St Joan of Arc Catholic School, Rickmansworth

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St. Joan of Arc Catholic School
High Street

, ,
TypeAcademy Secondary School & Sixth Form, Roman Catholic
MottoFollow Jesus on the road of human life
HeadmasterMr Peter Sweeney MA
Years offered7-13
Enrollment1228 (2018)[1]
HousesAlban, Bede, Campion, Clare, Frances, Thomas, Teresa, Ward

Saint Joan of Arc Roman Catholic School is a Roman Catholic secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England. The catchment area for the school spreads over South West Hertfordshire, parts of Buckinghamshire and parts of North West London.


St Joan of Arc School (The Elms), Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

St Joan of Arc School for Girls was instigated by an order of French nuns, the Filles de Jesus, in 1904 with just five pupils.

The school continued to grow in size and reputation through the early years of the 20th Century until 1951 when it was granted grammar school status. The school enjoyed academic success and ensured that the Catholic Girls in and around Rickmansworth continued to received the best of education. In 1978, as with the majority of grammar schools across the country, St Joan of Arc moved to become a comprehensive school and switched to a co-educational facility.

The school was awarded Specialist Status for Mathematics & Computing in 2003 and in 2012, St Joan of Arc converted to become an academy as the founding school of the 'All Saints Catholic Academy Trust' (ASCAT). Since changing to Academy status, the schools OFSTED rating was lowered from 'Outstanding' to 'Good'; headteacher Mr Sweeny cited changes in the methods used by OFSTED as one of the reasons for the difference.[2]

School site[edit]

The Elms

The school is located about 0.6 kilometres (0.4 mi) from Rickmansworth station in Rickmansworth Town Centre.

The Parish priest at St Mary's in Rickmansworth, Fr Julien, bought the initial property, 11 High Street, known as ‘Englefield’ and this was to become the original site for St Joan of Arc School. Englefield was the large Edwardian house that currently houses the St Joan of Arc Sixth Form. This was to be the site for St Joan of Arc School until 1922. As the school went from strength to strength so the need for a larger premises became apparent. This need for greater space lead to the Mother Superior (Mother Septima) and Fr Julien acquiring ‘The Elms’.

The Elms was a grand Georgian estate built in 1728 consisting of the house and eleven and a half acres with a stream running through the grounds. This created an ideal learning environment for the Catholic girls of Rickmansworth and its surrounding area. The house was famous for being the residence of George Eliot at the time that she was writing Daniel Deronda.[3]

The school grounds back on to the River Chess and Chess Valley and a 17th-century barn that once belonged to the Abbot of St Albans Cathedral is located at the boundary of the grounds.[4]


In total there are eight forms in each year, with about 30 pupils in each. The forms are named after Catholic saints, four male and four female:

House Image Significance
Saint Alban, window
After St. Alban, the first recorded British Christian Martyr.
The Venerable Bede translates John 1902
After St. Bede The Venerable, an English Benedictine Monk.
Edmund Campion
After St. Edmund Campion, an English Priest & Martyr.
Simone Martini 049
After St. Clare of Assisi, author of the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman.
Baciccio-Saint Francesca Romana Giving Alms
After St. Frances of Rome, founder of the Olivetan Oblates of Mary
Hans Holbein, the Younger - Sir Thomas More - Google Art Project
After Sir Thomas More, English Lawyer, Philopsopher and Author of Utopia
Peter Paul Rubens 138
After St. Teresa of Ávila, a Spanish Nun, Author and Reformer.
Mary Ward
After Mary Ward the Venerable, an English Catholic Nun.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Saint Joan of Arc Catholic School". OFSTED. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ National Heritage List for England St Joan of Arc's Convent High School], Images of England, English Heritage National Monuments Record.
  4. ^