The Oratory School
|Motto||Cor ad Cor Loquitur (Latin)
Heart speaks to Heart
Day and Boarding school
|Religion||Roman Catholic (Oratorian)|
|President||The Rt Hon Lord Judge the Lord Chief Justice|
|Head Master||Clive Dytor MC|
|Chairman of the Governors||M H R Hasslacher|
|DfE URN||123282 Tables|
|Former pupils||Old Oratorians|
It has links with but is not officially affiliated with fellow Oratorian school, the London Oratory School, and the Brompton Oratory. Although a separate entity from the nearby Oratory Preparatory School, it shares a board of governors and a common history.
According to the Good Schools Guide, 70% of pupils achieve A/B grades at A Level, and that the School "enjoys inspirational leadership, has achieved GSG 'overall best in UK' for three years running and is consistently at the top of the tree", with "state-of-the-art" boarding facilities and an ongoing refurbishment programme under way.
The Oratory School was founded under the supervision of John Henry, later Cardinal Newman, in 1859, and the first boys arrived before work began on the first day of May in that year, "Sunday 1 May New School began."  The purpose was to provide a Catholic alternative to Eton particularly for the sons of converts from Anglicanism who considered existing Catholic schools culturally and socially inferior. The idea of founding a school had been in Newman's mind for some time before that and education of the young was an abiding interest. In the early 1850s he had been invited by the Irish Catholic bishops to establish a Catholic university in Dublin, but it did not prove a success, though he was able to formulate the principles published as The Idea of a University. When the Irish project came to an end, he was approached by a group of Catholic laymen, principally converts to Roman Catholicism from the Oxford Movement, to set up a Catholic boarding school for boys run on English public school lines, rather than the monastically based Catholic schools that already existed. The original school was opened next to the house of the Oratory Fathers in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The Oratory School moved from Edgbaston to Caversham Park, Caversham and, in 1942 (when Caversham Park was requisitioned to become a BBC listening station, now BBC Monitoring), after a short sojourn in exile at Downside, finally removed to its present location at Woodcote Estate, Berkshire. The Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory handed over control of the school to a Governing Body in 1931, but links with the Birmingham, London and Oxford Oratories remain strong.
The school has four senior (13-18) houses and one junior (11-13) house. The senior houses are: Faber, (house colour is yellow), FitzAlan (black), Norris (green) and St. John (red). The junior house is known as St. Philip (sky and navy blue).
A programme of rebuilding and upgrading is under way. Two new boarding houses have been built and the remaining two have been refurbished. The Art Faculty has been extended with new design studios, printing and ceramic areas. The School has its own orchestra and a separate chamber orchestra, jazz band, big band, many specialist vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as the boys’ own rock groups. There is a large purpose-built Sports Centre with full facilities including squash courts, an indoor pool and an indoor Real Tennis court (one of only three to be maintained by a school in the United Kingdom). The School also has an indoor shooting range, a nine-hole golf course and extensive cricket, rugby and football grounds.
The school's Art Department is, according to the Good Schools Guide 2006/7, the Best Overall for Art & Design at A Level and the Best Results at GCSE for Art & Design in 2007. As a result of the academic success gained over the last 20 years, combined with recent awards from the 'Good Schools Guide', the Art Department has been awarded Foundation Course Status. At the end of the course students can be awarded a Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) or in fine art – Edexcel in parallel with their A2 courses. This award is usually only granted by universities and recognised art colleges.
The School has a particularly strong orchestral and choral tradition, with former choristers of Westminster Cathedral among the pupils. The school choir, known as 'Schola Cantorium', has over 60 pupils, and around half the pupils across the School play a musical instrument or attend singing lessons. Several pupils have recently joined the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
Oratory School Schola Cantorum 
The Schola Cantorum (chapel choir) sings weekly Vespers and Benediction, Mass on Holy Days and some Sundays during the year, and one or two annual concerts. Recent major works performed include Mozart: Requiem, Bernstein: Chichester Psalms and Janáček: Octenas. A smaller group of Cantors leads the singing at the other Sunday Masses. There is frequent collaboration with the Choristers of The Oratory Preparatory School. The instrumental groups typically give two major performances each year. Groups are specially formed to perform musicals and operetta working in conjunction with the Drama Department. An A Level & GCSE Drama syllabus is offered.
Extracurricular activities 
The Combined Cadet Forces parades on Thursday afternoons. In recent years several pupils have distinguished themselves as members of the CCF and gone on to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Old Oratorians are now serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The School has a large purpose-built Sports Centre with full facilities including squash courts, indoor pool and Real Tennis Court. It is one of only three schools in the country to have its own Real Tennis Court, and hosted the Real Tennis World Championships in 2006. There is a nine-hole golf course, indoor shooting range, as well as grass tennis courts, rugby and football pitches. The Oratory School won the 'Independent School of the Year Sports Award' at the Daily Telegraph & Norwich Union 2008 School Sport Matters Awards. This was due mainly to international representation by students such as Charlie Ingall for Ireland Rugby and Simon Steel who played Barbados and West Indies youth cricket. Sporting fixtures are played in a wide range of sports against schools and colleges with a well-regarded sporting reputation, such as Radley College, Eton College, Harrow School, Millfield and City of London Freemen's School. Major sports include:
Real tennis 
The Oratory is one of only three schools in the United Kingdom to possess a real tennis court (the others being Canford and Radley) and enjoys considerable success in this ever increasingly popular sport, hosting numerous championships and international tournaments. The court is home to the Oratory Tennis Club, a club primarily made up of paying members of the public, but also of boys from the school. Every boy in the School has a chance to experience the game. The School has produced two national players in Richard Greenland and Paul Knox.
It was the first location in the United Kingdom to construct a Real Tennis court for 80 years, finishing the building in 1990. Over recent years the UK Professional Singles Tournament has been held at the court, and in April 2006 the World Championships were held there in which world no. 1 Rob Fahey (Australia) beat USA player Tim Chisholm.
The Oratory School Shooting Team enjoys frequent success both at CADSAM (Cadet Small Arms Meeting) and at the NRA Meeting at Bisley where they maintain their title of Holders of the Schools' Aggregate, The Cottesloe Vase & 4th Division Skill At Arms Champions. NRA. The School has produced representatives shooting for the United Kingdom Cadet Rifle Team, The Athelings and the GB U19 & U25 Rifle Teams. The School Currently has pupils shooting for GB in the Athelings tour to Canada and to Jersey..
The School has a cricket tradition with fixtures against Eton, Magdalen College School, Stowe. Also clubs such as the MCC and the Berkshire Gentlemen. There is a tour to Barbados in December. The School has strong links with Barbados. The Oratory was one of the few schools to be allowed to play at Lords from 1926-1968 against Beaumont until 1966 and for the last two years against Downside. Old Oratorians Benny Howell and Simon Steel play for Hampshire & Reading whilst Daniel Housego plays for Reading and Middlesex CC. Current Oratory boy Trevor McGeer also has links to Surrey CC as well as Reading.
The School has a boathouse on the Thames near Hardwick House and has had some recent success on the rowing front; winning the Child-Beale cup for 1st VIIIs at the National Schools regatta in Nottingham in 2006. The crew were presented with the cup by Sir Matthew Pinsent. In 2008 a senior rower gained selection for the GB Coupe de la Jeunesse team winning a gold and bronze medal in Cork. The club also participates in the annual Henley Royal Regatta, racing in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup. Only two other schools besides The Oratory attained double representation at Henley in 2008, Eton and Shrewsbury.
ISI Inspection Reports 
The Independent Schools Inspectorate says: "Pupils and staff show deep and committed support to the Catholic values that underpin the school", and "genuine excitement and enjoyment shine through in sporting, musical and creative activities. Individual pupils and teams have achieved distinction in a wide range of activities, particularly in sport", and pupils "have recently represented Great Britain in rowing, shooting and real tennis, England in cricket and Ireland in rugby".
Sexual abuse allegations 
in 2013 the school was reported to be fully cooperating with an investigation into alleged abuse by a teacher at the school in the late 1980s.
Notable former pupils and masters 
Former masters 
- Tom Arnold, literary scholar, was a master 1862-65.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, poet and Jesuit, was a master 1867-68.
- Fr Edward Pereira, headmaster 1910-21 and benefactor to the School.
- Illtyd Trethowan, Benedictine monk, philosopher and author
Notable former pupils (Old Oratorians) 
- Niccolo d'Ardia Caracciolo Prince of Cursi
- Hilaire Belloc Poet and Writer
- Michael Berkeley, Composer and broadcaster
- Robert Berkeley of Spetchley Park, Deputy Master Berkeley Hunt 1923-28
- John Pius Boland Olympic Gold Medal Winner (Tennis)- Athens 1896, Barrister and Irish Politician
- Francis Boulle Entrepreneur, star of reality TV programme Made in Chelsea
- Francis Bird Aide-de-Camp to H.M. the Queen
- Sir Richard Crichton Mitchell Cotts 4th Baronet
- Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart 2nd World War General awarded Victoria Cross VC
- Gervase Cary Elwes English vocalist and diplomat
- Ed Conway the first Economics Editor of Sky News (2011-)
- Simon Elwes English society portrait painter
- Ayoola Erinle Rugby Footballer, Biarritz Olympique
- Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk Premier Duke and Earl Marshal of England
- Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk Premier Duke and Earl Marshal of England
- Edmund Fitzalan-Howard, 1st Viscount Fitzalan of Derwent British Conservative politician and the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
- Benny Howell, Hampshire cricketer
- Igor Judge, Baron Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales since October 2008, and first President Queen’s Bench Division of High Court
- Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian British Politician and Diplomat
- Edward Leigh Conservative MP, Gainsborough 1997–present
- Sir Michael Levey Director of the National Gallery 1974-86
- Tim Male Rower, Great Britain - Athens 2004
- Jack Miller Republican United States Senator from 1961 to 1973
- Lieutenant-Colonel George Henry Morris First commanding officer to lead an Irish Guards battalion into battle.
- Sir Edmund George Felix Paston-Bedingfeld, 9th Baronet of Oxburgh Hall
- Alex Pearce, Irish professional footballer who currently plays for Reading
- George Pereira Brigadier-General, Explorer of Asia, writer, diplomatist
- Andy Vilk (Rugby Player, Benetton Rugby Treviso, England 7s Captain)
- Simon Wickham-Smith (composer and Mongolist)
- Gregory Woods (poet, critic and academic)
- Michael Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien's second son.
See also 
- List of independent schools in the United Kingdom
- Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
- Oratory School
- Profile on the Good Schools Guide
- Newman’s Letters and Diaries, Volume XIX, p.120.
- Paul Shrimpton, A Catholic Eton? Newman's Oratory School. Leominster: Gracewing, 2005. pp. 26, 29, 41-43. ISBN 0-85244-661-6.
- Website of the International Real Tennis Professionals Association
- "The Schools Aggregate". 139th NRA Schools Meeting. National Rifle Association. 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Independent Schools Inspectorate report 2007
- Fr Edward Pereira, Birmingham Oratory
- Cardinal Newman's School:150 years of The Oratory School, Reading by Tony Tinkel