ABOUT ST. JOSEPH'S MIDDLE SCHOOL
Records show that St Joseph’s Junior Girls School (as it then was), opened under St Joseph’s Parish Church on the 18th June 1945. Part of its pupils attended classes at nearby Plata Villa. The first Headmaster was Mr John Dunne and there were 73 girls on the school’s register.
At some stage the school moved to Grand Parade and in September 1969 it became co-ed. Later, it moved once more to Plata Villa in the autumn of 1971 and then became known as St Joseph’s Middle School prior to the onset of the Comprehensive System of Education in 1972. The Headteacher at that time (Miss Vallejo) already complained to the authorities of the state of disrepair of this building.
Plata Villa had been built in 1890 by Mr J Bentata as his home. In 1932 he sold the property to the Institute of St John of God and it became an orphanage. Subsequently, during the war years, it was appropriated by the War office as officer accommodation when the population was evacuated in 1940. After the war it became a Grammar School and a Secondary Mod School for girls till 1971 when the Middle School moved in.
St Joseph’s remained there for the next twenty-one years. When the last resident battalion left South Barracks and the condition of the building at Plata Villa became unsuitable to meet the needs of the National Curriculum, the Government of the day contracted “Mivan” to refurbish the barracks, and turn them into two school buildings.
The barracks had been built between 1730-1733 to accommodate 1,200 officers and men. The clock was erected in 1787 and in 1831 the veranda was added. By 1990 it became the oldest British Army Barracks in mainland Europe.
The construction company engaged to refurbish the building finished the job in just under a year, and on the 19th May 1992, the then Minister for Education, the Hon J L Moss, inaugurated the renovated building which now houses St Joseph’s First and Middle Schools.
A Brief History of St. Joseph's Middle School
DR T OCANA
DEPUTY HEAD TEACHER
MR E CLINTON