St John's College, Portsmouth
|Motto||Per Laborem Ad Honorem
(Through work to honour)
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Principal||Mr. Graham Best BA (Hons)|
|Chairman of Governors||Mr. Timothy Forer BA (Hons)|
|Location||Grove Road South
|Colours||Gold and Blue|
|Former pupils||Old Johannians|
|Affiliation||The Society of Heads and La Sallian educational institutions|
|Publications||Cover to Cover; Inform|
St John's College, often abbreviated to SJC, is an independent day and boarding school located in Southsea, Hampshire, England. It was founded by the De La Salle brothers in 1908 and it continues to retain their Christian values. St John's provides a Senior School, incorporating a sixth form college, with usual entry at 11+ ;13+; and 16 +; a preparatory Junior School for children between the ages of 5 and 11; and ‘Little St John’s’ for children aged 2 to 5. All sections of the College share the same campus.
The Principal of St John's College is Mr. Graham Best. The Headmaster of the Junior School is Mr. Tony Shrubsall BA, MA and the Headmaster of the Senior School is Mr. Tim Bayley, BSc, MA.
St John's College was founded in Southsea, Portsmouth in 1908 by the De La Salle Brothers as an independent boys' school. The founding headmaster was Brother Firme of Quiévy. The Catholic De La Salle Brothers supported the ethos and ideals of Saint John Baptist De La Salle, the patron saint of teachers, and the Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
St John's moved to its current site in 1912. On 28 May 1912 Edmond Brunher, Superior General of the Order, countersigned the conveyance of Grove House (known today as the Castle) and Warleigh House. The College has subsequently purchased other properties in its vicinity, settling the entire urban campus. There has been a School Chapel on the site since 1913. St John's Gazette was founded in 1915 (known today as Cover to Cover).
During World War One, 119 pupils joined the Armed Forces to defend their country. Twelve did not return. Between 1928 and 1929, the WW1 memorial and St John Baptist De La Salle statue were both unveiled in the College grounds.
An application to the College of Arms for the school crest was granted in the early 1930s. The five pointed star represents the Lasallian Order, the position of St John's by the sea is affirmed by the six waves.
Portsmouth was subjected to many enemy air-raids in World War Two and the College suffered extensive damage. During the war years the College established a sister school in Hassocks, Sussex, where boarders were evacuated away from the bombing in Southsea. Some 53 Johannians lost their lives in the service of their country, including former School Captain and Captain of Cricket, Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald. The Roll of Honour of 1914-1918 had a much lengthier list added to it, and a further memorial board to the Old Johannians who lost their lives is now maintained by the school. Every Remembrance Day the names on the memorial are read out by the staff and pupils.
Shortly after the war the College began to rebuild itself, and in 1945 St John's College Sixth Form was founded. The site continued to advance from 1958 to 1968 with the opening of the Jubilee block on the College's 50th anniversary. A parent-teacher association was formed in 1962.
Following a trend set by many independent boys' schools, girls were admitted into the sixth form in 1971. The College did not became fully coeducational until 1996. In 2008 St John's celebrated its Centenary.
In 2015 the College announced that it would be ending some of its affiliations with the La Sallian educational institutions, but would continue to observe Christian principles and traditions.
St John's is split into four sections: a Junior School (with Little St John's Nursery) for children aged between 2 and 11; a Senior School for children 11 to 16; a Sixth Form College for students studying for their A-Levels; and a Boarding School for children aged 9 to 18 from the UK and overseas.
St John's structures its years into a House system. For the Senior School currently there are four houses: Leo, Edwin, Alan and Damian all named after notable Brothers who have served as Headmaster over the years. In the Junior School they have different names for the houses including: Castle, Woodleigh, St Anne's and School. The College fosters this system by encouraging inter-house activities such as house 5-a-side matches, house music, house drama and other house based competitions. Points from each of these are tallied and at the end of each academic year a trophy is awarded to the house with the highest score. A similar system exists on the academic side with the Warren Trophy. Conduct card points can also be gained for good behaviour, uniform and manners. An annual speech night and prize giving ceremony takes place each summer.
St John's College is a member of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools and the The Society of Heads. Following its November 2014 inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, Little St John's provision in Early Years was judged to be Outstanding in all areas.
Both the junior and senior schools offer a variety of extra-curricular activities and after-school clubs. These include: a string ensemble and wind band; Girls' Choir; Drama Club; Science Club; Design and Tech Club; and Art Club; together with Scrabble and Chess Clubs. Some of these clubs can date their history at the College back to the 1920s and 1930s.
Annual foreign exchange trips take place with schools in Paris and Spain, and each year the College organises a ski-trip for students.
SJC is also an active participant in the inter-schools Rock Challenge, for which in 2015 it won 6 awards. The College also has a Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, organising an annual expedition for participating students.
The Politics Society
The Politics Society at SJC was founded in 1977. The founder, Mr Bernard Black (1934–2013), was Head of Political Studies from 1977 to 1999. Speakers have included Baroness Thatcher, Harold Wilson (former President of the Society), Tony Benn, Enoch Powell, Rowan Williams – former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Douglas Hurd (a President of the Society), Nigel Farage MEP, former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, former Green Party leader – Caroline Lucas MP, Theresa May MP – Home Secretary; and the Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti CBE.
The Chapel Choir
The St John's College choir can date its roots back to the 1940s when the choir was said to be 50 strong and performed in local churches and Hampshire music festivals, under first the musical direction of Mr John Deegan until 1948 and then Mrs Helen Dyer, who remained choir mistress for the next 25 years. By the 1950s it had attracted national recognition and had performed both at the Weslyan Central Hall and also the BBC's Lime Grove studios.
SJC's traditional robed Chapel Choir was reformed in September 2009. Provision is made for 24 choristers for boys aged between 8 and 14 years old. The Choristers are led by a Head and Deputy Head Chorister and six Senior Choristers. In addition there are 18 Choral Scholars aged 15–18 who sing the alto, tenor and bass parts.
By the end of 2014 the Choir had been on 24 tours, to nine different countries and performed in 56 different cathedrals worldwide. As well as giving many performances at St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth, the St John's Chapel Choir has been "choir-in-residence" at St Paul's Cathedral and St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. In 2011 the choristers toured France singing at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. In 2012 the choir toured Italy, with the choir leading the Pontifical Sunday morning Mass in the Vatican as well as singing at an Audience with the Pope. In the summer of 2013 the choir sang at the main Sunday Mass in the National Basilica of Belgium. In 2014 the choir toured Europe again, singing at the Sunday morning Mass in St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.
Within the College grounds there is a sports centre containing a multi-purpose hall for badminton, basketball, volleyball and cricket nets, together with squash courts and a climbing wall. Outside there is an all-weather astro-turf pitch.
The school also owns some 40 acres of sports grounds at Farlington (known as "Fields"), which include tennis courts, cricket, football and rugby pitches, as well as a pavilion. The school sometimes uses the HMS Temeraire grounds, and sports facilities offered by the University of Portsmouth. A number of pupils who are county level, equivalent or higher are currently part of the student body.
Each school term focuses on a different sport. The boys compete in rugby union, field hockey and cricket, whilst the girls play netball, field hockey and rounders. St John's College has a long-standing rivalry on the sports pitch with Portsmouth Grammar School.
There has been an annual sports day at St John's College since 1918.
St John's ex-students formed the Old Johannians in 1919, first as an Old Boys' Club, then in 1925 as the Old Johannian Association:
In 1927 St. John's Gazette published St John's first school song, which later provided a resonance at Old Johannian Annual Dinners:
The School! The School! The School! And all who love its story! The School! The School! The School! Its name – its fame – its glory! O'er land and sea, Right royally, We'll bear its golden rule – And now with me give – THREE TIMES THREE! The School! The School! The School!
After World War 2, on 12 January 1946, the Association held a Victory Reunion Dinner, attended by some 100 Old Johannians, the majority still in uniform.
Sir Alec Rose accepted honorary membership of the Old Johannian Association before his single-handed circumnavigation of the globe in 1967-8 and attended the OJ golden jubilee dinner and dance upon his return.
The Association continues to run several gatherings each year, notably the AGM and Dinner held on the first Saturday after Easter, and a golf tournament.
Notable former pupils
- BBC newsreader George Alagiah
- Alastair Appleton, TV presenter
- Tomasz Schafernaker, BBC weather presenter
- Alfie Allen, actor, including Game of Thrones; brother of Lily Allen; son of Keith Allen and Alison Owen
- Anthony Minghella, CBE, film director (1954-2008). Oscar winner: The English Patient, Oscar nominee: The Talented Mr Ripley, The Reader
- Garrick Palmer English painter and wood engraver
- John Windsor-Cunningham, actor and acting coach. Currently lives in New York City
- Christopher Logue, CBE, English poet [d.2011]
- Duncan Kennedy, BBC news reporter and presenter
- Barry Perowne novelist, best known for continuing the A. J. Raffles series, OJ 1916, (d. 1990)
- Mike Hugg founding member of the 1960s group Manfred Mann
- The Rt Hon Sir Ian Burnett (Lord Justice Burnett), School Captain 1975-6, called to the Bar in 1980, appointed to the High Court in 2008 and promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2014
- Former Black Rod, Lieutenant General Sir Michael Willcocks
- Kevin Fitzgerald CMG, MA (Oxon) Head Boy 1978, honoured for ‘services to British economic interests’ in the Queen’s Birthday 2013 Honours List. Chief Executive of the Copyright Licensing Agency
- Dr James "Tommy" Oliver, research scientist, ichthyologist, Hydrologist to the Royal Zoological Society, Chairman, Old Johannians, 1927 (d. 1962)
- Sean Hughes (politician) former MP, a British history teacher and Labour politician (d. 1990)
- Norman Cole (politician), RN, MP, entered Parliament in 1951 as Liberal and Conservative member for the South Division of Bedfordshire (d.1979)
- Tom McDonald OBE, First Johannian to be admitted to the Order of the British Empire (OJ 1911), former Diplomatic Corps career: British Embassy, Nanking, China
- Lt Colonel Dr Harry Mulvany RAMC, medical officer in charge of RMS Queen Mary during her service as a troopship in the North Atlantic. Brother of:
- Dr Desmond Mulvany KStG; KM, FRCS, British physician, Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory; Knight of Malta.
- Eric Taplin, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth 1975, OJ 1914-1920, Freeman of the City of London
- Andy Herries, Archaeologist, Palaeoanthropologist and Discipline Author notable for providing some of the first dates for our early human ancestors in South Africa
- Anthony Cleland Welch, OBE, UK-based former soldier, UN official, politician and academic
- Michael Hosking British educated entrepreneur and Far East concert promoter
- A. Hugh Olson Sheriff of the City of London 1974
- Professor Brian Burley B.Sc. (London), M.Sc. (British Columbia), Ph.D. (McGill) former Professor of Mineralogy McMaster University Ontario
- Gerald Gregory-Jones, former CEO at British Universities Sports Association, OJ 1954 – 1963, Rowing (School Colours), Rugby (House Colours), Chairman Debating Society
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, football player for Arsenal F.C. and England.
- Lawrence Prittipaul, former Hampshire county cricketer and holder of the highest SJC 20-over batting total
- Steve Foster, football player for Portsmouth F.C., Aston Villa F.C., and England.
- Ron Newman (footballer) former association football player and coach. Member of the US National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Darryl Powell former Premier League footballer, played international football for Jamaica, World Cup France 98, MD sports management company
- Mike Tremlett, America's Cup yachtsman, 1958
- Richard Utley OBE, former Hampshire cricketer who made his first-class debut in 1927
- Keith Paul, 505 (dinghy) World Champion, 1962
- David Pyle, Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race 1968; yachtsman who sailed a Drascombe on the longest journey undertaken in a small open sailing boat; author Australia the Hard Way
- Ian and Bill Tremlett, World Champions, 1968 Tornado World Championships (William Tremlett, School Captain 1962-3)
- Major-General William Ritchie, CB, CBE, Legion of Merit (US), Chairman, Old Johannians, 1922 and 1930
- Col. Sir Ronald Gardner-Thorpe, GBE TD JP (1917 –1991), Lord Mayor of London 1980, was a British company director, Liberal Party politician and treasurer. Chairman, Old Johannians, 1961
- Commander Rodney Flynn, RN, former sub treasurer of the Inner Temple, 1978
- Colonel Jean Demozay, DSO, la legion d'honneur, compagnon de la liberation (1915-1945), OJ 1931[better source needed]
- Colonel Raymond Powell, OBE, MC, Old Johannian vice-chairman, d.2000
- Lieutenant (A) J Pratt, MBE, RN, La Croix de Guerre
- Colonel Steve Wood, Director of Military Intelligence, India 1947
- Brigadier Denis O'Flaherty CBE, DSO, Bronze Cross (USA), High Commission Canada (OJ 1933-1939) d.1980
- Captain Francis Downer DSC, RD, RN, HMS Monserrat
- Lieutenant-Colonel Paddy Doyle MC
- Commander J Golby, OBE, RN
- Lt Colonel Donald Campling, RA, Member of the British Military Mission, Paris
- Lt Colonel J Colquhoun, MBE
- Squadron-Leader T E Cooke, DFC, Air Force Cross, DFM
- Squadron-Leader D H Beckett, OBE, RAF
- Lt Commander Monty Carss, DSC, RN
- Group Captain Hugh 'Peggy' O'Neill, DFC (with a rare Second Award Bar), Atlantic Star Medal, Africa Star Medal, RAF. Brother of:
- Group Captain Tony O'Neill, DFC, RAF, first British air attaché to the state of Israel (d.2008)
For more information on St John's College Alumni, please see: 
- A Christian School
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.26
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, page 23
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.76
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, Ch.9 p.114
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.111
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.175
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.73
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.202
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.43
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.59
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.69
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.133
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.198
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.30, 172
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.59
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.57, 172
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.141
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.27, 105
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.90, 181
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.53
- fr:Jean Demozay#Biographie
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.57
- Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.106, 244
- All Forces ref: Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974