Term 3 Week 7

Principals Message

The events of the last two weeks have seen the community of St Bernadette’s come together to support each other. I have been a staff member of St Bernadette’s for ten years and the stand out quality of our school is its community. When our community experiences hardship or tragedy we know that we will be supported by others who walk the journey with us.

Ironically the sudden and tragic loss of Julian Cadman has strengthened our community. At times of great loss this is often the result.Engaged with the different elements of our school community, student, staff and parent I am overwhelmed by the constant support being provided.

This week we continue to acknowledge and talk about Julian’s loss. The school has ongoing support mechanisms to ensure students are coping. Walking through the learning spaces multiple times a day I’m in awe of the professionalism of our staff and their ability to maintain routines and structures at this most challenging time. This has enabled our students to understand that life does continue and that through all our losses we must find ways to both acknowledge loss and continue with life in a positive and meaningful way.

St Bernadette’s is a special community one that I am blessed to be a part of for so long and to led at this time.


Patrician Brothers BBQ

Patrician Brothers’ College came to St Bernadette’s on Wednesday to show their support for the St Bernadette’s community during this time of loss. The staff and students from Patrician Brothers’ College wanted to do something for the children that would help show that the extended community is with them in solidarity at this hard time.

The team led by Santo Passarello organised and ran a BBQ lunch for the students and staff whilst providing musicians for entertainment. This was a fun afternoon showing the students that others care.

We thank the Patrician Brothers’ community for this heartfelt gesture. Bringing some food, musicians and fun to what has been a challenging time for the community. It affirming to know that we stand together as a Catholic community.


NAPLAN Results

Last week all students in Year 3 and 5 received their NAPLAN results. While these tests give us a snapshot of student achievement, we must remember that NAPLAN tests are an isolated test on one day and teachers maintain a more detailed and comprehensive picture of each child’s achievements.

At school we have already begun to analyse the results to determine what alterations to learning need to be considered. The true purpose of any test is to provide data that can be used to make a difference to next step learning. I will be meeting with teams of teachers to discuss any teaching opportunities to ensure the needs of our Year 3 and 5 students are meet, but also the needs of students across the school.

It is well regarded that NAPLAN is an indication of prior teaching and learning. Therefore;

  • Year 3 NAPLAN provides a lot of information about infants teaching and learning

  • Year 5 Naplan .provides a lot of information about Stage 2 teaching and learning

  • Year 7 .provides a lot of information about Stage 3 teaching and learning

If you have any concerns or questions around your child’s results please arrange a time to speak with your child’s teacher.


Project Based Learning (PBL)

Last week I was able to provide our Stage 2, Stage 3 and Science Team with a day out of class to further establish their understanding of PBL as a team. This time was utilised to work collaboratively to unpack learning that was done two weeks ago with the Team from Advanced Reasoning In Education.

Each team has been refining Term 3 PBL units whilst also ensuring they are ready for Term 4. An important element was giving the teachers time to ensure there are strong links to literacy throughout their units. This link ensures student learning is maximised. The need to read, write, talk  and use information in meaningful ways is a foundation block of PBL at St Bernadette’s.

A key to the success of PBL is the inclusion of well developed teaching experiences. PBL at St Bernadette’s is not just an opportunity for students to conduct independent or group research. In contrast teachers must teach curriculum content and the skills necessary to enable students to use this content in a meaningful way.

Many visitors to our school have commented on the physical components of our learning spaces and how these support student learning using the PBL framework. These include our display walls that must include vital information such as the driving question, student rubrics, calendar of events to inform student learning. Additionally our spaces have been designed to enable Project Based Learning through purposeful furniture and space design.

PBL will continue to drive our approach to teaching and learning at St Bernadette’s ensuring we provide students with the skills necessary to succeed.


Phill Kapitanow