One of the early Church Fathers described, nearly two thousand years ago, the strengths and weaknesses of his education. He said that, as a child, he had loved learning Latin but had been miserable while he was learning Greek. He asked himself why this had been so, and he came up with an answer that stood the test of time. The women who taught him Latin had done so with smiles and encouragement; the men who taught him Greek had used threats and scorn. The early Church Father in question was Augustine of Hippo, The patron saint of St Augustine's Priory.
St Augustine's Priory was founded in France in 1634 by Lady Mary Tredway, and the first pupil was a girl named Margaret Dormer. The School flourished first in Paris, then in Neuilly. In 1910, the School moved to Ealing; it was established first in Castlebar Road, and then in 1915 it moved to the present site, which has been occupied by the School continuously since then.
As a Catholic School our mission is to provide our girls with a full and balanced education in the Catholic tradition; to provide a caring and stimulating environment; to stretch those who are gifted academically, and to encourage those who are gifted in other ways to realise their full potential in their studies. We value academic success, but will also show our girls that it is not the only measure of success, either in this School or the wider world. As a Catholic School, we will do our best to ensure that both staff and pupils reflect, in their work and dealings with each other, the Gospel values of truth, justice, compassion and forgiveness.
St Augustine's Priory has its ethical backbone in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Most pupils are Catholic, but we also welcome, and learn from, pupils of other religious traditions. The School will, in the space of one more generation, celebrate its four hundredth anniversary. It has survived because it has always been, and still is, ready to adapt and change without losing its sense of identity, idealism or tradition. We will continue to try to equip our girls with the confidence, common sense and academic and social skills they will need to face the problems and infinite possibilities of a changing world.