St Bernadette's Primary School Dundas Valley

Newsletter 2021 Term 1 Week 2


Dear families of St Bernadette's,

Welcome to 2021!!

While we still have a number of restrictions due to Covid, we have been able to welcome a number of parents onto our site to settle our younger students. As our first week comes to a close, we have seen many smiling faces and excitement about seeing their friends again or making new ones. 

This year we welcome Miss Chloe Strawbridge (Year 1) and Mr Dan Southwell-Keally (Year 5) to our staff. I know you will be as excited as we are to welcome them to our community. 

In 2021 we will be introducing a Parent Committee. This committee will be responsible for assisting the school in organising events that will engage the students and raise funds for various resources needed to enhance student learning. Once we are able to meet I will invite any parents who would like to be a part of this committee to come and meet to devise a plan for 2021 events. We welcome all new ideas for events and look forward to a meeting in the not too distant future.

Thanking you in advance for your ongoing support,

Stay well and take care.

Love & Light

Lisa Gerrard

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

Attendance Rate:  95%  - To unpack this a little more, this means that 81.5% of our students have an attendance rate of 90% -100%. 


Sunday 07 Feb 2021 REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA

REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA

Today we see three snapshots from the photo album of life.

Suffering comes to everyone. It can take such a hold of us that the happiness of the past is swallowed up, the beauty of better days is forgotten, and the hope of a brighter future is imperilled. Life ceases to be an adventure and takes on the guise of drudgery. At such times suffering appears to be our permanent fate, and life seems too short for suffering to run its course. If we become identified with our distress, we will be tormented.

Jesus knew the harshness of life, because he was one of us. He saw it in the lives of those he loved, and he was touched by their torment. He came to release people from the demons that possess them, from the illness that undermined their lives. He came to bring the reign of God, the reign of peace and fulfilment. He came to heal the brokenhearted, to bind up their wounds.

Paul was a messenger of this gospel of salvation and fulfilment. He was so committed to his mission that he empathised with all those who heard his preaching – the slaves, the weak, the brokenhearted, all those who knew well the harshness of life. Now it is our turn. We are the disciples who must bring the good news to the brokenhearted, to those who are enslaved, to those who are weak. We are the ones who will then share in the blessings of this good news.


Community of Learners

This week we begin our Dance Fever dance classes on Thursday. This program is always well received by the students and I know 2021 will be no different. Stay tuned for our updates and images of the classes progress in this program.

First Communion Classes - these classes will begin on Thursday 11/2 & Friday 12/2 according to the Parish Timetable. Please contact St Bernadette’s Parish if you haven’t signed up yet.

Staffing for 2021

For 2021 the staffing is as follows:

Kindergarten - Mrs Maria Sadler

Year 1 - Miss Chloe Strawbridge

Year 2 - Mrs Stephanie Bonora & Mrs Carly Lake

Year 3 - Mrs Leanne Cakmakci

Year 4 - Miss Simone Farago & Mrs Carly Lake

Year 5 - Mr Daniel Southwell-Keely  

Year 6 - Mrs Corinne Brooker & Mrs Kerrie Kavanagh

Other staff members include:

Mr Anthony Kensell - Instructional Leader Numeracy & Technology

Mrs Mary Elliott - Reading Recovery & Diversity.

Term Overviews

Term overviews for each class will be released by next week. 

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday begins our Lenten season and this year occurs on the 17th February. As we are not able to guarantee the number of general public who would attend the Church, and to satisfy COVID safety guidelines, Fr Christopher has kindly offered to bring blessed ashes to the school for a prayer service with each Stage. Each Stage will be blessed with ashes and learn about the importance of the Lenten season. We thank Fr Christopher for being so generous with his time on this important day in our Church life.


As per NSW Health and CEDP guidelines, we are able to resume whole school assemblies this year. We will be conducting assemblies under the COLA, with grades / stages separated, as in line with COVID safety guidelines. Unfortunately, parents will not be able to attend. 

We will be taking photos of award winners and class presentations and uploading these to Skoolbag as soon as practical. 

Principal Morning Tea & Assistant Principal Awards

For 2021 we will continue our Assistant Principal awards.  Mrs Willard will update our community on the upcoming events etc and present two students from each class with an award based on achieving personal best.

Once a term a Principal’s Morning Tea will be held where two students from each class will be selected according to the nominated criteria.

Term 1 - Encouragement

Term 2 - Positive Behaviour

Term 3 - Christian Service 

Term 4 - Academic Excellence

These Principal Awards will be handed out at the second last assembly each term. Parents will be contacted for both of these awards as usual by our office staff.

Class Contact Parents

We are now inviting any parent who would like to be a class contact parent to contact their child’s class teacher. Should you want any further information about what this role involves please contact the school office for a role description sheet.

Thanking you in advance for your ongoing support.

School Contacts Book

The contact consent forms will be sent out for new families and any families who need to make changes to contact details. Once returned these details will be updated and entered so this booklet can be sent home in the coming weeks.

Thank you and farewell

As we begin a new school year we say farewell to Linda of Linda’s Lunches. As a school community we would like to express our appreciation for years she has provided us with yummy treats. 

Gentle reminders

It has come to my attention that a number of classes last year created Whatsapp groups. While I am all for open communication I can’t support this as an opportunity to make negative comments about school matters. This should also not be used in a way that makes other parents or community members feel uncomfortable. 

St Bernadette’s is a community that upholds the Catholic values where the dignity of the person is paramount. So please consider this … If it is not something that you would say to the person concerned personally then you should probably not post it on social media.

Also please be mindful when dropping off or picking up your children from school that you are considerate of other drivers when entering or leaving the Parish Carpark. During the week the centre 4 car spaces are NO PARKING spots and all other spots are REVERSE in spots. This ensures that cars can follow the arrows to keep everyone safe.

When using the Drive thru option before or after school please ensure that you do not leave your car as the Rangers will consider you parked which can secure a $340 fine. Also be mindful that queuing across the crossing or blocking Evan’s Road can also result in a fine.

As a staff we work really hard to ensure that the children in our care are where they need to be on time. If we are all patient and considerate, drive thru works quite efficiently. 


As we begin a new year it is a good time to remind us about the importance of arriving at school on time and staying for the full day of learning. While I appreciate that things happen that are out of our control but if you could please do your best to have your child at school prior to 8.55am. 



Positive Behaviour Support for Learning (PBS4L) is a framework for creating safe and orderly learning environments. It is important that every member of the school community knows and has a clear understanding of the school expectations - we are safe, we are respectful and we are learners.

The PBS4L focus for Week 3 is we listen attentively. At St Bernadette’s it is important that we listen attentively to each other to show respect. When we listen attentively we are showing respect and showing consideration towards others and in return other people will respect us.

Happy Birthday

3/1 - Mason N 

4/1 - Lydia Y 

4/1 - Hayden W 

12/1 - Sereno C 

16/1 - Olivia E

22/1 - Elle H 

23/1 - Tanil W 

23/1 - Reece F 

24/1 - Amelia Liu

29/1 - Andy Z 


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.