St Joseph’s College is celebrating after achieving the top rating possible from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) for its EYFS, Prep School, Senior School, Sixth Form and Boarding. The Ofsted equivalent for the independent sector, ISI has awarded the ‘excellent’ designation across both mandatory inspection judgement areas: the quality of pupils’ achievement and the quality of pupils’ personal development.
Following the three-day focused compliance and education quality inspection in March 2019, the report commends areas across the school, from academic achievement, teachers’ subject knowledge and student’ study skills to the pupils’ self-discipline and their social awareness.
Mrs Clarke, Principal of St Joseph’s College, said the inspectors’ response had left everyone feeling elated.
‘This report is a tribute to our staff and students. We are absolutely delighted to have received such a tremendous endorsement of the work of St Joseph’s College, whose ethos, mission and modus operandi the inspection team clearly understood. We are determined to recognise the individuality of every child and offer all a superb educational experience…and we are excelling.’
One of many glowing commendations Mrs Clarke particularly valued was a key finding on the pupils’ personal development: ‘Pupils display strong moral values and a mature awareness of right and wrong which goes beyond their years.’
Inspectors praised the excellent progress made by pupils of all ages, both academically and in sporting, musical, artistic and cultural arenas, concluding, ‘This is because the school fulfils its ambitious aim to “meet the needs of each pupil’s mind, body, heart and spirit” very effectively, so that pupils receive a genuinely holistic education which enables them to become successful learners in all they undertake.’
Praise extends to all age groups at St Joseph’s College, which caters for children and young people from 3 to 18 years-of-age. ISI reports: ‘Prep school pupils demonstrate very good skills, knowledge and understanding across all areas of learning… Even the youngest children concentrate very well on activities independently because they are encouraged to explore and find things out for themselves.’
The report acknowledged that: ‘Pupils succeed very well in examinations because they prepare thoroughly’. The findings chime well with the 2019 Department for Education School Performance Tables which rank the College as the highest achieving school in Ipswich for progress at A-level; St Joseph’s is graded ‘well above average’ for A-level achievement, with a score of 0.37: one of only two educational establishments in Suffolk to earn that designation.
‘It is gratifying to know that the hard-work and commitment of the staff shone through for the inspectors as it does for me throughout the academic year. I could not be prouder,’ Mrs Clarke added.