In the grim aftermath of the French Revolution, a young woman of vision and courage - Claudine Thévenet, whose brothers and an uncle were guillotined during the Reign of Terror - spent her time, her energy and her money in providing food, clothing, education and a secure home for orphaned and abandoned children. She was helped in her task by a number of like-minded charitable young women and in 1818 founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.
In 1886, nuns from the now flourishing religious congregation were invited by Cardinal Manning to form a convent school for girls in Willesden. The school’s foundation stone was laid a year later and in 1888 the Convent of Jesus and Mary was opened as a private boarding school for girls. Now, at the start of the 21st century, the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College provides high quality, fully comprehensive education for girls aged from eleven to eighteen.
The school aims to give each pupil an education which will help her to develop her own personal gifts, both spiritual and social, and achieve the highest academic standards of which she is capable. We hope each pupil will receive the help and guidance that will encourage her confidently to make her contribution to life as a responsible and self-disciplined Christian.
OUR ETHOS AND VALUES
The Religious of Jesus and Mary are a congregation founded by St Claudine Thévenet on 6th October 1818 during the French Revolution. St Claudine is our founder and it is her values that we strive to emanate in our daily work. In our front foyer, Hall and in the basement corridor there are visual displays of the values of St Claudine: love of Jesus, love of Mary, forgiveness, simplicity, education and family life. Our Mission Statement: “With God's Grace, we excel and lead” is an aspiration to excellence (excel) – working to improve ourselves to be Christ like. We are all made in the image and likeness of Christ and Christ lives within each of us. Through our service to others we show leadership (lead) and this is a key role for all staff and children. Opportunities to show service and leadership are regularly provided. Our daily work is undertaken with God’s grace and guidance and is shaped from these ideas.
THE LANGUAGE COLLEGE
The Convent of Jesus and Mary enjoyed over 10 years as a specialist Language College. It was one of the first schools to achieve specialist status in this area and received funding directly from the government to promote languages and the international dimension both within the school and in the local community.
Whilst in many schools a minority of pupils chooses to study a foreign language at KS4, The Convent of Jesus and Mary ensures that everyone learns at least one foreign language, with many students learning two or even three.
In year 7 students experience all of the languages offered at the school during the first term and they then choose the one they intend to continue with until the end of year 11. There are, however, fast track courses for more able students. At KS5 students continue to experience languages through A level courses or by means of the weekly enrichment classes.
We are a rich, diverse and inclusive school: there are over 35 languages represented. Many students at the school have an additional language which they may speak at home such as Polish, Arabic, Portuguese, French Italian and Spanish. These students are encouraged to participate in the early entry scheme and are supported in their learning through the weekly lessons offered as part of the Saturday School provision.
In addition to the normal curriculum, students at the Convent benefit from a whole range of cultural activities such as workshops organised in conjunction with international events and festivals, visits to art galleries and museums, cinema trips and lectures, which make their education truly distinctive and develop both their interpersonal and intercultural skills, which are essential for success in an increasingly global economy.
A programme of overseas visits as well as joint projects with schools located in other countries provide students with an opportunity to compare their experiences with those of their peers living abroad and explore global issues.
The integration programmes run in conjunction with the British International School give students a chance to gain an insight into different school systems by hosting groups of Italian visitors who share their lessons during their stay in England.
The work carried out to promote internationalism throughout the school was recognised by the British Council in 2008 as the Convent achieved the International School Award.
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