Pupil Poppy re­turns to St Joseph’s

The Wokingham Paper - - EDUCATION -

SOME very spe­cial guests re­cently vis­ited St Joseph’s Col­lege. Head­mas­ter, An­drew Col­pus, staff and stu­dents said that they were de­lighted to wel­come Poppy Dixon back to the Col­lege.

As well as be­ing a pupil at the Up­per Red­lands Road school dur­ing the 1940s, she was also a teacher at the Col­lege on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions – in the 50s and 60s.

Poppy is a mem­ber of the Dixon fam­ily af­ter whom St Joseph’s Col­lege has re­cently re­named one of its Houses.

Dixon House has been named af­ter found­ing pupils at the Col­lege: Poppy’s fa­ther – Howard, un­cle – Thomas and aunt – Irene, when the Col­lege was known as St Joseph’s Con­vent and based in Cas­tle Street, Read­ing.

Poppy was ac­com­pa­nied by two guests: Caro­line Piller – whose book about the Dixon fam­ily is due to be pub­lished next year – and her niece, Judy.

The guests were treated to a school tour, led by the Dixon House Cap­tains from both the Prep and Se­nior Schools, and met with the Head of Dixon House, David Leese.

Poppy said she was thrilled to be pre­sented with her own Dixon badge and to talk to the staff and stu­dents about her mem­o­ries from her Col­lege days.

She told the chil­dren that one of the most im­por­tant things, which hasn’t changed at all, is that they will get on in life through “hard work”!

When Poppy was asked how she found the Col­lege to­day, which takes pupils from Wok­ing­ham bor­ough as well as the Read­ing area, she said: “Some of the build­ings – like the new Mu­sic Cen­tre – are very dif­fer­ent, and some – like Broad Oak – re­main very sim­i­lar.

“What I think still shines through is the ethos; very car­ing, I think.”

The car­ing ethos of St Joseph’s Col­lege has been re­cently been recog­nised with the Col­lege’s short­list­ing for the Well­be­ing Ini­tia­tive of the Year award at the

Tes In­de­pen­dent School Awards. The win­ner of this award will be an­nounced at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Ho­tel in London on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 1, next year.

And the Col­lege is keen to learn more about the found­ing fam­i­lies af­ter whom the other three Houses have been named: Hum­mel, Jen­nings and Richard­son.

And for­mer pupils are warmly in­vited to at­tend its an­nual Alumni Re­union, with the next be­ing held from noon on Sun­day, June 30, 2019. For more de­tails on the alumni net­work or to of­fer in­for­ma­tion about the found­ing fam­i­lies, email: alumni.sjcr.org.uk

Year 6 teacher Matthew Knight and Bloor Homes sales ad­vi­sor Florence Brassey with pupils at Shin­field St Mary’s Ju­nior School in front of the new biodome

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