St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2020 Term 3 Week 8


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

Over the past two weeks we have enjoyed some amazing spring weather. The children have enjoyed being outside without the cold winter chill in the air.

We have celebrated 200 years of Catholic Schools with our Amazing Race Through Time and recognised organ donation on Jersey Day. We as a community have once again supported both of these events with our usual level of enthusiasm. 

During 2020 the children have not had many opportunities to come together in a fun way so it was great to see the children dress up and participate in different activities. I would like to publicly thank all the staff and families of St Bernadette’s for their enthusiasm and support.

While it was so disappointing not to be able to invite the wider community to celebrate with us in person, we tried to capture the fun by taking photos. We will add the photos to this edition of the newsletter and upload the additional photos on our website.

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard

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

 Attendance Rate: 85.1%   - To unpack this a little more, this means that 85.1% of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%. 


Sunday 13 September 2020

REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA

A distinctive feature of the teachings of Jesus is his exhortation to forgive. Very explicit about this, Jesus left us his own example by forgiving his executioners while he hung dying on the cross. Until recently we thought that forgiveness begins with the offender repenting of the offence and then asking for pardon. Today many maintain that reconciliation must begin with the one offended offering forgiveness. This willingness to forgive transforms a victim into a survivor. Such magnanimity might then touch the heart of the offender, who may thus be transformed from being an offender to becoming a friend.

If God has been so generous in forgiving us, surely we should be generous in forgiving others. The process of becoming a forgiving person takes time. For some, it may take a lifetime. Only little by little are our pettiness and indignation reduced and our desire to strike back diminished. Still, as disciples, we are expected to give the forgiveness that we have been given.

Such forgiveness does not provide an easy way out for offenders, for ultimately justice will prevail. If we remain untransformed by God’s forgiveness of us, we will be liable to judgment. Our unwillingness to forgive can eat away at us, and we can carry hurts from childhood far into adult years. Forgiving others, as difficult as that may be, is in the long run much easier than bearing the weight of resentfulness, vindictiveness and unresolved frustration. When we forgive we truly begin to be healed.

© Dianne Bergant CSA

First Holy Communion

First Reconciliation 2020

First Reconciliation will be for children in Year 2 or above, who have received Baptism.

The program will begin in late October 2020. There will be 5 lessons to prepare for First Reconciliation which should be held on the 2nd December 2020.

The group will then continue with lessons for  First Holy Communion in Term 1- 2021, with First Holy Communion sometime in Term 2 – 2021.

If you feel your child is ready you are welcome to enrol. Year 2 will receive a note on the 11th September 2020. There will also be a few forms left at the school office for older children. These forms have  more details. For further enquiries please contact the parish office on 9871 4414.


As a Community of Learners

As a community of learners we have had a chance to step back in time by resurrecting many of the fun activities we (the staff) played as children. During our Amazing Race the children played hopscotch, quoits, practiced their group marching skills, skipping and many other fun games. We were so impressed with the children’s behaviour and the way they took turns and interacted with each other. As usual the sausage sizzle was a great success.

Gentle reminder


As we move forward we need to readjust to school hours being observed. A large number of children are coming to school after 8.55am. We know that being even 5 minutes late each day means that over the course of a week 25 minutes of learning time is lost. Over a term this can blow out to 250 minutes of learning time 

Smart Watches

It has come to our attention that children are receiving or sending text messages during class time from a smart watch. If your child brings one of these to school they will be held in the office along with the mobile phones from other students. It will be up to your child to remember to come and collect it from the office at the end of the day.

Covid Testing when children are sent home

Please remember that if your child is sent home from school due to illness with cold /flu like symptoms that they must provide the negative results from their Covid test or a clearance letter from your doctor in order to be reentered into their learning space.



Term 3 and Term 4 School Holiday Dates

Term 3 finishes on Friday 25 September 2020

School resumes for Term 4 on Monday 12 October 2020

Last day for students in Term 4 will be Tuesday 15 December 2020


Bernie Bright made a special appearance at our Amazing Race yesterday. The children were so excited to see Bernie and it was a great reminder to everyone of the values and behaviour expectations we share when at school together. 

Here is our token tally:


The Amazing Race through Time

Yesterday, we had a wonderful day celebrating 200 years of Catholic Education in Parramatta. 

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; seven of these were from Protestant families. The school, which was later moved to what is now the site of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta, was administered  by lay teachers for 55 years. 

In 1839 the Sisters of Charity were the first Religious order to arrive and begin to work in Parramatta. They were followed in 1874 by the Sisters of Mercy and in 1875 with the arrival of the Marist Brothers. As the staffing needs of Catholic schools expanded, the Bishops turned to religious congregations in Ireland and elsewhere, seeking teachers to join those religious and lay teachers already working in local schools. By the end of the nineteenth century, about half the teachers in Catholic schools were nuns and brothers. As the twentieth century progressed, nearly all teaching positions came to be filled by lay teachers. 

This is an important milestone in our wider community as we recognise the journey that we have traveled over the last 200 years. The Diocese today is so diverse and we are lucky to be able to work and learn with many wonderful people. 

We chose to recognise 200 years of history with some fun games and events and raise some money to take our school into the future. While our Library is well resourced with books, some of the shelving and furniture needs updating so our students can continue to access the information they need in our ever changing educational environment. 

If you still have money to donate, please bring it into the school as soon as possible so we can begin our planning. We thank you for your support of our major school fundraiser this year and we’ll keep you updated on our progress.

We hope you enjoy checking out the photos we’ve put up here of our Amazing Race Through Time activities yesterday!

Happy Birthday

28/8 - Ryan R

28/8 - Isabelle E

30/8 - Ching Yin Y

30/8 - Sarah H 

31/8 - Gabriella V

4/9 - Vince A

5/9 - Abigail B 

10/9 - Chloe Y

Children's Corner

Stage 2 work samples


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: 85.1%