Dear Parents and Carers
The season of advent begins this weekend. On Sunday we light the first candle on the Advent Wreath as a sign of hope. As we enter into the Holy season of Advent, may you and your family be filled with hope, peace, joy and love.
Last Thursday Mrs Noeleen O’Neill (Principal of St Mary’s Primary School, Moruya), Mrs Jacqui Heffernan (Principal of Carroll College), Tim Smith (Performance & Improvement Leader, Catholic Education) and I met to discuss our K-12 Pathway and plan for 2022. The primary objective of the K-12 pathway is to improve student outcomes and provide South Coast families with a contemporary and high quality Catholic education. It provides a clear and continuous learning pathway and includes specialisation experiences, consistently high expectations, and longer term relationships from Kinder to Year 12. Our three schools work very closely together to align our school strategic and annual improvement plans and focus on sustained improvement in student outcomes across all schools. Last week the three schools discussed targets for 2022 and learning experiences across the three schools. Next week we are meeting to coordinate and plan our calendars for next year. Together we are working to provide students, parents and the community with continuity of education from Kinder to Year 12, through the development of a shared vision, mission, expectations and practices across the schools.
Parent engagement continues to be an important focus at St Bernard’s. “Parents and families are children’s first teachers and they continue to help their children to learn and thrive throughout the school years. When their family’s love and support is combined with the expert knowledge of teachers, it can have a significant and lasting impact:
• Children can be more likely to enjoy learning and be motivated to do well.
• Children can have better relationships with other children, improved behaviour and greater confidence.
• Children can do better at school and are more likely to graduate and go on to college, TAFE or university.
• Children can be less likely to miss days at school.”
I draw your attention to an article that can be read further on in this week’s newsletter on Parent Engagement. This was written by Paul Penberthy, parent at St Bernard’s and Parent Representative in the CCSP & CSPACG. I am sure you will enjoy reading about the impact parent engagement can have on your child’s education.
Year 6 Graduation Mass, Awards
We are currently in preparation for our Year 6 Mass and Awards ceremony. This significant celebration will take place Friday, 10 December at 9.15am in the Church. It is a time of reflection for our Year 6 students as they remember their primary years at St Bernard’s. We also give thanks for the many blessings, and recognise the achievements of our senior students as they move into their secondary education. The Recognition Awards for Year 6 will follow Mass in the Church. On Thursday 9 December, Year 6 will handover leadership to our Year 5 students and our leaders for 2022 will be announced. If any student presents unwell with flu like symptoms, please do not send them to school. Seats will be allocated to guests at both events,. Please be aware that social distancing requirements must be met. Thank you for your support and assistance with these celebrations.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to the Year 5 SRC Speeches. I was so proud of the quality and delivery. It was truly incredible to see the number of students putting themselves forward and speaking so confidently in front of an audience. This is a testament to the preparation and confidence that has been built in their Year 5 classes. Thank you to Mrs Coggan and Mr Maynard. The leadership positions will be announced on Thursday 9 December at the Candle Ceremony.
Blessings on the week ahead.
The Reflections today are ones that I have read over time and feel they help us to understand the readings which introduce the Season of Advent.
The first Reading God promises a Saviour, (a righteous branch..Jesus) the Response asks us to ‘lift up our souls’, Paul encourages us to Love one another and in the Gospel Jesus speaks of ‘signs’!
So let us read them slowly and ask the Spirit to help us receive God’s Word. Maybe I imagine Christ coming in power and glory and ponder.. He is also the Jesus in the cloud of the Transfiguration or the Ascension. He comes in strength and calms the earth’s catastrophes. Perhaps I can recall the Lord’s help in times of anguish or distress in my life…. and can give thanks for hidden strength, or for the support of a friend, or my community….. Or maybe I pray not to be hardened by the cares of life… I bring to mind those coping with all kinds of suffering, or I look at the troubled parts of the world and hold them before the Lord. At this Advent time, I speak to the Lord of my need and that of the whole world, for Jesus our Saviour. As I prepare for His coming I ask Him to keep me in joyful hope, sure that He will come.
How many of us have felt the secure world we knew is being shaken to its foundations? Our life is a perpetual series of change. We move, we gain or lose a job, we marry, have a child, grow old, someone we love gets sick or dies, a relationship ends, things change. In truth we live among flux and change all the time. It is not always cataclysmic change, but change nevertheless.
The language of Advent is the language of anticipation for God’s new future. It is not a future we can make for ourselves. It may be something we cannot readily see or even imagine. Through thick and thin, through trying times and good times, faith waits and watches, alert for the coming of Christ.
‘Advent is a time for exploring our deepest longings and desires and allowing them to surface’ Brendan Byrne SJ and Pope Francis says, ‘..guard against allowing ourselves to be oppressed by an egocentric lifestyle or by the frenetic pace of these days ..but be mindful and pray!’
Let us during these days before Christmas place ourselves in God’s loving care and know that we are loved and cherished no matter how we may think of ourselves.
God bless Sr Marie
LIVING FAITH IN THE EVERYDAY
Invitation to New Life in Christ
As we gather to celebrate the First Sunday of Advent in Year C we are Invited and inspired to be People of Hope & Hospitality!
The introduction to the Year C Advent Booklet invites us to:
Think for a minute of the wonder of God’s love for you and of God’s desire to be born in you. Avoid the
temptation to resist taking this seriously, for this is the power that has called you into existence and is drawing you into eternal life in God through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God being born in you might strike you as an unusual way to describe what happens as God engages with you. We are more used to seeing it the other way around – as us being reborn in God (John 3:3). The thought of God being born in us is intended to make us stop and think.
Let’s not be too pedantic about it, as we are wrestling here with ideas that are almost entirely beyond the
human ability to understand (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). For now, all that we mean is that there is mutuality between God and us, as God leads us ever more deeply into his life. We experience rebirth in God as God increasingly takes on his life in us.
This is the beginning of a new Liturgical Year, and the spiritual nourishment God seeks to give us now will, if we can but respond to it, come to birth in us throughout the entire year. Jesus Christ wishes to be reborn in our lives and to walk with us through all the ups and downs of the coming year.
Learning what it means to conceive, carry, give birth to and reveal Jesus Christ to the world is a challenge to us all year round.
(Shane Dwyer – Evangelisation Brisbane)
We stop! We take time! We watch! We wait!
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the season of Advent. Advent is the four-week period of preparation for the season of Christmas. It begins the cycle of the Liturgical Year and focuses on the coming of the Lord. Scripture readings during the first weeks of Advent offer a vision of the future. They look to the end of time when Christ will come again. Readings during the final weeks point more specifically to the birth of Christ. Christ, the promised one, who we await with joyful expectation. The colour for Advent is purple. The Advent Wreath is often used as a symbol of waiting time which concludes on Christmas Eve.
THE ADVENT WREATH
- The purpose of the season of Advent is to prepare one's heart for the coming of Christ at Christmas.
- During these four weeks, an Advent wreath adorned with five candles is traditionally used to symbolise different spiritual aspects of getting ready.
- The three Advent candle colours—purple, pink, and white—symbolically represent the spiritual preparation that believers undergo to prepare their hearts for the birth (or coming) of the Lord, Jesus Christ
Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ's promise to bring us salvation. May he come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
First Eucharist was celebrated last Saturday evening. It was a beautiful Mass and a very special occasion for our students and their families who were receiving this integral sacrament. A huge thank you to everyone who assisted – we certainly made a formidable team! Father Martins, Seminarian Mark and Mrs Wain visited Year 4 on Tuesday to present First Eucharist candidates with their certificates.
This lovely email was received by a parent after the Mass:” I just wanted to say a huge thank you for such a wonderful celebration! So much hard work had obviously gone into the mass. The children did such a fabulous job. So much joy, love and pride filled the church this evening and so many precious memories made, thank you. The ending of the mass was just magical.”
2021 Vinnies Christmas Appeal Christmas
For many of us Christmas is a time of happiness and celebration as we gather with our family and friends sharing meals, laughing, and chatting as we open presents. However, for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage Christmas can be a challenging time. Luckily, there are many opportunities for students, teachers, and parents to get involved and make Christmas a time to renew hope.
What Can You Do to Help?
- You can purchase gifts online at simplygiving.com.au/svdpcg OR
Our Mini Vinnies team met today to talk about Advent and the kinds of activities that prepare us for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. The team had the choice of making an Advent Wreath or entering the Mini Vinnies Book of Gratitude competition.
Term 4 Religious Education Dates
December 3: Mini Vinnies Book of Gratitude entries
December 9: Year 5 and 6 Candle Ceremony
December 10: Year 6 Graduation 9.15am
December 14: Kindergarten Christmas Nativity 10.00am
Many blessings on your weekend
Sharon Beashel REC
Dear Parents and Carers
Archdiocesan Public Speaking Finals
Today Annie F, Isla B and Ellen H competed in the Archdiocesan Public Speaking competition. Congratulations again to the girls for the way they represented our school. It was commendable to see the girls taking on the feedback they were given last week from the adjudicators to work on presenting their speech without relying on palm cards. Isla B was announced winner of the Archdiocese for Year 4 and Annie F was runner up. What a fantastic achievement!
Pictured: L-R Ellie H, Annie F and Isla B
It seems impossible to believe that we have reached the final weeks of the school year and are now finalising end of year events. Please note the dates below from our school Google Calendar which may assist you to manage this busy time. Our school calender can be viewed on the school website https://stbernardsbb.nsw.edu.au/
or by downloading the Google Calendar app for your phone using your Google account following these steps:
Open a web browser and go to https://www.google.com.au and sign in with your Gmail account.
- Click the “9” dots and choose “Calendar”.
- Add the St Bernard’s Google Calendar to your own calendar. Click on the ‘+ sign’ to the right of ‘Add a friend’s calendar’.
- Click on ‘From URL’ and copy and paste in the following link:https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/stbernards2536%40gmail.com/public/basic.ics
- Click ‘Add Calendar’.
|Friday 26 November||Year 6 Carroll College Orientation|
|Thursday 9 December||Year 5 Candle Ceremony and 2022 Leadership Ceremony|
|School Reports sent home|
|Friday 10 December||Year 6 Graduation Mass and Awards Ceremony|
|Tuesday 14 December||Kindergarten Nativity Play|
|Wednesday 15 December||Meet the Teacher 2022|
|Year 6 Big Day Out|
|Last Day of School|
Last weekend may have brought a lot of wet weather but that didn't stop two of our Year 6 students competing successfully in significant sporting events. Bonnie D travelled to Goulburn for the 2021 Brett Ogle Junior Masters Golf tournament and won her division. Lizzy B competed in the NSW State Surfing titles in Wollongong and made it through to the quarter finals, placing 13th in the State.
In addition, Nicholas W was selected for the Greater Southern Marlin's U13's representative Cricket team in the Greater Illawarra Cricket Zone.
Congratulations to these students!
I hope that you have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
Week 7 Class Awards
Presented : Friday 19 November 2021.
Congratulations to the following children who received class awards this week. It is great to see so many
children working hard and receiving acknowledgment for their efforts - well done to all!
|KBD:Ella A, Emily G-B, Harlo P.||KW: Hudson A, Lachlan H, Layla S.|
1C: Levi C, Stella F, Harley F, Abel M,
|1H: Ella F, Annalise J-P, Matlida R.|
|2G: Elsie F, Ollie L, Evie P.||2SH: Harper B, Lucas V D S.|
|S1H: George S-D, Levi T.||3C: Maddison B, Arthur S-D, Indi T.|
3S: Flynn A, Noah B, Lucy J-P,
Gurnoor K, Golden P, Annabelle W.
4K: Keira A, Ruby B, Malachi C, Maizi M,
|4M: Sebastian C, Ella-Maree G, Isabella L, Kiera O'S.||5C: Noah O'S, Floyd P, Erica S, Taavi W.|
|5M: Shaun F, Chloe K, Alexander McD.||6F: Alex B, Ellen H, Emma I, Jaz S.|
6M:Benjamin E, Nicholas J-P, Levi L,
Mitchell L, Ayden S-P.
As our children navigate the 13 year journey through school, it is natural to wonder about what’s at the end of it? We hear about the changing jobs environment driven by emerging technologies, with traditional careers disappearing and new ones emerging. The question arises as to what can we do as parents to set our kids on the right path? How can we set them up to have viable options, and as importantly, to help them grow into well rounded, happy beings in an increasingly complex world?
Well, a mountain of research has identified there’s much we can do as parents to make a big difference. It has been defined as “Parental Engagement”. This means a shared responsibility for education among parents and teachers, where learning transcends the school environment and formal curriculum.
Sounds great, but what difference does “parental engagement” make? Australian and international research has confirmed the following impacts:
· Higher grades and test scores
· Enrolment in higher level programs and advanced classes
· Higher successful completion of classes
· Lower drop-out rates
· Higher graduation rates
· Greater likelihood of commencing postsecondary education
Achievement of the above creates more career options for kids leaving school. So, whatever the world throws at them, they will have choices. What about social and emotional wellbeing? The ability to adapt and deal with challenges and lead a happy and fulfilling life? Here again the research into “parental engagement” has revealed positive outcomes:
· More regular school attendance and greater engagement in schoolwork
· Better social skills
· Improved behavior
· Better adaptation to school
· A greater sense of personal competence and efficacy for learning
So, what does “parental engagement” involve in practical terms? Some of the following:
· Communicating with kids about our expectations from education and the value of learning
· Discussing learning strategies (best ways to learn and integrate knowledge, free of distractions)
· Linking schoolwork to current events and related topics (e.g. dinnertime discussions on events of interest to the child and what they have studied in class)
· Nurturing educational aspirations and making plans for the future
· Providing a supportive home learning environment (designating an area for homework, providing access to reading material, helping with the organisation of homework/ study)
· Out of home/ school activities such as visiting museums, libraries, galleries, talks etc.
Whatever our own experiences of education in the past, personal beliefs about our role in educating our kids and effectiveness in doing so………..there’s no denying the evidence. Parental Engagement makes a big difference – to our kid’s career options and how they will end up thinking and feeling about themselves and others.
Paul Penberthy, Chair Carroll College Community Council, Parent Representative in the CCSP & CSPACG
We are moving onto online enrolments through smart central so we no longer do paper enrolments.
Here is the link for the online enrolment
We only have Fridays available for permanent days. Our school holiday program information will be coming out soon.
Families must also complete online enrolments before attending the centre and receive holiday bookings.
We are running a Summer Reading Club this year at the Eurobodalla libraries. Children 12 years and under will uncover tales of mystery, intrigue, and discovery during the 2021 Summer Reading Club. Running from Wednesday 1 December until Monday 31 January, the Summer Reading Club is free to join at your local branch. On joining kids receive a library bag with a reading log, challenge sheet and bookmark. Read over summer and complete the challenges for a chance to win weekly prizes and a major prize! Contact your local library team at Batemans Bay, Moruya, or Narooma for more information.