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Cathedral and John Connon School: Wikis


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Cathedral and John Connon School
'Clarum Efficiunt Studia'
('Studies Maketh Famous')
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Type Private School
Established 1860
Locale Fort, Mumbai
Principal Mrs. Meera Isaacs
Headmistress (Senior) Mrs. Rekha Khanduri
Grades Lower 1 - 12
Number of students 2000
School Colour(s) Purple & Black
Athletics DRO, MSSA, Anglo-Scottish
Houses (in alphabetical order)

The Cathedral & John Connon School is a co-educational, private school located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.It is considered to be one of the finest schools in India.[1] According to the Education World-C fore Survey of Schools 2009, the school has been ranked second in the all India ranking of the best schools in India.[2] It was ranked first in the Western region as the most respected school [3] and ranked first in India for the Quality of Alumni.[4]



[5][6] In 1860 Bishop Harding and the Cathedral Chaplain decided to open a Grammar School within the walled city of Bombay which, along with a smaller establishment for girls, were the first of many strands that have joint together to form the Cathedral & John Connon School.

A Choir School, established with the primary objective of providing choristers for the St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai, the first Anglican Church in Mumbai was founded in October, 1875. Meanwhile The Bombay Scottish Education Society was founded in 1866. The society put up a beautiful building on the Esplanade, and named it for Mr John Connon (then Chief Registrar of Bombay).

In 1878 a high school in Byculla, set up by the Bombay Diocesan Society, was merged with the Choir School to form the Cathedral High School. The present Senior School building, a majestic blend of Indian and Gothic architecture, was erected in 1896. A girls' school had been started in 1880.

Finally, in 1922, in a public meeting held at the Town Hall (the present Asiatic Society of Bombay library), a suggestion was put forward by the principal of the Cathedral Boys' School for the Cathedral Schools and the Scottish School to work together, instead of competing. The idea was well-received, and thus the Anglo-Scottish Education Society was conceived. The schools were re-organized into the Cathedral Boys' School, the Cathedral Girls' School, and the John Connon School.

In the 1960s co-education was still viewed with trepidation, and when in 1965, the Principal, Rev. Ridding, stated that the only way to solve the financial and logistical problems of the school was to make it co-educational, some people felt so strongly about it that they went to court to thwart the school's plans. Justice Lentin, a man famous for his courageous judgments, pronounced that the school had every right to merge if it so desired. The merger proceeded smoothly.

Today the old boys' school is the Senior School; the old girls' school is the Middle School; and the John Connon School is the Junior School. The Infant School, located at Malabar Hill, was set up in 1965.[7]

Now Cathedral has also opened it's residential branch in Lonavala, The Cathedral Vidya School.

Academics & Curriculum

The Cathedral & John Connon School is affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations[8](CISCE), and its students appear for the Council's I.S.C. (Grade 12) and I.C.S.E. (Grade 10) examinations. English is the medium of instruction. Hindi is taught as a second language and Marathi or Sanskrit are taught as third languages. Tests are conducted periodically and examinations are held at the end of every school term. The school's students have consistently performed well at the I.C.S.E and I.S.C. examinations and the school has consistently maintained a 100% pass-rate.

College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) Programme has been conducted in the school since June, 2004. Talented students, who would otherwise be disinterested in a mainstream classroom, are offered the chance to pursue accelerated learning (college-level) courses in a wide range of subjects including English, Calculus (AB & BC), Physics, Biology, Computers, World History, Chemistry and Economics.[9]The school is also the only AP Examination Center in Western India.

For the I.S.C. course (consisting of grades 11 and 12) the school traditionally divided its student body into three streams: Commerce, Science, and the Humanities; however, as of 2008, this is no longer required and students now have the option of either choosing a particular stream or choosing subjects from different streams.

Academic standards are set high and grades have to be earned through sustained hard work. Students achieving distinctions (above 75% per term in Senior School) throughout the year become eligible for the Honours Prize for that year. Those who achieve fifteen points on a complicated scoring system, at any time after Grade 8, are awarded the Scholar's Badge. This is a much-coveted honour and there are rarely more than three recipients in any given year.[6]

Co-curricular Activities

The school offers its students a wide range of co-curricular activities for a child's all-round development.

Sports are an important part of the school's extracurricular activities. Physical Education classes and House Games have to be attended by students on a weekly basis. Students are coached in a wide variety of sports. Talent is spotted during Inter-House sporting competitions and is groomed by qualified coaches. Students compete in Inter-School, District, Zonal, State and National level competitions. School, as well as House teams, are formed for football, basketball, cricket, rugby, throw ball and water polo. Students participate in DSO, MSSA, and Anglo-Scottish tournaments. Students can also participate, in an individual capacity, in many sports including badminton, athletics, table tennis, squash, swimming, chess, tennis and gymnastics.[10] The Inter-House Athletics Competition (commonly known as "Sports Day" among the students) is held during the latter half of the academic year.

Debates is one of the co-curricular activities offered to Senior School students. Debates are conducted in both Hindi and English. The faculty, along with the Debates Captain, choose the topics and these are intimated to the students eight days in advance. Inter-House competitions are held annually with each house being represented by four speakers. The school sends delegations to the Frank Anthony Memorial Debates, and various other prestigious competitions.[11]

Dramatics and Elocution are two other important extracurricular activities. The Annual School Play is held during Founders' Week in November, and includes students from all sections of the school. The Inter-House Dramatics Competition is held every year, alternately in English and Hindi. The Annual Elocution Competition, held in English and Hindi, is one of the most eagerly-awaited events in the school calendar. Students are the freedom to perform pieces of their choice. They are judged on their audibility, clarity and personal styles.[12][13]

Model United Nations is another prominent activity of the school. The school sends delegations to various MUN's in Mumbai and India, as well as a delegation to the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN).[14] Students also conduct the Cathedral Model United Nations [see below] themselves once a year.

Student Leadership

Students have their own democratic forum called the Student Council which meets every month to discuss day-to-day issues directly affecting them. The Council, whose members are democratically elected by their class mates, acts as a link between the School administration and the student body in addition to giving children a first-hand experience of democratic processes and procedures. However, the Student Council is more of a passive forum, presenting suggestions given by the faculty to students and collecting the feedback. It is more akin to an organisation of student poll takers.

Students of Grade 12 are appointed as Prefects, Captains, and Club Secretaries. The Prefectorial Council, consisting of School Prefects and the Head Boy & Girl, maintain a very close link with the school authorities, and perform a wide range of duties. House Captains are responsible for managing their house, and strive to lead it to victory in the House Championship. They are assisted by Vice-Captains and Monitors. Games Captains are responsible for promoting and guiding prospective talent, as well as organizing teams for competitions, in their respective games. Club Secretaries have to coordinate activities and manage members in the school's clubs.[15]

Cathedral Model United Nations (Symposium)

The Cathedral Model United Nations, which is among India's most prestigious U.N. simulations, has the praiseworthy distinction of being its first. This event is run and managed entirely by the school's very own student body. Over a period of three days, students assume the roles of delegates representing various countries. They form committees and debate on diverse topics of global importance. Taking part in CMUN is a rewarding experience. Apart from gaining confidence to articulate on global issues, students also familiarize themselves with the nuances of world politics.[16] From a relatively small start in 1996 - the first CMUN had only one committee (Asia & Pacific Council), it has grown into a mega event with over 250 delegates attending. CMUN 2007 was groundbreaking as it was the first to have delegates from outside Mumbai. Prestigious schools like Mayo College, La Martiniere for Boys, Doon School, and others attended the conference.

House System

An important aspect of school life is its century-old house system. There are four houses in the School - Barham, Palmer, Savage and Wilson - named after four founders of the School i.e. the founders of the joint venture of the Cathedral School and the John Connon School. (Original names: Canon Barham, Bishop Palmer, Arthur Savage, Owen Wilson). Students are equitably distributed between these houses, and each is headed by a House Master/Mistress (selected from among the teaching staff). House Captains are selected from the 12th standard to lead each of the houses. The main objective of the House System is to foster a sense of collective responsibility and solidarity amongst students. The House System also serves as the center of school life, with students from different houses often competing at sports, games and other co-curricular activities.[17] Inter-House rivalry leads to a competitive atmosphere and boosts esprit de corps. School students are very passionate about their houses, with the house often serving as the student's extended family. Cases of conscription of students to participate in events are relatively few these days.

School Choir & Band

The Cathedral School Choir has a long history, dating back to the time when the school had its genesis as a choir school providing choristers to the St. Thomas' Cathedral. The Founders' Day Service and the Christmas Carol Service are the two most important events for the Choir. The choir's repertoire includes hymns, sacred classics and musicals.

A school band is also formed from among school students. Tryouts for the school band are held once a year. The band plays a wide range of contemporary rock-and-roll inspired music. It performs at the School Music festival, and at various other music festivals held across schools and colleges in Mumbai.

School Motto

The school's motto is Clarum Efficunt Studia translated as Studies Maketh Famous. This stimulating motto was adopted by Thomas Arthur Savage, Headmaster of the school, from Bacon's essay on “Studies”.

Studies serve for delight, for ornament and for ability…….. the general counsels and the plots and marshalling of affairs comes best from those that are learned.

Mr Savage chose this motto as he wished to emphasis the academic side of school life. The school produced “muscular Christians” but only average scholars. Far too much importance was attached to games and too little to scholarship. Thus the motto inspires students to concentrate on academics while enjoying other aspects of school life.[18] [19]

School Badge

In 1923 the Cathedral Schools and the Scottish School were amalgamated to form The Anglo-Scottish Education Society. Miss Whitfield, the Principal of the Girls' School, wanted a badge which was representative of both elements of the Society: Anglican and Scottish. Hence a badge was designed in which the Bishop's Mitre represented the Anglican side, while the Scottish neighbours were symbolised by the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew. The current school badge is inspired by this design.

External links

See also




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