St Teresa's School

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St Teresa's Effingham
St Teresa's Effingham
Eastern entrance
Motto Gaudere et Bene Facere
("Rejoice and do well")
Established 1928
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Roman Catholic
Headmaster Mike Farmer
Prep headmistress Sue Nelson
Chair of Governors Rev. Ian Wells
Founder The Religious Order of Christian Instruction
Location Effingham
Coordinates: 51°14′53″N 0°23′56″W / 51.248°N 0.399°W / 51.248; -0.399
DfE number 936/6418
DfE URN 125402 Tables
Students 420
Gender Girls
Ages 2–18
  • St. Benedict
  • St. Dominic
  • St. Ignatius
  • St. Francis

St Teresa's Effingham is a selective, independent boarding and day school for girls aged 2–18 in Effingham, Surrey, England, established in 1928. It is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.[1]


In 1799, John Fuller built a mansion called Effingham Hill House on the site of another house which had been called Tibs, and this house now forms the centre of the senior school, and has been extended to provide modern facilities. In 1886 or somewhat later, Julius Caesar Czarnikow bought Effingham Hill House from Admiral Frederick Augustus Maxse, and owned it until he died in 1909. His daughter, Ada Louisa, sold it to Azalea Caroline Keyes, who in 1916 sold it to Robert Reitmeyer Calburn, who owned it until 1928.[2] St Teresa's was founded in that house by the Religious Order of Christian Instruction (who also founded St Teresa's sister school Leweston School) in 1928 on what was originally part of a manor site recorded in the Domesday Book. The last headmistress nun retired in 1977. Since 2002, the school has been managed by a lay trust.[3] Although there are no longer any religious sisters on staff (as of 2013-14 academic year), the school maintains its Catholic ethos and ties to the local parish, which is represented in the school's Board of Governors.

An all-weather pitch and new swimming pool complex were completed in 2000 and 2003 respectively and, in September 2005, music, drama and the arts benefited from a multi-million pound, 750-seat technologically equipped performing arts theatre hall, with new music and drama suites.


St Teresa’s Prep School is a model teaching school, being studied as a resource for Kingston University for studies such as enhancing literacy and positive social interaction in the classroom. Through an extensive programme of professional development for staff, teachers are fully informed of cutting edge methodologies for full engagement and interaction. A Microsoft IT Academy accredited school, the school therefore teaches computer usage, as well as basic computer programming, from an early age to ensure that IT skills are so well known as to be routinely applied. Computer Programming is offered as an extra-curricular option in Years 4 and 5, and as part of the extended curriculum for Year 6 girls since 2013.[4] The school's head announced a planned departure and a new head was recruited in September 2012, Mr M. Farmer.


St Teresa's has 48 acres (0.19 km2) of grounds in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty amid the Surrey Hills AONB, in a multi-crested section of the escarpment of the North Downs. In 1953 a separate preparatory school was established at Grove House, in the village centre of Effingham about a mile away and has since relocated to the main school site. Almost all main villages of Surrey save the far south-west and east have pick-up stops for morning and afternoon school bus transport, main towns served being Leatherhead, Dorking, Woking, Weybridge and Guildford.[5] The parallel lanes on which the school lies are not served by public transport, and for boarders the nearest railway station in a large village with taxi companies is Bookham, 2 miles (3.2 km) NNE.


Entry to St. Teresa's is selective, and is based on an entrance examination with papers in English, Maths, Science and Verbal Reasoning. This does not preclude many students with special educational needs, who receive support in the school to help them through their studies, social interaction and exams.[6]


The school is among the approximately 50% of independent schools inspected by the ISI rather than Ofsted.[7] Inspections are carried out under Section 162A(1)(b) of the Education Act 2002 as amended by the Education Act 2005 under which the Secretary of State accredits the ISI as a qualified inspectorate body.[6]

In the latest inspection report (2010) the main findings stated:

Throughout the school the pupils reach high standards in academic work and in other areas. Although there is a broad range of ability amongst the girls, all make

significant progress towards GCSE and A level, achieving good results. Additionally, the girls gain many other awards as individuals or in representing their school.

The pupils work diligently, present their work neatly and are determined to do well. Their behaviour is excellent.[6]

At GCSE the school saw its worst results for more than four years in 2013, nonetheless 3.5% above the national benchmark.

Percentage of students achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent)
including English and maths
2011 2012 2013[8]
School 93% 82% 71%
Local Authority 63.5% 64.2% 67.5%
England 59.0% 59.4% 59.2%

Notable former pupils[edit]

Past pupils are known as STOGs (St Teresa's Old Girls)

House System[edit]

The students are allocated to four houses which are named after saints:


  1. ^ "St Teresa's School". Schools' Directory. The Girls' Schools Association. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Hogger, Christopher J. "The Czarnikow family of Effingham Hill House". Local History - Research Projects - 5. Effingham Families - Czarnikow. Effingham Parish Council. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "“LAST ORDERS” — from the TABLET 9th February 2008" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Academic curriculum St Teresas. Accessed 2014-01-26
  5. ^ Bus Services Accessed 2014-01-26
  6. ^ a b c Standard Report 2010 Independent Schools Inspectorate Accessed 2014-01-24
  7. ^ Types of Schools Ofsted Inspects - Ofsted. Accesssed 2014-01-24
  8. ^ Performance table Department for Education. Accessed 2014-01-24

External links[edit]