St Joseph's Convent School is an independent Catholic day school for girls aged 3 to 18 and boys aged 3 to 7, which welcomes pupils of all denominations and faiths. The school was founded over 100 years ago and is situated close to Reading University and convenient to the town centre and M4. St Joseph's is a vibrant and dynamic school that has embraced new thinking in teaching and learning, whilst retaining an important sense of tradition.
From the Headmistress, Mrs Maureen Sheridan.
I would like to welcome you to St Joseph’s Convent School website. I hope that it will convey a flavour of St Joseph’s and encourage you to visit.
We are proud of the rich history and tradition of St Joseph’s, founded over a hundred years ago by the Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel. The hallmark of a St Joseph’s education: academic excellence alongside individual and personal fulfilment in the context of an active Christian community, is as visible today as it was all those years ago...
Our academic results are excellent, and we are extremely proud of our value-added score. There is a particular satisfaction in celebrating the success of those girls whose assessments on entry would not have given grounds for the highest grade predictions. It is to the credit of our talented and dedicated staff that the dreams and hopes of all our girls and their parents are brought to fruition.
We have a wide curriculum of examined and extra-curricular activities. Our small classes enable each girl to receive the individual attention which for so many children is what they most need. It is our delight to watch them develop academically and socially into confident young ladies, fully equipped to embrace the opportunities and the challenges of this modern age.
We look forward to meeting you and to discussing with you and your daughter her hopes and expectations.
Maureen T Sheridan
Parents usually visit by appointment. They meet the Head of the Preparatory Department and have a tour of the School. Following submission of the form and fee, a visit is arranged to enable the child to experience life at St Joseph's and for the School to assess suitability. On reservation of a place, the reservation deposit becomes payable.
• Year 7 Entrance
• Sixth Form Entrance
• Year 6 Induction Days
• Year 5 Day
History and Associations
• St Marie Madeleine Postel
• St Joseph's Convent School Parents' Association
The social welfare and academic progress of each pupil is closely monitored. At the centre of the carefully planned pastoral care system are the Heads of Year, Form Tutors and Class Teachers. They are responsible for the welfare and progress of each girl, consulting regularly with Staff and Subject Teachers.
In the Senior School, for each Year group there are Parents Information Evenings at the beginning of each academic year and two Consultative Evenings to discuss progress and performance. In the Preparatory Department, there is a Welcome Evening at the beginning of the academic year.
Personal and social education is an important aspect of the pastoral care system and every girl is encouraged to develop an awareness of her own role in society through a structured programme of relevant topics. Sex education is taught as part of the curriculum and there are opportunities for discussion of the social and moral aspects in Religious Studies and the Personal, Social and Health Education programme.
The School Day
Find out about the structure of the school day from the Preparatory Department to the Senior Department.
The school uniform requirements for all the years.
Find out about the extensive services the school library has to offer.
Find out about the dining facilities and arrangements operated by the school.
Find out about the House system at St Joseph's Convent School.
St Joseph’s Preparatory Department is situated in its own building within the spacious leafy grounds of St Joseph’s Convent School, designed with the needs of small children in mind. Its close proximity to the Senior School allows the whole School to come together to celebrate the many celebrations and events that take place.
The Preparatory Department welcomes girls from the age of 3 to 11 and boys from 3 to 7 and a happy and stimulating environment is provided which encourages the children to play and work together.
The Kindergarten and Reception class together form the Foundation Stage and the children work towards the Early Learning Goals. The Infant Classes of Year 1 and 2 (ages 5-7) form Key Stage One and the Junior Classes of Years 3 to 6 (ages 7-11) form Key Stage Two.
In these Primary years, children are introduced to a broad, balanced, exciting curriculum that enables them to develop academically, socially and spiritually.
In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, the subjects taught include English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Information Technology, Physical Education, Food Technology, Design Technology, Art, Music, History, Geography and P.S.H.E. (Personal and Social Health Education). French is taught from Year 3 upwards and Spanish is taught in Year 6.
In the Preparatory Department, homework is set which is appropriate to the age and ability of the child. It reinforces concepts which have been taught and allows opportunity for in depth research of topics beyond the classroom.
A wide range of clubs and societies are open to all pupils throughout the school. Many take place during the lunch break and include string and brass groups, windbands, recorder groups, choir, swimming, theatre studies, computing and a variety of sports.
Pupils also have the opportunity to get involved with clubs such as Latin, Mindlab (strategic thinking games), Street Dance, Embroidery Club and Ballet. Year 6 also go away for a week's residential visit each year, which aims to foster teamwork and self reliance through the introduction of new and exciting sports such as indoor skiing, climbing and fish trawling.
Care out of hours
• Before School...
• After School...
St Joseph's Senior Department offers dedicated, specialist teaching, small classes, and a strong pastoral programme of care, ensuring girls are well prepared for the challenges ahead.
Classrooms and laboratories throughout the Senior Department have been well equipped with the latest technology and equipment, including the recent completion of a state-of-the-art Science Laboratory.
In addition to the excellent academic results, Senior Department girls are encouraged to take part in a variety of extra-curricular activities and the school has earned a superb reputation for its strengths in sport, music and drama.
The foundation is laid in the first three years in the Senior School. All girls study Mathematics, English, Modern and Classical Languages, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, technological subjects including Textiles, Food, Art, Design and Information Technology, Music, Drama and Physical Education.
In Years 10 and 11 girls are prepared for public examinations. They all study the core subjects of Mathematics, English, Science and Religious Studies, with up to four further subjects chosen from option groups. Accelerated teaching also leads to many girls being entered early for GCSE English.
Pupils are guided carefully at all stages, particularly in their selection of GCSE options during Year 9.
Education at St Joseph's goes beyond the classroom and Senior Department girls enthusiastically take up the wide range of extra-curricular activities available to them.
A wide range of clubs and societies are open to all pupils throughout the school. Many take place during the lunch break and include string and brass groups, windbands, recorder groups, choir, swimming, theatre studies, computing and a variety of sports. There are also many opportunities to take part in dance groups and public speaking teams regularly win awards for original and lively entries in local competitions.
Field trips, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, visits within the UK and overseas and adventure courses are regular features of the School calendar. The School supports a number of charitable organisations who work overseas, including CAFOD and OXFAM. We also raise money for special international appeals and three regular projects: Fundacion Salvacion, an orphanage in Guatemala; Freedom Park in South Africa and Bamenda Diocese in North West Cameroon (the twin Diocese of Portsmouth).
The Arts and Sport
From ages 16-18, the Sixth Form is an integral and important part of the School. Class sizes are small and students are encouraged to take responsibility for the planning and execution of their studies. They also play an active part in the smooth running of the School and organise House events and club activities.
The Sixth Form Centre includes a Common Room with kitchen facilities, as well as tutorial rooms.
Uniform in the Sixth Form is more flexible. A colour scheme is chosen by the students in Year 11, which is worn by that group throughout the following two years.
During the Autumn term, as part of their induction to the Sixth Form, all girls have the opportunity to spend a weekend at St John Bosco House in Alverstoke. Time is spent on personal and spiritual development, team building and leadership opportunities.
A full A level consists of six modules, the first three of which make up an AS level award. Most girls study four AS levels in Year 12 leading to three full A levels at the end of Year 13.
Seventeen subjects are currently available, including Business Studies, Philosophy & Ethics, Psychology, Theatre Studies, Art & Design, as well as English Literature, Mathematics, Geography, History, Modern Languages and the Sciences.
Alongside their A levels, the Sixth Form students undertake a course in Information Technology, which ensures that they are conversant with ICT before moving on to Higher Education.
• Community Sports Leadership Award