School celebrates 90th anniversary

A school in the centre of Workington is celebrating its 90th birthday as staff look ahead to the future.
The grounds of the school contain a stone that was laid when the school was built in December 1929 as a reminder of its history.
The school is planning a special mass at Our Lady and St Michael’s Church to celebrate the milestone. Members of the public will be invited.
A spokesperson for St Joseph’s Catholic High School said: “We would like to extend a warm invitation to our old pupils and the local community to join us for this celebration and will be posting details on our website in the near future.”
And St Joseph’s are mindful of the school’s history.
Headteacher Jacky Kennedy said: “The students know that the school was set up by parishioners donating to the parish.”
Parishioners donated money to the collection plate in the past with the intention of setting up a new school.
Julie Gaffney, senior administrative officer and the headteacher’s PA, attended as a pupil between 1974 and 1979. Mrs Gaffney returned to the school as a member of staff in 1999. Her husband and both of her children studied at St Joseph’s.
“I’ve always felt it was a good school,” she said.
“I was more than happy for my children to come here.”
Head of Science Rebecca Moody describes the school as “home” having also studied there and returned as a teacher.
Miss Moody attended between 2001 and 2006, completed her teacher training at the school and returned in 2015 as a teacher.
“These year elevens that are leaving now, I had them when they started.”
Teacher Philip Andrews added: “My neighbour is the headteacher who employed me in the nineties, Gerard Smith.”
Mr Andrews reminisced about the earlier years: “His wife was the afternoon secretary. We only had two secretaries, Carol in the morning and Janet in the afternoon. They did everything. Carol worked at St Benedict’s in the afternoon. I think we only had two phones in the school then too.”
Special Educational Needs coordinator Helen Kinrade said: “I enjoyed my time as a pupil when I was at St Joseph’s, I qualified as a PE teacher and really tried to get back into this area, and I secured a post at St Joseph’s. I’ve now worked my way up and sitting in the middle management. I teach my friend’s children now.”
The school are looking ahead to the future with a fundraising campaign that will stock the school with books.
The Buy Us a Book fundraiser is part of a reading campaign. And Miss Kennedy hopes it will promote a sense of wellbeing and calm, improve exam results and broaden students’ horizons.
She said: “We thought that a book is a great thing to have and it is something for the future.”
Those who want to support the school in their reading campaign can text SJCHS to 70970 to donate £5 or to donate £10, text SJCHS to 70191.
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Management at St Joseph’s are also asking for the school’s alumni to get in touch with stories and old photos. To send in a memory of your time at the school, email: