Norwich School (independent school)
|Motto||Praemia Virtutis Honores (Latin)
Honours are the rewards of virtue
|Type||Independent day school|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Head Master||Steffan Griffiths|
|Chairman of Governors||P. J. E. Smith|
|Location||70 The Close
|DfE URN||121242 Tables|
|Houses||Brooke, Coke, Nelson, Parker, Repton, School, Seagrim, Valpy|
Royal blue and Burgundy
|Former pupils||Old Norvicensians|
|Affiliations||Worshipful Company of Dyers
HMC, CSA, IAPS
Norwich School, previously known as King Edward VI's Grammar School, Norwich,[nb 1] is an independent co-educational day school located in the close of Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, England. One of the oldest schools in the world, it has a traceable history to 1096 as an episcopal school established by Herbert de Losinga, first Bishop of Norwich. In the 16th century the school came under the control of the city of Norwich and moved to Blackfriars' Hall following a successful petition to Henry VIII. It was later refounded in 1547 under the patronage of Edward VI and moved to its current site beside the cathedral in 1553. In the mid-19th century the school became independent of the city. The school educates the choristers of Norwich Cathedral and the cathedral is used for morning assemblies and events throughout the academic year.
Early statutes declared the school was to instruct 90 scholars, though the school has since grown to a total enrolment of approximately 1,020 pupils. Previously a boys' school, the school became co-educational in the sixth form in 1994 and in every year group in 2010. The school is divided into the Senior School, which has around 850 pupils aged from 12 to 18 across eleven houses, and the Lower School established in 1946 which has around 170 pupils aged from 7 to 11. Norwich School is consistently one of the highest academically performing independent schools in the country. It is a founding member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) and has a historical connection with the Worshipful Company of Dyers, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.
Former pupils are referred to as Old Norvicensians or ONs. Over the years the school has educated a number of notable figures, including Lord Nelson, Sir Edward Coke and 10 Fellows of the Royal Society among many others. Several members of the first provincial art movement in England, the Norwich School of painters, were educated at the school, and the movement's founder, John Crome, also taught at the school.
- 1 History
- 2 School grounds
- 3 School life
- 4 Extracurricular activities
- 5 Lower School
- 6 Admission and fees
- 7 Notable alumni
- 8 Notable staff
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The school began as the episcopal school founded by the first Bishop of Norwich, Herbert de Losinga, shortly after establishing a Benedictine priory at Norwich in 1096, making it one of the oldest schools in the world. During this period the school was not located in the close of Norwich Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Norwich, but in the parish of St Matthew. A record of the earliest known Head Master is found in the chartulary of Coxford Priory which documents a dispute in 1240 heard in the episcopal court between the priory and the rector scholarum Norwicensium, Vincent of Scarning.[nb 2] Scarning argued that a school in Rudham was tributary to Norwich and could not continue without payment to the Norwich schoolmaster. The court ruled in favour of the priory who, as patrons of the Rudham school, argued that the appointment of the schoolmaster was entirely within its jurisdiction and therefore was not required to make tributary payments.
Until the English Reformation the bishop would appoint the master of the school, though on several occasions this role has been fulfilled by the Archbishop of Canterbury such as in 1288 when Archbishop Peckham appointed Godfrey of Norton, and in 1369 when Archbishop Whittlesey appointed William Bunting. In 1538, the school was separated from its cathedral foundation and placed under the control of the mayor, sheriffs, and commonalty of the city of Norwich following a successful petition to Henry VIII for the possession of Blackfriars' friary (today Blackfriars' Hall), which was surrendered to the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The city proposed, among other things, "to fynd a perpetual free-schole therein for the good erudicion and education of yought in lernyng and vertue". In the early 1540s the school was housed in the former friary.
The school was refounded as King Edward VI's Grammar School in a royal charter granted by Edward VI dated 7 May 1547. Issued four months into the king's accession, the charter expressly implemented an arrangement designed by Henry VIII. Unusually, Norwich did not receive a cathedral school following the Reformation, but an endowed city grammar school. Norwich Cathedral was the first of the eight cathedral priories to surrender to the Crown in April 1538, and was immediately re-established as a secular cathedral with a dean and chapter. Thus, negotiations over the refoundation charter were between the city, rather than the cathedral, and the Crown. The charter, known as the Great Hospital Charter, granted the city possession of the hospital of St Giles from the Crown, known as the Great Hospital, and merged the school with it in the hope of achieving an integrated system of education and poor relief. These plans were never realised, however, as in 1549 the hospital was sacked by Kett's rebels and the school remained at Blackfriars'.
On 4 October 1551 the city purchased the former chantry chapel and college of St John the Evangelist, also known as the Carnary chapel and college, for the use of the grammar school, as part of the £200 each year (about £95,640 in present day terms) at their disposal in a licence in mortmain to purchase and add to the revenues of the Great Hospital. Founded in 1316 by John Salmon, Bishop of Norwich, the chapel, in addition to its role as a chantry dedicated to the souls of Salmon's parents and the predecessors and successors of the Bishops of Norwich had also been used as a charnel house and contained the Wodehouse chantry, founded by Henry V at the request of John Wodehous, a veteran of the Battle of Agincourt. In 1553, the school moved to the site beside Norwich Cathedral within the cathedral close where it has remained ever since. The chapel was used as the main classroom while the other buildings were used to provide a library and accommodation for the master and boarding pupils. The arrangement continued until the 19th century, and today the building is used as the school chapel.
A master and usher were to be appointed by the city out of the revenues assigned to them, who were required to have a good knowledge of classical languages, namely Latin and Greek. Additionally, the master was required to be a university graduate, of "sound religion", and not to take on supplementary work. The salary of the usher was £6. 13s. 4d. and the master a "handsome" sum of £10, which by 1636 had risen to £50. Although the city corporation had the right to send an unlimited number of the sons of freemen to the school free of expense it generally left room for as many boarders and other day scholars to sufficiently remunerate the teachers. Despite this, the school was highly selective as admission was ultimately at the discretion of the master, upon payment of a small registration fee. The 1566 statutes declared the school was to instruct 90 scholars in Greek and Latin. The education was based on erudition, the eventual goal being that by the age of 18 the pupils would have learned "to vary one sentence diversely, to make a verse exactly, to endight an epistle eloquently and learnedly, to declaim of a theme simple, and last of all to attain some competent knowledge of the Greek tongue". Pupils were taught rhetoric based on the Rhetorica ad Herennium, and Greek centred around the works of Homer and Virgil. Etiquette, in addition to classical literature, was taught, as both were deemed fundamental to a good education. At the age of eight in 1560, Edward Coke began studying at the school. Coke was taught at Norwich to value the "forcefulness of freedom of speech", something he later applied as a judge.
As part of the annual Guild Day procession of the inauguration of the new mayor of Norwich it was tradition for the head boy to deliver a short speech in Latin from the school porch "commending justice and obedyence" to the mayor and corporation. Afterwards the orator would attend the guild dinner, historically riding in the procession on a white horse, but in later years carried in the mayor's carriage. When Elizabeth I visited Norwich in 1578 the master at the time, Stephen Limbert, is said to have delivered an oration, which "so pleased Her Majesty that she said it had been the best she had heard, and gave him her hand to kiss, and afterwards sent back to enquire his name." The encounter has been said to characterise the public image of Elizabeth I as a monarch who indulged her subjects with goodwill and has been used for the interpretation of the character of Theseus in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Samuel Parr, master from 1778 to 1785 was noted for his discipline. One pupil remarked;
"Parr's fame for severity spread a sort of panic through the city, especially among the mothers, who would sometimes interpose a remonstrance, which occasioned a ludicrous scene, but seldom availed the culprit, while the wiser were willing to leave their boys in his hands."
But Richard Twining, the tea merchant, was advised by his brother John to send his eldest son to Norwich, writing of Parr, "I have been told that he flogs too much, but I doubt those from whom I have heard it think any use of punishment too much". Parr's daily teaching was interrupted at midday when he sent a boy to the pastry-cook's across the road for a pie, which he ate by the schoolroom fire. On the resignation of his headship in 1785, Derry comments, "an object of terror was gone, but the glory of the place had gone with it".
John Crome and the Norwich School
John Crome, the landscape painter and founder of the Norwich School of painters became a drawing master at the school at the beginning of the 19th century, a position which he held for many years. The Norwich School was the first provincial art movement in England and Crome has been described as one of the most prominent British landscape painters alongside Constable and Gainsborough. Several notable artists of the movement were educated at the school including John Sell Cotman, James Stark, John Berney Crome, George Vincent and Edward Thomas Daniell. Staff were also associated with the movement, such as Dr. Forster, Head Master when John Sell Cotman attended the school, who became vice president of the Norwich Society of Artists, the society established in 1803 for artists of the movement. Charles Hodgson who taught mathematics and art, and his son David who taught art were also supporters of Crome and the Norwich Society of Artists.
19th century modernisation
The number of pupils fluctuated significantly at the beginning of the 19th century, with usual numbers between 100 and 150 pupils, but falling to eight pupils in 1811 and 30 in 1859. Under the headship of Edward Valpy (1810-1829) the school enjoyed a prosperous period. Pupil numbers increased and Valpy published a popular textbook on Latin style, Elegantiae Latinae (1803), which went through ten editions in his lifetime, and The Greek Testament, with English notes, selected and original (1815) in three volumes. However, the school's development was hindered by its charter whose trustees preferred to spend most of the £7,000 a year income on the Great Hospital, leaving £300 for the school. The school later benefited from one of the great Victorian reforming headmasters, Augustus Jessopp, Head Master from 1859 to 1879. Under Jessopp the school was transformed into a modern public school through improved teaching and equipment, building expansion and a good record for sending pupils to universities. When the Headmasters' Conference was founded in 1869 he represented Norwich School as one of the original twelve members. Although successful his efforts were hindered by the effects of agricultural depression as four-fifths of endowment income came from land, and the school later thrived as a city day school.
During this period the governance of the school underwent significant reform. In 1837, in the wake of the Municipal Reform Act the patronage of the governors went to twenty-one trustees appointed by the Lord Chancellor. Later in 1858 a new scheme in the Court of Chancery appointed 21 Governors with an independent foundation, thus separating the governance of the school from the city corporation. The scheme also provided for a separate Commercial School which was later known as the Middle School. Opened in 1862, the Commercial School located in the cloisters of Blackfriars' provided training for boys to enter industry. It had 200 pupils and charged a tuition fee of 4 guineas a year because the endowment income was insufficient to support both schools. The curriculum was broader than at the grammar school, for instance including French and mathematics.
The Schools Inquiry Commission (1864-1868), which examined endowed grammar schools under the chairmanship of Lord Taunton, reported that the school "gives the highest education in the county of Norfolk", and that it sent on average twice as many boys to university as all the other endowed schools in Norfolk each year. The school had around 100 pupils, made up of 70 boarders and 30-day pupils, all of which payed a tuition fee of 12 guineas a year. Despite facing competition from the Higher Grade School on Duke Street, the commissioners also praised the Commercial School: "the extent of its usefulness and the soundness of its practical teaching, is second to none". Several schools including Norwich, Marlborough College, Rossall, Wellington, Clifton and Richmond established modern departments where pupils would be allowed to omit learning Greek and follow a curriculum of non-classical subjects such as mathematics to fulfill the increasing demand for a "high", but less classical education. Red-brick buildings designed by J. S. Benest which adjoined the north of School House were built over the original precinct walls in 1859-60, and further extended in the 1890s.
20th century to present
In 1906-8 the New Buildings designed by the Norwich architect Edward Boardman were added north-east of the chapel, forming a courtyard. Pevsner describes the buildings as "Edwardian Gothic", however was not a fan, concluding that they "spoil the NW part of the precinct beyond redemption". In 1916 a Combined Cadet Force was established which more than three quarters of the school belonged to. Fifty-two former pupils lost their lives during the First World War. The school was often the venue for the Norfolk and Norwich Branch of the Historical Association founded in 1920, until the destruction of part of the school during the Second World War. Cemetery inhumations were reportedly disturbed in 1939 when air-raid shelters were being dug on the current site of the playground, owing to the fact that the school is built partly upon the site of the old cathedral cemetery. During the Second World War the Bishop's Palace was used by the American Red Cross Service Club providing amenities for American service personnel in Norwich. In total, 102 pupils who attended the school died in the two world wars.
Following the Education Act 1944 the school became a direct grant grammar school where one quarter of school places were directly funded by central government, but reverted to full independence when the scheme was phased out in 1975. In 1946 the Lower School was established in the Lower Close. In 1947, HH Judge Norman Daynes, an Old Norvicensian and Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Dyers, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, assisted the school in its post-war reconstruction. The Dyers continue to be a major benefactor of the school. Two laboratories were built in the 1950s on either side of the gymnasium in an area of the cathedral precinct called the Green Yard.
In 1958 a new residence for the Bishops of Norwich was built and the Bishop's Palace came to be used by the school, first as boarding accommodation, and later as a Senior School classroom block, containing several of the school's libraries and other facilities. The Lower School was rebuilt in 1971 by Feilden and Mawson and enlarged in 1991 and 1999; a Lower Close pavilion has since been added. Boarding was phased out in 1989, and the school became a day school. The buildings which had been used for boarding, School House and the Bishop's Palace, were converted into teaching space. In 1994, girls were admitted to the sixth form for the first time. In 1999 the Daynes Sports Centre opened and the former gymnasium was converted into the Blake Drama Studio and two further laboratories. The same year the artists Cornford & Cross were commissioned by the Norwich Gallery to produce a series of sculptures beside the River Wensum. One of the works, Jerusalem, was installed on the school playing fields until July 2002. Part of the installation was later donated to the art department.
In 2008, new science laboratories opened in Horsefair House, located on St Faiths Lane in the south section of the Close. The facilities include a seismometer which is part of the British Geological Survey's schools network. From September 2008 girls were admitted below the sixth form for the first time and were in every year group by September 2010. An eighth house called Seagrim, named after distinguished ONs Hugh and Derek Seagrim, was created in 2009.
The school is principally located within the 44 acre (17.81 ha) cathedral close of Norwich Cathedral, known as "the Close", though over time has expanded beyond the precinct boundaries. In addition to the site next to the cathedral the Senior School uses buildings spread throughout the Close for teaching, many of which are listed buildings of historic interest. The Lower School is located in the Lower Close between the east end of the cathedral and the River Wensum.
The Erpingham gate is the primary entrance to the north section of the Close, located directly opposite the west door of the cathedral. It was commissioned by Sir Thomas Erpingham, a commander in the Battle of Agincourt and was constructed between 1416-1425. The top of the arch contains a canopied niche which is thought originally to have been dedicated to the "image of pity", the Five Holy Wounds of Christ, flanked by the Four Evangelists and with the Holy Trinity above, but was replaced in the 18th century with a kneeling statue of Erpingham wearing armour and surcoat with a collar of Esses and the Order of the Garter below his left knee. The rest of the gateway is decorated with the coat of arms of Erpingham and members of his family, together with his motto yenk (think) on small scrolls. It has been restored several times: first in the 18th century, then by E. W. Tristram in 1938 and again under Feilden and Mawson in 1989. It is Grade I listed and adjoins School House and the Music School which occupy 70 and 71 The Close respectively.
St Ethelbert's Gate
Named after Saint Ethelbert the King, the gatehouse is one of the entrances to the south section of the Close. The room above the gateway was originally a chapel but is now used by the school as a music practice room. A Grade I listed monument, the gateway was built in 1316 by the citizens of Norwich as penance for a riot in 1272 which damaged many of the priory buildings. It was substantially restored in 1815 by William Wilkins, an Old Norvicensian, and underwent further renovations in 1964 which saw the stonework and carvings replaced under the supervision of Sir Bernard Feilden. Veronica Sekules describes the St Ethelbert's Gate as it was in the 14th century as "a highly decorative building presenting a façade rich in images, which the cathedral otherwise lacked. In a sense it would have operated as a principal façade and, in as far as one can glean from the remaining images, it communicated a strong message designating the gate as the opening to hallowed ground beyond."
69, 70, 71 The Close
School House, 70 The Close, was formerly part of the Carnary chapel but is now contains classrooms and school offices. While much of the building dates to around 1830, extensive 14th and 15th century features remain such as the stone entrance archway. The building, which is Grade I listed, adjoins the Erpingham Gate and is three storeys high and has eight bays. School End House, 69 The Close, is a 17th century timber-framed house built against the east end of the school chapel. Formerly a home, the Grade I listed building is now the senior common room for staff and a school office. The entrance is pilastered and is surrounded by lion-mask roundels. The Music School, 71 The Close, was built between 1626-28 as a home for the prebendaries of the cathedral, funded by the chapter. Typical of the period, the Grade II* listed building was constructed from flint-rubble, brick, and reused materials from monastic buildings in the Close. It replaced an earlier house and incorporates the remains of a medieval free-standing bell tower originating in the 12th or 13th century, rebuilt around 1300 and largely demolished by 1580.
The school chapel, located next to the Erpingham Gate and the west door of the cathedral in what was the west part of the cathedral cemetery, was originally the chantry chapel and college of St John the Evangelist built in 1316 by John Salmon, Bishop of Norwich, who specified that;
"...in this chapel we ordain that there shall be for ever four priests, and we decree that they shall celebrate for our souls and for the souls of our father and mother, Solomon and Amice, and for the souls of our predecessors and successors the Bishops of Norwich... The said priests, however, in the buildings built by us next the Chapel for their use, shall dwell and remain eating and drinking together and living in common."
Alternatively known as the Carnary chapel and college, the complex was originally formed of separate buildings which were later joined together. The entrance porch to the chapel was added between 1446 and 1472 during the episcopate of Walter Lyhart, Bishop of Norwich. The crypt beneath the chapel was used as a charnel house administered by the sacristan of the cathedral which stored the bones of people buried in the churches of the city to await resurrection, and the ocular windows of the chapel would allow visitors to view the charnel remains. From 1421 to 1476 the crypt was also the location of the Wodehous chantry, established by Henry V at the request of John Wodehous, a veteran of the Battle of Agincourt. The college was dissolved in 1547 during the English Reformation by the Abolition of Chantries Act before being purchased by the city in 1551, and used by the school shortly after. Until the 19th century the chapel was used as the main classroom, though it was not until 1908 the chapel returned to the role of religious assembly and 1940 when it was consecrated for use as a church, due to the cost of refurbishment.
The chapel is constructed from stone with a plain tiled roof and comprises four bays above a four bay twin-aisled undercroft. The windows originally contained the names and arms of benefactors who contributed to the renovation of the chapel after its purchase by the city and the imperial crown of Edward VI, but by the 19th century many had been lost. Blomefield's History of the County of Norfolk, compiled in the 18th century, identifies the coat of arms of the Drapers, Grocers, and St George's arms; with the family arms of the Palmers, Symbarbs and the Ruggs. Following renovations carried out in 1937-40 six windows contain stained glass panels mainly depicting shields. Among those that can be seen today are the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Dyers and a shield carrying the Latin motto Par Fama Labori which literally translates to "Fame is equal to the toil". The motto, which is taken from the Satires of Horace, has been taken out of context as in the poem Horace is saying that fame never corresponds to the effort one has made. The art historian Eric Fernie suggests the style of the chapel is firmly within the palatial tradition of two-storey chapels along with the Palatine Chapel, Aachen, La Sainte-Chapelle and the Royal Chapel of St Stephen. In contrast, archaeologist Roberta Gilchrist suggests that the design was influenced by the "visual culture of medieval death", its architecture holding additional iconographic meaning connected to its use for storage of charnel. The old charnel house is a scheduled monument of national importance and the chapel above is a Grade I listed building.
The Grade II listed statue of Lord Nelson was sculpted by Thomas Milnes in 1847. Milnes was later asked to model the lions for the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, though the commission was eventually given to Sir Edwin Landseer. Nelson is depicted in vice admiral full-dress uniform, with epaulettes and three stars on the cuff, resting a telescope on a cannon with a hawser at his feet. He lost most of his right arm in 1797, shown by his empty right sleeve which is pinned to his uniform to support the cloak which falls from his left shoulder. The octagonal granite plinth is inscribed with "Nelson". It was originally located outside the Norwich Guildhall but was relocated to its current site next to the school in the Upper Close in 1856 at the suggestion of Sir Richard Westmacott.
The Bishop's Palace was built on the site of the former Anglo-Saxon parish church of Holy Trinity. The primary wing was completed during Bishop de Losinga's episcopate (1091-1119). Bishops Suffield (1244-1257) and Salmon (1298-1325) developed the palace and its grounds substantially. The palace underwent ambitious expansion under Bishop Salmon, possibly prompted by damage from the riot of 1272 and his personal success of being elected to the office of Lord Chancellor to Edward III in 1319. The main feature of the original palace was a three-storey fortified tower which was directly connected to the cathedral, drawing upon the precedent of Carolingian imperial palaces.
The Bishop's Palace underwent major restoration in c. 1858 under the supervision of Ewan Christian. The building came to be used by the school in 1958. Today the building contains classrooms where mathematics and geography are taught, the junior common room (for sixth form pupils) and libraries in the former parlour and undercroft.
Bishop Reynolds Library
The former private chapel of Edward Reynolds, Bishop of Norwich, was built in 1662 almost entirely at his own expense. It replaced an earlier chapel which had been severely damaged by a mob during Bishop Hall's episcopate (1641-1656). Constructed from stone with a plain tile roof, it annexes the Bishop's Palace. There is a coat of arms above the doorway but it is badly weathered. The building is Grade II* listed and is now the Reynolds Library.
The Lower School teaches around 170 pupils from ages 7 (Lower One) to 11 (Third Form), and the Senior School from age 12 (Lower Four) to 18 (Upper Six). As with many other independent schools the school has its own distinctive names for year groups. The school educates the choristers of Norwich Cathedral, and the building is used for morning assemblies and events throughout the academic year.
Tatler describes the school as "fantastically unstuffy". Former Head Master, Chris Brown, upon appointment as chairman of the HMC in 2001 commented that the school does not fit the stereotype of a public school but is better described as an "independent grammar" because of the school's philanthropy and outreach in the community.
Below GCSE pupils study a broad curriculum including Latin and two modern languages. Pupils are required to take at least ten GCSE and IGCSE subjects in Middle Five and Upper Five. This must include English Language and Literature, Mathematics, one or two modern languages (French, German or Spanish), Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and three options from: Art, Classical Civilisation, 2D Design, 3D Design, Drama, Geography, Greek, History, Latin, Music, PE and Religious Studies.
In the sixth form, pupils usually study four or five AS-level (the equivalent of half an A-level qualification) subjects for one year, and most continue with three subjects to A-level. Many also take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Twenty-five subjects are offered at A-level: Art, Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, 2D Design, 3D Design, Economics, English Literature, French, Geography, German, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Government & Politics, Religious Studies, Spanish, Sports Science and Theatre Studies.
There is also a programme of games at all levels, and in the fourth and fifth forms a ICT programme and a general course called "Meno" which covers PSHE topics, study skills and subjects such as Philosophy and Mandarin.
The school is one of the highest academically performing independent schools in the country. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 The Daily Telegraph ranked its A-Level results as 93rd, 78th and 38th respectively among independent schools in the UK. It is a founding member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Almost all (99%) sixth form pupils go to university upon leaving the school. 13% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 24% in science and engineering, 41% in humanities and social sciences, 15% in arts subjects, 7% in vocational subjects such as business, management, physiotherapy and sports science. Large numbers of pupils gain entrance to "golden triangle", Russell Group and other top universities.
The Head Master is responsible to the Governors who make up the Council of Management, and is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The Head Master, while responsible to the Governors for the whole school from 7 to 18, is primarily based in the Senior School. There is a Master of the Lower School who attends meetings of the Council of Management each term and meets regularly with members of the Senior School Management Team.
The school has a historical connection with the Worshipful Company of Dyers, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, which dates back to 1947 when HH Judge Norman Daynes, an Old Norvicensian, was the Prime Warden of the Company. Each year the Dyers' Concert is held in St James Garlickhythe or the school chapel. The Company's Charitable Trust continues to be a major benefactor of the school with past contributions including the building of the Fleming Laboratories, Dyers' Lodge, the refurbishment of the Barbirolli Room (music practice room), and the extension of the Lower School. In addition, the Dyers provide a bursary to cover half the school fees of one pupil in each academic year. The Company appoints three Governors of the school.
The dean and chapter of Norwich Cathedral appoint a Governor of the school.
The school's year is divided into three terms:
- Michaelmas term, from early September to mid-December.
- Lent term, from early January to mid-March.
- Trinity term, from mid-April to early July.
The academic year thus begins with the Michaelmas term and ends with the Trinity term. In the middle of each term there is a week-long half-term holiday. The pupils receive an extra week of holiday in the three major holidays between terms, compared to most state schools of England.
The pastoral care of the Senior School and Lower School are organised by houses. Pupils are allocated to one of the eight houses upon joining the Senior School, or one of the three houses in the Lower School, and stay with that house as they move up through the year groups. Each house is headed by a House Master, who is a member of staff in a particular house. The House Masters are managed by the Principal Deputy Head, who is accountable to the Head Master for the day-to-day pastoral care and discipline of the school, as well as for much of the rest of the school's non-academic activity. In the Senior School the houses are named after distinguished former pupils or Head Masters, with the exception of School House, and each is designated a colour. In the Lower School the houses are named after the historic gates of Norwich: Conisford, Heigham and Magdalen. The Senior School houses are:
|Brooke||Yellow||Sir James Brooke|
|Coke||Royal blue||Sir Edward Coke|
|Nelson||Red||Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson|
|Parker||White and Black||Matthew Parker|
|Repton||Burnt gold||Humphry Repton|
|School||Green||Owes name to its origins as a boarding house[nb 3]|
|Seagrim||Wine red||Derek Seagrim and Hugh Seagrim|
The daily care of the pupils is the responsibility of tutors, who are members of teaching staff within a particular house. Each year group within a house is run by a tutor; sixth form groups, which are larger, have two tutors. The tutor sees everyone in the tutor group daily for registration, and weekly for a longer tutor period. The tutor monitors the pupil's academic progress, general welfare, extracurricular involvement and is the first point of contact for pastoral and academic matters.
Trafalgar Day is marked on 21 October each year with a service held in the cathedral to honour Lord Nelson who attended the school between 1768 and 1769 under Edmond Simmons' headship. Following the service the entire school gathers at Nelson's statue in the Close where there is the laying of wreaths accompanied by the Last Post.
There are around 30 clubs and societies, including electronics, debating, philosophical discussion, politics, creative writing, Amnesty International, yoga, conservation, chess, cookery, film. The school also runs student exchanges with schools in France, Germany, Spain and Liechtenstein. Other overseas visits have been to Austria, Canada, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Holland, Iceland, India, Israel, Russia, Turkey and the United States. In addition, the school offers the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and sixth-formers take part in the Young Enterprise Scheme and a community service programme where pupils volunteer in various local organisations around the city.
The school owns a gymnasium, a tennis court and two sports grounds, one at the Lower Close and the other just north of the city. The main sports for boys are rugby, hockey and cricket; for girls, they are hockey, netball and rounders. The school also excels in fencing, cross-country, athletics, tennis, and rowing. Other sports offered include: swimming, sailing, football, kayaking, cycling, martial arts, orienteering, shooting and badminton.
Music and drama
Almost two-thirds of pupils play instruments or sing regularly in orchestras, bands and choirs, and in total there are 26 music groups which rehearse weekly at the school. The Annual Easter Music Tour has run since 2007 with successful trips to Dublin, Rome, Barcelona, Venice, Paris and Belgium. Norwich School musicians have sung and played in venues such as St Peter's Basilica, St Mark's Basilica and Brussels Cathedral. There are a number of productions including plays, drama evenings and musicals throughout the year. The Senior Play is performed in the Maddermarket Theatre, the Junior Play is performed at the Norwich Puppet Theatre, whilst the annual musical is performed at the Norwich Playhouse.
The school participates and has an organisational role in the annual Young Norfolk Arts Festival, which aims to give artistic and cultural opportunities to young people in Norfolk through creative partner organisations. The Head Master, Steffan Griffiths, chairs the committee which organises the festival which is held from late June to early July. The inaugural festival in 2013 was launched by Dame Judi Dench and included partnerships with EPIC Studios, The Garage, Norfolk County Music Service, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Puppet Theatre, Norwich Sound & Vision, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Sistema in Norwich, Writers’ Centre Norwich, in addition to events run by the school.
8th Norwich Sea Scouts
The 8th Norwich Sea Scout Group and the associated Octavi Explorer Scout Unit are sponsored by Norwich School and membership is restricted to members of the school. The Group has a combined membership of 300 and is one of about 100 Sea Scout groups in the country recognised by the Royal Navy, for which it receives a number of privileges. The Group is also a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre, and runs courses for dinghy sailing, powerboating and marine VHF radio. There are continuous opportunities to gain the BCU star awards. In 2013 the group celebrated its 90th anniversary since becoming linked with the school in 1923. However, it is claimed that the group first gathered back in 1908 at the beginning of the scouting movement, which would make it one of the oldest scout groups in the world.
The Lower School is an independent preparatory co-educational day school for pupils aged seven to eleven. There are currently around 170 pupils in the Lower School. The vast majority of pupils from the Lower School progress to the Senior School at age eleven. There are close links between the Lower and Senior Schools. In total, there are 13 full-time and 31 part-time members of the teaching staff.
Admission and fees
Admission is based on assessments in English, mathematics, and reasoning, an academic reference from the applicant's current school and an interview. Pupils enter the Lower School at age 7 (Year Three) though there may be a limited number who enter at ages 8, 9 and 10 (Years Four, Five and Six). Entry to the Senior School is at age 11 (Year Seven) and a smaller number at age 13 (Year Nine). Around 50 pupils enter the sixth form at age 16 (Year Twelve). Scholarships are available, reducing school fees by up to 20%, and a number of means-tested bursaries are available up to a maximum value of the entirety of school fees. Music scholarships, academic scholarships and other awards are also available. A scheme dating back to 1951 provides cathedral choristers with 50% bursaries through the Norwich Cathedral Choir Endowment Fund. The fees for the 2013/2014 academic year for the Lower School are £11,997 per annum (£3,999 per term), and £13,167 per annum (£4,389 per term) for the Senior School. The school also charges fees for lunches and entries for public examinations.
Past pupils of Norwich School are known as Old Norvicensians (ONs). Over the years the school has educated a number of notable figures, including Lord Nelson, the jurist Sir Edward Coke, Rajah of Sarawak Sir James Brooke, philosopher Samuel Clarke, former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Ashcroft, author George Borrow, 2010 World Time Trial Champion cyclist Emma Pooley, and 10 Fellows of the Royal Society among many others. Several members of the 19th-century art movement, the Norwich School of painters, were also educated at the school.
- Theodore Acland, Head Master 1930 to 1943, clergyman
- John Crome, drawing master and founder of the Norwich School of painters
- David N. Farr, historian
- John Hoadly, deputy Head Master 1700 and Archbishop of Armagh
- Samuel Hoadly, Head Master 1700 to 1705 and author
- Charles Hodgson, mathematics and drawing master and supporter of the Norwich School of painters
- David Hodgson, drawing master and supporter of the Norwich School of painters
- Augustus Jessopp, Head Master 1859 to 1880, founding member of the HMC and historian
- Thomas Kidd, Head Master and classical scholar
- George William Lemon, Head Master 1769 to 1778 and writer
- Samuel Parr, Head Master 1778 to 1785 and writer
- Henry Stebbing, usher, author and clergyman
- Philip Stibbe, Head Master 1975 to 1984, former Chindit and author
- O. W. Tancock, Head Master 1880 to 1890, author
- Rev. Edward Valpy, Head Master 1810 to 1829 and classical scholar
- G. A. Williamson, Senior Classics Master 1922 to 1960 who translated many histories of Roman times
- John Woolley, Head Master 1849 to 1852 and first Principal of the University of Sydney
- The school is registered with the Charity Commission as "King Edward The Sixth Grammar School, Norwich" operating under the name of Norwich School. It has also been variously known throughout its history as the "Free School", "Norwich Grammar School" and "King Edward VI's Grammar School at Norwich".
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