Pupil Poppy returns to St Joseph’s

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

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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