At the invitation of Canon Lee the Sisters of St John of God came to Fishponds on llth July, l925, for the express purpose of establishing a school. The present church had been opened in March, l925, and the present parish hall, which had served as the church up to that time, was offered to the Sisters.
St Joseph's school opened as a private fee-paying school in the parish hall with about twenty pupils. Within a few years this had grown to four classes and as the number seeking catholic education grew, a new school became a necessity. Plans for a new school were drawn up but, when war broke out in l939, had to be dropped. The project was taken up again in l945 and the school, the part nearest the church, which has now been demolished, was opened on the 2lst November, l950. In April of the following year it was approved and accepted by the Ministry of Education.
In the following years, due to increasing numbers, it was necessary to extend the school twice, and in addition classes were again taken in the parish hall. The building of new Catholic Primary Schools in Kingswood and Downend led to a fall in the number of pupils on roll to about 250 or just below. In recent years there has been a steady increase in the number of pupils attending and at the moment there are 290 pupils on roll.
St. Joseph's present school building was begun in 1989 and completed for the Autumn Term 1990. Since then the accommodation has been increased and the facilities further improved by the addition of a double mobile classroom in the 1994/95 school year and an ICT suite and purpose built library in 2001.
The school was inspected by OFSTED and the Diocese in April 1999. The school received very positive reports and copies of these reports are available on request.
Recent developments at St. Joseph's include the extension of the main hall, the instillation of Interactive Whiteboards in every class in the school and the conversion of the existing library into a new, spacious computer suite