English Martyrs Catholic School
|Motto||Ut omnes unum sint ("May they all be One" John 17:21)|
|Type||Voluntary aided school|
|Head Teacher||Marius Carney|
|Founders||Diocese of Nottingham|
|DfE URN||120306 Tables|
|Houses||Campion, Clitheroe, Fisher, More, Sherwin, Ward|
|Colours||Red, Black & Gold|
English Martyrs Catholic School is a co-educational secondary school with attached sixth form in Leicester, England. In 2014, Ofsted rated the school as Good with Outstanding features and the Sixth Form as Outstanding. The Sixth Form is also in the top 10% of Sixth Forms nationally. The school was also judged by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to be one of the Top 200 Most Improved Schools in England 2009. The school has a very active Performing Arts enrichment programme which includes many Community Arts Events. An annual Arts Festival is held each July. The school's new buildings had their official opening in May 2015.
The school began as a Secondary School for 300 pupils on 14 April 1964. The land cost £4,250 for 3.5 acres and the building was £215,608 work commencing on 13 May 1963. The official opening was performed by Bishop Edward Ellis on Tuesday 4 May 1965 followed by a reception by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Alderman Kimberlin, OBE, one of the founding school governors. The school’s first Headteacher was Mr John Mulroy with Deputy Mr P Connolly. Mr Edward Brennan succeeded as Headmaster in 1966 and subsequent Heads have been Mr David McLean in 1983, Mrs Catherine Fields (Principal) 2002 and Mr Marius Carney 2007.
The school became a comprehensive school in 1976 and a new building costing £300,000 was erected to facilitate expansion and the opening of the Sixth Form. This building was dedicated and blessed by Bishop McGuiness on Thursday 5 October 1978 assisted by Canon McReavy, Chair of Governors and Mr Brennan the Headmaster.
The Chapel of the Holy Family, a fine basilical structure, was built in 1996 in memory of Sister Anna Sheils. The Chapel is very much the heart of the school and is dedicated to the Holy Family. Mass is celebrated weekly and Morning Prayer held each morning in the Chapel. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved.
The Chapel contains two stained glass windows one of the St John the Evangelist and the other The Annunciation. Both originally belonged to the congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace in Nottingham and were given by the sisters to Fr John Joe Maloney for the school. The Annunciation window is a memorial to Bishop Edward Bagshawe, the third Bishop of Nottingham (1874-1902). The Chapel also contains a pipe organ by Wells Kennedy organ builders of Lisburn.
In 2013 the school began a major rebuilding programme which involved the construction of new classrooms and a Library; a Sports Centre (including a professional astro turf Hockey pitch); a Sixth Form block and St Cecilia Performing Arts Centre. The buildings - costing £15m - were blessed by Bishop Alan Williams (Bishop of Brentwood) on the feast of the English Martyrs’ 2015, the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of the school. Each building is dedicated to a particular saint:
- St Jean Baptiste (Patron of teachers of youth)
- St Thomas Aquinas (Patron of students)
- St Cecilia (Patron of Music and Arts)
- St Sebastian (Patron of Sport)
St Mary of the Meadows. This dedication to Our Lady reminds us of the dedication of Leicester Abbey (dissolved in the reformation) which is a couple of miles from the school. The abbey was called Sancta Maria de Pratis (Our Lady of the Meadows). Tiles excavated by archaeologists from the floor of the abbey church were given to the school by Leicester University in 2015 and are displayed in the Library. This room also contains a crucifix blessed by Bishop McGuiness when he opened the Sixth form in 1978 and a Christus given by Blessed Sacrament Church from the former home of the Blessed Sacrament fathers.
To mark the School’s Golden Jubilee and the opening of the new buildings the school commissioned a series of art works. These are, a bronze Crucifix erected at the entrance to the school by the Welsh artist, Helen Sinclair; an Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria by Aidan Hart; (card included) a cut slate plaque of the school motto “Ut omnes unum sint” by Lida Cordoza (Kindersley Cordoza Workshop, Cambridge); a choral setting of the school Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ make me a better person” by composer Simon Lole for the school’s Schola Cantorum and a new two manual and pedal 16 rank pipe organ, built for the auditorium by Leicestershire Organ builder, Peter Collins.
The school is now a thriving, highly successful school of 1100 students aged 11–19. The student body is drawn from the west side of Leicester serving nine parishes. Currently 85% of the school are Roman Catholic students. The school has a specialism in the Performing Arts with a strong focus on Music, especially Music for the liturgy.
Academically the school is highly successful with English Martyrs past pupils playing a leading role in society within Leicester and around the world.
Notable former pupils
Father David O'Malley S.D.B Priest and Vice Provincial of the Salesian order U.K. and Author.
- Julie Etchingham (ITN Newscaster)
- Matt Lloyd (Paralympian) (Ice Sledge Hockey)
- Rendall Munroe (International Super bantam-weight boxer)