St John Plessington Catholic College

Saint John Plessington Catholic College
Motto Always faithful to Christ
Established 1870
Type Academy
Religion Roman Catholic
Location Old Chester Road
CH63 7LF
DfE URN 139031 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,450
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11–18

St John Plessington Catholic College (SJP) is a Roman Catholic secondary school and sixth form with academy status located in Bebington, Wirral, England. St John Plessington is in partnership with St Mary's College, Wallasey

The school has close relations with the nearby primary schools, one in very close proximity (across the road) to SJP, St. John's Junior School. They are often referred to as sister schools. The pupils of St. John's make frequent visits to SJP for mass and plays and often over 70% of the pupils at St. John's will transfer to SJP for Year 7, the first year of secondary school. The primary school and SJP make good use of The Oval, a sports facility between the two schools, often using its facilities to host events such as 'sports days' and just regular use for physical education. The school is credited with the M&S savers award of 2007/08. The school was also given the lesser award of the 'Sportsmark Gold', awarded by Sport England.[1]

Patron Saint

The house is named after St. John Plessington, one the 40th Catholic martyrs of England and Wales. Plessington was born in 1637 in Lancashire, and ordained a Priest in Segovia on 25 March 1662. A year later St. Plessington returned to England where he ministered to recusant and covert Roman Catholics in Holywell and Cheshire. He was arrested during the Popish Plot scare on the charge of being a Roman Catholic priest, and then imprisoned for two months. He was hung, drawn and quartered on 19 July 1679. In celebration of their patron saint the school holds an annual St John Plessington day on 19 July where all students and teachers take part in a various spiritual and recreational activities.


The current school site was originally St John's High School. After a merger with Rock Ferry Covent in the early 1980s it became Plessington High School and occupied two sites (the second being the former Rock Ferry Covent site in Woodland Road). The school was awarded 'Technology College' status in 1998. In 2010, the school won the prestigious TES "Secondary School of the Year" award.

Catholic Ethos

The School itself is named after a patron saint, and has a very strong Roman Catholic ethos which can be seen throughout the corridors and classrooms with posters. There is a twice weekly optional Mass in the chapel held by the school chaplain. On holy days Masses are held for the whole school by a local priest.


With the recent development of the school campus in the form of new buildings, opened by Cherie Blair, the school has gained six ICT rooms and a main hall/atrium. The school has a six-room dedicated SEN[2] centre off the dining hall staffed with 10+ teaching assistants for pupils with mental or learning disabilities. In the old building the school has two fully equipped Art rooms with paint and ceramic facilities. The SEN centre has access to lifts and disabled toilets throughout the building. A drama studio is situated next to the Dinner Hall. The school is a member of the SAMLearning online revision service, every pupil has an account and it is used to help students[3] revise and teachers also have the ability to set online homework activities.


The school keeps a traditional timetable of 5 lessons per day. Recently "period 6" has been introduced extending the school day, providing more teaching time particularly for Maths to better prepare students for their GCSE's. Also the school introduced a new 'wind-down' type period following lunchtime, a time where students could often be very energetic and not fully focused for work, the period named 'Academic Review' consists of thirty minutes reading time. This replaces traditional form time at the start of the day. The time is spent with a form and form tutor and it includes such activities as checking that planners are correctly filled out and doing attendance reports. Every two weeks one alternating lesson is missed and every form in the school does PHSE with their form tutor.

School dining

Since the introduction of the new headteacher, Thomas Quinn, the school's dinner menu increased vastly in variety, the typical menu for the preceding year would have been chips on an almost daily basis and now only on Fridays improving the student's diet. For example, the chocolate in cookies has been replaced with raisins. The school was awarded 'Healthy School Award' in February 2007.[4]

New buildings

Since the mid-1990s the school has undergone many changes, the building of the music suite was completed by 1992, the sports hall was completed by 1993, and officially opened by HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1993. In 1994 the sixth-form building was completed (now used as the science building). In 2003, the school took over twelve newly built classrooms which house the RE and English departments and in 2004 benefited from a £5m building program which gave the school twelve additional classrooms, housing the Maths and Modern Foreign Languages(now ICT), two new DT workshops, a new library, a new main hall, a new atrium, reception and administrative area and a new sixth form common room. The dining room has also been enlarged and refurbished and a new area has been designated for Special Educational Needs (now used for the Assissi Centre/internal exclusion. A new extension is being build at the side of the RE and English building. This will provide improved access for the Sixth Form with improved independent study areas and additional classrooms housing the Media department. The Building will have direct access to the library and, in 2015, a new six form block was opened.

Pastoral care

There are numerous pastoral systems in place in SJP which care for a student's college life. The two most notable pastoral system are the form and year group systems. Each year group comprises eight forms which are each named after one of the forty catholic martyrs of England and Wales and then divided up into two half year groups named Alpha and Beta. These eight forms are: Alpha Half Year:

Beta Half Year:

House System:

As well as the year group system, there is also a house system. Every student in the school is placed into one of six houses which are named after saints or prominent Catholic figures.[5] These houses are:

The school also enables and encourages students to report incidents of bullying, theft, crime or any unwanted behaviour in confidence to their school 24 hours a day via the TextSomeone system the school has introduced, along with the CallParents and Truancy Call systems, introduced to free up staff time usually consumed with administrative tasks.[6]


  1. Sportmark Gold Article School website article with information on the Sportsmark Gold Award.
  2. SEN section School website section about S.E.N. in SJP
  3. VLE Section on SJP website Section about Virtual Learning Environment, including information about SAM Learning
  4. Healthy School Award Section on SJP website Section about Healthy School status and information about the award itself.
  5. SJP section on the Houses Detailed articles on the houses and the people representing them.
  6. LiveWire PR article on the school's TextSomeons, Ca llParents, and TruancyCalls services.

Coordinates: 53°21′32″N 3°00′25″W / 53.359°N 3.007°W / 53.359; -3.007

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