March 24th, 2020 | Posted by Rebecca Walker in Headteacher Blog | News - (0 Comments)

Owing to the need for social distancing Covid 19 has brought, St Joseph’s school is now spread across Devon and Cornwall, from Dartmoor to Duloe, Looe to Liskeard and Bude to Bodmin. Pupils are working from home on lessons set by or teaching staff, and we are gearing up for online learning and all the possibilities this brings.

Parents are encouraged to contact teachers regularly throughout this time, and Mr Scott and the St Jo’s team will be in regular communication with parents and pupils throughout this time. We are maintaining our weekly newsletter, and encourage contributions from parents and pupils showing us what the children of St Jo’s are up to on a daily and weekly basis.

Please do contact with any general questions and queries, or if your question is about joining St Jo’s when things return to normal. Alternatively, Mr Scott can be contacted with an email to

We will return to teaching as normal as soon as we possibly can. We miss every child who should be coming to school each morning, and look forward to being together again soon.

In this difficult time do look after one another, listen to and act on the advice given and we will then all do our bit for the good of everyone – particularly the most vulnerable.

Pupils from St Joseph’s were proud to take part in the second annual St Piran’s Parade, a celebration of Cornwall’s patron saint (although St Michael and St Petroc may disagree) and of  pride in all things west of the Tamar. Year Four pupils represented St Joseph’s at in the parade alongside those from 8 other local primary schools and pupils from Launceston College.

The schools gathered in Launceston’s magnificent town hall, where they were organised for the parade into the centre of Lanson, the historic capital of Cornwall. Cllr Tremain, town crier for the past 40 years, began the formal element of proceedings before Mayor Cllr Gordon addressed the gathered school children and members of the public. He spoke of St Piran, and that the children should be proud of who they were, where they came from, and of being Cornish (for those who were.)

Cllr Nancarrow then read the poem My Young Man’s a Cornishman by Cornwall’s poet and Launceston resident Charles Causley, before Cllr Tremain celebrated the life of St Piran , his escape from Ireland and his arrival at Perranporth, floating on the millstone that was intended as the instrument of his martyrdom.

A rousing rendition of the unofficial Cornish anthem Trelawney, (Parson Hawker’s Song of the Western Men) followed before the parade was blessed by the Reverend Alison Hardy, regrouped and paraded through the Castle grounds and back to the warmth of the Town Hall. Here, the children showed their dancing skills to traditional music played the town band before joining together in song. Pupils from many primary schools performed songs and poetry, including a performance by St Joseph’s Year 4. Their piece St Piran was written and directed by Mrs Skerry – a superb performance that really spoke of the life of St Piran.

Pasties were then provided for all children and staff thanks to the tireless work of Cllr Young’s team of volunteers and the kind sponsorship of the event by local businesses and volunteer groups.

Meanwhile, back at St Joseph’s, pasties were also the order of the day for lunch, a great Cornish delicacy. The traditional food of the miner was appropriate to mark the patron saint of tinners, whose flag of a white flag on a black background flag is said to symbolise white tin coming out of black ore, as well as the light of truth shining in the darkness. Following this, Year 3 and Year 4 were treated to lessons in Cornish, lessons they greatly enjoyed. On St Piran’s day, even in the rain, Kernow bys vyken – Cornwall is great!

We are delighted to announce that recently released Department of Education League tables for summer 2019 have proven just what exceptional results are achieved at St Joseph’s School, Launceston.

The percentage of pupils achieving GCSES at Grade 5 or above in Maths and English was an excellent 67% against a national average of 40% and a Cornwall average of 39%. The best performing state-funded school in Cornwall achieved 40%, and St Joseph’s was ahead of many South West Independent schools – including a number with selective intake – by a wide margin.

The school’s Attainment 8 score was also one of the top two in the county – an outstanding achievement for a non-selective school. Attainment 8 measures a student’s average grade across eight subjects and is designed to encourage schools to offer a broad, well-balanced curriculum. With St Joseph’s scoring 57.2 against a national average of 44.7 and a Cornwall average of 45.4, it is clear that this balance is being very successfully struck at St Joseph’s.

St Joseph’s is a dynamic and forward-looking school with traditional values and results from Reception to Year 11 demonstrate the pupils’ engagement with all they do. Children’s wellbeing is at the heart of the school, and success is built on the fundamental belief that a child who is happy and safe will succeed – and we know that success takes many forms.

Confidence and happiness underpin the academic results, results that demonstrate the benefits of small class sizes where children are keen to learn from passionate, dedicated specialist teachers.

While Year 7 is currently full, places are available for September Year 7 2020, and we are taking registrations for our Reception Class 2020.

We are very aware that Early Years are vital to a child’s education, and the fact that in 2019 100% of pupils in the Early Years achieved the expected level across the five key areas – Reading, Writing, Speaking, Numbers and Shapes and Space – against the national average in writing of 72% shows the strength of the firm foundation for life that we build.

We take pride in the success of every child, whatever their ability or areas of strength. Their results, and the school’s performance, shows just how much pride the children take in their own results – and how well they work to achieve them.





We are delighted to announce St Joseph’s won two categories in the ISA National Art competition. A huge well done to Mrs Grigg, as both entries came from pupils she teaches in textiles. Liberty (Year 11 leaver 2019) won for her brilliant keepsake lampshade, and Alice (Year 10) for her Nuno Felted and Embellished Vessel. Both pieces showed real creativity, and both were very deserved winners. Seeing the winners’ tickets on these certainly put a huge smile on my face—well done to both girls. Mr Scott.

A Firm Foundation with St Joseph’s GCSE results.
Year 11 Students at St Joseph’s School in Launceston were celebrating another excellent set of GCSE results in 2019.
The results highlighted the remarkable academic achievements of the pupils at this leading non-selective Cornish independent school where small class sizes and excellent teaching saw 91% of grades at levels 4-9 and 89% of pupils gaining at least 5 grades at Level 4-9 including Maths and English.
This shows the strength of the school and the hard work of pupils who achieved such good grades. While staff were delighted to see fully 18% of grades at the new upper levels of 8 and 9 – an outstanding achievement by any measure – it was the success of every pupil that mattered to every teacher.
Headteacher Mr Oliver Scott said “St Joseph’s is a school where children of all abilities can flourish, and I am delighted to see so many success stories here today. I am very pleased indeed that under the tough new GCSE system we have seen year-on year improvement and we now have 37% of all results at grades 7-9, which is a great reflection on the staff and students here at our school.”
“It cannot be stated enough that leaving Year 11 is about more than GCSE grades – however good they may be – and it is the confidence the children gain through their time here, and the friendships they form that they take also with them into the wider world. I am immeasurably proud of all of our Year 11 pupils for everything they have done here at school, and we shall will miss every one of them a great deal.”
Whether joining in Reception like Nico Gruzdev or into Year 10 as was the case for Alec Macdonald, the results demonstrate the benefits St Joseph’s can provide for any pupil. This cohort of Year 11s had a reputation for being a strong team, and of working together to get the best out of one another.
Looking at the GCSEs achieved by the class of 2019, this certainly showed that the Firm Foundation for Life that the school aims to provide for every pupil has been built for each of those leaving St Joseph’s this summer.
Congratulations to our GCSE class of 2019.