Founded in 1863 by the Fathers of the Oratory, The London Oratory School is one of England's oldest and most distinguished Catholic state-funded boys’ schools. Girls are admitted into the Sixth Form. Importantly, in partnership with parents, the School aims through a Christ-centred curriculum, to develop young men and women of faith, good character, strong intellect and generous spirit, able to move confidently into the world and to use their talents and gifts to lead and serve others.
The School is part of the Catholic Church, and, as such, is conducted in full accordance with the Canon Law and teachings of the Church and the trust deed of the London Oratory Charity. Religious Education, in particular, is in accordance with the rites, practices, discipline and liturgical norms of the Catholic Church, and at all times the School serves as a witness to the Catholic faith: Religious Education and habituation into a sacramental vision extend beyond Religious Education, and all teachers and members of the School community are encouraged to ‘bring out of the good treasure of their hearts’ the good that is within them for the spiritual, intellectual and moral benefit of the School community.
The School comprises of three main internal structures, namely, the Junior House, the Senior School and the Sixth Form. Pupils aged 7 to 11 are admitted to Junior House to follow a specialist instrumental and choral education. The vast majority of our pupils join us at 11-16, making up the Senior School. Girls are admitted to the Sixth Form, joining with the boys who progress into the Sixth Form either from the Senior School, or join us as external applicants from other schools. Overall, there are around 1350 pupils in the whole School, Junior House to Sixth Form inclusive.
The School puts a very high premium on engagement in co-curricular activity. This includes a full Sport, Music and Drama programme, in addition to intellectually based activities and a range of fun clubs and societies. All staff are expected to contribute to this programme, sharing their talents and interests with the pupils, and helping them to grow.
The School exists:
- to assist Catholic parents in fulfilling their obligations;
- to educate children in accordance with the principles and teachings of the Church;
- to do this within an environment which will encourage and support the spiritual, physical, moral and intellectual development of the child and help growth towards full Christian maturity;
- to provide a wide and rich range of educational, cultural and spiritual experiences which will encourage children to discover and develop their potential to its maximum, striving for high standards of excellence in all activities.
The School’s motto captures this well: Respice finem. In other words, have full regard to the true end, or telos, of all our thought and action. This can be summed up in the injunction to: ‘live wisely’.