We recognise young people for the unique individuals they are, helping them to develop and share their particular gifts and talents.
We constantly look to innovate and use our extensive history and traditions as a lens on the present and the future. At the heart of everything we do is delivering an exceptional education for our pupils and ensuring that their formation, both inside and outside of the classroom, is the best in the world. We empower them to be the best that they can be, shaping leaders of the future.
An Ignatian school provides a foundation for such a life, an education that nurtures individuality and encourages generosity. It is a springboard to a life of purpose. We achieve high academic results, have exceptional pastoral care, and offer an extensive range of co-curricular activities.
Stonyhurst College has an outstanding academic record, with many pupils going on to the best universities in the UK, Europe and around the world.
In 2018 we achieved the highest UK Government Value-Added Scores in Sixth Form of any Catholic Independent School.
Teaching at Stonyhurst centres on the individual and encourages pupils to study independently and to think for themselves. Small classes and positive teacher–pupil relationships enable pupils to achieve their full academic potential. All pupils have a personal tutor.
An effective learning support department enables those with special educational needs to achieve their best.
The Sixth Form offers a choice of three study routes – A Level, International Baccalaureate Diploma or the IB Career Related Programme. Pupils receive a wealth of support to guide them through their chosen courses and to assist them with their university application.
The creative life of the College is rich and varied, offering many opportunities to learn, perform and compete across music, art, drama and dance. Drama has been a key feature of school life at Stonyhurst since the 16th century. The school has its own First Folio of Shakespeare, which is used by all pupils during their time here.
Stonyhurst is world famous for its sporting tradition. In rugby, hockey, tennis and netball we have an exceptional track record and talent pathways. Pupils play for fun or at national level, according to their potential. International tours take Stonyhurst pupils all over the world. The main team games are rugby, hockey, cricket, netball, athletics and football.
Additional sports include tennis, cross-country running, gymnastics, basketball, and swimming. Facilities include a swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, all-weather pitch, and indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is extremely successful too, as is the Combined Cadet Force. Over 100 different activities are offered each week.
Our school was originally founded in Saint-Omer, near Calais, in 1593 by Fr Robert Persons SJ under the patronage of Philip II of Spain. The purpose of the College was to provide a Catholic education for English boys at a time when this was prohibited in the pupils’ own country.
In 1762 Louis XV of France expelled the Jesuit order from his kingdom, and the College was forced to move from Saint-Omer and was re-established at Bruges. Following the worldwide suppression of the Jesuits by Pope Clement XIV in 1773, the school was offered sanctuary in Liege where it remained for twenty-one years. Following the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Liege was besieged by Revolutionary forces in 1794, and the College was forced to seek refuge in England.
By that time, the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791 had been passed in Parliament, which permitted Catholic schools to operate within England . A former pupil of the College at Bruges, Thomas Weld of Lulworth, offered his empty house, Stonyhurst Hall, as a temporary refuge until such time as it was safe to return to the continent. The first pupils arrived from Liege on the 29th of August 1794 and the school, henceforth known as Stonyhurst College, began its first academic year in England.