St Ignatius College - Enfield
Founded by the Jesuits in 1894, St Ignatius College in Enfield educates boys aged 11-18 in the Jesuit tradition. It serves a diverse community with 85% pupils from ethnic minority groups and 40% of the younger pupils being from a socially disadvantaged background.
The mission statement ‘Men and Women for Others’ is a particularly potent Ignatian concept and can been seen in every aspect of the school. Michael Kelly, the Executive Headmaster, feels a deep connection to this message.
“I feel profoundly uplifted seeing the older boys guiding and supporting the younger pupils, encouraging them to make the right choices as they make their journey into adulthood. I see this most in our sixth form students, where there are qualities that I’ve never seen before in any other schools I’ve worked in.”
The current Deputy Head, Mary O’Keeffe, who will take over the post of Headteacher in September 2016 adds:
“The language that is used to address challenging situations is so embedded in the school. The phrase ‘Men and Women for Others’ is not just bandied about, its used in a really informed way when someone misbehaves, and that sense that you have responsibility for yourself and for others, underpins everything that the staff do and all their interactions. It’s the idea is looking outside yourself and taking care of those around you”.
There is a great pride in belonging to St Ignatius College, and the alumni of Old Ignatians continue to work together in local social projects. Mary says:
“What I’ve learnt of the Jesuit identity here is that faith is lived. Our kids are socially disadvantaged but that’s no excuse. There is a real genuine purpose in the staff in particular to ensure the kids get the very best moral grounding. You have a responsibility to the wider world and have a social responsibility; I love that about Jesuit philosophy. And it makes it very tangible, rather than cerebral and esoteric”.
St Ignatius College has an extensive programme of moral and spiritual development that encourages its pupils to look outwards. This is particularly evident in its partnership (brokered by the Jesuit Missions Companions Programme) with St Ignatius Jesuit school in Dodoma Tanzania, which allows staff and pupils to engage in productive peer-to-peer exchanges.
The Ignatian Pedagogy Statement informs all of the leadership decisions in St Ignatius’ College:
“Jesuits schools should be places where people are believed in, honoured and cared for; where natural talents and creative abilities are recognised and celebrated; where individual contributions and accomplishments are appreciated; where everyone is treated fairly and justly; where sacrifice on behalf of the economically poor, the socially deprived, and the educationally disadvantaged is commonplace; where each of us finds the challenge, encouragement and support we need to reach our fullest individual potential for excellence; where we help one another and work together with enthusiasm and generosity, attempting to model concretely in word and action the ideals we uphold”.
Cardinal joins College Celebration
St Ignatius College in Enfield has marked 120 years since its foundation with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Pray with us
Together we pray the college hymn.
We acclaim our father, Ignatius,
Who, with a soldier’s strength,
Restored the reign of the Cross.
1. We praise you, Lord
And rejoice today
For you sent a strong defender
To your people.
In the days of his youth
He was famous in battle;
Now he is raised up to be our hope
To destroy all that brings us harm.
2. As Ignatius lay wounded,
Enticed by dreams of glory,
A vision of strange and wonderful
Power seized his heart;
He saw Christ as his leader,
In a new pattern of service.
And spurred on by love
He took up Christ’s cross
Michael Bossy SJ
I first came across the Jesuits in September 1941 in the first form, year 7, at St Ignatius College, the grammar school run by the Jesuits in Stamford Hill, North London.