St Ignatius' College

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St Ignatius' College
Motto "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam"
Established 1894
Type Voluntary aided comprehensive
Religion Roman Catholic
Executive Headteacher Michael J. Kelly
Chairman John Donnelly
Location Turkey Street
Greater London
England Coordinates: 51°40′23″N 0°03′21″W / 51.672939°N 0.055751°W / 51.672939; -0.055751
Local authority Enfield
DfE number 308/5403
DfE URN 102058 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,124
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Former pupils Old Ignatians
Website St Ignatius' College, Enfield

St Ignatius' College is a Catholic secondary school for boys, aged 11–18, located in Enfield, Greater London. It was founded by the Society of Jesus. It was formerly a grammar school, only accepting boys who had passed their Eleven plus exam.


The school was founded in Stamford Hill, South Tottenham, London on 10 September 1894. The college and the Jesuit community were initially accommodated in two houses called Morecombe Lodge and Burleigh House, located near Tottenham High Road. The school originally had only 46 boys, four Jesuits and a dog in 1894. In 1907 the college was recognised by the Board of Education and began to receive public money towards its support.

From the early 1950s the school complement averaged about 700 boys. Its longest serving Headmaster, Fr Guy Brinkworth SJ, retired in 1963. The school remained at Stamford Hill as a grammar school until 1968. The school then became a two-tier, seven-form entry comprehensive school, the Lower School being located at the old Cardinal Allen School, which had been there for eight years prior to the school moving there, and the Upper School located in Stamford Hill.

Turkey Street Building

In 1987, the Lower and Upper schools amalgamated at Turkey Street, a development made possible by a major building programme. The school became grant maintained in 1993 but returned to Voluntary Aided status in September 1999. At the centenary celebrations in 1994, the newly refurbished chapel was unveiled, and every pupil received a book detailing the history of the school and its past teachers. In 1998 the school started to build the Octagon which houses a computer suite and a library. The building work was completed in 2000 and was handed over to the school later that year. Also in 2000, the newly refurbished Roselands Centre for the sixth form was opened.

Today the school has about 1,300 pupils and in 2006 the school won a specialist status in Humanities after raising £50,000 through various events held at the school and donations from past pupils.

School buildings[edit]

Main building[edit]

Originally built in the early 1970s to alleviate the problems of over crowding at the Stamford Hill and Morecombe Lodge site, the main building of the school has seen improvements made to it such as new extensions. Years 7 to 11 occupy the building. There are 3 floors, each one holding at least 3 departments such as the Art Department or the Maths Department.

Originally the school only used 2 floors for years 7 to 11, and the Sixth Form occupied the 3rd floor. However, overcrowding again became a problem and the school acquired the "Roselands" building from the Jesuits who had a place of residence there. Also the school built another floor on top of the current technology wing to serve as the "First Line" block, in this extension project a section dedicated to the study of music was built and a new gym, commonly known to students as the "New Gym." In 1987 there was another extension which added several new rooms to the side of the building, one of which is the current staff room. In 1999 a further extension, known as the Octagon was built.


Roselands was originally built as a place of residence for the Jesuit community. However, as the number of priests in Roselands diminished, the Jesuits no longer saw fit to occupy the Roselands site and sold off the building to the main school. Roselands has now become the place for the Sixth form to study, however some subjects such as science cannot be taught in Roselands since there is no facility to and, as a consequence, some Sixth Form students have to go to the main building.

The Octagon[edit]

The Octagon is a two-story octagonal building on the site which houses the computer suite and the "Loyola" library. Opened in 1999, it is the most recent extension to the school. On the top floor there is an ICT suite which contains 40 computers, as well as various smaller offices dedicated to tasks such as housing the servers and ICT teachers. On the bottom floor is a library containing a vast array of books primarily for study, but there is a large selection of fiction too. The library and the ICT suite are both open at lunch time for pupils to study in.

CCF Hut[edit]

Where the CCF section training is centred. Used for administration and training of the cadets.


The school motto Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – meaning to the greater glory of God – was abbreviated to AMDG and is still customarily appended to students' essays or homework, in much the same way as quod erat demonstrandum or Q.E.D. was used to sign off the proof of a mathematical theorem.

Religious life[edit]

The college aims to assist each individual pupil in his spiritual development. This spiritual development includes retreats as pupils progress through the school.


The first formal act of each school day is Mass every morning in the College Chapel before school, when the school day and school community is offered up to God. The whole school meets for Mass at the beginning of each academic year and at the conclusion of each term. All pupils have an opportunity to attend Mass on holy days of obligation and on some other major feasts.

Morning Prayers[edit]

At the beginning of each day at registration, the whole form class says a prayer from the college diary, so pupils are reminded that the work they do is for the Greater Glory of God (AMDG). Other occasions pupils are invited to say the Rosary during May and October, Advent prayer and Stations of the Cross during Lent.

Chaplaincy Team[edit]

Helping in all aspects of religious life is the College Chaplain. The Chaplain often celebrates mass for the school and at special college occasions.

Members of the college from various years help with running masses, for both year groups and the whole school. These boys are called sacristans, and are headed by the master of ceremonies, an upper sixth form student.

Chaplaincy Groups[edit]

There are four groups that members of the Sixth Form can join. These groups help to run spiritual activities and help to celebrate the Mass.

They are:

Retreat Opportunities[edit]

The opportunity for pupils regularly to take part in Retreats, devised and directed according to their stage at the school, is an essential part of the Jesuit educational ideal. A Retreat is a time when, away from their usual environments of home and school, the pupils can reflect on their personalities, their relationships with others, and with God. The college offers a sequential programme of Retreats, carefully structured in content and style to address the perennial and changing needs of the pupils as they move through the school. Members of Years 7, 9 and 11, have retreat days each year and these take place in the Pastoral Centre, a detached property which stands on the college site. Residential retreats are organised for members of the upper years, Year 10 and the Sixth Form. A variety of centres and formats are used. Recently, these retreats have been held at St John's Beaumont, at a Jesuit youth centre in Hampstead, and at the De La Salle centre at Kintbury.


At the College there are a number of chances to be given an award. Awards are usually given for good behaviour or for exceptional work.

  • Commendations - A small certificate that says the name of the pupil and how they attained the award.
  • Merits - For exceptional work or a big achievement. These are presented in front of the school.

Speech Day[edit]

The college has an annual speech day, normally held around the end of November St Ignatius Enfield School Diary. At speech day a vast array of prizes are awarded. In years 8 to 11, each class has prizes for general attainment, general effort, religious education, which are awarded based on their achievements in their previous school year. Also, one pupil from each class in years 8 to 11 is awarded the class prize. For the lower sixth form there is a single prize in each subject. There are also 15 college prizes, each of which have their own criteria for winning. The recipients of all of these prizes are determined by the relevant staff.

At speech day, GCSE and A-Level certificates are also distributed. Speeches are normally made by the headmaster and the principal guest.


When students enter the Sixth Form they are given a recommendation from their previous head of year if they should become prefects or not. Prefects are appointed by the Headmaster, in consultation with the Head of Sixth Form and his tutorial staff. At the college, a prefect is identified by his maroon tie, while a normal Sixth form student wears a blue tie.

College Captaincy[edit]

The title of College Captain is the highest honour that a student can receive. Before Easter, the current college captain and his vice will write up a short-list on those they believe should take over next year. The Headmaster, who selects the Captain and Vice Captains is not bound by the results of the poll. The Captain and the 2 Vice Captains are announced at the college mass at the end of the Spring Term. Recently, a new system has been introduced; One college captain, one vice captain and several 'head prefects'.


At the College there are 6 houses per year, excluding the Sixth Form (Year 12). For the first half term at the College, pupils are placed into mixed ability classes, e.g.: 1.1, 1.2... etc. Afterwards, pupils sit the NFER test, this along with teacher recommendations determines the corresponding set for the pupil. Also, from the beginning of the next half term, pupils are placed into Houses.

The House system is named after 6 Jesuit Martyrs:

Pupils change bands if the Line Master (Mr Dawson, Mr Carthy, Mr. Roche)feels that the pupil is not coping or the pupil would be more suited to another band. This can take place at any time the line master feels necessary but usually happens around the time of a "Band Review", in which every pupil is re-assessed to make sure that they are progressing well.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The Ignatian[edit]

The Ignatian, the college magazine, is published yearly and features a selection of highlights from the previous school year. Pictures of art and reports on music and sport in the college are normally included, along with the Headmaster's report. It is produced and edited by members of the Sixth Form. It is customary to ask the Art students to produce a piece of artwork that will become the front cover of The Ignatian. The Deputy Head, as editor, will ask students and other sixth form students to write articles that can be included into the magazine. The editors will usual complete the magazine in time for before the start of the summer holidays so that when the pupils come back to school in the following year they can get a copy.

The Yearbook[edit]

For the first time in the school's history, in 2006, it was decided to produce a yearbook for the outgoing Year 11 with an art pupil being asked to produce its front cover.

College newsletter[edit]

Every Half Term, a newsletter summarising the college's achievements for that half term, is published. It also includes a list of merits attained for that half term.


The College has a Contingent of the Combined Cadet Force. The Contingent has both an Army Section and a Royal Air Force (RAF) Section. Weekly Section training takes place on a Monday at the College. Cadets also get the chance to attend camps, Field Training Exercises (FTX), Adventurous Training (AT) and courses throughout the UK and occasionally abroad. Courses include flying, parachuting, signalling, catering, physical training instructor (PTI), schoolboy commando course, mountain leader training and rock climbing.


Sports played at the College include:

The school has a prestigious sporting background. The school regularly attends Sporting tournaments all around the UK. One notable achievement from one of the tournaments is the under 11's winning a mini-bus for the school. The school recently signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur to allow the use of Tottenham's playing fields.

Old Ignatian Association[edit]

Former pupils of the school are commonly referred to as Old Ignatians. The main objective of the Old Ignatian Association is to serve the interests of the former pupils of the College. They provide spiritual, social, recreational and sporting facilities so that they may serve the interests of not only the Old Ignatians, but also the current pupils at the College.

Although having been in existence for many years, the Old Ignatian Association changed dramatically in the early 1960s. Through the efforts of a dedicated and enthusiastic group of Old Ignatians a sports ground was acquired and a pavilion built on a site in Woodford. In the 1970s the proposed motorway, the M11, caused the association to be subject to a compulsory purchase order and were left without a suitable meeting place throughout the late 1970s.

In 1999 the Old Ignatians purchased a former sports ground in Turkey Street, Enfield, and planned to build their new headquarters there. Their plans are to re-establish a social centre and to provide some new sporting facilities that were not available in the Woodford centre. Their plan also, is to make sure that the new facilities at the new site not only cater for the sports minded people, but the less so as well. In 2002, after obtaining planning permission for the new pavilion, building began. The now completed pavilion named 'The Loyola Ground' was opened in 2008 and is used by the Association as well as the school for sporting, social and many other events.

Old Ignatian Football Club[edit]

The Old Ignatian Football Club is open to former and present pupils of the College to play football on Saturday afternoons throughout the season. They run 5 teams plus a vets side on a Sunday so every level of ability is catered for. With the new clubhouse completed the OIFC once again had a place they could call home after many years without a base. They now play their home matches on the main pitch as well as sharing the schools bulls cross pitches at the Loyola Ground on Saturday afternoons.



Most Old Ignatians will recall the form of corporal punishment administered at the school. The cane was never used, instead it was the ferula (whale bone covered in leather) which was administered on one hand. Two types of ferula or "tolly" were used - the one mentioned above for the lower school and a longer one for the upper school. In serious cases the punishment would be 'twice six' on two hands, but administered on separate days on account of the hand becoming numb. The ferula was usually administered in the current technology wing on the bottom floor. Adding psychological to corporal punishment, offenders were given a week to decide when they would receive their ferula, otherwise additional punishment was liable to be added (according to the school rules). Corporal punishment ended in the early 1990s.

Discipline today[edit]

Nowadays, discipline is in the form of a detention which is 1 hour long and takes place after school with the subject tutor. In extreme circumstances, line masters can issue a pink detention form with requires the pupil to attend a Saturday Detention. For less serious offences, line masters can give litter duty to the pupils which involves them collecting litter around the school.

However, if pupils seriously break the College regulations and rules on frequent occasions, the Headmaster and the Board of Governors may wish to exclude a pupil for a set amount of time or to expel the student indefinitely.


Notable staff[edit]

Michael Blundell became the college's first lay Headmaster when he succeeded Fr Antony Forrester SJ, in 1986. Mr Blundell was in turn succeeded as Headmaster by Mr Paul Adams, who retired in the summer of 2007, and was replaced by Mr John-Paul Morrison, who left the post of headmaster in December 2013. Mr Andrew Dickson has taken over the post on an interim basis until a replacement for Mr John-Paul Morrison can be found.

Notable former pupils[edit]


In 2007, 69.9% of pupils were awarded at least 5 A*-C Grades in their GCSE's. This was down 3.9% from 2006 but up 3.2% from 2005.

The pass rate for Advanced Level exams was 97.9% of exams passed in 2007 (up 1.8% from 2006), of which 39.8% were with A or B grades (up 6% from 2006).[2]


External links[edit]