St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2020 Term 3 Week 2


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

Welcome to our first newsletter for Term 3. Just when we thought we were returning to a kind of normal we are seeing a rise in Covid cases in Australia. As you are aware we have returned to a 4 square metre rule, with our Churches being limited to a maximum of 100 people if the space can accommodate the social distancing requirements.

At school it is business as usual. We continue to keep our site restrictions, upgraded cleaning regimes and social distancing.

I remind you that it is by being responsible and proactive when it comes to your family’s health that we can work to contain the spread.

So please:

  • Wash your hands carefully and regularly

  • Don't send your children to school with any cold / flu like symptoms

  • Maintain social distancing when entering the school premises when collecting your child.

It may feel like this is our new normal routine and I guess for now it is. 

Any new updates to protocols or restrictions will be communicated via Skoolbag so make sure your App is up to date so that you don't miss any new information. 

Stay well and take care.

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard

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

 Attendance Rate: 86.3%  - To unpack this a little more, this means that 85%  of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%. 


Results vs Growth

As you may know, I work in different classes throughout the day for different reasons. While working in these classes I teach different concepts and ideas and then I assess the students on what they have learnt. Recently, after a word identification assessment, one student didn’t seem happy with their result. They were looking at a number based result, for example 17 / 30. I asked why they weren’t happy and they told me that they wanted a better result, a higher number. I then told them what their result for the same test was at the start of the term and we discussed growth.  They were much happier!  This is what we, as educators, look for - not just a number on a page but the growth we see in our students. 

If a student starts on Reading level 4 and by the end of the term has moved to a level 8, we celebrate the growth. If we have a student in the same class that starts on a Level 15 and moves to a level 16, we might start to question why there has not been as much growth and investigate what we can do to help that student make the same growth as others. 

This is something that you could be looking for in your own children. We cannot compare one child to another, they are all individual and all achieve at different rates. What we can look at is growth. Is your child developing new skills from one term to the next?  Are they able to do things now that they couldn’t before? Some questions you could ask your child, such as, ‘What are you most proud of in this piece of work?’ might give you some insight into what they think they have achieved.  This semester we will not use ‘Letter based’ gradings (as directed by NESA and CEDP) so between now and the end of the year it would be important to look at what your child can accomplish now and how they have grown by the end of the year. I’m sure you’ll be impressed!

Mrs Willard

Assistant Principal


Sunday 2 August 2020

REFLECTION by Diane Bergant CSA

Jesus nourishes us. In a world that is fraught with meaninglessness, he offers purpose; to a world that is stumbling in darkness and confusion, he provides direction. He satisfies the hungry heart; he enlivens the drooping spirit. Those who follow Jesus will never be left to languish in the desert. If we but open our eyes, we will be amazed at the bountifulness of the nourishment that is provided for us. We will discover that God is magnanimous, even prodigal in giving, that God’s generosity exceeds all of our expectations and also our understanding. 

Furthermore, we are nourished by God through the ministry of each other, through the simple things of life, (distributing bread and gathering up the fragments): visiting the sick and consoling the grieving; caring for a child and giving aid to an elder; bagging groceries and directing a choir. If we but open our eyes, we will be astounded at how ordinary actions can satisfy our hunger and the hunger of others.

Most amazing of all is that this nourishment is given freely; there was no thought of requiring payment. God simply invites: Come! All we have to do is reach out our hands to receive and we will never be sent away to find nourishment for ourselves. We will discover that a bond is established that endures. Jesus is filled with compassion, a compassion that is not a fleeting emotion, but an enduring attitude. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.


Gentle Reminders

Drive Through

When using the Drive through option before or after school please ensure that you do not overtake the car in front as this creates a dangerous situation for those using Cox Crescent. It costs nothing to be a little patient but it goes a long way to ensure all are safe.

Morning Drop Off

Our morning supervision time begins at 8.30am. Should you need to drop your children off prior to this time you need to book them into COSCH. We understand that some children who travel by bus may arrive just before 8.20am but these children wait outside the office so that they can be safe until the teacher takes them down to the bottom playground. 

Please don’t buzz in to the school via the after school gate to enter the grounds. 

The bottom Parish Carpark gate continues to remain closed until further notice.

We ask that parents do not enter school grounds


Father Christopher's 30th Anniversary

As a community we would like to congratulate Fr Christopher on his 30 year anniversary of ordination. He is an important part of our school community and we wish him every blessing on this amazing feast day.

Parent Teacher Zoom/Phone Call Meetings

During the week you will have received a letter about booking in for a Parent /Teacher interview. Due to covid we have opted to offer meetings via Zoom or phone call. You will have to book a time via the school interview site. All the instructions are available on the note added to Skoolbag.

Bookings are now open to all families and need to be finalised by 7th August 2020 at 3pm.


School Photographs


Dear Parents, 

School photographs are scheduled to be taken by advancedlife. Whilst an envelope and flyer will be distributed shortly, if possible it is our preference that ordering be completed online to reduce administration and potential security issues related to the return of cash and envelopes on photo day. 

Orders for packages and sibling photographs can be placed securely online at using our school’s unique 9 digit advanced order code 9BK 8ZG AKF. Portrait and group package orders are due by photography day. 

Should you wish to purchase a sibling photograph online, the order must be placed no later than the day before photography day. Sibling photographs will only be taken if an order has been placed. 

Should you have any queries concerning school photographs or online ordering, please contact us at 

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)

Every year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). The NCCD process requires schools to identify information already available in the school about support provided to students with disabilities. These relate to legislative requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, in line with the NCCD guidelines (2019).

Information provided about students to the Australian Government for the NCCD includes:

·  year of schooling

·  category of disability

·  level of adjustment provided

This information assists schools to:

·  formally recognise the supports and adjustments provided to students with disability in schools

·  consider how they can strengthen the support of students with disability in schools

·  develop shared practices so that they can review their learning programs in order to improve educational outcomes for students with disability.

The NCCD provides state and federal governments with the information they need to plan more broadly for the support of students with disabilities.

Further information about the NCCD can be found on the NCCD Portal (

Excursions and Incursions

Due to the recent changes to social distancing and travel restrictions we have decided to cancel ALL long distance (Canberra) and all other sporting events and outings such as class excursions are cancelled for 2020. Due to this decision the money charged to families in their fees will be refunded in your next fees statement.

If you have any queries regarding this matter please contact Hala Haddad in our school office.

School Fees

Thank you to all our families who have settled their Term Fees Account or continue to pay fortnightly/monthly instalments, throughout these difficult times. 

If your School Fees are still outstanding and you are experiencing financial difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact our Finance Officer for a confidential discussion on options available to you. We know that Covid has placed many of us in a varied financial position so we will do our best to assist you.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

200 Years of Catholic Schools

This year, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta celebrates the bicentenary of Australia’s first Catholic school. From our first school in 1820, the contribution of the earliest Catholic schools transformed access to education for Australians. Catholic schooling in Australia began in 1820 when Father John Therry opened the first enduring school in Hunter Street, Parramatta. The first teacher at this early colonial school was George Marley. In 1821 he had 31 pupils.

Today, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta builds on this legacy. The Diocese of Parramatta comprises of 80 vibrant and dynamic school communities that stretch from Dundas Valley, north to Richmond, west to Katoomba and south to Luddenham.

There are 58 primary schools and 22 secondary schools, two Catholic Trade Training Centres, four Catholic Early Learning Centres and 23 Catholic Out of School Hours Care Centres. There are around 43,000 students and almost 5,000 staff.

We celebrate all that unites us, and we commit to a hope that defines us, in living out God’s love for one another.

The Amazing Race

As we know, COVID has impacted our ability to fundraise for much needed items and updates to our school. We aren't allowed to have parents onsite and we are not permitted to travel, so we are going to do some in school fundraising, with teachers organising and running an event. There are a number of projects we hope to achieve in the short term with this fundraising money, some of which are:

  • Update and refit the Library, including new shelving

  • Painting of the entire school, to make it more inviting and attractive

  • Update and refresh the boys toilets 

This year, Catholic Education celebrates 200 years of Catholic Schooling in Australia so our 'Amazing Race through Time' will be a day where we celebrate our 200 years of Catholic Schools in Australia with some information about how Catholic Schools started and then have some 'challenges' in the afternoon for the students to complete. They will raise money for every activity they complete and learn something of the history of our school and others along the way.

The date for the event is Thursday 10th September. To get into the spirit of the day, we are asking students to dress up in old fashioned school wear, such as long dresses, shorts with collared shirts or aprons over clothes. We don’t want to make this an imposition on families, we just want the children to get involved in the spirit of the day. We will provide more detail on activities planned and fundraising shortly.

Chocolate Freddo Drive

The Year 6 Graduation Committee has approached Mrs Gerrard to ask if they could have a chocolate fundraising activity this year. While this is not our usual practice, we feel that it is the most Covid friendly option. There will be 100 boxes of Freddo frogs available to purchase. If you would like to support this event you will need to send money in advance and the box will be sent home with your child. All money raised will be handled by our Admin staff and purchases will be made as per our finance protocols.

The money raised will go towards paying for the decorations, medals, cake etc for the Year 6 Graduation Events. 

This fundraiser will replace the ones done in previous years such as The Mother’s & Father’s Day Raffles, Easter Raffle etc; that were all cancelled due to Covid-19. 

Zoom Assemblies

We will start our Zoom assemblies in Week 4. We will record the Zoom and upload the link so parents can share in our achievements. 

2020 Premiers Reading Challenge

The Challenge is quickly drawing to a close, with a little less than a month left before all student entries are to be finalised. Friday August 28 is the final date for entry of Student Reading Records by students. Please ensure you are adding books to your list.

Fountain Update

We are very excited to announce that we have purchased a water fountain for St Francis Xavier Catholic Community School, Daly River. We can’t wait to see pictures of the fountain installed. We were able to do this through the talents and efforts of our wonderful students at the ‘Busking’ late last year and the support of our fantastic parents.

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.

Back gate

The back gate will continue to remain closed while restrictions are still in place for Term 3. There continues to be limited / no access to our school site by adults unless they have the need to be there for work etc.

Thank you for your ongoing support in keeping our staff and students safe as they make their way home each day. 

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

Our Stage 2 & 3 students are embarking on the first stages of the New Religious Education Curriculum trial. These new units of work allow for more engagement with the Gospels while exploring their application and relevance in our daily lives.

Once this trial period is complete these learning cycles will be evaluated according to content and will form the basis for this new document. It is an exciting time and the students are really engaged in learning about the Catholic Faith,its traditions and practices. These cycles are delivered through an inquiry learning model which encourages students to think critically and transfer knowledge into daily practise.


The PBS4L focus for the last two weeks has been caring for people and accepting their differences. The next focus will be we stand up for others. At St Bernadette’s it is important to understand that we care for people and accept each other’s differences. We respect each other and if we see someone is being mistreated by their peers we stand up for others and be an active bystander. By doing this we ensure everyone is safe.

Happy Birthday

2/7 - Jessica L 

2/7 - Janelle L 

5/7 - Mia G

8/7 - Max C 

9/7 - Layla S

12/7 - Christian P 

19/7 - Noah A 

19/7 - Tahlia N 

19/7 - Henry S

25/7 - Ayden H 

25/7 - Nicolas C 

28/7 - Jayden E 

29/7 - Orlando V 


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: 86.3%