Colyton Grammar School

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Colyton Grammar School
Motto Expectation and Excellence (Originally Esse Qvam Videri)
Established 1546
Type Grammar school, Academy
Headteacher Mr Paul Evans
Chairman of Governors Dr Christopher J Bastin
Location Whitwell Lane
EX24 6HN
England Coordinates: 50°43′41″N 3°04′21″W / 50.728°N 3.0725°W / 50.728; -3.0725
DfE URN 136366 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 826, including around 214 in the sixth Form
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Colours Blue and gold

Colyton Grammar School (commonly abbreviated to 'CGS') is a co-educational grammar school located in the village of Colyford in East Devon, England and teaches students from years 7 to 13 (ages 11 to 18). The school has been classified by Ofsted as 'Outstanding' in three successive reports.

The school has an open campus style setting situated on a site of over 18 acres (7.3 ha) in total. There have been a number of improvements to the site over recent years, including the construction of a new sixth form study centre, music center, sports hall, chemistry block and arts centre as well as a host of other renovation and landscaping works to improve the continuity of outside areas.

The School has 826 students and just over 50 teaching staff and a similar number of support staff. Paul Evans became headteacher in 2008, succeeding Barry Sindall who held the position of headteacher for 18 years.


The school was founded in 1546, by a group of twenty yeomen and merchants who bought some land from the crown "for the benefit of Colyton". Their first act was to endow a Grammar School "for the goodly and virtuous education of children in Colyton for ever".

The school was first situated in a single room over the porch of the parish church until the Feoffees hired a room in the town and the school was moved. In 1612, the school moved to the Church House, which had been enlarged by having another storey built on to it.

The first headmaster on record was William Hull, who joined the school in 1603, for a salary of £5 a year. The first headmistress – Mrs. Susanah Stokes – was appointed in 1792. It was only in 1875 that the school was established as a day and boarding school with its current name – Colyton Grammar School.

On 20 June 1876, school population reached record low of just one pupil. Numbers steadily increased again and by August 1884, there were 33 pupils. School was closed in 1900, due to a lack of pupils. It remained closed for 5 years until 1905, when it was re-opened with a new headmaster.

In 1913, a change in the school's constitution allows girls to be admitted for the first time and the school officially becomes a co-educational grammar school. A Board of Governors – 15 people – was instituted in 1914. In 1929, the school moved to its present site in Colyford.

Recent developments[edit]

The school began its development and expansion in 1991, with the technology block (later renamed the Feoffees' Building), housing science, home economics and technology classrooms. A new music suite was completed in 1993, followed by the Walker Building in 1996 – a library and resources centre, history classrooms, language classrooms/lab and IT suite. Shortly after, the new canteen opened in 1998 and the year after, 1999, the Sixth Form Study Centre was completed. 2001, saw the construction of the Coly Building – a suite of four classrooms for geography, history and religious studies. In 2003, an additional IT room was opened. A new Sports Hall – complete with sprung flooring, changing rooms and dance studio – was built in 2004, as well as the re-surfacing of the all-weather pitch. In 2006, a new Arts Centre and a re-built Chemistry Block, were completed. Finished in Summer 2008, was The Sindall's building, containing an extended sixth form centre to allow for the new 3-year sixth form and two new physics laboratories. This has allowed for the refurbishment of technology rooms and teaching, with three new or refurbished technology rooms and a CAD/CAM suite. The development also included a major reshuffle of room allocations to subjects such as Geography, Religious Studies and History, as well as Technology and Physics, to allow more effective teaching and efficient room allocating. The school now has solar panels on the roof of Take Five, the canteen, as well as developing an eco-woodland reserve to make the school more environmentally friendly. Also a Green Society is in place to help raise awareness of environmental issues. In 2010, an extension to the music block was added, including additional teaching rooms and a performance area.

The school offers the AQA Baccalaureate but has no current plans to offer the International Baccalaureate as an alternative to A levels.

The school, as of 2007, had students taking GCSEs in year 10 as opposed to year 11, allowing for a three-year Sixth Form.

On 1 January 2011, Devon County Council ceased to maintain the school. The school became one of the Coalition Government's Academies. Colyton Grammar School Academy Trust, an exempt charity and company limited by guarantee assumed responsibility for this state funded independent school.

The school is a member of the South West Academic Trust, which brings together selective schools across the south west of England to share good practice.


The school hosts a number of traditions which have shown to be very popular with the pupils.

6th Form Entertainment[edit]

On the last day of every Autumn term the Year 13 pupils put on a show for the rest of the school known as 'sixth form entertainment'.[1] As it is performed in the school hall, space restraints mean that a large quantity of it is usually prepared beforehand as a series of videos inter-spaced with brief periods of live acting

Muck-up day[edit]

On the year 13 students' last day, there is a rather more controversial tradition known as 'muck up day'. In the past, students were given much more of a free rein although over the years, regulations have clamped down on students to keep things within school regulations.[2]

The most successful muck up day was the 'leavers fest' of 2012 in which the school was turned into a festival.[3] This took place before newly enforced regulations, so the students were able to spend a considerable amount of the night assembling tents and other themed decorations around the school (as well as the usual pranks).

These included 'ticket marshals' handing out festival wristbands, a 'rave tent' in the sixth form centre, refreshment stands, and temporarily erected stages around the school. The names of the stages were taken from the 'Beautiful Days' festival ('main stage' and 'big top') [4] and musically talented students performed at breaks and lunchtime for the rest of the school.

Although there was some controversy (such as an incident with 'numerous cups of water' in a stairwell, and a large quantity of newspaper in the staff room) the day finished on a high with a group of Year 13's performing a cover [5] of 'Stay close to each other' by Exeter Ska band [6] Melosa

Other past themes have included 'Zombie invasion' (2014) and 'Pirates' (2013).


In late 2013, head of Physics Peter Webber was arrested following a police investigation into his online activities. "Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said: "The officer asked whether he would act on his fantasies in relation to having sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl and he indicated he would." Webber later pleaded guilty to fifteen charges of making and two of distributing indecent images. Webber was said to had over 6,000 images of child abuse porn on his computer at the time of the arrest. Webber was jailed for six months, but then later the court ruled a two-year suspension and an order to attend a sex offenders programme by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.[7]


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