Gravesend Grammar School
Latin for: Take thought for everyone
|Type||Grammar school, academy|
|DfE URN||137099 Tables|
Gravesend Grammar School is a selective grammar school with academy status located in Gravesend, Kent, England. The school accepts boys at age 11 by examination and boys and girls at 16, based on their GCSE results.
Gravesend Grammar School was opened on 19 July 1893 in a lavish ceremony by Princess Beatrice of Battenberg, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria. The school was originally based in Darnley Road, Gravesend and later moved to the site of Milton Hall, the former home of G. M. Arnold, a former Mayor of Gravesend and one of the founders of the school. The original building is currently used as an adult education centre. The replacement building is still in use although many alterations and additions have been made to it since it was originally constructed, including being partly rebuilt after being bombed during World War II, having been mistaken for Eton College.
A second school building, known as the Centenary Building, was built in 1993 to commemorate the school's 100th year and currently houses facilities including multiple computer facilities and chemistry labs. There are a number of mobile classrooms around the school site, used for various subjects, although these are beginning to be replaced by more permanent buildings.
In July 2009 a new sports centre was opened, adjacent to the sports hall, and named the Sanderson Sports Centre, after the former headmaster. Overall, there are 63 classrooms, including six computer rooms, all of which contain interactive whiteboards, as well as a library, a sports hall, several small music practice rooms and a canteen available to all staff and pupils. In 2013 the main school and the Centenary Building were linked by a new building containing eight new classrooms including a large art room.
In 2004 the school gained specialist status as a maths and computing specialist school. This guarantees the school extra government funding in order to continue the running and expansion of its facilities. The school also gained language specialist status, in 2008.
- Chair of the Governing Body: Graham Ralph
- Headteacher: Geoffrey S. Wybar
- Assistant Headteachers: Matt Allen (Director of Specialist School), Ben Chapelard (Director of Languages), Malcolm Moaby (Head of Lower School), John Gogarty (Head of Middle School) and Sarah Tremain (Head of Senior School).
- Director of Support Services: Mike Fall
On 1 August 2011 the school became an academy trust.
Names of the school
- 1893 - 1898 The Gravesend Municipal Technical School
- 1898 - 1904 The Gravesend Municipal Day School
- 1904 - 1914 The Gravesend County Day School
- 1914 - 1946 The County School for Boys, Gravesend
- 1946 - 1967 The Gravesend Grammar School for Boys
- 1967 - 1982 The Gravesend School for Boys
- 1982 - 1999 Gravesend Grammar School for Boys
- 1999 - present Gravesend Grammar School
In 1926 the present house system was introduced replacing the former houses of Goths, Vikings and Saxons. Originally the pupils in each year group were divided into four houses reflecting where they lived. This distinction no longer applies with the choice of house now often linked to family connections:
- Cliff (Blue House tie) - Derived from the Overcliffe, for boys from the west of the Borough
- Down (Yellow House tie) - Reflecting the North Downs, for boys from the south of the Borough
- Hill (Green House tie) - From Windmill Hill, for boys from the east of the Borough
- Town (Red House tie) - As the name implies, boys drawn from the town area
In 1993 to reflect the growing size of the school, a fifth house was introduced:
- School (Purple House tie)
In 2012 a sixth house was created:
- Fleet (White House tie)
The 2009 year group also has a Fleet house form. Originally called (rain)Bow the 30 students belonged to the older five houses. In 2012 the students received Fleet house ties in place of their original house ties.
Head boy team and prefects
Each year, a head boy and a team of five deputies are elected from the Lower Sixth (Year 12). Several weeks before the Easter holiday, any student wishing to stand for either position must submit a manifesto to the Head of Year. Hustings are then held, in which the candidates put forward their ideas and reasons for wishing to be elected. The Year 12 group and staff vote then for their choices for head boy and deputies. The candidates with the most votes then have an interview with the headteacher and the successful candidates are announced just before the term ends. As the school now has a mixed sixth form the team is also mixed.
There are a large number of prefects in the school, ranging from subject prefects to pastoral ones in charge of areas of the school such as the library or the canteen. There is a dedicated team of about 15 students to ensure appropriate use of ICT facilities at break and lunchtimes. All members of the prefect and head boy teams are issued a blue shield-shaped badge with their position engraved on it.
A group of students were chosen to be part of the schools "digital council". They are involved in choosing, evaluating and buying technology for the school, and helping teachers learn how to use new technology. They are currently testing tablets, which the school hopes to buy for each pupil.
The Sixth Form currently contains approximately 300 students, studying A Levels in a variety of subjects. Each week there is a "General Education" session for the Lower Sixth, in which various speakers, such as the local MP or representatives from Israeli and Palestinian Support Charities, speak. The school also provides free "Driveability" sessions for the Year 12 students that outline the various risks and responsibilities of learning to drive. There are several extracurricular clubs specifically for the Sixth Form, including an A+ computing course, and a Film Club.
Pupils begin to prepare for career choices in Year 9, where they start to have one lesson a fortnight being taught various aspects of careers, including interview techniques and how to write CVs. These lessons continue until the end of Year 11. In addition, all Year 11 pupils have a week's work experience in a variety of locations, from local prep schools to companies in London. They also have group careers interviews with a Connexions advisor, with one on one sessions if requested. The school has a Careers Library that any student can use, containing prospectuses and information from various Universities, as well as information about possible careers paths.
Sport plays a very big part of life at the school with all GCSE students taking physical education short courses. There are a number of specialist PE teachers who coach a variety of teams, including cricket, badminton, rugby and hockey, as well as facilities for basketball, table tennis and athletics. Handball was introduced in 2010.
The school has undertaken overseas rugby tours to South Africa, Cananda, USA, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The school currently had a British Pentathlon Champion in 2011.
Drama and music
The school GCSE and A Level groups have staged productions such as Grease, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, West Side Story, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Animal Farm, The Madness of King George, Grimm Tales, The Crucible, The Little Shop of Horrors and The Threepenny Opera. New productions have been staged, including some written by student and teachers such as The Letter of Marque (pronounced "Mark"), directed by Carrie Lee-Grey (SMOOSH) and written by Ashley Tomlin (Old Gravesendian and former Head of Middle School). There are a number of musical organisations at the school, including guitar and recorder clubs, a chamber orchestra and a choir.
Recent years have seen educational visits to France, Italy, and Germany, including various exchanges, as well as slightly less adventurous trips to places such as The Globe Theatre, Chessington World of Adventures, the Phoenix Theatre, port lymph animal park and The British Museum. Senior students have been to Bolivia, Peru, Mongolia, Zambia and Botswana as part of the World Challenge Expedition. Ski trips have taken place to Italy and Canada. The school has also taken pupils to canoe down the Ardèche and to scuba dive in Gozo.
Motto and school song
The school motto, Consule Cunctis, was adopted in 1925, and whilst originally translated as "Do thou take thought for the good of all men", is now taken to mean "take thought for everyone". Originally, the school song was "Forty Years On", the school song for Harrow School, but in 1926 two friends of the Headmaster wrote a new song, also called "Consule Cunctis". "Forty Years On" continued to be sung along with the new song at important dates in the school calendar, such as Speech Day, until the late Forties. To reflect the ever increasing numbers and diversity of the school, and particularly the inclusion of female students within the sixth form, the words have changed, in theory at least, from "four hundred fellows" to "one thousand students".
- Consule cunctis we readily grant it,
- Who will not hearten the song as we chant it,
- Some one thousand students assembled in Hall?
- Though the splendour of life shall illumine our faces,
- Whilst boyhood's a game that delights us, and graces,
- Our 'Play for the side with your face to the ball'.
- Consule cunctis in fair or rough weather,
- We'll play 'til the whistle, stand fast all together,
- We one thousand students assembled in Hall.
- Though the ground to our feet may ring flintily, dustily,
- Forget not the chorus but sing it right lustily,
- And 'Play for the side with your face to the ball'.
- Consule cunctis when schooldays are ending,
- There's none shall escape from the duties attending,
- All one thousand students assembled in Hall.
- Consule cunctis the world stands before us,
- And we'll yet make it join in our full-throated chorus,
- Of 'Play for the side with your face to the ball'
- Head Boy: School, selah, c'est a dire!
- School: Alors, oui, bon! Ou aye, ou aye, aye, zen, zen, zen, Gravesend !
Many boys, erroneously, still sing the original School Song, which refers to "Fellows" as opposed to "Students".
- 1893 - 1898 James T. Dalladay AMC
- 1898 - 1924 H.F.A. Wigley FCS
- 1924 - 1946 The Very Rev Samuel Lister
- 1946 - 1963 William H.E. Stevens
- 1963 - 1968 H. Peter Arnold-Craft
- 1968 - 1974 Roy Cooke
- 1974 - 1977 John A. Brogden
- 1978 - 1985 Peter T. Sanderson DLC
- 1985 - 2000 Peter J. Read
- 2000 - present Geoffrey S. Wybar
Deputy Head Masters
- 1893 - 1898 S.A. Sworn
- 1898 - 1907 James T. Dalladay AMC
- 1907 - 1931 D. Foster
- 1931 - 1936 H. Law
- 1936 - 1958 A. Richards
- 1958 - 1964 Les C. Furley
- 1964 - 1973 Edwin W. Walker
- 1973 - 1977 Peter T. Sanderson DLC
- 1979 - 1986 John E. Edwards
- 1986 - 1990 Robin H. Curtis
- 1990 - 2013 Brian Simpson
- 2004 - 2008 Joanne L. Seymour
Notable former pupils
- Sir Derek Barton FRS (1918-1998), organic chemist and Nobel Prize laureate
- George Box FRS (1919- ), statistician, President of the American Statistical Association, 1978, President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 1979
- Squadron Leader Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer VC DFC & Bar (1920–1944)
- Sir Richard Southwood DL FRS (1931–2005), professor of zoology and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1989-1993
- Johnny Hills (1934- ), professional footballer, Tottenham Hotspur
- Peter Furley (1935- ), emeritus professor of tropical biogeography, University of Edinburgh, 2001–present
- Brian Newbould (1936- ), professor of music, Hull University, 1979-2001
- Janis Antonovics FRS (1942- ), professor of biology, University of Virginia, 1998–present, winner of the 1999 Sewall Wright Award
- Jonathan A. Martin OBE (1943- ), head of BBC Sport, 1982-2000
- David Nicholls (1943–2008), Kent cricketer
- Peter Jones (businessman) CBE (1944- ), Chairman of the Horserace Totaliser Board (the Tote), 1997–2008, President of the Racehorse Owners' Association, 1990–1993 and Chairman Dorset Police Authority, 1997-2003
- David Sharpe (surgeon) OBE (1946- ), professor of aesthetic plastic surgery at Bradford University, President of British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 1997-1998
- David A. Cooke (1949- ), England rugby international
- Mark Greengrass (1949 - ), professor of early modern history, Sheffield University, 1997-2009
- Geoff Whitehorn (1951- ), guitarist and singer-songwriter, member of Procol Harum
- Tony Porter (1952- ), Bishop of Sherwood, 2006–present
- Richard T. Russell (1952- ), author of the BBC BASIC for Windows programming language
- Paul Greengrass (1955- ), BAFTA winning and Academy Award nominated film director
- Alan Riach (1957- ), professor of Scottish literature, Glasgow University, 2001–present
- Mike Clarke (RSPB) (1959- ), chief executive, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), 2010–present
- Stephen Webster (1960- ), jewellery designer
- Christopher Owen (1963- ), professor of physics, space and climate physics, University College London, 2008–present
- Mike Woodin (1965–2004), former principal speaker for the Green Party of England and Wales
- Adrian Owen (1966- ), neuroscientist
- Neil McDonald (chess player) (1967- ), chess grandmaster
- Howard Saunders (1968- ), musician and composer from Lunatic Calm
- Cliff Stammers (1968- ), writer, musician, entrepreneur Founder of Oxberry Software
- Alex Hryniewicz (1983- ), BAFTA winning TV producer
- Andrew Cave-Brown (1988- ), professional footballer, Leyton Orient
- At the end of each academic year a school magazine, The Miltonian, is published. Generally it includes valedictories to leaving staff members, reviews of sporting seasons and drama productions, accounts of school trips and other events which took place during the previous year.