Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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Catholic Life and Mission

At the heart of the School lies our Catholic ethos, which underpins everything we do. The School aims, through its commitment to Catholic Social Teaching, to prepare our pupils to undertake their responsibilities as Catholics in society. Working in partnership with parents, we aim to foster in our pupils a love for the Church which will help them to grow and develop as they make their way through life.

School Mission

The mission of the School is expressed in the words of Cardinal Manning: we seek ‘the formation of the whole person: intellect, heart, will, character and soul.’ 

Our motto is Amare et Servire - so love and service are key elements of the School ethos, for all of the Vaughan's community: pupils, staff, parents and governors.

Cardinal Herbert Vaughan

Herbert Alfred Vaughan was born in Gloucestershire in 1832, the eldest son of a recusant aristocratic family. His mother, Eliza, was intensely religious and her children almost all entered into religious orders: five of Herbert's seven brothers became priests, and all of his five sisters became nuns.

Herbert trained for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained on 28 October 1854, aged 22. 

As a young priest, Herbert Vaughan became convinced of the importance of missionary work. Suffering from poor health all his life, he was unable to carry out the work of spreading the Gospel himself so decided to establish a missionary training college.

He embarked on a fundraising tour in the Caribbean and South America and when he returned to England in 1865, he established St Joseph's Society of the Sacred Heart for Foreign Missions, better known as the Mill Hill Missionaries, which still flourishes to this day.

Later he established the Sister of St Joseph's Society of the Sacred Heart of the Third Order Regular of St Francis who would work alongside the Fathers of Mill Hill around the world. 

The founding of Mill Hill Missionaries was the first of many remarkable achievements as Herbert Vaughan proved himself to be an exceptionally capable and innovative man, and importantly a very successful fundraiser. 

In 1872 he was appointed Bishop of Salford and set about establishing a school, St Bede's College, to educate the sons of Manchester's growing Catholic population. This was a time when the position of Catholics in society was changing following the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829. Led by the example of the social reformer Cardinal Manning, his predecessor as Archbishop of Westminster, Vaughan was greatly involved in the infrastructures that would allow Catholics to prosper in English society. Education would be key to this. 

During his twenty years in Salford, Bishop Vaughan also founded a Seminary of Pastoral Theology attached to the Cathedral, started the Catholic Children's Rescue and Protection Society and established the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph. 

Keen to have outlets for his thinking, he purchased and edited The Tablet newspaper and established the Catholic Truth Society. He also entered fully into the life of the civic community where he was a familiar figure at the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of the Manchester Geographical Society. 

Vaughan became Archbishop of Westminster in 1892 and Cardinal the following year. His greatest achievement during his eleven years as Cardinal was undoubtedly the building of Westminster Cathedral. He worked untiringly to secure subscriptions for a capital campaign, with the result that the foundation stone was laid in 1895. When he died in 1903 at the age of 71, the first service to be held there was his funeral. His body was interred at the cemetery of St. Joseph's College, the headquarters of the Mill Hill Missionaries in North London. In 2005 his remains were moved to Westminster Cathedral and placed in the chapel of St Thomas of Canterbury, afterwards known as 'Cardinal Vaughan's Chantry'. 

Catholic Professional Development 

As one of the founding members of the Saint John Southworth Catholic Academy Trust, we were pleased to welcome school staff from within the Trust for a Catholic Ethos and Curriculum Development Day held at our school in January this year.

Sessions included 'RE and the New Catholic Schools Inspection Framework', run by James Stacey, Head of School at St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Chelsea and RE Subject Advisor for SJSCAT, 'Providing an Inclusive Education' run by Serena Mullen, Deputy Head of English and Inclusion Co-ordinator at Cardinal Vaughan, 'What Ofsted looks for in the Quality of Education Judgement' run by Karen Wyatt, Executive Headteacher at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Chelsea and Chief School Improvement Officer for SJSCAT,  and 'Classroom Expectations' run by Shelagh O'Connell, Deputy Headteacher at Cardinal Vaughan and Senior Leader & Teaching Expert of SJSERA.

Thank you to our Keynote Speaker this year, Professor Anna Lise Gordon, from St Mary's University for an insightful and thought-provoking speech about Wellbeing in Schools.