St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive School
Surrey, United Kingdom
About St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive School
Our aim is simple – we want to be the best school in the country! By this we mean that all our students will receive a better education here than they would at any other establishment.
We want our students to:
- Deepen their relationship with God
- Love learning
- Achieve their academic potential
- Have a wide range of experiences both in and out of the classroom
- Grow into happy, confident, resilient and articulate young people
- Leave SJB equipped to lead fulfilling lives and make a positive contribution to society
And so a bit about us...
SJB is part of the Xavier Catholic Education Trust. We are a group of fourteen schools in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton who have come together to work collaboratively for the benefit of all the children we serve. The Trust's aim is to provide a caring and supportive environment within which all children receive the best possible education.
SJB is located just outside Woking town centre, and a 15-minute walk from the train station (22 minutes from London Waterloo on the train). The original school, built in the late 60's (but don't worry, the first thing visitors comment on is how vibrant the learning environment is), has changed significantly in recent years as we have expanded and improved our facilities in order to meet the needs of our increasing student numbers. There will be an increase of 60 students each year and by 2023 we expect our total to be close to 1700.
We are very fortunate to work with such a brilliant group of students. If you come to visit us, you will see that they are happy, hard-working (on the whole!) and very positive about our school. Achievement is at the forefront of everything we do at SJB and it would be fair to say it is "cool" to achieve. Our staff are vibrant, enthusiastic and passionate about ensuring our students get the very best deal. A member of staff recently commented "Working at SJB means that you are surrounded by like-minded colleagues: people who want the best for their students and are prepared to go the extra mile to get it. This means that the standards are really high, but I've found that invigorating rather than daunting; with so many great teachers and support staff in the school, I am constantly hearing new ideas and techniques to develop my own practice. That's not to say that it's all work and no play though, there's a strong focus on the importance of work/life balance and the school is aware that tired teachers don't deliver engaging lessons and tired support staff can't perform the vital roles that keep the school moving forwards - the last 9 months, working throughout lockdown and then opening back up to all students in September has highlighted just how well looked after we are! The staff room is a chatty and welcoming place and as a new member of staff I felt quite at home from day one!"
At our last OFSTED inspection (June 2014) we were judged to be outstanding in every category. We are very proud of achieving this result and it is especially pleasing for the students and staffs hard work to be externally recognised in this way. Please do not think we know all the answers, we don't. Our mission is to be the best school in England and we will continually look for ways to improve.
We are very committed to improving the whole school system. We have recently been designated as a National Teaching School Hub; something that we are very proud of and are committed to developing over the coming months and years. We are also designated as a Maths Hub and SCITT (we are currently the largest SCITT provider in the country). This means we are able to offer our staff new opportunities in: training future teachers; developing Maths teaching across all phases and supporting local primary and secondary schools. We currently have several staff that work, in a variety of capacities, in other schools. We work hard to offer development to all stages of a teacher's career; from initial teacher training to NPQH for prospective Headteachers.
We are very proud to have been designated as one of the first World Class Schools in 2015 an award that was ratified again in 2018. More recently we have been recognised as “transforming” under the SSATs Framework for Exceptional Education in ten aspects of our practice including: culture of reflection; professional learning; variety of teaching; and leadership through moral purpose. We aspire to achieve accreditation for all aspects and will be working towards achieving more this year!
Technology at St John the Baptist School is a major part of teaching, learning and school/teacher administration. We have developed a strong 'can do' approach to supporting staff which encourages everyone to embrace the possibilities that technology has to offer within the school for teaching, learning or administration. Every child has their own iPad which they use to support their learning (as do teachers). We have developed several 'in-house' apps for both staff and students and are always seeking new opportunities to improve our use of technology.
Working in a Catholic school is unique. The Christian ethos is at the core of everyday life at SJB and is one of our greatest strengths. Visitors frequently comment on the care, compassion and real sense of community that permeates everything that we do. We appoint members of staff, who, whatever their beliefs, support the ethos of our school and will always put our children first.
Expectations are incredibly high here at SJB. We expect the very best from and for our students and we expect the same of ourselves as staff. All the staff at SJB are highly valued and contribute in various ways to the overall success of our students. If you feel you would like to know more about this opportunity to join the SJB community, you are welcome to visit and look round the school at any time.
In conclusion, we believe this a truly fantastic place to work, but don't take my word for it, come and see for yourself; every day is open day… or at least it used to be before COVID! It’s a little trickier now as we are having to limit the number of visitors onsite during the school day, but if you’d like to meet us then get in touch and we can work something out!
James Granville Hamshar Headteacher
For details of all our vacancies please visit our website:
The headteacher’s inspirational leadership, which promotes a vision of excellence in learning for all, is at the heart of the school...All staff in the school are encouraged to take on responsibilities and to make improvement their highest priority.- Ofsted, 2014
Teaching is often inspirational and the school has been very successful in seeking imaginative ways of continually improving it.- Ofsted, 2014