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St. John Fisher School was founded in 1958 on a site that was the area education office within the old Harrogate High School campus. The school consisted of a gym and assembly hall block with a teaching and admin wing running at right angles. A separate single storey practical classroom block accessed via a covered way housed Handicraft, Needlework, and Music rooms as well as a spacious Housecraft room. Leading off this room was a self contained furnished flat, an ideal facility for learning about running a home. The school outgrew its facilities and in 1973 the school moved to its present site on Hookstone Drive, occupying the convent buildings of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

Foyer ainsty

The school buildings were first built in 1903 to hold a Catholic convent school, hence why we are so lucky to have our beautiful chapel and a school with real character. There is a great deal of history to our school and buildings – if only the walls could speak!

Many of the nuns remained as teachers upon the move, although gradually many of them moved to the residential convent over the road which still cares for nuns of the Holy Child upon their retirement.

In 1973, at the time of the move, Headmaster Leo Gannon, along with fellow Headmaster Ken Stott formed the Associated Sixth Form with St. Aidan’s Church of England High School. The first ecumenical sixth form of its kind in the country, the sixth form is now the largest school based sixth form in the country.

Graded “outstanding” in its most recent OFSTED Report, the school is regularly one of the top non-selective comprehensive schools in the GCSE league tables in Yorkshire. With a national reputation for the quality of its rich sporting and musical life, the school attracts students from Catholic communities from parishes throughout the Diocese of Leeds.

You can see some pictures from the old school site on Ainsty Road, and some great pictures from here on Hookstone below.