Dear Parents and Carers
We have reached the end of another term… it’s hard to believe we are three quarters of the way through the school year. It’s been a very hot start to Spring. Fire Danger Ratings (FDR) describe the potential level of danger should a bushfire or grassfire start. They do not indicate the chance of a fire occurring. The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System has four ratings. Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic. We will provide information around school closures next term from Catholic Education. Decisions will be made in line with advice from the Rural Fire Service. I have heard from some families that students may be anxious following the fires that occurred over the 2019/2020 Summer. This is understandable and we will be here to support students. Further on in the newsletter we have included some information from Royal Far West. Please read through this information for further support.
We have achieved many goals and we have much to celebrate. It was lovely to see so many parents and friends on Wednesday visiting the classrooms for our Storyline Learning Journey. I had the pleasure of visiting each grade and I was so impressed by the level of hard work and effort that had been achieved throughout the term. The enthusiasm, engagement and culmination of learning was certainly evident as I moved around the classrooms.
On behalf of the Staff, thank you to all our families for the many ways you have contributed to our school this term. The partnership between school and home is highly valued. The students have been consistently engaged in their learning and I would like to congratulate them on their hard work.
I would like to extend a special thank you to the Parents and Friends Committee for assisting at the disco last week. Thank you for your time and work that you put into school events, it is always much appreciated.
A huge thank you to our dedicated St Bernard’s Staff who go well and beyond their duties each term. We have an amazing team! A special thank you to our Support Team: Jen, Amanda, Michelle, Tracey, Deb, Theresa, Dawn, Faith, Mackenzie, Kylie, Brianna, Shani, Kristy, Britney, Michele and Jenny. They work throughout the school supporting teachers and students in targeted learning programs. Our Support Team continually work behind the scenes in many aspects of the school and are extremely dedicated to their roles. They do a wonderful job, always assisting where they can. I’m sure you’ll join with me in thanking the Staff for their wonderful commitment.
This year we have been fortunate enough to receive a Sporting Schools Grant to assist us to run a Swimming Program for Kinder to Year 6 students. Over the past couple of years, we have struggled to find enough instructors, but we are hoping that we will be able to go ahead this year! The grant will go towards paying part of the cost of the program for families. The Program is planned to run at Batemans Bay Pool in Term 4 Week 8. This is a great initiative and promotes water safety. A special thank you to Mrs Holmes for her effort and organisation. It will certainly benefit all our students!
Term 4 Calendar
We have another busy term ahead with a number of exciting events happening. Some key dates for the term include:
- Year 6 Camp: 1-3 November
- Mission Mass and Mission Market Day: 20 October
- Parent Expo for Kindergarten 2024: 9 November at 6.00pm
- Kindergarten Orientation: 10 & 17 November (9.00am 11.00am)
- School Dance Performance: 16 November at 1.45pm
- Parent Teacher Interviews: 4 & 5 December
- Graduation Mass: 7 December at 9.15am
- Candle Ceremony: 8 December at 1.45pm
MacKillop Trials at Homebush
Some of our talented athletes represented the school in Sydney on Monday at the MacKillop Trials. Congratulations to Samuel S-D, Arthur S-D, Brennan C, Rogan H, Sebastian C, Lucas V, Harper B, Ollie L, Molly W, Annie F, Ruby B, Hailey I, Beatrix F, Charlie M, Lilly G and Georgina W, on their efforts. The students said they had a great day and showed excellent team spirit, cheering on their peers and students from neighbouring schools. I was very proud of our St Bernard’s students on their amazing efforts and kindness towards each other.
Next term we ask all students to wear their summer uniform when they return to school. We look forward to the warm weather ahead.
All students return on Tuesday 10 October. A Staff Development Day will be held on Monday 9 October.
Enjoy a lovely holiday with your family.
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for your understanding on Tuesday when we were not able to open the school due to the advice we received from Catholic Education regarding the extreme and then catastrophic fire rating in our area. We know that it is certainly important for us to follow these directions to ensure the safety of all children and families at school. We really do pray for the people in our community whose job it is to fight fires. As Jo mentioned, there is some information provided later in the newsletter that Royal Far West have provided to support children and families who may feel triggered by the current circumstances around bush fire with advice in how to have supportive conversations with your children.
Year 4 Excursion
The students of Year 4 are currently in Canberra and will return from their two day excursion this evening at 6.30pm. The updates that they have shared for our school Facebook page have been great and show what a varied excursion they have experienced. We look forward to hearing about their time away!
A reminder that Year 4 will be opening their classrooms tomorrow morning between 9am-9.30am for parents and other family members to view their Storyline learning journey on the First Fleet. I know it will be a display not to be missed so I hope that you can make it.
Exceptional Teacher Feedback
Last Thursday, Jordan O'Sullivan from the Shaping Minds Team based in Western Australia, visited our school as an expert coach of teachers as part of Catalyst. Jordan's main area of expertise is focusing in on the evidence about teaching and learning to ensure that students really learn and achieve excellent outcomes. Jordan watched a number of teachers from Years 3 to 6 teach a Mathematics lesson using high impact strategies and explicit instruction. The feedback that he provided to each teacher following the lesson was extremely affirming to them, indicating that we are very competent as a school in delivering instruction that positively impacts student learning outcomes. Professional learning of this kind is second to none and we are very grateful that we have the opportunity to participate in this within our school.
We are very happy to be hosting Year 6 students from St Mary's Primary School, Moruya tomorrow for a fun interschool Sport Day. The students will take part in a number of sports throughout the day including T-Ball, netball and tennis. Not only will this be a fun day of sport but it will be a great opportunity for our students to meet one another before they move on to high school.
I hope that you enjoy the two week break and we look forward to seeing children back at school for Term 4.
Generosity of Heart & Service despite suffering.
When Stan Arneil, in his early 20s was suffering with his fellow prisoners of war, forced into cruel labour on the Thailand- Burma Railway, he kept a minimal record of the ordeal on scrounged scraps of paper – published 40 years later as ‘One Man’s War’. The book is a testament to the existence and endurance of the human spirit. It tells how starving men, stripped of everything found not only the will to survive but compassion for each other. They died in their thousands but ‘no man died alone’. Arneil recounts how men kept their faith in life and in each other for 3.5 years of deprivation.
After the war Arneil never lost a sense of gratitude for a glass of clean tap water and a roof over his head. After the war he redeemed his suffering into a creative life of generosity and service. He founded Credit Unions in Australia to secure the future of countless disadvantaged families. He did not succumb to depression and bitterness as his Christian faith gave him hope and compassion to go beyond himself and reach out to others.
The Generosity of God
Today’s Gospel of the parable of the ‘Labourers in the Vineyard’ is unique to Matthew. In Matthew narrative context, Jesus’ parable seems to be a story directly connected to discipleship issues, possession and authority. Instead of a story of unfair treatment of labourers we are challenged to look at this story from a different point of view. We have to learn what God’s justice is like. Another name for God’s justice is mercy and compassion. In the eyes of the world this parable can seem unjust – those who came at the 11th hour and hardly dirty their hands get the same as those who laboured all day.
Jesus’ challenge to his listeners is: ‘Why be envious because I am generous?’The question for us is: ‘Are we happy that God is good and compassionate to all?’
We are often pleased when God is merciful towards our self. But how do we feel when we observe the mercy of God towards others especially those we feel are less deserving of God’s love? Are we like the workers in the Vineyard mentioned in today’s Gospel – resentful of the owner for being so generous to the latecomers?
Isaiah tells us that such thoughts are evil and should be abandoned – that God’s ways are beyond our comprehension – that God’s kindness flows also to us without measure of limit. Arneil seemed to know this in his own heart, rather than being resentful or bitter about his experiences in a cruel war, Arneil rejoiced in God’s mercy and compassion that far surpassed any of his limited notions of fairness and justice.
After the war he lived out his life in a spirit of generosity, compassion and service.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Well can you really believe that we have come to the end of another term - our year seems to be moving so quickly!
My heartfelt thanks are extended to all those families who came along for the students’ Storyline learning journey yesterday. The children were excited to be able to share their amazing learning with so many special visitors. I’m sure you’d agree that each Storyline gave students the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills in such a creative and significant way.
Mission Week- Socktober
Next term we will be participating in Socktober during Mission Month to make a difference for children in need in Timor-Leste. Students will be learning about a community in Venilale this year and kicking goals to support children’s health and wellbeing needs. Thanks for supporting our St Bernard’s team as we look to make a difference!
You can sponsor your child in the penalty shootout by using the QR code below to join the team and donate. I have attached a link for those who would like to know more about the project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZePy8Kd5Hx8&t=13s
Congratulations to Xian Miles and his family on Xian’s First Reconciliation last week. Thank you to Fr Loi and Mrs Coulter for making Xian’s sacramental journey so special.
Staff Spirituality Day
Our staff will join with the staff of St Mary’s Moruya for our Spirituality Day on Monday 9 October. Luke Maher Religious Education and CSYMA Officer will facilitate the day. Our focus will be on developing our understanding of: The Year of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew Chinn Workshops and Community Concert
On Tuesday 17 October, Australian religious songwriter and singer, Andrew Chinn, will be visiting our school to share his songs with our children. Andrew’s songs, such as “These Hands”, “Rainbow”, “An African Blessing” and “Rise Up!” are used in classrooms and liturgies around Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. The concert will take place in our school hall, at 1.15pm. We look forward to seeing you there.
Key Religious Education Dates for October
|Monday 9 Oct:||
Staff Spirituality Day Moruya (Pupil Free Day)
|Tuesday 17 Oct:||
Andrew Chinn student workshops
1.15pm Community Concert
|Thursday 19 Oct:||
Socktober Penalty Shootout (check out the QR Code above for Sponsorship)
|Friday 20 Oct:||
9.15am - Whole School Mission Mass all invited (come dressed in your team colours)
|10.45am-12.00pm - Mission Market Stalls|
Congratulations to our past St Bernard’s students who celebrated their Carroll College Graduation Mass last night. Our thoughts and blessings go with you always.
Religious Education Coordinator
Canberra Goulburn Athletics Championships
Congratulations to all our students who competed at the NSW Combined Primary Athletics Championships. You were outstanding, with many of you competing for the first time at the Olympic stadium. St Bernard’s is so proud of you.
Junior Girls Relay Charlie M, Lilly G, Georgina W, Beatrix F
Junior Boys Relay Arthur SD, Lucas VD S, Harper B, Ollie L
Senior Girls Relay Hailey I, Molly W, Annie F, Ruby B
Senior Boys Relay Rogan H, Sebastian C, Brennan C, Samuel SD
Beatrix F competed in eight events which is a huge program for a talented athlete. Lily G ran amazingly in 10 yr Girls 100m, Ruby B ran in her favourite longer events the 800m and 1500m, Charlie M in 100m, Arthur SD in Discus and Samuel SD in 200m.
Making the finals and competing at this level is a credit to these athletes. Thank you very much to the families who travelled with the students and helped them prepare. Have an enjoyable rest over the holidays ready for Term 4.