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Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is a Roman Catholic day secondary school in Holland Park, London, with approximately 950 students.

Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
89 Addison Road

W14 8BZ

Coordinates51°30′14″N 0°12′43″E / 51.50392°N 0.21184°E / 51.50392; 0.21184Coordinates: 51°30′14″N 0°12′43″E / 51.50392°N 0.21184°E / 51.50392; 0.21184
TypeComprehensive, academy
MottoLatin: Amare et servire
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established1914 (1914)
FoundersHenry Fitzalan-Howard
Edmund Fitzalan-Howard
Local authorityKensington and Chelsea
Department for Education URN141931 Tables
HeadmasterMr Paul Stubbings
GenderBoys (11–18), co-ed (16–18)
Age11 to 18
PublicationSixth Sense
PatronCardinal Herbert Vaughan
Former pupilsOld Vaughanians
School SongTo Be A Pilgrim (He who would valiant be)
YearbookThe Vaughan Annual
Boat ClubThe Vaughan Boat Club Cardinal Vaughan Boat Club Blade

The school does not select first year pupils on academic ability, but accepts pupils who are practising Catholics.


Herbert, Cardinal Vaughan

After the 1903 death of the third Archbishop of Westminster, Herbert, Cardinal Vaughan, an appeal was made to raise funds to found a boys' school to be named as a memorial to him; some £20,000 was subscribed. The school was founded in 1914; the founders included Viscount Fitzalan, the Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Ripon. The Vaughan School opened its doors in the Victorian building now known as Addison Hall, as a private school, to twenty-nine boys on 21 September 1914, appointing Canon Driscoll as the first headmaster.

In the 1920s, the school expanded and it was decided to seek recognition by the Board of Education for the grant as an independent day school. The first Higher Certificates with Distinction were achieved in 1926, the first classical scholarship (at Christ's College Cambridge), and the first ordination of Vaughan boys to the priesthood. A piece of land, some 6 acres (2.4 ha) in North Wembley, was purchased for playing fields. In 1937, this plot was exchanged for the present site at Twickenham, adjacent to the international Rugby Football Union ground.

Enrollment had grown to 220 by 1928, and neared 300 by 1938. The school was evacuated to Beaumont College, Windsor, during the course of the Second World War. Despite the difficulties of the war, academics flourished, with more scholarships and awards won in 1941 than any previous year. In the summer of 1945, a party of fifth and sixth-form students helped move the school back to its home in London, only one of them having been inside the school building before. Thirty-nine old boys who were killed in the War are named in the School's Roll of Honour, including the first Victoria Cross of the war in the Royal Air Force, Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland.

School fees were abolished after the war, as the Vaughan School transitioned from a public school to a state-funded grammar school under the 1944 Education Act. However, there were concerns about the low standards of new admissions, whose primary education had suffered during the evacuation; in 1948, Cardinal Griffin referred to this as a "time of crisis" for the school, though it was alleviated through a series of programmes to inspire the students' interest.

In the early and mid-1950s, the curriculum shifted from the Classics to include Advanced A-Level subjects. A new building was opened in 1964 to accommodate the growing enrollment. In the 1970s, the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and board of governors considered various reorganization proposals in the amalgamation of schools. The school began to take pupils of all abilities in 1977 and became an all-ability school. Girls were first admitted to the sixth form in 1977. The school became a voluntary-aided public school and drew pupils chiefly, but not exclusively, from Inner London.

The school saw expansions in 2000, 2005 and 2014. With its high academic performance, the school was granted specialist status for mathematics, computing and science.


Academic dress uniform

Pupils in Years 7–11 dress in the black Vaughan suit with the Vaughan Lower School Tie, a tie that bears the school colours. During this time they have the option to be awarded a number of sporting ties and prefect ties. In sixth form, pupils are required to wear the grey Vaughan suit and sixth form tie, bearing an extra white stripe, and/or any sporting ties. Girls who join the school at this time are required to wear the Vaughan maroon blazer and grey skirt. Upper sixth pupils can be awarded a number of commendation ties including the Senior Music Prefect Tie, Senior Prefect Tie, Head Boy Tie and Sporting Ties marking games played. Girls are awarded brooches in a similar way to mark their achievements. In addition, it is commonplace to see pupils wearing the Vaughan Robe. The robe is black and is worn by teachers at all times. The Head Boy and Head Girl will wear a specially commissioned Blue and Maroon Robe. At various times of the year, including the Vaughan Speech Night, teachers are required to wear full academic dress.


Canon Driscoll (1914–1928)Edit

Canon Driscoll

Hired at a salary of £200 per year, Canon Driscoll was appointed as the first headmaster. He confessed to having spent the summer months anxiously worrying about how many boys would face him on opening day. Two classes were held in the top rooms. Driscoll took one and Father W. Horgan the other. Driscoll was sparing with praise but bestowed it with such simplicity and sincerity that the recipient always felt he meant much more than he said. His absorption into the life of the school was so intense that he was unhappy when the boys had let for their holidays, leaving him to the quiet, deserted classrooms.

Under Driscoll's guidance, the school found its feet during the Great War. Academic standards were high leading to the School and Higher Certificates of the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board. Enrollment grew and enabled Driscol to build a young and energetic teaching staff.

In the autumn of 1927 Canon Driscoll's health began to fail and he died 29 December, at the age of 57.

Dr Monsignor Canon Vance (1928–1948)Edit

Monsignor Canon Vance

Dr Vance was well known as a scholar and writer when he succeeded Driscoll as headmaster. He ran a tight ship: strict punctuality was expected, students were not permitted to write left-handed without a medical certificate documenting a necessary deviation, and teachers were instructed on a prescribed manner of blackboard writing. He took an intense pride in all things English, instilling a sense of patriotism in the student body.

While the school was evacuated to Windsor for the course of the Second World War, Vance was concerned about the standards of behaviour of the boys under wartime conditions. It was made clear to the boys: that making light of discomfort was manly; that writing cheery and interesting letters home would ease the troubles of their families; and that it was a point of honour to never complain. He later took on a Churchillian tone, to instil the qualities of the English tradition and that of resistance, courage and devoutness.

Following the war, the Vaughan School transitioned from a public school to a state-funded grammar school. In 1947, Vance expressed concerns about the low standards of new admissions, whose primary education had suffered terribly during the evacuation. He resigned as headmaster in 1948.

Canon Butcher (1948–1952)Edit

Canon Butcher
Monsignor Kenefeck

Father Reginald Butcher had served the Vaughan School during its evacuation to Windsor. Under his direction as headmaster, a large programme of activities was established to interest the boys in the world's great artists, musicians and writers. He cared deeply for the religious life of the school and creating a union between the artistic and the spiritual. He was especially pleased by the attention given to religious music, to religious art and to the works of the great Catholic writers. In 1952, Butcher was transferred, appointed as president of St Edmund's College, Ware. He was later nominated as a Canon of Westminster and a papal monsignor.

Monsignor Kenefeck (1952–1976)Edit

Father Richard Kenefeck served his entire career at the Vaughan School, beginning in 1938, and was its longest-serving headmaster. He was primarily concerned with the expansion of the sixth form. Advanced A-Level subjects were introduced to a curriculum which had largely been devoted to the Classics, with mathematics and sciences added in 1956. Also of concern was organizing the school into a new building which was opened in 1964 to accommodate the growing enrollment.

Fr. Anthony Pellegrini (1976–1997)Edit

Fr Anthony Pellegrini
Michael Gormally

Anthony Pellegrini, the first headmaster who was not a cleric, was appointed in 1976. He had joined the school as a general subjects teacher immediately after graduating from the London School of Economics, and in 1969 was appointed deputy head despite being the youngest candidate. He became headmaster at the age of 36 and was often seen about, knowing every student by name.

Pellegrini saw the school's transition from a selective grammar school to a voluntary-aided school, taking in students with learning difficulties. He also helped to establish a community service unit, which organized student volunteers.

Michael Gormally (1997–2009)Edit

In September 1997, Michael Gormally became headmaster and oversaw continuing expansion of the school. A mezzanine floor in the Main Building was opened to sixth form pupils, new music rooms were opened in 2005, and the school was granted specialist status for mathematics, computing, and science. He was a fan of KFC and McDonald's fast food- he even sent boys on a 'KFC run' during Saturday detentions. Examination results remained high, even taking into account alleged grade inflation' during these years, and the Vaughan School consistently placed amongst the highest-achieving schools both at GCSE and A Level.[citation needed]

Mr Gormally fell ill in 2008 and retired formally in 2009.

Charles Eynaud, BSc (2009–2011)Edit

Charles Eynaud
Paul Stubbings

For a two-year period Charles Eynaud was acting headmaster.

Paul Stubbings, MA (from 2011)Edit

In October 2011, the Governors appointed Paul Stubbings as the school's headmaster. Academic standards remained high; The Times ranked Cardinal Vaughan as the highest attaining school at both A-Level and GCSE in the country in 2013 and 2014. The school received an Outcomes Award for the "Significant Added Value the Teaching Offers to Pupils' Education".[citation needed]


The school is divided into four main buildings, Addison Hall (a.k.a. the Old Building), the New Building, the "Centenary Building" and the Pellegrini Building. The later two are adjoined on the main grounds on the west side of Addison Road, with Addison Hall on the east side of the road.

Structural work was conducted on Addison Hall when dry rot was discovered in the late 1940s. At this same time, the outer wall of the main hall was found to be in danger of collapse and steel supports were sunk into the wall to make it safe.

The school chapel was opened on 19 January 1915, decorated by Thomas Seadon with life-size paintings of Thomas More and John Fisher Oater, the patron saints of the school.

The New Building was officially opened in June 1964. A third floor was later added, housing modern music facilities with a professional recording studio, a music technology suite, nine practice rooms, a song school for choral singing, two full-sized classrooms and a large rehearsal hall.

The school's design technology and information technology facilities make up the majority of the Pellegrini Building. The Centenary Building is an extension completed in 2014, with eight classrooms and two art suites.

The school has a sports pavilion and extensive playing fields in Twickenham opposite Twickenham Stadium, the UK's main rugby stadium. The pavilion was rebuilt and opened in January 1995.


Key Stage 3Edit

11–13-year olds follow the Key Stage 3 curriculum and are required to study (Catholic) religious education, English, mathematics, science, art, citizenship education, design and technology, French, geography, history, information and communication technologies (ICT), music, physical education (PE) and Spanish.[1] The school follows a banding system based on ability. Those in the higher bands study Latin, those in the lower classical civilisation.


In their third year of study (age 13), boys can choose General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) subjects. These are extras to the basic curriculum of religious education, English, mathematics, core science, additional science, and games. The boys choose four subjects from engineering, art, business studies, design and technology, French, geography, history, sciences, music, drama, sociology physical education, ICT, and Spanish.[2] Those boys who are studying Latin have the option to pursue it as well as classical Greek, or classical civilisation.


At the age of 16, lower sixth-former students can pursue four subjects to study further. These include religious studies, philosophy, mathematics, further mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, English, Latin, history, geography, design and technology, ICT, PE, art, French, Spanish, sociology and business studies. The four chosen subjects are taught every day for an hour. The students also have a private study period every day, supervised in the New Building's main hall. Sixth-form students also get an hour of general religious education every fortnight, replacing a private study. Games are not compulsory for sixth-formers, although many often participate in extracurricular activities, such as rock climbing and cross-country running.

In the second year of sixth-form, upper sixth-former students can drop one of their chosen subjects, reducing their timetable to three lessons a day, with two free periods. Students are given a general religious education lesson every fortnight in upper sixth-form. In this year, students also begin to apply to university. This is the last year for students at Vaughan.


The school fields seven Football teams and an equal number of rugby union teams. It has no cricket team. The school's athletes participate in regional and national competitions. Girls in the sixth form play netball.

House systemEdit

Cardinal Vaughan follows a traditional house system. There are four houses named after Catholic figures: Campion, Fisher, Mayne and More. All houses compete in the various sports challenges and events.


Many former pupils go on to play with Rugby league teams after their time at Vaughan.[citation needed] The school's home grounds are positioned adjacent to Twickenham Stadium, the home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The rugby season commences in September with trials for all age groups. All rugby teams play Saturday morning fixtures for the duration of the Michaelmas term. In addition to Saturday morning fixtures, senior teams are involved in midweek and cup fixtures.

Vaughan boys compete in many competitions across the country and against other schools, and also in annual House Varsity games.

Senior Rugby players also play Saturday morning and midweek fixtures during the Lent term. Rugby training for first, third and fourth form takes place on Monday nights and for second, fifth and sixth form on Tuesday nights at Linford Christie Stadium. In addition to Rugby Union the school also enters various Rugby Sevens tournaments which generally take place during the Lent term.


The school has the use of Barn Elms Boat Club, where boys can learn to row and scull. The school has produced Olympic Rowers.


Football fixtures are played throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Only the 1st and 2nd XI teams play Saturday morning fixtures during the Michaelmas term. The school's football teams are also entered in various local and national cup competitions. Games for these competitions are played midweek.

Extra-curricular activitiesEdit

Pupils founded a music society in 1935. Boys may study musical instruments, including the piano, the organ (of which the school has three), strings, brass, woodwind and percussion. There are also several choirs and orchestras: the Schola Cantorum, the Sixth Form Choir, the School Choir, the School Orchestra, the Concert Band, the Junior String Ensemble, the Senior Strings and the Chamber Orchestra, all of which give regular concerts. The school's Big Band has taken part in national competitions and has toured in France, Spain, Netherlands and the US. It has performed alongside Salena Jones and Jason Yarde and had commissions from Bob Mintzer, Frank Griffith, Jeff Jarvis and Richard Harris.

Schola CantorumEdit

The Schola Cantorum is the School's liturgical choir, founded in 1980 and made up of boys aged 11 to 18. The Schola sings at school Masses, and has frequent external engagements. It has performed at many of London's major venues, twice represented Great Britain at the Loreto Festival in Italy, toured internationally, and performed before the Pope. It has performed professionally with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Choir and the Chorus of the Royal Opera, and been featured on film soundtracks including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, The Life of Pi and Paddington. The choir has also appeared on BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship, Vatican Radio, and the religious choral programme Songs of Praise on BBC television.

The Schola has recorded a number of CDs, including hymn collection Praise to the holiest, Christmas carol collection Sing in Exultation, and Lauda Sion by Mendelssohn and works by Dupré and others.

Notable former pupils (Old Vaughanians)Edit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Jack Dromey MP supports All Schools initiative". 15 March 2014.

External linksEdit