St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2021 Term 1 Week 6


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

What a fast paced start to this term we have had! Once upon a time Term 1 was the quiet term….. Clearly that has changed. 

Over the last two weeks our school has been a flurry of activity as we begin to try to find our new ‘normal’. Our Years 2, 3 & 4 classes continue on their Drama Literacy journey. During these sessions the children make connections with literature and respond in movement. This allows each child to connect with the author’s message to their audience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff and families for their attendance to our Zoom Parent meetings. This was a chance to connect with your child's teacher. As restrictions change we will of course find an opportunity to gather in person.

This week has also seen our very first Parent Committee meeting occur. This was a very productive meeting and I welcome all of the feedback received. Over the course of the coming week we will send out a list of events for which any parent can volunteer to steer or volunteer to assist.

An exciting start to 2021! 

Love and light,

Mrs Lisa Gerrard

(on behalf of all of the staff and students)


Parent Community Group

On Tuesday, 2 March, we held our first Parent Community Group Meeting. Thank you to all those who were able to attend. In the future, it may be possible to Zoom these meetings so even more of our community are able to join us. The main function of the Parent Community Group is to assist the school with fundraising activities so that we are able to make our school an even better and more engaging learning experience for the most important people in our community, our children. We had some discussion around what activities would be viable this year (taking into consideration the latest COVID advice from CEDP and NSW Health) and how they could be managed. We also discussed other alternatives to fundraising and what your fundraising efforts would be directed towards. We always appreciate having a Class Parent representative who can be a contact point for parents. At the moment, we still require a Parent rep for Yr 5. If you would like to take on this role, please contact your class teacher ASAP so we can get your details out to your class. You would have seen our Parent Contact list request go out to families yesterday. This is another important way we can build our community so please add your details if you feel comfortable in doing so. Moving forward, we develop a list of suggested activities on a Parent Calendar and we will invite volunteers to help run these. The first of these is the St Patrick's Day canteen stall, which is traditionally run by Kindergarten parents. We are happy to be having a COVID safe St Patrick's Day this year.  We will let you know when our next Parent Community Group meeting is, in Term 2. We hope to see you there!


Sunday 7 March 2021

REFLECTION by Fr Michael Tate

Where does God really dwell?

The Ten Commandments are badly named. Rather, they are the Ten Responses which should characterise a liberated people, freed from slavery by ‘the Lord, your God’.

By the time Jesus came on the scene, the Temple in Jerusalem was no longer a fit dwelling place for a God who desires to free people from oppression and exploitation. To the contrary, Jesus saw the Temple ideology as placing undue burdens and shackles on people.

His anger at this erupted in dramatic street theatre. His overturning of the tables of the money-changers signalled the overturning of the Temple system.

What Our Lord revealed to uncomprehending authorities was that His body was the true sanctuary. The body of Jesus of Nazareth is the dwelling place of God, the habitation of the Lord God who liberates people. In short, God’s sanctuary is not a place, but a person.

We could take a moment to pray, using the Ten Responses to review and guide our reflection and practice as we move towards Easter. This will help us to celebrate the enigmatic saying: ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it again.’

Project Compassion

A reminder that during the time of Lent our school participates in Project Compassion. Project Compassion is aimed to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity for people who are less fortunate than us.

Each classroom has their own Project Compassion box where children are welcome to donate a coin. 

Religious Education with Kindergarten

In Kindergarten we are learning to discover who Jesus is. 

Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus was a baby just like I was.

Jesus played and learnt and cried and ate dinner just like I do.

Term 1 Class Mass, Reconciliation & Altar Server Roster



TERM 1 - Dates for your diary

Important Term Dates 

Week 6 
5/3 - Whole School Mass & SRC Commissioning

5/3 - School Banking 

5/3 - Online Lunch orders available

Week 7 

8/3 - Online Lunch orders available

9/3 - Diocesan Swimming Carnival 8:30am - 3:30pm

9/3 - School Open Day for prospective parents 

10/3 - Online Lunch orders available

12/3 - School Banking 

12/3 - Online Lunch orders available 

12/3 - Class Mass & Reconciliation: Yr 4 - 9am 

Week 8

15/3 - Online lunch orders 

16/3 - Cross Country 

17/3 - Saint Patricks Day morning Tea 

17/3 - Online lunch orders 

19/3 - School Banking 

19/3 - Online lunch orders

19/3 - Mass & Reconciliation: Yr 5 - 9am

Week 9 

22/3 - Online lunch orders 

23/3 - Cross country back up date

24/3 - Online lunch orders 

25/3 - The Annunciation 

26/3 - School Banking (Last banking date for Term 1)

26/3 - Online lunch orders 

26/3 - Class mass & reconciliation: Yr 6 - 9am 

Week 10

29/3 - Online lunch orders

31/3 - Online lunch orders 

1/4 - Holy Thursday 

1/4 - Last day of Term 


20/4 - School resumes for students 

Staff Development Day

Monday 19th April will be a Staff Development Day and no children will be at school. 

Students will commence Term 2 on Tuesday 20th April 2021.

As a Community of Learners

During the past two weeks Stage 3 has been involved in a great leadership day. The purpose behind this day is to build confidence and collegial relationships. I congratulate these students on their exemplary behaviour as I was so proud of the way they conducted themselves

Gentle Reminders

Please remember not to park across the corner of Cox Crescent near the crossing while waiting in the Drive Through line. This is extremely important as it causes the visibility of the crossing to be obstructed. Needless to say it puts those using the crossing at risk, which is unacceptable.

Please remember that using Drive through is a privilege not a right and unsafe behaviours will result in a drive through ban.

What to do if you child is unwell

We understand at times it is difficult for families to know when your child needs to stay home when they complain of feeling unwell. We ask that if your child displays any symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose etc that they are kept home. To return to school they will require a clearance certificate from the doctor or a negative covid test. We thank you in advanced for your cooperation.

Parent Calendars

We are currently working with SkoolBag to sync our Google Calendar to SkoolBag so parents are able to stay up to date with events happening around our school each term. Whilst we are waiting for this to be set up, all of the events for each week have been listed in this newsletter. We hope that you find this helpful. An alert will be sent once the calendar is up and live. This is how all events will be published to our parent community as it is the most accurate way to stay up to date.

School Fees

Please be aware your 2021 School Fees Statements have now been sent out.

Please contact the office if you haven’t received your statement, or have any queries in relation to your fees.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!


A reminder that classes commence at 8:55am.

To help your child have a positive start to the school day it is important that they are at school on time.

Being at school a little before 8:55am allows them to have time to calm themselves and be confident in knowing they are prepared and ready to learn. It also gives them time to say hello to their friends and classmates and burn off some extra energy.

Being late to school can create an anxious situation for some children.

If your child is late, they must come to the school office to be signed in by their parent or carer. They cannot be dropped late and left to run through the school gate unaccompanied. 

School Banking

CBA School banking is available on Friday!  

Please remember to drop your bank books into the canteen between 8:30 and 9am.

St Patrick's Day morning tea

Sincere thanks in advance to the parents of Kindergarten as they are preparing our St Patrick’s Day Canteen Day. There will be a note with further information coming out by next week.


Lunch Orders

This week has been the first week where children have been able to order Welcome Easy meals for lunch. So far so good is the general consensus from most of the children. These meals are now available Monday, Wednesday and Friday currently with the potential to increase days if the community is interested. We as a school make no profit from this and we are just providing a service to make it easier for those parents who wish to purchase lunch for their children.

Assemblies for 2021

We will hold our next assembly for this term tomorrow under the COLA. Once again it will be attended by students only but we hope that we will be able to hold an open Assembly soon. Thanks for your ongoing understanding and support.

Library Borrowing

Over the past few weeks we have been doing a stocktake of the books in our library as we prepare for our Library refurbishment. It has come to my attention that quite a number of books are borrowed and not returned. Due to the hardship that Covid has caused for many families financially, I have chosen not to chase these books or ask for the money to replace them. As you can imagine this has been quite a considerable loss if it happens each year. As a school we value reading and encourage the children to have voice and choice in their selections. If you do find any of our books tucked safely away on your shelves, we would greatly appreciate their return.

NSW Premier's Reading Challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) is the NSW Government initiative. For over 17 years, the PRC has been supporting students to develop a love of reading for pleasure and leisure and providing them with opportunities to experience quality literature. It is available for all NSW students in Years Kindergarten to Year 9.

It is not a competition but a challenge to read, to read more and to read more widely. This is a challenge for all students regardless of their current reading level.

Students wishing to participate for the first time need to complete the section below and return to the school by ​Monday 8 March (Week 7)​. After students have been registered online, they will be issued with a username and password to access the online reading record. Students who have previously participated and already have their username and password, can access their reading record using their previous details.

Reading lists, instructions/ rules can be accessed here:

There is also the PRC student site

The 2021 PRC challenge is open from Monday March 1s​t​. All books read must be entered on the online student reading record by ​Friday 20t​h​ August, 2021.

Class Reps

Thanks so much to those of you who have volunteered to take on this role. However, we are still looking for volunteers to work with Year 5. Anyone interested in this role please contact Mr Southwell-Keely directly.

Enrolling now for 2021

On Tuesday 9th March 2021 from 9:30am to 11am we will holding our open day for prospective parents. If you know of any family members or friends who may have a child starting school in 2022 and are interested in our wonderful school please let them know.

They will need to register their details via our open day registration page on our school website.

For our existing families who have a sibling starting in 2022 please ensure you collect an enrolment form from the school office and return to us as soon as possible to secure your place in Kindergarten for next year.

Dance Fever

Dance Fever will conduct an additional lesson on Friday Week 7 (12 March). This is to make up for there being no lesson in Week 1.

We would like to invite parents (one per child) to attend the children’s last Dance Fever class on April 1st, 2021. 

These classes will be held in the hall at these times:

9.00 - 9.40am - Year 5

9.40 - 10.20am - Year 6

10.20 - 11.00am - Year 2

11.30 - 12.10pm - Year 3

12.10 - 12.45 - Year 1

12.45 - 1.20pm - Year 4

2.00 - 2.40pm - Kindergarten

We ask that those parents attending follow our covid procedures and respect the 1.5m social distancing requirements.

The role of the Instructional Leader for Mathematics at St Bernadette’s

Now that several people have asked about what my new Instructional Leader role is about, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my experience thus far.

The role of the Instructional Leader is focused on improving mathematical outcomes for the children of St Bernadette’s. This will be achieved through teaching shoulder to shoulder with the class teachers, as well as coplanning and having rich discussions around what will drive student learning in the classroom. This is partnered by a whole school approach through Agreed Practice and Professional Learning Meetings.

At this early stage of the year I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with our Infants teachers and children. Each day I have come into these classrooms for the Mathematics block to work alongside our talented teachers. I have to say it has been amazing to see the enthusiasm towards Mathematics from both teachers and students, as it has to see how quickly these young minds can take up and apply new ideas and skills!

In the weeks so far, I have seen our Kindergarten children organise and count collections of varying size and accurately use informal methods to measure their ‘Woolly Worms’. They have also experimented with 3D objects in order to classify, sort and manipulate them to build structures to set criteria.

I have watched as our Year 1 students organise collections with a focus on groups and structuring by tens. They have experimented with geoboards and other materials to organise, sort, classify and name 2D shapes. They have also used a range of materials to create amazing patterns, where the next step will be doing this with numbers.

In Year 2 the children have been consolidating their knowledge of the array structure using the language of rows and columns. This knowledge has then been applied to promote multiplicative thinking by solving challenging ‘times as many’ problems. They have also been making connections between 2D and fractions by dividing and labelling these shapes.

So as you can see, it’s not all sleep-ins, coffee breaks and long lunches - it is far better than that! I also take an EMU Middle Years group each day to support our primary children and am currently seeing a small infants group to support their learning.

I am very excited for what this year will bring and look forward to working closely with our primary teachers in the near future!

Mr Kensell

Happy Birthday

19/2 - Lily Rose C

20/2 - Milania B 

22/2 - Nicole G

23/2 - Eamon B

24/2 - Tadiswa S

26/2 - Ray M 

26/2 - Brandon T

26/2 - Angelica B

28/2 - Leo X

4/3 - Alex J 

4/3 - Chloe X


Representative Sport - Parramatta AFL Team

A Big congratulations to Alex C, who recently attended the trials for the Parramatta Diocesan AFL Team. Alex was successfully selected to represent our Diocese in Wagga Wagga later in the year! What a fantastic achievement! We look forward to hearing more from the MacKillop trials later in March.


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.