Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
Motto Latin: Amare et servire
Established 1914 (1914)
Type Voluntary aided school
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Paul Stubbings
Founders Henry Fitzalan-Howard
Edmund Fitzalan-Howard
Location 89 Addison Road
Holland Park
W14 8BZ
England Coordinates: 51°30′14″N 0°12′43″E / 51.50392°N 0.21184°E / 51.50392; 0.21184
Local authority Kensington & Chelsea
DfE number 207/5402
DfE URN 100506 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 950
Gender boys (11-18), girls (16-18)
Ages 11–18
Houses More
Patron Cardinal Herbert Vaughan
Former pupils Old Vaughanians

The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, is a Roman Catholic voluntary aided school in Holland Park, Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, commonly referred to as The Vaughan. It was formerly a grammar school and one of several selective Catholic schools in England. As of 2011 the headmaster was Paul Stubbings.

The school has approximately 950 students. The A2-Level pass rate in 2006 was 100% (National Average: 97%), and over 95% of the grades were A-C. The average number of UCAS points per candidate was 359.[citation needed]

If the school is over-subscribed, as it usually is, candidates who are from "fully practising Catholic families" are given priority in admission, followed by other Catholics, then non-Catholics.[1]

The school teaches choral and instrumental music in addition to the usual academic subjects. The school does not select year seven pupils on academic prowess, but accepts pupils who are practising Catholics.


Herbert, Cardinal Vaughan

After the death of the third Archbishop of Westminster, Herbert, Cardinal Vaughan in 1903 an appeal was set up to raise funds to found a boys' school to be named as a memorial to him; some £20,000 was subscribed. The school was founded in 1914; the founders included Viscount Fitzalan, the Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Ripon. At first a private school, it became a state-funded grammar school in 1944. The Vaughan began to take pupils of all abilities in 1977 and became an all-ability school. Girls were first admitted to the sixth form in 1977. The school is now voluntary-aided and draws pupils chiefly, but not exclusively from Inner London.

The Vaughan School opened its doors in the Victorian Building now known as Addison Hall, as a private school, to twenty-nine boys on 21 September 1914, appointing Canon Driscoll as the first Headmaster.

In the next decade the school expanded and it was decided to seek recognition by the Board of Education for the grant as an independent day school. A piece of land, some 6 acres (24,000 m2) in North Wembley, was also purchased for playing fields, which were later exchanged for the present site at Twickenham, adjacent to the international Rugby Football Union ground

Shortly after Driscoll's death, Canon J.G. Vance became headmaster in 1928. During his term of office the school was temporarily evacuated to Beaumont College, Windsor during the Second World War. Thirty-nine old boys who were killed in the War are named in the School's Roll of Honour, including the first VC of the War in the Royal Air Force, Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland. After the war fees were abolished, and the school became voluntary-aided.


  • Canon Driscoll (1914–1928)

During Driscoll's headmastership the first Higher Certificates with Distinction were achieved, in 1926, the first classical scholarship, at Christ's College Cambridge, and the first ordination of Vaughan boys to the priesthood. Over the years two former pupils became auxiliary bishops of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, Philip Harvey and Gerald Mahon.

  • Canon Vance (1928–1948)
  • Canon Butcher (1948–1952)

Butcher became headmaster in 1952, and left in 1952 to become President of St Edmund's College.

  • Monsignor Kenefeck (1952–1976)

Under Kenefeck the school expanded from a two-form entry to a three-form entry school in 1962. The New Building opened in 1963 to accommodate increasing numbers. In 1977 girls were first admitted to the Sixth Form.

  • Fr. Anthony Pellegrini (1976–1997)

Pellegrini, the frst headmaster who was not a cleric, was appointed in 1976. After the admission in 1977 of the first all-ability intake, the Vaughan changed from a grammar to a fully comprehensive school. In 1992 a new administration block and library were built; in 1994 a new Art and Technology Block was opened, a new Pavilion built at the playing fields in Twickenham, and in September 1998 a building named after Anthony Pellegrini was completed. Since September 1995 four forms of entry are admitted to the School each year.

  • Michael Gormally (1997–2009)

In September 1997 Michael Gormally became headmaster. In September 2000, a mezzanine floor in the Main Building was opened to sixth form pupils. The school was granted specialist Status as a mathematics and computing school in September 2003. In September 2005, new Music Rooms were opened in the Main Building. Further facilities for football, rugby, athletics and cricket were provided at the playing fields and specialist status was conferred on the school for science. Gormally retired in 2009.

  • Charles Eynaud, BSc (2009–2011)
  • Paul Stubbings, MA (from 2011)


The school is divided into three main buildings, Addison Hall, the New Building and the Pellegrini Building, the later two of which are adjoined on the main grounds on the west side of Addison Road, with Addison Hall (or the Old Building) on the east side of the road. It has a sports pavilion and extensive playing fields in Twickenham opposite the UK's main rugby stadium. The school's Design Technology and Information Technology facilities make up the majority of the Pellegrini Building. The most recent addition to the school is a third floor to the New Building; the £3.6m project houses modern music facilities. This new floor holds a professional recording studio, a Music Technology Suite with 20 computers, nine practice rooms, a Song School for choral singing and equipped for recording, two full-sized classrooms and a large rehearsal hall.


Key Stage 3[edit]

11-14 year olds follow the Key Stage 3 curriculum and are required to study (Catholic) religious education, English, mathematics, science, art, citizenship education, design and technology, French, geography, history, ICT, music, physical education and Spanish.[2] The school follows a banding system based on ability. Those in the higher bands study Latin,those in the lower Classical Civilisation.


At the age of 14, in their third year of study, boys at the Vaughan can choose GCSE Subjects. These subjects are extras to the basic curriculum of religious education, English, mathematics, core science, additional science]], and games. The boys choose four subjects from engineering, art, business studies, design and technology, French, geography, history, an extra science course, music, physical education, ICT, and Spanish.[3] Those boys who are studying Latin have the option to pursue it as well as classical Greek, or classical civilisation.


At the age of 16 lower sixth-former students can pursue four subjects to study further. These include religious studies, philosophy, mathematics, further mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, English, Latin, history, geography, design and technology, |ICT, PE, art, French, Spanish, sociology and business studies. The four chosen subjects are taught every day for an hour. The students also have a private study period every day, supervised in the Main Hall in the New Building. Sixth-Form students also get an hour of general religious education every fortnight, replacing a private study. Games are not compulsory for sixth-formers, although many often participate in extracurricular activities, such as rock climbing and cross country running.

In the second year of sixth-form, upper sixth-former students can drop one of their chosen subjects, reducing their timetable to three lessons a day, with two free periods. Students are given a general religious education lesson every fortnight in upper sixth-form. In this year, students also begin to apply to university. This is the last year for students at the Vaughan.


House system[edit]

Cardinal Vaughan follows a traditional house system. There are four houses named after Catholic figures, Campion, Fisher, Mayne and More. All houses compete in the various sports challenges and events.


Many former pupils go on to play with Rugby League teams after their time at Vaughan[citation needed]. The school's home grounds are positioned adjacent to Twickenham Stadium, the home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The rugby season commences in September with trials for all age groups. All rugby teams play Saturday morning fixtures for the duration of the Michaelmas term. In addition to Saturday morning fixtures senior teams are involved in midweek and cup fixtures.

Vaughan boys compete in many competitions across the country and against other schools, and also in annual House Varsity games.

Senior Rugby players also play Saturday morning and midweek fixtures during the Lent term. Rugby training for First, Third and Fourth Form takes place on Monday nights and for Second, Fifth and Sixth Form on Tuesday nights at Linford Christie Stadium. In addition to Rugby Union the School also enters various Rugby Sevens tournaments. These generally take place during the Lent term.


The school has the use of Barn Elms Boat Club, where boys can learn to row and scull. The Vaughan has produced many Olympic Rowers, including Martin Cross and Garry Herbert OBE.


Many former pupils became international footballers,including Bernard Joy, Paul Parker, Eddie Newton and Kevin Gallen.

Football fixtures are played throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Only the 1st and 2nd XI teams play Saturday morning fixtures during the Michaelmas term.

The School's Football teams are also entered in various local and national cup competitions. Games for these competitions are played midweek.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

The school fields seven Football teams and an equal number of rugby union teams. It has five cricket teams, which compete in the London Schools League. The School's athletes participate in regional and national competitions. Girls in the Sixth Form play netball. Martin Cross and one other boy have gone on to win medals in Olympic rowing.

Boys may study musical instruments, including the piano, the organ (of which the school has three), strings, brass, woodwind and percussion. There are also several choirs and orchestras: the Schola Cantorum, the Sixth Form Choir, the School Choir, the School Orchestra, the Concert Band, the Junior String Ensemble, the Senior Strings and the Chamber Orchestra, all of which give regular concerts. The School's Big Band has taken part in national competitions and has toured in France, Spain, Netherlands and the USA. It has performed alongside Salena Jones and Jason Yarde and had commissions from Bob Mintzer, Frank Griffith, Jeff Jarvis and Richard Harris. The Schola Cantorum twice represented Great Britain at the Loreto Festival in Italy, and visited Rome three times, singing Vespers in the St. Peter's Basilica and performing before the Pope. The school choir has toured Germany, the USA, Austria and the Czech Republic. Boys frequently perform in professional contexts and have sung with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Choir and the Chorus of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

School journeys are yearly ski trips, modern language trips and French exchanges; over the years, a great many boys have visited countries as far afield as the United States and Greece. There are cuubs and societies for chess, computers, philosophy and the like.

Schola Cantorum[edit]

Lauda Sion Recording at Ampleforth Abbey

The Schola Cantorum is the School's liturgical choir, founded in 1980 and made up of boys aged from 11 to 18. The Schola sings at school Masses, and has frequent external engagements; it has sung at many of London's major venues including Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St John's Smith Square, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Barbican Centre and the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The choir has appeared on radio and TV broadcasts, including BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship, Vatican Radio, and the religious choral programme Songs of Praise on BBC television. The Schola has travelled widely abroad, singing in Italy, Spain, Greece, Holland, Germany, France and the USA. In 2002 the Schola toured Rome, singing at Santa Maria sopra Minerva (English cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's titular church), and at the major Basilicas of St John Lateran, St Mary Major, St Paul's outside the Walls and St Peter's. They were addressed by Pope John Paul II. In 2005 the choir returned to Rome giving a concert at Sant'Ignazio and singing Mass in St Peter's. The Schola also visited Assisi and sang Mass in the Patriarchal Basilica of San Francesco. The choir visited Paris in November 2007, singing High Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral.

The Schola has recorded a number of CDs, including Praise to the holiest, a CD of hymns, Sing in Exultation, a CD of Christmas carols, and Lauda Sion by Mendelssohn and works by Dupré and others.

Former pupils (Old Vaughanians)[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]


External links[edit]