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St. Anne's Catholic Voluntary Academy

St. Anne's Catholic Voluntary Academy

The School's History

St Anne's school was set up in 1888 by an order of nuns called the Presentation Sisters. It was originally situated behind St. Anne's Catholic Church and when it first opened it had only 48 children. The building we are in now opened in 1972, but has been extended many times to accommodate the increasing number of children who attend here.


The Presentation Sisters were set up by a person called Nano Nagle. Nano Nagle was born in Ballygriffin in County Cork in 1718, She was the daughter of a rich family and was sent away to study in France as Catholic education was not allowed in Ireland at that time. When she returned to Ireland she was shocked at the conditions that many people lived in and set about trying to improve conditions for the poor.

Nano set up small schools where the pupils were taught spelling, reading, arithmetic and writing. After school hours Nano would visit the poor, the sick and the dying. In June 1776 Nano received the religious habit and the Presentation Order began. Today Nano Nagle's Presentation Sisters are found all over the world, spreading God’s word and following in Jesus’ footsteps as they work to improve conditions for the poor and provide education.

Nano Nagle

The picture of her (featured on the right) was given to the school by the Presentation Sisters when they left  Buxton in 2005. It can normally be seen on the wall in the ICT suite.

This picture portrays Nano Nagle's life: the bright colours show her inner strength and beauty. 

  • The children at the bottom represent the children she helped.
  • The buildings show the city of Cork where she worked.
  • The fire represents the warmth of Nano’s love for God.

Nano Nagle is particularly special to us because she was the foundress of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary and these are the order of nuns that were responsible for starting up our school.