Ermysted's Grammar School

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Ermysteds Grammar School
Ermysteds.jpg
Motto Suivez La Raison
Established 1492
Type Voluntary aided grammar
Headmaster Graham Hamilton
Deputy Heads Mr. D G Clough, Mr. I McMechan
Founders Peter Toller, William Ermysted
Location Gargrave Road
Skipton
North Yorkshire
BD23 1PL
England Coordinates: 53°57′48″N 2°01′22″W / 53.9634°N 2.0227°W / 53.9634; -2.0227
Local authority North Yorkshire
DfE URN 121716 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 50
Students 800
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses Ermysted     
Hartley     
Petyt     
Toller     
Colours Black and White         
Website www.ermysteds.n-yorks.sch.uk

Ermysted's Grammar School is a LEA-funded selective boys' Grammar School in Skipton, North Yorkshire, England, with an enrollment of over 800 pupils. It was founded by Peter Toller in the 15th century and is the seventh oldest state school in Britain.[citation needed] The first official record of the school was seen in Peter Toller's will in 1492; the school records its establishment as the same year.

The motto of the school is "Suivez La Raison", French for "follow the truth". The school operates a house system with inter-house competition in sports, and an annual house quiz held around Christmas. The four houses—Toller, Ermysted, Petyt, and Hartley—are named after key figures in the school's history. Whilst the school operated a boarding house, its boarders were members of School House which, in later years, was affiliated with Ermysted House for the purposes of inter-house competition.

The A-level results of 2006 officially placed it as the best school in Yorkshire, ranking higher than fee-paying schools, and amongst the top 25 nationally.[1][not in citation given] In 2008, it was reported that the school achieved the best Yorkshire state-school A-level exam results.[2][3]

In 2007 the school came 76th in the top 100 UK schools in terms of Oxbridge admissions.[4]

The current headmaster is Graham Hamilton;[5] his predecessor, Thomas Ashworth, retired at the end of the 2007-2008 school year.

History timeline[edit]

Sylvester Petyt who endowed the school with £30,000. Portrait from the National Portrait Gallery

Founding, eighteenth-century bequests, siting, and land usage[edit]

In 1492, Peter Toller's will confirmed that he had already founded a school in his chantry of St Nicholas in the parish church, the school takes this as its founding date. In 1548, Edward VI's government took over all chantry lands. William Ermysted re-founded the school with new lands and moved it to the bottom of Shortbank Road. In 1707 and 1719, the wills of Old Boys William and Sylvester Petyt made bequests to the school, and enabled the foundation of the Petyt Library and Petyt Trust.[6][7]

In 1773, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal reached Skipton, partly built on E.G.S. land.

Nineteenth century building[edit]

In 1875, the Gargrave Road building was begun to accommodate 50 day boys and 50 boarders; and, from 1876 to 1907, Mr E. T. Hartley served as headmaster of the new school. In 1882, the Pool and the Old Gym (now I.C.T., music and R.S. rooms) begun, and in 1895 the Science block was built (now A.P.L. + staff quiet room).

Twentieth century[edit]

War memorials[edit]

In 1924, the First World War memorial library was set up by the Old Boys' Society (now the Governors' Board Room). In 1959, the Memorial Hall (to those lost in the Second World War) was opened. In 1989, School House closed its doors to boarders.

Cook Cup, new buildings[edit]

In 1929, the first award of Cook Cup for champion house was won by Hartley House.

In 1933 the "New buildings" opened (now rooms A-H, staff room, and science laboratories).

Quincentenary[edit]

In 1992, the Quincentenary celebrations included a visit by H.R.H. The Princess Royal, a pageant, and a new, commemorative sports hall.

Twenty-first century[edit]

Building and remodeling[edit]

In 2002, "The Great Gas Leak of 2002" occurred, when one of the school's typically decrepit gas taps caused the entire school to be evacuated onto the bottom fields.

In 2003, the New English/CDT block was opened by H.R.H. The Duke of Kent. In 2007 the New Refectory, built on the site of the 1927 'San'(atorium), replaced the aging canteen as the school's dining room. In 2008, a new gym was installed in the sports hall, and the old gym and the sixth form common room were converted into two new ICT classrooms and two new religious studies classrooms. In the same year, the school library merged with IT1 to extend the library into the original "Big School". In 2009, the Memorial Library was refurnished; and a new Sixth Form Library was created, replacing the old Boarders' Dining Room. From 2010 to 2011, a new 'Food Technology' block was constructed.

Specialist status[edit]

In 2006, Ermysted's gained specialist status in science and mathematics.

Old Boys' Society website[edit]

In 2014, a new website for the Old Boys' Society was launched.

Current buildings[edit]

The school is now situated between Gargrave Road and Grassington Road, although the sixteenth century school house can still be seen on Shortbank Road. The majority of buildings date from the 19th and early 20th centuries, although many newer buildings now exist. The latter include the sports hall, opened in 1992 to commemorate the school's 500th anniversary, the £7 million Refectory development north of the main site, and the 'English Block', which houses the school's CDT and English departments in addition to one of four ICT facilities.

Following recent increases in funding, resulting from the school's specialist status, most of the classrooms in the older buildings have been refurbished and brought up to modern standards. This includes the introduction of electronic whiteboards to most classrooms and the recent carpeting of all rooms in School House building. A local construction company recently completed the construction of a new food technology building to the east of the main site (between the English Block and the Refectory), which opened in September 2011, to coincide with the introduction of cookery lessons to the curriculum.

Ofsted inspections[edit]

In the 2000 Ofsted inspection, the school's results were "very high" against the national average, especially upon entry, where year 7s (age 11/12) work to a level "expected of pupils aged 14". An "outstanding" 6th form with a wide range of subjects was noted. The school was considered "very successful" at allowing pupils to reach high academic standards, and the quality of teaching is "good".[8]

In the 2005 Ofsted inspection, the sixth form was described as "outstanding" and achieved Grade 1 Outstanding in every category of assessment.[9]

The 2008 Ofsted inspection was on 22 October, and the school was delighted to receive an "Outstanding" verdict overall. Seven out of eight areas were given an outstanding verdict.[10]

Events[edit]

The school has two principal annual events. Founders' Day takes place in December, when a service is held in Skipton Parish Church to commemorate the school's founders and benefactors. Many Old Boys attend both the service and the Annual Dinner, which follows the Old Boys' Society annual general meeting (AGM). Speech Day, in July, is the annual prize-giving and summation of the school year. In addition to these two events, the active Parents' Association organises many social and fund-raising events, such as a biennial ball, wine tasting, and big-band nights

Sport[edit]

Rugby Kit
Football Kit

Sport is a major part of Ermysted's life. The school competes in Rugby Union, Cross-Country, Orienteering, Cricket, and Football tournaments with teams, and has gained considerable success in the events entered. The 1st XI Football are currently enjoying a fruitful campaign and won the county shield. The 1st XV Rugby team won the Daily Mail Vase Final 2007, the national schools competition, whilst also winning the Yorkshire Cup in 2014. Meanwhile, the cross-country team continues to dominate in the North of England, perhaps due to the fact that once every year all students are required to participate in a school cross-country race that takes place in Aireville Park during the Autumn Term. In December, Ermysted's "Inter Boys" team finished runners-up in the National Final of the English Schools' Cross-Country Cup competition, held at St. Albans. This repeated the performance of the 2005 Junior Boys team at Leeds. Occurring annually in the Summer term is Sports Day, during which students compete at athletics in front of a huge crowd.[citation needed]

Music[edit]

The school's Big Band has toured Germany three times, most recently in 2010, under the tutelage of music teacher Simon Gregory; and it regularly performs in concerts at school as well as at other prestigious local venues. To date, they have produced two CDs. Ermysted's also has a developing string group, which provides ensemble experience to young pupils and solo experience to the virtuosic older pupils. The Junior Big Band is a stepping stone to the senior band and is primarily for pupils in Years 7–9.[citation needed] A significant proportion of boys receive musical tuition at school. There are now three practice rooms, in addition to the main music room and the hall, available for pupils and their amateur bands to rehearse in.

The school has a notable record in providing players to ensembles at all levels. The two most recent leaders of the highly commended Harrogate Youth Jazz Orchestra have come from Ermysted's. The school is always well represented in the other senior ensembles of Harrogate Music Centre, and has provided the county ensembles with no fewer than a dozen members over the last few years.[citation needed] Two ex-Ermysted's pupils played for the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Jazz Orchestra during their time at Ermysted's and have both gone to Chetham's to further their music education.[citation needed]

Drama[edit]

Although Drama is not taught as a subject in its own right, it forms an integral part of the English curriculum, and a weekly Drama Club meets.

School plays occur once every two years, in conjunction with Skipton Girls' High School. In addition to various pantomimes and subject-related (namely Latin and Modern Foreign Languages) drama activities, house plays by Years 7–9 occur annually in the Autumn term, with an independent adjudicator voting for the best play.

A group of pupils also take part in the annual English Schools' Shakespeare Festival. In 2007, an edited version of Julius Caesar was performed at Bradford's Priestley Theatre. Just before the Autumn half-term in 2008, an abridged version of Hamlet was performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

In recent years, film has emerged as an increasingly popular form of drama at the school, leading to the first Ermytainers Film Festival being held on 12 July 2013, and showcasing a range of student films.

Debating[edit]

The school has a long history of competitive debating; and after a hiatus of some years, a debating club was set up in late 2006. The school puts forward teams in many events with some success: in 2007, Ermysted's pupils were placed third, out of 24 schools, in the Great Shakespeare Debate, in Stratford-upon-Avon; and they reached the regional final of the ESU Schools Debating Mace. In 2009–2010, Ermysted's Sixth-formers went a step further, participating in the European Youth Parliament Debating Forum National Final, having won the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Final, and winning the Great Shakespeare Debate outright.

School publication[edit]

The Chronicles of Ermysted's is the official annual school magazine, containing details of school events, student visits, results, and school activities, although in recent years its publication has been somewhat hit-and-miss.

Notable former pupils[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ermysted's Grammar School – News
  2. ^ "Pupils have A-level success down to a fine art". The Yorkshire Post. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Exam Results 2014". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Table2: Top 100 schools by Oxbridge admissions hit rate" (PDF). The Guardian. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "An introduction by the Head Teacher, Mr Graham Hamilton". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "A Brief History of EGS". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "General Information about Ermysted's". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Woodward, Mark (7 December 2000). Inspection report: Ermysted's Grammar School (PDF) (Report). Ofsted. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Wall, Stephen (18 October 2005). Ermysted's Grammar School: Inspection report (PDF) (Report). Ofsted. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  10. ^ James, Ruth (22 October 2008). Ermysted's Grammar School: Inspection report (PDF) (Report). Ofsted. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Tate, Lesley (26 November 2014). "Blake Morrison joins opposition to proposed cuts at Skipton Library". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 

External links[edit]