In Rye in Sussex is a church dedicated to St Anthony of Padua, and it was there in 1930 that Elizabeth Rendall and Ivy King, two Oxford teachers, took the decision to found Rye St Antony, the church giving both the setting for the decision and the source of the school’s name.
The decision made, Miss Rendall and Miss King returned to Oxford, and Rye St Antony opened in 1930, its first pupils being day pupils, boys and girls, and eight in total. Numbers quickly grew, and at the end of the first year came the move from Hamilton Road to Woodstock Road, the new house providing accommodation for the first boarders. September 1939 brought the opportunity to move to Pullen’s Lane, first into Langley Lodge and then in 1946 into the adjacent property of The Croft as well, the combined site comprising two fine Victorian houses and 12 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland overlooking the city a mile to the north-east of the centre of Oxford.
A steady programme of building and development has given Rye excellent teaching and residential facilities, the most recent developments being the performing arts centre and the sports centre, both built to high specifications, with important scope for music, drama and sport in school-based and community-based activities. The ICT network extends throughout all teaching and boarding areas, and Rye is particularly well resourced and well supported technically in its ICT provision.
Rye is unique as a girls’ independent catholic school founded by lay women rather than by a religious order. Rye’s catholicism orientates all members of the school community in a common vision of the world, faith, like language, giving us the means to understand the world and connect and communicate with it.