St Augustine's Priory, Ealing
|Other names||Monastery of Notre-Dame-de-Sion, Paris|
|Order||Canonesses Regular of the Lateran|
|Dedicated to||St. Augustine of Hippo|
|Founder(s)||Abbess Lettice Mary Tredway, C.R.L.|
|Type||Independent day school|
|Headteacher||Mrs S. Raffray|
|DfE URN||101946 Tables|
|Colours||Blue & Turquoise
|Former pupils||Old Augustinians|
St Augustine's Priory School, is an independent Catholic girls' school which was originally founded and staffed by nuns from the priory, though the school has been run by a lay head since 1996. The school consists of Nursery (3-4) Prep (4–7 years), Junior (7-11) and Senior (11-18) departments and welcomes girls of all faiths. In 2014, it was the top performing GCSE school in Ealing (Source DfE League Tables, Jan'15).
Lettice Mary Tredway, C.R.L., was a member of a French community of Canonesses Regular of the Lateran at the Priory of Notre-Dame-de-Beaulieu in the village of Sin-le-Noble, near Douai, in the County of Flanders, which provided nursing care to the region. She was authorized by the religious authorities, including Bishop Richard Smith, Vicar Apostolic for Great Britain, to found an English-speaking community of her Order. She founded the monastery, called Notre-Dame-de-Sion, in 1631 in Paris. Shifting from medical care, the school was opened by the community in 1634 for English pupils escaping the persecution of Catholics in their homeland. The priory remained in operation there until the canonesses were forced to flee France at the outbreak of the French Revolution, at which point they returned to England. Finding refuge in their native country, they re-established their religious community and the school under its current name.
The priory moved to Ealing in 1910, to Castlebar Road, and in 1915 moved to its present site in Hillcrest Road. The Second World War was a difficult time as London was bombed during the Battle of Britain but the school continued operating. Whenever the air raid sirens sounded, canonesses would take the girls down to the cellars and continue lessons.
Although a priory by name, it now consists solely of the school, run by lay staff members, as the canonesses voted in a final meeting in 1996 of the chapter of the priory to dissolve, due to their reduced numbers and the advanced age of its members. They dispersed to join other communities of the Order. The school maintains its Catholic ethos through its pastoral care and has close links with the local archdiocese and the nearby Benedictine Ealing Abbey which hosts the school's annual Carol Concert in December.
The school is set in 13 acres (5.3 ha) of grounds, adjacent to Hanger Lane, consisting of a wild flower meadow, orchard, Prep meadow, two netball courts, a rose garden, croquet lawn, a sweeping playing field and an all-weather floodlit AstroTurf.
The priory chapel is used daily for school assemblies, masses and music recitals. The new science block provides well equipped science labs, as well as drama studio and Junior music/drama room. Many visitors to the school are envious of the Sixth Form area which has its own balcony with views towards the North Downs, and also has its own kitchen.