Parish History

The Roman Catholic Parish of

Our Lady the Immaculate Conception,

Devizes, Wiltshire

The Roman Catholic Parish of

Our Lady the Immaculate Conception,

Devizes, Wiltshire

Parish History

sanctuary new joseph3 Parish Website

St Joseph's Schools

St Joseph's Schools

In addition to St Joseph's Convent School there have been four other schools established, at different times, under the St Joseph name: St Joseph's Infant School, St Joseph's Junior and Senior School, St Joseph's Junior School and St Joseph's Primary School.

 

In 1865, following the opening of the present parish church, the school in Monday Market Street moved into the redundant chapel. Twenty years later the building was enlarged and in the following year, 1886, Mother Bridget was appointed headmistress.

St Joseph's Infant School - 1904-1974

   

In 1904, the infant class became St Joseph's Infant School under the headship of Miss Kate Daley. Following Miss Daley's retirement in 1934, Sister Gertrude was appointed as headteacher.

 

In the mid 1950s, during Sister Gertrude's tenure, a new classroom was added to the Infant School and one of the classrooms was altered to provide indoor lavatories and cloakrooms. Prior to that the lavatories were on the other side of the playground and the children's coats were hung on pegs in a tiny room off one of the classrooms, later a cupboard.

 

When Sister Gertrude retired in 1961, Miss Patricia Kennedy was appointed as headteacher, a post she held until the Infant and Junior Schools were merged in 1974.

St Joseph's Junior and Senior School - 1904-1967

   

When Mother Bridget retired in 1906, Sister Dominic was appointed headteacher.

St Joseph's Primary School - 1974-present

   

In 1974 St Joseph's Infant School and St Joseph's Junior School merged to form St Joseph's Primary School. The first headteacher of the new school was Mr Anthony Lines and his deputy was Miss Patricia Kennedy, who until then had been the headteacher of the Infant School. A new glass entrance hall was built along with a new classroom over where the bicycle shed had been.

 

Mr Lines left in 1982 and Mr Barry Hickey was appointed headteacher. During Mr Hickey's tenure there were further extensions to provide extra storage areas.

 

In 2005, after many years of being two separate buildings a large foyer was built to connect the two halves of the school.

 

Mr Hickey retired it 2006 and Mrs Sheila Jones was appointed as headteacher. In May 2015 Mrs Jones retired and the school was without a headteacher until Mrs Margaret Owen was appointed in September 2015.

 

Mrs Owen left in 2017 and Mrs Yvonne Wilkins was appointed in September 2017.

St Joseph's Junior School - 1967-1974

 

With the opening of St Augustine's School in Trowbridge, the senior department of the school was lost and the Senior and Junior School became St Joseph's Junior School.

The ground floor had a large hall, a small kitchen and ladies' and gentlemen's cloakrooms and lavatories. The hall was regularly used for parish events. Later a folding screen was installed to form a classroom at one end. Access to the hall was through a pair of double doors where the current external entrance to the kitchen is. There was no internal connection to the rest of the school. From the doors a path ran parallel to the building up to the main entrance which was where the current short staircase up from the foyer to the classrooms now is. Later a row of bicycle racks under a corrugated iron roof was built beside this path.

 

Upstairs there were four classrooms separated by wooden and glass folding partitions. These could be opened to make one large room. There was also a smaller classroom, an office for the headteacher, a girls' cloakroom, now the staffroom, and a staff lavatory. The boy's cloakroom was where it is today.

 

Boys' and girls' lavatories were in a separate building across the playground, seen at the right of the photograph of the procession below.

 

In 1943 Sister Dominic retired and Sister Mary Thomas replaced her. Sister Thomas remained as headteacher until St Joseph's Primary School - see below - was formed in 1974.

By the late 1920s the school had grown so much that a new building was needed. The funds for the new building were partly raised by small sums of money brought to school by the pupils. These were recorded in the Parish Magazine of the day. On October 9th 1929 the foundation stone of a new building was laid by The Right Reverend Monsignor William Provost Lee, Vicar General of Clifton Diocese. The building opened in the following year.