Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you have enjoyed a great week. It’s hard to believe we are nearly at the end of the term. Over the weekend I read an article from the ABC News titled “A reading revolution is underway in many Australian schools but classes are still a 'lottery' for parents”. It highlighted the importance of teaching students to decode. Phonics enables students to become proficient readers by giving them the tools to sound out unfamiliar words. This ability promotes independent reading and a deeper understanding of texts. In the article Pamela Snow, who co-founded the Science of Language and Reading Lab at La Trobe University, says “the evidence clearly backs the explicit instruction of phonics and that reading, unlike speaking, must be taught. "We know that children who are effective readers early on are the ones who have acquired those automatic decoding skills". https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-10/literacy-teaching-revolution-underway/102834334?utm_source=abc_news_app&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_campaign=abc_news_app&utm_content=other
At St Bernard’s we also believe that teaching the phonics program, ‘Let’s Decode’, is vital because it equips students with the fundamental skills they need to become proficient readers and writers. It sets the stage for academic success, empowers learners, and promotes a love of reading. Please don’t hesitate to come and see us if you have any questions.
Storyline Presentation of Learning
Next Tuesday 19 September from 9.30am - 10.30am, parents, carers and grandparents are invited to visit classrooms to view the students’ learning over the term. Each class will present their learning journey, a culmination of their History/Geography units of work. Students will share their knowledge and understanding of the characters they became during the term.
- Kindergarten will be showcasing their farms.
- Stage One will be Palaeontologists.
- Year 3 will be celebrating the history of Batemans Bay
- Year 4 will be sharing with you the history of Australia from the time of the first European settlement.
- Year 5 will be showing you life on the goldfields.
- Year 6 will be sharing their learning about migration.
All families are invited to join in the celebration of learning.
Following interviews last week for the Position of Coordinator (Permanent), I inform you that Ms Jeni McCarthy has been successful in gaining this position. I know you’ll join with me in congratulating Ms McCarthy on her appointment. Ms McCarthy brings a high level of expertise to the role, and her depth of experience supports our commitment to continual improvement. Our Vision and Values and focus on teaching and learning and student wellbeing, combined with that of the entire staff - brings about collaboration - to create a school for all.
Mrs Georgia Veneris and her husband, Zac, are expecting their second child next year. Ms Veneris will commence maternity leave towards the end of Term 1 2024. On behalf of the school community, I congratulate Ms Veneris and Zac.
Next year we welcome Mrs Sophie Kenny to St Bernard’s. Mrs Kenny has been teaching at St Mary’s Primary School Moruya. Mrs Kenny has worked in Catholic Education for many years and is currently teaching a Year 4 and Kindergarten class at St Mary’s Primary School. Mrs Kenny has been trained in the Catalyst High Impact Teaching Practices and will be a great addition to our St Bernard’s team.
Mrs Suzie McRae has made the decision to retire at the end of the 2023 school year. We thank Mrs McRae for the time and dedication she has put into St Bernard’s. Mrs McRae has been a valued member of the school community during her time at St Bernard's. We wish Mrs McRae an enjoyable retirement and thank her for the many dedicated years she's given to the St Bernard's community. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Archdiocesan Public Speaking
Congratulations to Beatrix F, Annie F and Isabella L who competed at the Archdiocesan Public Speaking competition in Goulburn last week. Not only is it commendable to have our school represented at this competition, but it is wonderful that we have 3 students who have made it to this elite level. Congratulations girls, we are all very proud of you!
Next week Year 4 are very excited to be going on their overnight excursion to Canberra. I will be attending the camp and Mrs Hadley will be Acting Principal at school.
Blessings to you and your family.
Dear Parents and Carers
STEM and Storyline
As part of their Storyline learning this term, students have been engaged in various tasks during Science and Digital Technologies lessons to enrich their understandings. In Kinder, students planned a farmyard layout, using simple symbols and a birds-eye view, that would best cater to the needs of animals. The students made a cardboard farm model, following their own plan, using cutting, scrunching, folding and joining techniques to create structures, fencing and animal models, demonstrating the appropriate care of farm animals. In Year 3 students designed a strong and aesthetically pleasing bridge after learning engineering basics on forces and the strength of shapes as part of their learning about the history of Batemans Bay and the change of infrastructure in our local area. Students in Year 6, learning about Refugees, went through the process of designing, making, appraising and modifying a structure or object representative of the country of origin of their chosen migrant or, designed a shelter to fulfill the needs of a refugee and the difficulties faced.
All classes look forward to showcasing their learning next Tuesday at 9.30am.
e-Safety Commissioner Advice
Children can learn, explore, play and make friends online. But there can be risks.
Your child might accidentally see upsetting content, be contacted by strangers or experience bullying. They might also miss out on important things like spending time outside.
Here are some easy things you can do to help keep children safe online.
- Talk about online safety as a family
- Set up family rules together
- Know where to get help
View the video below for more information about these three ideas.
Kindergarten Excursion to Red Gate Farm
Kindergarten visited The Red Gate Farm at Carroll College yesterday for an excursion to learn more about farming. Students from Carroll College who study agriculture as well as some of the Year 7-10 Indigenous students supported our Kinders with their learning. Everyone had a great day! We thank the Carroll College teachers and students for making this day possible and for their generous hospitality.
R U OK?
Today is R U OK? Day. R U OK? Day is a national day of action when we remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, ‘Are you OK?’ and start a meaningful conversation whenever they spot the signs that someone they care about might be struggling. This year’s theme, ‘I’m here to hear’, highlights how taking time for a conversation and genuinely listening can help people feel supported and connected.
Take the time to connect with your family and friends and ask them how they’re travelling at this time.
“ Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me?”
The question of forgiveness is an interesting even perplexing one, posing other related questions such as - What is forgiveness?
How many times am I expected to forgive?
How does forgiveness affect me?
The three readings this week, whilst each highlighting an aspect of forgiveness, can, on closer reading answer our questions regarding forgiveness and perhaps lead us to a greater understanding and appreciation of the attribute of forgiveness.
Joyce Rupp has a timely and pertinent reminder for us “ The one who follows Jesus and speaks His message may find it not easy to hear or accept - in this case - forgiveness.”
The Gospel is an example of Jesus sharing and showing us His understanding and focus on relationships in the community. There was a variety of backgrounds, political affiliations and personalities. Not much different from our present day! The need for patience, understanding, apologising and saying sorry (forgiveness) is still required.
Forgiveness does not mean “forgetting” or “ pretending” something did not happen. It does not mean we don’t get angry but rather we accept that whatever hurt or offended us may always remain with us but working on forgiveness may/can relieve the negative feelings. We need to focus on the belief that God loves and forgives us beyond measure.
Richard Rohr says “ forgiveness is simply the religious word for letting go”. It involves an intentional decision to let go of resentment and anger as well as being aware that negative energy can have us engaging in petty and unforgiving behaviour towards others. The first readings highlights this and Paul in his letter reminds us this week of our human connectedness and how our thoughts, actions can affect those in our community.
True forgiveness is from the heart. The heart being the core of our being and the centre of one cognition and emotion. To forgive from the heart is to forgive with the whole of one’s being.
Whilst we can find forgiveness difficult we need to be aware of how not being forgiven affects us. What does it do to us and our relationships and then to others and their relationships? Is the future of relationships always going to be encumbered by the past?
However often we pray the Lord’s Prayer do we always understand the significance of “ forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?”
The readings this week, reinforce the teaching of Jesus about forgiveness being continual and unlimited if we wish to be called disciples of Jesus.
Ken and Carolyn Evenden
Dear Parents and Carers,
During mass this weekend we will hear in the First Reading and Gospel that God wants us to forgive one another and not to hold grudges. As parents and educators, we are the most influential teachers. If we want children to be people who are caring and loving and who do not harbour bitter feelings, then we must teach them, by our example, about forgiveness. It is a wonderful gift we give when we forgive someone.
When a child asks for forgiveness, and we forgive, they are learning an important life lesson.
When we tell a child that we are sorry about something, we enable them to give us the rich gift of forgiveness. Grudges and bitterness constrict our hearts, but forgiveness allows our hearts the capacity to love and grow. We ask God to help us be people of forgiveness.
Our First Eucharist Mass on Sunday was such a special occasion. Congratulations to our candidates and their families on their efforts in preparing for the celebration of the sacrament. In his homily, Fr Loi compared the Eucharist to the gift of a plant or flower. To survive, a plant needs to be regularly watered and cared for. Fr Loi encouraged parents to bring their children along to mass each weekend to receive communion. He said this is how the children’s love and relationship with God will be nourished. I have included photos of the celebration for your delight
Thank you to our amazing staff who assisted in so many ways on Sunday. In the busyness of their world, they always have time to build the religious life of our school. Thank you too to Macy L and Alyssa D who joined the choir and Evie P who supported her classmates. A very special mention to Philomena Billington and members of the parish choir who spent their Monday afternoons rehearsing for Sunday’s Eucharistic celebration. Together we created many amazing memories.
On Friday our senior students will be involved in Wellbeing programs. Year 5 & 6 girls will be participating in The Girl Campaign, while Year 5 & 6 boys will be involved in the Dare Program.
The Girl Campaign – Kimberli Eke
The Girl Campaign is an educational and interactive program that addresses the navigation of a positive self-esteem and body image.
TGC empowers girls with the skills and confidence to focus on their positive attributes and recognise self-destructive behaviours when they do occur.
TGC also focuses on the main influences of our self-esteem and body image and how to practice self-care behaviours moving forward. The program also explores friendship dynamics and how we can influence the self-esteem of others.
The DARE Program – Vinnies Youth Liaison Officers Teah Searle and Sharkie
Blessings on your weekend
Religious Education Coordinator
Learning in Year 4
We can not believe that it is almost the end of another term, and what a very full term this has been! We have celebrated the Eucharist, participated in a tennis gala day and of course we had Book Week.
Over the course of Term 3, we have been incredibly busy writing informative texts and journal entries to compliment our Storyline learning journey. Students have taken on the persona of an 18th century convict in order to connect and relate to their writing. We have also engaged in refining our cursive handwriting skills with the hope of being ready to earn our pen licence in Term 4.
We have been learning about explorers, life in England and in Australia prior to colonisation and the journey of the First Fleet during our History lessons. As part of this learning, we have connected with the Australian National Maritime Museum. Students have explored clothing, living conditions, occupations and gender roles during this era, which has provoked much conversation. We were immersed in a simulated court experience where a very grouchy judge from the 18th Century and an incredibly stern marine appeared in our classroom.
During Religious Education we have been learning about the sacraments of initiation, with a specific focus on the Eucharist. Year 4 visited Father Loi in the church to ask questions and learn about the importance of reverence and respect when visiting God’s house.
We also travelled to Carroll College to participate in a retreat day. This was an excellent opportunity to work alongside our peers from St Mary’s and connect with role models from Carroll College. We played games, created mascots and made rosary beads. It was a fantastic experience for all of the students.
We have connected to our learning about the symbols of the sacrament of Eucharist by creating Kandinsky inspired artworks. You can see these hanging up in the church.
We also came together as a community at the Church to celebrate our candidates of the First Eucharist last Sunday. A big thank you to Mrs Beashel and Father Loi for all of your guidance and support during the term.
Our class Sport lessons have been excellent. We have played lots of games to help us connect and build our teamwork skills. We have also explored healthy life choices during Health such as exercise, food choices and rest.
During our iCentre time we have been improving our ICT skills by working with the Microsoft Suite to publish on Microsoft Word and then present using Microsoft Powerpoint. We have also used Flip to present learning via an audiovisual medium. It has also been a lot of fun constructing our own virtual Sydney Cove colony using Minecraft.
In addition, Mrs Holmes has been helping us to use Scratch to program our own First Fleet inspired game, whilst Mrs Tyler has been inspiring our STEM minds with creating First Fleet ship replicas. We can’t wait to share these with you when you visit our classroom in Week 10!
Our learning has certainly been diverse and we look forward to the adventure that Term 4 will be!
Week 3 Class Awards
Presented: Friday 27 October 2023.
Congratulations to the following children who received class award this week. It is great to see so many children working hard and receiving acknowledgment for their efforts. Well done to all!
KB: Harper A, James B, Jagger L, Lyla T.
KL: Alexander B, Eleanor P, Harlen R.
KT: Alvey A, Lexi B, Polly B, Charlotte C.
1C: Charli H, Alfred M, Parambrata R, Sally S, James W, Mila W.
1M: London B, Lebron C, Hudson E, Tahiti H, Rohan M.
2B: Nynika B, Lachlan H, Yana K, Gianna L, James P, Eve P-K, Winter W.
2J: Macie C, Hendrix C, Zach C, Charlene M
3D: Mitchell B, Lucy B, William B, Whilloe H, Aurelia S, Haylee T.
3W: Alyssa D, Nicholas E, Malkiel G, Addison G, Ruby H, Imogen R, Brooklen S.
4C: Taj-Raiden B, Laycie E, Lilly G, Sienna N, Alexia V.
4K: Holly B, Harper B, Ollie L, Chelsea M, Taj P, Isaac R, Makenzie W,
5D: John B, Oliver B, Noah B, Amaya B,Elvanna C, Dusti-Rae L, Storm R, Arthur S-D, Korban S.
5M: Flynn A, Mia A, Sienna B, Jamian G, Oscar J, Gurnoor K, Kye P-P, Dante T, Annabelle W.
6C: Rhys K-A, Alice Mc, Cici S, Jonah T.
6M: Sebastian C, Annaleise G, Angel R, Chase W.