Dear Parents and Friends,
Last Saturday Hunter C, Isabella L, Isla B, Arsh K and Alyssa D represented St Bernard’s at the Remembrance Service at the Honour Stone in Batemans Bay. Each year on this day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11.00am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. We shall remember. Lest We Forget.
Yesterday our K-12 Executive Staff from St Mary’s Primary School, Moruya and Carroll College, Broulee, came together to discuss our K-12 Pathway focus and future planning. 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.
- Enable schools, along with the Parish Priests to devote greater time to the ministry of developing the Catholic Identity and Mission across the Region.
- Provide the Principals & Leadership teams of the schools in the Region with a forum to discuss the issues that affect the collective and individual schools in the Region.
- Develop some Policies, Principles for Decision-Making and/or procedures which will resource the decision-making for the collective and individual schools in the region.
Planning is well underway for 2024. Next year all Year 6 students will be able to experience Enrichment in the curriculum area, Science, at Carroll College. Further partnerships between the three schools will continue to be fostered through 2024.
A reminder to families that our Year 6 students moving onto the College next year have their Orientation Day next Friday 24 November. A letter from the College outlining specific information regarding the day has been emailed to families. This is an exciting time for our Year 6 students as they transition through to secondary education. I’m sure they will enjoy their experience next week.
Staffing for 2024 is almost finalised. I am confident I will be able to announce details within the next two weeks. We have been allocated 16 classes overall and it is the task of the Executive to best plan for the 2024 school year within these parameters. The configuration of classes next year is as follows:
3 x classes of Kindergarten and Year 1
2 x classes of Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, and Year 6
We always aim to keep our K-2 classes as small as possible because as you well know, the children aren’t as independent. Once the children begin in the Primary, they are gaining more confidence and capacity. In considering our enrolment patterns for next year, we don’t have the need to ’stage’ a class as we have done over the past couple of years. This is not to say that this will not happen again into the future but for 2024, we have 16 regularly formed classes. Please don’t be at all concerned about classes for next year. Class sizes have little to no effect on student achievement and engagement. It’s all about the quality of the teacher.
Our P&F members will celebrate together next Thursday at our annual Christmas Party. We are having dinner at the Catalina Golf Club. We are meeting 5.00pm for drinks, followed by dinner at 6.00pm. I look forward to thanking our P&F members for their work this year in supporting the school.
Tomorrow we welcome our 2024 Kindergarten children to school for the morning for their second orientation session. Parents are invited to drop their child to their Kinder teacher at 9.00am, and return at 11.00am for collection. The details are as follows:
When: Friday 17 November 2023
Time: 9.00am – 11.00am
Where: Kindergarten classrooms
What to wear: Casual play clothes
What to bring: Hat, piece of fruit, morning tea
We look forward to celebrating this special milestone with our newest St Bernard’s students.
Claim the date Christmas Carols & Giving Service for the Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal
Each year St Bernard’s School supports the Vinnie’s Christmas Appeal by collecting vouchers for local families. On Wednesday 13 December, St Bernard’s is celebrating Christmas with family Carols. Kindergarten will be acting out the Nativity Story and each grade will be performing a Christmas song. Students will be asked to come dressed in Christmas colours. All donations will be presented to Vinnies at the Christmas Carols.
Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held in Week 9 on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 December for parents and carers wishing to discuss their child’s progress or upcoming semester report. The interviews will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your child’s growth, celebrate their successes and plan future goals.
Classroom Teachers will be available at the following times:
- Monday 4 December 8am - 8:45am and 3pm - 5pm
- Tuesday 5 December 8am - 8:45am and 3pm - 6pm
Interview bookings can be made through COMPASS from Monday. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any support with making your booking. If you are unable to attend an interview on the dates listed, please email your child's classroom teacher and we will organise another time or give you a ring.
Blessings on the week ahead.
Dear Parents and Carers
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
On Tuesday the students of Year 5 and 6 walked to Batehaven with their teachers for the first of their two Stand Up Paddle boarding sessions which are being facilitated by Surf the Bay. Seeing the happy students and excited vibe made it very clear just how fortunate the students are to live in this location and to have the opportunity to be on the water with their peers. Many of the students were learning this skill for the first time which was a positive experience for them. We are very grateful for the grant we received to support this wellbeing initiative.
Personal Learning Pathway Meetings
Over four days Personal Learning Pathway meetings will be held for Aboriginal students in our school. Personal Learning Pathway Meetings are designed to provide an opportunity for collaborative goal setting for Aboriginal students, their parents and teachers. Cultural and learning goals are set, with a strong focus to ensure that students are able to develop their sense of identity as Aboriginal people. Trish Ellis will be attending many of these meetings, collaborating with students and families as we discuss the gifts and talents of the students and how we can support their continued growth. We especially look forward to meeting with the 9 Aboriginal students in Kindergarten for their first Personal Learning Pathway meeting in the coming weeks.
- Create consistently productive, safe and calm learning environments
- Improve student wellbeing and create the classrooms they need with belonging, mastery, generosity and responsibility
- Increase safety of classrooms and schools by proactively reducing disruptive behaviours
- Dramatically improve student learning outcomes through increased engagement
- Provide teachers with the knowledge, practice, demonstration and coaching they need to get the outcomes they desire
- Apply evidence from the science of learning and the insights of cognitive load theory
“ Well done, good and faithful servant……”
In his book “Lifting the Burden”, Brendan Byrne writes “ We have to remember that Jesus took Parables from life as He saw it lived in His time. He used the way people acted in situations of crises in everyday life to illustrate, not model appropriate behaviour in view of the Kingdom.”
This Parable can be confusing in its message so we need to look beyond to discern what Jesus is telling us and what He hopes we will learn. Because “ talent” was tied up with money and wealth, a wealthy man going on holiday was pivotal in this story told by Jesus. Who or what was this man representing? What did he expect from his slaves?
In this Parable two slaves are given/entrusted with amounts (talents) to do with what they wished. They were chosen carefully and “ according to their ability” the amount given, the expectation that the Master expects a good return. The third slave was given a lesser amount, fear of his master had him burying his talent to preserve what he had.
Parables are open to multiple interpretations and with this Parable of the Talents we are left needing to have an ongoing reflection of “ What am I doing with what God has given me? What is my response to the call for responsible action if I am to be a disciple of Jesus?”
As the Master in the Parable demonstrated his trust in his two chosen slaves, they seemingly understood and appreciated that trust. This perhaps let them take risks freely and creatively when dealing with their talents to increase the value of what they had been given. The third slave however, chose a different course.
God gives us everything we need to do what He calls us to do. Michael Fallon suggests we cannot sit back and wait on God- it is up to us to use our God given gifts as we set about the task of discipleship. We need to acknowledge our skills and abilities, have confidence in using them for our betterment as well as for others, reflecting the actions of the two slaves who “stepped out”. Or are we “crippled” by a restricted view of God and the way He operates with us as human beings. This view could be illustrated by the view of the Master by the third slave.
We need to remember that our own gifts and talents include personal abilities as well as personal wealth. God is pleased and rewards us when we use our talents and time wisely to make an impact or change in our world. The implication being, if we are using the talents, resources and opportunities offered us to work towards God’s purpose, we can take our place among the faithful, trustworthy servants of God no matter how big or small our achievements or accomplishments may seem.
Will we be ready to explain to God how we have used the potential given us?
Ken and Carolyn Evenden
“All created things give us ideas and glimpses of the beauty of the infinitely beautiful Creator.”
Julian Tenison Woods 1881
Dear Parents and Carers,
Yesterday was the birthdate of Julian Tenison Woods. At the age of eighteen Julian joined the Passionists in England and was professed in February 1852. After travelling through France Julian arrived in Tasmania in 1855 aged 23. He stayed in Tasmania for three months as a chaplain and teacher to convicts.
After leaving Hobart, he travelled to Adelaide and resumed his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by Bishop Francis Murphy on 4 January 1857. Father Woods’ first parish was Penola in South Australia. The parish had an area of 57,000 square kilometres. As an enthusiastic young priest he spent a lot of his time travelling on horseback to visit his parishioners and meeting many interesting people during his journeys.
During one of these journeys he met a young Mary MacKillop. The bishop at that time had commanded Father Woods to establish schools for the Catholic children of his parish. As Catholic teachers were unavailable, he decided to begin a new religious order of teaching sisters to bring Catholic education to the children of poor families. In 1866, Mary willingly accepted his invitation to become one of its first members. And so began the Sisters of Saint Joseph.
Fr Julian Tenison Woods was a remarkable man. As well as being a fervent priest and a deeply spiritual leader he is recognised as a well-respected geologist, botanist, explorer and environmentalist. He wrote many scientific books and articles documenting the history, exploration and geological formation of Australia. The system of education he devised with Mary MacKillop led to him being appointed the first Director of Catholic Education in South Australia.
Father Julian Tenison Woods
Matthew 25:14-15. 19-21 - Because you have been faithful over a few things, enter into the joy of the Lord.
Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out. Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir”, he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”’
A REFLECTION by Nick Brodie - This Gospel, Pope Francis says, highlights that ‘not doing good is not good’.
The Pope points out that goodness is more than the absence of harm. Burying our talent and passively neglecting our gift is not what God wants. And, the Pope adds, we have been given many gifts: Faith, the Gospel, the Sacraments, even the Holy Spirit!
We Christians cannot, therefore, be a people who respond to God by turning in on ourselves and burying our treasures because we are fearful of losing them. Having been ‘entrusted’ with God’s property – the Church, the Earth, even our very lives – we will be called to account for our custodianship of it.
But as this Gospel indicates, our judgement will not be measured by numbers, be they five or two talents (or converts!). Rather, the biggest question is whether we recognise the reality of being God’s servants. As the Pope noted, the man in the parable was very quick to characterise the master as ‘a hard man’, justifying inaction. But with gifts already in hand our options are simple: we can make the excuse that God will be more concerned with punishing us for what we might do wrong and therefore do nothing; or we can try doing the best we can to do good and do something.
Blessings on your weekend,
Religious Education Coordinator
Classes across the school are very fortunate to have Trish Ellis teach a 30 minute Aboriginal culture and language lesson each week. Many classes use Yarning Circles to discuss ideas and important learning in their class. The students of Kindergarten regularly use their yarning stick to take turns as they share ideas and listen to one another.
Representative Sport 2024
Good Luck to Korban S who will compete at the Canberra Goulburn Touch Football trials next week.
Best wishes also to Xavier L, Quinn S, Beatrix F, Lucy B, Lucas V-D, Arthur S-D, Evie P, Georgina W and Indi A from Year 3 and 4 who have been selected as one of the top eight schools in NSW to compete at the 2023 State Final of the Todd Woodbridge Cup in Sydney on Monday.
Seb C, Hunter C, Ruby B, Isabella L, Arsh K, Samuel S-D, Annie F and Hailey from our Year 5 and 6 team also have qualified for the State Final of the Todd Woodbridge Tennis tournament. We are very proud of all our wonderful young players. A fantastic achievement.
Happy Birthday to all of our students that have or will celebrate their birthdays in November. We hope you had a wonderful day.
Daniel S, Leila K, Azami S, Korra T, Tyler McD, Elijah D, Jayden E, Xian M, Cruze W, Sienna N, Isabella L, George S-D, Annalise J-P, William M-N, Sebastian T, Kingston A, Reeve T, Jagger L, Parambrata R, Rogan H, Molly M, Annabelle T, Hendrix C, Angus D, Abby S, Scarlett C, Jayden G, Keisha L, Nalu G, Rhylan B, Jayla R, Jane T, Sion D, Kate S, Eva C, Alexa K, Jacob B, Harper A, Joseph O’S.