Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Cathedral and John Connon School

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Type  Private school
Phone  022 4077 8140
Number of students  3,000
Principal  Mrs. Meera Isaacs
Founded  1860
Cathedral and John Connon School

Motto  'Clarum Efficiunt Studia' ('Studies Maketh Famous')
Established  1860 14 November (156 years) British India
Vice Principals (Senior)  Jyotsna Mayadas, Nalini Samuel
Grades  Pre-Primary - 12 & International Baccalaureate
Address  6, Purushottamdas Thakurdas marg,, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Founder  St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai

Light of life trust cathedral and john connon school

The Cathedral & John Connon School is a co-educational, private school founded in 1860 and located in Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra. A Hindustan Times report of 2013 named it as the top school offering ICSE and ISC in India. It now offers the IBDP programme, as well. One of the most prestigious, elusive and exclusive schools in India, its alumni boasts the who's who of India's elite and business families. Students belong to the wealthiest families in the country and admission is preferred and mostly given to children of ex-students. The school is very selective and its alumni network is the largest for any school in India (Asia even) with ex-students scattered across the globe.


It has also been ranked in the lists of best day schools in Asia. It is one of the oldest British founded schools in India. It has a variety of options in terms of extracurricular activities for students. The 156-year-old school is consistently ranked in the lists of best day schools in India.

The school also controls the 298 year old St. Thomas Cathedral; for CAJCS was founded to provide choristers to the Church. Therefore, this makes Cathedral the oldest school & church combination in India.


In 1860 Bishop Harding and the Cathedral Chaplain opened a grammar school within the walled city of Bombay which, along with a smaller establishment for girls, were the first of many strands that have joined to form the Cathedral and John Connon School.

A Choir School, established with the objective of providing choristers for the St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai, the first Anglican Church in Mumbai was founded in October 1875. Meanwhile, the Bombay Scottish Education Society was founded in 1866. The society put up a building on the Esplanade, and named it for John Connon (then Chief Registrar of Bombay).

In 1878 a high school in Byculla, set up by the Bombay Diocesan Society, was merged with the Choir School to form the Cathedral High School. The present Senior School building, a blend of Indian and Gothic architecture, was erected in 1896. A girls' school had been started in 1880.

In 1922, in a public meeting held at the Town Hall, the present Asiatic Society of Bombay library, a suggestion was put forward by the principal of the Cathedral Boys' School for the Cathedral Schools and the Scottish School to work together, instead of competing, and thus the Anglo-Scottish Education Society was conceived. The schools were re-organized into the Cathedral Boys' School, the Cathedral Girls' School, and the John Connon School.

In the 1960s co-education was still viewed with trepidation, and when in 1965, the principal, the Rev. Ridding, stated that the only way to solve the financial and logistical problems of the school was to make it co-educational, some people felt so strongly about it that they went to court to thwart the school's plans. Justice Lentin, a man famous for his courageous judgments, pronounced that the school had every right to merge if it so desired. The merger proceeded smoothly.

Today the old boys' school is the Senior School; the old girls' school is the Middle School; and the John Connon School is the Junior School. The Infant School, located at Malabar Hill, was set up in 1965. The Senior School also serves as the main administrative office for all the sections of the school.

The IB arm of the school, set up in 2015, plans to shift to the Deutsche Bank Building (formerly Tata Palace) by 2018. The building is located in the same vicinty (Fort) as the school, right next to Sterling Theatre.

Academics and curriculum

The Cathedral & John Connon School is affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and its students appear for the Council's ISC, IB (Grade 12) and ICSE (Grade 10) examinations. English is the medium of instruction. Hindi is taught as a second language and Marathi or Sanskrit are taught as third languages. The school's students have performed well at the ICSE and ISC examinations and the school has maintained a 100% pass-rate.

College Board's Advanced Placement program has been conducted in the school since June, 2004. Talented students, who would otherwise be uninterested in a mainstream classroom, are offered the chance to pursue accelerated learning (college-level) courses in subjects including English, Calculus (AB and BC), Physics, Biology, Computers, World History, Chemistry and Economics. The school is the only AP Examination Center in Western India.

For the ISC course (consisting of grades 11 and 12) the school divided its student body into three streams: Commerce, Science, and the Humanities. However, as of 2008 this is no longer required and students now have the option of either choosing a particular stream or choosing subjects from different streams.

Students achieving distinctions (above 80% per term in Senior School) throughout the year become eligible for the Honours Prize for that year. Those who achieve fifteen points on a complicated scoring system, at any time after Grade 8, are awarded the Scholar's Badge. There are rarely more than three recipients in any given year.

Cathedral Model United Nations (Symposium)

The Cathedral Model United Nations is run entirely by the school's student body over a period of three days, where students assume the roles of delegates representing countries. They form committees and debate on topics of global importance. From a start in 1996 - the first CMUN had only one committee (Asia and Pacific Council), it has grown into an event with over 700 delegates attending. CMUN 2007 was the first to have delegates from outside Mumbai. Schools like Mayo College, La Martiniere Calcutta, Doon School, and others attended the conference. 2011 featured the first international delegates from Rato Bangala School from Nepal and Aitchinson College, Pakistan. It is a highly selective invitation only event held at the Trident, Nariman Point. The fact that sets it apart from other conferences is that it is a student run event. The school has a notable policy of minimal interference which contributes to its appeal.

House system

There are four houses in the school - Barham, Palmer, Savage and Wilson - named after:

Canon Barham,

Bishop Palmer,

Arthur Savage

and Percival Wilson,

the founders of the Cathedral School and the John Connon School. The House System serves as the center of school life, with students from the houses competing at sports, games and other co-curricular activities, primarily divided into 2 categories- Cultural and Sports which include a plethora of activities.

There was also another house, that was brown in color, called Kuruvilla that was later disbanded and students were distributed amongst the houses available since it made more sense to have four houses in order to keep competitions easier.

School choir and band

The school choir dates back to the time when the school had its genesis as a choir school providing choristers to the St. Thomas' Cathedral. The Founders' Day Service and the Christmas Carol Service are the two most important events for the Choir. The choir's repertoire includes hymns, sacred classics, as well as secular music.

A school band is formed from the students. Tryouts for the school band are held once a year. The band plays rock-and-roll inspired music. It performs at the School Music festival, and at music festivals held across schools and colleges in Mumbai.

School motto

The school's motto is Clarum Efficiunt Studia translated as Studies Maketh Famous. This motto was adopted by Thomas Arthur Savage, Headmaster of the school, from Bacon's essay on “Studies”.

Studies serve for delight, for ornament and for ability... the general counsels and the plots and marshalling of affairs comes best from those that are learned.

School badge

In 1923 the Cathedral Schools and the Scottish School were amalgamated to form The Anglo-Scottish Education Society. Miss Whitfield, the Principal of the Girls' School, wanted a badge which was representative of both elements of the Society: Anglican and Scottish. A badge was designed in which the Bishop's Mitre represented the Anglican side, while the Scottish neighbours were symbolised by the white diagonal cross of St. Andrew.


Cathedral and John Connon School Wikipedia