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School report on Our Lady of Sion School in Worthing - A+ Education magazine Spring 2014

PUBLISHED: 16:14 11 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:21 11 April 2014

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Each pupil is encouraged to do their best in an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding

Name of school: Our Lady of Sion School, Worthing

Address: Junior School: Westbrooke, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1RE/Senior School: Gratwicke Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 4BL

Tel no: Junior School: 01903 204062/Senior School: 01903 204063

Website: sionschool.org.uk

Number of pupils: 480

Age group: 3-19

Gender: Co-educational

Day/boarding: Day

Person interviewed: Hazel Jones

Role: Resource centre manager

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When was the school founded?

The school was set up by the Sisters of Sion in 1862 on the present site in Worthing. It was originally a convent school, with the Sisters delivering some teaching, but for many years had lay teachers as well as the nuns. The school is a Catholic Foundation but has always opened its doors to, and welcomed, pupils from all faiths. In January 2012, the school commemorated its 150th anniversary with a wonderful service of celebration in Worthing’s Assembly Hall.

What would you say that you are most renowned for today?

Our Lady of Sion School has a reputation for academic excellence and achieved notable success in the 2012 ‘Secondary School League Table for West Sussex’, placed top of the county for GCSE and 4th for A-Level. The majority of our students go on to higher education and their first choice universities.

Do you have a school motto and, if so, what is it?

Our motto is: ‘Consideration Always.’ Our aim at Our Lady of Sion is to encourage each young person in our care to be the best that he or she possibly can, as well
as providing them with opportunities to achieve excellence in an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding.

What do you think are the most interesting changes taking place in the education system?

“The impact of technology continues to transform both the teaching and learning environment; for example, the use of iPads in the classroom to teach lessons is both challenging and rewarding.” Mr P Baker (head of history)

Who are your most famous alumni?

We have had some excellent students pass through the school who have entered the world of theatre and music. A past student of the school has recently been awarded a role in the touring production of The Sound of Music.

And have you got any stars of the future currently attending?

We have a number of talented students in photography, music, drama and sports. Our Year 11 Boys’ Basketball team continues to be undefeated this season, whilst our Year 7 Netball Girls’ team won Gold at the Sussex Games Final in 2013. A number of our students have also recently been selected for the Under 16 Sussex County Netball Academy and Under 14 Satellite Academy.

Tell us the most surprising story about the school?

Part of the school is still housed in the original buildings, founded by the Sisters of Sion in 1862. One of the retained features is a serving hatch in the main door from which the Sisters distributed food to the poor every afternoon.

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