Knights Templar School
|Motto||Courage & Courtesy|
|Headteacher||Mr Andrew Pickering|
|DfE URN||117509 Tables|
|Students||1350 in September 2013|
|Houses||Hine, Hancock, Pembroke, Templar, Knights, Bennett, Crellin|
Knights Templar School is a co-educational secondary school with academy status located in the market town of Baldock in North Hertfordshire, England. In a February 2006 Ofsted report, the school was described as "outstanding", one of only eight secondary schools in Hertfordshire to be so recognised. It retained its "outstanding" status following a further Ofsted inspection in February 2009. The Knights Templar School gained academy status on 1 April 2011. Following an Ofsted inspection in October 2012 the school was categorised as "good".
The school claims no connection with the Masonic order of Knights Templar or with The Da Vinci Code – rather, it is named after the chivalrous medieval order of the Knights Templar, who founded Baldock and built the original 12th-century parish church of St. Mary the Virgin in the town. The motto of the Knights Templar School is "Courage and Courtesy".
The school opened the day after the start of the Second World War in 1939 as the Baldock County Council School and within a week of opening had welcomed evacuee children from Stratford in London; in 1944 a photographer from the Ministry of Information took a series of pictures of students at the school to show the positive way that a typical country school was adjusting to life during wartime. These images showed students having medical examinations, taking part in sports and domestic science lessons, cooking over open fires and cultivating the school's playing field to grow food.
By 1949 the school was known as Baldock Secondary Modern School, at which time His Majesty's Inspector for Schools (HMI) found it to be flourishing under the 'dynamic personality' of the Headmaster, Mr Frank Hancock MBE, who had created a 'very happy and active school' with overseas trips, school camps, Sports Days and strong links with the local community. However, the inspectors found the syllabuses to be too ambitious with the school moving forward too quickly, with teaching staff confused by arrangements which were complicated and difficult to manage.Po
Since that time the school has been greatly extended with several new buildings and ever increasing pupil numbers, leading to oversubscription every year. As of September 2013 there are 1350 pupils, with 103 teachers and 60 support staff. Also in September 2013 a new purpose-built Sixth Form block with specialist classrooms, tutor meeting rooms and computer suites was opened.
The school Houses are Crellin, Hancock, Hine, Pembroke, Bennett, Knights and Templar, named after former Headmasters of the school (Hancock and Crellin), local educationists (George N. Bennett, who taught at the Pond Lane (Council) School in Baldock for over 40 years) and Alderman Neville Hine who for many years was Chairman of Managers of Baldock County Council School and worked for the building of the Knights Templar School, 'Strongbow', the Earl of Pembroke (the school is built on land owned by the Earl in the medieval period), and the Knights Templar who built the parish church St. Mary the Virgin c.1125.
From 2005 to 2013 it was a specialist school for Sport and the Performing Arts. In 2005 male students from the school appeared as extras in the television film Tom Brown's Schooldays starring Alex Pettyfer and Stephen Fry.
The school has a strong musical tradition, with about a third of all pupils taking extra tuition in an instrument or voice. The Big Band and Senior Chamber Choir perform locally and the school organises a music tour bi-annually, geared mainly towards these two groups (though anyone is welcome). Recent tour locations include Budapest in Hungary during July 2006 and Liguria in Italy in July 2008. A former pupil, Frances Balmer, won the 2004 BBC Proms Young Composers' Competition.
The Knights Templar School received coverage in the national media  in 2002 over the 'fixing' of 'A' level grades by examination boards. The school was the first in the country to appeal the grades awarded to its students in GCE 'Psychology' 
As a former specialist school in sport the Knights Templar School also has a million-pound sports centre with fitness suite and a floodlit all-weather sports pitch.
Guest speakers at the school have included former politician Edwina Currie, film and television composers David Arnold and Debbie Wiseman, Cardinal Basil Hume, academic Professor Lord Soulsby, IVF pioneer Peter Brinsden, scientist Professor Sir John Polkinghorne, Professor Mick Aston from Time Team, former Cabinet Minister Lord MacGregor, actor and performer Gerald Charles Dickens, two-times Olympic silver medallist Jonathan Glanfield, and journalist and author Quentin Letts. The Hoosiers performed an acoustic gig at the school in March 2011.
In June 2012 a group of students from the school met the Duchess of Cornwall as they had volunteered to help apply SmartWater to Baldock's war memorial in order to protect it from theft by metal thieves.
In February 2014 it was announced that the school's Headteacher from September 2014 would be Mr Timothy Litchfield, currently Deputy Headteacher of Bishops Stortford High School and a specialist musician.
- Mr Frank Hancock MBE 1939-1951
- Mr John Tyler 1951-59
- Mr Lennox 1959-1960
- Mr Vivian Crellin 1960-1984
- Mr Peter Chapman 1984-2006
- Mr Andrew Pickering 2006–Present
Notable former pupils and staff
- Leanne Wilson, actress
- Claire Slater, actress
- Rowan Oliver, original drummer with Goldfrapp
- Elizabeth Hall, international athlete
- Deborah Turness, Editor of ITV News from 2004 to 2013  and President of NBC News since August 2013
- Adam Ficek, drummer with Babyshambles taught drums at the school
- Victoria Blakeborough, the former international rugby player for Scotland Women, taught R.E. at the school (2008–10)
Views of the school
- Guardian Unlimited, "Inspectors name outstanding schools"
- Ofsted report, February 2006
- Performance as reported on BBC website
- Ofsted Inspection Report February 2009
- Knights Templar School OFSTED report - published November 2012
- Hertfordshire Genealogy: Baldock
- 'Country School: Everday Life at Baldock County Council School (1944)- the Imperial War Museum Collection
- Parker, David John Newsom - A Hertfordshire Educationist' ' University of Hertfordshire Press (2005) pg 130 Google Books
- PRO ED109/8828 HM Inspectors' report on Baldock County Secondary Modern School; Inspected 16-18/11/49
- Vivian Crellin, Baldock's Middle Ages
- The Guardian, Amazingly composed, 22 June 2004
- The Observer, Angst Levels, 10 August 2003
- The Observer, Timetable of a fiasco, 22 September 2002
- The Independent, A-Level Crisis: Student's hopes rise and fall as coveted place slips, 21 September 2002
- Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian, Whistleblower's mark of approval, 15 August 2003
- CBBC Newsround, Kids paint way into record books, 18 July 2007
- 'Olympian Joe Glanfield visits sports college to award young prize winners' - the Youth Sport Trust website
- 'The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Royal Artillery Memorial' - The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall website - 14th June 2012
- 'Camilla joins memorial crusade' - Daily Express June 15 2012
- 'Deborah Turness: 'News is the best drama on television' The Guardian 5 July 2012 Retrieved: 24 April 2012
- Knights Templar School website
- The Knights Templar School on the 'Good Schools Guide'
- A series of 28 photographs of the school taken by the Ministry of Information in 1944 entitled 'Country School: Everyday Life at Baldock County Council School - Imperial War Museum Collection