'Middle leaders know the strengths and weaknesses of their departments well and take appropriate and effective actions to support individual pupils.'Ofsted 2018
'Since the last inspection, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has significantly improved and is now good.'Ofsted 2018


The 1970s building on Willowbank Road belies the 87 year history of St Aidan’s!

The origins of St Aidan’s date back to 1928 when St Mary’s Grammar School was opened in Bede Tower (Stockton Road) by Canon Smith, the then parish priest of St Mary’s to serve the Catholic boys of Sunderland as the town’s population expanded rapidly due to the success of the coal mining and ship building industries.

The Jesuits took over in 1935, transferring the school to The Briery on Ashbrooke Road the following year, when it was renamed Corby Hall.  The name was then changed again in 1937, to Sunderland Catholic College, before becoming Corby School in 1939.

It was only when the Jesuits left in 1948, and the Christian Brothers took over, that the name finally became St Aidan’s.  The school was firstly renamed as St Aidan’s RC Grammar School and remained a grammar school until 1973, when the school was reclassified as a comprehensive school and a new school block and gymnasium building was completed on Willowbank Road and linked to the old school site by a tunnel which remains to this day.

In April 2013, the school converted to an Academy.  With over 1,000 students, St Aidan’s is now a larger than average-size establishment serving Sunderland boys, of all faiths and none, who are willing to uphold the special ethos of the Academy.  St Aidan’s remains true to its founding principles: We are committed to the care and success of every boy in a way that is rooted in the values of the gospel and we nurture each and every student and encourage them on their journey to reaching their full potential.

We’re incredibly proud of our young men and the contribution they make in society such as their desire to advocate for young people around the world, their volunteering in Indian orphanages, their involvement in World War commemorations, and their respect and remembrance of the Holocaust.

Looking to the future, we’re proud that St Aidan’s is an innovative school and we’re passionate about enhancing the learning experience of our students.  Through our revolutionary digital learning programme, we’re developing 21st century learners who are fully equipped to thrive in our technological world.


St Aidan’s has always prided itself on its sporting achievements and continues to host the annual Ashbrooke Road Relay (The 56th Annual Race took place on 18th March 2015 featuring teams from the North East and beyond).  The Briery site hosts our “Hall of Fame” where the sporting accolades of former students are celebrated.  These sporting alumni include Steve Howey and Lee Howey (family rivalry with Steve playing for Newcastle and Lee playing for Sunderland), Ian Bloomfield & Mike Kearns (successful athletes: Mike held the 1500m British record as a young athlete.  Ian captained the GB Marathon team and continues to set records as an over-60’s athlete) Former pupils are invited to visit the hall of fame – please contact the school to make an appointment to come and have a look around.

Outside of the sporting arena, our boys have gone success both home and abroad including Dr Chris Steele (of This Morning fame!), and Seamus Conlan, an internationally reknowed photographer who’s incredible work in Rwanda has led to him being names as one of the top 100 most important people in photography! (click Link below for more details)


We love to keep in touch with all of our former students and to learn what you’ve been up to since leaving St Aidan’s!  Please visit our Alumni website if you’re interested in registering an interest in St Aidan’s.

A young Dr Chris Steele - front row 2nd right

A very Young Dr Chris Steel (Front Row 2nd Right).

Christian Brothers

Christian Brothers

Football team 1952 - MW Book

Football team 1952

Mass for Dennis Donini - awarded VC - MW Book

Mass for Dennis Donini – awarded VC

Teaching staff in 1960s - MW Book

Teaching staff in 1960s

U12 team 1959-60 - MW Book

U12 team 1959-60

U15 team 1953-54 - MW Book

U15 team 1953-54

The Briery - MW Book

The Briery

Brookside - MW Book


Brookfield - MW Book