Lawrence Sheriff School
|Type||Voluntary aided grammar|
|Deputy Head||Gwen Temple|
|Specialism||Maths and Computing|
|Local authority||Warwickshire County Council|
|DfE URN||125753 Tables|
|Houses||Caldecott, Simpson, Tait and Wheeler|
|Colours||Navy and white|
|Publication||The Weekly Word|
Lawrence Sheriff School is a selective boys' grammar school in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. The school is named after Laurence Sheriff, the Elizabethan man who founded Rugby School. The school's name is often shortened to 'LSS', or often just 'Sheriff' by boys at the school. In a recent OFSTED  inspection the school achieved 'outstanding' in all fields of inspection. The school runs in partnership with Rugby High School for Girls, the local all-female grammar school. The two schools run discos and other fun events between each other.
- 1 History
- 2 Present day
- 3 Effects of the Second World War
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Building Development
- 6 Recent changes
- 7 Notable Old Laurentians
- 8 Other information
- 9 Controversial Issues
- 10 Notes
- 11 External links
Lawrence Sheriff School was founded to fulfill Laurence Sheriff's original intentions to provide a school for the boys of Rugby and neighbouring Brownsover, which was originally carried out by Rugby School. By the eighteenth century, Rugby School had acquired a national reputation as a public school and moved to its present site.
As the proportion of pupils from outside Rugby increased and the people of the town seemed to benefit less from Laurence Sheriff's original bequest, local concern led to the nineteenth century proposal of a Lower School for local boys, with Foundation Scholarships to the Great School. The Lower School was opened in 1878 on the present site of Lawrence Sheriff School with a curriculum designed to meet the needs of a commercial education and preparation for Rugby School. By 1906, a compromise between the traditions of the Foundation and a proposal to hand the school over to the county, led to a Governing body chaired by the Headmaster of Rugby School and containing both Foundation and County Governors. The school was built on what before was glebe land named Market Field, at what was the east limit of the built-up area of Rugby.
Under its second headmaster, Weisse (who renamed himself Whitehouse when World War I started), a small incident caused a big and lasting effect on the area. To enlarge the school's sports area, he planned to buy a larger area of glebe land, Reynolds Field, west of the school land. But, as he was going down Bath Road in a horsedrawn carriage to the railway station to go to Oxford to buy the land, the horse went too far to the left; the carriage hit a lamppost; the horse panicked and fought hard to get free and away; and Weisse was spilt out on the road with an eye cut by glass from a carriage lamp, and he had to go to hospital, and he never got to the meeting, and the school never bought the land, but that land later became Moultrie Road and Elsee Road and the addresses on them, instead of becoming school land.
Voluntary aided status
At the time the school opened, it was on the outskirts of Rugby town, which in 1878 was much smaller than now. The original building (now called Big School), was extended in 1909 with science wings (now used for Chemistry and Physics) on each side. The school continued to grow with several extensions, including the Jubilee Wings (1926 and 1934), the library wing (1957), and major expansion in the early 1960s, which included new biology labs and a new gymnasium. Big School was badly damaged by a fire in 1983, but was immediately restored, so the only tell-tale signs of this event are the steel reinforcements of the ceiling timbers. The venerable school organ was damaged beyond repair and was replaced. The most recent period of growth started in the late 1980s and the school has seen many extensions and new facilities over the last fifteen years.
Lawrence Sheriff School is now the selective boys' grammar school for Rugby and the surrounding area, with the buildings owned and maintained by the Governors, and the running costs funded by the local Authority.
The school also has an old boys society: the Old Laurentians.
The school has been expanded greatly in the last five years with the construction of a new sixth form centre and the conversion of Penrhos House, originally the sixth form common room, into a Music block, as well as the construction of a new Learning Resources Centre.
The School Field has been much intruded on by new buildings.
The school also owns a playing field, Hart Field, a mile away east-southeastwards, with five Rugby pitches and changing rooms. Over the school year of 2009, the field been regenerated with new pitches created, including an Astroturf field, a new block of changing rooms, cricket nets and leveled playing fields.
Effects of the Second World War
Due to the need for maximum food production within Britain during the Second World War much unproductive land (sports fields, large ornamental gardens, parks, golf courses, etc) was requisitioned for farming or allotment gardens. In this period, the School Field and a third of the Hart Field were used in the grass growing season for sheep grazing but remained in school sport use. Most of the rest of the Hart Field was ploughed and used for growing wheat, except a strip along the bottom edge which was used for allotment gardens.
The school has been placed top of the national school GCSE league tables twice in the last three years. In January 2009 the school achieved an average point score of 792, whilst in January 2011 it came top again, with an average point score of 757.4.
The Learning Resources Centre
The Learning Resources Centre is now open to students at Lawrence Sheriff School. This new building has eight new classrooms (to be split between Maths and Computing) as well as a new library area. This relieves pressure on other departments (notably Art and Design & Technology) of the school who can now move into the vacant old Mathematics rooms. It also allows students using the library to make use of a much more suited 'open' space - rather than the converted Headmasters' House ('Sheriff Centre') which has housed its many books until now. There has, however, been one aspect of controversy since the opening of this new building. Included on the floor is a floor mural, made up of mathematical and literal references (such as the famous formula E = mc2) but also including a cartoon drawing of a made up book entitled "Plays and Devilishly Daring Melodramas". It did not take long for students of the school to quickly realise that this book name had been formed of the initials of Peter Kent, Annabel Kay, Dennis Barnett, Diane Halestrap and Melissa Hipkins - the 5 main members of the schools' Senior Management Team.
The LRC provides extra classrooms that will allow the school to continue in its current growth. As well as this, the provision of two new computer rooms will allow some departments (specifically those that aren't primarily computer based) to explore the advantages of using computers within lesson times.
The Sheriff Centre which currently houses offices for the Assistant Head, Deputy Head and Exams Secretaries on its ground floor is now being redeveloped as a Management Suite. The first and second floors of this building (formerly the library) have been redundant since the opening of the LRC and it is believed that offices for the senior members of staff will be moved into this space.
The school operates a vertical tutoring system, in which forms consist of students from each year group. This was implemented to create a greater interaction between pupils of different ages in the hope that it would reduce bullying and foster a greater sense of house identity.
An Enrichment system also runs in the school, which has been met with mixed opinion since its inclusion into the timetable. This puts aside two times a week in which students can choose an enrichment program run by a teacher on any of a range of topics
On 8 November 2010, Lawrence Sheriff introduced a new security measure in order to protect the school against unauthorised personnel entering the grounds. This took the form of a set of ID cards, a different colour for each section of the school (black for lower school, blue for Sixth Form, and red for staff members). Display of the cards is mandatory for Sixth Form and Staff, though Lower School are required only to be able to present the card when requested. In the future, it will be used to access secure areas of the school, and possibly be used for registration purposes. However, the system has been noted as being a waste of money, particularly within the lower school as they already have a uniform by which they can be identified, but the measure was a requirement put in place by Ofsted.
Notable Old Laurentians
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2009)|
Former pupils at the school are called Old Laurentians and include:
- Steve Beebee — author and journalist
- Arthur Bostrom — Crabtree in 'Allo 'Allo! (head boy at the school)
- Will Carruthers — musician
- Prof Michael Claridge, Professor of Entomology at Cardiff University from 1983–99 and President of the Linnean Society of London from 1988–91
- Ben Croshaw — producer of Zero Punctuation
- Wayne Clarke — award-winning broadcaster
- Prof Valentine Cunningham, Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford since 1996
- Prof John L. Harper CBE - plant biologist
- Thomas Hedley — media magnate
- Prof Robert George Spencer Hudson - geologist and President of the Paleontological Association from 1957-9
- Mark Mapletoft - Former England Rugby player and season top point scorer in English rugby union premiership.
- David Mowat - Conservative MP for Warrington South since 2010
- Mark Pawsey - Conservative MP for Rugby since 2010
- Jason Pierce — singer
- Air Vice-Marshal John Porter OBE
- Mike Powell — Warwickshire cricketer
- Ric Todd - former Ambassador to Poland (2007–2011) and current Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands
- Andrew Rawnsley (briefly) - political journalist
- Walter Sweeney - Conservative MP for Vale of Glamorgan from 1992-7 (by only 19 votes)
- Maj-Gen Anthony Trythall CB - Director of Army Education from 1980-4
- Prof Kevin Warwick — computer scientist
- Sir Norman Wooding CBE - Chairman of Courtaulds from 1978–83
- Captain (retd) David "The Brand" Harris BA (2.2 hons) MA WG - as featured in Orwell prize winning Dead Men Risen http://theorwellprize.co.uk/shortlists/toby-harnden/
- The school has four houses: Wheeler, Simpson, Caldecott and Tait.
- The Parents' Association is in the Guinness Book of Records as the UK's oldest Parents Association
- The school has a partnership with Rugby School and twinned at Years 12 and 13 (the sixth form) of education with Rugby High School
- The main hall is called Big school
- WWE Champion CM Punk once wrestled in Big School in a show booked by the Wrestling Association of Rugby.
The school is under investigation by the Department of Education after receiving an complaint relating to consistent failure to abide by its complaints policy.
The school is also under investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman - a child's place was withdrawn unlawfully after the school receieved a complaint of discrimination and the school refuses to offer an independent appeal, which left an innocent child without a local grammar school place.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2009)|
- Beckford, Martin (15 January 2009). "School League Tables 2009: Best school shows boys can make the grade". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "Secondary league tables: Best GCSE results". BBC News (London). 12 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-01.