St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2021 Term 3 Week 4


Dear families of St Bernadette's

Hi Everyone, 

I hope this edition of the newsletter finds you and your family well. As we continue with remote learning, we were thrown a little curve ball last week when they locked the Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA) down. 

What does it mean for our school community? It means that we have been given advice to minimise movement between LGAs so we have made a decision that only those staff members who live within the Parramatta LGA can come onsite. Jackie and I are also onsite on alternate days to support the learning. As you can imagine the impact has been tricky to manage but as we always do, our staff have pulled together to support each other. This is why you may have another teacher respond to your child’s work or host the reading zooms occasionally.

We are always looking for ways to assist during this trying time. 

Two years ago I was here in Rome!!! I think it will be a while before I get back there but what is the saying, “it may not happen overnight but it will happen!” Hang in there and try to find time to relax and chat to your family.

Stay well!

Love & Light   

Lisa Gerrard

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


In the last newsletter I sent out a survey asking your opinion of our current homework policy, which is that we don’t have set, structured homework, except for reading each evening and unfinished class work. We received feedback in our Tell Them From Me survey that parents would like this reviewed, and so the survey was created. We had a strong response, with 72 families completing the questionnaire. We have had a diverse range of reactions, both strongly in favour and strongly against. We would like to discuss this further as a staff, which, as you can imagine, is challenging at the moment. We would not be changing our policy while remote learning is in place, so we will keep you updated when we return to face to face teaching.  


Mrs Willard


Sunday 08 August 2021

Solemnity of St Mary of the Cross


God’s saving justice

The Gospel reading for today is, at first glance, an odd choice to pair with the feast of St Mary of the Cross. Mary MacKillop faced more than a few financial challenges, after all, especially in her youth. The burden of supporting her poor family fell to Mary in her teenage years, and surely no one held it against her for worrying about money, food, or clothing.

But the pairing of saint and gospel makes sense in the context of Mary’s vocation. Rather than worrying about herself, she cared for others. In this, Mary MacKillop lived the gospel very effectively. First caring for her immediate family, then for wider relations, soon enough Mary was focused on meeting the many needs of the communities in which she and her fellow Sisters of St Joseph lived. Through aid, education, and example Mary offered her contemporaries and us an example of faith through works.

From quietly and unobtrusively teaching in a stable in 1866, to founding a religious order that spread throughout and beyond a continent, Mary’s spiritual journey was truly focused on “God’s saving justice”. Tending to Australia’s Aboriginal peoples, prisoners facing execution, children requiring education, the homeless, the orphaned, the sick, indeed anybody she saw in need, Mary shows us how God seeks to answer the day’s troubles: through us.

© Nick Brodie

Maths at Home


Here are some ideas to support your child’s literacy during the remote learning period:

  • Handfuls - Here, a child can grab a handful of small items, such as pasta or buttons. First they can estimate how many items they have, after which they can check by counting. Challenge your child to organise their collection in a way that makes it easy for anyone to find the total.
  • Area & Perimeter - You could challenge your child to create a ‘birds eye view’ of part or all of your home. For older children, they could estimate the perimeter and area of individual rooms, then the whole residence. If you have a tape measure handy they could actually measure to check the accuracy of their estimates.
  • Going for a walk - If you and your child get out for some exercise, they could estimate and count the total number of steps taken. Distance covered could also be estimated and then checked using Google Maps once home.




We still have to mark attendance each day to demonstrate that students are actually participating in remote learning. Each teacher has their own way of gathering this information. It may be by answering a question on Google Classroom or if they attend their allotted zoom meetings etc. Please let us know if your child is sick or unable to attend and we will mark the roll to show this as we would if they were at school.

If you are unable to complete the work set online, we can provide paper copies of the set tasks. An email to the teacher or the school email address will help us support you with this issue. 

Community Learners

We have seen a lot of great work submitted via the online platforms over the past fortnight. Some excellent poems, crazy hair day, designing tree houses as well as a few crazy dance moves.

Thank you to all of those families who have made this happen and we look forward to your feedback on our Footloose video.

We have been watching all the fabulous work you have been doing during remote learning and we were a little envious of your fun times, so we decided to get in on the act.  Watch us all dance away.


Premier's Reading Challenge -UPDATE

To support all students, the following adjustments have been applied to the Challenge in 2021. 

  • The Challenge closing date has been extended to Friday September 3, 2021.

  • Students on all Challenge levels will be able to read 10 choice books. 

  • Students on all Challenge levels will be able to include books on their reading records that they read collaboratively as a class, in person or online with their teacher or at home with their parents/carers.

Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Survey

Parent meeting times - one item that was mentioned more than once in our Tell Them From Me  survey was the timing of meetings, particularly in relation to the Parent Community Group. We have taken on this feedback immediately and will, when we can return to face to face meetings, schedule our meetings for early evenings. 


PBS4L During Remote Learning

Whilst working online it is important we continue to uphold the St Bernadette’s expectations:

⭐ I am safe

⭐ I am respectful

⭐ I am a learner


What would this look like online?

I am Safe 

    • Join Zoom lessons from a safe area in my house eg. the living room or kitchen/dining area
    • Use the technology correctly

    I am Respectful

      • Wear appropriate clothing during Zoom lessons
      • Mute my microphone when I am not speaking
      • Only use the chat feature in the Zoom lesson when my teacher asks me to
      • During Zoom lessons I am listen attentively
      • Speak kindly and use my manners when interacting online

      I am a Learner

          • Complete activities set by my teacher
          • Only use the comment section on Google Classroom when I need to ask a question
          • Avoid distractions around me when I am working
          • The work that is submitted is my personal best

            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 (

            Altar Servers' Roster 16 July - 17 September 2021


            TERM 3 - Dates for your diary

            As we are currently unaware of whether COVID restrictions will continue and in what form, all upcoming events will need to be postponed. We will advise new dates and times when we have more clarity around restrictions. 

            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!

            Enrolling now for 2022

            We still have a small number of places left in our 2022 Kindergarten. Please send in all relevant information as soon as you can to secure your place.

            Happy Birthday

            Gameia Y - 24/7

            Ayden H - 25/7

            Jayden E - 28/7

            Chloe K - 30/7

            Renee T - 1/8

            Matipaishe M - 2/8

            Megan L - 4/8

            Catherine V - 6/8

            Jack D - 7/8 

            EXTRA CURRICULAR...

            COMMUNITY NEWS...

            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.