2010 – 2020
In 2010 we implemented a courageous strategic and financial plan that appeared counter-intuitive in reducing fees and increasing investment. Yet the decision was a successful one; it positioned St Joseph’s as the affordable choice and set an example to the rest of the independent sector.
2010 was also the year that St Joseph’s became fully co-educational, welcoming over 300 girls and boys through our doors.
In November 2015 St Joseph’s was named Independent School of the Year at the TES Independent School Awards. We also received the Financial/Commercial Initiative of the Year award. The judging panel said the school demonstrated:
“outstanding initiative that shows there is always hope if you have a strong vision and stakeholder support… a trailblazing approach.”
St Joseph’s College was shortlisted in the Education Business Awards a few months later and won the Outstanding Progress (Independent Schools) category, the only award available to the independent sector.
Judges were impressed with our school’s vision and development over the last six years from a girls’ school of just over 300 pupils to a co-educational school of over 500 pupils.
Later that year, St Joseph’s was presented with the award for Outstanding Leadership Team at the Leadership Awards in London, and was the only school to win an award.
“The Governors took a leap of faith in 2010, making some bold decisions for the future of the school. Their vision is now being realised and St Joseph’s is becoming widely recognised for its pioneering approach.
But this is just the start for us. We are continuing to invest in our school, and our fees remain modest compared to other independent schools. We have revised our scholarship programme and continue to seek ways to make St Joseph’s affordable, accessible and successful – and also somewhere pupils love coming to school.”
(Mr Colpus, Headmaster at St Joseph’s)
At St Joseph’s we lead by example, demonstrating the ability to adapt and flourish in the face of change. A decade on from the start of a radical plan that re-launched the school, we are as committed as ever to growing, investing and improving.
Celebrating 125 years
2019 marked the 125th anniversary of the foundation of St Joseph’s in 1894 by the Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel. The annual Founders Day held in November 2019 kick-started the celebrations. The Founders Day Service was led by Father John, who reflected on the importance of a close community, such as St Joseph’s, and pupils brought to the altar items representing everything that is special about the College.
Founders Day culminated with a performance by a string quartet from the London Mozart Players accompanied by five of our talented music students, marking the launch of the school’s exciting new partnership with the renowned orchestra. A particularly poignant moment was the premiere by the London Mozart Players of a piece composed by Deputy Head Boy, Louis Upton-Wheeler, as part of his A Level course.
All faculties continued to embrace the theme of celebrating 125 years, for example learning about significant events over this period and enjoying various trips and excursions.
The next 5 years
We believe that our future is just as important as our history. We are excited about watching our school continue to develop and flourish, keeping high-quality, independent education within reach of as many families as possible.
Our 5 year Strategic Plan was developed in 2018 after a thorough evaluation of our strategy and fee structure in order to continue the progress made since 2010. The plan has 10 key points covering structure, spiritual development, teaching and learning, generating revenue, pastoral care, performing arts, outdoor learning, lifelong learners, facilities development and great connections.
Celebrating our history
St Joseph’s College has a rich and fascinating history. It was founded in 1894 in Bracknell by the Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel, whose aim was to provide a good education in a warm and loving atmosphere. This simple aim is as appropriate today as it was when St Joseph’s was founded over 100 years ago.
In 1807, the order of St Marie Madeleine Postel was founded by Julie Postel, a pioneer of education in France. The Sisters of the Order specialised in the education of girls, and ran their centres of learning according to the most enlightened educational principles of the time. Their schools were declared by the Schools Inspectors to be the best run establishments of their kind in the whole region.
Today its sisters around the work are engaged in the education and service which she inspired them to undertake.
We are proud of our heritage and seek to maintain the original aim of the school, to provide a good education in a warm and loving atmosphere. St Joseph’s strives to provide a forward-thinking and progressive education for all pupils from all backgrounds and to prepare them for life after school.