Bourne Grammar School

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Bourne Grammar School
Motto Vigila et Ora
(Watch and pray)
Established 1330
Type Grammar school;
Religion Anglican
Headmaster Jonathan P J Maddox
Founder Lincoln Cathedral
Location South Road
PE10 9JE
England Coordinates: 52°45′45″N 0°22′24″W / 52.76246°N 0.37334°W / 52.76246; -0.37334
DfE number 925/4501
DfE URN 137793 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 150
Students 1030
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Behn, Meitner, Tinbergen, Rorschach

Bourne Grammar School is a co-educational grammar school with academy status in Bourne, Lincolnshire, England. The school has previously held Arts College Status. It is situated on South Road (A15). It was also awarded Academy status in January 2012, although it retains its former name.


The school badge is a red shield with two gold bars and three red discs above: an escutcheon argent with two bars vert and three pommes in the chief. The heraldry is derived from that of the Bourne Town Council (formerly Bourne UDC), which in turn, is based on the arms of the Wake family, medieval lords of the Manor of Bourne. The school shares the town motto "Vigila et Ora", meaning "Watch and Pray". The reference is Christ's injunction to His disciples in St. Matthew's Gospel:[1] "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41, NIV).


Original foundation[edit]

The original foundation dates from no later than 1330, when a new headmaster was admitted to the school by the Lincoln Cathedral Chapter. It was re-endowed in 1636 by a bequest of William Trollope, who had built the old school building[2] in 1626. That building still exists in the Abbey Churchyard, though it was re-roofed and partially rebuilt in 1736 and the school moved to its present site in July 1921.[3]

In its original form, it appears to have been operated by the regular canons of Bourne Abbey but that was dissolved in 1536. The school continued but the nature of its management structure in this period is not wholly clear. In 1626, William Trollope provided it with a new building and in 1636, on his death, he endowed it as the 'Free Grammar School of King Charles in the Town of Bourne in the County of Lincoln, of the foundation of William Trollope, gentleman', with £30 per year to pay the teacher's salary.

New buildings[edit]

In 1736, the building was re-roofed and partially rebuilt.[4] With maintenance and the installation of better heating, it continued until 1904 but railways had made better-equipped schools accessible and school faded away. Efforts were made to reinstate it and once the First World War was over, in 1920, it opened in the building of the former National School, in North Street. In 1921, once its longer-term premises in South Road were usable, it moved there.[5] At this stage, it was run by trustees under the name of the 'Harrington and Trollope Secondary School', after Robert Harrington and William Trollope, two local seventeenth century philanthropists whose bequests had been made for the poor and the school of Bourne respectively. Kesteven County Council topped up the funds required with an annual grant and by paying for free places at the school for pupils who qualified for assistance.[6]

In 1947, following the end of the Second World War and the Education Act 1944, management was taken over by the Kesteven County Council and the current name was adopted. Since 1974, the county concerned has been Lincolnshire, previously being controlled by the Kesteven Education Committee at Sleaford. In the 1970s, the school roll was around 400.

Today's school[edit]

There is a house system and Form Groups within the school designated by the letters A to H (Year 7 currently), A to G (Year 8), A to F (Year 9) and V to Z (Years 10 and 11) with the sixth form sorted in houses A to H. All students and staff are sorted into a House randomly which are Behn (Aphra Behn), Meitner (Lise Meitner), Rorschach (Hermann Rorschach) and Tinbergen (Nikolaas Tinbergen). Each house has a house leader who chooses a significant person in their subject's history as the name of the house.

Academic results[edit]

It claims to achieve "Advanced level" results in the top three for schools in the East Midlands.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  • J.D. Birkbeck A History of Bourne Grammar School (1986), a publication that also includes the lyrics of the school song, 'Vigila et Ora'.


  1. ^ Chapter 26, verse 41
  2. ^ Birkbeck p. 2
  3. ^ Birkbeck, p. 7
  4. ^ Birkbeck pp. 2-3
  5. ^ Birkbeck p. 7
  6. ^ Birkbeck p. 7

External links[edit]

News items[edit]