Autumn Term 2018
|11 Dec 2018|
|What's happening at St Joseph's?|
As another term draws to a close, now seems a good time to reflect on what a busy and exciting term it has been.
The term began with a whole College photograph as is the tradition every three years. Please do upload and share any old St Joseph's photos you may have onto the site's Photos area.
We are very proud to have been shortlisted for the Wellbeing Initiative of the Year award at the Tes Independent School Awards, recognising the outstanding work that takes place at the College in this area. The winner of the award will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday 1 February 2019.
Another huge success this term was demonstrated by the outstanding entries received for the Headmaster’s Scholarship Award. Mr Colpus set this challenge for the first time this year, and students were given free rein to come up with a project of their choice over the summer holidays. The results were better than anyone could ever have anticipated. Some of the winning entries included scientific research into food dyes, a portfolio of fruit paintings and a 25 000 word fiction book. The scholarship programme continues to flourish and inspire pupils across the College.
Maria Cundy, Head of the History Department, led the way in organising some fantastic and moving WW1 Centenary events across the College, for all of the children – Early Years to Sixth Form. We were treated to visits from local historians, drama re-enactments, through to painting poppies and planting a commemorative hornbeam tree in the top field. We were thrilled to be joined by the aptly named Poppy Dixon during this time – please see separate article for further information on this very special visit.
Alongside the traditional events such as the Harvest Festival, Speech Night and the Christmas Fayre, it truly has been a special term.
Music continues to play a key role in the life of the College with wonderful concerts showcasing our talented pupils, a range of activities taking place in our wonderfully-equipped Music Centre and so many of the children taking music lessons.
On Founders Day, we were delighted to welcome Andrew Zolinsky, Professor of Piano, to the College. His recital was absolutely phenomenal and some of our Music Scholars were most fortunate to be able to join him for a masterclass in the afternoon.
This year’s production was “Sister Act”. Tickets sold out quickly for the four performances of this high energy and lively show which was packed full of singing, dancing and laughter. Those who were fortunate enough to be in the audience were full of praise for the production. For the second year running, the production was double cast to accommodate our hugely enthusiastic and highly talented students.
It has been another successful term for sports across the College. In girls’ football, the Year 10 and 11 girls have beaten Highdown and The Abbey. The Year 8/9 girls’ football team have had some fabulous results, beating Chiltern Edge 2-0, Blessed Hugh Faringdon 1-0, Prospect 1-0 and Little Heath 2-0. The Year 7 girls had their first league matches, coming away with a 2-0 win over Chiltern Edge and a draw against the Wren School. The Year 11 boys took part in a 5-a-side tournament drawing 0-0 with Blessed Hugh Faringdon, Prospect and John Madejski Academy.
The Year 8 boys’ rugby team were phenomenal when they played against Luckley House School, coming away with a 55-5 win. The Year 7 boys’ rugby team have worked well to come away with a mixed bag of results.
The Year 10 girls’ hockey team worked outstandingly as a team to pull off a 2-1 win against Leighton Park. The Year 7 girls’ team played their first competitive hockey fixture against The Abbey B team resulting in a 0-0 draw.
Our Sixth Formers performed brilliantly in their A Levels, with 38% of results graded A* or A. All of our students went on to university, with plans to study subjects as diverse as Veterinary Science, Music, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Global Sustainable Development.
Students have also studied for the Extended Project Qualification, which forms part of the Sixth Form curriculum, with 35% of students gaining an A*. This helps them to study at a deeper level and prepares them for the research and independent study they will be expected to undertake at university.
The GCSE results were also outstanding, with grades up for the fourth year in a row. 47% of the results were at grades 9-7 (A*-A), with 96% at 9-4 (A*-C) and an overall 100% pass mark.
St Joseph’s is about more than just exam results though, and we are proud of our students who leave the school as confident young adults, having developed a wealth of skills as they have progressed through their years at St Joseph’s.
Our Junior and Senior teams are once again doing exceptionally well in CyberCenturion – cyber security challenge. Both teams are currently on track to reach the finals in London in March 2019 if they can hold their nerve and achieve the same sorts of results in round 3 as they have in previous rounds.
Our Sixth Formers performend phenomenally in the Senior UK Mathematics Trust challenges thie term. One of our students even gained a Gold award and received an invitation to take part in the highly prestigious Senior Kangaroo Challenge.
The weekly lunch time sessions of Café Scientifique continue to go from strength to strength with guest speakers from Shell, Microsoft, Vodafone and BMW amongst the guest speakers, delivering inspiring talks to pupils in Years 10 to 13 about how STEM subjects apply in industry and the paths that might lead to STEM careers. Pupils in the Sixth Form have also presented on topics ranging from Time, to research in Psychology, and Biochemistry.
Children across the College have benefited from another term packed full of trips. Our very youngest Early Years pupils recently went to Norden Farm Centre for a live theatre production and are singing Christmas songs at the Pembroke Care Home tomorrow, and our Sixth Formers have enjoyed trips to enrich their learning such as their trip to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and cultural visit to Andalucia.
We are in the midst of some most joyous Christmas celebrations across the College, with nativities across Early Years to Year 2, Junior and Senior Carols by Candlelight, Christmas celebrations, lunches and parties.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading. For all current news as it happens, please visit: http://www.sjcr.org.uk/media
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of the staff and children at St Joseph’s, and we look forward to growing our alumni network in 2019. Please remember to ask your friends to join the network, share photos and memories to help make this alumni network bigger and better for 2019, the very special 125th anniversary of the College.
We catch up with Margaret Towle, who taught at St Joseph's for 23 years. She shares her memories of memorable school pla… More...