Our Distinctive Ethos
“While we enjoy a very strong tradition of academic excellence we know that young people only achieve their full potential when they feel happy, secure and are invigorated by their school environment.”
As a Catholic Grammar School we endeavour to ensure that the Spirit of Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbour inspires a caring ethos which is characterised by positive and uplifting relationships. The holistic development of our students forms the backbone of our daily practice as we seek to promote their intellectual, physical, spiritual, moral, social and emotional progress. While we enjoy a very strong tradition of academic excellence we know that young people only achieve their full potential when they feel happy, secure and are invigorated by their school environment. It is therefore central to our mission to ensure that all our students experience success which is recognised, celebrated, and commensurate with their individual ability. All those working in St Joseph’s, as teachers, leaders, support staff and governors, seek to recognise and treasure the unique gifts of each pupil and to do all they can to allow these to develop and flourish. We acknowledge individual needs and respond positively, using professional skill, experience, and loving care to draw out the best in every single child.
“Everyone is welcome in St Joseph’s without distinction of any kind, including race, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other status.”
We are committed to providing an inclusive education which is respectful of, and engages with people of all beliefs while encouraging the religious development of all in their own faith. St Joseph’s is not just a school for Catholics and actively strives to offer a high quality and inclusive education for all. We are proud of the culture of tolerance and acceptance that characterises the ethos of St Joseph’s Grammar School and ensures that diverse identities are recognised, welcomed, respected and cherished. Everyone is welcome in St Joseph’s without distinction of any kind, including race, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other status.
As a community of faith we are very much aware of, and deeply indebted to, the rich legacy left behind by our founding Order of Sisters, the Daughters of the Cross. The mantra of the Daughters, “be kind, be kind, be kind”, shapes relationships across the school and guides us to work to ensure that all members of our community are treated with inherent dignity, equality, and respect.
We value the privileged position we hold in supporting our pupils along their faith journey, irrespective of their starting point. Our Catholic ethos means that we seek to ensure our young men and women are provided with explicit and practical opportunities to explore their faith and the faith of others in a rapidly changing world.
We are committed to forming close, meaningful and progressive relationships with the local and global community to ensure that our Catholic Ethos does not stop at the school gates. Our students are provided with a wide range of opportunities for practical outreach and partnerships to develop a spirit of charity, social justice, global awareness and concern for others.
Every Child Matters
St Joseph’s is a relatively small grammar school and our students, parents and staff recognise that our size is one of our strengths. If you choose St Joseph’s for your child, you can be assured that they will be known by name, cherished for their individuality and nurtured to be the very best they can be. The size of St Joseph’s presents unique opportunities for social and emotional growth, relationship building, and high expectations both in and out of the classroom. Our students tell us that St Joseph’s is a place where strong relationships with peers and teachers is common place and they describe feeling known and appreciated as a whole person, not just a classmate, a student or a number. Researcher has found that although a variety of factors affect student achievement, the greatest factor was the reduction of anonymity- going to a school where someone knows your name. We know that the outstanding academic achievement that our students enjoy year after year, consistently above the Northern Ireland Grammar School Average, is down to our teachers knowing our students and being well placed to offer tailored support to meet individual need.