OLA is a school with over 160 years of history, and our former pupils’ number in the thousands. 

Marking the 160th anniversary of the arrival of the first Sisters of Mercy in Abingdon, the ‘Eustacia Vye’ Rose, named after the heroine of Thomas Hardy’s, The Return of the Native, was gifted by the Parents’ Association to Our Lady’s Abingdon School on 5 July 2021 to commemorate the schools 160th anniversary and the completion of the OLA 6th form garden.

Oxford Mail: Roses in the OLA Sixth Form Garden - photo by David Austin Roses in the OLA Sixth Form Garden - photo by David Austin

Oxford Mail: OLA 6th Form Garden OLA 6th Form Garden

Oxford Mail: OLA Swimming PoolOLA Swimming Pool

Oxford Mail: OLA Library OLA Library

What makes OLA different?

We are a small school, big enough to offer a wide range of subjects and activities, but at the same time small enough to mean that every child is known, valued and cared for from the moment they join us to when they finish their school education.

The size of the school also means pupils have every chance of being given regular opportunities to represent OLA in a wide range of activities. The co-curricular experience we offer is not just an ‘add on’, but an essential part of day to day school life. All pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of confidence-developing activities, including sport, drama, art, music, academic competitions and other chances to thrive.  There is a large number of clubs, both at lunchtime and after school, and many academic and extra-curricular trips. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is very popular, drama and art are particularly strong and our musical productions legendary.

Our class sizes are deliberately kept small, reflecting our excellent pupil/teacher ratio. This applies to all year groups, ensuring that children receive individual attention throughout their time at the school.

Our teachers ignite pupils with fun and innovative learning, ensuring that they are fully engaged in the academic life of the school. The excellent results they achieve flow naturally from this. We are not an exclusively selective school, yet many of our pupils exceed expectations across the board. Particularly important here is the ‘Value Added’ OLA gives. ‘Value Added’ means what pupils achieve against baseline expectations. The Department for Education ranks OLA in the top 5% of the country for Value Added, an exceptional achievement.

What OLA is most famous for is our outstanding system of highly praised pastoral care, which is at the centre of everything we do. At our last full Inspection, our pastoral provision was rated as ‘excellent’, the highest grade that can be awarded.

As a Catholic school with a strong Christian ethos, we welcome pupils of all faiths and none, creating a real sense of a family made up of teaching staff, pupils and parents. We see each child as a unique person, with gifts and talents to be nurtured, developing in our pupils such key qualities as integrity, compassion, co-operation and courage.

If you would like to find out more, please contact our Admissions team on 01235 544808/admissions@ola.org.uk.

Website - www.ola.org.uk/visit