357 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill 2154 (entry via Brisbane Road)
Tel: (02) 9634-2898
Fax: (02) 9680-2282
Web Site: http://www.stbernadetteschill.catholic.edu.au
Principal: Mrs Leanne Nettleton
Motto: “Strength through gentleness”
St Bernadette’s School opened on 31st January, 1956 sharing a building which was also a church for the Castle Hill parishioners who were then part of St. Michael’s parish, Baulkham Hills. Two Sisters of Mercy taught the children, the first principal being Sister M. Dunstan. The Sisters of Mercy continued to provide their sisters as teachers and principals until the early 1980’s. During the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s the school continued to grow rapidly, reflecting the growth of Castle Hill and nearby suburbs until it became a three stream school of some 630 pupils in classes from kindergarten to year six.
St Bernadette’s is administered through the Director of Schools, delegated by the Bishop of Parramatta. The parish priest retains the role of pastoral care and is trustee for the parish property on which the school is built. The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the principal. Enrolments are based on its Enrolment Policy and carried out by an Enrolment Committee for kindergarten enrolments and by the parish priest in consultation with the principal for other enrolments. The School has a quality religious education programme and one of the priests is the School Chaplain, providing the celebration of regular Masses and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Catholic Education Office offers staff and resources to the School for children with special educational needs.
In 1997 major renovations were completed and the School was officially blessed and opened on August 27, 1997. New buildings included a new administration block and library and two classroom blocks with six and four classrooms respectively. A new canteen, additional toilets and extensive renovation of the former administration and library block were also completed. Funding for this purpose was provided by the Catholic Education Office of the Diocese of Parramatta, with some supplementary assistance from the parish and St. Bernadette’s Parents and Friends Association.
St. Bernadette’s School Council is a consultative body comprising representatives of school staff, parents and the parish (through the Pastoral Council) as well as the principal and parish priest. It meets five to six times yearly to provide ways to assist the Principal and the school through review of school policies, maintenance programmes, school development and so on.
St. Bernadette’s School Parents and Friends Association is the body of parents of the school and other interested parishioners who meet several times a year to plan fundraising activities to benefit St. Bernadette’s School, organise working bees and receive reports about the school activities and functions and from the principal and other members of staff. The Mothers’ Club is an informal group of parents who meet for fundraising activities and assist with staffing the school canteen during school term.