What is HaLE?
HaLE stands for Humanities and Languages Enrichment and includes the following subject areas: Geography, History, Religious Studies, Modern Foreign Languages, Latin, Classics, English, Economics and Business Studies. It provides a new pathway for us all in the College designed to provide enrichment opportunities and activities for all pupils alongside the existing and more established offers made by Music, Sport and STEM. Enrichment activities encompasses all of those activities that are beyond the formal teaching that occurs within the classroom, and includes clubs, talks, visits, competitions, and more.
Catenian Public Speaking Competition
We embrace a number of local and national events and competitions through the work of the clubs within the HaLE area. In January 2023, we took three Year 12 pupils to the Berkshire Catenian Public Speaking competition and were successful in winning the local final. In September 2023, Maia Crayford then went to Manchester University to compete in the national final and received praise for her performance.
Geographical Association Worldwise Quiz
Six pupils take part in a locally hosted annual Geographical Association Worldwise Quiz competition. The mixed teams are composed of pupils from Year 8, 9 and 10, and cover topics of general geographical knowledge as well as map skills, flags, country outlines to name but a few. This provides an opportunity to compete against other Reading schools and is always a lot of fun. This prompted us to run our own internal House Geography Quiz in school.
We offer a thriving, award winning Young Enterprise Programme to pupils in Year 12 in which 20 pupils are immersed in the running and management of their created pupil company. Last year saw 2 teams embark upon the Young Enterprise journey: Bamboozled created personalised bamboo stationery and were very successful at all stages of the programme winning the trophy for ‘Best Business Plan’ at the Reading Area Finals. The team maximized all sales opportunities and made in excess of £800 profit (a St. Joseph’s College new record). The second pupil company, ToDyeFor, focused their efforts on creating a range of sustainably sourced tie-dye clothing, including the option of upcycling existing garments for a fee. Sales were steady and involved events such as the St. Joseph’s Christmas Fair and the Christmas Trade Fair at the Oracle. Both companies worked together as teams and although there were the inevitable ‘ups-and-downs’ all pupils walked away from the programme with a share of the profits, a keen insight into the world of business and an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Model United Nations
A new and thriving element of the HaLE enrichment offer is led by our excellent Head of History, Mr Joe Newsam. Over the first weekend of November 2023, eleven pupils participated in the Oxford Global Conference at Oxford University. The event brought together over 900 pupils from 24 countries. The aim was to represent the viewpoints of a particular country – in our case, Nigeria, Germany, Cameroon and Cape Verde – whilst discussing key international issues such as antibiotic resistance, the rights of women and the advance of AI. Our pupils excelled, making carefully researched speeches in front of large audiences, whilst gaining a fuller understanding of diplomacy, the United Nations and a range of different cultures and political perspectives.
CAFOD Young Leader Programme
European Youth Parliament
Pupils from St. Joseph’s also get involved with the European Youth Parliament. In September 2023 Year 11 and 12 pupils represented the College and the Thames Valley at the National Final of the European Youth Parliament, after winning the regional round in March. At the 4-day event, hosted by Liverpool University, the team received special praise from the judges for their detailed preparation and contributions to the committee stages, where resolutions were written to be debated over 2 days of intense diplomacy.
We take part in the National Schools’ Challenge competition. This is the national general knowledge competition for schools in the United Kingdom. It uses the same quiz bowl rules as University Challenge, and it is a challenging competition for pupils to hone their general knowledge and pit themselves against other teams in the heats.