staff and students had the opportunity to receive the blessed ashes on our heads and to stop and think about how we can play our part in God’s hope for a world that is fair, just and peaceful. 

Fasting, prayer and giving to others are very important during Lent and Jesus tells us within Ash Wednesday’s Gospel reading that we should not do these things to show off or gloat about it to others. Instead, when we take the time to pray, fast and give to others, we should do it because we know we are doing the right thing for others and by God.

The ashes placed on our heads are a reminder to us of the Lenten promises we make in our own lives, and to encourage us to give ourselves to others, just as Jesus did for us.

This important time in the Church’s calendar asks us to reflect on the needs of our brothers and sisters, and to be thankful to God for all the things we are lucky to have in our lives. We are reminded of those who do not have access to basic needs such as water, shelter, medicine and education, and we should think about the ways that we can act in service to them.

As we prepare to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus during Easter, let us do so with hope, now and for all future generations.

Student work - Year 6

This term, Stage 3 has been discussing the meaning of the words 'suffering' and 'hardship' which is part of the current Religion unit. These words are an integral part of the overarching driving question: How can we, as prophets of hope, respond with mercy to the suffering and hardship of others?

 Following on from this, Stage 3 were assigned a task where they had to research someone (or a group) who has suffered a tragedy or hardship in their lives. They were asked to address the following key questions:

  • Who is this person/group? 

  • What happened to him/her?

  • How has he/she found hope in his/her life?

  • What inspired you to choose this person?

 Here are some of our Year 6 responses…

Update from Father Christopher

Father Christopher would like me to inform the community that there has been a change to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. He has decided to invite children who are in Year 7 or older (not Year 6) to participate in this program from this year. 

If you have a child in Year 7 who wishes to participate in this Sacramental program, please contact the parish on 9871 4414 for further information.

Sacramental Program

Term 1

Lessons : Weeks 6-10 inclusive.

Week 6 : 3rd or 4th March

Week 7 : 10th or 11th  March

Week 8 : 17th or 18th March

Week 9 : 24th or 25th March

Week 10 : 31st Mar or 1st April.

Term 2

1st Practise – Sunday 29th May 3.30 – 5pm. (Please meet in the church – Compulsory)

Final Practise – Sunday 5th June 3.30 – 5pm. (Please meet in the Church- Compulsory)

 First Holy Communion – Sunday 19th June at 11.30am.


St Bernadette's Primary School Open Day

We have now begun the enrolment process for 2023. If you have a child who you wish to enrol please download the enrolment form from our website or pop into our office to pick up one.

We are having an Open Day on Wednesday, 9 March 2022, for new families looking at enrolling in 2023. If you know anyone looking at enrolling into our school for 2023 please let them know to register via our school website

Community Of Learners

Zone Swimming Carnival

On Monday, 5 of our children braved the wild weather and attended the Cumberland Zone Swimming Carnival. It is a great achievement to represent St Bernadette’s at this level and the children all swam well and conducted themselves in a commendable way throughout the day.

Congratulations to the Zone Swimming Team for 2022!

Ian B, Liam M, Ayden H, Jayden E, Isla M

Several of our children were successfully selected to participate in the Diocesan Swimming Carnival, to be held on Friday, 11th March:

Ian B - 100m Open freestyle (1st), 50m Freestyle (1st), 50m Backstroke (1st), 50m Breaststroke (2nd), 50m Butterfly (1st), 200m Individual Medley (2nd)

Jayden E - 50m  Freestyle (4th)

Ayden H - 50m Freestyle (3rd)

Ian B was once again awarded  Senior Age Champion for the boys! Special congratulations to him on this fantastic achievement!

We look forward to more swimming news later this month.

Pancake Tuesday

On Tuesday, we celebrated Shrove Tuesday as a whole school community to mark the beginning of Lent. 

We are grateful for the donations of some of the pancakes from Woolworths at Carlingford Court. Thank you for the generosity and support you have shown to our school! 

We were able to raise $318.20 for Missionary donations. 

It was so nice to see the children enjoying their yummy morning tea! 

Sushi Lunch

This Friday we are having a sushi lunch. Thank you to those people who supported this by using our new cashless app called Qkr. This is how all payments are made moving forward.

Smart Watches

It has come to my attention that a number of children are wearing watches that can make or receive calls to school. If children are wearing these to school they must be treated like a mobile phone and be handed into the office once they come into school and they will be returned at the end of the day.

Lunch Club

Our School Counsellor, Jeanette Mansour, will be facilitating Lunch Club in the library each week on Wednesday. This will recommence in Week 9 and continue throughout the year.

 Lunch Club has been popular in the past for students who are seeking an alternative to the playground. Board games and other indoor activities for quiet play will be provided. Students are welcome to attend as they please.

 Parents/carers are welcome to speak with Jeanette if they have any queries about Lunch Club. She is available at the school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Parent Committee Meeting

At St Bernadette’s we have a Parent Committee made up of Class Contact Parents and any interested parents are invited to attend our meetings to discuss any fundraising suggestions and ideas. It is during these meetings parents can volunteer to lead the event or assist in the organising of events.

These events may include:

  • Mother’s Day & Father’s Day

  • Canteen Days 

  • Discos

  • Olypathons etc

Our first meeting will be Tuesday, 8 March at 9:30am in the hall.

We look forward to seeing you there.

PBS4L / Protective Behaviours

This week, we focus on our Protective Behaviours lessons. As a part of these, students will learn how to keep themselves safe and who they can call upon if/when they feel unsafe. This is a perfect opportunity for you to reinforce some of the details that will help your child feel safe, for example, to know their home address, mum or dad's phone number, be able to identify a person they can speak to if mum or dad is not around, and some phrases that will help if someone does something they don’t like.

Through having these conversations, our children become more confident, resilient community members.



Week 6 :

Friday 4th March -Sushi Day

A Gentle Reminder

Being situated in a very narrow street can pose a number of challenges when dropping off and picking up our children. Some of our smaller students are so full of news about their day that they take a little longer to get into the car and buckle up. Here are a few pointers that may make this process a little easier:

  • Ensure that the children enter from the footpath (passenger) side of the car.

  • Dont ask your children to put their bags in the boot.

  • Make sure that the children know how they are supposed to be going home.

A few issues to consider:

  • Be mindful of not blocking our priests or neighbours driveways. This can stop these people from entering or leaving their residence which can result in frustration and complaints.

  • Please don't block the pedestrian crossing as this can impede the view of other drivers so that they don't see people crossing.

  • Try to be patient and considerate and take turns in allowing people to turn onto Cox Crescent. This will alleviate congestion on Evans Road.

 Using the parish car park to pick students up from the back gate continues to be an issue. Last week a staff member approached a parent who was parked in the wrong spot to ask them to move their car to a designated spot and they were met with a verbal attack. The staff take their duty of care (the safety of your children) very seriously and do not deserve to be spoken to in a disrespectful manner. 

 A few pointers to consider:

  • Do not park in the centre 4 car spots as it is unsafe and blocks the flow of traffic.

  • Reverse park into the marked spaces.

  • Get out of the car to collect your child/ children, hold their hand or walk closely beside them until you reach your vehicle.

  • Do not allow children to run between the cars or play on the grass. The car park is not a place to gather as it is unsafe for children with so many cars moving around.

I hope that these ideas will resonate with you and that you will work with us to keep everyone safe.

Clothing Pool

If you wish to purchase any items from our clothing pool please email the school office via . The items are to be paid for via EFTPOS only in the school office. Another option is to order and pay via the QKR! app.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Lisa Hewitt who has volunteered to look after our clothing pool.


Attendance Rate: 85.2 %  - To unpack this a little more, this means that 85.2%  of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%.

A reminder that classes commence at 8:55am.

To help your child have a positive start to the school day it is important that they are at school on time.

Being at school a little before 8:55am allows them to have time to calm themselves and be confident in knowing they are prepared and ready to learn. It also gives them time to say hello to their friends and classmates.

Arriving late can cause stress to the child entering a class that is already working and it can cause disruption to the lesson that has started.

If we were 5 minutes late every day x 5 days = 25 minutes lost each week. 25 minutes x 10 weeks of each term = 250 minutes each term.

That adds up to a lot over the course of the year.

So please be mindful of what time your child  is arriving at school. It is important we establish good routines as it sets our children up for success.

If your child is late, they must come to the school office to be signed in by their parent or carer. They are not to be dropped late and left to run through the school gate unaccompanied.

Principal Morning Tea & Assistant Principal Awards

For 2022 we will continue our Assistant Principal awards.  Mrs Willard will update our community on the upcoming events and present two students from each class with an award based on achieving a personal best.

Once a term a Principal’s Morning Tea will be held where two students from each class will be selected according to the nominated criteria.

Term 1 - Encouragement

Term 2 - Positive Behaviour

Term 3 - Christian Service 

Term 4 - Academic Excellence

These Principal Awards will be handed out at the second last assembly each term. Parents will be contacted for both of these awards as usual by our office staff.

Happy Birthday

Lily-Rose - 19/2

Milania - 20/2

Nicole G - 22/2

Tadiswa - 24/2

Ray - 26/2

Brandon Truong - 26/2

Leo - 28/2

Dominic - 1/3

Chloe X - 4/3

Ryad - 5/3

Rachel - 8/3

Just a reminder that any treats sent in are kept to a minimum and individual.

Our Digital Sign

We would love to advertise events in our community so if you know of an upcoming event please email the details to

Don't forget to collect your Bread Tags!


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.