Dear Parents and Friends,
It has been wonderful to connect with students, staff and families after being away for the beginning of Term 4. I would like to thank Mrs Karen Hadley for stepping into the Principal role, I am sure you would agree that she did an exceptional job and thank you for the support provided from the St Bernard’s community, it has been most appreciated.
Congratulations to Evie P and Eva H on having their art work chosen for the 2024 Environmental Calendar. They attended a special presentation at the Eurobodalla Council Chambers yesterday. All students will receive a copy of the calendar. Congratulations girls, we are very proud of you.
This week all families would have received a letter regarding the upcoming bushfire season. With support from staff from Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn, St Bernard’s has recently undertaken a review of its Emergency Management Planning and processes which has included the development of a Bushfire Emergency Management and Evacuation Plan. Staff have engaged in Professional Learning and we have updated our policy and procedures around an emergency response. We are currently in the process of organising a new warning alarm and will provide students with a drill practices once this is installed. Classroom Teachers have lead students through an emergency response and what an evacuation looks like. If you have any questions, I encourage you to come and speak with us.
Class Allocation 2024
A reminder that all written concerns for class placements for 2024 need to be sent to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Staff are currently looking at class lists in preparation for our ‘step up’ session in Week 10. The teachers know your child very well and I ask that you put your trust in us as we decide on their placement for 2024. Please do not expect information provided by parents and carers last year to be heeded. Letters need to be written each year as circumstances change and information is not transferred from year to year. Please be aware that requests for particular teachers will not be considered.
School Community Council
As you are aware, earlier this term we provided parents with an update on the School Board and Community Council Review. I am pleased to inform you that the Review has concluded and that the proposed move to a School Community Council model has now been endorsed by the Catholic Education Commission and Archbishop Christopher.
As has been acknowledged throughout the review process, the partnership between parents, caregivers and members of our school communities is critical to the success of our schools and our students. The generosity and support of generations of parents and carers has enabled our schools to grow and evolve as welcoming, Christ-centred learning environments that hold a unique place in our local communities.
Over the coming weeks and months, School Community Councils will be established in each systemic school across the Archdiocese, and the work currently undertaken by School Boards, Community Councils and P&Fs will be undertaken in line with the new model moving forward. The move to School Community Councils will continue the long-held tradition of support and collaboration between schools and families, and will continue to enshrine the valuable role that families play in our school communities.
The focus of the School Community Councils will remain on parents and carers and members of our school communities working together with the Parish Priest and school staff to make our schools the best that they can be. This may be by supporting the Principal to make strategic decisions about the school, promoting our school within the local community, participating in community or fundraising activities, or strengthening our relationships with our local parishes. Supporting the Principal and Parish Priest in the development and promotion of Catholic identity, the ethos and mission of the school will continue to be a cornerstone of the work of our School Community Councils.
With the move to the new model will come a process of transition and change for existing School Boards, Community Councils and P&Fs. Our current School Board members will transition to our School Community Council. If there are any P&F members who would like to also nominate for a position, we would welcome you to send an expression of interest to me via email email@example.com
The Chair, Secretary, Treasurer (if elected or appointed), Principal and Parish Priest together comprise the Council Executive. Members of the Council Executive are responsible for overseeing the activities of Working Groups and assisting Council to fulfill its role. The Council Executive may appoint a minimum of zero and a maximum of eight additional members to the Council Executive in accordance with the approved School Community Council Guidelines following an expression of interest process.
Our Council Executive will set up Working Groups to undertake activities in line with the annual School Community Council Plan. All Community Members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the activities of Working Groups.
Whole & Partial Day Unexplained Absences
Any unexplained absence reminders (for both whole and partial days) will be emailed to families on a weekly basis. Please ensure you complete the Compass absentee form via the app in a timely manner. It is a legal requirement that any absence from school has a satisfactory explanation.
We welcome our youngest members of our school community tomorrow morning. Orientation commences at 9.00am. The children will be participating in activities until 11.00am. We welcome Ms Sara McCluskey to St Bernard’s for the orientation. We look forward to welcoming the children as they take this big step!
Orientation Day for Year 7 Students 2024 at Carroll College
A reminder that our next year’s Year 7 students will be visiting Carroll College on Friday 24 November for their orientation day. This will be an exciting day as students familiarise themselves with their new school and make new friends. Mrs Bellette and Mrs Coggan will be there to begin the day to support our students.
- Parent Expo for Kindergarten Thursday 9 Nov @ 6.00pm
- St Bernard’s Dance Concert Thursday 16 Nov @ 1.45pm
- SRC & House Captain Speeches Monday 4 December (SRC Speeches @ 9.00am & House Captain @ 11.15am)
- P&F Christmas Drinks Thursday 23 Nov @ 5.30pm
- Kindergarten Orientation Days Friday 10 & 17 November @ 9.00am
- Carroll College Year 7 Orientation Day Friday 24 November
- St Bernard’s Swimming Program Monday 27 November – Friday 1 December
- Year 5 Assembly Thursday 23 November @ 8.45am
- Whole School Mass & Awards Ceremony Thursday 7 December @ 9.15am
- Candle Ceremony Friday 8 December at 1.45pm
- Kindergarten Nativity & Christmas Carols Wednesday 13 December @ 9.00am
- Year 6 Dinner and Disco Tuesday 14 December @ 6.00pm
- Last Day of Term 4 & Year 6 Big Day out Friday 15 December
St Bernard’s Primary School will participate in the Remembrance Day Ceremony, Saturday 11 November at the Honour Stone Clyde Street Batemans Bay. Some of our Year 6 leaders will be part of the ceremony and lay a wreath at the Honour Stone. The ceremony begins at 10.45am. Families are welcome to join us.
Blessings on the week.
Dear Parents and Carers
This week many of the students have participated in the First Aid in Schools program delivered to Years 3-6 by Bob Colville from St John's Ambulance. Learning how to respond to assist others with first aid is an excellent skill and we are very fortunate to be able to offer this to our students each year. In addition, police officer Donna Clarke visited the students of Year 5 and 6 this week to discuss safe practices with social media and the power of making the right decision. Donna spoke to the students about demonstrating respectful behaviours in all environments including at school and in the community. We thank Bob and Donna for reaching out to us to present this content to the students.
Last term 15 students participated in the ICAS competition which is an international academic competition. The questions are designed by psychometrician, education measurement experts and experienced teachers to push students to their academic limits, as well as test higher-order thinking and problem-solving abilities. Congratulations to the following students who achieved a Merit, Credit or Distinction in this challenging competition.
|Digital Technologies||Beatrix F- Merit|
|English||Isla B- Distinction|
|Mathematics||Raph C- Credit, Beatrix F- Merit|
|Science||James P- Credit, Beatrix F- Credit|
|Spelling Bee||Raph C- Credit, James P- Merit|
|Writing||Beatrix F- Credit, Tomas C- Credit|
…Keep your lamps burning… (Matthew 25:1-13)
During the month of November our minds and hearts turn to those whom we have loved and who have died - the month of the Holy Souls. The Readings this weekend and the state of the world, especially at present, sharpen that focus.
In the Second Reading St Paul brings comfort to the people of Thessalonika which is part of Greece, and today to us. In the first paragraph St Paul tells us ‘about those who have died, make sure that you do not grieve about them like other people who have no hope’ – difficult words for us to understand apart from faith in God. At the end of the Reading St Paul reassures us ‘we shall stay with the Lord forever…with such thoughts as these you should comfort one another’.
This Reading speaks to me of the importance of family and community and the very essence of our shared humanity. It led me to remembering the reflection which one of my nieces wrote when my father, her Grandfather, died suddenly in 1998. My niece was only 18 at the time and I think her words are profound…
An old one has died.
The spirit who lived among us as the father of our beautiful McAlister clan
no longer exists in a place where we can share a beer with him or a birthday dinner, watch the cricket.
Such are the confines of the human form.
Grandfather, Frank moves through time and space in a different way to us now,
And to reach him requires no more than a thought of his life as we relate to it.
His life here on earth as Frank McAlister - this is how Grandfather expressed his essence –
his message and his unique spirit to us and that is how he survives for us.
Once a person has left the plane we live on – the physical world – they leave their life for us when we need it.
In our memories we have access to Grandfather’s mortal expression – and in our futures we may share
our adventures with him again, for we are forever linked through love and experience.
What a gift is death, to our growth and understanding.
The sadness in departure comes only in the belief in endings – which in the circle of nature, the circle of life and the circle of Earth - never ends. Death is rebirth – a transition in living arrangements, as from the womb to the world.
This profound reflection of my niece still speaks to me today and perhaps more than ever – it brings to life our understanding of the ‘Communion of Saints’ – such a rich and core understanding of our faith. Our everyday loved ones who kept ‘their lamps burning’ and who in fidelity to the Dismissal Rite of each Eucharist ‘went in peace to love and serve the Lord’ are indeed members of the Communion of Saints.
Dear Parents and Carers,
I had the pleasure last week of supporting Year 6 students at their Camp Cooba in the Snowy Mountains. The camp gave the students the opportunity to learn and engage in a range of outdoor educational and social activities.
A huge thank you to Mrs Coggan and Mrs McRae for their impeccable planning leading up to and during our time away. Special thanks too to Mr Maynard and Mrs Freeman who were so supportive of the group during every facet of the camp. The group came away with a greater sense of independence, resilience, confidence, and social connection. I’m sure it will be remembered as a highlight of the year!
Religious Education Scope and Sequence
Last week the Religion Education Sample Scope and Sequence for Canberra-Goulburn schools was released. The document has been adopted in full by St Bernard's and will be used by staff from the beginning of the 2024 school year.
What is a Scope and Sequence?
A Scope and Sequence is a summary of what is to be taught, the sequence in which it will be taught and the curriculum outcomes that may be addressed in the intended learning. The scope and sequences provide a brief overview of the understanding, knowledge and skills addressed in a teaching and learning program for an individual year.
I look forward to sharing more information about the Religious Education Curriculum with you in 2024.
Important Dates for November and December
We have quite a few important events in the coming weeks. These include:
Saturday 11 November – Remembrance Day
Thursday 23 November - Year 5 Assembly 8.45am
Friday 24 November - Year 6 Orientation Carroll College
Friday 1 December - Season of Advent
Thursday 7 December - Year 6 Graduation and Prize Giving 9.15am
Friday 8 December – Candle Ceremony 1.45pm
Wednesday 13 December – Kindergarten Nativity, Giving Tree and Carol Singing 1.30pm
This Remembrance Day, join us in honouring those who gave their lives in service. Saturday 11 November 2023 marks the anniversary of the Armistice that ended fighting with Germany in World War I. Every year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, millions around the world pause in silence to remember the sacrifices many have made so we can enjoy life today.
St Bernard’s Primary School will participate in the Remembrance Day Ceremony, Saturday 11 November at the Honour Stone Clyde Street Batemans Bay. The ceremony begins at 10.45am. Students are asked to wear their full school summer uniform if attending.
Prayer For Peace
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust:
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace:
Let peace frill our heart, our world, our universe.
Blessings on your weekend
Religious Education Coordinator
Year 6 had the most wonderful time at Camp Cooba.
We left bright and early on Wednesday morning with great excitement and anticipation.
Camp Cooba more than lived up to our expectations. We participated in a range of activities that saw us challenge ourselves, strategise with peers, work as a team and share laughter and fun.
Our favourite activities were the Big Swing and canoeing and raft building. We loved sharing our room with friends and having mealtimes altogether. Free time was so much fun. We could choose between mini golf, the Games Room, basketball, soccer or just relax and read or chat.
Judging by the early bedtimes for many of us when we arrived home on Friday night, we would say that our Year 6 camp was brilliant, action packed and loads of fun. We hope you enjoy our photo gallery – the joy on our faces says it all!