St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2021 Term 4 Week 10


Dear families of St Bernadette's

Welcome to our last newsletter of the year!

What a year it has been. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our staff, students and parents on the way you have adapted and chartered through the unchartered waters of lock down etc this year. For some of us it was a struggle, losing family members or being cut off from family members has been a struggle. Some of us have been financially challenged, feeling too embarrassed to seek help. 

As the season of Advent surrounds us, please take a moment to stop and reflect. In times of struggle its good to take a minute to say, “I may not have as much money but I have a family who loves me. I may be isolated from my family members but I can hear their voices whenever I choose.” So pray, reflect, give thanks because while we may experience struggle we are not alone. There is always someone who walks beside us waiting to pick us up when we feel that we can no longer go on. 

I wish all of our families a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.

We say bon voyage, to those who are leaving us and we wish them well in the next part of their life journey.

For those who are returning to us, enjoy your time off and we look forward to seeing you in 2022. 

Stay well & take care,

Love & Light   

Lisa Gerrard

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


As we approach the end of another school year, I think it is important to remember that although it was probably one of the toughest that we have experienced as a school community, there were  some great things about it too. 

My favourite days were the two days where the students returned to site after remote learning. It was so wonderful to see everyone again and once again hear the children’s voices from my Office at recess and lunch. I really enjoyed seeing friends greet each other again and talk about what they had been doing while at home. 

The resilience that so many of our students showed was amazing. They kept up with their schoolwork, even though it might have been easier to stay in their pyjamas and not log on. Our students kept turning in high quality work and chatting with their teachers over Zoom, keeping up the social interactions with their friends during reading groups or group activities. 

Once again, some of us may be separated from family or friends for Christmas, but I hope that you are able to spend some quality time with family, friends and those people who are important to you. May the joy of Christ be present in all your gatherings and celebrations. 

Merry Christmas!

Mrs Willard


Sunday 12th December 2021

REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA

We are at the midpoint of Advent. Today we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. The principal theme of the day is joy. According to Paul, joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22). Such joy is a religious sentiment, not emotional happiness. Along with gratitude, it is the heart’s response to God’s goodness. Zion is told to shout for joy because it has been saved by God from its enemies and because God is in the midst of the people. The psalm response proclaims the same message; the reading from Philippians announces that the Lord is near. This is cause for joy.

Advent is a time for joy, not primarily because we are anticipating the anniversary of the birth of Christ, but because God is already in our midst (Immanuel). The readings for this Sunday assure us that God is with us, not as a judge but as a Saviour. We rejoice over the saving acts of God that make us confident of God’s care and unafraid of whatever may cross our paths. We rejoice in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Advent joy is like the delight that fills a woman who has just given birth, even if it occurred in the throes of birthpangs.  Advent joy springs from the realisation that the presence of God in our midst can so transform our lives that the promises of peace and security will be fulfilled. Advent joy is the way we live in the tension between already and not yet.

Staffing Updates:

Staffing Updates:

Here is the staff line up for 2022. 

Kindergarten - Miss Emily Tiberio

Year 1 - Miss Chloe Strawbridge

Year 2 - Miss Catherine Vaughan

Year 3 - Mr Daniel Southwell-Keely

Year 4 - Mrs Leanne Cakmakci

Year 5 - Mrs Corrine Brooker & Mrs Kerrie Kavanagh

Year 6 - Mrs Stephanie Bonora & Mrs Carly Lake

Diversity & Reading Recovery - Miss Simone Farago

Literacy Support - Mrs Maria Sadler

Instructional Leader - Mr Anthony Kensell

EMU - Mrs Jackie Willard (Early Years) & Mr Anthony Kensell (Middle Years)

As you can see there are a few new faces and a big shuffle of staff roles and responsibilities. Let me assure you that these decisions were made with the students best interest in mind. Having a number of classes impacted at a crucial part of their learning journey, has prompted us to place experience staff in our support roles to assist these students at their point of need.


SRC for 2022

Earlier this week, Years 3, 4 and 5 had the pleasure of listening to the nomination speeches for the Student Representative Council (SRC) 2021. All the students spoke very well and really convinced their fellow students why they would represent them well next year. 

It was a very close vote in both Yr 5 and Yr 4 and Mr Kensell and Mrs Willard had to move down to second preferences to decide who would make up the team for 2021. 

Congratulations to our SRC Team for 2021:

Year 6 2022

  • Ian Baek
  • Sonia Barsoumian
  • Alex Cardwell
  • Anthony Dahibe
  • Kalya Hallit
  • Isla Mapagu
  • Renee Torres
  • Robert Wilson

Year 5 2022

  • Olivia Elias
  • Elena Mazzaferro
  • Stefan Shchepotkin
  • Ella Tasovac


Premier's Reading Challenge 2021

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Premier's Reading Challenge. The following students received a Gold or Platinum Award for their outstanding participation.

The Gold Award recognises 4 years participation and the Platinum Award recognises 7 years participation.

Youssef E - Gold Award

Eamon B - Platinum Award

Lucas N - Platinum Award

Sporting Achievements

For the past 2 weeks, Lily-Rose has been trialling to make the touch football team to play in the NSW touch football state cup.  

Lily-Rose has been selected to represent Parramatta in the under 10 girls Parramatta Eels team in the worlds largest touch football tournament to compete against the states best touch footy players in Wagga Wagga February 2022. 

Leaving families

A reminder to complete a "leaving form" if you know that your child will not be returning to St Bernadette's Primary school in 2022 - Please call the school office to request this form if needed.



Week 10:

Friday 10th December - Year 6 Graduation

Week 11:

Tuesday 14th December - Last day of Term 4 for Students 

Wednesday 15th December - Staff Development Day (No students at school)

Thursday 16th December - Staff Development Day (No students at school)


Week 1:

Friday 28th January - Staff Development Day ( No students at School)

Week 2:

Monday 31st January - MAI testing for Years 1-6

Tuesday 1st Feb - First Day of School for Years 1-6

                                MAI testing for Kindergarten

Wednesday 2nd Feb - Kindergarten Orientation

Thursday 3rd Feb - Kindergarten Orientation

Friday 4th Feb - First Day of School for Kindergarten

A gentle reminder:

We ask that when picking up your child from drive through please remember the following items:

  1. Don’t park across the crossing as it limits visibility for drivers when children have to cross Evans Road.
  2. Don’t block the Parish Driveway as it limits the Priests ability to enter or exit their residence.
  3. Please don’t overtake the car in front of you as it creates a dangerous situation for all Cox Crescent users.

When picking your child up from the back gate please remember the following:

  1. Reverse into all car spaces - this gives better visibility when you are leaving.
  2. Please hold your child’s hand or keep them close to you when moving to your car.
  3. Don’t gather on the grass as this encourages children to run around in and out from between the parked cars which can result in an accident.

Summer reading Challenge

All students are invited to enter online the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Reading Challenge. Competition opens on the 1st Nov 2021 and closes at 5pm on 25th Feb 2022. Enter online at

For more information please look on the Parramatta Diocese website.

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

  • Saacha -  06/12
  • Thomas - 10/12
  • Orlando M - 12/12
  • Ian -  12/12
  • Jun - 14/12
  • Lydia G - 18/12
  • Yvette - 20/12
  • Richard - 29/12


Community Health Advice


Community Sports

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.