The Parliamentary Review describes the school ethos as summed up by “RUAH” – Respect, Understanding, Affection and Humour. These four principles underpin every aspect of our school life and together spell out the Hebrew word for “breath of life” or “spirit”. This emphasis on humour and enjoyment in education can be found in the words of Don Bosco himself: “Servite Domino in Laetitia” – serve the Lord joyfully.
In the school, the Salesian ethos helps to create an environment within which pupils can thrive and make excellent academic progress as well as enjoying a school life that is supported by prayer, worship, celebration of the Eucharist and excellent chaplaincy provision. Many extracurricular activities are supported by willing staff, from lunchtime to after-school clubs, both academic and leisure based.
Children requiring additional help with their academic studies receive personalised care and guidance from our dedicated staff who work out of our St Francis learning support base, named after St Francis de Sales. Moreover, the Salesian school is also proud of its specialist provision for children with autism. The “Savio base” allows a small group of pupils to access the curricular activities of the main school with the appropriate level of support, while providing a place, and staff expertise, to meet their individual needs.
While SJBC only opened in September 2011, there has been a rich tradition of Catholic Education in Battersea since the opening of Salesian College in 1895. SJBC was formed in the same year that both Salesian College and John Paul II School closed. The school was temporarily based in Princes Way, West Hill, while our current, state-of-the-art facilities were built in Parkham Street – the heart of Battersea.
Within two years of opening the school was rated “good” by Ofsted, and it received a similar rating for its distinct Catholic ethos a few months later from the RC Archdiocese of Southwark. The school moved into its current home in October 2015 and formally opened at a ceremony attended by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark in November 2015. Ofsted again rated the school “good” in May 2017.
Now the SJBC hosts 600 students and 75 staff people daily.
Co-chaired by Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, The Parliamentary Review is an indispensable guide to best practice across a variety of different areas, showcasing various examples from steadfast organisations in the public and private sectors. Its principal aim is to raise standards within said industries by producing a template for future reform, and the September release of the publication is acknowledged for its importance in the political calendar.
This year's Review aptly displays the collaborative approach that is necessary if the education sector is to continue to flourish. With a diverse range of secondary schools included in the 2017/18 edition, it offers pertinent insight into the issues that head teachers and educational bodies face.