Rye St Antony School

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Rye St Antony School
Rye St Antony School (logo).jpg
Established 1930
Type Independent day and boarding school
Religion Roman Catholic
Headmistress Miss Alison Jones
Founders Elizabeth Rendall and Ivy King
Location Pullen's Lane
Local authority Oxfordshire
DfE URN 123295 Tables
Students 380~ (2011)
Gender Girls
Ages 3–18
Houses 4

Red, grey

Website www.ryestanthony.co.uk
View of Langley Lodge at Rye St Antony

Rye St Antony School is an Independent Catholic boarding and day school for girls aged 3 to 18 years and boys aged 3 to 11 years in Headington, Oxford, England. Rye St Antony pupils are enabled to reach their full academic potential by having access to first class teaching and extra-curricular opportunities that develop them as individuals. The school's name is commonly abbreviated and referred to by both pupils and staff as 'Rye'. Rye is unique as a girls' independent Catholic school founded by lay women rather than by a religious order.


The school was founded by Elizabeth Rendall and Ivy King in 1930 after a visit to the Church of St Anthony in Rye, East Sussex.[1] There have been only four Headmistresses in Rye's history. The school was first situated in central Oxford before moving to its present site of 12 acres (4.9 ha) in Headington in 1939. The school grounds include a Victorian house built by Alfred Waterhouse, the Architect that designed The Natural History Museum.

A steady programme of building and development has provided the School with a wide range of high quality teaching and residential facilities. A new high specification Performing Arts centre was opened in February 2005.[2] The school also opened a new Sports Centre (the Morton Sports Centre) in 2008 and renovated the Sixth Form Centre and Boarding house in 2010.

The school was rated "outstanding" in all aspects during their recent 2017 ISI inspection.[3]


A unique and much anticipated tradition at Rye is the 'Tangerine Party', held at the end of each Michaelmas term. This is believed to have originated from gifts of (among other things) fruit being donated to pupils whilst rationing was enforced during the Second World War. All members of staff, pupils and parents congregate informally in the Rendall Hall to sing Christmas hymns, share Christmas cake and are each given a tangerine. Songs are usually led by the Director of Studies and become increasingly raucous as the Party progresses. Commonly, the few male members of staff are required to stand up and sing 'We Three Kings' in front of the congregation.

Extracurricular Activities[edit]

The school has an especially strong commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Sport is also a popular aspect of the school with many pupils being members of sports teams and competing at county and national level.


There are four houses to which pupils are assigned and they generally remain in the same house throughout their time at Rye. These houses compete against one another in both academic and extra-curricular activities throughout the year, each led by a staff Housemaster.

  • Stonor
  • Hendred
  • Holywell
  • Binsey


The two boarding houses are each in the charge of two Housemistresses and their team of Assistants. Girls have a choice of choosing full boarding, weekdays-only or flexi-boarding.[4]

  • The Cottage for Years 11 and Sixth Form
  • The Croft for Year 3 to Year 10

Head Mistresses[edit]

  • Miss Elizabeth Rendall (joint founder) 1930–1960
  • Miss Ivy King (joint founder) 1930–1976
  • Miss Patsy Sumpter 1976–1990
  • Miss Alison Jones 1990—

Former pupils[edit]

Those educated at the school include: Annie Tempest, cartoonist and sculptor


  1. ^ History of the school
  2. ^ "About Rye St Antony". Rye St Antony. 
  3. ^ ISI Inspection reports
  4. ^ Boarding Life at Rye
  5. ^ 'KINLOSS, Lady (13th in line, of the Lordship cr 1602) Teresa Mary Nugent Freeman-Grenville' in Who's Who 2014 (London: A. & C. Black)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′35″N 1°13′33″W / 51.75972°N 1.22583°W / 51.75972; -1.22583