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Cathedral and John Connon School

The Cathedral & John Connon School is a co-educational private school founded in 1860 and located in Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra.[1] It has five sections: Pre-Primary, Infant, Junior, Middle and Senior Schools.[2] A Hindustan Times report of 2013 named it the best ICSE and ISC school in the country. It now offers the IBDP programme, as well.[3]

The Cathedral and John Connon School
Cathedral School Mumbai Logo.jpg
Coordinates18°56′10″N 72°49′58″E / 18.936178°N 72.832825°E / 18.936178; 72.832825Coordinates: 18°56′10″N 72°49′58″E / 18.936178°N 72.832825°E / 18.936178; 72.832825
TypePrivate school
Motto'Clarum Efficiunt Studia'
('Studies Maketh Famous')
Established14 November 1860; 159 years ago (14 November 1860)
FounderSt. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai
PrincipalMrs. Isaacs
Vice Principals (Senior)Dr. Sonal Parmar
GradesPre-Primary - 12 and International Baccalaureate
Number of students3000
School colour(s)Purple & Black
AthleticsDSO, MSSA, Anglo-Scottish
HousesBarham, Palmer, Savage, Wilson
The middle school building
The senior school building lit up for the 150th foundation day celebrations, 2010

The school also controls the 300-year-old St. Thomas Cathedral; CAJCS was founded to provide choristers to the Church.


In 1860 Bishop Harding and the Cathedral Chaplain opened a grammar school within the walled city of Bombay which, along with a smaller establishment for girls, were the first of many strands that have joined to form the Cathedral and John Connon School.[4][5]

A Choir School, established with the objective of providing choristers for the St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai, the first Anglican Church in Mumbai was founded in October 1875. Meanwhile, the Bombay Scottish Education Society was founded in 1866. The society put up a building on the Esplanade, and named it for John Connon (then Chief Registrar of Bombay).

In 1878 a high school in Byculla, set up by the Bombay Diocesan Society, was merged with the Choir School to form the Cathedral High School. The present Senior School building, a blend of Indian and Gothic architecture, was erected in 1896. A girls' school had been started in 1880.

In 1922, in a public meeting held at the Town Hall, the present Asiatic Society of Bombay library, a suggestion was put forward by the principal of the Cathedral Boys' School for the Cathedral Schools and the Scottish School to work together, instead of competing, and thus the Anglo-Scottish Education Society was conceived. The schools were re-organized into the Cathedral Boys' School, the Cathedral Girls' School, and the John Connon School.

Today the old boys' school is the Senior School; the old girls' school is the Middle School; and the John Connon School is the Junior School. The Infant School, located at Malabar Hill, was set up in 1965.[6] The Senior School also serves as the main administrative office for all the sections of the school.

The IB arm of the school, set up in 2015, plans to shift to the Deutsche Bank Building (formerly Tata Palace) by 2018.[7] The building is located in the same vicinity (Fort) as the school, right next to Sterling Theatre.

Academics and curriculumEdit

The Cathedral & John Connon School is affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations[8] (CISCE), and its students appear for the Council's ISC, IB (Grade 12) and ICSE (Grade 10) examinations. English is the medium of instruction. Hindi is taught as a second language and Marathi or Sanskrit are taught as third languages.

College Board's Advanced Placement program has been conducted in the school since June, 2004. Talented students, who would otherwise be uninterested in a mainstream classroom, are offered the chance to pursue accelerated learning (college-level) courses in subjects including English, Calculus (AB and BC), Physics, Biology, Computers, World History, Chemistry and Economics.[9] The school is the only AP Examination Center in Western India.

For the ISC course (consisting of grades 11 and 12) the school divided its student body into three streams: Commerce, Science, and the Humanities. However, as of 2008 this is no longer required and students now have the option of either choosing a particular stream or choosing subjects from different streams.

Students achieving distinctions (above 80% per term in Senior School) throughout the year become eligible for the Honours Prize for that year. Those who achieve fifteen points on a complicated scoring system, at any time after Grade 8, are awarded the Scholar's Badge. There are rarely more than three recipients in any given year.[5]

Cathedral Model United Nations (Symposium)Edit

The Cathedral Model United Nations is run entirely by the school's student body over a period of three days, where students assume the roles of delegates representing countries. They form committees and debate on topics of global importance.[10] From a start in 1996 - the first CMUN had only one committee (Asia and Pacific Council), it has grown into an event with over 700 delegates attending.[11] CMUN 2007 was the first to have delegates from outside Mumbai. Schools like Mayo College, La Martiniere Calcutta, Doon School, and others attended the conference. 2011 featured the first international delegates from Rato Bangala School from Nepal and Aitchinson College, Pakistan.

House systemEdit

There are four houses in the school - Barham, Palmer, Savage and Wilson - named after Canon Barham, Bishop Palmer, Arthur Savage and Percival Wilson, the founders of the Cathedral School and the John Connon School. The House System serves as the centre of school life, with students from the houses competing at sports, games and other co-curricular activities, primarily divided into 2 categories- Cultural and Sports which include a plethora of activities.

There was also another house, that was brown in color, called Kuruvilla that was later disbanded and students were distributed amongst the houses available since it made more sense to have four houses in order to keep competitions easier.[12]

School choir and bandEdit

The school choir dates back to the time when the school had its genesis as a choir school providing choristers to the St. Thomas' Cathedral. The Founders' Day Service and the Christmas Carol Service are the two most important events for the Choir. The choir's repertoire includes hymns, sacred classics, as well as secular music.

A school band is formed from the students. Tryouts for the school band are held once a year. The band plays rock-and-roll inspired music. It performs at the School Music festival, and at music festivals held across schools and colleges in Mumbai.

School mottoEdit

The school's motto is Clarum Efficiunt Studia translated as Studies Maketh Famous. This motto was adopted by Thomas Arthur Savage, Headmaster of the school, from Bacon's essay on "Studies".

Studies serve for delight, for ornament and for ability... the general counsels and the plots and marshalling of affairs comes best from those that are learned.

School badgeEdit

In 1923 the Cathedral Schools and the Scottish School were amalgamated to form The Anglo-Scottish Education Society. Miss Whitfield, the Principal of the Girls' School, wanted a badge which was representative of both elements of the Society: Anglican and Scottish. A badge was designed in which the Bishop's Mitre represented the Anglican side, while the Scottish neighbours were symbolised by the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew.

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [1] Archived 20 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Three Mumbai schools among top 50 offering ISC, ICSE | mumbai". Hindustan Times. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ Adapted from the 125th Anniversary Souvenir
  5. ^ a b Adapted from the School Diary
  6. ^ [2] Archived 12 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Cathedral IB arm moving to Deutsche Bank bldg? - Mumbai Mirror -". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  8. ^ [3] Archived 26 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ [4] Archived 12 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ [5] Archived 12 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Model UNs a hit with schools". The Times of India. 23 August 2011.
  12. ^ [6] Archived 30 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Jehangir Sabavala: A painter & gentleman bows out". The Times of India. 3 September 2011.
  14. ^ Khalid Mohamed (3 September 2011). "The timeless poster boy of Hindi cinema". Asian Age. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011.
  15. ^ Muthalaly, Shonali (30 October 2009). "Best of three worlds". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  16. ^ "BIG Synergy : About Us : Board of Directors". 28 December 1954. Retrieved 22 January 2016.

External linksEdit