Calday Grange Grammar School

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Calday Grange Grammar School
Calday Grange Grammar School Crest.png
Motto "Nisi Dominus Frustra" "Except the Lord in vain" - a normal heraldic contraction of a verse from the 127th Psalm, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain"
Established 1636
Type Grammar Academy
Headmaster Mark Rodaway
Chair of Governors Rod Walker
Founder William Glegg
Location Grammar School Lane
West Kirby
CH48 8GG
England Coordinates: 53°22′03″N 3°09′47″W / 53.3675°N 3.163°W / 53.3675; -3.163
DfE number 344/5400
DfE URN 139144 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1500
Gender Boys, Mixed Sixth Form
Ages 11–18
Houses Hollowell     
Colours Maroon. House ties are Green, Blue and Red Stripes.
Publication On The Hill

Calday Grange Grammar School (abbreviated to CGGS; also known as Calday, Calday Grange) is a non-denominational selective state grammar school, founded in 1636, situated on Caldy Hill above the town of West Kirby on the Wirral peninsula, England. The school admits boys from age 11 to 18, and since 1985 girls for the sixth form only. The school has academy status, hosts the Wirral Able Children Centre,[1] and has been awarded Sportsmark Gold and Investors in People status.


The school stands in a residential area of Wirral close to the Dee Estuary. Pupils come primarily from Wirral, Deeside and Cheshire areas.[2] The main site at the top of Caldy Hill is occupied by the school buildings, sports cages and field, with a larger field located over Grammar School Lane. A mile southeast of the main school buildings, along Column Road/Telegraph Road, Calday has the Glasspool Playing Fields including 3 rugby pitches, a cricket square and a sand-based artificial hockey field. The school is surrounded by good-quality suburban housing development and the protected heathlands and woods of Grange, Caldy and Thurstaston.


Calday Grange Grammar School became a trust school on 1 January 2009, transferring ownership of the school land and buildings to a Charitable Trust called "The Calday Grange Trust". The Calday Grange Trust is a partnership between Calday Grange Grammar School, The University of Liverpool, Unilever Research and Development and Maestro Services Ltd. Calday Grange Grammar School was the first Wirral School to convert to Trust Status.[3] In May 2010, however, the governing board sought to dissolve the trust amid "cause for concern about the formation of the trust and the benefits it could deliver to Calday".[4][5] On 5 August 2010, the Secretary of State determined that the Trust had been correctly set up and issued an order requiring that the governing body be reconstituted, after a complaint from the chairman of the Trust. Subsequent mediation between the governing board, local authority, DfE and Trust partners, resulted in an acknowledgement that the governing board had been correctly reconstituted, but that the seven Trust governors were not yet in place on the board. The Secretary of State then determined that no further action would be taken by him at that time.[6] In January 2011, the University of Liverpool announced its intention to pull out of the Trust stating that "it no longer believes it can make a meaningful contribution to the school".[7]

In February 2011, the MP for Wirral West, Esther McVey asked a question in the House of Commons regarding the guidelines for, and accountability of, governing bodies, citing Calday Grange Grammar School.[8] The minister replied that "Parental views are represented on the governing body, but the governing body itself is responsible for the school. Of course, a responsible governing body should take parents' views into account and expedite the resolution of matters, particularly when they are of enormous concern to the parents".[9]

In September 2011, the school newsletter informed parents that "The School has received notification from Companies House that the Calday Grange Trust Company has been dissolved. This has been notified to the Governing Body who have contacted Wirral Local Authority and indicated their wish to revert to the Foundation Schools Instrument of Government".[10]

In July 2011, the process for converting to an Academy school was begun, and the school converted to academy status with effect from 1 January 2013.[11] It was confirmed in a school newsletter on 2 November 2012 that there will be no change to the title of the school.


A view of Calday Grange Grammar School, prior to extensive refurbishment.

In the most recent Ofsted inspection report in 2010, the school scored an overall effectiveness of Grade 2 – "Good", with a Grade 3 – "Satisfactory" for the school's capacity for sustained improvement, as the high level inspection judgements. The overall effectiveness of the sixth Form remained unchanged at Grade 2. The outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils remained at Grade 1 – "Outstanding", however quality of teaching and effectiveness of leadership both dropped to a Grade 2 – "Good" and the effectiveness of the governing body dropped two points to Grade 3 – "Satisfactory".[12][13]

In 2002 ten students were offered University places at Oxford or Cambridge, breaking all previous school records.[14]

2008 A-level and GCSE results were the best in the school's history. 62% of A-level grades were at grades A or B and 54% of GCSE grades were at A* or A grade.[citation needed]

The school was also the first in Wirral to be accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer the Diploma Programme, offering it to sixth form students from September 2009 as an alternative to A-levels. However, at a Governors' meeting on 22 March 2012, the decision was made to no longer offer the qualification,[15] and AS Philosophy, Sociology and Sports Studies courses were also cancelled, in order to accommodate on-going funding reductions.

Calday started authorising January examination resits for January 2011 as a trial and are evaluating whether it was successful and beneficial for the students who took part.

Parental Involvement[edit]

The school has a very active group of parents involved in charity and fund-raising initiatives. In the 375th Anniversary year, it has collaborated with Alder Hey Children's hospital on the LeJog project;[16] the first ever completion by a school of a relay from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The aim of this is to raise £3.75 million for childhood cancer research at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where one of the school’s runners is currently receiving chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia.

In addition to charity work, parents have involved themselves in the running of the school through parent governors and have acted as a pressure group to seek to keep the governors and leadership team accountable. This has been especially noticeable through the Concerned Calday Parents Facebook group,[17] which is currently at some 300+ members. This group brought about an early Ofsted inspection and is seeking the early resolution of the perceived mistrust of the governors by the parents as a whole.[18] It was originally set up to seek a fair resolution of the suspension of the headmaster, but has since expanded to cover topics such as trust status, freedom of information and curriculum choices. In order to start a clean slate and to coincide with the new headmaster starting in April 2012, the Facebook group has been wound up and a new, open group started "... intended primarily for parents and carers of children attending Calday Grange Grammar School, although other interested adults (teachers, governors, ex-pupils) are welcome to join and enrich the discussions."[19]



The school is active in sports with pupils competing in local, regional,[20] national[21] and international events[22]


On a sporting front Calday have been very successful over recent years with major success in cross-country running, rugby, with the schools under 16 squad getting to the final of the Daily Mail Vase Cup.


Calday have also had success in Badminton with the KS3 team reaching the Center Parcs National Schools Badminton Finals for two consecutive years[23]


Calday have exceeded at their field of basketball, getting to the finals of many competitions. Also this is a choice of sport on Winter Sports day, among three other choices.


Calday are very successful in Rugby tournaments and have teams in every year group. In 2008 the U15 team reached the final of the Daily Mail Vase only to lose to a penalty goal in added time 7-8 to Langley Park School for Boys.


Calday Cricket Team in every year have won many competitions.They have recently defeated Kingsmead School in the inter-Schools championship.


Hockey is a major sport at Calday with all age groups progressing to the latter stages of the county and regional Finals in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 the first team (under 18) reached the National Finals held at Cannock HC; on the way to the national final they had defeated their opposition (Queen Elizabeth Grammar) in the u18 North Final 8-0,[24] having succeeded in the Wirral final against Birkenhead. After reaching the Nationals, unfortunately the team came last in the tournament.

In 2000 the U16 team reached the final of the National competition, losing to St George's College in the final.[25] Previously the U16 had reached the semi-finals in 1989.

The U18 team had previously achieved regular success in the National competition, winning the competition in 1991, 1985 and 1983, whilst becoming runners up in 1990 and 1984. Much of the success in the early years of this competition was in no small part due to the contribution of Chris Todd, the coach and an international hockey umpire.

Combined Cadet Force[edit]

The school maintains a Combined Cadet Force, the Royal Air Force section of which won the SCOTNINE area Ground Training Competition in 2007, 2008 and 2009, as well as the national drill trophy in 2005.


Drama groups put on school plays, pupils participate in quiz teams.
The school's production of Billy Elliot was performed at the Lowry Theatre, in Manchester, as part of the Billy Youth Theatre in 2010.
Off The Ground Youth Theatre is based in Calday's drama studio.


Pupils have also been involved with various independent entrepreneurial pursuits.[26] The sixth-form-led Amnesty International group is very active and sent a number of representatives to the organisation's AGM in 2009.[27]

According to the school's website, Calday Grammar School maintains exchange links with schools in Germany, Russia[28] and China, as well as Italy.[29] School also has an active School Council with students expressing their views and opinions of the school.


The buildings/blocks are named after past headmasters or the subject taught there. The current buildings and their uses are as follows:

  • The building (A) [Including Michael Cross Drama Studio] – Art and Drama
  • The Business Centre(B) – Business Studies, Economics, Law and Philosophy
  • The Canteen Extension(C) – Music, canteen seating and exhibition space
  • The Dodd building (D) – Design and Technology and Information Technology
  • The E Block(E) – English, careers, counselling and base for the Wirral Able Children Centre
  • The Glasspool building (G) – English and Mathematics
    • The GS block (GS) – Formerly Psychology, now converted into a cooking room.
  • The Hawkins building (H) – Modern Foreign Languages. These Languages are French, Spanish, German, Russian,Chinese and Latin.
  • The Walker building (W) – Sciences, Geography, History and Religious Education
  • The Nigel Briers Building (W) – English, History, Government and Politics and study area
  • The PE building (P) – Physical Education and studies

General Studies can be taught in any block in the school, depending on the rooms of the teachers teaching the subject that year. Each building has a letter code consisting of the first letter of its name, with the exception of the Briers building, which, for this purpose, is considered an extension of the Walker building. These letters are used to designate room names, for example, the second room (2) on the first floor (1) of the Hawkins building (H) is known as H12. Ground floor rooms have no floor number, so the third room (3) on the ground floor of the Walker building (W) is W3. Floor numbering does not extend to the Business Centre, where first floor rooms have single digit numbers.

The school's swimming pool is operated by an independent charity, Calday Grange Swimming Pool Trust.[30]


The school has three Houses named after past benefactors and headmasters. Members of each house are identified by different coloured stripes on the school tie, or in the case of the 6th form, the colour of their lapel pin or 6th form tie.

  • Bennett – Named after Thomas Bennett, House colour Blue.
  • Glegg – Named after William Glegg, House colour Red.
  • Hollowell – Named after Rev. William Hollowell, House colour Green.

There was a fourth house, named after Sir Alfred Paton, with yellow as its colour, closed 1984.

Notable former pupils[edit]


Years Calday Grange Grammar School
1886–1891 Charles T. Blanshard
1891–1920 Rev W. Hollowell
1920–1945 Reginald Thomas Booth Glasspool
1945–1953 R. Eldred. Witt
1953–1964 Prof Eric Hawkins
1965–1978 Rev Kenneth Saxon Watkinson Walker
1978–1979 Peter Dodd (Acting)
1979–1986 Peter Dodd[35]
1986–April 2001 Nigel Briers
April-July 2001 Brian Magor (Acting)
September 2001–September 2002 Nigel Briers
2002–Suspended Oct 2009 Andrew John Hall - originally suspended as Headmaster (October 2009), pending ongoing investigation by an external committee and governors.[36][37]
October 2010–May 2011 Andrew John Hall reinstated as headmaster after protests from numerous parents of pupils to the school). Doctors gave him the 'all clear' to leave hospital after suffering from a life-threatening heart failure in April and his return as headmaster seemed imminent.[38] Subsequent newspaper article reveals that Mr. Hall will be immediately suspended on his return from sick leave.[39] After a series of proposed and cancelled disciplinary hearings, Mr. Hall left under a "joint agreement" with his employers, the details of which have not been released, but which the local newspaper believes to include a financial package of around £60,000.[40]
October 2009–May 2010 Mike Skelly (Acting)[41]
April 2010–April 2012 Gareth Williams, Executive Director during suspension[42] and, subsequently, until a new headmaster can be appointed.

Michael Twist Interim Head of School during suspension and until new headmaster appointed.

No suitable candidate could be found during interviews in July 2011, so the process was repeated in September.[43] It was then later decided that Mr Mark Rodaway was to be the next permanent Head of Calday.[44]

April 2012- Mark Rodaway. It was announced on 2 December 2011 that Mr Rodaway had been appointed as the new Headteacher of Calday Grange Grammar School, and would start at Calday in the Summer term 2012.[44]


  1. ^ "Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council: Promoting Potential: The Wider Education Community: Wirral Able Children Centre". Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  2. ^ "Calday Grange Grammar School: Information: About the school". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  3. ^ McCann, Sue (28 January 2009). "Calday Grange Grammar becomes Wirral's first Trust school". Wirral News (Liverpool: Trinity Mirror). 
  4. ^ "Wirral's Calday Grange grammar school in bid to dissolve trust status after head suspended". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 17 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "A Message from the governing body". School web site. 27 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Letter from Nick Gibb". School web site. 23 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "University of Liverpool abandons partnership with controversy-hit West Kirby school Calday Grange grammar". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 11 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Westminster Hall debate on School Governance, questions by Esther McVey (Wirral West)(Con)". Hansard. 1 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Westminster Hall debate on School Governance, reply by Nick Gibb (Minister of State for Education)". Hansard. 1 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Newsletter 9th September 2011". Parents' newsletter. 9 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Newsletter 2nd November 2012". Parents' newsletter. 2 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Inspection Report: Calday Grange Grammar School, 17–18 November 2010". Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  13. ^ "West Kirby Calday Grange school loses outstanding Ofsted status". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 7 December 2010. 
  14. ^ "New Record". Wirral Globe (Birkenhead). 16 January 2002. 
  15. ^ "Calday Grange Grammar School Parents' Newsletter - 31st March 2012". 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Parent/Carer Attitudinal Survey – January 2011". Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Calday Grammar Parents' group - Facebook page". 
  20. ^ Johnson, Tim (27 November 2007). "Schools cross-country: Battle royale as St Anselm's take on Calday Grammar". Liverpool Echo. 
  21. ^ "England Hockey: National Schools Championship for Boys, 2003–2004". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  22. ^ "Los Reyes 2009 Teams". Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Murphy, Liam (3 December 2007). "Calday Grange: students to open own art gallery". Liverpool Daily Post. 
  27. ^ "The group page on the school website, giving details of the group's activities.". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  28. ^ Calday Grange Grammar School, Registered Charity no. 1056069 at the Charity Commission
  29. ^ Pearce, James (17 July 2008). "Golden greats are Baddeley’s inspiration". Liverpool Echo. 
  30. ^ a b c Protheroe (1976)
  31. ^ "Dick Uren". The Daily Telegraph. UK. 2010-06-30. 
  32. ^ Ellis-Evans, Cynan (15 April 2002). "David Wynn-Williams: Applying the lessons of Antarctica to the study of the stars". The Guardian (London). 
  33. ^ Peter Dodd had been deputy headmaster since 1971, he became acting headmaster when Rev Walker retired and was not appointed permanent headmaster until 1979 (The Caldeian, December 1979)
  34. ^ Headteacher Suspended "Calday Grange grammar school suspends head teacher Andrew Hall". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 13 October 2009. 
  35. ^ Government legal threat "Government′s legal threat to Wirral′s Calday Grange Grammar School over governance". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 19 August 2010. 
  36. ^ "Calday Grange grammar school headteacher Andrew Hall's suspension lifted by governors". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 25 October 2010. 
  37. ^ "Governors to 're-suspend' absent headteacher of West Kirby's Calday Grange school once he can return to work". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 1 November 2010. 
  38. ^ "Andrew Hall leaves post as headmaster of West Kirby’s Calday Grange Grammar School". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  39. ^ Mr Skelly took over after Mr. Hall′s suspension in October 2009 before returning to his former school (Westcliffe High School), as Deputy Headmaster, at the end of May 2010 "Parents Newsletter". Parents Newsletter. 26 February 2010. 
  40. ^ Troubleshooter Appointed "Troubleshooter appointed at Wirral′s Calday Grange Grammar School amid headteacher suspension row". Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool). 19 April 2010. 
  41. ^ "CGGS Newsletter – July 2011". CGGS Website. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  42. ^ a b "CGGS Website - December 2011". CGGS Website. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 


  • Protheroe, M. J. (1976). A History of Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby, 1636–1976. West Kirby: The Parents' Association.

External links[edit]