Humphry Davy School
Humphry Davy School Logo
|Headteacher||Mr W. A. Marshall|
|Chair of Governors||Mrs K. Uren|
|Local authority||Cornwall Council|
|DfE URN||112067 Tables|
|Houses||Grenville, Trevithick, Trelawny and Godolphin|
|Colours||(in corresponding order) Green, Blue, Yellow, Red|
Humphry Davy School is a comprehensive school in Penzance, Cornwall, England. The school teaches 11–16 year olds. Humphry Davy school is located just outside Penzance town centre on Coombe Road, and backs onto Penwith College.
The school website states: 'Humphry Davy School has a long standing well deserved reputation for its caring approach and an ethos which encourages, supports and develops students of all abilities – from those with specific learning difficulties right through to the most Gifted and Talented.'
Key highlights quoted from the most recent Ofsted report include,:
- Staff at all levels share a strong commitment to raising standards.
- Transition arrangements for when students join or leave the school are excellent.
- The school has worked successfully to ensure the most capable students gain the highest grade GCSE passes.
- High expectations and a focus on matching activities closely to students’ individual needs ensure that learning and progress in lessons are good.
- Students behave well and they are enthusiastic ambassadors for their school.
- Parents and carers hold overwhelmingly positive views about the school’s work. They are particularly pleased with how well the school keeps children safe and the good quality of teaching.
The oldest part of the main school building was completed in 1909 and was known as the Humphry Davy Grammar School for Boys until 1980. It then became a co-educational comprehensive school with the name Humphry Davy School.
Much of the beauty of the original building has been preserved and, in the summer of 2013, the school received funding worth over £300,000 which was invested in renovations that saw each of the sash windows replaced with handmade modern versions that have sympathetically enhanced the historic building and increased its energy efficiency.
Princess Anne visited the school on 22 January 1999 to open the 'Chynoweth' block and took time to tour the newly built maths rooms, science labs, drama hall and specially designed art studios.
In 2006 a group of students from the school became one of the first of their age group to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats. Students from the school also won an MTV award when a video they created was shown on MTV accompanying musician Tom Baxter's hit song 'Better'.
In the Summer Olympics of 2012 Humphry Davy School celebrated the rowing victory of alumna Helen Glover MBE. A victory parade was organised to mark the occasion and many local people attended.
In 2013 the school received paints and brushes from Dulux as part of their Let's Colour initiative which saw students and staff volunteer their time to help paint colourful panels and a mural by local artist Mat McIvor on to the Citizenship and Personal Development building. In the same year, The Science Club won £3000 worth of Lego engineering equipment for the school by entering a short stop-motion film and application letter.
Notable former pupils
- Helen Glover (rower), Olympic gold medal and World Champion rower 
- Thandie Newton, BAFTA award winning actress, model
- Sam Palladio, actor, musician
- Tom Welham, lead guitarist of Thirteen Senses
Humphry Davy Grammar School for Boys
- John Pollard, former student, former Deputy Head and now Councillor for Hayle North and leader of Cornwall Council
- Francis Foster Barham, religious writer known as the 'Alist'
- David Collins CBE, Chief Executive since 2009 of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, and president from 2008–2009 of the Association of Colleges
- Michael Grandage, theatre director, Tony Award winner
- Mike Lake CBE, Director General of the English-Speaking Union, 2009–11, chief executive of Help the Aged
- Colin Lyne, President from 1994–1995 of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, and Chairman from 2000–2002 of the European Council of Purchasing and Supply
- Richard Pentreath, Research Professor, Environmental Systems Science Centre from 2000–2007 at the University of Reading, and Chief Scientist from 1995–2000 at the Environment Agency and from 1989–1995 at the National Rivers Authority
- Quinton Quayle, Ambassador to Thailand since 2007, and to Romania from 2002 to 2006
- Jack Richards, Surrey and England cricketer
- Ivor Coward, Hon. British Consul to Venice Italy (for Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia), 2000-
- "Olympic gold rower Helen Glover's 'phenomenal talent'". BBC. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Issue 11 (2006)". Oldpenwithians.co.uk. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Mike Lake
- "Issue 9 (2004)". Oldpenwithians.co.uk. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- "Lyne raises the bar with civil service promotion | Official CIPS Magazine – Supply Management". Supplymanagement.com. 2003-01-08. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
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