On 20 August 1940, the feast day of St Bernard of Clairvaux, 224 boys in Years 7 to 11 carried their desks from St Monica’s across the Park to a new school on The Strand in Moonee Ponds and St Bernard’s College was born. In 1963 Classes commenced on the current campus in West Essendon.
Today St Bernard's College is an EREA Catholic Secondary School for boys in the Edmund Rice Tradition. We offer a wide range of formal classes, and also a comprehensive informal curriculum, to more than 1500 young men from Year 7 through to Year 12. The students are expected to be personally enthusiastic about involving themselves in the broad educational spectrum offered by the school. This applies especially to their growth in an informed appreciation of their Faith as an integral and essential part of that broad education.
St Bernard's College aspires be faithful to the for Touchstones of a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition. These touchstones are liberating Education, Justice and Solidarity, Gospel Spirituality and Inclusive Community. This is consistent with our nation’s commitment to democratic principles, a commitment which St Bernard's college shares.
Though our student population is drawn mostly from those who have attended local Catholic Primary Schools, and whose families have been actively supportive of their sons' ongoing education in the Catholic faith through consistent involvement in their parish communities, consideration is always given to students who can demonstrate special circumstances. There is no selective academic entrance exam.
The centre piece of the College crest is the shield. The school badge should remind us that in the spiritual armour of the Christian, it is our Faith that is the shield.
Dividing the shield is a double Chevron. These are inverted V's and represent strength. "Chevron" is French for "rafter". It is said that a chevron often symbolised the founding of a family, in this case, the numerous family of the school's present and past students.
The cross on top of the crest shows that St Bernard's is primarily a Christian school. The Greek letters displayed on the upper ribbon symbolise both God (the Father) "the beginning and the end" and Christ "the first and the last".
The school motto is printed in Latin on the upper ribbon "Discere et Agere"—"to learn and to do". An expanded translation of "Discere et Agere" is "to learn what is right and then to put it into practice".