Our History

Only three weeks after their arrival in Jamaica in 1960, the Franciscan Fathers, inspired by their apostolic mission, built the Our Lady of the Angels Church, on lands situated at 75A Molynes Road, Kingston 10. The land previously housed a stable, which shed remained at the rear of the Church. It was in that humble shed, one year later (1961) that Our Lady of the Angels Preparatory School was established.

With the commitment and guidance from Frs. Paul Welsh and Clement Healy, as well as the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, the School started with a cohort of two (2) teachers, the Principal, Miss Phyllis Beckno, her Assistant, Miss Jean Lyle, and thirty (30) children. Later that same year, the Fathers bought property at 78 Molynes Road, on which the Plant now stands. A cottage, which stood on the site, was later converted into space to accommodate the Kindergarten Department and the Canteen.

The period spanning some thirty-three (33) years saw changes in leadership from laypersons to religious, when, in 1962, Sister Anecita assumed the post of Principal, the first to hold that position at the new location. Her successors included Sister Ann Martin – September 1964 – July 1969, followed by Sister Marion Power, from September 1969 to July 1975.  In September 1975, Sister Claire McMaster took office as Principal, until September 1977, when she passed the baton to Sister Shirley Sweeney who, in September 1981, handed over the mantle of leadership to Sister Greta Clarke, the first Jamaican Franciscan, a position she held until 1994.

During those years (1962 – 1994), many significant changes were effected both to the physical structure as well as to operational systems. Expansion of the Plant came early as Sr Anecita engineered the erection of the twin two-storey block. Later, trained volunteers successfully operated a clinic in space that once housed Sr Ann Martin’s office. Introduction of a beautification programme resulted in asphalting of the School’s roadway and playfield, and implementation of a maintenance programme. The courtyard was paved and a stage built to replace the small wooden one, which previously existed.  Gates were installed, perimeter walls erected, and the School’s name was prominently displayed at the front of the building.  The Kindergarten and Canteen areas were again converted, this time into classrooms for Grades 5 & 6 and, a security guard’s station.

It was during Sister Greta’s tenure that the Home School Association (HSA) was formed, and it was through their instrumentality that two (2) containers were acquired, one of which was designated for use as a Computer Lab housing fifteen (15) terminals, and the other into a storeroom.

Monday morning Devotions was introduced during Sr Shirley Sweeney’s tenure, which, at first, involved the Brothers’ and remained so until it was discontinued.

The first Jamaican Lay person, Dr Claudette Spence, assumed the role of Principal, in September 1994, and served in that position until 2006. Her tenure, with the support and assistance of an active Home School Association, accounted for further advancement of the School’s beautification programme. Achievements in this area include – landscaping, planting of a variety of foliage and flowers, paving of the entire schoolyard, and marking of the parking lot. The facilities for staff and students were also upgraded during Dr Spence’s tour of duty. The resumption of Monday Morning Devotions, with either a `Brother’ or Priest in attendance, and introduction of Monthly Mass at the Church, are also hallmarks of that time.

Increase in the complement of Academic Staff, and expansion of the Curriculum to include Information Technology and Spanish, as well as upgrading of the Library, introduction of extracurricular activities, and the creation of opportunities for staff development, are also attributable to Dr Spence’s tenure.

Mrs. Lurline Headley took office in January 2007, and remained until January 2008.  Her short stay saw the acquisition of bell plates for the Music Department, which contributed greatly to the School Choir’s outstanding performance that year. Mrs. Marcia Meredith, who remains the current holder of the post, succeeded Miss Headley.

Mrs. Meredith has successfully negotiated, initiated, and implemented several changes, which have greatly benefited the School, structurally and academically. These include the upgrading of teachers’ qualifications for the delivery of quality teaching, the implementation of a two-tier fee structure, which saw a 90% increase in the population at the Kindergarten level, translating to an overall population growth. The Inter-House Spelling Bee Competition was introduced in 2008. In that same year the School entered the KFC Quiz Competition, and placed second, also receiving four (4) sectional Awards. We went on to win the Competition in 2009.

The School entered the ‘Lay Magistrates’ Association’s Essay Competition’ in 2009, and acquired the `Master Stitch Trophy’. Further, the School won first place in the Archdiocese’s inaugural Song Competition, which was launched during Catholic Schools’ Week, in 2010. The School repeated this achievement by again winning the Competition in the following year. In the NSWMA’s Clean School Competition, in 2011, Our Lady of the Angels’ Preparatory School placed second in Kingston and St Andrew. In that year too, the “Kenneth Lewis Jr Esq. Award”, was introduced, for a GSAT student who meets the prescribed criteria.

Acquisition and installation of three (3) water tanks alleviated the inconvenience and short supply caused by severe low pressure and drought, which the School experiences periodically.  Fences and a guardhouse were also erected at the sides of the Grade 6 building, to enhance the security of the Plant.

To enhance the appearance of the buildings, the murals for the Kindergarten Department were changed to designs that are more modern. Additionally, GSAT material in Science and Social Studies was used to boost the appearance of those classroom walls, as well as others by the Canteen, to ensure a print-rich and informative environment. Modern colourful plastic chairs and round tables replaced the drab furniture in the Kindergarten Department, to encourage and facilitate the development of their mental and social skills.

A change was made from using blackboards to whiteboards. Days celebrating Boys and Girls were introduced. Revitalization of the Monitor System and the Student Council (Prefects, Head Boy, and Head Girl) was also effected to increase awareness of responsible community involvement, and improve overall discipline. The population saw growth from 275, in 2011, to the current 290, despite its fair share of withdrawals and additions.

All the recommended changes from the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) were effected, except for the construction of external stairs at the second floor block.

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