Academic Excellence

The curriculum at St Bernard’s School is directly aligned with the NSW Board of Studies. Specific outcomes, appropriate for the stage of a student’s development, are targeted as the focus for teaching and learning in each of the Key Learning Areas throughout each term and student progress is assessed against the identified outcomes. Read more about the Key Learning Areas in the pages underneath Teaching and Learning.

At the beginning of each year, curriculum notes are sent home for every grade. These notes provide an overview of the teaching focus in all Key Learning Areas and any other relevant information such as excursions and special events in the grade for the year.

Parents Guide to the new NSW K - 10 Syllabuses

Classroom Support Information 

At St Bernard’s we believe every student can learn. Learning is innate, ongoing and fundamental to being human. Each individual student enters the classroom with a variety of experiences including cultural, emotional, spiritual and social. As educators, it is our role to engage, challenge, affirm and support the growth of the whole child. Next year we will be known as a Dyslexic Friendly School, catering for all needs and delivery high quality programs. Our Classroom Support Team work with the whole class, small groups and/or individual students within the classroom environment to support students’ needs. Please see below a list of Programs that are offered to improve student outcomes and engage our learners.

Tier One: Core Classroom Instruction

Modelled, guided and independent curriculum activities to meet the needs of the individual students.

Teachers meet the needs of students through:

  • a visual timetable
  • manipulatives
  • Personalised Plans
  • Safety and Behaviour Plans

Explicit Instruction


  • Explicit Instruction seeks to improve student outcomes by supporting teachers to improve their classroom practice.
  • Associate Professor Lorraine Hammond will continue to support St Bernard’s with an instructional coaching program. This will add to our current Literacy and Numeracy Block and extend into other Curriculum Areas.

Explicit Direct Instruction Programs

  • Spelling Mastery: Years 1-6
  • Let’s Decode Phonics Program: Kindergarten to Year 2.


Classroom Instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of all students in the classroom.

Maths Pathway

This program is taught in Year 5 and 6. Learning is tailored to the needs of all students, ensuring that mathematical concepts are taught at the correct level.

Tier Two: Targeted Small Group

Supported Reading Program


  • Kindergarten – Year Two
  • Focus on reading and comprehension with individual students.

School Chaplaincy Program


  • The role provides added support for our students’ social, emotional, and spiritual needs and will run from 2020 – 2022.

Wellbeing projects include animal therapy


Students are rostered on throughout the week to help care for the following animals:

  • 4 Chooks
  • 2 guinea pigs

Numeracy Support

  • Small group support in Year 3 and 4. Maths U See program implemented by Classroom Support.
  • Support with Jeni McCarthy in Year 5 & 6 with Maths Pathway.
  • Support for students in small groups to develop essential numeracy skills.

Tier Three: Intensive Individual Support

MiniLit - An Explicit reading Intervention K - 2



  • Students in Year 1 or Year 2. experiencing difficulty with reading.
  • Students work with their Classroom Support tutor each week to work on Sight Words, Sounds and Reading Strategies.

MacqLit – An Explicit reading Intervention 3 - 6


  • The lessons are run in small groups of 4-6 students.
  • Explicit Literacy Instruction for 1 hour, 3 days per week. 
  • Followed up with 2 x 20minute Reinforced reading sessions per week.

Royal Far West Tele Care

  • Psychology, Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy for individual students with support of Classroom Support Assistants
  • Facilitated by video link up with experts from Royal Far West

Social Skills Support Group

  • Students in K-6.
  • Individual and/or small group support around social/emotional concerns.

Outside Agencies

  • Children with recommended OT, Speech, Psychology are seen at school.
  • We work closely with Royal Far West, CIFTs, Muddy Puddles, Headspace, Be You and Coast and Country Occupational Therapy.

School Counsellor

  • Referrals through the Principal.
  • 3 days per week.

Enrichment Programs

Enrichment Groups


  • Students in Years 3 - 5 selected based on data to work in small groups with Mrs Hadley to extend their thinking in Mathematics.

Extension Program in Numeracy at Carroll College

  • Approximately 8-10 students from Year 5 and Year 6.
  • The focus will be on providing our students with the opportunity to participate in higher order learning experiences in the area of English/Maths.

Extension Program

  • Students from Years 5 and 6 to participate in an extension program to encourage higher order thinking skills. This will be run by Mrs Smith

Flexible Learning Options


  • Years 3 – 6 students.
  • Opportunities for students to explore their interests/strengths outside the classroom.
  • Examples; Gardening, Woodwork, Robotics, Code Club, Design and Make activities.


The choir is often open to students from Years 2—6 and meet at lunchtime each Wednesday. They have opportunities to perform at events such as Seaside Carnivale and Carols by Candelight. As part of our community service the choir also visit and perform at Retirement Villages.


Excursions are an extension of classroom learning and are directly linked to the classroom teaching program. The destination may be varied so that the excursion genuinely supports learning outcomes.

Junior classes (Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2) all participate in a day excursion during the school year.

Year 3   Day excursion to Bingi Dreaming Track.

Year 4   Travel to Canberra for two days and one night.

Year 5   Spend three days and two nights at Birrigai Outdoor School.

Year 6   Spend three days and two nights at Cooba Sport and Recreation Centre.

Kinder Buddies

Kinder and Year 5 students participate in a buddy program. Each kinder child has a Year 5 buddy who assists them with activities during buddy sessions, sits with them at Mass and helps them to settle in to life at ‘big school’.  For Year 5 students time with their Kinder buddy provides opportunities to be positive role models and share their story of life at school.


The Makerspace provides students with an opportunity to have creative time and space to build prototypes, explore questions, fail and retry, bounce ideas off one another and build something together. It has a variety of digital technologies to cater for the different levels of experience. Students use MaKey MaKeys, Arduino's Rasberry Pi's, Coding and Robotics. A lunch time Makerspace club has been formed for interested students from K-6. There are direct links to classroom activities, specifically targeting students who are capable of, but failing to, reach the highest bands in NAPLAN. Our focus is to increase student engagement and achievement through an inquiry based model, fostering creativity and critical use of technology.

Public Speaking

Students from Years 3-6 also have the opportunity to represent the school in public speaking in the Souther Region Catholic Schools Public Speaking Competition.

Student Representative Council 

The SRC at St Bernard’s School is a proactive student group which meets weekly to discuss issues brought up in class meetings. It is comprised of two school captains and four SRC representatives from Year 6. The position is held for the school year.