Dear Parents and Friends,
I hope you enjoyed the long weekend; I know the students did! Congratulations to Beatrix F who came first on Tuesday at the Combined Primary Schools NSW Cross Country! Beatrix will now compete for a place in the National Championships next term. What a wonderful achievement, we are very proud of you.
This Friday, 16 June, we have a whole School Mass planned at 9.15am. The Mass will be led by our Mini Vinnies team and will focus on supporting others in need. This year, Pope Francis, has named the theme as “walking together”. Pope Francis says that synodality is about “a discerning community becoming an acting community”. This certainly aligns with our St Bernard’s values and the way our Mini Vinnies team continue to work and plan to help those less fortunate. Last week I was touched to hear how a group of Year 2 students were planning their own fundraiser for the missions. This has then led to Year 2 running their own mini project this week across the grade. This is certainly an example of being called to action.
The Mass coincides with a Pyjama/Beanie-Day’ where students are encouraged to come dressed in pyjamas and offer a gold coin donation. All proceeds will go to the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal. Donations of blankets are welcomed and can be left at the front office. Dave May from the St Vincent DePaul Society will be in attendance at the Mass to receive our donations. All families are invited to join us as we prayerfully reflect on our responsibility as a faith-filled community to respond to those in need.
Teaching and Learning
St Bernard’s has a practical and evidence-based approach to teaching and learning, which ensures we provide the education that our students and families deserve. We are committed to continuously investing in the delivery of excellent teaching and learning experiences. We will do this by focusing on three key areas:
- Improving the quality of curriculum resources available to teachers
- Delivering high quality professional learning for all teachers
- Implementing high quality assessment protocols
We offer a broad-based curriculum with emphasis given to the care and development of the child as an individual and a contributing member of a community. Students participate in all Key Learning Areas each week from Kindergarten to Year 6 - Religious Education, English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science and Technology, Creative Arts and Personal Development/Health/Physical Education (PDHPE).
Extension Numeracy and learning options are available for individual students. Students are selected based on data to work in small groups to extend their thinking. The students are engaged in tasks that require them to use background knowledge and inquiry skills to investigate and solve real world problems. Over the past couple of weeks, classroom teachers have been performing some formal assessments with students to inform us on growth and to continue to inform our teaching and learning. It has been great to hear from teachers about the growth students are making across English and Mathematics. Spelling Mastery is certainly supporting student growth in spelling. I am hearing about students showing growth of more than two years since the beginning of the year. This is amazing! The teachers are very much looking forward to sharing your child’s progress at Parent Teacher Interviews in Week 10. Don’t forget to make a time.
Last week I wrote some information in the newsletter regarding changes to NAPLAN. ACARA (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority) is shifting to reporting Proficiency Standards replacing the previous Band Levels. This change requires communication to both parents and teachers as it has implications for reporting, support, and interpretations. Please find a flyer further down in the newsletter.
St Bernard's School Rules
This week I have been speaking to the students about speaking respectfully and using respectful language. We are explicitly teaching students to use manners when interacting with each other and adults. Some of the things we have spoken about include:
- Saying please/thank you
- Greetings to adults. For example good morning
- Walking on the concrete
- Using respectful and appropriate language at all times
- Jokes – what is acceptable and what’s not
I ask that you please continue the conversation at home. At St Bernard’s we want to ensure that all students are displaying our St Bernard’s values and that we are creating a respectful culture.
Thank you for your support with ensuring your child is in the correct uniform. We have seen greater improvement in this area.
Blessings to you and your family.
…I have Called You…
What is the harvest to which Jesus was referring? Who is he asking to go into the harvest? What does it mean for us today? Am I listening to God’s call in my life?
The harvest is our world – the call is for all of us who are baptised – to be the labourers. So, what is happening in our world? What are the ‘signs of the times’ today? Are we afraid like the apostles were at the first Pentecost and will we listen and be filled with the Holy Spirit and go forth with trust in God as they did?
The harvest is our world which continues to be characterised by tragedy, war, destruction, inequity, poverty and so much global as well as local distress. Jesus is telling us to go into this harvest – Ron Rolheiser, an Oblate priest and theologian offers some wisdom…‘we are asked by our Christian faith to have a genuine love for the world…the world isn’t our enemy.’ This can be difficult to understand sometimes when we can face ridicule for our beliefs but it is the place of the harvest, the place of conversion of our heart, of all hearts towards God. It is important to remember that our world is also characterised by people of goodwill and great generosity of spirit and belief in others.
Our Christian faith expressed in this weekend’s Gospel calls us into the harvest – to welcome the stranger, the feed the orphans and the widows - the scriptural code for who at any given time are the 3 most vulnerable groups in society. We are called to reach out to the poor, to break through the boundaries as Jesus shows us countless times in the Gospels - to be the hope for the ‘harassed and dejected’ in the crowd. It is challenging to welcome the stranger, to step beyond our comfort zone but Jesus ‘not only makes a preferential option for the poor, but God is in the poor. How we treat the poor is how we treat God’ (Rolheiser and Pope Francis).
Jesus tells us that we will be judged based on how we treated the most vulnerable among us (Matthew’s Gospel). We are called to feed the hungry – an uncompromising and eminently personal call (Rolheiser). We are called to be eminently human in our response – ‘to be human is to listen to the rest of the world with a tender heart, and to learn to live with our arms open and our souls seared with a sense of responsibility for everything that is. (Joan Chittister)
Maybe we can respond to the call of the Pastoral Care Team in our Parish to assist those less fortunate or to volunteer with Vinnies – to tend to the local harvest!
During this Refugee Week (18 – 24 June) we are invited to respond both in kind and in prayer
Prayer for Refugee Week:
Lord, no one is a stranger to you, and no one is ever far from your loving care. In your kindness watch over refugees and asylum seekers, those separated from their loved one, those who are lost, those who have been made destitute and those who have been exiled. Bring them safely to the place where they long to be and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need.
Dear Parents and Carers,
This Friday 16 June, we will be holding our annual Winter Appeal for the St Vincent de Paul Society. To assist our fundraising, students are asked to bring along a gold coin donation and wear their pyjamas and beanie.
Our Winter Appeal Mass will begin at 9.15am. Thank you to our Mini Vinnies team who will take on key roles during the celebration. The teams’ leadership around social justice issues is to be acknowledged.
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Friday 16 June is also the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This special feast day gives us the opportunity to remember Jesus Christ’s tremendous love for all of humanity, his will for universal salvation and his infinite mercy. Sacred Heart of Jesus we place our trust in you.
Sacrament of Confirmation
A big thank you to all those involved in the Confirmation Retreat Day last Friday at Carroll College. A special mention to Mrs Elle Boller and her Year 10 students for their level of preparation and presentation. Mrs Coggan, Mrs McRae and Mrs Smith told me that our students thoroughly enjoyed the day and that their respectful participation was outstanding.
Family Meeting Thursday 15 June
A Family Check will be held tonight in the Church meeting room starting at 5.00pm.
We will have a short prayer and introduction followed by the students’ feedback on the Retreat Day and parent feedback on the Family program. A pizza supper will be provided.
We are looking forward to seeing you there.
Please remember the following candidates and their families in your prayers this week –
Keira A, Kobi B, Ruby B, Caprice F, Hailey I, Chloe J-P, Xanthe K, Isabella L, Alice McD, Alex McD, Kiera O’S, Lavina P, Samuel S-D, Lily S, Cici S, Jonah T and Molly W.
All parents and friends are invited to attend our Confirmation Mass in St. Bernard’s Church next Saturday evening 24 June at 5.00pm.
World Environment Day
Thank you to Year 4 students who produced very thoughtful and colourful posters on their reflection of the message for the World Environment Day #beatplasticpollution. I heard from some very proud 4C students yesterday that they have 91 hearts in their Heart Jar. These heart tokens have been rewarded for picking up plastic (and paper) rubbish in the playground. Keep up the great work Year 4!
Blessings on your weekend
Religious Education Coordinator
Year 6 have had some very memorable experiences over the last few weeks. We were so thrilled when our leadership shirts arrived. We couldn't wait to try them on and take a group photo.
We enjoyed a visit from Olympian Valentino Guseli. Val spoke to us about his successes and learning experiences. He was a wonderful role model who proved to us that great things are possible.
Our Confirmation Retreat Day at Carroll College was so much fun. The Year 10's organised some very enjoyable activities and the hot dog lunch was delicious!!
Year 6 at St Bernard's is fantastic!
Combined Primary School Cross Country Championships
On Tuesday Keira A, Ruby B, Annie F, Beatrix F, Brooklen S and Raph C competed at the NSWCPS Cross Country in Sydney. They ran against the best runners from Catholic schools all over NSW. A fantastic achievement for these amazing athletes. One of our students was awarded a gold medal and is NSW Catholic school Champion. What an outstanding achievement for Beatrix F. She now competes for a place at the National Championships on Friday July 21 we wish her well with her training.