Sutton Grammar School for Boys

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Sutton Grammar School
SGS crest.JPG
Mottoes Keep Faith /
Floreat Suttona
Established 1899
Type Grammar school, Academy
Headmaster Mr Gordon Ironside
Location Manor Lane
England Coordinates: 51°21′54″N 0°11′23″W / 51.36509°N 0.18974°W / 51.36509; -0.18974
DfE number 319/5404
DfE URN 136787 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 839
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses Blue, Brown, Green, Red
Colours Maroon and Black          
Publication The Suttonian

Sutton Grammar School is a selective, single-sex grammar school for pupils aged 11–18 inclusive. Located in the south of Greater London, the School comprises grounds in both Sutton and neighbouring Cheam Village. Since 1 June 2011, Sutton Grammar School for Boys has also had academy status.


Early life[edit]

The School opened in 1899 with an intake of only 19 boys. It has always been an all-boys school, selective in nature, and began life charging fees of £2 10s per term. The School has undergone several name changes; it used to be known as Sutton County Grammar School, and later Sutton Manor School (owing to its proximity with the old Sutton Manor).[1]

The first Headmaster of the School was Mr E H Hensley, who studied at Cambridge University, where he achieved a first class degree in Mathematics.[2]

The first Deputy Headmaster (or Second Master) was Mr L A Valencia, who studied Classics at Cambridge University.[2]


The current Headteacher is Mr G D Ironside, who studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. The current Deputy Headteacher is Mrs Ingrid Sutherland, who studied Philosophy at the University of Warwick.

The School operates a prefect system with a Head Boy (currently Craig "Lazy all day" Wyatt), two Deputy Head Boys (currently David DHB Schofield and Chris McAlister), Senior Prefects and part-time Prefects from the Sixth Form.


Date Headteacher
1899–1925 E H Hensley
1925–56 J A Cockshutt
1956–76 F A Walch
1976–84 A P W Collins
1985–90 N P O Green
1990–present G D Ironside
Date Deputy Headteacher
1899–1934 L A Valencia
1934–50 H Morris
1950–66 A M Lorimer
1966–77 G Scott
1977–89 R G Disley
1989–2007 G G Gibson
2007–present I Sutherland


In 2011, the School placed within the top 1% of secondary schools in England in academic league tables, and is consistently ranked amongst the top schools in England.[3]

The School was ranked as the best school in the country for Physics in the Good Schools Guide 2005.[4]

The School admits pupils from the ages of 11 to 18, or Years 7 to 13 (Upper Sixth) in the English academic system. The School is selective, requiring pupils to pass an eleven plus examination in order to gain admittance. There are approximately 120 pupils in each year for the main school (Years 7 to 11) and slightly fewer for the Sixth Form, varying year-on-year.

Entry requirements for the Sixth Form are a minimum of 4 'A' grades and 2 'B' grades at GCSE.[5] Pupils are further required to meet specialist grade requirements in relation to the subjects they wish to study in the Sixth Form. Pupils who wish to join from other schools are also required to achieve higher grades and pass an admissions interview.

School grounds[edit]

The School was founded in 1899 on a site between Throwley Way and the High Street in the area now occupied by a tower block behind the Wilkinson store.

Since 1928, the School has been located in central Sutton, directly opposite Manor Park. There has recently been extensive building work carried out to expand the main site.

Main site[edit]

The main site consists of the following:

  • Main building: Oldest School building, until recently featuring original Victorian panelled windows. Includes the School hall, multiple science laboratories, English and mathematics classrooms, two secondary IT suites and a recently reconstructed drama studio. In 2010 a new building containing a drama room and two music rooms was constructed.
  • Library: Large building containing fiction, non-fiction and reference books. Overseen by a full-time adult librarian. Contains several computers for academic use.
  • Dining hall: Recently completed in 2006 to replace the old canteen.
  • Sports hall: Opened in July 2005 by Sir Bobby Robson CBE, who helped fund part of the hall and whose grandson attended the School. Also contains modern foreign language classrooms occupying the first floor.
  • Swimming pool: Outdoor semi-heated pool.
  • Humanities building: Built in 1997, containing a large IT classroom, history, geography and religious education rooms, as well as one of the School's two art studios.
  • Music and design technology building: Contains a music classroom, soundproof music practice rooms and two DT rooms (containing an IT suite, practical workshop with heavy machinery, and design suite).
  • Drama and Music building: Constructed over the summer of 2010, the building is located in the corner of the yard between the Sports Hall and DT Rooms. The two-storey structure contains two classrooms upstairs and a larger single room downstairs.
  • Mathematics building: Newly built for the school year commencing 2012 – housing six new classrooms primarily being used for mathematics.

Walch Memorial Playing Fields[edit]

Located off Northey Avenue, Cheam Village, these extensive off-site grounds consist of the following:

  • Pavilion: Overlooking the playing fields, this building contains the School bar and an events room on the top floor (predominantly used for Old Suttonians' events, leavers' events and Sports Day) and sports changing rooms and a small shop on the bottom floor.
  • Sports fields: Contains football and rugby pitches, cricket fields, long/triple jump sandpits and a cross-country course.


The School currently offers the following sports:[6]

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Cross-country
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics
  • Indoor rowing
  • Rugby
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis

Sports take place at either the on-site sports hall, main school hall, swimming pool, Walch Memorial Playing Fields at Northey Avenue, Cheam Village, or Sutton Junior Tennis Centre. When playing sports at the Walch Memorial Playing Fields, pupils are transported a short distance in the School coach or minibuses.

The most widely played sport at the School is currently football. In Years 7–10, there are 'A' and 'B' teams for each year group. Then, there are four further teams covering Years 11–13 (referred to as the 1st XI, 2nd XI, etc.).


Upon entry to the School, pupils are allocated to one of four forms, each form being associated with one of the four houses.[7] In Year 7, pupils are taught within their forms. From Year 8 upwards, pupils are often taught with their peers from other forms.

House House master
Blue House J Costello (Tutor for 10Bl)
Brown House R Mundy (Tutor for 11Br)
Green House Mr Storey (Tutor for 7Gr)
Red House S Karlsson (Tutor for 10Re)

House Shield[edit]

The House Shield is based on house points, awarded for academic and sporting achievement.[7] The House Shield was most recently won by Red House in 2012/13. As part of the House Shield competition, the following events and more are held each year:

  • House Art
  • House Athletics
  • House Badminton
  • House Basketball
  • House Charity
  • House Citizenship
  • House Comedy
  • House Cricket
  • House Cross Country
  • House Debating
  • House Drama
  • House Football
  • House Gymnastics
  • House Humanities Quiz
  • House Music
  • House Poetry
  • House Physics
  • House Rowing
  • House Swimming

House captains[edit]

Each year, the House Masters appoint House Captains, who lead pupils in pastoral activities throughout the year. Many address pupils during assemblies, help to organise sports teams, lead the warm-up lap in opening the annual House Athletics Championships and, at the end of their tenure, help to select their successor. They are assisted by a Secretary and occasionally a Vice-Captain.

Combined cadet force[edit]

The School has one of the most highly respected training programmes of all cadet forces in the country.[8] It was raised in early 1915 and officially recognised by the War Office in June 1915.[9] Over the years, boys from the School’s CCF have both served and fought for their country in successive campaigns and wars.[10]

In recent years, the Cadet Force has introduced more external activities. The CCF has expanded with new members and the recent involvement of Nonsuch High School for Girls in the Army section in the late 1990s (sponsored by the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry) and now, as of 2007, in the RAF section which previously maintained all male membership.

The officer team of the CCF is headed by Wing Commander Hobbs, an ex-Head Cadet and ex-Head Boy. The CCF is under the leadership of this officer team and an annually appointed Cadet Corporal Major (Army Section), currently Sam Goodliffe and Cadet Flight Sergeant (RAF Section), currently Josh James, from the ranks of the sixth form cadets. Ex-cadets are able to stay in contact with each other via the Old Suttonians Cadet Association (OSCA), which is affiliated to the Old Suttonians Association (OSA). The head of the RAF section has long been Giles Marshall, a current teacher at the school.

The Old Suttonians Association[edit]

The Old Suttonians Association (OSA) is the membership group for Old Boys of the School. The OSA was originally founded as the Old Suttonians Football Club in 1906, and soon after as the Old Suttonians Association in 1909. Both were formed by a master of the School, Mr S A Birks. 2006, therefore, saw the one-hundredth anniversary of the Old Suttonians Football Club, whilst the OSA itself is celebrated its centenary in 2009. The Old Suttonians Cadet Association marked its 10th anniversary in the same year.

Today, there are seven clubs affiliated to the Association:

  • The Cowdray Club
  • The Old Suttonians Basketball Club
  • The Old Suttonians Cadet Association
  • The Old Suttonians Cricket Club
  • The Old Suttonians Football Club
  • The Old Suttonians Rugby Football Club
  • The Old Suttonians Scuba Club

In its lifetime, the OSA has had a very diverse range of affiliated activities attached to it. A literary and debating society, a cycling and rambling club, chess and bridge clubs, and a very strong swimming club were all in evidence at some point during the period 1909–1970.

The OSA runs an annual reunion dinner in September of each year and, on a more intermittent basis, reunions for the various year groups, most recently for those at the School under the Headmastership of Mr Hensley or Mr Cockshutt.

Notable staff[edit]

Notable former pupils[edit]






Further reading[edit]

  • Heater, Derek. Keeping Faith: A History of Sutton Grammar School. Ian Allan Printing Ltd. 
  • Jones, Arthur Edward (1975). A Small School in the Great War: The Story of Sutton County School and Its Old Boys in World War I. ISBN 0-9502933-1-8. 


  1. ^ Heater, D: "Keeping Faith: A History of Sutton Grammar School", p12
  2. ^ a b Heater, D: "Keeping Faith: A History of Sutton Grammar School", p13
  3. ^ School league tables 2011, BBC, 26 January 2012
  4. ^ The London Borough of Sutton: Press release, 30 June 2005
  5. ^ Official school website
  6. ^ Sutton Grammar School PE Department website.
  7. ^ a b Official School website
  8. ^ Heater, D: "Always Keeping Faith: A History of Sutton Grammar School", p178
  9. ^ Heater, D: "Always Keeping Faith: A History of Sutton Grammar School", p30-31
  10. ^ Heater, D: "Keeping Faith: A History of Sutton Grammar School", p29 & p70

External links[edit]