Happy 60th Birthday to Bishop Thomas Grant School!
Here is a brief background on your favourite school on its 60th birthday
The school is named after the first Bishop of Southwark, Thomas Grant (1816-1870) who was named in the First Vatican Council. The school was opened on 9 September 1959 as a voluntary aided, coeducational 11-18 Catholic comprehensive school, the first of its kind in the South of England. It was the vision of Canon Crowley, the Parish Priest of English Martyrs Church in Streatham. He passionately encouraged his parishioners to donate all they could to help build the school in the 1950's. The school site was originally a farm and the land was donated by the Diocese of Southwark to build the school. It finally opened in 1959 and was dedicated to Christ the King. The school badge reflects Bishop Thomas Grant's coat of arms, the crown to represent Christ as a King and the alpha / omega endurance of Christ along with its motto is "Instaurare Omnia In Christo, To unite all things in Christ"
Mr James Rudden was the first Head Teacher.
The school's large illuminated cross was proudly lit at night and can still be seen in its prominent position on a hill above Streatham Common.
A few memories from two of the school’s original students
Where have all the years gone? We new pupils, felt very fortunate as it was the first Catholic Comp. in London and everything was brand new and “modern”. It was as if all the students had a clean slate. No teachers knew of us or our siblings and they were new and untested to us. Julie and I were even more fortunate as we had visited BTG earlier dressed in our new uniform (complete with straw boater hat) as the Head of St. Andrew’s knew Mr. Rudden well so suggested we modelled the uniform for him and - I think - the Deputy Head. The school looked enormous to us after our primary school, but everybody was “in the same boat” and not at all intimidated.
Everything seemed to be so big and new. The school was so large and I feared I would never get to know my way around and getting lost and being late for my next class. I remember being in the Hall along with everyone else and very nervously waiting to hear my name called out and the Form I was assigned to. Bit like Harry Potter and the kids waiting to see which house they were going to. It was terrifying! And my uniform was who knows how many sizes too big so that I "would grow into it!" What a laugh when one thinks back on it.
The Bishop Thomas Grant School Prayer
Bishop Thomas Grant School has served thousands of special students over its 60 years, we remember them along with the former and present Headteachers, Governors and staff that through their hard work and dedication to its young people, have built the successful school we enjoy today.
We give thanks for the wonderful school that we work in and in doing so rededicate ourselves to follow your message, we promise to continue to serve our young people to achieve their best, use their talents and so leave us as rounded moral citizens that live out and share the special values of a Catholic education in the community and to live their lives to the full.