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St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School
Fossedale Avenue, Whitchurch, BS14 9LS, UK Bristol
+44 (0)117 377 2050

  St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School 

Saint Bernadette Catholic Secondary School                           Tel: 0117 377 2050                         Saint Bernadette Catholic Secondary School                           Tel: 0117 377 2050

“Our Mission is to create opportunities for the moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical and social growth of our school community.  We seek to achieve this within a loving Christian environment where we strive for equality, justice and fairness”. 

We aim to educate our young people to be:

  • strong in the faith of Christ;

  • active in response to Christ’s call to care for others;

  • responsible members of society;

  • confident of their personal worth.

We aim to educate the whole person through the development of: 

  • independence of thought;

  • emotional maturity;

  • physical abilities;

  • acceptance of the gifts and limitations of each individual;

  • openness to other people;

  • learning through a variety of experiences, aesthetic, cultural and technological

Details of term dates and events at Saint Bernadette for 2007/8 can be found on our Calendar pages.


Admissions Policy 2007

A copy of the Admissions Policy can be downloaded below.

Download a PDF file of the Admissions Policy 2005

Introduction for September 2007

Saint Bernadette Catholic Secondary School — Bristol was established by the Diocese of Clifton primarily to provide education for the Catholic community in the designated parishes.

Admissions to St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School, Bristol are in the control of the Governors acting in accordance with the Clifton Diocesan Department for Schools & Colleges according to the Education Act 2002 and any arrangements agreed with Bristol Local Authority (LA). All applications should be addressed to the home LA [See note (i)] who will forward them, via Bristol LA, to the Governors.

The Governors intend to admit a new intake of 150 for September 2007. Applications for a place should be made on the home LA’s common application form and sent to the home LA by the date Friday, 20th October 2006. All applications for St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School will be sent to the School by Bristol LA by Monday, 13th November 2006. The School will forward to all applicants by Tuesday, 21st November 2006 a supplementary form to allow applicants to provide information about their faith commitment. The supplementary forms must be returned to the School by Monday, 4th December 2006. The Governing Body will consider all applications against its policy criteria and inform Bristol LA of places to be offered. The home LA will offer those places on behalf of the Governing Body by Thursday, 1st March 2007. A waiting list, including late applications from families moving into the area or who were otherwise unable to apply by the specified date, will be maintained until the start of the September Term 2007 and any available places offered in accordance with the usual criteria for

St Bernadette is a Catholic Voluntary Aided Secondary School established by the Diocese of Clifton, in which Religious Education is at the heart of the curriculum.

3.1 The designated area for St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School, as a result of the decision to close St Thomas More Secondary School, is:

St Bernadette, Whitchurch: 01275 833 699 Rev. Anthony Harding
St Pius X, Hartcliffe and Withywood: 0117 964 6922 Rev. Fr Michael Healy
Christ the King, Filwood Broadway: 0117 966 4843 Rev. Michael Derrick De Mello
St Patrick, Redfield: 0117 955 7662 Rev. Gregory Grant
St Joseph, Fishponds: 0117 983 3912 Rev. Eric Foxwell
St Gerard Majella, Knowle: 0117 983 3924 Rev. George Henwood
Sacred Heart, Chew Magna: 01275 332 528 Rev. Richard Sullivan
Holy Cross, Bedminster: 0117 983 3927 Rev. Francis Bermingham
St Mary-on-the-Quay, central Bristol:  
St Nicholas of Tolentino, Lawford’s Gate [See Note (ii)], Easton: 0117 983 3920 Rev. Richard McKay

    Those in

Our Lady of Lourdes, Kingswood: 0117 949 8742 Rev. Patrick Auger
St Augustine, Downend: 0117 983 3939 Rev. Alexander Redman
for whom St Bernadette is the nearest Catholic Secondary School. [See Note (iii)]

4. When places are available, the following order of priority will apply:
4.1 Looked After Children [see note (iv)] baptised into the Catholic faith from the
Parishes/Areas named above [3.1].
4.2 Children baptised into the Catholic faith from the Parishes/Areas
named above [3.1].
4.3 Children baptised into the Catholic faith from other Parishes where there is no designated
Catholic Secondary School. (Every Catholic Parish in Bristol and Bath has a designated
Catholic Secondary School from the following — St Bede’s, St Bernadette’s, and St
4.4 Children baptised into the Catholic faith from other Catholic Parishes for whom there is no
place in their designated Catholic Secondary School.
4.5 Looked After Children not included in category (4.1) above.

4.6 Siblings [See Note (v)] of present pupils at St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School and
siblings of students at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College who were pupils at St Bernadette
Catholic Secondary School, Bristol and St Thomas More from the areas named above (3.1).
4.7 Children who have a Christian faith commitment.

4.8 Children who have faith commitments that are not Christian.
4.9 Other applicants who expressed a first preference for St Bernadette Catholic Secondary
4.10 Other applicants. [See Note (vi)]

The School has been heavily over-subscribed for some years. In the event of over-subscription, families who can show that they have an active attachment to a Christian Church will have strongest claims on places. Should there be more applicants than places available who clearly fall into categories 4.5–4.10 above, places would first be offered to children attending the Catholic Primary Schools. Of other children who have an equal faith commitment priority will be given to those living nearest to the School.
All Parents are asked to complete the appropriate sections of the faith form from the School with extra information where relevant. It is most important that as much information as possible is given, which demonstrates the commitment of children to their faith. Examples of such information should include the name of the Church; family attendance; the name of the Minister or Vicar; the frequency of the child’s attendance at services at the Church; whether the child has been baptised or/and has been confirmed or blessed, etc.


1. Children baptised into the Catholic faith (categories 4.1–4.4 see above) 118
2. Looked After Children (categories 4. 1 & 4.5 see above & Note (iv) below) 1
3. Children who are siblings (category 4.6 see above) 17
4. Remaining offers (categories 4.5 & 4.7–4.10 see above) 14

Total [As at 15th March 2005]


There is a different procedure for the admission to school for children with Statements of Special Educational Needs: it is administered by the Local Authority (LA) in whose area the family lives. That LA is responsible for issuing the Statement and consulting parents and the Governing Body of St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School, Bristol if a preference has been made for the School, before the School is named in the Statement. If the School is named in the Statement the child will be admitted.

Parents have a right of appeal against a refusal by the Governing Body to admit their child and should put their appeal in writing to the Clerk to Governors at the School within 14 days of receiving the letter of refusal. Appeals will be arranged by the Diocesan Department ƒor Schools & Colleges and conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice on School Appeals.

(i) Home LA is the Local Authority area which serves the child’s home address and where
Council Tax is payable.
(ii) St Nicholas Parish — Children in St Nicholas of Tolentino Parish are also in the ‘designated area’ for St Bede’s Catholic College.
(iii) Parents in these parishes should refer to South Gloucester LA for their nearest Catholic
Secondary School.
(iv) Looked After Children refers to children in the care of the Local Authority.
(v) Siblings — half, full or adoptive brother or sister, or if they are children living in the same
(vi) Other Applicants — those under normal transfer age will be considered and the advice of
relevant professionals will be sought as appropriate following the order of priority in section 4.


Parents of new Year 7s should receive a copy of the booklet entitled “Admission and Transfer Arrangements and General Information for Parents”, published in accordance with Section 8 (5) of the Education Act 1980. If further copies are required they may be obtained from the Director of Education, Bristol City Council, The Council House, College Green, BS1 5TR or Area Educational Welfare Officers, or for inspection in public reference libraries.

The Admission and Transfer information relates to the school year commencing September 2007. Although the particulars herein were correct for this year at the date of publication shown below, it should not be assumed that there would be no subsequent change affecting the relevant arrangements before the start of, or during, the school year in question.

Date of publication - SEPTEMBER 2006


 Year 7 ] Year 8 ] Year 9 ] Year 10 ] Year 11 ]

Curriculum statement

At the heart of our educational philosophy is the belief that every boy and girl has a potential which must be developed to the highest possible level. At St Bernadette we believe that sound academic success is an important goal in education. We aim to set high standards for all our pupils whatever their individual abilities.
We expect our pupils to appreciate and respond to the challenges we set them. Yet, academic achievement is not sufficient for a complete education. We look to our curriculum also to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, aesthetic and physical development of our pupils, and to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Each student will study an exciting and varied range of subjects, including those with which there is already familiarity such as Mathematics, English and Religious Education. In addition each student will also encounter a breadth of Humanities, French and one of Spanish, German or Italian, Technology, Science, Drama, Art, Music, Physical Education, Citizenship and Information Communication Technology.  There is also an opportunity to join a Latin class two afternoons a week between 3.30 and 4.30 p.m.

The main areas of cross-curricular work involve ICT, Careers and the World of Work, Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education, Academic tutoring, Sex Education, and the Local and Global Environment.

Homework timetables

Homework Yr 7 ] Homework Yr8 ] Homework Yr9 ] Homework Yr10 ] Homework Yr11 ]

Use the links above to view the current homework timetable for the appropriate year.

Homework is essential to successful learning in many subjects. 
It gives children the opportunity to practise what has been learnt in class; it provides opportunities for self-discovery, helping them to acquire greater knowledge and understanding.

A homework planner is issued to each student for recording set homework and deadlines.
Parents are asked to help by encouraging the habit of regular work from their sons and daughters and also to regularly check the teachers' comments.

Option pathways


We are offering four Pathways that will enable the students to choose a relevant curriculum for their ability and needs.
    Pathway A - Triple Science (Maximum of 11 GCSEs)
    Pathway B – Core and Additional science (10 GCSEs)
    Pathway C – Core Science (9 GCSEs)
    Pathway D – Work Related Learning (7 GCSEs)

For full details click here to download a PDF file of our current KS4 Options Booklet

If you need help in making your choices then you may find the following two websites useful. (top-up code needed from work covered in school)


St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School is committed to ensuring that each child develops to the maximum of their potential.
We encourage students to join with us in setting themselves high standards in the belief  that sound academic success and a love of learning are important goals in education.

All children benefit from our designation as a
Specialist School for Mathematics and Computing having equal access to all the school's resources. 
We embrace new technologies and look forward to the future while remaining faithful to the traditional values we hold dear.

We consider it vitally important that each student is stretched to his or her full potential whatever their initial abilities.  A wide range of opportunities help individual students to develop at the most appropriate rate. 
Those students who are gifted have additional activities to encourage the rapid acquisition of new skills.  At the same time dedicated resources are available for those who need greater support with learning.

We want our pupils to look forward to coming to school each day and be excited by the learning opportunities made available to them.
We expect pupils to work hard and want them to enjoy being at school.  We want them to make demands of their school and themselves; we shall certainly make demands of them.

Click here to download our current prospectus a PDF file.    


General tips:

  • Your teachers are your best resource – use them!

  • Check what extra sessions are being provided in school and make an extra effort to attend them!

  • The Learning Zone is open after school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays – use it!

  • Get all coursework properly finished and out of the way NOW, it will make a big difference to your revision and grades!


Beating stress:

If you are organized you will probably have less stress to cope with.
Here are some ideas to help you cope with stress.

  • Get into a routine- stick to it. Eat and sleep well. Keep to your work plan

  • Get plenty of exercise- walk the dog, play some sport.

  • Start revising as early as possible- give yourself a head start

  • Take regular breaks when revising- stop for a cuppa or a walk around the garden

  • Do practice papers (at the right time)- they will tell you what to expect

  • Don’t feel guilty- if you miss a revision session- you will be able to catch up.

School uniform

All pupils must wear the correct uniform at all times, as outlined below.
The correct uniform reflects the high standards and order in our school Pupils are expected to take a pride in their appearance.

Uniform should be clearly marked with owner’s full name.
School V-neck jumpers and ties are available from SPORTSCENE in Keynsham, telephone 0117 986 1919.

Girls Boys
  • plain black school skirt, of modest length or
  • plain black school trousers -no belts/ buckles/laces, not tight fitting/flared
  • school tie
  • school V-neck jumper with badge*
  • white school shirt – (not polo) to be tucked in at all times
  • white/black socks or tights
  • sensible plain black shoes - no platforms, high heels or trainers [maximum heel
    height = 5cm]
  • sensible school coat/jacket - no suede, denim, leather or imitation leather
  • plain black school trousers
  • school tie
  • school V-neck jumper with badge *
  • white school shirt – (not polo) to be tucked in at all times
  • dark socks
  • sensible plain black shoes - no trainers
  • sensible school coat/jacket - no suede, denim, leather or imitation leather
* All year 7s to wear new style V-neck jumper. Otherwise sweatshirts to be replaced with new style V-neck jumper as new tops are required.
PE  KIT  -  girls and boys JEWELLERY
  • School rugby shirt
  • Black shorts
  • Black socks
    Training shoes – not black soled
  • Rugby/soccer/hockey boots – studded for field use
  • PE – white T-shirt (there is a St Bernadette T-shirt available.)
  • OPTIONAL – black tracksuit, jogging pants, cycling shorts
The following items only are permitted:-
  • One pair gold/silver studs or small sleepers worn in the ear lobe
  • One chain – worn inside shirt/jumper
  • One ring
  • NO nose-studs, or other body piercings – covered or uncovered

Excess jewellery will be confiscated and kept until the end of term.

The following rules must be adhered to:
  • All hairstyles must be NEAT, TIDY and appropriate for the work place
  • No extremes of haircut or hair-fashion will be allowed e.g. tramlines or patterns shaved into the hair, stripes of contrasting colour
  • Hair should not obscure the face as this interferes with learning
  • If hair is dyed it should be a natural hair colour e.g. blonde, brown, black
  • In practical lessons such as Technology, Science, P.E, Art, long hair must be tied back for safety reasons
  • Eyebrows should not be shaved

Parents who are unsure of these guidelines should consult with the Head of Year before the pupil has the haircut or hairstyle.

Specialist Status in Maths & Computing

In September 2004 St Bernadette Catholic Secondary School was designated as a Specialist School for Maths and Computing.   Our specialist status provides a “focus” area for the school with a strong emphasis on ICT across the whole curriculum.   The specialist designation enables the school to access additional funding which provides additional staff, resources, clubs and opportunities across the curriculum. 

It also recognises the fact that the school has a proven track record in Maths and Computing and that we are committed and enthusiastic to continue to improve across the whole curriculum. 

Exciting learning opportunities are being provided for pupils and the school’s community partners are also benefiting by having access to the improved ICT facilities within the school.

Click here to view the website for Specialist Schools.

This links to the the Specialist area of the DFES website.


Subjects homepage

The taught curriculum at St Bernadette in KS3 includes RE, English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, French, Music, Art, Drama, Technology, ICT, PE and Citizenship (which includes PSHE).  There are also opportunities to study a second modern foreign language.

Pupils are initially taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 although there is setting in Mathematics.  As pupils progress through KS3 there is an increased emphasis on setting in many subjects, enabling pupils to learn in groups which best suit their ability.

Use the subject links to see how the delivery of an individual subject is developed through the years.
If you would like additional information please contact the Head of Department.

In Years 10 and 11 pupils continue to study a core curriculum of RE, English, Mathematics and Single Science to GCSE level.  All pupils also study ICT, Citizenship and PE.  In addition, pupils follow a pathway which includes further examination choices. 

Click here to download a PDF file of our current KS4 Options Booklet

GCSE subjects include Double Science, Triple Science, French, Italian, German, Spanish, History, Geography, Art, Music, Drama, PE, Business Studies, Food, Textiles, Graphics, Electronics and Resistant Materials.

Pupils have the opportunity to take up to take up to 11 GCSEs or to follow a more vocational work related route, sitting up to 6 GCSEs. 

Homework is essential to successful learning in many subjects.  It gives the children the opportunity to practise what has been learnt in class; it allows them to discover by themselves and to acquire knowledge and understanding. 

At the beginning of each school year pupils are issued with a homework planner for recording set homework and deadlines.  Parents are asked to help by encouraging the habit of regular work in their sons and daughters and also to check regularly the teachers' comments.

Art & Design
Business Comm.
Business Studies
Child Development
Learning Support
Modern Languages
Science Double
Science Triple
Technology CDT
Technology Food/Text.
Work Related Learning

primary schools in Bristol, secondary schools in Bristol, schools in Bristol

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