St Bernadette's Primary School

NEWSLETTER | TERM 2 | WEEK 1 | 23 April 2021

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Message from Geordie

Dear Families,

Welcome back to Term 2! I hope that our families have enjoyed their short start to the term and are making the most of the weather and extended weekend. Our students have come back to school in really great form – relaxed, happy, calm and ready to get straight into it. We have had another calm and organised start and I would like to thank all our parents and guardians for bringing the students back with such positive energy!

Our teachers have done a lot of work over the holidays to ensure our students are on task and learning from the first day of term and this consistency across our school is really important. As teachers, we know that uninterrupted time-on-task makes a huge difference to student learning and we will continue working to ensure that students get the most out of every learning experience. Our Learning Support Staff have also started in our classrooms from Day One this week, targeting groups of students who need some extra help. This differentiated group work, particularly in English and Maths is something our staff discuss regularly and will continue to be a priority for our teachers. We aim to use quality assessments to group students and target the learning experiences at their point of need. This means students are engaged, challenged and supported by their teacher in their learning.

I would like to apologise for my Feedback Form at the end of last term. I am rather embarrassed that I did not click the ‘allow anyone with the link to view’ button and so I am really sorry if you were struggling to enter into the form over the holidays. In good news though, we had over 80 families respond to the form with some excellent feedback both positive and constructive. In the coming weeks we will go through this with staff, and I will create a Q&A in the newsletter for common themes.

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As you can see from the image above we had some really positive feedback which I really appreciate. I had a good laugh reading some of the positive responses to Fred coming to school and I do agree that having a school dog like Fred is a really valuable resource for our students.

One piece of feedback that I would like to highlight read:

Ensure that the Leadership Team are taking on board all feedback from parents and the community- also need to recognise that St Bernadette’s has been thriving for a long time and they don’t need to change to suit the individual; make sure to also listen to your students and staff and ask how they want things done, not tell them how things are going to be.

This was one that really got me thinking as I hope it has not come across like that in my first term. We have an absolutely AMAZING community of parents, staff and students and there are so many things to celebrate in our community. Prioritising change is always a difficult task in Leadership and in a community the size of ours it is unlikely that you can please everyone, all the time. It is also important not to take on too many new things at once as I would rather work on a smaller number of initiatives and do them properly, then do many things at a surface level. Having said that, I am currently in the middle of a large Audit and there are some things that from a governance and compliance standpoint, need to be updated straight away. This will continue to be something that I work hard to get right for our community!

Finally, I hope you all have a really enjoyable long weekend. I plan to get out on the boat with the kids, take my wife Nicole out for a birthday lunch and if I am really lucky, I might get to take the bike out for a decent hills ride on Sunday. It is going to be a cracker weekend and if the Eagles can cause an upset with a pretty depleted team, it will be an excellent effort!

Stay safe

Geordie Thuijs


Anzac Day Service

We will be holding our Anzac Day Service on Tuesday 27th April 2021 at 2.30pm. This will be held outside the library and parents are welcome to attend. Children have been asked to bring in a few hand picked flowers and sprigs of Rosemary from their gardens at home. Please do not buy flowers, just a little something from home would be lovely.

Children who participate in Cubs, Scouts and Girl Guides are encouraged to wear these uniforms for the day.

We look forward to seeing you here!

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Merit Awards - Assembly Friday 30 April 2021

Merit Awards are being presented during next week's assembly. This will be held at 8.50 am in the undercover area.

The following students will be receiving their awards, parents are welcome to attend.

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Medical Forms

Student Medical Needs - we will be adding medical form templates on our website for parents to download and complete when your child has medical needs that the school needs to be aware of e.g. asthma, allergies.

As it is the parent responsibility to inform the school when management of these needs changes, we hope that by being able to access these forms online it will make the management of this information less time consuming.

Once the forms have been completed, please forward to Administration for your child's record to be updated.

Bernie's Garden News & Seedling Giveaway Request

Our Year 3 students will again be selling produce from the school garden this term. Their stall will be open, outside the school office every second Friday starting on the 30th April from 2.45pm.

Items will include fresh and dried herbs, worm wee, and seasonal veggies (only those that Mrs Cairns has managed not to kill!!) Please support this great initiative!

City of Rockingham Seedling Giveaway - we would love to green up our front entry area near the Library and we ask that as many families as possible could please access the City of Rockingham seedling giveaway and donate their seedlings to the school.

Please see the attached link for dates and location. Seedlings can be left at the front office.

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Chance to Win a Kitchen Garden for St Bernies, please help!

Network 10 ( MasterChef Australia and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation) and Coles are running a competition nationally for schools to give away $5000 cash towards our Kitchen Garden.

This would be a wonderful way to expand our garden and help our students develop positive food habits.

There’s a $500 Coles voucher for the person who nominates the winning school. Please help us by nominating St Bernies – go to to enter or the link below.

Fume Free Friday - 30th April 2021

Next Friday our Year 6 Sports Ministry will be holding another Fume Free Friday!

We encourage all students to walk, ride or scoot to school on that day. We’re also keen to reignite a school walking bus, from the local IGA, where Fred and Mr T might even join in!

To keep the momentum going and help reduce congestion at the kiss and drive, we will also be using our Star Card initiative this term, where our Sports Ministry Leaders will be heading out in the mornings to give a hole punch to student star cards acknowledging those walking and riding to school more consistently

Compliance and Policy section

This week is a little cramped in the Compliance and Policy section of the Newsletter.

The two updated policies I would like to share are the Enrolment and Attendance Policies and Procedures. Please take the time to read them in your own time. The Attendance Policy is a particularly important document as it outlines the procedures in place for parents as well as the legal obligations of the school in the event students are absent.

This is particularly important for extended absentee periods, unexplained absences or what the school is required to do if students attendance drops below 90%.

I have also attached Statement 2 in the Code of Conduct, You give priority to student’ safety and well-being in all your behaviour and decision making.

Again, please take the time to read this document in your own time. This statement is a good reminder that the safety and well-being of all students needs to be our number one priority and at the forefront of our minds when making decisions in our school.

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Clean Up Secret Harbour Monday 25th April 2021 - call for volunteers!

Calling all Secret Harbourians ( and anyone else who needs to get their Fitbit steps up?)

Janice Cairns has organised a Clean Up Day in Secret Harbour for Monday 26th April at 9am.

We will meet at Secret Harbour Primary school oval car park. Gloves and bags will be provided.

As a lovely gesture (and reward) the Whistling Kite Tavern will provide free nibbles and a drink after the clean up (around 12pm).

Please come and join her and help give our local wildlife a cleaner and greener home!

Thank you in advance.

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Sacramental Dates 2021

There have been a few changes to Sacramental times, please find attached the updated schedule.

School Term Dates 2021

Term 2 Monday 19/04/2021 - Friday 02/07/2021

Term 3 Tuesday 20/07/2021 - Thursday 23/9/2021

Term 4 Monday 11/10/2021 - Friday 10/12/2021

Pupil Free Dates 2021

Friday 04/06/2021

Monday 19/07/2021

Monday 16/08/2021

Monday 24/09/2021

Term 1 2021 Calendar