Our Lady's School is a small Catholic school with a warm and welcoming personality and a reputation for superb pastoral care and excellent progress. The community of staff at Our Lady's show great care and dedication towards the students. Founded by the Servite Sisters in 1904, Our Lady’s is steeped in history and tradition.
Our Lady’s High Catholic School enables all in our school community to achieve their highest potential and prepares our students to become compassionate and caring citizens, aware of their global responsibilities. We achieve this by maintaining high expectations of the individual, appreciating that we are all members of a diverse community, living our Catholic faith and embracing the Servite values.
Shaping Tomorrow, Inspired by Faith
We are a supportive community that follows the Gospel message of ‘Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13: 34-35). Our community is based on a deep respect of the uniqueness and diversity found within each person, on quality relationships and a deep sense of belonging.
Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” It is the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. Compassion brings together our image of God, what God is like and how we are to live.
We spread the good news of the Gospel, that God loves us no matter what, through our actions as well as our words. As Pope Francis explains “all Christians … are called to show concern for the building of a better world.”
We nurture all aspects of personal development not just academic success. Our holistic approach to education in our school enables all of us to develop to our full potential – physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. We recognise that such development becomes a lifelong journey responding to Christ’s call to live life to the full.
Mary listened to the word of God throughout her life and accepted and did God's will in times of joy and in times of sorrow. She was a strong woman who cared about others. We model ourselves on how Mary lived, serving God and his plan of salvation. As the Mother of God, she inspires us to be people of faith, service, humility, love and dignity.
We recognise that each individual is known and loved by God therefore we see diversity as strength and openness as a living principle. The goal of diversity is to accept people for their differences. It requires complete openness to different nationalities, cultures, religions, ages, genders, abilities, sexual orientations and backgrounds, lifestyles and much more.
The commitment to service draws on the belief that service nurtures and strengthens as a means of grace in our lives. We are committed to service in the spirit of the Gospel message of ‘Love thy neighbour’ (Matthew 22:39). Service forms part of the core curriculum and our students are inspired by the example of Jesus to be servant leaders both in school and in the wider community.
Universality comes from the word universal, meaning all inclusive, Catholic, entire, unlimited and unrestricted. Our Society is Universal. Our school is Universal. Many nationalities and cultures joining together for a common purpose. Each of us have our own part to play. Although as individuals, we are single drops in a large ocean, without this single drop, it would be a very different ocean.
Our school was founded by the Servite Sisters in 1904 to provide education for the young girls of Hackney. We continue to be inspired and influenced by the work of the Servite Sisters and our eight Servite Values help us live these values in our thoughts and actions. Our most important Servite Value is our Marian Identity and as servants of Mary, we look to Mary, mother in faith, sister in discipleship, sign of the Church, and see ourselves as servants who come not to be served but to serve. Links with the Sisters of the Servite Order are still very strong, and Servite values continue to inform many of the school’s processes and priorities. A Servite Sister serves as one of our the school’s Chaplains. There are also international links with Servite schools and students in countries such as Bolivia, South Africa, France and Italy.
Our Lady’s is a vibrant school, which recognises the importance and individual needs of every pupil and member of staff. Praise and encouragement are vital in creating a climate of learning and high expectations, supported by teaching of the highest quality. The school is full of confident, creative and fulfilled young people and staff. They are all celebrated as individuals - unique creations of God- who deserve our support, love and trust as they begin the great journey of life.
The Servite Order began in 1233 in Florence, Italy, by a group of men who had great devotion to Our Lady. Unlike the Benedictines, who lived in remote monasteries at that time, the Servites lived and worked among the people supporting them in hospitals and other places. They were part of the mendicant tradition, so called, as they originally begged for their living. The original Servites were merchants, who began to live as a community, sharing everything. They understood that Our Lady was guiding them to pray and serve God and his people. They began a new Religious Order dedicated to serving God in the spirit of Our Lady. Their feast is celebrated on 17th February. It is from the two original groups, in 13th Century Florence and 19th Century Cuves, that Servite Values originated. Their expression and interpretation have developed over the centuries, according to the understanding of the times and culture of the people.
As a Catholic community Our Lady's School recognises that a commitment to equality for both staff and pupils is an unconditional part of our Christian mission. Notwithstanding our legal duties to promote equal opportunities amongst our members we recognise that all men and women are of equal importance in the sight of God and should be equally accorded the respect and dignity due to the children of God. We recognise that the diversity resulting from age, gender, racial, ability, faith and social origins culture and practice represent an enrichment of our community. As a school we are therefore committed to removing all barriers that lead to discrimination. All members of our community whatever their function, status or ability shall be valued equally and where inequality exists, this will be challenged.
You can read more about the school's history here.