Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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Headmaster's Welcome

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 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.

In this, I believe, we are successful, as our outstanding public examination results, which far exceed national averages, show. 2023 was another fine year for A-Level results, with 37.2% at A* and A (as opposed to the national average of 26.5%), and 70.4% at A* - B. At GCSE, 37.6% of grades were 9 & 8, and well over half (56.2%) 9, 8 or 7. The magnificent results speak eloquently for themselves and keep Cardinal Vaughan one of the highest performing comprehensive schools 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 Saint John Southworth Catholic Academy Trust; 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.

Paul Stubbings