School Information

Our Aim

The school aims to make each student be as independent as they can be.

We do this by providing a secure, caring and supportive environment through the provision of a broad curriculum of social, personal, academic, sporting, vocational and relevant life-skills programmes.


In May 1958 a decision was made by the Executive Committee of Cork Polio and General After-Care Association to establish a school for children who would nowadays be classified as children having a ‘mild general learning disability’ on a pilot basis.

Scoil Bernadette was born in an upstairs room at 133 Oliver Plunkett Street on May 28 1958 with 5 boys and 6 girls. Teaching was initially provided by members of the Brothers of Charity. Patrick Kiely was the first Principal and a second teacher was appointed in 1961. By 1961, enrolment was close to 50 and the waiting list was growing. In that year Scoil Bernadette moved to No. 9 Dyke Parade and enrolled only boys from that time on.

In 1971 Scoil Bernadette moved into their brand new custom designed school in Bonnington, Montenotte. The first principal retired in 1976 and was replaced by Pat Mooney. In 1985 the school changed from being a school for boys from 4 – 18 years of age to a co-educational school for students from 12 – 18 years of age. In September 1991, Don McAleese became Principal on Pat Mooney’s retirement, a post he held with distinction. Ita Teegan became the next permanent principal in 2009 and retired after much distinguished service in 2018. Don Golden has taken over the reins.

Specialist Subjects and  Teachers

Physical Education (PE)

Ms. Walsh is our PE teacher and she teaches PE, Active Leisure Studies and organises sports events. We all do a large amount of exercise.


Mr. McHugh is our Woodwork teacher and he teaches Materials Technology at Junior Certificate, Graphics and Construction Studies at Leaving Cerificate Applied and lets students apply the skills needed for Learning for Living in the woodwork room.


Ms. McEnery teaches music to every class in the school. She runs our Junior Choir, our Senior Choir and a Chamber Choir and music plays a huge part in all our school celebrations and activities.

Home Economics

Ms. Bastable is our Home Economics teacher. This area is a very important part of the Learning for Living ethos of the school. As well as preparing for exams students learn how to cook and be safe in the kitchen.


Ms. Anderson teaches art to all students at all levels developing fine motor skills and an appreciation for colour and beauty the same time.


Mr. O'Regan teaches this vital part of Learning for Living to our students. This allows them to taste healthy fresh organic food that they have grown in our poly-tunnel and garden area.


Ms. Connors teaches science to our students in our Science lab. She uses a learning by experience model of education with lots of experiments.

Courses on Offer

The Junior Certificate Schools Programme

The JCSP is the first taste of examination research and project work for our first and second years. The JCSP prepares our youngest students, through the invaluable and entertaining projects, like the Make A Book Project, as well as through the discipline of achieving a range of JCSP Statement, for the Junior Certificate examinations that most will sit in 3rd year.

Junior Cycle

This is a new programme. Scoil Bernadette has embraced this course for our first, second and third year students.

"the new junior cycle will feature newly developed subjects and short courses, a focus on literacy, numeracy and key skills, and new approaches of assessment and reporting"

Junior Certificate

Exams are available for participation however there have been huge changes in recent years. We are assessing the impacts of these changes on our students' ability to complete these courses in addition to the Junior cycle.


Courses offered

1st 2nd & 3rd

Junior Cycle Level 2 and 3

Junior Certificate

Junior Cert Schools Programme (JCSP)

Transition Year

5th & 6th

Learning for Living (LFL)

Leaving certificate Applied (LCA)

Level 2 Learning Programmes

A new curriculum that can be accessed here for anyone needing more information.

Leaving Certificate Applied

The LCA aims to get young adults ready for work and/or further education. It is a 2 year course. There is a different way of passing your Leaving Cert and this is it. Lots of projects, interviews and tasks as well as exams.