Our Catholic History

St Bernadette Catholic Primary School first opened on 21st April 1971. Father James Gunston, the Parish Priest, was the Chair of Governors and played a prominent role in the founding of the school. The school was designed by Mr T Denny and the school was built in the record time of ten months. Looking through the school archives, Mr Denny was not only an architect but also a very dear friend who was very well respected and appreciated by the St Bernadette school community.

The official opening took place on 25th September 1971 when the Right Rev. B. Christopher Butler, Auxillary Bishop of Westminster blessed the school with Sister Monica Brien as the first Headmistress of the school. When the school first opened under the leadership of Sister Monica, there were 54 children on roll split between two classes. However, the school grew rapidly and, when it resumed after the summer holidays, records show that there were 134 children divided into four classes in September 1972. There were four full time members and two part-time members of staff in addition to Sister Monica. The first Deputy Head, Mr Ed McConalogue, was appointed in April 1975.

The school continued to grow and the nursery was first opened in April 1979. Sister Monica sadly retired in July 1980 and Sister Josephine took up her position as Headteacher in September of that year, having been a headteacher of a large primary school in Altrincham, Cheshire. Since then the school has had another extension to the building, when our new nursery and entrance was opened in September 2009.

Whilst the staff and pupils will have changed over the last 40 years, the school's aims and objectives have remained the same. We aim to encourage close and harmonious relations between parents and teachers, so that the school can be seen as an extension of the home in deepening the child’s Faith and developing the whole person. This is no different from the aims of the first governing body who “wished to see the school as an integral part of the parish and of the whole community”.