The Ursuline Preparatory School, Wimbledon, has a strong and very clear ethos characterised by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and, in particular, the lifelong commitment of the foundress, St. Angela Merici.
We are a Catholic School but we welcome children from all faiths and none. As our school moto suggests, we seek to educate their heart, their mind and their soul. We want them to be rounded young individuals who are capable and compassionate.
SERVIAM and INSIEME
Two words dominate this school, Serviam and Insieme. Both words were central to the teachings of St Angela. Every girl and boy at our school knows about Serviam, the importance to be of service to others and Insieme, the joy and strength of working together for the individual and the community.
“The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.”
“The girls show excellent and genuine appreciation of how kindness makes for a better family-based community”
“Pupils display great kindness.”
“The pupils adopt strong skills in working together as members of the school community.”
ST ANGELA MERICI AND THE URSULINE ORDER
The spirit that permeates our school is expressed in our Mission statement. It is the spirit born of the vision of St. Angela Merici in the early 16th century and is alive today in all those who come under her influence through an Ursuline education.
Angela was born on 21 March 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy. She became a Franciscan tertiary at 15 years of age. Her biographers describe her as a woman of deep prayer who sought to bring a Christian response to the needs of the times. She placed particular value on the influence and role of women in effecting change and reform.
St. Angela was a pioneer, a truly dynamic, revolutionary figure of her time, who aimed to empower women with a sense of independence of spirit and service to others. In 1535 St. Angela chose the patron saint of Christian education to establish the Institute of Saint Ursula (the Ursuline Sisters), founded to teach young women, beginning with religion and later expanding into secular topics.
St. Angela combined contemplation of the gospel and its values, with a life of action and service. She saw the value, strength and effect of uniting the two, and as well as pursuing respect for the individual, quality of treatment, love and kindness, St. Angela believed in the professionalism of the educator, seeking the highest standards and adapting to the times and circumstances.
St. Angela had concern for each and every person, but also concern for life together. The word ‘Insieme’ means ‘together’ and togetherness was one of St. Angela’s principal themes. Insieme is a word that was very dear to St. Angela and occurred frequently in her writings. St. Angela reminds us to be aware of something beyond our individuality. If we could somehow pass that spirit on to those we serve, we have acted in the spirit of St. Angela.
In her ‘Last Counsel’ St. Angela wrote:
“My last word to you is that you live in harmony, united together, all of one heart and one will. Be bound to one another by the bond of charity, esteeming each other, bearing with each other in Jesus Christ.”
To be true to the spirit of St. Angela this school must be bound together in our regard for one another and in our earnest endeavour to contribute to this community for the mutual benefit of all. We achieve this by being kind, helpful, generous and supportive to one another and by working together, eating together, playing together, talking together, laughing together, sharing together, celebrating together, rejoicing together and consoling each other. Remembering always that we are far stronger together than apart.
St. Angela Merici’s first schools were in Desenzano and Brescia. Today the Ursuline order is a global community with schools in more than 36 countries and a presence in England for over 150 years.
Ursuline Preparatory School, Wimbledon is one of the many Ursuline schools existing today. Our staff, pupils and families have a real sense of purpose in following the pioneering principles of St. Angela, serving Christ in the values of building community, working for peace and Gospel values and striving for excellence in the education of our girls, in the spirit of Serviam. Insieme ‘ We’re moving this world, we’re making this day what it will be forever’.
THE SCHOOL BADGE
The Ursuline badge is a symbol of all Ursuline schools worldwide. Pope Pius XI has said that the badge of the Ursuline Schools, with the motto ‘Serviam’, is a true symbol of Christian Education.
The Serviam badge bears a cross reminding us of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus was committed to serving the dignity and worth of all.
“The child wearing this badge strives to follow His example in giving generous service to others, most especially those who need their help most.”
The group of stars above the cross represents The Little Bear Constellation – a constellation found in the Northern Hemisphere pointing towards the Polar Star. This constellation was chosen because of the play on the Latin word Ursula which means Little Bear. It recalls St Ursula, patroness of Christian Education and special patroness of Ursuline schools.
Just as the light from the Little Bear leads up to the brighter light of the Pole Star, so our Ursuline Education helps us on to the knowledge of Truth, here symbolised by the Pole Star, and it is this Truth that will guide us on our path through life.
The green represents the virtue of hope and silver reminds us to be genuine and sincere in all we do.
The word ‘Serviam’, I WILL SERVE, expresses our loyalty to Christ, and our desire to serve Him. Every pupil at an Ursuline school throughout the world has ‘Serviam’ as their motto and as part of their school badge. This is a constant reminder of their commitment to the service of God and others.