The St Joseph's Experience...
Why choose St Joseph's Catholic Primary school for your child? There are so many reasons! But here we have highlighted 10 just to get you started.
In a world of data, we don’t want any child’s individuality to get lost. We focus on creating experiences for your child in which their individuality can unfold to reveal who they really are and who they wish to become. This starts in our excellent Early Years Provision and continues throughout their time with us.
Our Catholic ethos encourages pupils to be loving, kind and compassionate human beings. These universal principles help shape our pupils to be incredible people and we firmly believe that they are relevant to everyone, which is why we welcome and embrace children from all backgrounds. You and your child do not have to be Catholic to attend our school.
We want your child to be curious about the world around them and grow a love of learning. Igniting their passions inside and outside the classroom drives our curriculum.
This starts in EYFS with expansive, secluded play areas and carries on within our school grounds with our own Forest school outdoor wild area. It is a truly special space for children to develop! Visitors are always blown away by the safe, but spacious area our pupils have access to.
Beyond embracing the outside world, we specialise in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to prepare our pupils for the ever-changing modern world.
We want your child to experience variety as well as quality. As well as standard subjects, such as English, Art, History and Geography, our curriculum also includes Foreign Languages, Dance, Singing, Crafts and Computing.
We pride ourselves in offering an extremely well led EYFS provision, beginning in Little Joey’s, our onsite Nursery, and continuing into Reception.
Both Little Joey’s and Elm Class (Reception) have inspiring, well-resourced classrooms and share an extensive, self-contained, fully equipped outdoor play area.
The transition between Nursery and Reception is seamless. Pupils come together at various parts of the day, share all routines and are well prepared for the next stage in their learning.
The team, led by our knowledgeable Deputy Head and supported by a highly qualified Nursery Manager, ensure that expectations for our youngest learners are high. Small classes ensure that all pupils are supported and encouraged to achieve. This has seen us build a reputation for incredible EYFS provision and outcomes.
At St Joseph’s your child will be immersed in a highly literate environment. You will also find them building dens and cooking up treats in our school wild area!
We have our own STEM centre and work very closely with local STEM Ambassadors throughout the year for pupils in all classes. We believe that opportunities offered to pupils should be meaningful – after all, they are the future and they need to be prepared for a world of developing technology.
- EXTRAORDINARY EXTRA-CURRICULAR EXPERIENCES
At St Joseph’s, your child will have a wealth of clubs to choose from, which has included; fencing, archery, tennis, golf, Lego club, Forces Club, gymnastics, IRock and MFL (hopefully we will be starting Latin in the very near future!).
They will also attend a range of exciting trips and experiences, and it is very important to us to make these experiences meaningful. For example, pupils recently submitted plans and ideas to the Earthshot Prize (https://earthshotprize.org/) and received a letter back from Prince William.
We will soon be sporting a brand-new all-weather pitch which will further enhance our fantastic PE provision.
We have a range of young leaders which include:
- STEM Ambassadors
- Mini Vinnies (subset of the St Vincent de Paul Society)
- Anti Bullying Ambassadors
- Well-being Ambassadors
- Young Play Leaders.
All of our young leaders have roles to play in the school to improve relationships with the local and wider communities.
We support community events such as the Christmas Lantern display, Easter Art and Art displays and competition organised by the Town Council. We have an active sports programme delivered by our local secondary school and all pupils attend a range of sporting activities and events throughout the year.
- ENHANCE EXPERIENCES THROUGH RESEARCH-LED INITIATIVES
We strive to improve every aspect of your child's learning experience by engaging in meaningful action research. Some of our current schemes are:
- Park and Stride Scheme with Oxfordshire County Council: The aim is to encourage parents to drop their child off at a designated point and pupils then walk the short distance to school following road art and activities on the way. This encourages exercise but more importantly reduces the air pollution around the school.
- KIVA (https://www.kivaprogram.net/) : This aims to improve wellbeing, with a focus on using a wide range of concrete tools and materials for schools to tackle bullying.
- Biodiversity Project with the Royal Holloway University: To provide access to the school grounds over the summer holidays when schoolchildren are not present, so a RHUL researcher can measure the biodiversity. They hope to get a snapshot of the nature present in school grounds in the south of England and support schools to help them improve the biodiversity.
- CAREERS: PLOTTING FUTURE PATHWAYS
We believe that it is never too early to start getting our pupils to think about their futures!
Our small class sizes mean that teachers build up a unique insight and understanding of each child’s biography, talents, areas of interest and areas of need. This allows us to shape opportunities that will start to shape their aspirations.
Our careers work is supported by visits to colleges and universities, as well as question and answer time with a range of academics and professionals from a range of careers, which include GB athletes, doctors, pilots, scientists and authors.
Our aspiration is to have a programme in place for all Year 5 and 6 pupils which will encourage and support them in career choices throughout the last two years with us – ensuring that they have the expertise and experiences before they go to secondary school.
- PARTNERING WITH THE BEST
Our school is very proud of the links with local Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities along with very good links with our local Church (St Joseph's), local businesses, the Town Council and RAF Brize Norton and RAF Holton.
These partnerships see pupils benefit from a host of activities, from visiting local colleges to participating in STEM activities. We are fortunate that RAF Brize Norton and RAF Holton STEM Ambassadors are regular visitors to our school, they provide unique opportunities for further developing pupils’ learning.
Our links with the Town Council involve regular visits from the Mayor and we are currently working on developing community litter picks.
Pupils may join St Joseph’s from other schools at all ages – this is particularly true of our school as we are located very close to RAF Brize Norton. We have an excellent programme to support the well-being of all of our pupils with a trained child mental health worker, ELSA support, Rainbow support and support for our Forces pupils (Little Troopers).