Mrs Stotesbury joined our virtual Early Years and Senior Open Mornings recently and this is what she told our prospective parents:

“My name is Laura Stotesbury and I am going to be the Headteacher of St Joseph’s from September. I am currently Deputy Head (Academic) at Prior Park College, a Catholic day and boarding school of 600 pupils. The decision to apply for the Headship here was as much a decision about where I wanted my own children to be educated as it was where I wanted to lead a school community. When my husband and I toured St Joseph’s as prospective parents I can tell you first-hand what we witnessed:

We saw smiling faces – every child and staff member was happily engaged in all that they were doing.

We heard confident voices – children from the Early Years all the way up to the Senior school were happy to chat to us about what they were learning and give us their opinions and justifications for what they had written or created.

We were wowed by the vibrant artwork on display, impressed by the independent work habits shown by the Sixth Form and every classroom was a real hive of activity.

I had avidly consumed the College’s Vimeo channel in the days leading up to it – nervous that there would be a stark gap between the marketing sheen and the reality. I can honestly say that apart from the weather there was nothing that didn’t hold up – so, if you get a chance, please watch the videos on the College’s Virtual Events Hub as they give a real sense of what school life is like.

Back here in Bath over Christmas, my youngest son and I watched the school Nativity play on the College’s virtual events hub and enjoyed singing along with his future classmates. My eldest son watched the Senior School virtual tour with pupils Andrea and Boni. He took one look at the swimming pool on site and the chance to play cricket and, once we reassured him that St Joseph’s also did ‘proper Maths’, he too now can’t wait to join the St Joseph’s Community and neither can I.

The thought of working in a school where children are truly known every step of the way from their first days in year 7 in their oversized blazers through to A Level results day and waving them off to pastures new at university, in apprenticeships or in the world of work.

At St Joseph’s they will be exposed to as many opportunities as possible so that they find their God-Given talents and are then encouraged to build and develop them into a life-long interests for themselves and others to enjoy.

We might help them realise that they love to paint, to sing, to act, to run or throw, to write poetry or computer code, to solve problems or experiment in labs. But we also hope to show them how wonderful it is to have friends, to be a good listener, to have empathy, to be selfless and share, to laugh and entertain, to be calm and observe the world around them in all its beauty.

I talk to a huge number of parents about what they want for their child from a Senior School. Not one of them starts with exam results but we all know that they are a huge part of what we are about – those results are like being handed the keys to unlock the door to the next opportunity in life. Each child will have their own door and a unique set of locks and so needs a different bunch of keys and our job is to help them work out what those look like and achieve them.

Parents speak of wanting their child to be inquisitive, to be curious about the world around them, they want them to be healthy in mind and body BUT Most of all, what every parent wishes for their child is for them to be happy, to be safe and to be loved.

That is our greatest wish at St Joseph’s too and, under my leadership, that won’t change. I want every member of our school community to be truly happy and fulfilled, to be cherished, to meet their amazing potential and to love learning in all its forms.

St Joseph’s is and will continue to be such a special place – whether you are a pupil, a member of staff or the Head!”

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