Welcome to Our Lady’s Abingdon, Oxfordshire’s leading co-educational Catholic day school.
I joined OLA in 2012, a few years after the school started admitting boys to the Senior School.
The move to co-education has proved to be an extremely successful one and OLA continues to build on its strong reputation for academic excellence, outstanding pastoral care and an environment that makes all its pupils feel valued.
What are the qualities that mark OLA out from other schools? Principal among these is our supportive and nurturing ethos. The school was founded in 1860 by the Sisters of Mercy and has been a beacon of Oxfordshire education ever since. True to the spirit of our founders, we care very much for the individual child, looking to draw out the talents each one has. We believe in forming the whole person, stretching pupils academically but also fostering their enthusiasms, whether these be sporting, musical, dramatic or any of the myriad other possibilities open to them at OLA.
The motto of our school, age quod agis – ‘whatever you do, do it well’ – sums up this approach. Pupils are taught to develop their talents, not just for their own benefit but for the benefit of the wider community. As a result, they leave the school as well-rounded, thoughtful individuals, imbued with the key quality of emotional intelligence so valued in today’s employment world.
Integral to our approach here are small class sizes, along with many and varied opportunities for our pupils to shine in a range of activities. Our 2016 GCSE results were some of the best ever achieved. 100% of pupils achieved grades A* - E, with more than 50% of pupils achieving A and A* grades. This year our Upper Sixth leavers received offers from a wide range of universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and many leading Russell group institutions. Among them we have medics, vets, scientists and artists, the range of subjects here reflecting the breadth of interests encouraged at OLA. Our co-curricular programme is equally broad and is an integral part of the education that students receive at OLA, not just an add-on to what happens in the classroom.
OLA continues to expand and upgrade its already extensive facilities. Recent developments have included a multi-use games area, a state of the art Design and Technology Centre and additional classrooms and Science laboratories. New dining facilities and an extensive refurbishment of our Sixth Form Centre have also been completed. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the environment enjoyed by our pupils and other ways to enrich the educational experience on offer.
These are exciting times at OLA, so please come and visit us to find out more. I look forward to welcoming you to the school very soon.
Stephen Oliver, Principal