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Our Lady's Catholic
High School

Our School

History of Our Lady's

The school was founded by the Servite Sisters, our ethos therefore is derived from and based on Servite Values. Those values include openness and respect for diversity therefore, whilst many of our teaching staff are not Catholic or Christian, all staff appreciate the strength of the faith community to which they belong. Acts of Worship are central to the life of the school and all members of the school community are included in the holistic vision of evangelisation as ‘shaping tomorrow, inspired by faith’. Our Marian commitment to service provides a working climate that enables teachers to thrive in their work; our girls are engaged learners, teachers can enjoy practising their craft and students have a desire to achieve and have personal ambition.

We believe that the values, skills and experience of learning in our school bring our students closer to the Servite Values of:

  • Compassion
  • Service
  • Community
  • Marian identity
  • Openness and respect for diversity
  • Global, holistic approach
  • Evangelisation
  • Universality

We recognise the uniqueness of each individual student and have strong links between academic and pastoral systems to ensure that provision meets the needs of all students.

  • 1904 to 1916

    Sr. M. Philippa O.S.M,

    was head from 1904 to 1916 and was responsible for establishing Our Lady's at 14 Amhurst Park, having moved the school from its earlier site in Lordship Road to accommodate the growing number of students

  • 1916-1936

    Mother Mary Angela Butler,

    obtained for Our Lady's Convent High School recognition by the Board of Education in 1924 and Grant Aid from the London County Council in 1929, thus ensuring the future status and financial stability of the school. The first lay staff were employed.

  • 1937-1951

    Mother Mary Celestine Corcoran O.S.M,

    guided the school through the years of Evacuation during World War II 1939-1945, and under her direction the school roll was greatly increased. She obtained special government permission in 1949 to build the St. Joseph's block, the oldest part of the present school.

  • 1952-1974

    Sr. Mary Alban Gallagher O.S.M,

    oversaw the enlargement of the school from 14-16 Amhurst Park to 6-16 Amhurst Park, the construction of the buildings from the present gym up to and including the chapel.Subject options and the size of the sixth form increased and academic standards rose. The school became Voluntary Aided.

  • 1975-1993

    Sr. Mary John Murdock O.S.M,

    oversaw change from a two form entry grammar to a three form entry comprehensive with co-operation at sixth form level. Subject options increased further; setting became the norm. Additional buildings were completed in 1978 and 1980. The demise of the I.L.E.A. and devolution to Hackney, with local financial management of schools occurred during this time.

  • 1994-2003

    Mrs Margaret Dixon,

    the school's first lay headteacher led the school through some exciting periods of reform and change. During her headship, Our Lady's enlarged to be four forms of entry and gained the following awards: Beacon School, Investors in People, Language College Status. Language College status and the enlargement of the school heralded Our Lady's into the new Millenium and on 22nd March 2002 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, opened and blessed the new extension to the school.

  • 2004 - 2015

    Mrs Jane Gray,

    the school's second lay headteacher led the school through the complete rebuild of the school as part of the 'Building Schools for the Future' programme. This included a two year period where Mrs Gray oversaw the school as split site institution; year 7&8 remained on the original site whilst years 9 to 13 were at a site on Mount Pleasant Lane. The culmination of this project was the incredible, modern building the school now occupies on Amhurst Park. Mrs Gray saw the school build on its academic achievements and remain one of the highest performing schools in Hackney.