St Joseph's College, Reading

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St Joseph's College
St Josephs College Reading logo.png
Motto Optima Deo
Established 1910
Type Independent day school
Religion Catholic
Headmaster Mr Andrew Colpus
Founder Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel
Location Upper Redlands Road
England Coordinates: 51°26′47″N 0°56′54″W / 51.44645°N 0.94831°W / 51.44645; -0.94831
Local authority Reading
DfE number 870/6002
DfE URN 110111 Tables
Students 320~
Gender Co-educational
Ages 3–18
Houses Bernadette, Clitherow, Postel
Colours Black     
Diocese Portsmouth

St Joseph's College (formerly St Joseph's Convent School) is a coeducational independent day school in Reading, Berkshire, England. In September 2010, it changed its name to St Joseph's College to reflect the move into co-education. The junior section is known as St Joseph's Preparatory School.

It was a member of the Girls' Schools Association until the move into coeducation. The head is now a member of the Society of Headmasters & Headmistresses of Independent Schools.


St Joseph's Convent School was founded in 1910 by the Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel, whose aim was to provide a good education in a warm and loving atmosphere. Julie Frances Catherine Postel was born in Barfleur, France in 1756 and was a pioneer in education, basing her teaching on the De La Salle method. She took the name Marie Madeleine after being made a superior, died in 1846 and was canonised in 1925. [1]

The Sisters continued to run the school until 1981 when the Rev. Mother Provincial decided that because of the changing role of the Sisters, the school should close. However, after intervention by the Parents’ Association and with the co-operation of the Superior General, the school was able to continue as an educational trust whose members form the governing body. The first lay headmistress was appointed in 1981.[2]

In September 2009, the board of governors voted for the school to become a fully co-educational school after initially introducing boys to the preparatory school. St Joseph's Convent School became St Joseph's College in September 2010 to reflect this change.[3]


During the first three years at the school, pupils study Mathematics, English, Modern and Classical Languages, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Design and Technology, including Textiles, Food and Information Technology, Music, Drama and Physical Education. In Years 10 and 11 students are prepared for public examinations.

They all study the core subjects of Mathematics, English, Science and Religious Studies, with up to four further subjects chosen from option groups. Accelerated teaching also leads to many pupils being entered early for GCSE English. Pupils are guided carefully at all stages, particularly in their selection of GCSE options during Year 9 and sixth form options in the course of Year 11

Pastoral Care[edit]

The School Council consist of pupils elected by their year group to represent them in all aspects of pupil life within the College. Each meeting is chaired by the Head pupils. Every pupil belongs to one of the three houses: Bernadette Isidore, Clitherow Jude and Augustine Postel.[4]


Pupils are encouraged to be involved in a wide variety of activities and non-academic pursuits. A wide range of clubs and societies are open to all pupils throughout the College. Many take place during the lunch break and include string and brass groups, windbands, recorder groups, choir, swimming, theatre studies, computing and a variety of sports. There are opportunities to be involved in the community through Young Enterprise, CAFOD and OXFAM.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Attwater, D. (1965) The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. Harmondsworth: Penguin; p. 237
  2. ^ 2009 ISI Inspection Report
  3. ^ "St Joseph's Goes Co-Ed". St Joseph's College website. 
  4. ^ "St Joseph's College". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 

External links[edit]