St Angela’s school, Forest Gate marks 150 years

Current and former students will be joining staff from yesteryear and a host of VIPs as one of Newham’s oldest schools opens its doors to celebrate its 150th birthday.

St Angela’s Ursuline School in St George’s Road, Forest Gate, has a variety of events planned over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The celebrations kick off with a Mass at the school on Saturday which will be attended by former students.

On Sunday there will be an Open House to which local residents have been invited.

The biggest part of the celebration will be held onTuesday when Ursulines from across the world will converge on the convent and school. Mass will be held at st Antony’s Church where it will be celebrated by the Bishop of Brentwood, Bishop Thomas McMahon with local priests.

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It will be followed by a reception on the convent lawn under a tulip tree which has stood in the same place since the original school was built in the 1860s.

The school’s history is inextricably linked with that of the Belgian based Ursuline order which is also marking its 150 years of working in the East End of London. The order was invited to start a school in 1862 by a local priest.

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St. Angela’s is a Roman Catholic School built in 1862 by the sisters of the Ursuline order, inspired by the vision of their founder and our namesake. It was initially for boarders and there were seven of them in 1863. In the 1870s St Angela’s, a day school for girls, grew up alongside the boarding section. Its popularioty grew and by 1934 there were 800 girls attending.

The school has grown from strength to strength over the years. It now has a student population of 1,300 plus girls and shares a Sixth Form with St Bonaventure’s. Its exam results are among the best in the country and 98 per cent of Sixth formers go on to university.

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