The Harvey Grammar School

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The Harvey Grammar School
Motto Temeraire redoutable et fougueux
Established 1674
Type Grammar academy
Founder Sir Eliab Harvey
Location Cheriton Road
CT19 5JY
England Coordinates: 51°05′11″N 1°09′26″E / 51.08627°N 1.1573°E / 51.08627; 1.1573
DfE number 886/4101
DfE URN 138480 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 992
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses Resolution
Website The Harvey Grammar School

The Harvey Grammar School is located in Folkestone, Kent, England. It is a grammar school with academy status founded by Sir Eliab Harvey in 1674.


A selective school for boys only, the grammar school had around 940 on its roll in 2007-2008. Although officially known as the Harvey Grammar School, it is called The Harvey by many locals or abbreviated to HGS, as its partner school the Folkestone School for Girls is known "FSG".

The school is situated on the A2034 (once the A20) at the junction of the B2064 and near the Folkestone West railway station, Folkestone Cricket Club and Folkestone Invicta F.C.. It is easily accessed from the last junction of the M20 motorway.


The grammar school was established in 1674, following the death of William Harvey, the eminent physician and discoverer of the major details of blood circulation. A small class with one schoolmaster was first created, until Eliab Harvey, William's nephew, acting as executor of his uncle's will, founded a larger school of the same name.

In July 1921, the body of the headmaster of the day, 43-year-old Major Harold Arthur Denham, was found in undergrowth in Hawkinge with self-inflicted bullet wounds. An inquest later arrived at a verdict of "suicide while temporarily insane".[1]

Leadership and structure[edit]

The current Headteacher is Scott Norman who succeeded Bill Wright in January 2014. The current Chair of Governors is John Dennis, who replaced the long-serving Trevor Greening in 2006. The school has a well established house system, with four houses (Discovery, Endeavour, Resolution and Victory) that use the colours green, blue, red and yellow respectively.

The school[edit]

The main school site is situated in the Folkestone suburb of Cheriton. It has been there since 1912-13 when the main building was constructed. In 1989, school buildings in the town centre, next to the Folkestone Library, were closed on completion of a new Science & Technology Block on the main site. A sports hall was added in 1997 and, in 2001, a further building was added with facilities for ICT, Art, Business Studies and Biology; this was named the John Edwards Centre in 2002 in honour of the school's headmaster from 1986 to 2002. The school also boasts an adjacent sports field with a cricket pavilion named after former pupil Les Ames (Kent and England wicketkeeper-batsman); money for this was raised by the Old Harveians Association under the leadership of its President, John Smith. The pavilion was opened in 1997 by Colin Cowdrey in a ceremony also attended by Godfrey Evans, another famous former Kent and England wicketkeeper. In a special match to mark the pavilion opening, the school's 1st XI cricket team played a celebrity team that included ex Kent and England opening batsmen Brian Luckhurst and Mike Denness. The school also benefits from the proximity of council-owned sports facilities, including a floodlit astroturf pitch.

The Harvey's badge is worn by all boys 11–16 on their school uniform. The uniform consists of a black blazer with badge, black trousers and black shoes, a white shirt and a tie. The tie of which uses the colour corresponding to the pupil's house, in a diagonal-stripe fashion. The sixth form wear a different, less strict but still formal suit of their choice, with a different tie which is plain black with the school badge insignia emblem. Once they have reached the sixth form, this can rise to have a single house-coloured stripe diagonally across, to denote prefect status.

In 2005, the Harvey was awarded specialist status in sport with mathematics. Even before the Sports College status, the Harvey had an excellent record in sport across the county of Kent and beyond. It has reached more county football and cricket finals than any other school in Kent, a proud tradition largely established by long-standing Head of PE Alan Philpott (1957–92) (alumnus). The school itself has a structure which encourages competition at all levels, not only sport. A House music and a technology competition are examples of two of the non-sport inter-house activities, which the Harvey have introduced in recent years to benefit boys less interested in sport.

House Name Form Initial (Eg)
Discovery D (DJ (junior) or DS (senior)
Endeavour E (EJ (junior) or ES (senior)
Resolution R (RJ (junior) or RS (senior)
Victory V (VJ (junior) or VS (senior)

Now these have been changed in September 2009 to four houses, the pupils decided what to call them on a survey, and they decided on four famous ships. These are now the names of the houses: Discovery, Endeavour, Resolution and Victory. The form groups have also been put into vertical tutor groups. This means year 7, 8 and 9s will be in a form so the school gets a mix and also Yr 10 and up together. This is one of the last schools to go into vertical tutoring in the area.

Academic record[edit]

It educates boys from the age of 11-19. Academic standards are high, and many of the boys achieve good GCSE grades. The majority go onto the Sixth Form which was praised by OFSTED in 2011. OFSTED also praised the school for the pastoral care of its students which includes continual revision of targets and parent information evenings for GCSE options, Sixth Form study and parent evenings. The flexibility offered by the school, especially at A Level where it works very closely with the Folkestone School for Girls to provide an extensive range of subjects, makes it a popular choice in the area. The Harvey often achieves above 60% A*-B grades at A Level and close to 100% 5 A*-C at GCSE.

Michael Howard, former local MP and former Leader of the Conservative Party, described the Harvey as "a jewel in Folkestone's crown" at a school prize-giving, whilst the Good State Schools Guide refers to the Harvey as "a potent mix of friendliness and formality, of tradition and innovation".[citation needed]

In the 2011/12 academic year Ofsted rated the school as good with a number of outstanding features.

Many school leavers choose go on to study a wide range of degree subjects at university. A handful of students apply to Oxford or Cambridge each year, with successful applications in the last few years in subjects including Natural Sciences, Mathematics with Physics, English Language and Literature, Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic and Philosophy, Politics & Economics.

Specialist and academy status[edit]

The school converted to academy status on 1 August 2012 and holds specialisms in Sport and Mathematics.

Community involvement[edit]

The Harvey promotes charities very strongly and has to date (2006) raised around £110,000 for charity through an Annual Sponsored Walk around the surrounding coastline and/or countryside. Each year around 900 people set out along a marshalled route with sponsored cards to help raise money for charity. In 2006 the Harvey raised over £10,000 for the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent. The money raised varies from year to year but the highest to date was £15,000 with one pupil James Webb (year 10) raising over £300. After a three-year period, Mr Bill Wright has reinstated tag days, which generally occur on Red Nose Day. An annual Prize Day is held at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone to recognise those boys who have achieved a high standard in academic and/or sporting activities. The Headmaster, Chair of Governors, Head Boy and Guest Speaker are invited onto the stage to make speeches and then prizes are presented to the recipients.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

There is an extensive range of trips: to the United States for football, to Barbados for cricket, and Barcelona and the Netherlands for hockey and basketball. The football trips to the USA have taken place every other year since 1989. The 2009 trip saw the Harvey return home undefeated, having comprehensively beaten Susquehanna Valley High School, Conklin, New York, Owego Free Academy, and Seton Catholic Central High School, Binghamton. Cricket tours to Barbados have taken place in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011 and another will take place in 2014; together with the USA football tours, have all been organised by Senior Vice-Principal Phil Harding. The Barbados tours replaced the highly popular annual cricket tours to the West Country. In the past twenty years, over 1200 students have taken part in the school's annual ski trip. Curriculum-related trips to France, Germany and Italy form an integral part of the school's Languages programme, whilst History trips to the Somme and Politics visits to Parliament and 10 Downing Street are annual events. There is also a highly popular Activities Week and opportunities for Work Experience. The school has a Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme, highly successful[citation needed] Young Enterprise groups in the sixth form, and an award-winning Debating Group. Music is achieving a much higher profile under the guidance of a new and dynamic Curriculum Leader, Steve Barker, and a jazz band, The Red Herrings, the brainchild of four Harvey students (Chris Pilgrim, Danny Brookwell, Ed Watkinson and Fred Smith) as well as a member of the Folkestone School for Girls (Primrose Briggs) recently staged a charity evening in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Organisation in the school hall, raising £1800 for the charity. They are in popular demand for concerts locally.[citation needed] A Drama Club is also ran every Tuesday evening after school.

An annual "Leavers' Ball" is traditionally held in conjunction with the Folkestone School for Girls each year at a large venue within the Folkestone area. This provides the opportunity for the school leavers' to come together, to celebrate their passing from school to further education or employment.

The government's programme Building Schools for the Future (BSF) would have allowed the Harvey to further improve its facilities. However the Harvey was one of many schools for which the project was scrapped. the new Harvey's Diner (opened in 2005) is a great improvement on the old facility, and offers a wide range of healthy-food options under the leadership of a new Catering Manager.

The school's secret war contribution at Station X[edit]

Harvey Bletchley Plaque.jpg

Three former staff and a pupil at the Harvey worked at the once secret code breaking centre at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, which was recently made public and has become a tourist attraction. Their unique roles are honoured on a plaque in the school hall. The school's Headmaster Oliver Berthoud (1946–1952) was there, as was the school's long-serving secretary Miss Audrey Wind. Although they worked closely in the school it was not until a discussion one day in Mr Berthoud's office that he managed to get Miss Wind to admit to her involvement and they spoke at length about their time there.

On a visit to the school in late 2006 Miss Wind commented that no one was allowed to talk about their involvement. They were sworn to secrecy and it was amazing that four Harveians had worked for Ultra during the war. She is the sole survivor of the four but now in her eighties still gives talks on the topic at functions and at the school to boys studying the period. Following her half-century of service to the school, Miss Wind became the first and only female member of the school's old boys' association.


Main building, John Edwards Centre, Maths Block, Music Room, Drama Room (New Sixth Form Common Room), Science and DT Block, P.E Block, Gym, Sports Hall and the Gallery (Originally the Sixth Form Common Room).

Notable former pupils[edit]


External links[edit]