United, we will provide an outstanding learning environment for the children in our care. Our aim is to help nurture these children through a creative and intellectually rigorous curriculum to enable them to grow into independent and motivated learners. We will ensure that all children, of every ability level, will be supported and challenged to attain their potential. The skills and talents of each child will be celebrated and nourished; they will leave us confident and fully prepared to succeed in their secondary education. No child will be left behind. We will strive to be excellent teachers and team members who are reflective and honest in constantly seeking to learn and improve our performance so that pupils at St Joseph’s receiving an exceptional education.
No-one came into teaching to get rich. We come to work in a job where what you do matters – we came to make a difference, a positive difference. And we can make the biggest difference in an area where the children need us the most.
Taking into account crime, housing, income, unemployment and health, Southwark is one of the most deprived boroughs in the country. Without looking to generalise or patronise, a higher proportion of our children come from households facing severe challenges than one would expect nationally.
The difficulties of dealing with these challenges are surely balanced by the knowledge that our efforts are worthwhile. Nevertheless, those challenges are very real. Some of our children do not receive the support they need. Consequently, we have to ensure that these children do not get left behind – not one of them.
If a child leaves Year 6 without a fundamental understanding of how to learn or indeed without a sufficient level of literacy or maths, the reality is that they face an enormous challenge to access the secondary curriculum. Some will inevitably become disillusioned and eventually decide that school is simply not for them. It is why we, as St Joseph’s teachers, strive continuously to ensure our children make progress – making the learning accessible in all areas of the curriculum. These daily positive interventions add up cumulatively to a child making progress and raising their self-esteem.
Challenging all our children to reach their potential in all subjects is fundamental to what we are, indeed who we are as a school. No one gets written off. We can be justifiably proud of the fact that our children make outstanding progress.
When we analyse our three-year trend, we know that the bare statistics are made up of cohorts of individuals with different skills, talents, laughs. Children who have been with us for up to eight years. And we can be satisfied in the knowledge that we did our best to ensure that they did their best – every one of them.