STRATEGIC PLAN 2018–2023

Celebrating history,
building our future

We have come a long way since welcoming our first four children in 1894. Today St Joseph’s is a growing community of pupils and dedicated staff looking forward to celebrating our 125th anniversary in 2019. We offer a high-quality, well-rounded education that lasts a lifetime and are proud to be Reading’s leading co-educational independent school.

St Joseph’s radical approach of cutting fees and increasing investment has raised our profile and put high-quality, independent education within reach of many more parents in the Reading area. A thorough evaluation of our strategy and fee structure has been undertaken to continue this progress and development.

INTRODUCTION

Onwards and upwards

St Joseph’s is enjoying huge success. Applications and pupil numbers are rising year on year and we were crowned Independent School of the Year in 2015. That’s only the start. We want to grow, develop and give pupils an even better learning experience.

To make this all happen, the Governors and I have produced a robust 10-point, 5-year plan.

In the following pages there is a brief overview of our Strategic Vision. Although presented in sections, these are not separate – each overlaps and enhances the others, and these will be the basis for our annual development targets, the markers against which we will measure our success.

Andrew Colpus
Headmaster

1. STRUCTURE

A seamless education

St Joseph’s takes in Prep School pupils from the age of three and fosters a sense of belonging from the very start right through until they leave as young adults at 18. We want to develop the College so that there is greater collaboration between the Prep and Senior Schools and that each section of the school works together, whilst focusing on the specific needs of each age group.

Size of the College

Pupil numbers are rising fast and approaching 600, when the College will be full. We aren’t planning to grow beyond that number, as this size will make optimum use of our site and facilities – without losing the sense of family that makes St Joseph’s unique.

Preparing for success

We want all pupils to stay on into the Sixth Form and achieve their full academic potential so they can progress to their chosen university or vocation. A St Joseph’s education also instils Christian values that benefit the individual and the world around them for many years to come.

2. SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

Making a difference

We want to build closer links to our founders, the Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel. Their work around the world gives St Joseph’s pupils the opportunity to become true global citizens. Our links to the local diocese means St Joseph’s can also make a greater contribution to the wider community here. As a Catholic school we want our pupils to have a true understanding of their self worth.

3. TEACHING AND LEARNING

Improving results

St Joseph’s is on a mission to achieve even greater academic results, especially at GSCE and A Level. But we’ll never lose focus of our key philosophy – to ensure that every pupil develops the key attributes of commitment, collaboration, confidence and communication.

Embracing digital

St Joseph’s aspires to be at the forefront of digital teaching and learning. As leaders in pastoral care, we also place great emphasis on the importance of online safety.

Investing in great staff

Our renaissance is largely due to the excellence of our staff. St Joseph’s soaring reputation puts the College in a great position to continue attracting the most talented teachers, investing in their development and retaining the best staff.

4. GENERATING REVENUE

Fee strategy

Seven years ago we cut fees by 17%, and our fees are still significantly lower than any other independent school in the local area. St Joseph’s College requires investment to ensure that the school infrastructure is updated and the beauty of our historic buildings is safeguarded. We are future-proofing the school while staying committed to offering a rewarding, outstanding-value education for all our pupils. We will continue to monitor fee strategy and any decision on change will be carefully considered.

Bursaries

Our bursary fund exists to help parents who may struggle to afford the full fees. We are committed to maintaining this fund and providing financial support for parents who need it most. Funding will continue to be offered to both existing parents and families who are new to the school.

Healthy reserves

To ensure our financial stability, it’s important that we have healthy reserves. This will also allow the school to withstand any unexpected future expenses.

5. PASTORAL CARE

Together as one

We know and look out for every single St Joseph’s pupil. Personal wellbeing is paramount and we strive to create a learning experience that challenges and supports pupils every step of the way. This approach produces resilient, determined and confident individuals.

Mental health and wellbeing

We will enhance our systems for monitoring and tracking pupils’ welfare and progress. We recognise the growing importance of pupils’ mental health and, as a Mental Health First Aid training centre, we will further develop staff training and skills. We aim to set a gold standard for mental healthcare in schools.

6. PERFORMING ARTS

Showcasing the arts

Music and Drama will continue to play a major part in the College co-curricular activities and our young musicians will reap the benefits of our new Music Centre. The arts allow pupils to express themselves individually, develop self-confidence and to work collaboratively.

We aim to broaden our reach in the arts, both within school through performances and qualifications, and in the wider community as we forge links with external arts organisations.

7. OUTDOOR LEARNING

Championing sport

Offering pupils more sports opportunities contributes to pupils’ health, wellbeing and fitness. Representing the College also fosters a great sense of pride and belonging while sporting success helps communicate the St Joseph’s brand and broadens our reach. We will strengthen links with the University and local sports clubs and extend our sporting participation beyond the College campus.

Trips and activities

We will enhance school trips, ensuring a mix from the local to the more ambitious and adventurous. Our Social Action activities will provide further opportunities for meaningful service.

8. LIFELONG LEARNERS

Education that lasts a lifetime

A St Joseph’s education is much more than a stepping-stone to university or a career. It’s about developing well-rounded citizens with a sense of responsibility, compassion and respect, and providing a moral and spiritual framework that guides the individual for a lifetime. Our curriculum is under constant scrutiny and will evolve to ensure that pupils have the skills to help them succeed in life.

Staff development

It’s not just our pupils who learn at St Joseph’s. We want to advance inspirational teaching throughout the College and enable staff to share best practice. We aim to recruit and retain the best teachers and develop their skills so they can progress within the College while getting the very best out of every pupil.

9. FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT

Providing the best learning environment

We want all pupils to benefit from the best facilities we can offer, that allow them every chance to shine in lessons and co-curricular activities. That’s why the new Music Centre and all-weather sports pitch were built and why we’re committed to further value-for-money infrastructure investment.

10. GREAT CONNECTIONS

Stronger links

We aim to forge greater connections with our influential neighbours. Reading University is on our doorstep, Henley Business School and many leading tech companies are close by and these offer a world of possibilities. We want to tap into our alumni, working in a wide range of professions, to give pupils insight and inspiration.

Global perspective

We want our pupils to be able to experience different cultures and take St Joseph’s spiritual and moral values to all parts of the world. This will be achieved by making the most of our links with the Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel and fully engaging pupils in the wider world.

Our Mission And Aims

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Our Ethos And Values

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What We Believe

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What We Aspire To

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