Message from the Principal

Founded in 1860 by the Sisters of Mercy, OLA has been a beacon of Oxfordshire education ever since. We are a small, independent day school for students aged 7 to 18, offering a highly successful, fun and innovative learning experience within a happy and friendly community. This leads our students to achieve some exceptional academic results, guided as they are throughout their time at the school by our caring and dedicated teachers.

The school’s success comes from a combination of four factors which create the unique OLA learning adventure. Each child embarks on a journey that uncovers their full potential and nurtures them to achieve, enabling them to thrive both academically and as a person.

Small school: With under 400 pupils in total, OLA offers everyone the possibility of representing the school in a wide range of confidence-developing activities, including sport, drama, music, academic competitions and other chances to thrive, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Young Enterprise.

Small classes: We have a very high teacher to pupil ratio, meaning our class sizes are smaller than you will find elsewhere. OLA provides a more individual learning experience that fully nurtures academic potential and regularly delivers success beyond expectation.

Highly praised pastoral care: Our staff work closely alongside our pupils to encourage, motivate and support each child, helping them to grow as confident, successful and happy individuals.

Catholic Christian ethos: This is the foundation of everything we do, creating the family community so valued by OLA parents. The school accepts children of all faiths and none and helps them aspire to such values as integrity, compassion, openness, forgiveness, reconciliation, co-operation and courage. If you would like to find out more about what it means for us to be a Catholic independent school, please read Catholic Independent Schools and the Common Good.

Our 2019 A level results were some of the best we have ever achieved, with 65% of students achieving grades A*-B. This is an outstanding achievement, given that our pupils start OLA with a wide range of abilities, and shows the excellent ‘Value Added’ that we give them.

Our Upper Sixth leavers regularly go on to 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.

We would love to welcome you to OLA. Book your appointment with or join us on an Open Morning.

We hope to see you soon!

Stephen Oliver, Principal