St Aidan's Catholic School


St Aidan's Catholic School

Infobox UK school
name = St Aidan's Catholic School


size =
latitude = 54.89298
longitude = -1.38839
dms = dms
motto = "Deus Lux Nostra"
motto_pl =
established =
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type =
religion = Roman Catholic
president =
head_label = Headteacher
head = Mr A McCourt
r_head_label = Chaplain
r_head = Mr Alan McElvenny
chair_label =
chair =
founder =
founder_pl =
specialist = Language College
specialist_pl =
street = Willow Bank Road
city = Ashbrooke
county = Tyne and Wear
country = England
postcode = SR2 7HJ
LEA = Sunderland
ofsted = 108869
staff =
enrollment = 1237
gender = Boys
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses =
colours =
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website = http://www.staidanscatholicschool.co.uk/
website_name =

St Aidan's Catholic School is a voluntary aided boys' comprehensive school found in the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland. It caters for boys from ages 11 to 18 providing GCSE education as well as a diverse range of A Level qualifications. Recently it has started to offer GNVQ qualifications as part if its teaching programme. The school was founded by the Christian Brothers, and is coupled with St Anthony's, its sister school which is located nearby. It is also twinned with St.Joseph's Agricultural School In Blama, Sierra Leone.

It has 6 different forms in which each year is divided into. These forms are Aquin, Bede, Rice (together they are known as ABR)and Corby, Fisher and More(known as CFM).

The school is split into two main buildings: the main school, which caters mainly for boys up to Year 11, and the Briery, which provides facilities for the 6th Form.

The school has a strong academic and sporting history in the area, and has produced many professional sportsman over the years. Such as former Sunderland and Huddersfield Town footballer Dan Smith, who is currently playing in the Scottish Premier League with Aberdeen, and Steve and Lee Howey who went on to represent Newcastle United and Sunderland respectively. Dr. Chris Steele of ITV's 'This Morning' also attended the school.

On November 22nd 2006 the school was temporarily closed due to a major power failure at the schools sub station. A letter was sent to all pupils on Novermber 25th 2006 stating that an investigation is being carried out to find the cause of the problems at the school, and it will remain closed until all repairs are complete. The school remained closed on the 27th and 28th of November and re-opened on the 29th of November 2006.

A brief history

St Aidan’s school can trace its roots back to the ‘Roaring Twenties.’

Canon Smith, then parish priest of St Mary’s in Sunderland, founded St Mary’s Grammar School at Bede Towers in 1928/29. Records show the first schoolmaster, Mr J Goundry, was a layman.

The Jesuits took over the running of the school in 1935 – two years after taking on Ashbrooke Hall as a retreat for local Catholic men and renaming it Corby Hall.

Ashbrooke Hall, in Ashbrooke Road, had originally been built for glassmaker James Hartley in 1864 by architect Thomas Moore, whose masterpiece was Monkwearmouth Station.

It later became the home of the Short shipbuilding family, before being taken over by the Jesuits. The original Superior of the teaching staff, and of Corby Hall Retreat House, was Father SJ Whittaker.

The school transferred from Bede Towers to The Briery in Ashbrooke Road in 1936 – previously the home of Mr Craven of Craven Ropery. The name was then changed to Corby Hall, to avoid confusion with another school.

Further confusion arose, however, between Corby Hall and Corby Hall School, so that “an interchange of letters was necessary after each of the postman’s rounds,” according to Jesuit archives.

Just a year later, in 1937, the name of the school was changed yet again, to Sunderland Catholic College, and in 1939 it became Corby School.

The dedication of both Corby School and Corby Hall recalled, according to the Jesuit archives, the historical association of Sunderland with Father Ralph Corby – who was captured by Puritans in 1644 and hanged.

The name Corby School lasted until 1948, when the Jesuits left and handed it over to the Christian Brothers of Ireland. It became, and has remained ever since, St Aidans RC School.

Ashbrooke House was used as a retreat by the Brothers for many years, but was sold off in the 1970s and demolished to make way for flat.

port achievements

29th November 2006 St Aidans Sixth Form College teamed up with St Anthony’s Sixth Form and entered a tournament aided by Newcastle Eagles and their drive for more basketball in the community. Finishing in 2nd position in the Sunderland schools Basketball competition losing out to Bede Sixth Form College 63 – 21. The team comprised of 6 St Anthony’s girls, 4 St Aidans boys.

Year 10 of St Aidans school defeated Thornhill in the national finals on 16th October 2007. St Aidans football team won by 2 goals to 1 with one player being awarded 'man' of the match but later received a red card after handling the ball on the line which Thornhill then drew level from the penalty spot.


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