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Coronavirus - Update

13th July 2020
Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

Today is the start of the last week of the school year and it is hard to believe that we will have spent one third of the school year with St Bernadette’s closed to the majority of pupils and home learning being the norm. We are very proud of the way that so many of our pupils have persevered with their learning, even when things have been difficult.  They have really demonstrated the characteristics of a St Bernadette scholar as expressed in our Excellence Wheel- commitment, determination, independence, ambition, positivity and responsibility. Well done to them and to you for all the support you have given to your child’s learning at this time!

This week, to mark the end of the school year, each year group will be sent a special assembly to share achievements and praise points collected over the year. We will also find out which house has won this year and will have their flag flying when we return to school in the autumn. On Thursday, the last day of school, we will share with pupils a special end of year assembly. Normally we would all gather in the Hall but instead we will be asking all members of our school community to virtually come together to watch and participate in the end of year assembly and finish the school year off as a united school community.

As I mentioned last week, the government has issued guidance to schools on what must be put in place to ensure a safe return in September for pupils and staff. We are putting the finishing touches to a booklet which will explain the things that will have to be different. The booklet will be emailed to you and your child on Wednesday and will also appear on our school website.

In order to allow schools to prepare and for staff to be briefed, we have been allowed to take an additional two INSET days at the start of the new school year. We will be adding these to our usual start of year INSET day and will therefore have three INSET days - on Tuesday 1st, Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd September. On Friday 4th September we will only have Year 7 pupils, who missed out on their Transition Day, and Year 11 pupils in school. We will be open to all pupils from Monday 7th September.

During this week please look out for the September information booklet as well as the end of year edition of the Bernard.  

Thank you for all of your support. Stay safe and have a good week.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


6th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope that you had a good weekend and safely managed to make the most of the easing of some of the lockdown restrictions.

Last Thursday we received the government guidance on the opening of schools to all pupils in September. As well as the guidance for schools a document has been produced for parents and carers

The school guidance covers the following areas:

·       Public health advice

·       School operations

·       Curriculum, behaviour and pastoral support

·       Assessment and accountability

·       Contingency planning for outbreaks

Since its publication, we have been working to develop our approach. Our focus for the past few months has been on ensuring the safety and welfare of pupils and staff, and this will continue to be at the fore of our planning. The government expects all pupils to be in school every day from the start of the new school year and planning for this within the guidelines is a considerable task. There will be a number of changes we are going to have to make to ensure the school operates as safely as possible and within the government guidance. We will be developing our plans this week and will share more information with you once we are in a position to do so, and before the end of term.

We understand that returning to school may cause anxiety for some members of our school community. Please be assured we are committed to your child’s safety and welfare and additional support will be available. We aim to make the return to school a positive experience and are looking forward to welcoming our pupils back.

As well as planning for next term, our focus this week is on individual contact with all of our pupils. Tutors will be getting in touch on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of this week. On these three days, pupils will not be set work by their teachers but are asked to revise, catch up on any work they have fallen behind with or complete some of the Excellence challenge tasks which will appear in Google Classroom on Wednesday morning. There are a variety of tasks to suit a range of interests, so please encourage your child to have a go.

Finally, Bristol City Council has sent us a booklet, “A parent’s guide to black lives matter.” This timely booklet covers an extremely important topic. As a school we are committed to equality, justice and fairness and we offer it to you for you to consider and discuss with your child, if you wish please click  HERE.

Stay safe and have a good week.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


29th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

As the measures to lift the lockdown continue, last week, the Prime Minister announced that all pupils will be returning to school full time in September. We have been promised specific guidance on how this is to be achieved, as it would not be possible if social distancing of one metre were expected. There is speculation about year group bubbles and other possibilities, but currently we just do not know. We expect to receive the guidance later this week and once we have been able to plan in response to it, we will share our plans for September with you.

In the meantime we want to make sure that as many of our pupils as possible, have a positive end to the school year and that we have assessed their wellbeing and the progress they have made with their work. All pupils in Years 7 – 10 have been invited to complete a questionnaire to help us to do this. The questionnaire has been emailed to their school email account. The deadline for responses has been extended to the end of Tuesday 30th June. The findings received so far, show that the questionnaire gives pupils the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, often in an honest and eloquent way. Please encourage your child to complete it if they have not already done so. The questionnaire results will be shared with your child’s tutor and teachers.

In the week beginning 6th July, we are asking all tutors of years 7 -10 to make individual contact with members of their tutor group either through a Google Meet or a phone call. Contact will be made, even if the questionnaire has not been completed. We envisage each conversation lasting 10-15 minutes and the tutor will be in touch with you to share the arrangements.

To provide tutors with adequate time to make this contact, teachers will not be required to set work for pupils on Wednesday 8th, Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July. On these days pupils are asked to revise, catch up on any work they have fallen behind with or undertake some of the Excellence challenge tasks which will be shared on Google Classroom at the start of that week.

Year 11 pupils have been emailed information about transition tasks made available by St Brendan’s and the City of Bristol College. Hopefully they are beginning to prepare for the next stage of their learning. If they have any concerns they should not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are currently working on the arrangements for Results Day, which will have to be different this year, and will share these with you before the end of term.

Stay safe and have a good week.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


22nd June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope you have had a good weekend and remain well.

This week our prayer theme is ‘Perseverance.’ At this time our perseverance and resilience are certainly being tested.  In thinking about our pupils, we are conscious that some pupils have settled into a routine with their remote learning and are managing the work they have been set, while others are finding it difficult to remain motivated and keep up with the work.  As a school we want to set high expectations for our pupils and set them work that will ensure that they can make real progress in their learning while working from home.  However, we are also aware that it is a real challenge to remain focused and motivated when you are working alone and don't have the direction and support a teacher can provide.  Sometimes the work just seems to pile up and if pupils feel unable to catch up; they may even feel like giving up.  This is all very natural and we would like to offer the following advice that you might want to share with your child:

  • Start each day afresh
  • Don't worry about what you did or didn't do yesterday
  • Set yourself a plan for the day ahead and try to stick to it
  • If you have fallen behind - be kind to yourself and make a fresh start with today's work and don't worry about what has not been completed
  • If you find you are back on top of your work you can always go back and fill in some of the gaps when time allows
  • Your teachers will be happier if you make some effort with your work - even if you only finish a small amount - rather than none at all
  • If you've spent a reasonable amount of time on a piece of work, finish it there and move onto the next piece
  • If you get stuck with your work don't be afraid to ask for help - send your teacher a message/email and ask for their help
  • If you are worried or anxious talk to someone - tell mum or dad how you feel.  They can offer you very sound advice!
  • Do not worry about falling behind.  Every pupil in the country is in the same boat.  Your teachers will help you to make up lost ground when you come back to school
  • Your teachers want you to be safe and well and are looking forward to seeing you back in school.  They are going to be there to help you when you are back in class, not to tell you off for work you weren't able to complete

Click HERE for a study skills guide that offers practical tips to help your son/daughter to manage their work.  We will email a copy to all pupils. 

Finally, we all just need to remember to take one step at a time and to do our best, one day at a time.

Stay safe and have a good week.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin

15th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I trust you and your families remain well.

As churches, shops and some outdoor attractions begin to reopen their doors, there is considerable speculation and debate about the wider opening of schools. At St Bernadette’s we have remained open to key worker and vulnerable children since the lockdown started. From today we are welcoming the first of our Year 10 pupil groups back to school for their face to face sessions. We recognise that some people want a wider offer while others advocate a slower approach. In the current circumstances it is impossible to satisfy everyone.

In inviting our Year 10 pupils into school, we have been cautious and adhered to all recommendations and guidance. All the pupils on our school site are working in separate ‘bubbles’ with allocated staff and areas of the school. Everyone is expected to maintain social distancing and high standards of hygiene.

In addition to this wider offer for Year 10s, our staff are currently engaging in additional training to extend the range of the home offer learning provided to pupils. In recognition of this additional training, the INSET day scheduled for Monday 6th July has been moved to Friday 17th July. This means that staff will be setting work for pupils on the 6th July but the school year for pupils will, in effect, finish on Thursday 16th July.

We continue to await information about what the beginning of the new school year might look like and will share it and our plans, once we are in a position to do so.

Stay safe and have a good week.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


8th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope that your children are back into a routine of home learning after the May break. As the period of home learning looks likely to be the main form of learning for most pupils for the remainder of this school year, I thought I would share with you some information taken from a blog by Samuel Windsor about how to motivate children and teens at home.

“Life in lockdown is a challenge for everyone. And while younger family members might have found it a novelty to begin with, not being able to see friends, go to school or pursue normal activities is beginning to take its toll.

As lockdown continues, many children are missing their school community and normal routine more than they care to admit. Let them know that it’s OK to feel sad, anxious or disappointed. Teenagers may not want to discuss their emotions, but give them plenty of opportunities to talk

There are lots of ways to encourage your teen to stick at lessons when motivation runs thin. Talking to them about what they’re working towards – an ambition can be highly motivational.  Remind them that keeping their brains active will give them a huge head start when it comes to returning to school and that, whatever their age, education isn’t just about exams and grades. 

Science teacher Adam Robbins says: “The act of learning has ramifications for all areas of a person’s life. Learning provides a sense of challenge that builds self-esteem. It also provides variation and stimulation that can improve our mood.

Some children struggle with remote learning because they’re being far too hard on themselves.  Clinical psychologist Dr Hazel Harrison suggests helping children to set small, achievable goals each day. She says: “Encourage children to notice what’s working well, even on a bad day…Express gratitude for the good things… Create an upward spiral!

Six tips to keep children engaged with remote learning

  • Clarify the habits.  These should include checking the tasks set by their teachers daily and aiming to complete the work to the best of their ability.  Take breaks in the evenings/weekends.
  •  Emphasise what you expect.  Teenagers are strongly influenced by the behaviour that is expected.
  • Help them plan what to do.  Set really clear schedules for what is going to happen and when. 
  • Simplify everything.  Encourage them to sit down to study as they would sit down to a lesson – no social media, desk clear, no distractions.
  • Highlight small wins.  Teenagers feel like things are working when they see them working.  Use praise to celebrate their successes.
  • Relaunch habits when they struggle.  It’s sometimes going to be hard. They will face problems.  Remind them that each week, each lesson is a chance to start again."

We value the support and encouragement you are giving your child and know it is really helping their learning. Thank you for all you are doing.

Stay safe and have a good week.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


1st June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope you and your families continue to remain safe and well.  It was hard to imagine when we closed on 20th March, that as we start of the last school term of this academic year, we would still be closed to the majority of our pupils and would be continuing with home learning.

Over the May break the government published the long awaited secondary guidance. The full guidance can be found at

There is currently an expectation that from 15th June, we will begin to bring small groups of year 10 pupils (no more than 25% of the year group at a time) into school, for face to face sessions. We are continuing to plan for this and will share our intentions with you and your child shortly.

Our commitment to the home learning of our pupils remains a priority and we are looking to fine tune this further during this term. Thank you for all you are doing to support your child’s learning. We know that many pupils are working well and have established positive routines. We want them to continue with these good habits this term. We are also aware that some pupils are struggling and not participating as well as they could. We want to try and reengage these pupils so that they make the progress of which they are capable.

Yesterday was the feast of Pentecost, when the disciples received the Holy Spirit and then went forth to spread the Good News of Christ. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As we continue to live with restrictions on our daily lives and many of us face uncertainty, it is comforting to consider how the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit can be positively present in our lives. This week’s pupil assembly focuses on the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and includes this prayer:

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen. St Bernadette…pray for us.”

Take care and stay safe

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


18th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope you had a pleasant weekend and are well.

At the start of this week there are several things to share with you:

Pupil Achievements
Thank you to those of you who have shared photos of your children’s achievements with us. Our school website now has a “Celebrating Good Work” section where we shall post photos and news we receive. Please keep sending them in.

Re-opening of schools to more pupils
The debate about the reopening of schools to more pupils is particularly high profile at this time and attracting much media attention. Last week’s government announcements expressed an ambition to open primary schools to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1st June, if possible, and for pupils in Years 10 and 12 to have “some face-to-face support to supplement their remote education.”

Clearly there are significant implications relating to these government ambitions and there will be a variety of views held in relation to them. At St Bernadette’s we are committed to extending our current offer and inviting our Year 10 pupils into school but only when it is safe to do so.

Our priority at this time is to complete as detailed and thorough a risk assessment as possible and to fully assess our situation. When we are satisfied that we can safely accommodate more pupils and staff on site, we will share our plans. This is a detailed process and we need to get it right, we have therefore not committed to a specific date at this time.

NHS advice
Click HERE for a poster which the NHS has asked us to share with all parents/ carers. There is a concern that some people who are unwell may not be accessing the medical attention they need. If your child is not well, please refer to the poster which details the appropriate action for you to take.

Ascension Day
This Thursday is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. Many churches are live streaming masses and there is a daily Mass from Clifton Cathedral at 9.30a.m.

End of term
Friday is the last day of Term 5. The school will be closed next week and will reopen to pupils of key workers and vulnerable pupils on Monday 1st June. If you are a key worker and need your child to return to school at the start of Term 6, please email

We hope you have a lovely break.

Take care and stay safe

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


11th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope you are keeping well and positive.

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced his road plan for the easing of some restrictions and made reference to the gradual return of pupils to school. He stated that pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 would return no earlier than 1st June and that it was hoped that pupils who have exams next year, will have some time with their teachers before the summer break. We are looking forward to further details being published so we can look at the implications for our Year 10 pupils as well as all year groups. Please be assured that the safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is of paramount importance and we shall ensure these are prioritised as we develop our plans.

The gradual easing of restrictions, over the coming months, means that the school is currently still closed to all pupils except those of key workers and vulnerable pupils. This means that the vast majority of pupils must continue with home learning for the time being. We appreciate the challenges of homeschooling, from technology issues and reluctant teenagers to trying to support your child with unfamiliar subject content. We greatly value all of your efforts and want to thank you for all you are doing to support your child’s learning and welfare. We will continue to review and refine our processes and to share information we receive with you, as appropriate.

Please do share any concerns with us, but also share your good news stories about your child’s learning and activities. We look forward to hearing of their achievements. Thank you.

Take care and stay safe

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


4th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

Traditionally today would have been the May Day Bank Holiday but it was moved to Friday of this week to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE day.  Who would have thought that the celebrations planned to mark the occasion would not be able to take place because of Coronavirus?

The government has to review the current restrictions by the end of this week and it is anticipated that we will receive information about the gradual lifting of restrictions, including schools re-opening. At this stage we do not know when this will be or what it will look like but my staff and I are totally committed to doing all we can to ensure a safe and appropriate return for all members of our school community.

In the meantime, we have been delighted with the work that so many of our pupils are completing. I hope you have had a chance to look at the edition of the Bernard which was shared with you on Friday. It contains some lovely examples of work that pupils have completed at home. We would like to thank you for all you are doing to support your child’s learning and appreciate that it is not always easy. I heard of a parent with primary-aged children, who said that there were daily tantrums – and some of them were hers!

Please continue to encourage your children to complete their school work but also to explore a range of activities they can complete safely from home. Maybe there is a recorder or another musical instrument in the home, which they can learn to play? How about learning to juggle (rolled up socks work well -in an appropriate space, of course) or becoming an origami master. Maybe there are skills you can develop together with them? It is important to create time for fun and laughter, which are so important, especially at times such as these.

As always, thank you for all you are doing and remember if you are struggling and need help, please get in touch with us or one of the agencies signposted on our school website.

Take care and stay safe

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


27th April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

Each school term our school community focuses on one aspect of Catholic Social Teaching. This term our focus is on Solidarity. The word solidarity is linked with the word solid. Solidarity reminds us that we are not separate from one another, but through our shared humanity and as children of one God, all of us, wherever we are in the world, are bonded together.

The spread of the Coronavirus virus across the world makes us realise how connected we all are. But perhaps more significantly, the impact of the virus and restrictions on our daily lives, make us realise how dependent we are on each other. As humans we need each other and our society and individual well being depend on people doing a range of jobs and providing different services.

In his letter to the Corinthians, St Paul wrote, Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don't need you!” Nor can the head say to the feet, “Well, I don't need you!” There is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another.  If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness.

As a school community we continue to work together. Pupils will today receive their weekly assembly and prayers. They will have work set for them daily and during the week will receive email contact from a range of staff. We hope that, from the safety of their homes, they are also in contact with and interacting with friends.

Last week Miss Mainwaring shared with pupils, details of a proposed St Bern’s Virtual Music Performance. What a wonderful way for our school community to show solidarity at this time! We are creating an opportunity for all members of our school community to be involved. Please ask your child to share the details with you and encourage them to take part.

At the end of this week you will receive the next edition of the Bernard. Again we hope it will reinforce our sense of belonging and community and show our solidarity at this time.

I hope that you and your families continue to keep safe and well.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


20th April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of St Bernadette Pupils,

I hope that you and your families continue to keep safe and well.

Today is the start of Term 5 and we know that we are not going to be back in school for at least the next three weeks as social distancing rules continue. This means that, having had a break over Easter, we all need to get back into the routine of home learning.

We understand that home learning can present a number of challenges. We have been looking carefully at the feedback you, your children and their teachers have given us about doing work at home. The following guidance, which is being shared with you, the children and staff is designed to help everyone cope better with our current ways of working.

We also want our pupils to continue to feel part of our school community and we are establishing some new routines to add to their daily learning. We are asking all pupils to check their school email each morning. Each Monday morning we will share an assembly with them and they will continue to receive the prayers for the week. They will also receive an email message each morning and these messages will come from a range of staff.

The school remains open for the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable. If your child falls into these categories and you cannot make safe provision for their care during the school day, they can attend school. Please email the school on to let us know that your child will be attending and whether it will be every day or on specific dates. The school kitchens are now closed and all those attending school need to bring a packed lunch with them.

From this week the new government free school meals vouchers will be issued. We will update you with information as we receive it, as we will of any relevant government information we receive.

Thank you for all you are doing in observing social distancing and in supporting your child’s learning and welfare. If you have any concerns about your child please feel free to email us on or and we will respond to support you as best we can.

Take care.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin

3rd April 2020

Dear Parents/ Carers,

I hope that you and your families continue to keep safe and well.

The last two weeks have been very different to our normal way of life at St Bernadette’s. Pupils, parents and staff have had to get used to new ways of working. We have been impressed with the commitment and dedication shown by all members of our school community and the excellent work being produced. As we reach the end of this term, we will be reflecting on our experiences of the first two weeks of home working and looking at how we can further improve the experiences of pupils, parents and staff at this time. We will be in touch after the break with more details.

Next week is Holy Week, a most important week in the Church Year. As we are unable to have our usual Holy Week Service in school and indeed will be unable to attend Easter services in person, we are attaching prayers, readings and reflections that we hope you will find useful as a family. Please remember that Holy Week and Easter services will be available online from many churches, including Clifton Cathedral.  We also hope you will enjoy reading the Bernard which we will also be sharing with you.

Please remember to observe social distancing, to stay at home and keep safe.

With best wishes for the Easter season.

Mrs McLaughlin

Prayers, Readings and Reflections

1st April

Year 11 Parents - Please click HERE for information on the grading of GCSE's


27 March

Dear Parents/ Carers,

I hope that you and your families are keeping well and that the first week of pupils working at home rather than in school has gone smoothly. Thank you to all the pupils who are completing work and to you the parents, carers and family members supporting them. Thank you also to the staff who are setting and responding to work.

In the coming weeks we will be looking at how to showcase some of the work being completed and also to develop some school wide competitions and community focused activities that pupils can be involved in from home. We want to ensure our pupils continue to feel they belong to St Bernadette’s and that we continue to share and celebrate their achievements. If you have any new ideas about how we can do this, please do let us know.

Pray with Pope Francis

The Pope announced that today on Friday, 27 March, he will preside over a moment of prayer at the top of the steps of St Peter’s Basilica.  Pope Francis said, “I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication.”  The ceremony will consist in readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through the various forms of communication. The blessing “to the City of Rome and to the World” is normally only given at Christmas and Easter.

The live broadcast can be watched on the Vatican News You Tube channel:

“Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.”

The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. The government guidance is that “If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.”  Thank you for your support with this. We appreciate all you are doing.

The school continues to be open for children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list and to children who are vulnerable and for whom no other arrangements can be made. .

If you fall into these categories and need to send your child to school please email the school and provide details of the dates on which your child will be in school. If you are able to do this on a weekly basis that will be helpful. We do however appreciate that in these challenging times, the need to go into work and shifts may change at short notice. If this is the case, please let us know the day before your child attends, so that we can ensure appropriate staffing levels. Thank you.

Free School Meals (FSM)

Bristol will now be emailing vouchers to parents of children entitled to free school meals. The first vouchers should arrive on Tuesday/ Wednesday of next week and will cover next week and the Easter holidays. If you have not provided us with an email address or do not have one, you will need to collect the vouchers from school. We will contact you once we receive them.

I hope that in these challenging times you can take some comfort in the support of others and are also able to offer support to those in need.  Enjoy the weekend as best you can.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin

23rd March

Dear Parents/ Carers,

Today we have the start of a school week like no other we have experienced. From today all schools are closed to pupils, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils for whom no other arrangements are available. We appreciate how difficult things are and thank you for the arrangements you have made for the care of your children.

Key workers
We would like to thank all key workers for the tremendous job you are doing to care for and protect our communities and society. We appreciate that the demands on you will be continually changing and some of you who currently do not need to send your child into school, may need to do so in the future. To ensure we are ready to welcome all pupils who need to be in school, please can you email us on with your child’s name and year group the day before your child will be in school. Thank you.

Keeping safe
Please remember to follow the advice:

  • Wash your hands often - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Work from home if possible
  • Keep a social distance from others. Avoid public places and if you go out keep a distance of at least two metres between yourself and others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

You must stay at home and self-isolate for seven days if you have Coronavirus symptoms:

  • A temperature over 37.8
  • A new continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

If someone in your house has symptoms, you must self-isolate for fourteen days from the start of their symptoms.

Supporting your child while schools are closed

  • Being educated at home is very different to being in a school environment and routine is key. Stick to a routine with your child. Make sure you create a daily structure with your child which includes breaks. Enjoy breakfast and mealtimes together and plan a day of focused schoolwork activities. Teachers, who are able to do so are setting work via Google Classroom. They will also try to respond to any queries your child raises or provide feedback on any work they upload on Google Classroom.
  • Additional work is also available via the school website. By clicking on the Faculty Resource Hub links your child will be able to access materials produced by subject staff. Consider using afternoons as creative and practical learning time doing things such as looking at nature, carrying out scientific experiments, drawing, reading, cooking or keeping active. Do not forgot to include exercise.
  • Try to limit the amount of time your child spends using technology. They need to have a variety of activities and too much screen time is not good for anyone.
  • Fresh air is good for our health and exercise is an important part of our daily lives. Fresh air has been shown to help us digest food more effectively, improve blood pressure, heart rate, and strengthen our immune systems. It also makes us happier by promoting higher levels of positive emotions.
  • Talk to your child about any concerns or worries they have during uncertain times. Listen to them, support them and encourage them to stay connected with their friends or wider family using online methods. Reassure them and try to keep them motivated.
  • Being distanced from friends and needing to isolate can have a negative effect on mental health and happiness. Children need some independence and time to connect with others. They also need reassurance, kindness and love so keep an eye on your child’s happiness, emotions and moods.

Free School Meals
There have been a few teething issues with the provision of free school meals and the arrangements for children in receipt of FSM continue to be developed. This is due to factors beyond our control and we apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused. The current arrangements are:

  • A parcel containing provisions for five days’ lunches will be available for collection from school tomorrow and thereafter each Monday .
  • If you have children at more than one school you can collect all the parcels from one school. Please let us know if you will be collecting for children from other schools at St Bernadette’s.
  • If you prefer to collect your parcel at a school closer to your home, please email us at giving your child’s name and the school you wish to collect from. We will pass this information to the meal providers who will make the necessary arrangements.
  • If you are self-isolating and are unable to collect your parcel but have someone who can collect it for you, please email the school with the name of the person and we will hand the parcel to them. If you have no one to collect the parcel for you, let us know and Chartwells, the meal provider, will look to arrange a delivery, although this is not something they can guarantee at this stage.

Year 11 exams
We shared the information we received about exams with you last Friday and will continue to keep you updated. You may find the following information helpful.

Government information for parents/ carers
The Government has produced the following information for parents:

Communicating with you
We continue to be committed to keeping in touch with all members of our school community during the period of school closure. We will be in touch with you by email at least once each week and more often if required. Our school telephones will not be staffed all of the time but emails are checked throughout the working day and will be forwarded to the most appropriate person.

And finally a prayer

God of love and hope,Yyou made the world and care for all creation, but the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus. Some people are worried that they might get ill.
Others are anxious for their family and friends. Be with them and help them to find peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists, and all who are working to discover the right medicines to help those who are ill.
Thank You that even in these anxious times, You are with us. Help us to put our trust in You and keep us safe.

We make our prayer though Christ our Lord. Amen.

St Bernadette…Pray for us.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


22nd March


Bristol City Council has changed the arrangements for Free School Meals children during the period of school closure. Weekly lunch parcels for Free School Meal children will now be distributed from our school and not the six hubs as previously stated. 

Free School Meal weekly parcels can be collected from St Bernadette Secondary School every Monday from 11.30a.m. 

Free School Meal children who are attending school will be provided with lunch.

Please email queries to

20th March
Dear Parents/ Carers,

As we shared yesterday, from Monday all schools will be closed to the majority of children. St Bernadette’s will however be open to the children of key workers and children with certain needs.

The government has today issued this advice for parents

Essentially they are asking the following:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then they can attend school.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

The list of key workers has been defined by the government as:

  • Health and social care - This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
  • Education and childcare - This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
  • Key public services - This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
  • Local and national government - This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
  • Food and other necessary goods - This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
  • Public safety and national security -This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
  • Transport - This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
  • Utilities, communication and financial services - This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

We have been asked to collate information about the key worker status of parents/ carers of children who will be attending school. Thank you to those of you who provided information yesterday. I appreciate how busy you are and am sorry to have to ask all of those who consider themselves to be key workers to complete this additional form

We are still awaiting an update on what will happen with exams and as soon as I receive information I will share it with those to whom it applies.

Please remember that from Monday pupils should continue with their learning and I will send further information to you regarding this on Monday.

Finally, as the Church has suspended all public masses for the foreseeable future, it is going to be some time before we are able to receive the Eucharist. Many Churches will be live streaming Masses and this will give us the chance to, at least, participate in the readings and prayers. The diocesan website will provide updates and details of the live streaming of Mass.

I hope you and your families keep calm, safe and well.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


19th March
Dear Parents/ Carers,

The government have now instructed all schools to close to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.

As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs. We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories.

Please complete the questionnaire by following this link if you consider yourself to be a key worker:

Once we receive further information relating to this we will be in touch with you again.

All other children will need to stay at home. Currently we do not know how long schools will remain closed.

During the period of school closure we want all of our pupils to continue to engage in regular, daily learning.

Please check Google Classroom. Teachers who are well and able to set work will routinely add work to this area. Teachers will try to respond to any queries you raise or provide feedback on any work you upload on Google Classroom.

If there is no new work available please access the resources available via the school website. On the school website please click on Pupils then Work for pupils when absent from school and follow the appropriate links listed for different subject. By clicking on the Faculty Resource Hub links you will be able to access materials produced by our subject staff.

If your child usually receives free school meals we will be in touch to let you know the arrangements once the government has clarified what they will be.

We will continue to provide you with regular emails and updates in the days and weeks ahead. Please also check our school website and social media.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin

19th March
Dear Parents/ Carers of pupils in Year 11,

The government’s announcement that no exams will take place in May and June is obviously causing great concern for pupils, parents and schools. In his address yesterday the Prime Minister said, “We will make sure pupils get qualifications they need for their future career.” The government have said they will explain what this means on Friday of this week. While we await this information we will continue to support our Year 11s through their mock exams. I have told the pupils that these exams may become part of the evidence on which their grades are based if that is what we are asked to provide. As soon as we receive any additional information we will email you and your child.

We are all immensely proud of our Year 11 pupils and the way in which they have worked preparing for their exams and the seriousness with which they have continued to work this week. We will continue to support them and work on their behalf to help them progress at the end of this year. Our Careers guidance continues remotely and you/ your child may be contacted by our Careers Advisors.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


18th March - Our school is open to pupils in Years 7, 10 & 11 and all pupils of health emergency and essential workers from 19th March.  We continue to take all measures to ensure our pupils and staff remain safe and calm.

18th March 2020
Dear Parents/ Carers,

As the Coronavirus situation continues to develop we are all faced with some difficult decisions. At St Bernadette’s, as in all schools, staff and pupils are affected by the requirement to self-isolate and maintain social distancing. This has affected the number of staff we have in school and this is changing on a daily basis.

Having assessed our situation we feel we are unable to remain open for all year groups.

From Thursday 19th March, the school we be open to:

  • Pupils in Years 7, 10 and 11
  • Pupils in all year groups whose parents/ carers work in front line health, emergency and essential services

From Thursday 19th March until 3rd April (in the first instance) the school will be closed to:

  • Pupils in Years 8 and 9

Please continue to follow government guidelines on self-isolation. The full guidance for staying at home can be accessed here:

We would also ask that you do not send children with any illness into school given the current demands on our staff.

As a school we are committed to all of our pupils continuing to engage in regular, daily learning.

Pupils in Years 8 and 9 who will be learning at home

Pupils should use the new exercise book they have been given to complete work. On the school website pupils should click on Pupils then Work for pupils when absent from school and follow the appropriate links listed for different subject. By clicking on the faculty web resources links they will be able to access materials produced by our subject staff. Teachers who are well and able to set work may also add specific tasks in Google Classroom.

We recommend that pupils also spend some time reading, researching and revising. Please ensure your child varies the tasks they complete so that they are not using computers all of the time.

Pupils in all year groups who are self-isolating and well

On the school website pupils should click on Pupils then Work for pupils when absent from school and follow the appropriate links listed for different subject. By clicking on the faculty web resources links they will be able to access materials produced by our subject staff. KS4 pupils can also access Hegarty Maths, GCSE-pod and Seneca Learning.

We are working with Bristol City Council to look at how we can support families who receive free school meals during periods of school closure and will share information with you as we receive it.

We continue to monitor the situation and I will continue to provide a daily communication for parents by email and on the school website. If it becomes necessary to close to further year groups we will inform you of this as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support and please continue to remember all those affected by Coronavirus in your prayers.

Best wishes

Mrs McLaughlin


17th March 2020
Dear Parent/ Carer,

At St. Bernadette’s we take the health and safety of our pupils and staff very seriously. As you will be aware, the situation relating to the COVID-19 virus, otherwise known as Coronavirus, is changing all the time and new information is being issued by the government frequently. The most up-to-date information can be found by following this link:

As a school, we are following all government advice as appropriate and are doing everything possible to keep our pupils and staff safe. We already have robust systems in place with regard to good personal hygiene and are reminding pupils how to prevent spreading germs.

Preventing the Spread of Infection

General principles to follow to prevent spreading of the respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren't available. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you have a new cough or a temperature over 37.8, stay at home and don't attend work or school and follow the self isolation advice
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a bin
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

If you're worried about your or your child’s symptoms, please call NHS 111. Don't go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment. 

I appreciate there is growing concern as cases become more frequent in the UK.  As the situation is changing on a daily basis, we will be monitoring the situation and following advice from Public Health England. We will notify parent/carer by email if any change to our provision is required.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best wishes

Mrs B A McLaughlin

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