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What says..

School has a long-held reputation for the quality of its art, design and technology, and as you enter through its light and lofty Mall, walls are adorned with quite breathtaking artwork. The school motto is 'Age quod agis' (Whatever you do, do well) and while grades are strong, emphasis is on cultivating confident, well-balanced members of society rather than Nobel Prize winners. Touring the classrooms, we saw obvious efforts made to inject imagination and fun into learning. One year 8 Latin class in the middle of learning about Pompeii had just scattered outside to start building volcanoes...

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What the school says...

Our Lady's Abingdon (OLA) is a Catholic, independent, co-educational day school which welcomes boys and girls aged 7-18 of all faiths and none.

Our Lower School, Senior School and Sixth Form (OLA 6th) are located on a single site with adjacent sports playing field, within easy walking distance of Abingdon town centre.

What makes us different?

The school’s success comes from a combination of six factors which create the unique OLA learning adventure. Each child embarks on a journey that uncovers their full potential and nurtures them to achieve, enabling them to thrive both academically and as a person.

Small school: With under 400 pupils in total, OLA offers everyone the possibility of representing the school in a wide range of confidence-developing activities, including sport, drama, music, academic competitions and other chances to thrive, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Small classes: We have a very high teacher to pupil ratio, meaning our class sizes are smaller than you will find elsewhere. OLA provides a more individual learning experience that fully nurtures academic potential.

Fun and innovative learning: Helps pupils to be fully engaged in the academic life of the school leading to exam results that regularly exceed baseline predications.

Highly praised pastoral care: Our staff work closely alongside our pupils to encourage, motivate and support each child, helping them to grow as confident, successful and happy individuals.

Family community: OLA encourages an open dialogue between home and school through a range of effective channels.

Catholic Christian ethos: This is the foundation of everything we do, creating the family community so valued by OLA parents. The school accepts children of all faiths and none and helps them aspire to such values as integrity, compassion, openness, forgiveness, reconciliation, co-operation and courage.

The school was founded in 1860 by the Sisters of Mercy, a religious order which began in Dublin in the early nineteenth century led by Catherine McAuley. Until recent times the Sisters resident in Abingdon, played a major role in the life of the school, helping to strengthen the ethos of integrity and warmth that are two of its special characteristics. Governance of the school is now devolved to a body of lay trustees and a lay Principal.

Come and visit us at our next Open Morning or arrange a private visit.

We hope to see you soon.
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What The Good Schools Guide says

Principal

Since 2012, Stephen Oliver BA MLitt PGCE (50s), previously deputy head of St Benedict's, Ealing. Educated at the universities of Birmingham (Latin with Greek), Cambridge (PGCE) and St Andrews (ancient history) and has taught at Stonyhurst, the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, Uppingham and Haberdashers’ Aske’s School.

Was a novice monk at Downside Abbey for a year and a half in his 30s in between teaching posts. Enjoys cricket, jazz and writing - has published Smoke in the Sanctuary, a comic novel set in a Catholic parish in the west of England, and is currently writing his second novel. Frequent, erudite blogs on the school website clearly demonstrate his literary leanings.

This is his first headship, and he says that he was drawn to OLA’s ‘calm atmosphere’ and...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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