Here at St Joseph’s the Firm Foundation we build really is For Life – and the friendships that are formed carry forward and are enduring. This was shown by a group of former pupils from the class of 2011/12, the antepenultimate all girls’ year group to leave St Joseph’s, many of whom were recently in touch to show that they remain firm friends.

During a weekend get together, the girls’ thoughts inevitably turned to place their friendship began, the classrooms, halls and playgrounds of St Joseph’s. As they reminisced about their time together, they decided to let us know they were thinking of their alma mater. And so, it was lovely to hear from these former pupils who left St Joseph’s in 2012. Lorna Marshall, Harriet Dawson, Hannah Routly, Lydia Uglow, Emily Kane, Naomi Gillies, Mica Sturdy, Sophie Clare, Laura Champ and Florence Pillman. They were a wonderful year group, and clearly had fond memories of their time together. In the words of the girls:

‘After leaving school in 2012 we all heading in different directions, however, we have managed to stay firm friends. This weekend 10 of us have managed to get together and we wanted to share this with you, as we have been reminiscing about our school days. Our year are the ones that donated the large clock (now seen in the dining room) as ‘the class that was always late!’ We have all been friends since meeting at St Joseph’s, some friendships were made as early as Year 3. Even though some of us get to regularly see each other, due to living in London, it’s not often we can get together. This weekend we have managed to organise a small reunion and 10 of us managed to make it. We had such a special weekend sharing memories about our time at St Joseph’s. We chatted about the adventures of our Duke of Edinburgh award with Mrs Gibson, choir performances with Mrs Mann, speech and drama with Mrs Hayward, history projects with Mrs White, story time with Mr Chalmers, rounders on the school field and some very long prize giving speeches. Attached is a picture from our weekend and here is a little bit of what we are all doing now!”

Harriet- Studying for a PhD in Earth Science at Imperial College London.
Lorna- A Norland Nanny in London
Laura- Currently a Vet at Castle Vets in Launceston.
Mica- The Host manager at Glazebrook House Hotel in Devon.
Lydia- A demi chef de parti working at ‘Pretty Sweet London’.
Hannah- A Seasonal ecologist
Naomi – Talent coordinator at MTV London
Sophie- A Marketing Events Officer in the Mayors’ office London.
Florence- A Civil servant in the Ministry Of Defence.
Emily- Graphic designer in Berlin.

Thank you for being in touch girls – it is wonderful to see the diverse carers you have followed after St Joseph’s. Please do keep in touch! If there are any other alumni getting together, or wanting to get in touch, please do let us know your news – we are always keen to hear what former pupils are up to in the world beyond St Jo’s.

 

It was fantastic to see two former St Joseph’s Head Pupils side by side in the waves recently as they taught surf skills to current St Joseph’s pupil Max Green. While Celyn Ensell-Bowen was Head Boy from 2015-2016, Beth Leighfield was Head Girl in 2014-2015 and it is very apparent that neither has lost the skills of empathy, communication and leadership that made them ideal choices for their prestigious positions as Heads of School.

Over the course of the summer holidays, both pupils have taken time out from their studies to coach surfing on the renowned Bude beaches. Mrs Green, mother to Max and current St Joseph’s parent as well as Head of Art, said that “It was rather special (to see them) as they are both previous Head Pupils and just thoroughly great role models.”

Beth is no stranger to the waves having twice been Under 18 Girls British Longboard Champion, as well as coming 4th in the Under 18 mixed English Nationals. Her love of the waves has even affected her place of study: she has transferred from St Andrews University to Exeter University’s Penryn campus in order to be closer to the best waves. Celyn’s love of the sea is evident too, as he is starting a Marine Photography degree at Falmouth University in the Autumn of 2018.

Both Beth and Celyn have worked all summer sharing their skills with the children of Bude and teaching countless holiday makers how to surf. Mr Oliver Scott, St Joseph’s Headmaster, said “It is always a pleasure to hear how well our Alumni conduct themselves. Beth and Celyn were a pleasure to teach, and I am delighted to hear of their current successes. They are a credit to themselves, and really demonstrate the values we speak of here at St Joseph’s. Well done to them both.”

St Joseph’s pupils past and (nearly) present were singing together for the First Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall last week as they took part in the BBC Proms Youth Choir. The girls had all been part of St Joseph’s prestigious Canzonetta choir during their time at St Joseph’s, and it was this experience that provided the platform for their selection as part of Cornwall Music Hub.

The girls taking part (L to R) were Naomi Gillies, Daisy Cooper, Florence Losasso, Hannah Carnegie and Rosanna Rowe, with Frankie Gilbert kneeling. Naomi left St Joseph’s in 2012, Hannah in 2013, Frankie in 2014, Daisy and Flo in 2015 while Rosanna left just this summer. They said of St Joseph’s highly renowned former Director of Music, Mrs Elisabeth Mann and her husband Jonathan “We all want to say a big thank you to you and Mr Mann, none of us would be here tonight if it wasn’t for you and our Canzonetta experiences!”

The BBC Proms Youth Choir recruits up to 350 young singers from various choirs and music hubs from every corner of the UK, who then rehearse in their local areas with their own leaders across the year.

As the performance approaches, the BBC holds a four-day intensive rehearsal residency: this year, 2017 the Proms Youth Choir is made up of singers from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Choir, University of Birmingham Voices, selected singers from the Cornwall Music Hub, the Black Country Music Education Hubs and the London-based Proms Youth Choir Academy.

Rosanna Rowe added “It was a wonderful experience. I’ve learnt so much… I don’t know if you know John Adams’ Harmonium or not but when you hear you’ll realise how crazy it is. Both time and key signature changes nearly every bar and the rhythms are just obscure! Not to mention how high it is…it was intense but great fun. It also splits into 12 different parts so you have to concentrate like mad. I sung 1st Soprano. Flo and Daisy were 2nd Sopranos and Frankie, Hannah and Naomi were Altos. It’s been a massive challenge but I’ve definitely learnt a lot!”

Very well done to all the girls involved, and to Mrs and Mr Mann for their work with the choirs over the years. With the appointment of Mr Peter de Blois as St Joseph’s new Director of Music, all involved in the school look forward to a bright musical future for the school.

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St Joseph’s School, Launceston have been celebrating its centenary this year. The celebrations began in March 2015 when the school held a service at The Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene where pupils and staff joined together for songs, readings and prayers.

Over the first weekend of July crowds of people joined the celebrations at St Joseph’s School, marking the school’s 100th anniversary. Current pupils, past pupils, families, staff, Governors and friends all attended the celebrations making the weekend one to remember.

On Friday 3rd July past pupils and staff were welcomed to the school to enjoy a trip down memory lane. Reuniting with old friends, touring the school and meeting the pupils, all whilst enjoying a cream tea. Visitors had the chance to reflect on their time at St Joseph’s and enjoyed a display of old photographs and uniform kindly organised by the current librarian Mrs Kathryn Warren. It was lovely to see so many former pupils come back and tell their stories.

On Saturday 4th July the weather was extremely kind and the school was buzzing with families and friends of St Joseph’s. The day started with music by Company B, a 7 piece jump jive band followed by the school band which included the talented Zola Courtney-Bridgey, Celyn Ensell-Bowen and teacher Mike Osborne.

Specially arranged train rides took place throughout the day on the Launceston Steam Railway courtesy of Deputy Head Teacher Lis Mann and her husband Jonathan.

There were tug of war competitions, cricket matches and an Alumni netball match which took place on the school’s new all-weather pitch.

Throughout the day, there was lots going on for all the family including school tours, face painting, circus skills, games, beer tent, BBQ, food stalls, to name a few. Something for everyone! Special thanks go to all those who helped make the event possible, Governors, staff and parents.

Later in the afternoon after Lis Mann had finished her train duties, she organised a Chamber Choir reunion in the marquee on the school field which was wonderful. A huge gathering of past and current pupils got together to sing some of their favourite songs.

The day events finished with an exciting duck race in the River Kensey!

The Friends of St Joseph’s School then took over the marquee and with a quick transformation the Centenary Ball took place! The marquee looked fabulous and the sun was still shining which meant arrival drinks could take place outside enjoying the view of the river. The silent auction and tree of promises was a huge success raising over £3,500 for the school. Thank you to all the local businesses who donated to this event. A special thank you must go to parent Sally Harvey who organised the event with her small team of volunteers.

Things have changed considerably at St Joseph’s over those 100 years and as part of the celebration we asked past pupils, present pupils and staff for their thoughts about ‘What St Joseph’s School means to me’ here are a few of the quotes;

Past pupil Di Snow: ‘I have very happy memories and I have St Joseph’s to thank for making me the independent person I am today’

Year 11 pupil Zola: ‘St Joseph’s has been my home for the past 13 years. It is a place where I have learned who I am, and has taught me everything I know. It has always supported me and for that I will be forever grateful. The people at St Joseph’s are my family and I will be sad leaving them behind when I start the next chapter of my life.’

Year 9 pupil Robert: ‘St Joseph’s is a place where everyone is treated equally and there is a special link between students, teachers and parents, which makes it a very safe and friendly place to be. All of the teachers want us to succeed in whatever we do.

Staff member Ruth: ‘I’m very lucky: I love coming to work. The umbrella of friendliness and kindness combined with hearing the children’s laughter makes it a fab place to be.’

The school would like to thank all who were involved in the celebrations and those who attended. We hope that the school will continue to thrive and go from strength to strength. More photos to follow soon…