2024 will mark the 130-year anniversary of the founding of the College.
In 1894, four sisters arrived in Southampton from Normandy, coming from the Congregation of Sisters, founded by Saint Marie Madeleine Postel. The sisters travelled to Farnborough where they met with Father Ibos who wanted to create a Catholic school in Bracknell. The sisters quickly rose to the challenge and created a convent school dedicated to St Joseph with an aim to provide a good education in a warm and loving atmosphere. The population of students began to steadily increase and by the time they were reaching 40 pupils, it was time for expansion. The sisters relocated to Castle Hill in December 1901.
By 1908, the convent having reached housing capacity for the boarders, sought the perfect location, Broad Oak House on Upper Redlands Road. However, the house was still owned by Mr Sutton, the owner of Reading’s booming industry, Sutton’s Seeds. Eventually the sisters’ prayers were answered, and Broad Oak was put on the market. The College was reopened in March 1910 to both day students and boarders.
In 1988 the Prep school was built in the former orchard, growing the College community to accommodate younger pupils.
In 2010 the decision was made to make the College co-educational, bringing boys back to the College after nearly a century.
In 2018 the decision was made to commemorate the legacy of the College through the creation of four new houses, paying homage to the original students who attended the College. Dixon, Hummel, Jennings and Richardson have rapidly transformed the house system which has flourished to include an annual ‘House Day’ and the sought after House Cup which pushes pupils to reach their potential in various forms, including the arts, academics and sporting achievements.
Being a part of St Joseph’s College does not end when your time is done as a student. As Old Broad Oakians, the Colleges Alumni Society, the College stays in touch with you, but more importantly the values instilled stay with you for the rest of your life. The 5 C’s create well-rounded young women and men that will go on to mark fantastic achievements in different fields. Whether that be, becoming a doctor, economist, fashion designer or even potentially a Prime Minister. The values we have taken away from our time as both students and Head Students will undoubtedly be invaluable to us for our chosen fields of study and beyond.
The 130-year anniversary of the school is soon upon us in 2024, and as Head Students we are lucky enough to be able to choose a project to focus upon for the academic year, and we were excited to focus upon the theme of ‘Legacy’ for our chosen project. We have exciting plans for the College including the creation of an art installation involving the participation of all pupils. This art installation will allow students to show what they have taken away from their experiences at St Joseph’s College in a thoughtful manner. We have also helped to create this page of the website and hope that it will be maintained by Head Students in years to come.
Head Student Team 2023 – Ben, Emily, Maia, Nathan and Sam