I am very pleased to welcome you to the website of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. It is a privilege to lead this wonderful community and I am very proud of the many achievements you will find described in these pages.
We are determined to draw out and develop the aptitudes and talents of all our pupils. At the heart of the School lies our Catholic ethos, which underpins everything we do. Quite simply, we see our principal role, as a Catholic school, to be a seed-ground for the apostolic mission of the Church. The School aims, through its commitment to Catholic 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.
In this, I believe, we are successful, as our outstanding public examination results, which far exceed national averages, show. In 2019, for example (leaving aside, for obvious reasons, 2020), 13% of grades attained at A-Level were A*, 44.6% were A* and A, and 69.6% A* - B. Almost a quarter of students attained AAA or higher at A-Level and eleven obtained places at Oxbridge. These superlative results, no flash in the pan, kept us right at the top end of The Times's national league table for all Catholic comprehensive schools at A-Level. At GCSE, the proportion of grades at 9 & 8 (i.e. equivalent to the old A* grades and above) was, at 31.5%, extremely high, and over three times the national average for boys. Half of all grades were 9-7 – in other words, in old money, A**, A* or A. I am especially proud that the proportion of grade 9s attained by Vaughan boys in English Language was, at 10.1%, over seven times higher than that of all boys nationally (1.4%) and that the overall average grade attained by Vaughan boys across the board was 6.2: that is every boy knocking on the door of an old A grade in every subject. Such results make the Vaughan, according to The Times, the highest performing comprehensive school for boys in the country.
Ethos & Vision for the School
The purpose of the School is best expressed in the words of Cardinal Manning, which appear in the preamble to our Mission Statement: we seek ‘the formation of the whole person: intellect, heart, will, character and soul.’ At a fundamental level, then, my vision for what this Catholic school should (and can) achieve is in a sense pre-packaged. My aim is to make this ideal a reality.
The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is an academy in the Archdiocese of Westminster; it has a strong Catholic ethos, a pan-London intake, a tradition of outstanding academic outcomes and a strong regard for good behaviour, self-discipline and self-improvement among its pupils, whatever their background or ability. I aim to preserve these unchanging ideals in the context of a rapidly changing world. I want the school to be progressive in the truest sense; in other words, we must identify and retain the best of the old and graft this to the best of the new, so that the foundations on which our pupils’ progress is built are strong and lasting. This, in practice, will entail a remorseless focus on tailoring our practice to suit the multifold needs of our pupils, whatever their ability, so that their development – be it academic, spiritual, social, moral, sporting or aesthetic – is as firmly embedded and lasting as possible.
This will require a blend of intellectual coherence, intelligent recalibration of existing good practice to ensure lasting improvement, energetic action and systematic monitoring to ensure that the needs of a changing intake are constantly met. For the whole school community, it demands (and, hopefully, entails) unity of purpose.