St. Paul's College, Sunbury-on-Thames
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St Paul's Catholic College is an 11-18 mixed Catholic Comprehensive school in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, England. The College was formed from two previous schools, Cardinal Godfrey Boys' School and St Theresa's Girls' School. St Paul's is a school of the Diocese of Westminster and has 1080 students and approximately 90 staff. The College is a specialist Technology College as well as an International School. The current Headteacher is Ceri Bacon, who has been Headteacher since 2011. St Paul's was 'the most improved secondary school in Surrey' in 2008, witnessing an improvement in five good A*-C passes of over 20% in one year.
Technology College Specialism:
St. Paul's Catholic College, a DCSF designated Technology College; this description defines the school and the Technology College status reflects the opportunities and ethos of the school as a whole.
School Prayer: We pray that we follow the teaching of St Paul: may we always speak the truth; share with others; use good words to encourage others; be understanding and forgiving. Grant us the strength to meet this challenge. Amen. (Based on St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 4:23-30) School Motto: DISCE PRODESSE ‘Learn to serve’ School Badge: The 'S' stands for Saint, the 'P' stands for Paul.
The original house at the end of the Ridings in Green Street was built during the brief reign of William IV, at some point before 1837. It is a Grade 2 listed building. It has a Doric portico and was sometimes called the Manor House, being described as such in a map of 1865. In 1898, it was the home of William Anthony Mitchison, the Lord of the Manor, who planted the avenue of fine chestnut trees, which is a feature of The Avenue today. Before the opening of Sunbury Police Station in 1882, Mr Mitchison, who was the local Justice of the Peace (magistrate) had special permission to conduct the court in his grand house. We believe the room that was used for the court is now a history classroom!
After the death of Mr Mitchison, the house changed hands several times. It was owned at one time by a non-Catholic group who were not pleased that the newly built St. Ignatius’ Church could be viewed from their windows, so they decided to sell the house and lands. At some time the property was owned by Major Peters and his family. Major Peters had two sons, one of whom was killed in World War I and the other killed in a polo playing accident. The grief-stricken family did not wish to live there any longer so it was put on the market.
The Sisters of Charity of St. Paul purchased the house and lands in 1926. The Sisters worked in St. Ignatius Primary School which was situated by the Church and Presbytery on Green Street. A new building, consisting of three classrooms, a staff room and office, was built on the opposite side of Green Street to accommodate the increasing number of pupils.
St Teresa’s Girls Covent School
At the same time the Sisters opened an independent school in the main building. The entrance to the convent was from Green Street. This was a drive way which led up to the house, the gate of which was near where the present new St. Ignatius’ School was built. It led also to the stable buildings and houses for carriages. These were later converted into Art rooms for the school. A wall divided the circular drive way to the entrance hall from a large wooded area. On this wall were planted apple trees specially grown for cider making. There was a large greenhouse in which was a vine reputed to be a cutting from the one at Hampton Court. The present playing field was originally divided by hedges into four fields. These fields were let to a gentleman who owned a shop on the Feltham Road. He grazed his ponies there. He sold ice cream from carts drawn by the ponies (fore-runners of Mr. Whippy!).
Changes in the Education Policy meant that the independent school, St. Teresa’s, was no longer viable and it became incorporated into the public sector. To facilitate this change, the Sisters built a new school joined to the original building, as well as tennis courts and developed the playing field. At some time the London Irish Rugby Club used this field at weekends to train future members of the club. The reputation of St Theresa's grew and grew.
Cardinal Godfrey Catholic Boys' School
Cardinal Godfrey School moved from its first home in Park Road, Ashford - today the site of Echelford School - to Manor Lane, Sunbury, in October 1975. It is now known in the school as 'South Site'. It became a thriving boys' school.
During the summer term of 1987, it was decided to amalgamate the boys school and girls school into one unified school. In September 1988, St Paul’s Catholic School was formed. The name of the school was to honour the Religious Order that first established Catholic secondary education in this area; the Sisters of Charity of St Paul’s. Students from both schools were invited to enter a competition to design the school badge and tie. The winners were Carla James and Michael Brown.
Edmund Kaye, was appointed as the first Headteacher of St Paul’s, a role he fulfilled until July 2005. Simon Uttley, the second Headteacher started in September 2005, but left at the end of 2011 to become head of the Saint John Bosco school in Battersea. He was replaced by Ceri Bacon, the third Headteacher who started in 2011.