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The Oratory 160th Anniversary

This year is an exciting time for The Oratory School as it is 160 years since the school was founded by Blessed John Henry Newman in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The school began on 2 May 1859 with 9 boys. Since that time, the school has moved twice, firstly to Caversham Park in 1922, and then to Woodcote in 1942 and has grown in size since its Victorian days of no more than 70 boys.

This year, we will reflect on all that the school and its pupils have achieved, and celebrate everything that makes the school so special: our wonderful pupils and talented teachers, our supportive parents, our passion for education, our nurturing Catholic values and our beautiful expansive grounds. There will be events throughout the year which I very much hope the Oratory family will attend to help us celebrate this special milestone.

There is also the opportunity for the Oratory family to join in with a social media campaign which asks the Oratory family to sum up what the Oratory School means to them in three words. Please do have a look on Facebook and Twitter and send us your images. 

Scroll down this page to see some photos of the "three words" campaign.

Anniversary Events

160th Anniversary Charity Ball

The 160th Anniversary Charity Ball is the perfect opportunity for the Oratory family to come together and celebrate 160 years of The Oratory School whilst helping to raise funds to support our nominated charities: Launchpad and British Lung Foundation.

Organised by Friends of The Oratory School, the evening will include an arrival drink and canapés, a fabulous three-course dinner, a raffle, auction and entertainment from a wonderful live band to dance the night away until carriages at 12.30am.

The evening will provide a fantastic opportunity to socialise with friends, meet new Oratory families, enjoy excellent entertainment and great food. It promises to be the most memorable of occasions and we look forward to seeing you there.

Tickets are £100 each and the dress code is Black Tie

Parents can book tickets via My School PortalIf you have any questions please email [email protected].uk.







160th Anniversary Day of Celebrations

On Saturday 22 June we will hold a very special day of 160th anniversary celebrations.

This family friendly day includes a Question Time-style debate with Sir Edward Leigh MP; Jerry Hayes, Former Conservative MP and practising barrister; Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp; Commodore Mike Wainhouse, Assistant Chief of Staff (Warfare) in NCHQ; and chaired by Nicholas Purnell QC, Head of Cloth Fair Chambers.  A Wine Tasting; a Mass; and a Book Reading by Martin O’Brien, Author will also take place.

There will be a Racquets Afternoon for you to try squash, badminton, real tennis, lawn tennis and table tennis and there will be cricket for you to watch as the First XI play Eton. The Head Master, Joe Smith, will welcome guests and we will be joined by Lord Judge who will say a few words and propose a toast.

There will be plenty for the children to do with a children’s entertainer, garden games and ice cream!

A BBQ, bar, tours, and historical talk on The Oratory School and Cardinal Newman, complete a fun, informal day for the Oratory community to come together.

Booking will open shortly on the Oratory Community: a new social and professional networking platform exclusively for The Oratory and The Oratory Prep School parents, alumni and friends. In the meantime, please save the date!


The Oratory School  in three words

To celebrate our special anniversary we are inviting our Oratory community to share what the Oratory means to you in only 3 words.

Send your selfie to [email protected] and we will share the results throughout the year. #OratorySchools160