In 1909, an Italian pioneer in education, Dott. Enrico Wilfred Cortis, embarked on the project of founding a Vatican-sponsored school for boys in Rome. When Church and State relations became strained, the School closed down but the Cortis Family decided to relocate to Malta and operate a girls’ school in Malta. The School was passed on to his unmarried daughter, Ms. Laura Cortis and took the name of the scholarly saint, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and made a name for itself all over Malta.
Decades later, the School was passed on to Ms. Cortis’ niece, the charismatic and highly respected Mrs. Maria Rita Mangion Cortis. Parents flocked to register their children in the school-house in High Street, Sliema, but after some years, these premises could no longer provide for the physical, psychological and educational needs of this growing population of young Maltese and International students.
Indeed, twenty years later, Mrs. Marie Midolo, great grand-daughter of the Founder, and her husband, Mr. Paul Midolo, took a major courageous step, the re-location of St. Catherine’s High School to the present spacious and airy premises in Pembroke. It took much toil and perseverance to see the construction and finishing of the school through, but the will to hold the School’s flag high and to keep up the reputation of excellence in education that the School had earned over the years, were the pillars of strength for the Principal and her husband.
Since then, St. Catherine’s has flourished from a small, private, elitist school back in 1909, to a fully-fledged comprehensive co-educational institution that is the St. Catherine’s of today. In 2014, the School Headship was passed on to Ms. Sue Midolo, current Head of School, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Midolo. Together with the strong Management Teams that have been set up, Ms. Sue Midolo plans to take the School to greater heights of excellence, investing her care, time and passion to continuing the mission embarked upon by her ancestors back in 1909.
Today, St. Catherine’s High School incorporates within it the:
– Early Years School (Flutterby and Pre-Junior);
– Junior School;
– Senior School;
– Sports Academy (focusing on Football as the first discipline);
– AClass Academy English
– Higher Education Tuition Centre (offering Home Grown Diploma in Child Care as well as Masters and PhD programmes by The University of Sheffield).
Thus, from generation to generation, the direction of the School has been kept by members of the same family – united, professional, dedicated, educational visionaries who breathed life into the School, never flinching in time of struggle and stress, and rising to meet the challenges of the times. As a result, St. Catherine’s flag flies high at all times, contributing to create holistically well-educated citizens of Malta and of the world, who are capable of meeting the changing work and academic expectations of the times they live in, and who are capable of influencing the environment through sound ethical and spiritual values.
Vision of the School
Since the inception of the School, one of the most important factors which contributed to the School’s stability and success has been the family and caring ambiance that has always been an essential component of the School ethos. Teachers, parents and students feel that they belong to the School and are part of this one big family that is our 700-strong school population.
St. Catherine’s High School believes in creating a home, where we care for every individual, be it student or member of staff, and where we strive to provide a haven to the many parents who enter into its fold dreaming of a sound, holistic, competency-based curriculum for their children. The School Headship and Management Teams work tirelessly to nurture spaces of personal, social and value-based growth for each and every student in their care. Each year, a social theme is chosen and every effort is made so that the students learn the importance of community, ethical and spiritual values, and adopt and live a philosophy based on care in continuation of the legacy that has long been characteristic of St. Catherine’s.
On the academic level, the School maintains its position of excellence at the forefront of preparing its students in academic disciplines, physical education endeavours and moral development. St. Catherine’s High School works incessantly to develop future-oriented strategies aimed at creating learning processes for our students that are innovative, engaging and motivational in nature. St. Catherine’s vision centres on creating learning outcomes providing academic excellence, sound and active citizenship, and holistic personal and social development of all its students.