History of the Federated Schools
St. Paul’s RCVA Primary School was formerly St. John’s RCVA Primary School and Nursery, a school with a remarkable history beginning in 1845, purchased at a cost of £450, by Father Woolett for a Catholic School.
Originally the school occupied a number of houses on Lisburn Street. In 1924 the school was extended further, taking over the “old ragged” school in Lisburn Street together with the ground behind it and was remodelled into an infants school with its own playground. In the 1960s the school moved into a modern building further along Lisburn Street and was occupied until 2010. The school educated many generations of families living in the Alnwick area.
St. John’s before the relocation project.
St Paul’s RCVA Middle School was formerly Thomas Percy RCVA Middle School.
Thomas Percy, opened in 1959, was the culmination of many years of planning and sacrifice on the part of the Catholic communities to provide a worthy setting for Catholic secondary education for the parishes of Alnwick, Amble, Felton, Seahouses, Wooler and Whittingham.
The school, which was situated on a magnificent site above the outskirts of the town, was dedicated to Blessed Thomas Percy, Seventh Earl of Northumberland who suffered martyrdom in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as one of the leaders of the Northern Rising. After refusing to save his life by renouncing his faith he was executed in York in 1572. Thomas Percy gave the school a worthy example of a Christian faith, famous for its generosity and notable for its steadfast loyalty.
‘The long history and respectful recognition of the schools in the town, affirms the special ethos both schools have always had. It is a privilege to continue this legacy into the 21st Century.’ Mrs Maria Wilson, Headteacher
In September 2010 in consultation with all stakeholders, the names of the schools changed from St. John’s RCVA Primary School to St. Paul’s RCVA Primary School and Thomas Percy RCVA Middle School to St. Paul’s RCVA Middle School; this links the identity of the schools with the Parish of St. Paul’s Alnwick.
Our schools today are located in the heart of the beautiful rural market town of Alnwick in North Northumberland. Officially opened in January 2011, the Right Reverend Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle led the two schools in a celebratory Mass before blessing the statue of St Paul and unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion. Bishop Cunningham said:
“This is a marvellous place – a wonderful symbol of many great qualities; generosity, leadership and co-operation.”
We have a strong commitment to Catholic Education and recognise the important relationship we have with our Parish. Our catchment area is wide, reaching up to Seahouses in the north to Whittingham/Rothbury in the west and as far south as Felton.
I am proud that we have retained our distinctive ethos centred on a respect for Christian values with all those who are part of our community. Our children are encouraged to respect human values through developing a sense of dignity and equality, mutual trust, tolerance and an appreciation of others.