Woldingham School was founded in 1842 by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. It is one of the oldest girls’ schools in the UK and was the first Sacred Heart school in England.

The Society of the Sacred Heart was founded just a few years after the French Revolution with the aim of providing a first rate education for young women. This was a pioneering initiative for its time and Woldingham is fiercely proud of its heritage of strong, dedicated, forward-thinking women.


Arriving at Berrymead
On the evening of 8th December 1842 six nuns and two children arrived in Berrymead in Acton. The early years were not easy for the school- it was hard to find English speaking nuns, funds were scarce and finding a suitable location was proving problematic.

Madeleine Sophie Barat visited the school in 1843-travelling in a train for the first time.

Elm Grove
The sisters took possession of Elm Grove in Roehampton, running the school along French lines.

By the 1930s all girls sat the General School Certificate and it was expected that most would stay on for higher levels.

The War Years
The school was evacuated after the outbreak of World War Two. It moved to Newquay and, as fears of an invasion grew, the school moved to Leicestershire. The former site at Roehampton was bombed during the war.
Marden Park
In 1946 the school moved to Marden Park, Woldingham with 100 pupils. By now, pupils regularly went on to Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

In 1992, on the 150th anniversary, a new Sixth Form Centre was opened.

From 1995 to 1998 new centres for sport and art were opened.

In 1999 the 600-seat auditorium, music and drama hub- Millennium Centre- was opened. Today the school holds six major productions every year.

In 2015 the refurbished Science Centre was opened.