Our Philosophy of Learning at St. Bernard’s

At St. Bernard’s Primary School, we create challenging, open, and stimulating learning experiences in an environment that promotes a positive mindset and attitude. We believe it is important that staff and students approach new learning with an attitude of “I’m ready for a challenge!” 

We develop our student’s ability to think clearly, independently and critically so that they can make objective decisions.

We provide a challenging, innovative and comprehensive curriculum that promotes a respect for learning and enables students to be lifelong learners!

Our programs are inclusive and allow our students to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally, leading to a sense of achievement, fulfillment and purpose. 

Our Curriculum:

Core Generalist:

Specialist Subjects:



Clear Behaviour Expectations

At St. Bernard’s we implement a whole school positive behavioural framework called, Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS).            PBIS is a framework that sets whole school expectations for staff and students. Expected behaviours for each setting of the school are then taught under the whole school expectations. Our three whole school expectations are:

At St. Bernard’s we are Responsible, Respectful and Safe Learners

We explicitly teach ‘setting’ expectations through the use of Matrices. Expectations are modelled by staff and students.                                                   Our “Bernie” trophy is awarded each week in unit assemblies to promote positive behaviour through safe, responsible and respectful actions. 

Buddy Program

Part of the leadership responsibilities of our Grade 6 students is to act as a ‘buddy’ for the students that are beginning school. They assist the Foundation students to settle into their new environment and to learn the routines of school life. The buddies continue this relationship throughout the year.



The St. Bernard’s community does not tolerate bullying in any form. Our school-wide expectations are to be Respectful, Responsible and Safe Learners.

Behaviour expectations are explicitly taught through our PBIS matrices and social skills are taught as part of the curriculum.  Everyone in the school community is expected to report any instance where this is not being met.  Incidents are documented and followed up, supporting those involved.  Communication with families aims to be open and supportive.  All students are supported in making responsible decisions and choices, with a tiered approach for those requiring additional support. 

Berry Street Education Model (BSEM)

Our staff have been trained to incorporate the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) strategies in their classroom practices. This education model provides teachers with strategies to increase engagement of students with complex, unmet learning needs and to successfully improve all students’ self-regulation, relationships, wellbeing, growth and academic achievement.


One of the many strategies that the Berry St. Education Model promotes in schools is the use of meditation to calm and relax students.
Our whole school takes part in Christian Meditation at the end of every lunch break, to reduce stress and increase our student’s sense of wellbeing and harmony.

FIRE Carriers:

St. Bernard’s is a FIRE Carrier School, FIRE stands for Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education.
The FIRE Carrier Project is a joint initiative of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria and the Opening the Doors Foundation with Catholic Education Sandhurst. It seeks to keep the Reconciliation flame alight in schools, educating and encouraging reconciliation both within and outside of the school community.
Our FIRE Carrier programme is led by our senior students, who can apply to be a FIRE Carrier at the beginning of the school year. They are then commissioned in a whole school Commissioning Ceremony. Students and staff plan initiatives and events to educate and inform our School community about Reconciliation, our shared history and culture. These include Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week activities.
The role of FIRE carriers at St. Bernard’s
~ To lead the Acknowledgement at Assemblies and Masses
~ To educate students, staff and families about Reconciliation.
~ To spread the message of our shared history and culture.
~ To represent the St. Bernard’s Community at any FIRE Carrier events.

Learner Diversity

Our Learner Diversity Leader builds capability in collaboration with staff in inclusive practices and differentiation of learning for all, effective personalised learning plans and response to intervention frameworks.

Students who have a disability (social/emotional, cognitive, physical or sensory) have a Personalised Learning Plan (PLP) which allows the student to access the curriculum. Parent Support Group meetings are held each term to monitor and evaluate student learning and achievements using SMART goals.
The Disability Standards for Education 2005 requires that all Australian schools support students with disability.
Obligations include:
making reasonable adjustments which allow students with disability to participate and learn on the same basis as students without disability
preventing harassment and victimisation of students with disability
consult regularly with students with disability and their parents and caregivers to develop reasonable adjustments and address concerns as they arise.

st bernards primary school wangaratta

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2-12 Williams Rd, Wangaratta VIC 3677 Australia

03 5721 4431


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