St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy
|Motto||Per Crucem Vincemus
("Through the cross we shall conquer")
|Headteacher||Mr Kevin Higgins|
|DfE URN||141470 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
St John Fisher was opened in 1958 under the trusteeship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds to serve Catholics living in Dewsbury, Batley and the surrounding areas. It was reorganised in 1974 and the Sixth Form was added in 1979.
The school, an 11–19 mixed Roman Catholic secondary school, has about 1200 pupils on roll, including 200 in the sixth form. It has also been a specialist Sports College since 2005. The school's headteacher at 2013 is Kevin Higgins.
St John Fisher, built at a cost of was £225,000, was designed to accommodate 500 pupils of secondary modern standard. George Dwyer, Bishop of Leeds, opened the school in 1958 to provide a Roman Catholic education to the children of the Heavy Woollen District. In 1958 the initial intake of pupils included children from St Joseph's (Batley Carr), St Mary's, St Paulinus, St Patrick's (Birstall) and Holy Spirit (Heckmondwike). In 1974, an all-ability comprehensive intake was granted. After a campaign by governors, staff and parents, a Sixth Form was added.
St John Fisher celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2008. This was marked by a number of special events, such as an open-air mass, a festival of sport and various pilgrimages by the different year groups in school.
In the GCSE results of 2009, 75% of students attained 5 A*-C grades, the highest percentage ever achieved by the school. However, only 38% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics, ranking St John Fisher 16th out of the 25 maintained secondary schools in Kirklees for this measure.
Motto and Logo
The school motto is "Per Crucem Vincemus", Latin for "through the cross we shall conquer" (though the school no longer offers either Latin or classics as a subject). The logo is a red and white shield with a green fish in front of it. The motto is always written beneath it.
The school holds a presentation evening each October, hosted by a local dignitary. At this ceremony, pupils are presented with awards for outstanding achievement or effort within school. The school performs a Nativity at Christmas and a Crucifixion at Good Friday, both outside the United Reformed Church in Dewsbury.
St John Fisher changed its uniform in 2009 as part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations. Both boys and girls wear white shirts, grey jumper, black blazer, trousers and tie, with black shoes and socks. Younger girls can wear grey skirts, and older, black. PE kits for both sexes consist of a red and black rugby shirt for outdoor, white polo shirt for indoor, both with black shorts and either white trainers or football boots. There is no Sixth Form uniform.
The Sixth Form is now in its 27th year. Although religious criteria apply to lower school admissions, the Sixth Form considers all applications and offers BTEC First Awards to those not achieving sufficient GCSE grades to study at A-Level. Sixth Form A-Level curriculum includes the humanities, sciences, ITC, music, visual arts and design, PE, and Business Studies. Particular to St John Fisher at A-Level is Theology, Theatre Studies, Psychology and Law.
The Sixth Form is also responsible for electing the male and female School Presidents.
Notable former pupils
- Arthur Roche — Bishop of Leeds
- Francis Cummins — rugby player for Leeds Rhinos
- Matt Diskin — rugby player for Leeds Rhinos, & played internationally for Great Britain & England
- Victoria O'Keefe (1969–1990) — stage and film actor best known for playing nuclear war survivor Jane Beckett in made-for-TV movie "Threads" (1984).
- "St John Fisher Catholic High School" School Prospectus, p.18. Retrieved 13 March 2012;
- St John Fisher School Journal
- "Secondary schools in Kirklees", BBC News, 13 January 2010; retrieved 4 November 2013.
- "URN 141470 St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy: Links". Edubase2. Department for Education. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- School Uniform and Appearance
- "Bishop Arthur comes home". Dewsbury Reporter. 20 September 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Rodillian realise their dream". The Yorkshire Post. 17 November 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Matt's love match". Yorkshire Evening Post. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "Edited newspaper articles from 1990". www.victoriaokeefe.co.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2016.