Our parish is fortunate to have two thriving Catholic schools as part of a local community – St Peter in Chains for infants and St Gildas’ for juniors.
Not only are the schools vibrant centres of religious education and worship, but both of them have received OFSTED reports which underline the high quality of education provided in all areas of the curriculum. Both schools have Mission Statements which highlight the centrality of our faith and the unique dignity of each child, called to reach his or her full potential.
The school communities are made up of our children, the parents, a dedicated team of teaching and support staff, the Governors and a group of parishioners who offer their services on a voluntary basis. Indeed, the schools form an essential part of the wider parish community and work in close partnership with the parish clergy to nurture the faith of future generations.
Catholic schools have always been an integral part of the vision of a parish community in this country. We can be justly proud of the achievements of our two schools over the last decades. As we approach the next century, they will be counting on your continued support.
Details of the admissions process for both schools, including the closing date for completed applications, are published in the Newsletter in the September/October prior to the year of admission i.e. published in September 2015 for admissions in September 2016.
Transfers to secondary school
Details of Catholic Secondary Schools Open Evenings are publicised on the church noticeboard in the porch each September and the arrangements for obtaining signatures on the necessary Priest Reference Forms are given in the Newsletter. Details can also be found here.
The Friends of St Peter’s and St Gildas’ schools is a social and fund-raising group that arranges many activities to raise necessary funds to support the schools. All contributions and support are welcome and all talents can be profitably used! To learn more about ‘The Friends’ or get involved, visit their website http://www.friendsofstpetersandstgildas.com
St Peter in Chains Infant School
St Peter-in-Chains Infant School caters for children aged 4 – 6
The original St Peter’s school was opened in 1934 and was rebuilt during 1967/68.
‘At St Peter-in-Chains we aim to provide a high quality education for all children according to the teachings of the Catholic Church’ (extract from the School’s Mission Statement)
The last report of the OFSTED inspectors in 2011 described St Peter in Chains as ‘An outstanding school. Pupils of all abilities achieve extremely well in the academic and personal development.
Headteacher: Miss Margaret Falvey
Address: 3 Elm Grove, London, N8 9AJ
Tel: 020 8340 6789
Fax: 020 8340 3653
St Gildas’ Junior School
St Gildas’ R.C. Junior School welcomes girls and boys from 7 – 11 years of age.
St Gildas’ school was originally established as an independent school by the Sisters of St. Gildas, who came to the Parish in 1914. It is now a Voluntary Aided Junior School within the Diocese of Westminster.
The latest report of the OFSTED inspectors in 2015 described St Gildas’ as ‘A good school’ and makes many positive comments about all aspects of the school’s and pupils’ performance.
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How St Gildas' School came to the parish
This postcard, sent to the sisters of St Gildas’, in Somerset, was the first sign that their prayers had been answered. The sisters of St. Gildas’ had already established two schools in Somerset and wished to establish a third in London. In North London, Fr Regan, a Canon Regular and Parish Priest, prayed for a Catholic school in his own parish, Stroud Green, where there was none. When he discovered, through a third party, what the Sisters wanted, he saw that they were the answer to his prayers. And so the mysterious postcard was despatched.
On a hot June day in 1914, two Sisters, in their cumbersome habits, journeyed from Somerset to meet Fr Regan and view suitable premises for a school: a large private house called ‘Crouch Hill House’. A shock awaited them. Builders were in the process of demolishing Crouch Hill House, Fr Regan reacted quickly. At his instigation, the demolition was stopped; and later Crouch Hill House, instead of being demolished to make way for a lucrative development, passed into the hands of the Sisters of St Gildas’ with the damage made good.
On 19th April 1915, St Gildas’ opened its doors to its first six pupils: Miss Kathleen Normile was one of them. On the school’s Golden Jubilee in April 1965, she spoke to the ‘Hornsey Journal’ of the excitement of that first day. She was then aged five and lived on Inderwick Road. She went to school with Kenneth Smith (aged 6) who lived nearby. Their four companions were Dorothy Pond, Molly Costello, Katherine Moylan and Eva (whose surname she could not remember). She kept in touch with Katherine but lost sight of the other girls. However, she knew that Kenneth had joined the Royal Marines in the Second World War, and was captured by the Japanese in 1942. He worked on the Burma railway, of which is said that for every sleeper laid, a worker died. Kenneth Smith was one of those who died.
Through a century of social and political upheaval, St Gildas’ has continued to provide a Catholic education for thousands of children.
This historical information has been taken from a two-and-a-half page document (writer not identified) prepared, we think, for the Golden Jubilee in 1965. Where the information in this document contradicts Miss Kathleen Normile’s recollections, we have given preference to Miss Normile’s first-hand account. However, further and better information would be very welcome.
St Gildas' School 1915-2015
In July, we asked for your memories, and have been delighted to hear back. These are just a few extracts to give you a glimpse of St Gildas’ Convent School. Many Thanks! (November 2014)
“Sr St Thomas, [was] very strict, we brought ‘a penny for the angel’ every week, which was a sort of money box which nodded its head on receipt of a penny! [ . . . ] My next class was with Sister Marie, whom I thought of as extremely witty and I remember her with great affection. I also remember the weekly raffles for bars of chocolate.” Diana Deans (née Bill, St Gildas’ 1946-1958)
Holy Communion 1956
“Religion played a major part in school life and we went to St Peter’s [Church] every Friday morning. I made my First Communion in 1956 and in the same year the Bishop came to do Confirmations—very handy as far as wearing the same dress was concerned. About half a dozen of us were chosen to walk in the procession from school to church, strewing petals in front of the Bishop. In order to keep our strewing in perfect time, one of the nuns walked beside us and clicked her spectacles case when it was time for another petal to fall.”
Loretta Jones (née Millar, St Gildas’, 1953-1958)
“The lunches were very good. I loved them because they served all the things we never got at home— including some unusual things like boiled eggs in tomato sauce (freshly made, not Heinz sauce). We were always encouraged to eat our greens and generous portions of gravy were served.” Nilla Roscelli (née Moia, St Gildas’ 1967 to 1970)
If you have any mementoes, information or stories, please contact us using the form below: