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 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 the School Prospectus.
Links with the local and wider communities
The school community opens out into the local and wider community in many ways.
- The Diocese of Northampton is the trustee of the school. We also have links with the local Deanery; our students work as catechists in local parishes and we present the school’s Lenten Liturgy in our local church, the Holy Family in Langley.
- 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 the school website which give details of their monastic houses in this country and round the world.
- We have links with a number of school in the local area, particularly the other Catholic Schools in Slough. St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Holy Family School, Our Lady of Peace School, St Anthony’s School, St Ethelbert’s School and St Bernard’s Preparatory School. We run a number of joint projects with these schools each year. Recently, we have established a link with Arbour Vale School, with students from both schools participating together in musical activities.
- 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 six schools, three in Slough and three in Cape Town, which previously has received a grant from the British Council, enabling us to run regular exchange programmes. In February 2013 staff and students from St Bernard’s, St Joseph’s and Wexham Schools visited Cape Town to take part in the exchange programme, which involved teaching in the schools. The three schools in Cape Town are all township schools: Sinethemba High School, Oscar Mpetha High School and Dr Nelson Mandela High School.
- We also have connections in Germany, Spain and France and students regularly partake in exchange visits or homestay visits to these countries.
- 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.
- Community Service: Year 12 students serve the local community by working with the elderly, the handicapped or in schools. The flourishing SVP group from Senior forms also visit schools and senior citizens’ centres and homes. Other causes are supported at different times of the year by form, year or House groups.
- Fairtrade: In 2008, St Bernard’s was the first school in Slough to be designated as a Fairtrade school and has been re-designated in 2011 and 2013