On Thursday 8 October, New Hall School celebrated the foundation of the Religious Community and its school.
The day started with a celebratory Mass led by School Chaplain, Father Anthony OFM and was attended by students, staff and Sister Teresa Lenahan CRSS, Prioress of the Religious Community.
Head Girl, Lucy Cracknell, and Deputy Head Girl, Katherine Streatfeild, read the words written by Sister Pauline Crowther CRSS, which told the story of New Hall’s history. Sister Pauline lived and taught at New Hall School. She died aged 62 years in April 2013, following a short illness.
Over 1,000 people gathered in the Sports Hall to learn about the long and rich history which dates back to when the building was an abbey inhabited by the Canons of Waltham Abbey. Later it belonged to Thomas Boleyn, Father of Anne Boleyn and then, in 1798, The Religious Community of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre bought the house.
Following Mass, students separated into their houses. The Senior School has eight vertical houses which form communities within the wider New Hall family and help create a sense of belonging. The houses are named after: Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Becket, Frances Cary, John Fisher, John Henry Newman, Nicholas Owen, Margaret Pole and Robert Southwell.
New Hall’s Foundation Day includes a music competition and this year the theme was ‘identity’. Each house performed three songs and entertained their peers with singing, dancing and, in some cases, acrobatics. They were judged by Principal, Mrs Katherine Jeffrey, Deputy Principal, Dr Charlotte Goddard and Chaplain, Fr Anthony.
The winners were Pole House who had the audience on their feet during their rendition of Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’. Second and third places went to Aquinas and Becket respectively.
Principal, Katherine Jeffrey, said: “It is important for us to remember our history, and Foundation Day allows us to celebrate this within the school community.”