St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2020 Term 1 Week 10


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

Welcome to our last newsletter for Term 1!

If they had asked me if I was going to bring in the end of this term during a world pandemic I would have used my favourite quote from the movie ‘The Castle’ “Tell him he’s dreaming!” When I woke up and heard that we had to go into an online learning platform immediately I was a little nervous to pass this information on to the staff. When sharing this I was overwhelmed (but not surprised) with their immediate call to action. I am so proud of the work that they have done to ensure that learning can continue in a very difficult time. 

To our amazing parents, thank you! I can only imagine how this crisis is impacting on you and your family. I want to remind you that we are here if you need us and that we are only ever a phone call or email away. 

I also want to take this opportunity to restate that the work available is only a suggestion. I can appreciate that you may be working from home and that doing this and supporting your child’s learning is difficult. This work provided is to provide support not stress. So please look after your well being as your family needs you more than we need work completed. We continue, at this stage, to stay open but next week could be different.

May you and your family continue to enjoy good health. 

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard

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


Once again this week we are faced with situations that we have never seen before, or have even needed to think about before. We are so used to going out to meet friends for a coffee, going to the gym or heading out to the beach for a swim that it is almost unbelievable that this is what we are being asked to do. We will all react to this in different ways - some may feel stressed now, others may fall down as soon as we return to ‘normal’ operations and some may not feel any effects for years. Last week I spoke about how to  help your children during these challenging times but this week I would like to focus on us as parents (and I say ‘us’ as I have three high school aged children of my own!).

It is important that we do something each day to look after ourselves, even if it is only for a few minutes. Some great ideas are:

  • Exercise - walk around the block or try some yoga in the sunshine

  • Get outside - rediscover gardening or just sit and relax

  • Stay connected with a family member or friend with a phone call, Facetime or Zoom 

  • Cook or bake a healthy treat

  • Learn a new skill online 

It can be hard to relax and switch off in the evening. Although having a device in the bedroom isn’t great, if you are using it for scrolling, downloading and using a meditation or sleep app can be great. Some good ones to try are:

Calm - meditation and sleep - it’s free!       

Bloom - Better you

Headspace - meditation and sleep      

Smiling Mind - for any time of the day

We are all in this together, so I wish you a happy, safe and calm holiday break. 

God Bless. 



Week 6 Monday March 30 to Sunday April 5

Gather “My God, my God...”. Matthew 26:46 

God of compassion, recognise my cry for the CLARITY that only You can bring. Enliven in me Your gift of true sacrifice, so that I may sing a song of justice and mercy. Jesus was abandoned on the cross by humanity but allow my spirit to respond to those in our world who live each day in the ‘crucifying suffering of Jesus’. Let me be filled with hope, for You will never ‘forsake me’. You are my God. 

Listen Gospel – Matthew 26:14 – 27:66 (Amended) 

14 Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, 15 And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. 

49 Judas went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him. 50 Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 

31 And when the soldiers had mocked him, they stripped him of his cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him. 32 As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, 34 they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with bile. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink. 

45 From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” 

50 But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” 

55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. 

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus and Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb. 

62 The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 66 So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

Reflect This final Sunday in Lent presents us with a very stark Gospel – the crucifying death of Jesus. We hear his terrifying cry to his beloved father: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” In his crucifixion, Jesus plumbs to the depths of the terrible sense of God’s absence and abandonment which often accompanies radical human suffering. At this dark point in Jesus’ life it seems he is stretched between the “no” of God and the “no” of humanity. This suffering is reflected in the abandonment and persecution of millions of refugees and asylum seekers in our world today. Many are living the ‘crucifying suffering of Jesus’, abandoned by their homeland and rejected by the countries in which they seek asylum. As they wait patiently in holding camps, they cling to the hope that doors will open for them to enter a new world of life, freedom, prosperity and CLARITY. Respond Throughout our lives we all experience, in some form or other, rejection and perhaps even abandonment. 1. Can you recall such a time in your life? Can you remember who walked with 

you at this time to give you hope? 2. Suggest ways that we as a human community can develop a more 

compassionate response to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. 3. How can we, as people of faith, help to change the consciousness of 

people towards the “outsider” and those who experience rejection, isolation and abandonment? Concluding Prayer Glory to God source of all being, eternal Word, Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen 

Holy Week and Easter Celebrations

Given that our students and families will be unable to attend Holy Week and Easter celebrations at school, CEDP has partnered with Andrew Chinn to produce a prayerful experience which you can use at home. “We Remember” is a prayerful reflection which includes video and music which plays throughout. The text for scripture and prayer appears on the screen for users to read during the presentation. There is a K-2 version and a 3-6 version.

“We Remember” intentionally ends with Easter Sunday immediately following Holy Week as it is fitting in this time to end with a sense of hope. Furthermore, families can choose to move through different parts of the reflection over the separate days should you wish. 

Years 3 - 6 We remember... Holy Thursday


Kindergarten - Year 2 We Remember... Holy Week



Upcoming Events for Term 1

As per advice from CEDP, due to the Coronavirus outbreak and with practising social distancing to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19  amongst our community members all assemblies, class masses, whole school mass and sporting events have been cancelled. Our canteen day that was scheduled for later this term has also been cancelled.

The health and safety of all members of our community is of the upmost importance to us. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

Happy Birthday

3/4 - Francesco M 

4/4 - Avindri A 

5/4 - Lauren T 

7/4 - Nicolas L 

8/4 - Joshua J 

12/4 - Alex C

12/4 - Sam G 

14/4 - Maxime B

14/4 - Jackson C 

As a community of Learners

We have worked hard to ensure that all children have access to a learning platform. Mrs Willard and I are members of every group and we are having a great time seeing work and answering questions.

I have a challenge for each class: send me a list of items and I will write a story that includes ALL of them. Message me (Mrs Gerrard) via Google Classroom, Edmodo or the school email address.

Year 2 set me a challenge last week and here is my story: All the challenge words are in bold.

The Worst Day Ever! 

“Good Afternoon Children,” chimed Miss Carly.

“Good Afternoon Miss Carly”, we all replied.

So that was that. The week was over. We all raced to make our way home to begin our weekend.


I trudged up to Drive thru where Miss Stephanie used her cross and cranky voice to tell me that my name had been called 3 times! She asked me what had taken me so long but I didn’t say anything. Could this day get any worse??????


I got into the car and Mum yelled at me. “What took you so long? Miss Steph had to call you 3 times! You need to listen to your teachers!”

That was it! The final straw! I hung my head down and cried. Mum asked what I was sooking about and I just kept sobbing until we got home. Once Mum stopped the car I jumped out and ran into my room. As I turned to slam my door I screamed, “I hate you all!”  Then I threw myself face down onto my bed.


After what felt like hours Mum came into my room and sat down next to me and asked what was wrong. “Mumpt!”, I replied.

“I can’t hear you when you talk into your mattress”, coaxed Mum.

Grumpily I flipped over and repeated “Nothing”.

“Come on, tell me why you are so upset?” she asked.

“Well, I’ve just had the worst day ever!” I complained.

So I began to tell her my sad story from the beginning.

“Well, first the box I took for my diorama was next to me as we were lining up when Mr Smith’s energetic dog grabbed it and tore it to pieces. If that wasn’t bad enough my drawing of a fire breathing dragon was terrible!”

Yep, you guessed it, the tears started flowing again. This time there were sobbing and snorting noises that I’m not even sure were coming from me! I was a complete mess.

Mum just opened her arms and took me in for a huge warm and fuzzy hug. She sat with me tucked up in her lap for ages and finally my tears stopped. I looked up at her through bleary eyes and said, “I really don’t hate you. I’m sorry that I said that.”

She just hugged me tighter and smiled. There is nothing better than Mum’s hugs.

“Come on,” she said. “Lets go and cheer you up. How about some cookies and cream ice-cream?”

Just as those words came out of Mum’s mouth I jumped up and ran to the kitchen. Cookies and cream ice-cream could cure any bad mood. Thank goodness for Mum.

She made the worst day of my life end well!

By Mrs Gerrard 


Assistant Principal Awards

Congratulations to the following children for receiving an Assistant Principal Award. 

  Kindy                     Jackson C    
  Year 1  Adam H 
  Year 2   James B
  Year  3   Samara C 
  Year 4    Mikaela M 
  Year 5   Lenita T S 
  Year 6   Orlando V

As the vast majority of our students are learning from home and our assemblies have been postponed, we invite you to collect your child's award from our school office between 9am and 3pm. 

Principals Morning Tea

Due to the significant absences I have decided to hold off our Principal’s Morning Tea until next term. I don't think the yummy snacks will taste as good via video chat!

Enroling now for 2021!

As we are now taking enrolments for 2021 please don't leave your application until the last minute. Enrolment forms are available at our front office or via the school website.

Thank you to all of the families who have completed their enrolment forms and returned to us already. 

At this time all Kindergarten Enrolment Interviews for 2021 will be on hold until further notice due COVID-19 outbreak. This decision has been made by the Catholic Education Department of Parramatta and applies to all prospective Kindergarten 2021 families. However, our school will commence sending the first round of Acceptance Letters, while we are aware this is not our normal enrolment procedure, we are providing you with some peace of mind as we do not want families panicking that they will miss out on a place. 

Once we do receive the directive to commence enrolment interviews, we will contact each individual family regardless of you receiving an acceptance letter or not to schedule in a suitable time with our Principal. 

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to meeting with you and your child at a later date this year.


Parents, during this time it is important to remind your child that they can still be safe, respectful learners whilst working online.

SRC News

As you all know this term has been a little difficult for students because of coronavirus and students staying home. I felt weird at first but now I am used to it and catching up to all my work. 

We are using different ways to communicate such as screencastify,zoom and google classroom however I am also having little brain breaks and stretches to rest my brain from sitting and keeping my eyes on devices.

My classmates and I are always helping each other out and if we need help our teachers are always there.

My favourite thing about this is the way we communicate which is fun and we're still learning by doing this.The hard thing about this is that  the teacher is not next to us to explain on a whiteboard.

By Rick, Year 6

When I started working from home it was really weird, because I'm used to getting a teacher to come and help me with my work. The good thing is, we have our classmates, parents and teachers who will be able to help us. 

Most of primary have been using Google Classroom which is an online working resource. Classroom has definitely helped me to figure out what I am supposed to be doing. We have been doing all of the subjects, even PE. The teachers are telling us to go and exercise, so I did some sport which I can still do at home.

By Zoey, Year 6 

This term, due to an abrupt dilema, many students have been staying at home. Although at first this situation sounded daunting, our teachers and school have been very helpful and have been directing us through different sites like google classroom and Gmail.

I have found it extremely easy to complete all of my subjects, as our teachers provide us with timetables. We are also given weekly outlines, informing us as to what is due that week and what is due at the end of the term. All of the school work posts include very thorough explanations, and when we do have questions our teachers are always on top of it and reply to our emails very quickly. We are also generously provided with instructional, answer and reading videos. Instructional videos clarify and fill us in with our larger projects and assignments and are especially helpful. We are assigned work through the  google classroom, and we are told when those assignments are due. After they are due, our teacher posts a screen castify of the answers and explains methods of getting to them. Reading videos are posted every day and are of our teacher reading our class novel. A funny video like our “Question of the week” and videos of our school.

Overall, I think that working from home (besides the environment and surrounding people) is exactly like working from school and I have enjoyed it about as much as you can.  

By Mary T, Year 6  

Writers wanted! Let's get our students having fun with writing!


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: 42.7%