Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School is a Roman Catholic voluntary-aided comprehensive school in Holland Park, Kensington and Chelsea, London.

Since 1998, the Headmaster has been Michael Gormally. The School has Specialist Status in mathematics and information technology. Mr Gormally still ensures the same high standards set over 90 years ago are still demanded of the Vaughan’s pupils.

The School has approximately 950 students. The A2-Level Pass Rate in 2006 was 100% (National Average: 97%), and over 95% of the grades were A-C. The average number of UCAS points per candidate was 359.Fact|date=March 2008

The standard of the School's music-making is especially fine and renowned nationally. They do not select year seven pupils on academic prowess, but the school does ensure all pupils are practising Catholics.


Founded in 1914, the School is a national memorial to the third Archbishop of Westminster, Herbert Cardinal Vaughan|Herbert Vaughan. In response to his death an appeal was set up to raise funds to found a school in memory to the Cardinal and some £20,000 was subscribed. The founders included such distinguished persons as Viscount Fitzalan, the Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Ripon. At first a private school, it became a state-funded grammar school in 1944. The Vaughan began to take pupils of all abilities in 1977 and became an all ability school; girls were first admitted to the Sixth Form in 1980. The School is now voluntary-aided and draws pupils chiefly, but not exclusively from Inner London.

The Vaughan School opened its doors in the Victorian Building now known as Addison Hall, as a private school, to twenty- nine boys on 21 September 1914, appointing Canon Driscoll as the first Headmaster.

In the next decade the school expanded and it was decided to seek recognition by the Board of Education for the grant as an independent day school. A piece of land, some six acres in North Wembley, was also purchased for playing fields, which were later exchanged for the present site at Twickenham, adjacent to the international Rugby Football Union ground

Following a brief interregnum after Canon Driscoll’s death, Monsignor Canon J.G. Vance became Headmaster in 1928. His determination and devotion helped the School battle through the trials of the Second World War, when it was evacuated to Beaumont College, Windsor.

Thirty-nine old boys are named in the School’s Roll of Honour having given their lives in the Second World War, including the first V.C. of the War in the Royal Air Force, Flying Officer Donald E Garland, RAF.

After the war the decision was made to abolish fees and to give the School more security by becoming a voluntary-aided school.

House System

Cardinal Vaughan follows a traditional house system. There are four houses; Campion, Fisher, Mayne and More. All houses compete in the various sports challenges and events.


The School is divided into two main buildings. It has a sports pavilion and extensive playing fields in Twickenham. The School's Design Technology and Information Technology facilities are particularly impressive whilst the Vaughan has recently added a third floor to the New Building, creating outstanding new music facilities. This new floor holds a Recording Studio, a Music Technology Suite with 20 computers, nine Practice Rooms, a Song School for choral singing, two full-sized classrooms and a large rehearsal hall.

Extracurricular activities

The School offers a wide range of activities. The School fields seven Football teams and an equal number of rugby union teams. The Vaughan has five cricket teams, which compete in the London Schools League. The School's athletes participate in regional and national competitions, while netball is now a firmly established sport for girls in the Sixth Form. Two boys have gone on to become Olympic successes in rowing.

Music plays an important part in the life of the School. Boys are encouraged to learn musical instruments, including the piano, the organ (of which the School has three), strings, brass, woodwind and percussion. There is also a variety of choirs and orchestras: the Schola Cantorum, the Sixth Form Choir, the School Choir, the School Orchestra, the Concert Band, the Junior String Ensemble, the Senior Strings and the Chamber Orchestra, all of which give regular concerts. The School's renowned Big Band has taken part in national competitions and has toured in France, Spain, Netherlands and the USA. The Schola Cantorum has twice represented Great Britain at the Loreto Festival in Italy and has visited Rome three times, singing Vespers in the St. Peter's Basilica and performing before the Pope whilst the School Choir has recently toured both Germany and the USA. Boys frequently perform in professional contexts and have sung with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Choir and the Chorus of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

School journeys are yearly ski trips, Modern Language trips and French Exchanges; over the years, a great many boys have visited countries as far afield as the United States and Greece. Clubs and societies exist for chess, computers, philosophy and the like.

Schola Cantorum

The Schola Cantorum is the School's liturgical choir. The Schola, founded in 1980 and made up of boys aged 11-18, enjoys a reputation as one of the leading choirs of its type. In addition to singing at School Masses, the Schola also has frequent external engagements and has sung at many of London’s major venues including Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St John’s Smith Square, The Royal Opera House, The Barbican and the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The choir has also featured in Radio and TV broadcasts, most recently on BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship; and on Vatican Radio and 'Songs of Praise'. The Schola has travelled widely abroad, singing in Italy, Spain, Greece, Holland, Germany, France and the USA. The choir's most recent tour, in November 2007, was to Paris, which included singing High Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. In 2002 the Schola toured Rome singing at Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's Titular Church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and at the major Basilicas of St John Lateran, St Mary Major, St Paul's outside the Walls and St Peter's. They were addressed by the late Pope John Paul II with these words: "I am pleased to greet the Schola Cantorum of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in London. May your music, your studies and your lives always be directed to the praise of God and the growth of his Kingdom." In 2005 the choir returned to Rome giving a concert at Sant'Ignazio and singing Mass in St Peter's. The Schola also visited Assisi and sang Mass in the Patriarchal Basilica of San Francesco.

The Schola has recorded a number of CDs including "Praise to the holiest", a CD of hymns, "Sing in Exultation", a CD of Christmas carols and "Lauda Sion by Mendelssohn and works by Dupré and others".

Old Vaughanians

* P/O Donald Edward Garland, VC, (1918-1940); R.A.F pilot during the Second World War
* W/C Paddy Finucane, DSO, DFC & Double bar, (1920-1942); R.A.F pilot during the Second World War

* Bernard Joy (1911-1984); Footballer. Represented both Arsenal F.C. & Fulham F.C. at club level. The last amateur to represent the England national football team. Joy also captained the team representing Great Britain at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
* Martin Cross (b.1957); Rower, Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1984 Summer Olympics
* Garry Herbert MBE; Rowing Cox, Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1992 Summer Olympics and Gold Medalist at the World Rowing Championships in 1993.
* Paul Parker (b.1964); Footballer. Represented Manchester United F.C., winning the Football League Cup in 1992, the Premiership in 1993 and the Premiership & FA Cup double in 1994. Parker represented the England national football team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
* Eddie Newton (b.1971); Footballer. Represented Chelsea F.C., winning the FA Cup in 1997, the Football League Cup in 1998 and the UEFA Super Cup in 1998.
* Kevin Gallen (b.1975); Footballer. Played Premiership football with Queens Park Rangers.

* Roger Delgado (1918-1973); Actor
* Richard Greene (1918-1985); Actor
* Richard Daniel Roman (b.1965); Songwriter and record producer
* Wojtek Godzisz (b.1975); Songwriter/Performer & Composer with Symposium
* Helen Oyeyemi (b.1984); Novelist
* Dominic Holland; Comedian

External links


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