Caterham School

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Caterham School
Caterham School.jpg
Motto Latin: veritas sine timore
("Truth without Fear")
Established 1811
Type Independent day and boarding school
Religion Protestant (United Reformed Church)
Headmaster Julian Thomas
Founder The Rev. John Townsend
Location Harestone Valley Road
United Kingdom United Kingdom Coordinates: 51°16′21″N 10°05′12″W / 51.2726°N 10.086651°W / 51.2726; -10.086651
Staff ~200
Students ~1100
Gender Co-educational (3-18)
Ages 3–18
Houses 9
Colours Black & Yellow          
Former pupils Old Caterhamians

Caterham School is an independent coeducational day and boarding school in Caterham, Surrey and a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.


Caterham School was founded as the Congregational School in 1811 in Lewisham, by the Reverend John Townsend to provide a boarding education for the sons of Congregational Ministers. The abolitionist politician and philanthropist William Wilberforce was a Governor of the School from its foundation until his death in 1833.[1]

By 1884, the School had outgrown its premises, and the 114 boys with their teaching staff moved to the present site in the North Downs in Surrey. In 1890, Caterham opened its doors to the sons of laymen and to day boys. In 1995, after 184 years as a boys' day and boarding school, it merged with Eothen School for girls (founded by the Misses Pye in 1892) to become a coeducational school. Girls had been admitted to the Sixth Form education since 1981, but the merger integrated the schools and enabled co-education to be offered to pupils aged 3 years and upward.


The schools fees are comparable with other Independent Schools in the area. If the applicant performs particularly well on the entrance exam tests, the school may award a scholarship. The scholarships can either be academic, art, music, sport or all-rounder. The academic scholarships are up to 50% off the school fees. The school also has a bursaries scheme for children of United Reformed Church Ministers, for families in the armed forces or those on a low income.


Academic results have improved steadily over the years and A Level results have now established the school in the top 100 of UK Independent Schools. In the latest GCSE results, 99.5% of grades were A* to C. 2013 was a record breaking year for GCSE results, with every school record broken. The majority of the Sixth Form go on to top tier universities. At A Level 92.5% of grades were A*-B. The biology department has received Good School Guide awards for A Level results for the past 7 consecutive years.[2]

Music Department[edit]

The music department boasts over 20 music groups, with regular music lessons for students throughout the week. The music and drama department often combine to put on a school production. Many students are at Grade 8 standard with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Some students even have diplomas in their chosen instrument.

General information[edit]

The 200-acre (81 ha) campus provides many facilities for extra curricular activity including 18 different sports, 20 music groups and over 36 clubs and societies. A new science block was completed in 2006. It contains fifteen laboratories: five physics, five chemistry and five biology. In 2008 the North Wing was rebuilt to create a new Sixth Form Centre and to provide a new location for the on-site health centre. The school has a thriving Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

Caterham School has an outstanding reputation for sport, with the school regularly producing talented players. The school boasts a team of coaches in the priority sports of rugby, hockey, cricket, lacrosse and netball. As well as being committed to supporting those with exceptional sporting talent, the school is also dedicated to providing as many pupils as possible the chance to participate in sport.

The Preparatory School now has 280 pupils and the senior school (11 years to 18 years) has 870 pupils of which circa 165 board.

The current Headmaster is Julian Thomas, appointed in 2007.

The school has an exchange-based relationship with Western Reserve Academy, an American prep school.

The school has also established a supportive relationship with a primary school in Tanzania, for which it raises money as part of annual charitable fundraising activities. Each year Sixth Form students travel to Tanzania to aid in the development of the primary school. The School has more recently begun sponsoring schools in the Ukraine (Nagydobrony) and in India (as of summer 2012)

Notable Old Caterhamians[edit]


External links[edit]