Leicester Grammar School
|Type||Independent co-educational day school|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Staff||approximately 90 teachers, 40 support|
|Houses||Masters, Dukes, Judges and Vice-Chancellors|
|Colours||Gold and navy|
Leicester Grammar School (often abbreviated to LGS), is an independent secondary school situated in Great Glen, Leicestershire, England. It was founded in 1981, after the loss of the city's state-funded grammar schools.
Leicester Grammar School is closely affiliated with Leicester Grammar Junior School, and in general the majority of Junior School leavers are accepted by the senior school.
The school has just over 90 teaching staff and 810 pupils, all of whom are day-students. It has its own preparatory form for children in Year 6, and its own sixth form for Years 12 and 13. Each student at the school is a member of a house, allowing a system of inter-school competition in sports and other pastimes such as chess, general knowledge and karaoke.
The school was founded in 1981 as an independent, selective, co-educational day school in an attempt to recapture the standards and traditions of the city’s former grammar schools. Located in four late-Victorian buildings in Leicester City Centre, the school was established close to Leicester Cathedral and was founded with an Anglican Christian ethos. The first headmaster was John Higginbotham and under his stewardship the school grew from just 96 to 560 pupils within 10 years.
Over its short history, the school began to achieve a national reputation as one of the country’s leading academic institutions. In 1993, its headmaster was elected to the Headmasters’ Conference and the school has remained in its first division since then. In the same year, the school was acknowledged as the country’s top co-educational school.
In February 2007 construction began on a new school campus, located on a green field site near Great Glen. The new development allowed for school growth, restricted by its former location within the city centre. Leicester Grammar Senior School now shares the new site with its sister school Leicester Grammar Junior School, each with its own main school buildings and sharing the refectory and sports facilities. Previously, the school had no playing fields of its own and had transport pupils to various sporting facilities by bus; the new school has 75 acres (300,000 m2) of playing fields. The new site opened in September 2008.
In common with many other independent schools, it requires prospective pupils to undertake a series of entrance examinations before they are accepted into the school. The main entrance examination takes place at the start of the term in January. Papers are taken in verbal reasoning, English and mathematics. Entry to the sixth form is by interview, offers of a place being conditional upon the GCSE grades gained.
As of 2008 Leicester Grammar School moved to London Road, Great Glen, a much larger site. There is one main teaching building, which includes a refectory, assembly hall (St. Nicholas), drama studio, music recital room and four wings housing all classrooms.
Leicester Grammar provides education for approximately 810 (2012-2013) pupils aged between 10 and 18, including GCSEs and A-Levels. Some of the rarer subjects offered by the school include Ancient Greek and Latin (Latin is compulsory for years 7 and 8).
As Leicester Grammar School was situated in the centre of Leicester, pupils were transported by bus to various sporting activities in and around Leicester, but since the 2008 relocation most sports are now played on site. Leicester Grammar School benefits from being surrounded by 75 acres of playing fields with two all-weather hockey pitches [one sand-based and one water-based], 5 rugby pitches, a dedicated cricket pitch, 8 floodlit hard tennis courts/netball courts along with a standalone pavilion with integral catering and changing facilities. The indoor sports complex offers multi-use courts for badminton, basketball and netball. Indoor cricket nets and table tennis are also available in the main hall along with a well-equipped fitness suite featuring the Technogym Wellness system, a gym/dance studio and a 25 metre, 6 lane, heated swimming pool.
The school has a reputation for excellence in sport and physical education and the sporting ethos is to provide pupils with worthwhile and educative experiences in as many activities as possible, in the hope that they will pursue their interests through participation outside school and into later life. The opportunity for academic study in sport and physical education is offered at GCSE and advanced level, with both courses producing consistently good results. Sporting tours are undertaken to Europe and the Southern Hemisphere.
Over fifty teams represent the school in the major sports of Netball, Rugby Football, Hockey, Cricket, Athletics and Tennis. A diverse range of team and individual activities form part of the extra-curricular programme. A large number of students represent Leicestershire and regularly achieve regional and international representation in a variety of sports. School teams from all age groups are winners of county and regional level competitions.
Students of outstanding sporting ability graduate to centres of excellence and academies of sport, both locally and nationally. The school has close relationships with Leicester Tigers, Leicester Ladies’ Hockey and Leicester Men's Hockey teams, with current and past pupils representing these clubs at all levels.
A vertical house system compliments the tutorial system. Houses meet regularly to take part in competitions and events, which provide a broad range of opportunities for healthy competition and development of team spirit. There are four houses – Dukes, Judges, Masters and Vice-Chancellors. Each house has approximately a quarter of the school population and it is traditional that siblings are always allocated to the same house.
Inter house competitions are run throughout the academic year and culminate in the award of the Midland Bank Cup, for overall winners, at Speech Day.
Leicester Grammar School pupils are obliged to wear a basic school uniform. Leicester Grammar School also issues an obligatory uniform for sports and physical education lessons.
- Male sixth form pupils are able to wear suits and ties as long as they are deemed presentable to the public,
- Pupils in lower years must wear navy blue blazers, white shirts and charcoal trousers, with a tie embossed with the school emblem.
- Female pupils in the sixth form are able to wear smart clothes, including suits, as long as they are deemed presentable to the public,
- Pupils in lower years must wear a skirt in the school tartan, a white blouse and a navy blue blazer similar to those worn by the boys.
Pupils in years below the sixth form also have the option of wearing a house jumper- a V-necked jumper with a line of colour (of their respective house) running around the neckline, apart from Masters which has yellow instead of dark blue on the jumper (because dark blue wouldn't show up).
Leicester Grammar School consistently produces outstanding examination results. Students take 10 GCSEs and normally in the sixth form study 4 AS subjects, reducing the 3 A2s in their final year. In a typical year 95% of students progress into higher education. There is also a high success rate in pupils accepted into Oxbridge.
The school is closely linked with Leicester Grammar Junior School, for which the Leicester Grammar School Trust was given responsibility in 1992 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul, based in Selly Park, Birmingham
Leicester Grammar School has retained its link to Leicester Cathedral despite a significant presence of pupils from other faiths in the school. Choir rehearsals, School Foundation Day and Christmas services were held in the cathedral, as well as most daily school assemblies; however since the relocation these are held in the St Nicholas Hall.
Notable Old Leicestrians
Former pupils of Leicester Grammar School are known as Old Leicestrians.
- Harry Ellis, a former rugby player for the Leicester Tigers and England
- James Oldfield, an opera singer.
- Luke Abraham, a rugby player for the Leicester Tigers and has represented England U18 and England U21.
- Sarah Teather, a British politician who is the Member of Parliament for Brent East
- "School Profile". Leicester Grammar Junior School website. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- "Academic Staff". Leicester Grammar School website. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Leicester Grammar School". The Guide to Independent Schools. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Obituary of John Higginbotham". Times Online. 2007-04-21. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "HMC Schools H-L". The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference website. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- "Leicester Grammar School". Eteach: Education jobs online. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- "Relocation Latest". Leicester Grammar School website. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- School profile; Leicester Grammar School
- List of teaching staff - http://www.leicestergrammar.org.uk/lgs/aboutus/staff/academic
- 2011 Inspectors Report - http://www.leicestergrammar.org.uk/lgs/aboutus/generalinformation/inspectionreport
- Leicester Grammar Junior School - http://www.leicestergrammar.org.uk/lgjs/homepage
- Leicester Grammar School homepage,
- A map of the Guildhall Conservation area, including the former Leicester Grammar School site,
- Leicester Grammar School's entry in the Schools Guidebook