Well done to all those St Joseph’s pupils who competed at the ISA National Championships this weekend – a wonderful example of pupils competing at an extremely high level for their school. Having won through the ISA South West qualifiers, the team took to the road to compete in London – and came home with two gold medals, courtesy of Olivia Shute in Year 7.
Olivia managed to achieve the exceptional double of the Year 7 50 metre Backstroke title, along with the 50 metre Freestyle title. That she was able to achieve so highly was quite remarkable given the level of the competition, and a credit to the time and dedication she puts into her training and swimming out of school. She was not the only Shute to have medal success, however, as her younger sister Hollie was a key member of the squad that won Bronze for the South West in the 4x50m Freestyle category – a wonderful tribute to the sisters’ talent in the swimming pool.
As always, it is never just about those who step onto the podium, but about every member of the team, and qualification for the National Championships is a great achievement in itself, and one we will mark in the summer’s prize giving events. Very well done to Harrison Shaw, Ella Henry-Brock, Thomas Greet, Theo Marshall, Louisa Smith, Sapphire Bhatti, Marlo Downs and Jack Joshua, all of whom represented both St Joseph’s and the South West in the water.
Headteacher Mr Scott said “It is wonderful to see sporting success at such a level. Following our recent national success in the ISA Art Competition, it shows just what a standard the children here can reach. All of our swimmers have all done exceptionally well to qualify, and for Olivia and Hollie to gain the medals they have is just brilliant. Well done – very few children can say they are double ISA National title winners and it is a great achievement for Olivia to join such a select band. Very well done to all – everyone at St Joseph’s is very proud of them.”
Community and partnership are key values at St Joseph’s School, Launceston and all involved in the Junior School are delighted this has now been recognised on the national stage with a nomination for Excellence and Innovation in Partnership at the Independent School’s Association Annual Awards.
St Joseph’s is one of only three schools to have made the final in this important category, one that shows both the value Independent Schools can bring to their community, and the value of working with others. The nomination recognises the hard work of the teaching and non-teaching staff in engaging with the local community, and working far beyond the classroom.
The school has worked hard over the past year to increase community access to resources and talents during the school day and beyond, something that is set to develop further in the coming year. Stand and Play, managed by the outstanding Mrs Hampton, has become a highly popular addition to the community offering for pre-school children, and allows children to develop in the outdoor setting of the orchard and outdoor classroom. Meanwhile, use of the school mini buses, hosting multi-skills and pre-school sports days and hosting maths teaching workshops, as well as science outreach and MFL offerings are key to community involvement.
Seeing the maturity with which Year 6 help children from local preschools and younger primary children at these events has been inspirational.
Headteacher Mr Scott said “I am delighted to see the hard work of so many outstanding members of staff recognised with this nomination. Whether we win at the Awards Ceremony or not, it is a credit to the willingness of those involved with St Joseph’s to go that extra mile that is recognised here. Well done to everyone involved. My thanks to the good people at the Independent Schools Association for recognising their hard work and passion.”
There was much delight at St Joseph’s, Launceston as GCSE results were published to pupils and a fantastic 85% of pupils achieved the equivalent of 5 9-4 or A*-C including Maths and English despite the huge national overhaul of examinations and the move to what are held to be the toughest GCSE examinations the system has seen.
Pupils at the non-selective Cornish school showed no sign in letting the new “Gold Standard” GCSEs prevent them from finding success: fully 35% of grades were at Grade 7 or above or at A and A* – a wonderful achievement demonstrating the benefits of small class sizes, excellent teachers and a positive learning environment. The national average for these higher grades was just above 20%.
Amid many individual success stories, some really stood out for both boys and girls, with 9s, 8s and 7s across many subjects. It was very pleasing to see the national picture of boys’ success reflected at St Joseph’s, but with continued very strong performance by the girls.
Meanwhile, one pupil who had been at St Joseph’s since Reception class in 2006 did everyone proud: a wonderful collection of results showing the benefits of an all-through education. With so many pupils having come from the Junior school these were successes for everyone at St Joseph’s to celebrate.
Headmaster Mr Oliver Scott said “It is a real strength of ours that as an Independent School, we are able to focus our resources according to the needs of each cohort, and to support a wide range of subjects, allowing children every possibility of success. There has been a suggestion that reforms have led to reduced subject choice for students and a decline in creative arts and technology entries, and I am delighted this has not been the case here at St Joseph’s.
We offer a full range of subjects, from the arts to the sciences and everywhere in between, and the pupils’ successes across the curriculum show just how important this is. I firmly believe that the confidence, self-belief and sense of self that a pupil gains during their time here at St Joseph’s is such an important aspect of the St Joseph’s experience, and these underpin the excellent academic performances we have seen this year.”
“Our children are drawn from across Cornwall and Devon, and represent the full ability range. While the 7s, 8s and 9s may make the headlines, there are individual success stories at all levels, and we must not forget that so much effort has been put in by pupils for whom examination success is not easy.”
“There is a clear argument that the changes the Government has made may disadvantage some pupils, however I and all staff take great pride in every one of their accomplishments. It is a great strength of the school that these children – some of whom have been here nearly all of their lives – can grow into the young people we celebrate today through their experiences of the vibrant, happy and caring school our ethos describes. I am proud of every one of these children, and look forward to September when we begin the next chapter of the St Joseph’s story.”
After a successful performance at Exeter Arena for the South West ISA Athletics, St. Joseph’s had an impressive 15 students qualifying to represent the SW team at the national event at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. Our pupils competed in a range of track and field events and joined up with pupils from other schools to form relay teams. The conditions were perfect in comparison to previous years of either heavy rain or hot sunshine; all of our pupils performed fantastically in their events and should be very proud of their achievements.
A special well done to three pupils who won medals in their events, they were presented their medals by two British Olympic Athletes Jo Mersh and Martyn Bernard.
Ella Henry-Brock won Bronze in the Year 8/9 girls Javelin and threw a distance of 24.99m. Ella’s biggest success of the day was her high jump in which she became a National Champion, with a winning jump of 1.55m.
Lucas Drayton won silver in the Year 8/9 long jump where he jumped 5.61m, the winner had jumped 2cm more than Lucas to steal first place; a very close competition!
Harrison Shaw, our youngest member for the team, competed in the Year 4 boys group. Harrison was a key member for the relay team who performed strongly together finishing in second place and taking home the silver medal.
Well done to all of those pupils who competed and thank you for the support from parents. We are very proud of not only their performances, but also their determination and fantastic attitudes they displayed whilst representing St. Joseph’s School.
Harrison Shaw, Sam Thomas, Lowen Courtney-Bridgey, Thomas Harris, Louisa Smith, Robert Rosevear, Florence Scard-Morgan, Lucas Drayton, Will Collings, Kellen Lincoln, Pippi Harris, Daniella Stevens, Ella Henry-Brock, Chloe Smith and Hermione Hartigan