Catholic Life

Bishop blesses new buildings

Schoolgirls holding sections of images of St Thérèse and St John Bosco (Photo: Phil Rennie)

Set on a beautiful 48-acre site in one of the most picturesque parts of Surrey, St Teresa’s School in Effingham, Dorking, has continually expanded and updated its facilities with more than £10 million of investment since the turn of the 21st century.

Last Friday saw the official opening of a new facility for the Maths and English departments, named John Bosco House, after the 19th-century saint and Italian priest who dedicated his life to educating young people.

Bishop Kieran Conry blessed and opened the building, which previously housed nuns from the order which founded St Teresa’s School in 1928, from humble beginnings with just one pupil. The school is now over 400 pupils strong, and has recently been selected as one of a handful of independent schools to play an official part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012, celebrating excellence in education.

The opening was attended by two guests, Sister Carmel and Sister Brede, who lived on-site at the school until recently.

Sister Carmel said: “It was so nice to see the development of our community building into
a most impressive educational asset to the school. Indeed, one of our Sisters took the name of John Bosco and, like many of us, spent years teaching, guiding and supervising the girls.”

St Teresa’s is a warm, friendly school with a broad ability intake, where girls have every chance to succeed through being happy and well taught by gifted, supportive teachers. The school ethos is to provide “a different school for every girl” where girls can thrive as individuals and grow in confidence, reaching their potential both academically and beyond the classroom.

The rolling programme of capital investment has also seen the development of a £3 million performing arts centre with 750-seat theatre and music studio, the move of nursery and prep school to purpose-built on-site accommodation, flexible boarding facilities, a magnificent indoor swimming pool and all-weather sports pitches.

Acting headmistress Jill Elburn said: “We are thrilled with the new facility for the Maths and English departments, and extremely grateful to the Sisters for enabling us to continue our rolling programme of investment to further develop state-of-the-art facilities and provide a world-class education for our girls.”