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St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy

St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy came into being on 1st October 2014. Our purpose is to serve the Catholics living in Dewsbury, Batley and surrounding areas.

Our predecessor school, St John Fisher Catholic High School was opened in 1958, under the trusteeship of the Diocese of Leeds. It was reorganised in 1974 and the Sixth Form was added in 1979.

The academy is an 11-19 mixed Roman Catholic Voluntary Academy with 1200 pupils on roll, including 210 in the Sixth Form. The school was founded to help parents provide a Catholic education for their children.

We endeavour to create positive interaction between home, academy and parish that will provide a basis for the children’s future. We are committed to showing Christian care and concern for all staff, students and parents.

The academy exists therefore:

  • to help pupils to know and love God and the wonders of creation
  • to help pupils to understand and live the Catholic faith
  • to enable pupils to grow in self-esteem
  • to help pupils to become responsible and responsive adults
  • to enable pupils to develop their physical potential
  • to enable pupils to develop their intellectual potential
  • to prepare pupils for life in a multi-cultural and technological society
  • to create a community in which individuals respect each other regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, religion or social status.

Sacred Heart Catholic Voluntary Academy


Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School or the “School in the House” as it had become known opened in 1953 with 74 pupils. It was pioneered by the then parish priest Fr. Austin Roddy who vacated the ground floor or the presbytery so it could be converted for school use. No public funds were available either from the diocese or the Local Education Authority so the school was financed by the generosity of parishioners.

The first pupils, aged 9 -11 were taught by the Irish Sisters of Charity who didn’t need paying. The rapidly increasing intake during the next three years meant that Fr. Roddy had to vacate the presbytery altogether and purchase a small house across the road.

Ten years later the current premises in St Peter’s Avenue were erected and opened on July 1st 1963 with an intake of 280 pupils. Again funding was provided by the parishioners of Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge. Once opened, however, the West Riding Education Authority provided staff and equipment.

Sacred Heart celebrated its diamond jubilee in 2013.

One of its newest innovations is the highly popular ‘Forest School’ which makes excellent use of the extensive grounds. Nationally it is one of the country’s highest achieving schools in terms of sustained attainment and progress. Today, the doors are open to all children, but the Catholic ethos is at the heart of our foundation.

St Malachy's Catholic Primary School


St Malachy’s Catholic Primary School

St Malachys

St Malachy’s…

  • Is a Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary school situated in Illingworth
  • Serves the Parish of St Malachy’s, Ovenden
  • Has a 52 place part-time nursery
  • Has extensive playing areas for pupils
  • Is based in a building dating from 1952 which has recently been refurbished
  • Comprises a Foundation Unit 3-5 year olds and 6 further classes for 5-11 year olds, a hall, an activity room, a library area, an ICT (Information Communication Technology) suite and a kitchen

Our school’s mission is to provide a quality education based on Gospel values which promote the dignity and freedom of very person within our community, ensuring equal opportunities for all.

The school is committed to achieving high standards so that pupils can attain their full potential. Attention is paid to all aspects of a child’s development.

We aim to achieve this through:

  • Religious education which involves pupils, the school community, the pupils’ families and the parish community.
  • Developing a respect for the school community.
  • Promoting fairness for pupils, employees and parents.
  • Preparing our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

Our Aims:

1)    To provide a stimulating relevant, challenging curriculum and environment, promoting enjoyment and ensuring potential is achieved.

2)    To support pupils to develop positive relationships both in and out of school and to prepare for their future life goals

3)    To promote positive behaviour, respect and self-esteem for ALL.

4)    To ensure the teachings of Christ are reflected in all aspects of school life.

5)    To develop children as independent learners with confidence to make appropriate decisions for learning and life.

6)    To promote the health and safety of all.