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.
In 2018 St Aidan’s joined the Our Lady of Mercy Trust with St Anthony’s Girls Academy. With over 400 students in the joint Sixth Form and almost 2,300 pupils across both schools, the Trust offers an educational experience to the young people of Sunderland and beyond that is second to none.