Sunday, 24 October 2021

Meet the Head: Laura Stotesbury, St Joseph's College, Reading

Meet the Head: Laura Stotesbury, St Joseph's College, Reading

Laura Stotesbury is the new head of St Joseph’s College, Reading. Here she tells us about herself

A WEST Country girl, born and raised in the stunning city of Bath, I have recently moved with my family to Reading.

Prior to this headship, I was the deputy head academic of Prior Park College in Bath.

I lived in Kuwait, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, all before the age of six, and studied economics at Cambridge.

What do you think makes St Joseph’s a good choice of school?

I chose a school where I wanted my sons to be educated.

The single site for all pupils from ages three to 18 means that everyone is known individually and therefore transition from each key stage is seamless.

Academic progress and performance are incredibly important, but we also want students to develop more broadly. We want to grow kind and generous people, defenders of our environment, those who create and appreciate art, music and drama, and we want them to prioritise their own physical and mental health by getting outside and exercising, solo or as part of a team.

How do you prepare young people for the future?

I teach them that it is up to them to set their own goals and strive to achieve them.

Hard work is crucial, and as teachers we will do all we can to help them, but I see school staff as the stabilisers when riding a bike — we’ve got to remove ourselves from the process at some point to check they can ride safely when we aren’t there propping them up.

Children become independent learners at different times and the skill for a teacher is to know when to first allow them to try, and possibly fail — that, in itself, is a huge part of the learning process.

What would you say to parents considering St Joseph’s?

I am really proud to be entrusted with their child’s education and care.

I think the similarities of my role to that of St Joseph himself have really become evident. God chose him, trusted him, with his precious son to care for and teach as he grew into a man.

That’s what our parents are doing when they choose us and, like St Joseph, we cannot let them down.