Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
Motto Latin: Amare et servire
Established 1914 (1914)

Voluntary Aided School

Public 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
School Song To Be A Pilgrim (He who would valiant be)

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


Academic Dress at The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

The school is renowned for its traditions, one of which includes its uniform. Pupils in Years 1-5 will dress in the all black Vaughan suit with the Vaughan Lower School Tie, a tie that bears the Vaughan School colours. During this time they have the option to be awarded a number of sporting ties and prefect ties. In sixth form pupils are required to wear the all grey Vaughan suit and Sixth Form tie, bearing an extra white stripe, and/or any sporting ties. Girls who join the school at this time are required to wear the Vaughan maroon blazer and grey skirt. Upper Sixth pupils can be awarded a number of commendation ties including the Senior Music Prefect Tie, Senior Prefect Tie, Head Boy Tie and Sporting Ties marking games played. Girls are awarded broaches in a similar way to mark their achievements. In addition it is commonplace to see pupils wearing the Vaughan Robe. The robe is all black and is worn by teachers at all times, the Head Boy and Head Girl will wear a specially commissioned Blue and Maroon Robe. At various times of the year including the Vaughan Speech Night, teachers are required to wear full academic dress. Boys in the Lower School are required to use the Vaughan Holdall and all pupils are required to wear a particular type of shoe.


Canon Driscoll (1914–1928)[edit]

Canon Driscoll

Hired at a salary of £200 per year, Canon Driscoll was appointed as the first headmaster. He confessed to having spent the summer months anxiously worrying about how many boys would face him on opening day. Two classes were held in the top rooms. Canon Driscoll took one and Father W. Horgan the other. The first lay master, M J. Cobb, joined in 1915 followed by Father Parsons, Mr Connell and Miss Ashlyn, the first female teacher. One young pupil was somewhat confused by the mixture of clerical and lay staff. Asked about his teachers by his parents, he replied, 'Well, some are priests and the others are gentlemen'. The new School Chapel was opened at the start of the second term, on 19 January 1915. It was decorated by Thomas Seadon with life-size paintings of Blessed Thomas More and Blessed John Fisher Oater canonised) who were patrons of the School. The tiny playground was used by the cricketers and one unfortunate youth named Libeart has the unhappy distinction to have been the first Vaughan boy to break a window. Canon Driscoll was sparing with praise but bestowed it with such simplicity and sincerity that the recipient always felt he meant much more than he said. His absorption into the life of the School was so intense that he was unhappy when the boys had let for their holidays, leaving him to the quiet, deserted classrooms. Under Driscoll's guidance, the School slowly found its feet during the Great War. The first pupils recalled trooping down to the basement whenever the air raid warning was given. Numbers began to rise, reaching 220 by 1928. This growth enabled Canon Driscoll to build up a young and energetic teaching staff, many of whom would form the nucleus of Vaughan teachers for years to come. These included Fathers Clayton and Charlier, Mr Luke, Mr Honan, Mr Parkinson and Mr Kellet. notable recruit was Miss Simpson who organised the preparatory department and was to serve the Vaughan for forty-two years. Academic standards were high leading to the School and Higher Certificates of the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board. The year 1926 the first of the School’s many Classical Scholarships to The School fostered vocations: on 18 July 1926, Fathers Stanislaus Savage and Wilfred Smart were the first in a long line of pupils to be ordained to the priesthood. They had both been among the original 29 boys to meet Canon Driscoll in September 1914. In the autumn of 1927 Canon Driscoll’s health began to fail and he died December 29, at the age of 57. Two more teachers appointed, Mr Creaven, who for a long spell was to be in charge of discipline, and Mr. Hamilton, the Senior Classics Master. The foundations had well and truly been laid and a new era in the Vaughan’s history was about to begin. 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.

Dr Monsignor Canon Vance (1928–1948)[edit]

Monsignor Canon Vance
The Vaughan Prayer Book, introduced by Dr Monsignor Canon Vance

Dr Vance was already well known as a scholar and a writer when he succeeded Canon Driscoll as Headmaster and to this day a bust of Dr Vance may be found in the present Headmaster's study. He undoubtedly ran a tight ship and strict punctuality was expected of every teacher: 'The attention of the Staff is called to the need for rigid punctuality. Every class must cease automatically when the bell rings. Each member of my Staff must realise that boys should not be kept waiting a minute. They are therefore asked to begin their classes punctually to the minute. Whenever possible the master should wait for the boys, so that the boys will learn to hurry to their classrooms.' There was even a regulation about handwriting: 'No boy may write With his left hand unless he has received special permission from me as a result of a medical certificate received from his parents.' And teachers had to write on the blackboard in a certain manner: 'The Staff are asked to use copper-plate handwriting with thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, no matter how little or in what subject.' In fact, Dr Vance was anxious to resort to punishment as little as possible: 'Both the fact of punishment and the wish to avoid punishment ultimately appeal to fear. Where the appeal to fear succeeds it often generates at the same time both cowardice and evasiveness. I should rather that we all appeal definitely and constantly to duty and manliness. The Doctor took an intense pride in all things English and these patriotic views seem to have rubbed off on the pupils, as the following extracts from The Vaughanian of 1937 show: 'Englishmen have more reason to be proud of their country than any other people. England stands for commonsense, and the security of life and property. Men of extreme views are not liked or encouraged.’ J. Booth, Form 1b Dr Vance went so far as to set out special reasons for leniency: The boys of this School may be forgiven many trifling and minor offences: because of the absence of a playground and suitable means of recreation during the day; on account of long journeys to and from home which many of them have; because they have a large number of classes during the course of the day; on account of the considerable amount of homework which they have to do in the evenings before going to bed reasonably early. going to bed reasonably early. 'Americans are boastful; Irishmen are quarrelsome, the French are fussy, and the Germans oppressive. English folk have lesser faults.' — A. Lowe, Form IVa Dr Vance had a great interest in improving the fabric of the School which was steadily growing to full capacity. By 1938 the roll had increased to nearly 300 which meant the playing fields had to be transferred from Wembley to their present site at Twickenham. This was first proposed in 1935 but it was 1937 before the move was finally completed. There is surprisingly little reference to music at the School in the pre-war days. We hear of a Music Society being founded in 1935 by fifth and sixth form pupils. We are told in 1936 that this society 'still flourishes' and reference is made in 1937 to 'the new choir'. Art was also rarely mentioned, the appreciation of which only came to be promoted outside the curriculum by Mr Kellett. Richard Kellett spent his entire teaching career (1926-1974) at the Vaughan. For generations of boys he came to symbolise the Vaughan tradition. An outstanding scientist, he spent many years in the inadequate laboratories at the top of the Old Building. Typically, Mr Kellett never complained but when he finally took over the new science block in 1963, it must have seemed like the Promised Land after so many years in the wilderness. In his later years he became Deputy Headmaster. When he retired in 1974, his former colleague, Mr Parkinson, described him as 'the most humane of scientists'. He read widely, had many interests and did much to broaden the knowledge of humanities in the School. In September 1939 normal life at the Vaughan was interrupted with the outbreak of the Second World War. The School was evacuated to Windsor where it remained until the end of the war. The boys knew they would be sent out of London but did not know the destination. For various reasons, such as the reluctance of some parents to accept an evacuation arranged by the government, only 201 boys assembled in the Hall for the departure — about two thirds of the School roll. Dr Vance addressed the boys and then handed over the arrangements to Mr Parkinson who recorded in his official account that the 'Veni Sancte Spiritus' was sung and boys and staff set off for Earls Court Station behind a banner with the strange device 'H.37.C.V.S'. A boy remembers the banner being unfurled and borne aloft by two of the bigger boys but adds his memory of marching to the station with the 'Veni, Creator Spiritus' alternating with 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary'. Another boy has vivid memories of 'Marching through Georgia'. Changing trains at Richmond, the boys guessed that the destination was Windsor. At Windsor, officials and volunteers welcomed the various schools arriving from London. Each boy was given a brown carrier bag containing tins of corned beef, sardines and a large bar of milk chocolate. Windsor was now overcrowded with evacuees and the Vaughan boys were greeted with less than enthusiasm. Graham Wilding remembers the kindness of one of his teachers: 'I can never see a Kit Kat without thinking of Miss Agnes Simpson, the only lady member of staff, who purchased a box full and distributed them among her group to allay the increasing pangs of hunger.' Some boys were more fortunate than others. Viscount Fitzalan of Derwant, a School Governor, invited six of the older boys to be billeted with him at Cumberland Lodge, a stately home in Windsor Creat Park. John Sankey (later to have a distinguished career in the Foreign Office) recalls spending part of the last year of the war there. 'I had a large room with a four-poster bed and a private bathroom. We ate with the servants and rarely saw our host — after all, he was ninety!' From the outset, Dr Vance was concerned about the standards of behaviour of the boys in these wartime conditions. He issued detailed instructions to staff who were to regard the time at Windsor cas special work for the School and for the country in time of war'. Form masters were expected to instruct the boys in the 'elements of health', even down to such details as 'taking a little Epsom salts three or four times a week before breakfast, and a weekly aperient'. It had to be made clear to the boys: - that it is manly to make light of any discomfort; - they may help their parents by writing cheery and interesting letters; - that each must make a point of honour of never grousing. We shall regard grousing as an infectious disease. It certainly is this, and does more harm than most infectious diseases. He later adopted a Churchillian tone. 'Mr Churchill prayed that future generations might say of us in England, "This was their finest hour". It will be our finest hour at the Vaughan School if we try to inculcate the high and magnificent qualities of the English tradition, and at the same time those great traditions of resistance, courage and devoutness which characterised our Catholic forefathers in difficult times.' Despite all these difficulties the academic life of the School flourished during the six years at Windsor and more scholarships and awards were won in 1941 than in any previous year. The war itself impinged on the School in various ways. Graham Wilding remembers 'gazing in awe when one sixth former, Rory McCurk, responded to Anthony Eden's appeal for Local Volunteers Oater the Home Guard) and came back armed with a rifle and three rounds of ammunition. Some teachers were called up to the armed forces, as were older boys on school. Pupils recall reading the Headmaster's notice, in May 1940, proudly announcing that an old boy, Officer Donald Garland, had been awarded the first Victoria Cross of the war to a member of the Royal Air Force, sadly posthumously. Thirty- nine other Vaughan boys, including Donald's brother Desmond, were to give their lives for their country Six hundred bombs were dropped on Windsor. Enemy raiders passed and repassed overhead in the night to Coventry and to Birmingham. Sirens wailed. Guns in the Great Park went into action. Windows were found broken each morning. A Flying Fortress made a forced landing on the meads and put four playing pitches out of use. In the end the Vaughan survived the war and evacuation remarkably well — far better than many London schools. It is evident that this was largely due to the devotion of the staff in these difficult years. After all, they themselves, many of them married men, had to endure the privations of evacuation and run a school at the same time. Dr Vance was unstintingin his praise of the efforts of his colleagues. It had been a unique and proud chapter in the Vaughan's history. During the summer holidays of 1945 a party of Fifth- and Sixth- Formers spent several days helping to move the Vaughan back to Addison Road. Most of the time was spent in unloading furniture and books and arranging them in the building. Dr Vance recorded that only one of the boys who had come back after six years of evacuation had ever seen inside of the School buildings. 'We had, therefore, the difficulty of starting a new school on the old site.' The Vaughan was entering a new world — leaving behind its Public School period — and the adjustment was difficult, perhaps painful for some- the 1944 Education Act, the Governors had taken the decision to apply for Voluntary Aided status. Within the scheme for London schools, the Vaughan would become a Voluntary Aided Grammar School. In the interim period it had the status of an 'assisted' school. No fees had been charged since 1 April 1945 and it was stated in June 1946 that the whole income of the School was now derived through the London County Council. In 1947 Dr Vance expressed great fears about new entrants to the School: 'Boys coming to the School for the last two years from the elementary schools reached a terribly low standard having suffered from the vicissitudes of evacuation. They show little inclination to study; their ability is slight; their concentration is almost nil; and what is worse they show strange lack of the sense of religion. It is difficult for us at a grammar school to be forced to do work which should be done in the primary or preparatory school. If and when the entrants reach a better standard it will take at least five years before the School reaches the standard of 1938.' In 1948, Cardinal Griffin referred to 'this time of crisis' for the School The language used is illuminating and one cannot avoid the feeling that while many of the difficulties experienced were undoubtedly great, many others proved to be imaginary. Although we now have the benefit of hindsight, such pessimistic views were largely unfounded before long the Vaughan settled down into being a maintained Grammar School, its academic record second to none. Thirty years later, the potentially greater transition from selective to voluntary aided status caused fewer heartaches. Dr Vance resigned as Headmaster in 1948. By any standards he had been a great Headmaster. He shaped and moulded the School in the most positive and purposeful way and his influence remained evident long after his resignation.

Canon Butcher (1948–1952)[edit]

Canon Butcher, Former President of St. Edmund's College, Ware

Father Reginald Butcher succeeded Dr Vance in 1948. He had served at the Vaughan during its evacuation to Windsor but his time as Headmaster was limited to four years because of his appointment in 1952 as President of St Edmund's, Ware. Shortly after his appointment, the need for urgent structural repairs became apparent. Extensive dry rot was discovered and had to be remedied. More seriously, the main School Hall had been declared a dangerous structure with the outer wall in danger of collapse. Some remarkable engineering took place to cure this problem. The wall of the School was shored up, while steel supports were sunk into the fabric to make the outer wall safe. Father Butcher's unique contribution to the School can be attributed to his own wide cultural interests in art, music and literature. Under his inspiration and direction, there grew up a large programme of activities outside as well as inside the classrooms to interest the boys in the world's great artists, musicians and writers. In this he was notably assisted by Mr Kellett, Mr Handyslde and Mr Laloux. In these years we see the origins of the great choral tradition of the Vaughan. As part of the HMI inspection in 1950, Mr Bernard Shore, a distinguished musician, visited the School and voiced his pleasure at the 'beautiful tone' of the School choir, expressing the hope that it would soon tackle four-part music. This it soon undertook under the direction of Frank Handyside. Father Butcher cared deeply for the religious life of the School and affected a happy union between the artistic and the spiritual. He was especially pleased by the attention given to religious music, to religious art and to the works of the great Catholic writers. In particular, the vast improvement in the boys' singing at Mass and Benediction and the growing success of the School choir owed much to his constant encouragement. There was genuine regret in 1952 when Father Butcher was transferred to St Edmund's. His later nomination as a Canon of Westminster and a papal monsignor were a reward, in part at least, for his work at the Vaughan.

Monsignor Kenefeck (1952–1976)[edit]

Monsignor Kenefeck

Father Richard Kenefeck, who succeeded him, was the longest serving Headmaster in the Vaughan's history, presiding over the School's development for nearly a quarter of a century, Richard Kenefeck was ordained in 1935 and went on to read English at Downing College, Cambridge. He was appointed to the Vaughan in 1938 and spent his whole working life at the School. He came with the reputation of being a brilliant footballer and immediately took charge of sports and games. He also taught Religious Education, Latin and English, Father Kenefeck was known for his sincere concern for the spiritual development of his pupils. He also acquired the reputation of a strict disciplinarian. To a degree, Father Kenefeck lived under the shadow of Dr Vance and Monsignor Butcher and was perhaps conscious that he lacked their charisma. Nevertheless his achievements were considerable in their own right, his priorities as Headmaster summed up In a little booklet he wrote entitled 'A Talk to Parents of New Boys': 'No Catholic school would be fulfilling its purpose if its sole occupation were to push knowledge into more or less receptive heads. All Catholics know that education should deal With the personality as a whole. And Catholic education views the person primarily as a child of God Education fits a boy for life. But life fits a boy for eternal life. Therefore, the knowledge, love and practice of religion stand before all else. If a boy finishes his school training as a Catholic gentleman,he will have qualities beyond price.' It is that phrase, ca Catholic gentleman', that sums up Father Kenefeck's aims in education. He himself could have been described as ca Catholic priest and gentleman'. He had a simple devotion to the Catholic faith and that, above all, is what he wanted to pass on to the pupils. As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, Father Kenefeck found teaching Religious Education to the Sixth Form a more troublesome and demanding task. Father Terry Phipps, then a pupil, remarks, 'It was sad to see Father Kenefeck struggling to keep up with a questioning generation in religion. His definition of religion, I remember, laid immense stress on the root meaning of the word 'to bind', which seemed to him to mean that religion was all to do with rules and regulations — not something that went down well in the late 1960s.' To the boys he seemed a remote figure but his Deputy and successor, Anthony Pellegrini, thought of him as a most kindly man who was also very modest about his accomplishments. I was astonished to discover his flair as a painter.' Father Kenefeck's early years as Headmaster were occupied with concerns — the expansion of the Sixth Form and the organisation of the School as a grammar school in new buildings. New Advanced A-Level subjects such as English, Geography and Economics were introduced to a Sixth Form which had been largely devoted to Classics, and from 1956 Mathematics and the Sciences were added. The question of a new building had occupied the Governors since the Vaughan had acquired voluntary aided status. The roll was steadily increasing and the question of recruiting a third form of entry was first discussed as early as 1955, but not finally agreed by the London County Council until December 1961, In February 1959 Cardinal Godfrey was able to announce to the Governors that negotiations were now in hand for the building of an entirely new Vaughan School. When this news was first received, Father Kenefeck had wanted to re-create the Preparatory Department in the old building but this plan was abandoned with the increase to three forms of entry. On 6 June 1964, the new building was officially opened and blessed by Archbishop Heenan of Westminster in the presence of governors, teachers, parents, past and present pupils and the Mayor of London. Very appropriately, the ceremony marked the Golden Jubilee of the School's foundation in 1914. The School had hardly settled into its new accommodation when the word which was to dominate the next quarter of a century appeared, reorganisation. By 1946 the then Labour government of Harold Wilson had committed itself to the policy of comprehensive education. Long and protracted negotiations about the Vaughan's future status were about to begin. In April 1968, the uncertainty was ended, for the moment, when it was proposed by the ILEA that the Vaughan should remain a three-form grammar school pending amalgamation as an eight-form comprehensive after 1975'. By 1972 the governors were once again considering new reorganisation proposals and were involved in long negotiations with the Westminster Diocesan Schools' Commission and the Inner London Education Authority. In retrospect one is struck by the inordinate amount of time that had to be given to these proposals and the constantly changing plans appear quite bewildering. At different times there were plans for the Vaughan to amalgamate with St Edmund's, Fulham, using the Mary Boon buildings or, alternatively, to amalgamate with the Cardinal Manning School on the Ladbroke Upper Site. Despite this worrying background of uncertainty about the future, the School continued to develop in many areas. One of Father Kenefeck's innovations was to introduce parent/ teacher meetings. It seems incredible that such meetings had not been held prior to 1954 but the result was deemed 'everywhere most helpful, most instructive, most edifying . School journeys abroad grew under Father Kenefeck. Groups of Vaughan boys visited Germany, Belgium, Norway, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United States. The United States was immensely popular and possibly seen as not quite so 'foreign' as Europe. On one top in 1975, Father Henry Young 'who had been planning this top ever since he got back from the last one' took a group of sw.r-een In two Plymouth 8-seat estate cars on a trek across the mid- west. They were delighted with their friendly reception — 'You British? Clad to know you! Camping? My!' Perhaps the most loved of all teachers during these years was Mr Frank Handyside. Frank was one of the last teachers to be appointed by Dr Vance and took up his duties under Monsignor Butcher in 1948 until his retirement in 1978. His greatest contribution was as a Form Master. Understanding and sympathetic, Mr Handyside was much loved by the boys. When he suffered a long illness in 1954, the hospital staff were amazed at the continual flow of boys who came to visit 'Handyl It could only have been Handy who passed on to the young Stephen Arthur (in a French lesson) the valuable information that the Café Royal in London was at the time one of the few places in the UK where one could obtain calvados. The school cap which was compulsory until the early 1960s seems to have made an enormous impression, especially because of the various shapes and sizes it could be squeezed into when wet. The caps had enormous peaks and there were four different coloured buttons to show which house you belonged to. They were extremely unpopular with the boys who considered that prefects and teachers expended a ridiculous amount of energy trying to make people wear them until the end of the third year. The caps and the general grammar school air may have been too provocative for pupils in the neighbouring Holland Park School. Whatever the reason, there developed a feud between the two schools which led to the Vaughan's lunch-break being shortened by thirty minutes to avoid clashes. Former pupils of this period almost universally acknowledge that the Vaughan influenced their lives in many ways. Most, If not all, are proud to have been 'Vaughan boys.'

Fr. Anthony Pellegrini (1976–1997)[edit]

Fr Anthony Pellegrini

Pellegrini, the first headmaster who was not a cleric, was appointed in 1976. Anthony Pellegrini's personal Odyssey to the Vaughan was quiteunique. Born in Istanbul in 1940, the young Anthony followed his family to India, Africa and Cyprus before finally, aged eleven, he arrived in England. As well as his academic progress, Anthony's love of music was nourished and encouraged, Immediately after graduating from the London School of Economics he joined the Vaughan as a General Subjects teacher, teaching English, Religious Education and Mathematics. After only a year on the staff he was appointed to the post of Discipline Master in the Lower School and, in 1969, despite being the youngest of the candidates, he was appointed Deputy Head. This was clearly recognition both of his administrative ability and his potential for further promotion, as was demonstrated when he was appointed Headmaster in 1976. Anthony Pellegrini differed from all previous Headmasters of the Vaughan in two respects. He was the first layman to be appointed, following four priest predecessors. Secondly, he was the most visible of all Vaughan Headmasters, constantly seen in the playground and around the buildings, knowing every child by name. Since 1976 the Catholic ethos of the School has been maintained and even enhanced. John Bibby, a former teacher of Religious Education, wrote: 'The Vaughan has never been a place where people just did their own thing. There could never be any doubt that one worked in a community directed by the values of the Gospel.' Religious Education was firmly embedded in the curriculum and the liturgy celebrated at the weekly Mass. Vaughan pupils have continued the tradition of visiting Lourdes to help with the sick and the handicapped. Out of this initiative was born the Cardinal Vaughan Community Service Unit in which Sixth Formers volunteer for a whole range of activities. The most immediate task facing the Headmaster and his staff in 1976 was the imminent transition to a voluntary aided school. The first all-ability intake entered the School in September 1977. Teachers who had spent most, if not all, of their careers in a selective grammar school were, not unnaturally, a little apprehensive. Under the Headmaster's guidance the staff made a collective decision to do all in their power to assist the children with learning difficulties, while at the same time they were determined to maintain the academic standards and high expectations of all the children in their care. While there were still many lessons to learn and some mistakes yet to be made, the transition went remarkably smoothly. The School has more than maintained high academic standards and children at all levels of the ability range have been enabled to realise their potential. It is a remarkable achievement that the comprehensive phase of the Vaughan's development has not only equalled the academic achievements of the selective period but, in many respects, has surpassed them. A young lady called Bernadette Murphy occupies a special niche in the Vaughan story. In the autumn of 1980 she became the first girl to be enrolled at the School. Girls had previously come to the Vaughan from the Sacred Heart School and elsewhere as part of the joint Sixth Form teaching arrangements, but Bernadette was the first girl co be on the School's roll, It must have been a daunting experience to be che only girl in a boys' school, This was an innovation which the founding fathers could never have dreamed of in 1914. One of the significant events of these years was the building of the new pavilion. Generations of Vaughan boys recall the projects renew the dilapidated pavilion at Twickenham. At last, in 1995, the dream was Largely due to the efforts of Mr Frank McCettigan, former pupil, negotiations with the Rugby Football Union resulted in the new building. It was formally opened on Sunday 29 January 1995, preceded by a match between the First Xl and the Old Boys which ended in an honourable draw. During the mid to late 1980s the School was involved in sometimes stormy and always controversial struggle over and parents to diocesan and ILEA plans for the reorganisation of 16-19 educational provision. In September 1986 the Vaughan parents responded to the Diocese's formal approval for Secondary Reorganisation in the Central Area by establishing an Action Croup to oppose the proposals. A Media Committee was formed, a newspaper published,write to Cardinal Hun-at, to Mrs O'Gorman, to their Nf.?s, to Secretary of State for Education and to the newspapers. Perhaps inevitably the campaign aroused strong feelings on both sides and positions Became polarised. At the heart of the campaign, however, lay a deep sense of frustration among the Vaughan parents. As the distinguished writer Piers Paul Read put it in a letter to Mrs O'Gorman, 'They feel frustrated, and sometimes angry, that in one area of Church life where the Council accords primary responsibility to the family, the decisions are being made by the clergy and diocesan officials.' The Iona-drawn-out saga effectively came to an end on 30 November 1989 when the Governors were informed that the Secretary of State had approved the application for grant maintained status With effect from 1 April 1990. A new governing body would take over from that day and the School would retain Its 11-18 status.

Michael Gormally (1997–2009)[edit]

Michael Gormally

In September 1997, Anthony Pellegrini was succeeded as Headmaster by Michael Gormally. Mr. Gormally, famously a larger-than- life figure, had joined the Vaughan in 1980 and his prodigious gifts as a teacher were immediately recognised by Mr. Pellegrini, who made him Head of Lower School while he was still in his first year of teaching. Mr Gormally had risen to the position of Deputy Head with Mr Pellegrini and his appointment to the headship was seen, particularly by the younger boys, as inevitable. This was not the case — there were other very strong candidates — but the Governors offered the role to Michael Gormally and he did not disappoint with his remarkable stewarding of the School over the next 12 years. Mr. Gormally's time as Headmaster saw the Vaughan flourish in many ways. Development of the facilities and resources of the School continued apace: in September 2000, a mezzanine floor in the Main Building was opened to Sixth Form pupils as part of the School's programme to improve facilities. In September 2005, magnificent new Music Rooms were opened by Sir Thomas Allen in the Main Building. The School was granted Specialist Status as a Mathematics and Computing school, and later in Science, allowing the transformation of our facilities in all aspects of the curriculum. Further first-class facilities for Football, Rugby, Athletics and Cricket were also provided at our playing fields. Throughout the twelve years of Mr. Gormally's Headship, examination results at the School were outstanding, even taking into account alleged grade inflation' during these years, and the School featured year on year amongst the very highest achieving of schools both at GCSE and A Level. These results led to remarkable University applications and the School frequently sent high numbers of students to Oxbridge and was one of the very highest achieving schools at sending pupils to the Russell Group Universities (the 30 top universities in the country) There was not just academic success but other aspects of the School's life flourished as well. The Vaughan had always been known for its music-making, but under Mr. Gormally's leadership the Department grew even stronger. Instrumental music grew as never before and the singing of the boys became increasingly renowned. The achievements in Physical Education were also very strong durino these years. Essentiallv all aspects of the School were allowed to grow and there was encouragement for all to pursue their interests as the breadth of the School's curricular and extra-curricular activities grew in all directions. What kind of a Headmaster was Michael Gormally? When asked this question those who worked with him generally speak of his kindness. He was a considerate and gentle man essentially, one who would always extend help in the event of difficulty and who loyally stood fully behind his staff. The staff took great confidence from the certainty of his support. He was strict with the boys where necessary, much like his predecessors, but, like them, he was also warm and generous 'They are but children,' he would often say. Mr. Gormally would have very much agreed with Dr. Vance's list of reasons why the boys should be forgiven certain indiscretions. At the same time, Mr. Gormally set very high moral standards for the boys and was quick to point out to them the dangers presented by our modern age and the challenges of being a Catholic in increasingly secular times Under his leadership the Vaughan’s religious ethos was not merely reaffirmed but further developed, particularly in close partnership with Father Dominic Allain, the School's Chaplain from 2002. Confession, three weekly Masses, Benediction, the saying of the Angelus at midday, the reciting of the Rosary during May and October; all these external aspects of the practice of the faith were strengthened during these years. Although Mr Gormally was very much Head of the whole School, he nonetheless left the running of the Upper School to Liam Cooney, his First Deputy Headmaster. It had been Liam Cooney's idea that the use of the two school buildings should be reversed allowing him to establish a different atmosphere, more akin to a Sixth Form College for the top three years of the School. Mr Cooney, who taught at the Vaughan from 1988 to 2010, having been a pupil at the School under Father Kenefeck, was charged with improving the exam results when appointed Head of Sixth Form. This he did to an extraordinary degree. Other members of staff who played an important role in the lives of the older boys and girls during these years included Brendan Daintith, Paula Whyte and more latterly, Caroline Whelan. Miss Whelan, who is now the Head of Sixth Form, is typical of many Vaughan teachers in that she has only ever taught at the Vaughan. This has been the case throughout the Vaughan's history and is true to this day. Others who have only ever taught at one school include Shelagh O'Connell, Head of English, Scott Price, the Director of Music and, of course, the current Headmaster, Paul Stubbings.

Charles Eynaud, BSc (2009–2011)[edit]

Charles Eynaud

Mr Gormally was taken ill in 2008 and retired formally a year later in 2009. There followed a two-year period, during which Charles Eynaud as Acting Headmaster ably steered the School with great dignity. Charles Eynaud had taught at the School since 1988, as Head of Mathematics and then as a Deputy Headmaster: the Vaughan has much to thank him for. His title as Acting Headmaster must not be overlooked, as the school completed almost three years under the helm of Mr. Eynaud who guided The Vaughan to many successes both academically, in sport, music, the arts and many other ventures. Academic records continued to rise under his name and he continues to teach at the school to this day, returning to his former position of Deputy Head following the appointment of Mr. Paul Stubbings.

Paul Stubbings, MA (from 2011)[edit]

Paul Stubbings

In October 2011, the Governors appointed Paul Stubbings Headmaster and the Vaughan continues to flourish under his leadership. Academic standards remain very high - in 2013 and 2014 The Times ranked Cardinal Vaughan as the highest attaining school at both A-Level and GCSE in the country The high attainment of all pupils regardless of ability is something that the Vaughan excels in more than ever, a fact recogmsed by the awarding of an Out comes Award for the 'significant added- value the teaching offers to pupils' education' In addition, The Vaughan Foundation has been established, bringing together for the first time all the various groups which make up our continuity - parents, sport, music, Old Vaughanians Club under a Single aegis, plantune, and working together more closely than ever before.


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 next addition to the school was 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. In 2014, to commemorate the School's centenary, an extension was built. The building was called the 'Centenary Building' and was completed on the 11 September 2014, it houses 8 new and sparkling classrooms and 2 state of the art suites.


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 Gary Herbert 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.

They have featured in many film soundtracks including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, The Life of Pi and Paddington.

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]


External links[edit]