The school community comprises all those who work together at St Bernard’s: governors, students, parents, teaching and support staff.
Each in his or her own way contributes to the building up of the community and to maintaining its spirit. Parents, too, are part of the community and their close involvement with the school is both strongly encouraged and much appreciated.
The Sixth Form
There are approximately 250 students currently in the Sixth Form. They form an essential part of the school community, sharing responsibility for the school with the staff and setting an example to younger students. They are responsible for the four Houses, organising sporting, dramatic and fund-raising events. They have their own uniform, common room and study areas. A list of destinations of the Year 13 leavers can be found in this booklet.
Links with the local and wider communities
The school community opens out into the local and wider community in many ways. For example:
- Community Service: Year 12 students serve the local community by working with the elderly, the handicapped or in schools. Traditionally a group of Year 10 students encourage the school to support the local Hospice by organising fund-raising events. Other causes are supported at different times of the year by form, year or House groups.
- One World Group: A well supported school group regularly reminds the rest of the school of the plight of Prisoners of Conscience, organising assemblies, letter-writing projects and fund-raising.
- We are still very much part of the Community of the Bernardine sisters who founded the school and who left in 2006 to continue their monastic life of prayer. There are links on this website which give details of their monastic houses in this country and round the world.
- Through our Humanities status we have strong links with our partner schools: St Joseph’s Catholic High School and Wexham School; Holy Family School, Our Lady of Peace School, St Anthony’s School and St Ethelbert’s School. We run a number of joint project with these schools each year and details of these are in the Humanities section on this site. We are also part of a Federation of three schools: St Joseph’s, Wexham and ourselves which gives rise to further opportunities such as joint appointments of staff.
- We also have strong links with Slough Museum, with Slough Refugee Support, with the Holocaust Education Trust, with the National Archives and with BBC School Report. Details of work with these can be seen in the Humanities section of the site. We were part of Slough Creative Partnerships for many years and hope to continue a connection with the new Creative Junction, also based in Slough. We embrace the local community in other ways too; our sports teams are sponsored by Campsies, the local Estate agents, for example.
- Further afield, we have developed very strong links with partner schools in Cape Town, South Africa and are the leading school in a cluster of eight schools, four in Slough and four in Cape Town, which has received a grant from the British Council, enabling us to run regular exchange programmes. The most recent was the visit in July of ten South African teachers to Slough. Students and staff from St Bernard’s, St Joseph’s and Wexham, as well as two teachers from Our Lady of Peace Primary visited Cape Town in February 2008 and there are further plans for visits during the current academic year, details of which will be on this website. The four schools in Cape Town are all township schools: Sinethemba High School, Oscar Mpetha High School and Dr Nelson Mandela High School as well as Masiphumelele Primary School.
- We also have connections in Japan, Germany, Spain and France and students regularly partake in exchange visits or homestay visits to these countries.
Here are some of the groups that contribute greatly to St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School.