Regular activities & visits
- Year 7 visit Le Touquet, France.
- Autumn Term: Transition Mass for Year 7.
- ‘Themed’ week of study for Year 7.
- Year 7 Music Gamelan workshops.
- Years 8 & 9 attend Citizenship Days.
- Year 8 BBC School Report production.
- Years 9 & 10 attend Enterprise Days.
- Years 9 & 10 attend Hype workshops.
- Year 9 Science & Engineering visits.
- Key Stage 3 Hardspell competition.
- Students from Years 8-13 take part in a French ‘Homestay’ visit during the Spring term to either Paris or Strasbourg to improve their knowledge of the language and culture.
- 2 Year 13 students travel to Auschwitz for a day’s study trip organised by the Holocaust Education Trust.
- Year 13 Biology visit Marwell Zoo.
- Every second year: visit to the Bay of Naples by Latin & Classics students.
- Students from Years 8-10 visit Germany as part of an exchange programme. The return exchange is usually during the following September.
- Easter: Students from Years 8-12 visit Spain.
- June: day visit by Year 9 History students to Ypres.
- Each class/year has a day of Retreat/Discipleship with the Chaplaincy.
- The Library Book Club attends the Berkshire Book Awards.
- Young Musician of the Year competition.
- Year 12 edit contributions from the whole school for the School Magazine.
- All years can take part in the Maths Challenges, Chess Tournament & Dance Show.
- Years 9-12 can take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
- July: Year 8 enjoy 3 days of outdoor activities.
- Members of the Animation Club travelled to Manchester and came first in the National Computer Animation Competition.
English & Drama Departments
- Year 7: saw War Horse at the National Theatre and received a visit from author Alan Gibbons;
- Year 8: enjoyed a visit from Adisa the Poet, saw a performance of Macbeth; with St Joseph’s School , compiled a Poetry Anthology of their own poems and held a Poetry Festival;
- Year 9: attended Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre; enjoyed Shakespeare in Schools & Shakespeare by Heart visits;
- Year 10: saw An Inspector Calls in Reading & visited the Royal Court Theatre;
- Year 10 participated in a Drama Workshop run by the Professor of Drama at the Royal Holloway University;
- Year 11: attended an interactive Shakespeare workshop; Year 11 boys experienced a series of workshops at the Donmar Theatre on Richard II;
- Years 10 & 12: visited the New London Theatre;
- Year 13: attended a Drama & Poetry Conference In the Spotlight;
- Years 9 & 12: took part in Public Speaking competitions at Eton, Rotary Youth Speaks & the Mock Trial competition at Reading Crown Court.
History & Classics Departments
- Year 7 visited Warwick Castle;
- Year 8 visited the Black Country Museum;
- Year 9 went to Ypres, Belgium;
- Year 11 went to the Imperial War Museum;
- Year 12 attended a History Conference.
- Year 12 visited the British Museum;
- Years 10 & 13 enjoyed a classical performance at the Bloomsbury Theatre;
- Year 13 attended a Latin conference at Reading University.
- Year 7 visited Slough for Settlement investigation
- Year 7 visited Mop End Field centre to collect data on microclimates
- Year 8 visited Lulworth Cove to support their study of coastal landforms
- Year 9 visited the Henley Rowing Museum and studied the river Thames;
- Year 10 visited Mop End Field Centre to collect data for their controlled assessment
- Year 12 went to Pembrokeshire for a week’s residential course.
Music & Art Departments
- Several joint musical workshops with Arbour Vale School & Langley Grammar;
- Regular School Concerts – the whole of Year 7 sang together at the first one;
- Year 10 GCSE Music students attended a concert at the Royal Festival Hall;
- Year 12 visited Kew Gardens;
- Years 11-13 visited the Saatchi Gallery;
- Year 10 Textiles visited the Graduate Fashion Show at Earl’s Court;
- Years 12 & 13 visited the Closet Clothing company;
- Year 12 took part in the annual competition for Young Enterprise.
Regular Activities & Clubs are announced at every General Assembly and are publicised via the notice-boards in the Old Hall.
- Boys’ Vocal Group Junior Girls’ Choir Senior Choir Junior Strings Senior Strings
- Jazz Band Senior Wind Ensemble Junior Wind Band
- Guitar Ensemble Band Club Piano Duets
Check the Music Department notice board for days and times
- Rounders, Tennis, Table Tennis, Athletics, Cricket, Netball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Dance, Volleyball, Rugby, Badminton, Fitness Suite (Seniors), Gymnastics and indoor rowing.
- The following offer students an opportunity to play in competitions against other schools: Football, Hockey, Netball, Cricket, Rounders, Tennis, Basketball, Rugby and Athletics.
- As well as lunchtime and curricular House Events for activities which are covered in the P.E Curriculum, there are also lunchtime House Events for students in Key Stage 3, for example, Danish Rounders, Indoor Athletics and Orienteering.
- ‘Streetdance’ Club runs on Fridays after school, from 4.00-5.30pm, and is taken by Alan Cunningham who is a fully qualified and very experienced instructor. Many of the students go on to perform in the annual “Evening of Dance” show, which raises money for the South Africa Exchange Programme.
- ‘One World’ Group Wednesday 1.30pm Room 02: successful campaigns include the ‘Climate Change’ campaign, filling shoeboxes for Eastern Europe; Christmas cards to Prisoners of conscience and a regular Fairtrade stall at school and fetes;
- Fair-trade committee run regular stalls and coffee shops within school as well as at school fetes. The committee aims to promote awareness of Fair-trade across the school;
- SVP placements available for years 10-11 – e.g. working at Prep school; visits to Residential homes, ‘Age Concern’, Upton House;
- Year 10 assist with an after-school Computer club for local Refugees and ‘Silver Surfers’;
- Year 12 students assist with homework for primary age refugee children at Slough Refugee Support;
- The ‘Mock Trial’ competition – open to Years 9 and 12.
- The School Magazine – open to Year 7 to 13
- The Duke of Edinburgh Award is available for students from Year 9. Expeditions are arranged by the school for Years 9 & 10 (Bronze), Years 10 & 11 (Silver) and from 2013 Gold will be available to the VI Form. Details available from Mr Turnham. (see section below)
- Film Club Monday 1.15pm Balcony with Mr Petty – all years welcome.
- Animation Club Tuesdays & Wednesday 1.15 room 208 with Mr Petty – all years welcome.
- Chess Club every Tuesday lunchtime Room 50 with Mr Turnham.
- Art Department workshops: Years 10 & 11 – Tuesday & Wednesday lunchtimes; Exam Years – Wednesday after school.
- Book Club Years 7-10 Monday 1.30pm in the non-Fiction Library with Miss Khan.
- The school magazine is edited by Year 12 with contributions from all Years.
- Debating club, Years 9 -12, includes preparation for Public Speaking competitions. See Mrs Instone.
- Young Enterprise Group, Year 12 with Mr Neville.
- ‘Maths Marathons’ can be entered by KS3 students and ‘Maths Challenges’ can be entered by students of all ages. A Maths workshop will be open from late September. Times & dates will be announced by the Maths Department.
- Computer Club is open from 1.30-2.00pm on specified days- see Mr Petty.
- Junior and Senior Drama productions.
- At least two School Concerts a year and a Dance evening.
- Young Musician of the Year competition – open to all students.
- Christmas and Lenten Liturgies with drama, dance, music.
- ‘Guardian Angels Day’ – arranged entirely by Year 13 for the whole school.
- Performers’ Festival – arranged by Year 12.
- Senior Citizens’ Party – organised and run by Year 12
- Year 13 Extension English – Thursday lunchtimes with Mrs Enright
Gifted and Talented
Students are encouraged to take part in as many activities as possible. Each year’s opportunities vary – please contact Mrs Fletcher via the school Reception.
Many departments organise activities in the lunch-hour to help students with aspects of their work –e.g. Language speaking, (some students learn an additional language this way) Maths, Literacy support; Numeracy support; informal Music concerts, Design & Technology workshops. Check with each Department.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised Achievement Award. It develops the kind of abilities and skills employers say they want to see in their employees: commitment, team working skills, perseverance and a positive attitude. The programme sits very well with our Catholic ethos: encouraging participants to make use of and develop their god-given abilities; volunteering is a central component of the award; and participants need to support one another on expedition as challenges are faced.
The four sections of the award are:
- Volunteering – e.g. helping at Scouts
- Physical – sport e.g. football
- Skills – e.g. playing a musical instrument
- Expedition – we organise this in school
Students organise for themselves activities for the first three sections (it may be that extra-curricular activities undertaken at school could count). A participant will only gain an Award if they complete all sections and upload their evidence into their eDoE account (electronic Duke of Edinburgh).
DofE has gone from strength to strength at St Bernard’s. This highly popular programme attracts large numbers of students at all levels. It is only through the partnership between staff and parents that we are able to operate with such large numbers of students – and with the financial support of the St Bernard’s PTA, we can provide most of the equipment students need for their expedition.
All levels of the award involve training, a practice expedition and an assessed expedition:
- Bronze is offered to students in Year 9, just before Easter. We regularly have over 100 participants each year involved at this level. Bronze involves a two day hike (one day camping). At Bronze level, we visit the Chiltern Hills.
- Silver is offered after Easter in Year 10. We have 80 participants each year undertaking the Silver expeditions. Silver involves a three day hike (two days camping – in different campsites). Silver involves longer hiking days and must take place in unfamiliar countryside. At Silver level we visit the North Chiltern Hills and the Isle of Purbeck.
- Gold is offered only to those Sixth Form students who have completed all aspects of their Silver Award. The Expedition section involves four days hiking and three nights camping. The expeditions take place in Snowdonia. Gold Award also involves an additional section called the ‘Residential’.