Sir Thomas Rich's School

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Sir Thomas Rich's School
Motto Garde Ta Foy (Keep The Faith)
Established 1666
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher Mr M.S.R. Morgan
Founder Sir Thomas Rich
Location Oakleaze
Longlevens, Gloucester
England Coordinates: 51°52′23″N 2°12′21″W / 51.872954°N 2.20585°W / 51.872954; -2.20585
Ofsted Pre-academy reports
Students 827
Gender Male, with a mixed Sixth Form
Ages 11–18
Houses Northgate (Green)
Eastgate (Gold)
Southgate (Blue)
Westgate (Red)

Sir Thomas Rich's School is a grammar school with academy status for boys (aged 11–18) and girls (aged 16–18, in the sixth form) in Longlevens, Gloucester, England, locally known as "Tommies". It was founded in 1666 by Sir Thomas Rich, 1st Baronet Rich of Sonning.


The will[edit]

In Sir Thomas Rich's will of 1666 he left his Gloucester house, in Eastgate and £6,000 (a considerable amount for the time) for a school to be established for twenty poor boys in Gloucester. The money was mainly invested in farm land and the rent was to pay for the running of the school. The school was opened in 1667, a year after Sir Thomas Rich's death.[1] Sir Thomas Rich decreed that the pupils should wear "blue coats and caps according to the laudable usage of Christ Church Hospital in London." The blue drugget gown and yellow stockings were replaced in 1882 by the modern equivalent, the blue blazer. The uniform now consists of shirt, blazer (two varieties), tie (four varieties), black trousers, black socks and black or dark brown shoes.

Modern history[edit]

The school in June 2013

The school moved to its present location from the centre of Gloucester in May 1964. Improvements include a new quadrangle of classrooms completed in 1994. The school has much increased in size since 1990, with the addition of many new buildings, such as a second quadrangle, sports hall, swimming pool, language block, music block, food technology block located next to the language block, and a newly built sixth form centre. During 2013, the older sections underwent major modernisation, including the replacement of all windows and the front part of the building.


Swimming pool[edit]

The school added a swimming pool in 1966 as part of the Tercentenary celebrations. It was closed in the early 1990s, but re-opened in 1995. The pool is also used by neighbouring junior schools and local community organisations. The school often enters teams into county swimming galas with success most years.

Bowling green[edit]

It is thought that the school is the only one in the country with its own bowling green, available for use by senior pupils who possess bowls shoes and by the Sir Thomas Rich's Bowls Club, and rented out to other organisations.

The "Old Gym"[edit]

The old gym is used for sports such as table tennis, basketball, and gymnastics; it is also used as a venue for exams. The newer, larger, sports hall is more often used.

Sports hall[edit]

Opened in 1999, the sports hall is part of the STRS Sports Centre complex which provides sports facilities for the school and Longlevens. The school also has a fitness suite that students are able to join for an annual fee.[2] The hall is also rented out to other associations.

The W J Veale Language Block[edit]

Built in 2002, and named after former headmaster W. J. Veale, it originally had with five classrooms and one computer room for modern language tuition in connection with the school's recently received Language College status. In 2007, an extension provided another modern language room and three geography classrooms.

School Rugby[edit]

Sir Thomas Rich’s School Rugby Football Club has a long and illustrious history with many Old Richians[who?]gaining international schoolboy caps.

The "Tommy" psalm[edit]

Believed to be one of the oldest school-based psalms[citation needed], the Tommy psalm is sung on speech day and Founders Day (roughly the 2nd to 3rd week of May).

The number of syllables in the fifth line of the third verse, ("Sixteen thousand pounds of what God gave",) does not fit with the rhythm of the psalm and does not correlate with the six thousand pounds left by Sir Thomas Rich for the founding of the school.

Let us rejoice with cheerful voice,
God's goodness magnify,
Who freely grants to all our wants,
Most plentiful supply.
Naked and poor to clothe and feed,
From misery to raise,
How truly great and noble 'tis,
How worthy is the praise.

Base pleasure 'tis mankind to hurt,
Although the only joy
Of ill men who abuse their wealth,
The harmless to annoy.
Within this city, thanks to God,
Such bounteous works abound
As have embalmed the authors' names,
By faith most richly crowned.

And in this rank of pious men,
Our founder, though the last
In time, yet in munificence
By none has been surpassed;
Sixteen thousand pounds of what God gave,
He did lend back again,
Though having issue of his blood,
Did not poor heirs disdain.

Whene'er we come, our gratitude
Shall there make it appear,
Who 'twas at first did nourish us
And who doth feed us here.
The pious part of this large store
In heaven's treasury lies,
Whilst the earthly stock's secured below
In the hands of good and wise.

And may this place and the whole realm
In peace protected be,
And happily may our Queen reign,
Blessed with peace and prosperity.


External links[edit]