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End of Term Message - February 2022

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our students on their perseverance this half term.

This term has seen students fully throw themselves into school life, our extracurricular clubs have proven to be very popular and our sporting teams, as you will see outlined in the Bernard, have continued to enjoy participation and success. I was also particularly proud to see the number of students who have taken part in the Catenians public speaking competition this term. Students in Year 10 took part in an environmental interactive workshop. Key Stage 3 students have been acting as good global stewards and have run an eco-club working with charities including the Woodlands Trust to contribute towards the sustainable care of our planet.   Our work with Future Quest and South Bristol Youth has continued this term and offers a wide range of support and experiences to our students in encouraging them to be aspirational for their future.

We were honoured and delighted to have had a visit from Preet Chandi who spoke to girls in Year 9 to 11 about her solo expedition to the South Pole in 2021. Preet Chandi is an Army officer, who is thought to be the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition across Antarctica. She trekked 700 miles from the Hercules Inlet to the South Pole in 40 days and faced temperatures as low as -50C.

We are committed to ensuring that parents are fully involved in their child’s education and as such have launched several new curriculum areas of the school website. The website outlines the curriculum in each subject area and includes videos which outline the typical experience students will have in each year group. Please do have a look at these videos as they are very informative, they can be found in the curriculum area of the school website.

As we look forward to the new term, and as the number of Covid cases fall, we eagerly anticipate getting back to our normal programme of in person assemblies and school services, starting with the Ash Wednesday service on the first week of next term.  The next term will see Year 11 continue their preparations for their final GCSE exams, Year 9 choose their academic Pathway for KS4 and all year groups continue in their studies and our extended curriculum offer. I would encourage you to look at the updated extra-curricular offer on our school website, it continues to grow.

Next term also sees us continue to expand our offer for students in the development of their cultural capital with highlights including a trip to enjoy the Welsh National Opera and the beginning of our Rose Forde lecture series. The Rose Forde lecture series, named after an inspirational former librarian of the school who sadly passed away last year, aims to raise our pupils' aspirations by giving them the opportunity to engage with a range of visiting speakers. Next term includes a visit from Professor Michael Proctor who is a lecturer in Mathematics and Astrophysics at King’s College, Cambridge University. Whilst we do have further speakers lined up for this year, we are keen to hear from any parents who may have contacts for other inspirational speakers in the future.

We have high expectations of the students of St Bernadette and we continue to be grateful for the support of our parents, particularly in encouraging strong attendance to help to ensure their wellbeing and strong achievements. We want our students to be equipped for their future, grow through their understanding of Catholic Social Teaching, pursue excellence and develop as scholars. We are excited for the students’ and the school’s future as we continue to pursue excellence in faith and learning.

Mr Walker