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St John's College is an independent day and boarding school located in Southsea, Hampshire, England. It was founded by the De La Salle Brothers in 1908 and it continues to retain their Christian values.[2] St John's is a through-school for pupils between the ages of 2 and 18. The Head of College is Mrs Mary Maguire.

St John's College
Crest of st johns.jpg
Address
Grove Road South

, ,
PO5 3QW

England
Coordinates50°47′18″N 1°05′09″W / 50.7882°N 1.0858°W / 50.7882; -1.0858Coordinates: 50°47′18″N 1°05′09″W / 50.7882°N 1.0858°W / 50.7882; -1.0858
Information
TypePrivate, Independent day and boarding
MottoPer Laborem Ad Honorem
(Through work to honour)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic[1]
Established1908
Chairman of GovernorsMr Ron Staker
Head teacherMrs Mary Maguire BSc (Hons)
GenderCo-educational
Age2 to 18
Enrolmentc.600
Houses     Edwin      Damian
     Leo      Alan
Colour(s)Gold and Blue         
Former pupilsOld Johannians
AffiliationThe Society of Heads, Independent Association of Preparatory Schools and La Sallian educational institutions
PublicationsSt John's Gazette; Inform; The Termly Star
Website

The College has several notable alumni, known as Old Johannians, including the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Ian Burnett, England footballer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and BBC newsreader George Alagiah.

St John's College – the Scholes building

HistoryEdit

St John's College was founded in Southsea, Portsmouth in 1908 by the De La Salle Brothers as an independent boys' school. The founding headmaster was Brother Firme of Quiévy, France.[3] The Catholic De La Salle Brothers supported the ethos and ideals of Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, the patron saint of teachers, and the Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

St John's moved to its current site in 1912. On 28 May 1912, Edmond Brunher, Superior General of the Order, countersigned the conveyance of Grove House (known today as the Castle) and Warleigh House.[4] The College subsequently purchased other properties in its vicinity, settling the entire urban campus. There has been a School Chapel on the site since 1913. St John's Gazette was founded in 1915.[5]

During World War One 119 pupils and staff joined the Armed Forces to defend their country. Twelve did not return. Between 1928 and 1929 the WW1 memorial and St John Baptist De La Salle statue were both unveiled in the College grounds.[6]

An application to the College of Arms for the school crest was granted in the early 1930s. The five pointed star represents the Lasallian Order, the position of St John's by the sea is affirmed by the six waves.[7]

Portsmouth was subjected to many enemy air-raids in World War Two and the College suffered extensive damage. During the war years the College established a sister school in Hassocks, Sussex, where boarders were evacuated away from the bombing in Southsea.[8] Some 53 Johannians lost their lives in the service of their country, including 1940–41 School Captain and Captain of Cricket, Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald.[9]

The Roll of Honour of 1914–18 had a much lengthier list added to it, and a further memorial board to the Old Johannians who lost their lives is now maintained by the school. Every Remembrance Day the names on the memorial are read out by the staff and pupils.[10]

Shortly after the war the College began to rebuild itself, and, in 1945, St John's College Sixth Form was founded. The school became a Catholic direct grant grammar school under the Education Act 1944 for many years while maintaining its independent status as a member of the Association of Governing Bodies of Public Schools.[11] The site continued to advance from 1958 to 1968 with the opening of the Jubilee block on the College's 50th anniversary. A parent-teacher association was formed in 1962.[12]

Following a trend set by many independent boys' schools, girls were admitted into the sixth form in 1971. The College did not become fully coeducational until 1996. In 2008, St John's celebrated its Centenary. On 1 September 2015, the College attained full Independent Charitable Status and decoupled itself from the De la Salle Trust.[13] In 2018, the College's sixth form was the highest value-added school in the Portsmouth area.[14]

StructureEdit

St John's is split into four sections: a Junior School (with Little St John's Nursery) for children aged between 2 and 11; a Senior School for pupils aged 11 to 16; a Sixth Form College for students studying for their A-Levels; and a Boarding School for students aged 9 to 18 from the UK and overseas.[15]

St John's structures its years into a House system. In the Senior School there are four houses: Leo, Edwin, Alan and Damian all named after notable Brothers who have served as Headmaster over the years. In the Junior School they have different names for the houses including: Castle, Woodleigh, St Anne's and School. The College organises inter-house activities such as house 5-a-side matches, house music and house drama. Points are tallied and at the end of each academic year a trophy is awarded to the house with the highest score. A similar system exists on the academic side with the Warren Trophy. Conduct card points can also be gained for good behaviour, uniform and manners. An annual speech night and prize giving ceremony takes place each summer. A Founders Day service is held each November at St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth.[16]

St John's College and its head-teachers are members of the Independent Schools Council, the Boarding Schools' Association, the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools and the Society of Heads.[17]

 
Warleigh House and head teacher's study, front view, St. John's College, Southsea, Portsmouth

Co-curricular activitiesEdit

Both the Junior and Senior Schools offer extra-curricular activities and after-school clubs. These include: a Debating Club; jazz band and orchestra clubs; a coding club; History Club; Science Club; Design and Tech Club; and Gaming and Lego Clubs.[18][19] Some of these clubs can date their history at the College back to the 1920s and 1930s.[20]

Foreign exchange trips take place with schools in Paris and Spain, and each year the College organises a ski-trip for students. The College also has a Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, organising an annual expedition for participating students.[21]

The Politics SocietyEdit

The Politics Society at St. John's was founded in 1977. The founder, Mr Bernard Black (1934–2013),[22] was Head of Political Studies from 1977 to 1999. Speakers have included Baroness Margaret Thatcher,[23] Harold Wilson (former prime minister and previous President of the Society),[23] Tony Benn,[23] Enoch Powell,[23] Rowan Williams – former Archbishop of Canterbury,[23] Lord Douglas Hurd (current President of the Society),[23] Nigel Farage MEP,[23] former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw,[23] former Green Party leader – Caroline Lucas MP,[23] Theresa May MP – Home Secretary and subsequently the UK's second woman prime minister;[23] Lord Judge former Lord Chief Justice; the former Director of Liberty, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE;[23] the United States Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Matthew Barzun; and Lord Neuberger, former President of the Supreme Court.[23] Meetings are coordinated by Dr Graham Goodlad, Head of Government and Politics at St John’s College.[23]

The Chapel ChoirEdit

The St John's College chapel choir can date its roots back to the 1940s when the choir was said to be 50 strong and performed in local churches and Hampshire music festivals, under first the musical direction of Mr John Deegan until 1948 and then Mrs Helen Dyer, who remained choir mistress for the next 25 years.[24]

SportEdit

HistoryEdit

Sporting endeavour has been a feature of life at St John's since its foundation. There has been an annual sports day at St John's College since 1918.[25] For a comparatively small school it has produced a number of notable alumni (see Notable former pupils, below).

Over its history the College has promoted a wide range of sporting opportunities for its students. The diversity of its success has included: 1913 Portsmouth Times Rifle Cup and Holbrook Rifle Cup champions; Hampshire Six-a-Side football finalists 1926, 1974, champions 1938, 1947, 1951, 1954, 1964; senior doubles tennis champions, Wimbledon Park Tournament 1951; Southsea Regatta Schools Invitational Rowing Champions 1951, 1952, 1956, 1959; Inter-Schools Cup rowing champions – 14 consecutive years 1953–67; Box Clement Shield for Swimming 1955-56; Portsmouth City Championship for swimming 1956; Serpentine Rowing Champions 1961; Hampshire Rugby Sevens Champions 1965; Public Schools Football Plate winners 1967; British Orienteering Championships winners 1972; under 14 and under 15 Portsmouth Football League Champions, 1976.[26]

In more modern times, the school had a clean-sweep as champions of the under 13, under 14, under 15 and under 16 age-groups of the South East Hampshire Netball League in 2014. This was the fourth consecutive season SJC had won the under 15 league. Also in 2014, the under 18's lifted the Hampshire Rugby plate and in 2015, the under 15's won the rugby NatWest vase. 2015 also saw SJC girls triumph in the 5-a-side Portsmouth schools Centenary Cup and the under 12's won the PGL netball tournament in Devon.[27] In 2017, the College came third in the senior boys indoor British Independent Schools Ski Championships.[28]

Sporting successEdit

St John's College has enjoyed some notable sporting successes in recent years, including:[29]

Year Event Age Group Result
2019 Portsmouth Schools Rounders tournament U/15 Champions
2019 PGL Girls Netball Tournament, Devon U/15A Winners
2019 Portsmouth Schools Netball tournament U/12 Champions
2019 Hampshire Rugby 7's Plate U/15 Winners
2019 Great Ballard Rugby 7's tournament U/13 Champions
2019 Boundary Oak Rugby 7's shield U/13 Champions
2019 Hampshire Schools Hockey tournament - boys U/14 Champions
2018 South East Hampshire Schools – Cricket U/15 Champions
2018 Portsmouth Schools – Netball Tournament U/12 Champions
2018 Senior Southern Regional ski competition U/16 Champions
2018 PGL Girls Netball Tournament, Devon U/15 Champions
2018 Hampshire Schools Hockey Festival – Boys U/13 Champions
2017 Tennis – District competition U/13 Champions
2017 Hampshire Schools – County Rounders U/13 Champions
2017 Portsmouth Schools – Rounders Tournament U/13 Champions
2017 PGL Girls Netball Tournament, Devon U/15 Champions
2017 Wessex Prep Schools – Rugby U/11A League Champions
2017 Wessex Prep Schools – Rugby U/11B League Champions
2017 Society of Heads Bowl – Rugby 7's U/18 Winners
2017 Hampshire Schools Hockey Festival – Girls U/13 Champions
2017 Hampshire Schools Hockey Festival – Boys U/13 Champions
2017 SJC Independent Schools Netball Tournament U/11 Champions
2017 Boundary Oak Tournament – Rugby U/11 Champions
2016 Portsmouth Schools Championships – Rugby U/14 Champions
2016 South East Cricket League U/13 Champions
2016 Hampshire County Championships – Rounders U/15 Champions
2016 Portsmouth Schools – Rounders Tournament U/15 Champions
2016 Portsmouth Games – Girls Netball U/15 Champions
2016 Portsmouth Games – Girls Netball U/13 Champions
2016 SJC Hampshire Prep Schools – Rugby U/11 Champions
2016 Hampshire Schools Trophy – Boys Hockey U/13 Champions
2016 Rosslyn Park National Rugby Sevens Tournament U/13 Champions
2016 Oakwood Tournament – Girls Football U/9 Champions

Recent sports alumni include Z. Clow, vice captain, England Counties under 18 squad, 2018;[30] M. Royston, loosehead international for Ireland U18 Clubs, 2018;[31] G. Osborne, 6th at the Bahamas Youth Commonwealth Games 2017, javelin South of England indoor champion 2018;[32] Freddie Read, Portsmouth FC midfielder; and B. Baker, ranked 139th in the junior tennis world rankings 2018.[33]

Sports facilitiesEdit

Within the College grounds there is a multi-purpose hall for badminton, basketball, netball, volleyball and cricket nets, together with a squash court, fitness suite and a climbing wall. Outside there is an all-weather astro-turf pitch.[34]

The school also owns some 40 acres (16 ha) of sports grounds at Farlington (known as "Fields"), which include netball and tennis courts, cricket, football and rugby pitches, as well as a pavilion.[35] The school sometimes uses the HMS Temeraire grounds, and sports facilities offered by the University of Portsmouth.

Each school term focuses on a different sport. The boys compete in rugby union, field hockey and cricket, whilst the girls play field hockey, netball and rounders.

Co-curricular sports clubs include badminton, basketball, climbing, dance, squash, swimming, sailing and skiing.[35] SJC operates an Athlete Development Group for advanced pupils.

AlumniEdit

St John's ex-students formed the Old Johannians in 1919, first as an Old Boys' Club, then in 1925 as the Old Johannian Association.[36] In 1927 St. John's Gazette published St John's first school song, which later provided a resonance at Old Johannian Annual Dinners:

The School! The School! The School! And all who love its story! The School! The School! The School! Its name – its fame – its glory! O'er land and sea, Right royally, We'll bear its golden rule – And now with me give – THREE TIMES THREE! The School! The School! The School![37]

After World War 2, on 12 January 1946, the Association held a Victory Reunion Dinner, attended by some 100 Old Johannians, the majority still in uniform.[38]

Sir Alec Rose accepted honorary membership of the Old Johannian Association before his single-handed circumnavigation of the globe in 1967-8 and attended the OJ golden jubilee dinner and dance upon his return.[39]

The Association continues to run several gatherings each year, notably the AGM and Dinner held on the first Saturday after Easter, and a golf tournament.[40]

 
St John's College, front aspect 2016

St John's OnlineEdit

The College operates a Facebook page for parents and visitors[41] and a page for alumni.[42] For current parents there is also a Twitter feed [43] and a Sports Twitter account.[44]

Notable former pupilsEdit

Arts and mediaEdit

ProfessionsEdit

  • The Rt Hon Lord Ian Burnett PC (Baron Burnett of Malden), School Captain 1975-6, called to the Bar in 1980, appointed to the High Court in 2008; promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2014; and from 2 October 2017, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales[47]
  • His Honour Judge Charles Gratwicke, honorary recorder of Chelmsford 2013[48]
  • Kevin Fitzgerald CMG, MA (Oxon) Head Boy 1978, honoured for ‘services to British economic interests’ in the Queen’s Birthday 2013 Honours List. Chief executive of the Copyright Licensing Agency[49]
  • Ross Shimmon OBE, former Secretary General, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions[50]
  • Dom Cuthbert Johnson OSB, Abbot of Quarr Abbey, d.2017 [51]
  • Hedley Greentree, British Architect. OJ 1949–1955. Designer of iconic Portsmouth landmarks, including the Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays re-development and the Sails of the South (d.2017)[52]
  • Dr Brian Davis CBE, former Chief executive, Nationwide Building Society[50]
  • His Honour Judge Peter Simpson, Circuit Judge, Second Judge, Mayor's and City of London Court, Freeman, City of London[53]
  • Michael Connor, HM Diplomatic Service, former British Ambassador, El Salvador[50]
  • Paul Bosonnet CBE, former Deputy chairman BOC Group, Hon. Fellow University of London[50]
  • A. Hugh Olson OBE Sheriff of the City of London 1974[54]
  • Sean Hughes former MP, a British history teacher and Labour politician (d. 1990)
  • Norman Cole, RN, MP, entered Parliament in 1951 as Liberal and Conservative member for the South Division of Bedfordshire (d.1979)[55]
  • Dr Desmond Mulvany KStG; KM, FRCS, British physician, Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory; Knight of Malta.[56]
  • Dr James "Tommy" Oliver, research scientist, ichthyologist, Hydrologist to the Royal Zoological Society, Chairman, Old Johannians, 1927, Founder of the JH Oliver Prize for Science (d. 1962)[57]

SportEdit

AcademiaEdit

ForcesEdit

  • Former Black Rod, Lieutenant General Sir Michael Willcocks. Chief of Staff for the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps, Chief of Staff for the Land Component of the Peace Implementation Force. UK military representative to NATO and the European Union from 2000 to 2001.[67]
  • Brigadier Anthony Cleland Welch, OBE, UK-based former soldier, UN official, politician and academic, Deputy Chief of Staff of the 3rd (UK) Armoured Division, Deputy Chief of Staff (Land) during the first Gulf War
  • Air Vice-Marshall Michael Heath CBE, Special Adviser, US Central Command, d.2007[53]
  • Rear-Admiral Trevor Spraggs CB, Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, Naval Home Command[50]
  • Brigadier Sir Louis Hargroves CBE, DL, first Commanding Officer and Colonel of The Staffordshire Regiment, commander of the British garrison in Aden 1964–66, Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire, political fundraiser for Margaret Thatcher's government. (d.2008).[68]
  • Rear-Admiral Arthur Webb CB, Chief Staff Officer to Fleet Commander, Flag Officer[53]
  • Col. Sir Ronald Gardner-Thorpe, GBE TD JP (1917 –1991), Lord Mayor of London 1980, Aide-de-Camp to King Frederick of Denmark, was a British company director, Liberal Party politician. Chairman, Old Johannians, 1961, Founder of the Gardner-Thorpe Prize for French, Governor of St John's (1963)[69]
  • Major-General Robert Cook, Signal Officer-in-Chief (Army), Director General, Federation of the Electronics Industry, Freeman of the City of London[50]
  • Commander Rodney Flynn, RN, former sub treasurer of the Inner Temple, 1978[70][71]
  • Lt Commander Monty Carss, DSC, RN[72]
  • Group Captain Hugh 'Peggy' O'Neill, DFC (with a rare Second Award Bar), Atlantic Star Medal, Africa Star Medal, RAF.[73] Brother of:
  • Group Captain Tony O'Neill, DFC, RAF, first British air attaché to the state of Israel (d.2008)[74]
  • Lt Colonel Dr Harry Mulvany RAMC, medical officer in charge of RMS Queen Mary during her service as a troopship in the North Atlantic.
  • Colonel Jean E. François Demozay, DSO, Commandeur de la legion d'honneur, compagnon de la liberation (1915–1945), OJ −1931[75][76]
  • Colonel Raymond Powell, OBE, MC, Old Johannian vice-chairman, d.2000[77]
  • Lieutenant (A) J Pratt, MBE, RN, La Croix de Guerre
  • Colonel Steve Wood, Director of Military Intelligence, India 1947[78]
  • Brigadier Denis O'Flaherty CBE, DSO, Bronze Cross (USA), High Commission Canada (OJ 1933–1939) d.1980[79][80]
  • Captain Francis Downer DSC, RD, RN, HMS Monserrat[81]
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Paddy Doyle MC[82]
  • Commander J Golby, OBE, RN
  • Squadron-Leader T E Cooke, DFC, Air Force Cross, DFM
  • Squadron-Leader D H Beckett, OBE, RAF
  • Lt Colonel Donald Campling, RA, Member of the British Military Mission, Paris
  • Lt Colonel J Colquhoun, MBE
  • Major-General William (Walter) Ritchie, CB, CBE, OBE Legion of Merit (US), Chairman, Old Johannians, 1922 and 1930[83]

SJC associatesEdit

  • Neil Hamilton (politician) between 1973-76 a teacher at St John's College. Alleged 'cash for questions' MP, barrister, member of the Welsh Assembly and Deputy Chairman of the UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Dr Val Fontana, OJ, RAF, teacher of biology and Head of Science at SJC 1958–1985. Founder of the DNA Double Helix Prize for Science
  • Brother Laurence Hughes FSC, former teacher at St John's College. Provincial of the Lasallian District of Ireland, Great Britain and Malta (2015).
  • David Sullivan (businessman) Britain's 117th richest man,[84] boarded briefly at St John's College in the early 1960's.
  • Sir Denis Daly, former Governor of SJC, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth 1939–43, 1950, Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour; and Lady Margaret Daly, lord mayor and lady mayoress of Portsmouth during the Second World War. Parents of Denis Daly, OJ and Patrick Daly, OJ[85]
  • Fred Currey, OJ, RAF, Chairman Old Johannian Association 1960, Alderman of the City of Portsmouth, pioneer of civil flying in Portsmouth [86]
  • Clare W Jolliffe, OJ, accountant, Chairman Old Johannian Association 1934, 1952, 1964, former Governor of St. Johns [86]
  • Lieutenant Douglas Fairbanks Jr visited and funded a balloon service hospital set up in SJC's Woodlands boarding house during WWII[87]
  • Major Eddie C Dyas, OJ, A.S.A.A, Chairman Old Johannian Association 1939, 1954. Founder of the EC Dyas Memorial Prize for History, the EC Dyas Prize for History, the EC Dyas Middle School Award for History[88]
  • Michael Magan, OJ, Chairman Old Johannian Association 1919, 1925, 1933, 1958. Author, 'Cradled in History: St. John's College, Southsea 1908–1976' [89]
  • Colonel Sir Arthur Holbrook, KBE, MP for Basingstoke, Head of Holbrook and Son Ltd, printers of St. John's Gazette for over 50 years and owner of Warleigh House before its sale to SJC in 1911 [90]

In filmEdit

Headmasters of St John's CollegeEdit

Notable headmasters and former Brother-Directors of St John's College include:[91]

  • Mr Graham Best BA, reforming headmaster and College Principal, 2010–2016
  • Brother Damian FSC, BA, 1969–1976
  • Brother Edwin, 1957–1963
  • Brother Alan Maurice, 1951–1957
  • Brother Leo Barrington MBE, 1944–1947 [92]
  • Brother Simon 1918–1935, longest serving headmaster
  • Brother Christantian 1914–1918, Headmaster during the Great War
  • Brother Firme of Quievy, 1908–1914, Founding headmaster

ReferencesEdit

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  90. ^ Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.23
  91. ^ Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, p.248
  92. ^ Cradled In History: the History of St John's College by Michael Magan, 1974, pp. 135, 255

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