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St Philip Howard Catholic Primary School
Avenue Road, CT6 8TF, UK Herne Bay
+44 (0)1227 362334



Sola Virtus Invicta


Virtue alone is invincible

Welcome to

St Philip Howard Catholic Primary School

 "Standards are above average and pupils make good progress as a result of the good teaching they receive. The school makes good provision for pupils' personal development and well-being. It has successfully created a learning atmosphere in which pupils are confident and secure."

Ofsted November 2005

St Philip Howard Catholic Primary School is a small school where every child is known to all staff.  The small size allows for a friendly, family ethos based on good Catholic values.  All children are nurtured to achieve their potential and even the most timid thrive here.  The school takes children from 4+ to 11+. 

 Click here to find out what the infant children have to say about our school...


History of the School

Early records of the School's history show that the school was founded in 1903 when the then Provincial of La Sainte Union Concregation of Sisters, Mother Theona Murthy, established a school for young children in part of a block of housing in Clarence Road known as Clarence House. Later, in 1908, a house called "Kenwood" was purchased to accommodate boarders. The Junior School remained in Clarence House. Additional teaching accommodation was provided through construction of a block of two classrooms on the site of one of the tennis courts. "Kenwood" - though listed as adjacent to Clarence House - was actually located in Avenue Road.

In 1910, "Kenwood" was opened as a "Boarding School for little boys". At this stage of its development, the establishment was known officially as "The Convent School". Two houses adjacent to Clarence House - known as "Silwood" and "Norwood" - were purchased to allow for the expansion of the Junior School. A new Senior block was built onto "Kenwood" in 1932 and the chapel block was added in 1961. Boarders were accommodated until the late 1960's.

A continuous and ever-increasing pressure for day-school placements led to the eventual phasing out of boarding places. The Sisters of La Sainte Union made available their main school block of buildings and grounds for use as a State Aided Catholic Primary School which was to be known as Saint Philip Howard Primary School.

This school was opened officially on Monday, 24th October, 1977, and was under the Headship of Sr. Anna Patricia of La Sainte Union Order of Nuns. Sr. Anna Patricia remained as Headteacher until the Summer of 1986.

The school Emblem
The School emblem comprises a golden crown, a Cross Crosslet Fitchee, a scroll with the Howard family motto and a chain.

All of these are enclosed within a belt on which is inscribed the name of the school in black letters on a red background. The red background of the belt symbolizes the blood of martyrdom - although in fact Philip Howard died in captivity in the Tower of London and was not martyred. The golden crown stands for the crown of martydom which he gained. The cross in the centre is known as a Cross Crosslet Fitchee and is part of the Arundel Coat of Arms. The scroll is inscribed with the Howard Family motto - Sola Virtus Invicta - and lies between the cross and the chain which is used to represent the bonds of captivity in which Philip Howard bore witness to his Faith.

"The more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next"

Inscribed by Philip Howard over the fireplace in Beauchamp Tower
About Herne Bay
Herne Bay is located on the North Kent Coast just 8 miles north of the historic City of Canterbury. The town looks out on the North Sea and on clear days the Isle of Sheppey and Southend can be seen on the horizon. Also on the horizon are the now abandoned Army and Navy Sea Defences built to defend London from sea attack during the war.

Herne Bay is strictly a satellite of the centuries old village of Herne found on the main route to Canterbury. It was at St Martins Church in Herne that Nicholas Ridley allowed the Te Deum to be sung in English for the first time in England.

A noticeable landmark is Herne Windmill which stands overlooking the town and can be seen from the A299 when approaching the town from London. The mill stands on the site of one from 1511 and the present mill is from 1781 and has just completed extensive restoration work to replace the cap and sweeps (sails).

The town of Herne Bay, just north of the village, started life as a haunt for smugglers, but gained popularity when it later became a fashionable bathing resort as an alternative to Margate. However the present town was developed just 150 years ago.

The town developed from a pub, "The Ship" which still exists today, a small row of houses and a post office. The town really made a name for itself in the 1830's when some visitors from London noticed an empty beach and a paddle steamer full of tourists travelling from London to Margate. These visitors put up hotels and houses, built the Town's first pier and arranged for the steamers to stop off on their way to Margate.

After just 30 years the steamer traffic ceased, but the introduction of the railways opened up a new way to reach the town and the town thrived once more.

In the 1870's a new, short iron pier was built, but the 1900's brought Steamer traffic back and the pier was extended to accommodate this (the landing stage of which can still be seen). Even so, in 1890 the towns resident population was less than 7000. By 1940 the local population had exploded to 16,500 with summer visitor numbers around 50,000.

The 1980's took their toll on the town with the main shopping area resembling a ghost town with many shops empty and the sea front had seen better days. In the early 90's however things began to look up for the town with a multi million pound investment to improve the sea front with a sea defence arm and the development of new garden areas. This period also saw the return of a cinema to the town, the building of a swimming pool and the Tidy Britain Seaside Award.

Looking to the future the town looks set for more improvements. Safeway have shown a commitment to serving the town with a proposal to build a new superstore in a central location. The Central Bandstand is now complete and is home to a "Thorley Tavern". JD Wetherspoons have now come to the Sea Front taking over the Chaplins building.

The new A299 is now complete allowing faster, more direct access to the town and making travelling to areas such as Herne, Greenhill and Broomfield much easier, safer and quicker by relieving through traffic.


The following after school clubs take place each week







Tag Rugby


Infant Art and Activities




 Irish Dancing

Junior Art

Junior ICT






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