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Latymer Upper School

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Latymer Upper School
Motto Paulatim ergo certe (slowly therefore surely)
Established 1624
Type Independent day school
Headmaster D W Goodhew
Location King Street

W6 9LR
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
DfE URN 100370 Tables
Staff 98 full time, 28 music staff
Students 1,284
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Former pupils Latymerians

Latymer Upper School is a selective independent school located in Hammersmith, west London, England, lying between King Street and the Thames. Founded by Edward Latymer in 1624, it is now a coeducational school with over 1200 pupils. It has a Prep department for pupils aged 7 to 11. It is considered one of the leading academic schools in the country, as measured by its position in the national league tables of GCSE and A level performance, as well as being amongst the top schools with respect to the arts and sport. The Sixth Form of 340 is one of the largest in London and offers 40 academic courses as well as extra curricular activities. According to the Good Schools Guide, the school "aims to set new standards for co-education in west London."[1] As of 2014, the school charges fees of £17,310 a year per student.[2]


Latymer Upper School was founded in 1624 by Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer, who left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of “eight poore boyes” from Hammersmith, though it now educates girls as well as boys. The present school buildings were opened in 1890, the new site also includes Latymer Prep School. Pupils come from a wide area of London. The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and the main school became fully co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7 for the first time in 2004. With that year's entry moving into Year 11 it became fully co-educational in 2008. Around 70 pupils on 100 per cent bursaries and more planned. The Good Schools Guide said "This is an urban inner-city school that still has a grammar school feel and parents value the social mix that comes from taking in plenty of state school children at 11."[1]


Latymer Upper School is one of the highest academically performing schools in the UK historically and to date.[3] Most of the school’s own on-site prep come up. Around 50 per cent from local primaries. Some 1070 candidates for the 130 places at 11+ – boys slightly outnumber girls. Usual English, maths, reasoning and interview. A levels in 2014 saw over 77% A*/A grades and over 35% of grades at A* - over 60 out of a cohort of 179 students achieved at least 2 A* grades. In 2013 GCSEs were 94% A*/As with over 73% of grades at A*. 89 pupils, from a cohort of 138, were awarded 8 or more A* grades and over a quarter of the year group attained straight A* grades.[4] In 2014 over 50 pupils gained at least 9 A*s at GCSE and over two thirds of pupils achieved at least 5 A*s.[5] 32 Oxbridge offers in 2013 and increasing number to US universities such as Columbia, Dartmouth, Georgetown, UChicago, Wesleyan, Harvard and Yale or other top international universities. A few annually to art, music or drama schools, otherwise medics, economists, engineers and linguists.[6]

GCSE summary: last few years[7]

YEAR  %A*  %A*A  %A*AB
2014 64.1 89.2 97.4
2013 73.3 94.0 99.2
2012 63.6 90.4 98.4

A level summary: last few years

YEAR  %A*  %A*A  %A*AB
2014 35.5 77.1 93.7
2013 25.5 65.1 88.1
2012 30.0 74.0 94.6


The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, football, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's two full orchestras and five string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.

There are over 40 clubs and societies at Latymer, including the J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies. There are also clubs for bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. The Drama Society holds several productions each year.[8] Two students in Year 10 won the International Debating Competition in Cambridge at their age level. The final consisted of four other London-based schools that included St Paul's and Westminster.

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer School. There are trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exchanges, work experience in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, Classics trips to Italy and Greece, sports tours and expeditions. Latymer Upper also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.[9]

The school is active in charity work: the annual "Charities' Week" raised £3,000 in 2006. The school branch of Amnesty International is involved in fund- and awareness-raising campaigns. A student-led environmentalist group has led to each classroom being equipped with a recycling bin.[citation needed]

Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled. In addition, the school offers all students a trip every year in 'Activities Week'. Destinations have included Spain, the Ardèche gorge in the south of France.[10]


Latymer Performing Arts Centre, Hammersmith, London

The school's sporting facilities on site include a boathouse with direct access to the Thames, a sports hall and an indoor swimming pool. The school also maintains playing fields about a mile and a half away, on Wood Lane, with a £2m sports pavilion and changing rooms completed in 2004. The £4m Latymer Theatre and Arts Centre opened in 2000 and includes a 300-seat galleried box theatre, music practice rooms, art galleries and studios, plus a cafe and atrium area. In 2009 the £6m Latymer Performing Arts Centre was completed, providing students with drama studios, rehearsal rooms and a 150-seat recital hall[11] There are currently plans to rebuild the building which houses the sports hall and the swimming pool.

The £8m Science and Library building which includes science labs for the three sciences and a library with seating for over 200 pupils opened in 2010 . van Heyningen and Haward Architects were responsible for the design and delivery of these four buildings during a ten-year working relationship with the school.[12] 150 computers are provided for pupil use, networked and with e-mail and internet access, and ICT is taught in one lesson a week in Years 7 to 9. Pupils are permitted to cycle to school, with storage space provided for their bikes. Meals are self-service in the lunch hall, and there is a café in the "atrium".

History and traditions

In 1624, a wealthy puritan, Edward Latymer, pledged on his death-bed to educate and feed "eight poore boies" of Hammersmith. For the next twenty years, local boys were educated in a school erected in Fulham's churchyard, moving in 1648 to another school built in Hammersmith. Later, in 1657, a parochial charity school was set up, which served as the Latymer legacy for the following century until it was rebuilt in 1755. A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School.

Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's Church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other beneficiaries of the school.

Coat of arms

The original coat of arms

The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, paulatim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus due to there being no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. The motto was dropped in 2004 along with the coat of arms, and a new, much simpler, shield (described in the school literature as a "new crest") was adopted.[13]

The original arms continue to be used, with a different motto, by the sister school, The Latymer School.

Old Latymerians



In sport

In politics

Other fields

Notable Former Staff

See also


External links

Coordinates: 51°29′31″N 0°14′13″W / 51.492°N 0.237°W / 51.492; -0.237