St. Paul's School, Darjeeling

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St. Paul's School, Darjeeling
TypeIndependent school
MottoMoniti Meliora Sequamur
Latin: Having been advised, let us follow higher things
Religious affiliation(s)Church of North India
Established1st May 1823
FounderArchdeacon corrie
RectorJoy Halder
Age6 to 18
Colour(s)Maroon and dark blue         
PublicationThe Chronicle
The Paulite
School feesapprox 4 - 5 lakh per annum.
AffiliationsIndian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)
Former pupilsOld Paulites
St. Paul's School

St. Paul's School is an independent boarding school for boys in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Entrance tests for admission are held every September. The school follows the ICSE curriculum till the class 10 and the ISC for higher secondary (classes 11 and 12).


St. Paul's School was founded in Calcutta by Archdeacon Corrie[1] at the instigation of John William Ricketts, a local Anglo-Indian leader, and opened at 11 Park Street on 1 May 1823 between the Archbishop House and the then Sans Souci Theatre. The first Principal of the institution was Dr George Smith. The school was moved to its present Jalapahar estate in Darjeeling in 1864 with 31 boarders and a few day scholars. The estate was purchased from Mr Brian Hodgson for Rs.45,000. At that time, at approximately 7,600 feet above sea level, it was the highest school in the world.[2] In 1847, the school was renamed St. Paul's School by Bishop Wilson, who had associated the school with St. Paul's Cathedral in Calcutta. A number of its students fought in World War I and World War II. The school's original purpose was "to supply a good education at a moderate cost to the sons of Europeans and East Indians". After Indian Independence in 1947 it became a school for wealthy Indians and attracted wealthy students from other Asian countries, as of 1960 especially from Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka.[3][2]

Bishop Foss Westcott, metropolitan of Bengal, Burma and Ceylon, played an important role in the growth of the school. The Maharajah of Burdwan also made important donations.[2] Over the years a number of estates were purchased and merged with the existing school estate. The Mount Vernon Estate, known as Dawkins, was purchased at the beginning of the 1900s and the Terpsithea Estate in 1955.L. J. Goddard, was the longest serving and, perhaps, the most important Rector, leading the school between 1934 and 1964 — including the transition from British-ruled to independent India. His successors were David Gibbs (1964-72) and Hari Dang (1977-84). Gibbs received the OBE for his work at St. Paul's while Dang received the Padma Shri.

School system[edit]

The school is divided into Primary, Junior, and Senior wings. The three wings are run independently with the Primary Wing having its own campus and a slight difference in uniform. The Senior and Junior Wings share many facilities. [4]

The rector is the head of the school, assisted by the senior master, the head Junior Wing and the head Primary Wing.


Current students are referred to as Paulites and the alumni as Old Paulites. The school lays a great emphasis on uniforms: On off-campus trips students must dress in prescribed suits and carry umbrellas.

The student government is headed by a school captain, assisted by house captains and prefects, drawn from the Sixth Form. The Junior and Primary Wings have their own system of monitors. The Sixth form is privileged and enjoys an advantage over the rest. The chapel holds a central place in the life of the school where it meets as a community. There are clubs which develop artistic and technical skills. Each house presents a concert from time to time, apart from the major school production in October.

The sport curriculum is dominated by football, cricket, athletics, volleyball, Basketball, Squash, Tennis, Eton fives, boxing, Gymnastics and hockey.

Notable alumni[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The school has been featured in Hindi and Bengali language films. Hamraaz (1967), Mera Naam Joker (1970) by Raj Kapoor, Shimabaddha (1971) by Satyajit Ray, Do Anjaane (1976), Bada Din (2000), Main Hoon Na (2004) by Farah Khan,Chowrasta Crossroads of Love (2009) by Anjan Dutta, Barfi (2012) and Jagga Jasoos (2017) by Anurag Basu are among them.

Vivien Leigh was born in the school campus at a place now known as Dawkins, beside the old basketball court. Today, Dawkins houses staff members teaching at the school.

The school motto is derived from the passage 'Cedamus Phoebo, et moniti meliora sequamur' in the Latin epic Aeneid by Virgil. 'Moniti meliora sequamur' means: "Having Been Advised, We Follow Better (Higher) Things"

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Eyre Chatterton, A History of the Church of England in India Since the Early Days of the East India Company, London: SPCK / New York: Macmillan, 1924, OCLC 1895674, "Chapter XXVII. The Mother Diocese of Calcutta, 1815".
  2. ^ a b c Educational Institute, City of Darjeeling, retrieved 24 September 2013.
  3. ^ Gordon Brook-Shepherd, Where the Lion Trod, London: Macmillan / New York: St. Martin's, 1960, OCLC 411159, pp. 65–66. Text online at
  4. ^