Places to play, think, imagine and create
Located in a residential area of Dundas Valley, St Bernadette’s provides its students with a leafy, tranquil setting. Since 2000, all buildings have been extensively renovated and all general learning areas are air-conditioned to maximise student comfort.
Refurbishments have provided a space for the library and dedicated learning support room. The library is a valuable resource centre, not only for students but for the school community as a whole. It has a collection of relevant resources for children and teachers.
In order to prepare our students to think and respond effectively to the challenges of a rapidly changing world, we utilise the latest technological tools in our classrooms. Access to email, the internet and intranet, enables our students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, museums, and other areas of information.
St Bernadette’s is a single stream co-educational school catering for boys and girls in Kindergarten to Year 6. At present there is an enrolment of 192 children from 128 families, in eight classes.
Our school caters for a mixed socio-economic area and is mindful of the variety of needs and personal burdens placed on families. We endeavour to support and address these needs through programming, our social justice focus and organisational structures.
St Bernadette’s provides a caring and nurturing atmosphere in which to educate children in Christian values in the Catholic tradition. The school strives to value each child as an individual, and to develop in them a sense of responsibility, so that they may live out the Gospel in co-operation with others and accept each other in a spirit of love, forgiveness, justice and peace. An emphasis is placed on the respect and dignity of each child.
Living the Gospel
Every day there is evidence of children and staff living the Gospel values of justice, co-operation, hope, and compassion. These values are integrated into all aspects of school life. There is mutual respect between staff and children. It is evident that the staff demonstrates a commitment to the wellbeing of students, and demonstrates sensitivity to the individual needs of the children. They are dedicated to providing Christian witness and in promoting the concept of Christian community. Staff are seen by the parents to be welcoming and accessible.
The school has established a climate which will enable us to work towards fulfilling our mission statement of coming together as a learning community to nurture each person in a respectful atmosphere centred on the love of Christ.
Social Justice Events
The children are involved in a number of outreach programs, including Project Compassion, the Manning Foundation, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Tebbut Lodge. As well as this involvement, there is a concerted effort to raise children’s understanding of many social justice issues and to encourage action.
A community that works together
The Parish Priest, Principal, staff and parents work together to develop the faith community, and as a result, the relationship between the school and the broader parish community is positive.
There is a whole school Mass at the beginning and end of each year, and every First Friday. Planning with the Parish Priest is done at the class teacher’s request and children are involved in planning the liturgy. Children from Years 2-6 are involved in the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Communion and Confirmation during the year.
The Franciscan Friars look after the Altar Server and choir opportunities for the children.
Student Well Being
The Student Management Policy directly relates to our three school rules;
- I am respectful
- I am safe
- I am a learner
Our Student Management Policy calls upon our students to reflect upon their actions and they are supported in finding a positive way forward as a respectful, safe learner by all staff members.
Sound structures are in place to deal with disruptive behaviour. These structures are sensitive to the self-esteem of children and the retention of the dignity of each child. Valuing each child is of utmost importance to us.
The Protective Behaviours and Bounce Back Programs run each year with the whole school taking part.
The Buddies Program is most effective. Year 6 Students are peer support friends to the Kindergarten children.
The Student Representative Council represents the children and is involved in many worthwhile activities. They meet fortnightly under the supervision of the Assistant Principal and discuss issues that they see could improve St Bernadette’s.