Dear Parents and Carers
Jo will be on leave for a further two weeks. Her father is now in palliative care and Jo will remain in Melbourne to be with him and her family. It is a very sad time for Jo and her family and I know that many of you are keeping her in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to contact me at any time over the next two weeks, please do not hesitate as I continue in the role as Acting Principal in Jo's absence.
This week children have been learning about Timor-Leste and the children in this country who are far less fortunate than them. The opportunity to consider the needs of others, pray and to take action to help with mission projects along with their class mates is a very powerful lesson. Thank you for the donations you may already have made for the Socktober Challenge today. We are looking forward to the Mission Market Stalls tomorrow. Please join us for Mass at 9.15am in the church tomorrow morning if you are able to.
Official Opening and Blessing Invitation
As mentioned in last week's newsletter, we will be holding the Official Opening and Blessing of our refurbished amenities and canteen on Monday 30 October at 11.30am in our school hall, with the State Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland attending. This project was completed in Term 4 of 2022 and has been an excellent improvement to our school buildings, aligning with other modern facilities in our school. Please see the invitation for all parents and carers to attend in this newsletter. Please RSVP by next Monday 23 October for catering purposes.
Class Allocations for 2024
During this term, we will be finalising our staffing arrangements for 2024. I would like to take the opportunity to discuss our Class Allocation procedures. We are currently preparing for our 2024 Kindergarten Parent Expo to be held on Thursday 9 November. Kindergarten class groupings are being developed at present and in conjunction with Preschool teachers and parent information. Creating class groupings is a collaborative process involving class teachers, specialist staff and the school executive team. St Bernard’s consists of grade levels of 2 and 3 streams. Each year, class combinations are changed. When creating classes, we consider the following:
- Individual learning needs
- Interpersonal relationships
- Social dynamics
- Medical needs
- Class size
Every child will be placed in the best grouping to enhance learning and social development. Classroom teachers will create class groupings in consultation with their grade partners, paying particular attention to the factors highlighted above. All class lists are sent through to the Principal and confirmed with the Classroom Support Teacher and School Executive Team. Students will be advised of their class and teacher during the “Step Up” session held in the last week of Term 4 on Thursday 14 December.
I believe our teachers make the best decision for each student. Parents who wish to raise particular concerns regarding the placement of their child/ren in particular classes should put the concern in writing and email it to me at present, by Friday 3 November. firstname.lastname@example.org
Council of Catholic School Parents- eSafety Webinar
As part of CCSP’s ongoing collaboration with eSafety, the Term 4 parent education webinar Getting started with social media: TikTok, YouTube, Instagram will be held on Thursday 9 November 2023 from 7.30am - 8pm
This 30-minute webinar is designed for parents and carers of young people in primary schools.
It will cover:
· creating a positive digital identity
· privacy and sharing online
· managing what you see online
· good practices in group chats
Registrations can be accessed using the following link. eSafety webinar
Teaching and Learning
At St Bernard's our core challenge is to improve student outcomes. Rosenshine says, “The terms explicit teaching or direct instruction are summary terms for recent findings on effective teaching. They refer to a systematic method of teaching with emphasis on proceeding in small steps, checking for student's understanding and achieving active and successful participation by all students”.
Yesterday Brooke Wardana provided a demonstrated an English lesson in Year 1 and observed some teachers in the classroom, providing feedback on their lessons. This coaching process, where an expert teacher provides feedback is known to achieve the most effective results to enhance teaching practice and it is highly valued by our staff for professional growth. We thank Brooke for working in our school as part of the Catalyst program.
Pupil Free Day- Wednesday 25 October
Next Wednesday is a Pupil Free Day. St Bernard's, as well as our K-12 Catholic Pathway schools on the coast, have been selected in the first wave of schools in our system to participate in Classroom Mastery Professional Learning led by Dr Tim McDonald. Classroom Mastery is a behaviour management program for primary and high schools in Australia. Our schools were chosen, recognising the importance of a common approach to classroom management.
We thank you for making alternative arrangements for your children next Wednesday.
P & F Meeting
We are holding a P&F meeting next Monday in the staffroom at 5.30pm. This will be the final P&F meeting for the year where we will discuss fundraising ideas for 2024. We welcome any parents who would like to join us.
I wish you a restful and enjoyable weekend.
“…Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God belongs to God.”
Whilst Jesus didn’t actually answer the question posed by the Pharisees and the Herodians “Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Matthew 22:17) the response He gave was interesting,if not a tad oblique. He recognised the malice and hypocrisy behind the question and His answer was challenging, requiring some introspection and discernment.
Perhaps the ‘scenario’ could be described as being akin to,or similar to a “dual citizenship”. Our birth made us citizens of an earthly nation and our Baptism made us citizens of a heavenly kingdom.The readings remind us today,and even highlight that sometimes they overlap, but we need to live out both of these citizenships responsibly.
The Gospel story is about sincerity and truth in our relationships with each other and with God. We are challenged and reminded that we are to somehow create a balance between secular and spiritual/civil and religious. Such decisions require careful navigation and sometimes we become aware of the melding of dual citizenship.
Living as a disciple necessitates discerning the right actions in both secular and spiritual realms. We are asked to be GENUINE in both duties without being hypocritical- in other words respond to the call to lead an authentic life, understanding and acknowledging our responsibilities in the secular world but making sure our spiritual commitments are not compromised.
We are brought back to the word “image” and what it means and how apparent/ obvious is the image? Perhaps our image of Caesar has been replaced by ideas of “possessions, prestige, religious and national bigotry”(Michael Fallon). God’s stamp on us is often hidden but can never be truly lost. A quote from an Ancient Christian Writer (unnamed)states “ The image of God is not depicted on gold but is imaged in humanity i.e. human beings”.
The challenge for us could be many and varied such as
How do I prioritise/ balance my commitments?
How do I discern what I owe to worldly commitments and to my spiritual ones?
Is there room for growth?
How much importance do I give the image I reveal in my relationships?
The first two readings offer hope and comfort. Isaiah emphasisesGod’s omnipotence- He can work through any of us in any situation, reminding us of His presence and influence, but we need to accept Him.
The reading from Thessalonians gives us an example of genuine faith which actively engages with the world. We are reminded again of the role of the Spirit who emboldens us, assures us and again if we allow it , be the source of our conviction.
“Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar - and to God what belongs to God”.
Ken and Carolyn Evenden
Dear Parents and Carers,
We had such a joyous day on Tuesday with singer and song writer Andrew Chinn. In the morning Andrew ran workshops for each stage group and the school choir. After lunch he put on the most fabulous concert with children across the school. A big thank you to those parents who came along to enjoy the afternoon concert.
What did you like about Andrew Chinn’s visit?
“We all got to sing and perform in the concert.” Golden P
“Andrew was funny. He told jokes and sang songs using people’s names.”
“I really liked singing in the concert!” Jamian G
“My favourite Andrew Chinn song was the Nothing Song.” Joseph O’S
“I liked how Andrew came and worked with the choir.”
Mission Week at St Bernard’s
Catholic Missions Timor-Leste APPEAL
Today as a part of Mission Week we held our Socktober Penalty Shootout. The House team who was victorious on the day with 172 goals was Lourdes. Congratulations to all the members of Lourdes for your great team effort. Teachers also identified students who displayed exceptional team spirit skills. Well done to everyone who joined in the fun to help the children and families of Timor-Leste.
A huge thank you to the members of our community who sponsored the event on our Socktober team page. I had set a fundraising goal of $500 but because of your generosity and kindness we have raised $602.
MISSION MASS AND MARKET DAY
You are invited to join us for our Mission Mass on Friday morning at 9.15am in the church. Thank you to our Mini Vinnies students who will have special roles during the Mass.
Between recess and lunch, we will hold our Mission Market stalls. Children will be running a variety of stalls and activities including ice-creams, cakes, sweets, treasure chest, lucky numbers, books, and there will even be a Ninja Warrior course!
Because of your support through Socktober for Mission Month, children in Timor-Leste can access better health, nutritional, and educational outcomes.
On Mission Market Day the children are encouraged to wear Mufti Clothing.
“Never see a need without doing something about it.” – St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.
Mission Week is linked to the Children’s learning in Religious Education. This learning promotes:
- Common Good - A true community is one where the common good is reached when we work together to better the wellbeing of all people in our community and the wider world.
- Human Dignity- God made each person, so every life is important and should be protected.
- Solidarity - God created all people, so we are all brothers and sisters in God’s family, wherever we live.
- Participation and Subsidiarity- God made us to be part of communities, families, and countries, so all people can share and help each other. No one community should have dominance over another or interfere in their lives.
As always, we thank you for your support in this area of Catholic Social Teaching.
Blessings on your weekend
Religious Education Coordinator
Snapshot of Year 3
Year 3 have been thoroughly enjoying our dance sessions with Tracy Spence. The students have soaked up the choreography like sponges! In no time the students had over 30 seconds worth of Hip Hop choreography mastered to two different dances. Over the coming weeks students will learn other genres of dance. The final few dance sessions will see the students learn choreography that they will perform in front of their peers.
This term, Year 3 have begun exploring the structure of an Explanation. This week students have investigated the Life Cycle of a Butterfly. Students have identified various stages of how the butterfly evolves. They have explored vocabulary like metamorphosis, chrysalis, larva and pupa. Year 3 are currently writing an explanation of this process. They have also been working on improving their reading fluency in with a partner.
Students have proved to be very industrious during our Numeracy Daily Reviews. Concepts that are being covered included times tables, fractions, converting grams to kilograms, reading time on analog clocks and drawing regular and irregular two-dimensional shapes. They are also busy collecting data from class surveys and representing this information using column graphs.
This term, students are exploring Australia’s Neighbours. During Week One and Two we have explored New Zealand and identified key features including the capital city, population, landmarks, native animals and traditions such as the Haka. Students also began learning choreography for the Haka. Over the next few weeks students will also explore Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Pacific Islands.
This week, students have been looking at Mission and how the money that we will raise from the market stalls will be used to support Timor Leste, another one of our neighbouring countries. Year 3 enjoyed using recycled materials including odd socks, t-shirts, plastic bags and paper to create a sock-ball. Students also thoroughly enjoyed comparing our class sock-ball to a modern soccer ball as well as participating in our Andrew Chinn Workshop and Concert on Tuesday.
Students have been learning about New Zealand and artist Raewyn Harris. Students have created Koru designs using oil pastels. The Koru is the Māori name for an unfurling fern frond known as the Ponga plant that grows in New Zealand. It symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace and is an integral symbol in Māori art.
Year 3 students look forward to sharing our learning with you as we lead our whole school assembly next Friday 27 October at 8:45am.