Adams' Grammar School
|Motto||Serve and Obey|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Headmaster||Mr G Hickey|
|Deputy Headmasters||Mr M Warren-Smith
Dr P Pack
|Chairman of Governors||Anthony Cann|
|Founder||William Adams, Esq|
|DfE URN||137446 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
The NovaportanThe Eighth-hour
|Former pupils||Old Novaportans|
Adams' Grammar School (often abbreviated as 'AGS') is a selective boys' grammar school in Newport, Shropshire, England, offering day and boarding education. Founded in 1656 by William Adams, a wealthy member of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers (a senior livery company of the City of London), it is now one of the country's top performing schools and was rated by the Ofsted as a Grade 1 outstanding school.
- 1 History
- 2 Admissions and performance
- 3 School life
- 4 International links
- 5 Notable former pupils
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Adams' was founded in 1656 by William Adams, a wealthy citizen of the City of London and a haberdasher who was born in Newport. Adams had no children and had never married, and therefore decided to leave a bequest for the foundation of the school, which was first opened on 25 March 1656, during the politically unstable and volatile period of the English Interregnum. Having received permission from Oliver Cromwell to found the school, William Adams sought to further ensure the school's continued existence by appointing the master and wardens of the Haberdashers' Company as governors in perpetuity. As one of the few schools opened during the Interregnum period, the school's terms of foundation were again confirmed upon restoration of the monarchy in 1660 by an Act of Parliament; a copy of which is held in the school archives.
Adams endowed the school with a large agricultural 900-acre (3.6 km2) estate at Knighton, in Staffordshire, with which to provide funding for its operation well into the future, as a result of this Knighton was exempt from all land taxes until 1990. This estate was eventually sold off in several portions over the course of the twentieth century, and the proceeds of the final sale were used by the Haberdashers to purchase Longford Hall as a boarding house for the school. The grammar school was initially endowed with 1400 books just after its foundation, this at the time represented one of the largest libraries in England, the average Oxbridge college then having only around 1000 books. Rather unfortunately only seven of these 1400 books are still in the hands of the school, with the rest having been sold at various times when the school has suffered financial hardship.
Adams' developed slowly, and did not expand beyond its original building, now known as Big School, until the turn of the last century when Main School (also known as the 'S-Block') was built in the 1920s. Over the course of the next 90 years Adams' expanded rapidly, acquiring a number of buildings on Lower Bar for use as boarding houses; this in turn greatly expanded the school's town centre site. In the 1960s a new science block, connected to main school was built, whilst a senior boarding master's house was created on land adjacent to Big School. During this period the school also acquired a new gymnasium, which was then subsequently converted into a theatre in the mid-2000s.
After a brief spell as a grant-maintained school in the 1980s, Adams' again faced threat of closure or conversion to co-educational comprehensive status in the early 90s; this was avoided by a successful campaign, organised by parents and governors, against the wishes of Salop County Council. In the late 1990s and 2000s Adams' again began to flourish after having been awarded voluntary aided status; throughout all this the Haberdashers have been key in supporting the school and financially providing for many of its more ambitious construction projects. The 1990s saw the construction of the Wood and Taylor centres for the study of Design Technology and Maths, whilst with the coming of the 2000s the school began to raise funds for he construction of a new state of the art sports hall and fitness suite. Perhaps the most important development in the school's recent history came in 1993 when girls were admitted to the sixth form for the first time, thus ending Adams' long tradition of educating only boys.
In 2002 an authoritative history of the school, authored by former headmaster David Taylor and his wife, was published.
The late 2000s saw the school celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2006, completion of a new science block and conversion of the former gymnasium into a performing arts centre (this, in turn, was converted into a Sixth Form Centre, which opened in 2013). The music department was condemned in 2006; The Coach House, on Salters Lane, which backs onto the school grounds, was acquired by the school and converted into a new music department, which opened in 2013 alongside the new Sixth Form Centre.
During World War I, 362 Old Novaportans served in the armed forces of whom 45 died and 77 survived wounded. After the war a memorial fund was set up to assist the sons of alumni, whose appeal raised £1,000, and a tablet listing those who died was unveiled in the main school building in 1921. In 1948 the Old Boys Club erected another tablet alongside this to those who died in World War II. Both memorials are now in the school library.
Interestingly, the school is famous for, under the headmastership of Reverend Samuel Lea MA, having turned down the services of Dr Samuel Johnson, who was later to be the pre-eminent scholar of the 18th century.
Admissions and performance
Adams' is a selective state school which admits both boarding and day pupils, thanks to the school's recent academic success it has achieved a relatively high national profile and enjoys at least some recognition on the international stage (with ever increasing numbers of foreign students, notably those from Hong Kong). Adams' is a specialist Technology College as well as a Language College and a Training School. The school, including the sixth form, has approximately 800 pupils, all of whom wear a common uniform, with the exception of sixth formers (both Upper and Lower) who wear a navy blue, as opposed to maroon blazer. It is however, of essentially the same design, with the exception of the addition of gold blazer buttons in the place of plastic maroon ones. The time of entry exams has recently been changed, and they're now much earlier, creating a more university-esque admissions process.
The school regularly places in the top 50 schools in the country and top 20 state schools in the country based on GCSE and A-level results. Adams' also ranks within the three best schools for A-level results in Shropshire, along with Shrewsbury School and Newport Girls High School. These figures also represent some of the highest in the West Midlands for predominantly rural counties. In 2011, 100% of all GCSE exam entries were passed at grade A*-Lilz. The school has developed a reputation for consistently having a high number of sixth formers gain access into the Russell Group and 'Golden triangle' universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. A high proportion of students also go on to study highly competitive subjects such as medicine, law, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
The current headmaster is Mr G Hickey. Mr M Warren-Smith (who was formerly head of Darwin House and Religious Studies) and Dr P Pack are the current Deputy Masters. The incumbent master of senior boys' boarding is Dr P Dolding whilst the junior boys' housemaster is Mr M Skeate.
The school also operates an extra-curricular house system. This system is used as the basis for inter-house sports competitions and has traditionally been a source of pride for the students of its respective houses. Clive House, named after Robert Clive of India sports a bright red and is currently led by its housemaster Mr P North. Darwin house, traditionally sporting Royal blue is named after the famed 19th century naturalist of the same name and is led by housemaster Mr D Biggins. Talbot House, the last of the three original 'Salopian' houses, has traditionally been characterised most by its sporting colours of black and white (arranged in hoops on rugby jerseys), it is named after the Earl Talbot, one of the foremost English military commanders of the wars in France and is currently led by Miss N White. Webb house is the youngest of the houses at Adams', founded in 1994 it has since adopted emerald green as its distinguishing colour; the house is named after Dawley-born merchant naval officer and accomplished swimmer Captain Matthew Webb. Webb house was for many years led by Mr. R Jones before Mr I Armstong became Head of House in September '13. Throughout the academic year there are many house events, revolving around the arts, sports or academic subjects. These include the House Music Competition, Dixon Cup (drama), Smedley Cup (rugby), House 7's, House Netball and Public Speaking (which is now incorporated into Dixon Cup). House Geography and Languages also occur.
|Clive||–||Robert Clive||■||Red||Boys||Boys and girls|
|Darwin||–||Charles Darwin||■||Blue||Boys||Boys and girls|
|Talbot||–||John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury||■||White on black||Boys||Boys and girls|
|Webb||1994||Matthew Webb||■||Green||Boys||Boys and girls|
The school has a number of dedicated boarding houses, they play a significant role in school life as the physical residence of the school's 150 or so junior and senior boarders. The present junior hall (Longford Hall) is located at the school's playing fields about a mile away whilst the three senior boys' boarding houses (Beaumaris, Roddam and Picken) are to be found situated in large Georgian townhouses facing the High Street just 50 metres away from the main gates on the same side of the road as the main school (often referred to as 'Big School').
The hall is located on top of a low rise and overlooks farmland towards the Lilleshall monument. As with many such buildings, the first 100 feet in front of the hall is manicured grass, bordered by a ha-ha which prevented animals from entering; today the ha-ha is best known amongst pupils for forming a part of the school's annual house cross-country course. There is a small series of formal gardens, including a "quad". Behind the hall are a selection of buildings around a central square containing a dovecote, which once formed the farm supporting the estate. These buildings were renovated and sensitively converted into housing between 2001 and 2004. The central dovecote is circular and forms an unusual dwelling.
Upon entry into the school in year 7, boarders are assigned to dormitories; upon moving to senior boarding houses at the schools main, town centre site, boys are often assigned to double or, in some cases, single rooms. In every Upper VI year there is a dedicated boarding captain (in addition to the four house captains and school captain); collectively the school's captains are traditionally referred to as 'the front benchers' as they often sit in a line facing the rest of the student body at full school assemblies.
Combined Cadet Force
Due to the CCF, the school sends many recruits to Sandhurst, Royal Air Force College Cranwell and the Britannia Royal Naval College. The CCF play a vital role in the life of the Town, parading every year on Remembrance Sunday. The CCF Marching Band will also be becoming more involved in the near future and are due to play at the Newport carnival and in the Civic Parade in June. Boys can Join the CCF in January of Second form and will pass out in May of the same year. The aim of the corps is to provide boys with a wide range of military skills, adventurous pursuits and leadership experience. The corps is commanded by Major Matthew Skeate, who is also head of the army section. The contingent's SSI is Colour Sergeant Mike Buxton RM. The RAF section was led by Flight Lieutenant Weaver who was decommissioned in August 2011 and the role has now passed to Flight Lieutenant Harris, who was helped in the running of the section by Pilot Officer Lambert, until he left the school 2013. The corps has its own building, commonly known as "Noah's Ark" where the stores are housed and NCO Meetings and some lessons take place. The corps fequently hold Overnight Exercises where battle drills and fieldcraft are practised. These can be either held at Longford Hall, Nesscliffe Training Area or MOD Swynnerton. After the Sixth form go on study leave, the CCF prepares for the Annual House CCF Competition, known as the Thompstone Trophy, after Lieutenant Colonel Brian Thompstone. This entails a Drill Competition, Shooting, Command Tasks, Memory Games, Army Related Quizzes, Section Attacks, CQB and an Obs lane.
Both the CCF(Army) and CCF(RAF) sections hold summer camps visiting working bases such as RAF Cranwell and Barry Buddon. Cadets can also attend Adventurous Training Camps held annually at Llanbedr and Windermere, Easter camps at RAF Akrotiri, Summer Camps at Ramstein Air Base and Leadership Courses at RAF Cranwell, Nesscliffe Training Area or the Cadet Training Centre, Frimley Park. The members of the CCF Band can also attend music camps at Britannia Royal Naval College and Altcar. The school also takes a small contingent of cadets to complete the annual Nijmegen March. As well as this, cadets have the opportunity to attend special camps such as the 65th D-Day Landing commemoration and the Cadet 150 Celebrations.
Through the Cadet Vocational Qualifications Organisation (CVQO) the School CCF offers cadets (aged 16–19) and above the opportunity to gain internationally recognised BTEC First Diploma qualifications in Public Services. Each BTEC First Diploma is the equivalent of 4 GCSEs, grade C – A*.
Adams' has traditionally been a rugby school, and as such requires that all boys play rugby through years seven and eight during the autumn and spring terms. Upon entry into year nine, pupils are presented with the option of continuing to play rugby, or switching to hockey. Cricket and athletics are the main activities enjoyed during the shorter summer term. In year 11 and the sixth form, boys are often presented with the opportunity to take part in any sport of their choice, provided they can receive permission for such an activity. With the exception of those activities not provided by the school, all sporting events, and training therefore takes place at the schools Longford Hall playing fields; for this reason, few visiting sports teams ever see the main school site. Adams' operates a system of games afternoons, a system by which each individual year group is assigned a specific day of the week to attend afternoon physical activity sessions at Longford (for this purpose the VI form is combined with year 11).
In recent years football has been reintroduced to the school after a hiatus of almost a century. The school has a number of long-standing sporting rivalries with other schools, the most fierce of which is no doubt with Old Swinford Hospital. Within the county Adams' and Shrewsbury school, as Shropshire's only two boys' schools, maintain a friendly rivalry. One peculiarity of sports at Adams' is the requirement for boys to walk around one mile from school to the playing fields at Longford should they have games.
As with many private and grammar schools, Adams' organises biannual summer tours abroad for its senior rugby, hockey and girls netball teams. Recent tours have included rugby tours to South Africa, South America, and Australia and Singapore, and a hockey and netball tour to Barbados.
The school currently runs student exchange visit programs with the following schools in France, Germany and Poland:
|Oberschule zum Dom||Lübeck|
|I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Cypriana Kamila Norwida||Bydgoszcz|
The school is also sister schools with Ringwood Secondary College in Melbourne, Australia.
Notable former pupils
The School runs an Old Novaportans' Club which arranges many reunions, meals and sporting events throughout the year in which its members can take part. Upon leaving the school, all students are encouraged to join and stay in touch with the school.
Former pupils are known as "Old Novaportans" (initialised as "ON").
- Philip Gittus – Manager, Philippine National Rugby Team
- Charlie Huxley – professional jockey and 2008 winner of the Scottish Grand National
- Graham Kitchener – rugby player for Leicester Tigers & England
- Peter Short – rugby player for Bath Rugby & England Saxons
- Dan Redfern – cricket player for Leicestershire County Cricket Club
- Lord Williams (Robert) - Professional horse racing tipster 
- Colonel Reginald Tewkesbury-Thwaites – manager of Sheffield Wednesday football club from 1903 to 1912.
- Peter Butler – former Conservative MP for North East Milton Keynes from 1992–7, current chief executive of Flying Scotsman plc
- Robert Charnock – conspirator who planned to kill King William III, Dean of Magdalen College Oxford
- Jeremy Corbyn – Labour Party MP since 1983 for Islington North
- John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower – Lord Privy Seal 1742–54, the 1st major Tory to enter government since the coronation of King George I in 1714.
- Rev. Jon Green – local fame within Cardiff for work with the homeless and poor.
- Thomas Hanmer – MP for Ludlow, Lord Lieutenant of Flintshire
- Rev. Charles Silvester Horne (1865–1914) – Congregationalist minister, MP for Ipswich and father of Kenneth Horne.
- Thomas Hollis – benefactor of Harvard University, political propagandist, patron of Canaletto and other artists
- Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield PC MP – Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, temporary Regent and Sovereign of Great Britain
- Peter Price – Conservative MEP
- Sir Richard Whitworth, JP, MP – High Sheriff of Staffordshire aged 21, MP for Stafford 1774–1780
- Richard Burge – chief executive of Wilton Park since 2009, and of the Countryside Alliance from 1999 to 2003, and Director of the Zoological Society of London from 1995–9
- Roger Holmes – chief executive from 2002–4 of Marks & Spencer, managing director from 1997–9 of Woolworths, and of Change Capital Partners since 2005
- Nick Jenkins – chief executive of moonpig.com, former Glencore commodities trader
- Simon Bates – radio disc jockey
- Michael J. Bassett – film director and scriptwriter
- Barrington J. Bayley – science fiction author
- Tom Brown – satirist
- Radzi Chinyanganya - TV presenter
- Ben Day – radio and TV Presenter
- Ben Gernon - conductor
- Ewen Henderson – sculptor
- Norman Jones – actor
- Thomas Percy – Bishop of Dromore, poet, editor and author
- Nick Snaith – radio disc jockey (Heart Network)
- Prof Donald Court CBE – James Spence Professor of Child Health from 1955 to 1972 at Newcastle University, President from 1973–6 of the British Paediatric Association
- William Cureton – orientalist
- Sir Oliver Lodge – inventor & first principal of Birmingham University.
- James E. Quibell – leading British Egyptologist
- Prof Dave Goulson – Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex (born 1965), world renowned expert on Bumblebees and founder of the British Bumblebee Conservation Trust
- Prof William Holmes – Professor of Physiology since 1964 at the University of California
- Prof Helmut Koenigsberger – Professor of History from 1973 to 1984 at King's College London
- Prof Maurice Stacey CBE (1907–94) – worked alongside Sir Norman Haworth to artificially synthesize Vitamin C
- Peter D Wootton – recipient of the 1st Deans' Commendation from Manchester Metropolitan University and active coordinator with the Unite Against Fascism Movement.
- Frank Armstrong – assistant Commissioner of the City of London Police
- Captain Thomas Ashburnham (1855–1924) – 6th Earl Ashburnham
- Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Allen – Entrepreneur, Philanthropist & Army Officer
- Sir Charles Buckworth-Herne-Soame (1864 - 1931)
- Keith Jones – Dean of York
- Major General Sir James Lumley KCB – Adjutant General
- Matthew Smith – 17th-century spy, intriguer and writer
- Gerald Lander – Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong
- General Sir George Colt Langley KCB (1810–96) – General, British Army
- Major General Francis Ventris CB – General Officer Commanding British Forces in China
- Rear Admiral Harry Wilson – Rear Admiral, Royal Navy
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adams' Grammar School.|
- Longford Hall – Junior boarding house and sports fields owned by the school, about one mile (1.6 km) away from the main school site, in the village of Longford.
- Rev. John Heawood – Housemaster, mathematician and father of Percy John Heawood.
- Ryan Palmer – Maths teacher and ex-Jamaican National Chess Champion.
- Agnes Miller Parker – Former art teacher, engraver and illustrator.
- Alec Peterson – Former Headmaster, founder of the International Baccalaureate
- Ofsted Report[dead link]
- Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. YouCaxton Publications. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3.
- Announcement in Assembly
- "Blue Peter’s Radzi goes back to school in Newport". Shropshire Star. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014.