Tadcaster Grammar School
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|Local authority||North Yorkshire|
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The school is no longer situated in the brewery town of Tadcaster, but in the hamlet of Toulston just outside the town. The school's catchment includes Tadcaster and its surrounding villages, while traditionally taking students from the York area, including villages such as Appleton Roebuck, Copmanthorpe, Bishopthorpe and Bilbrough. It educates children aged 11–18 years old, and has an on-site sixth form. Since 1998, the headmaster has been Geoff Mitchell.
The school became a specialist Business and Enterprise College in 2003 and received High Performing Specialist School Status in 2007, with the school achieving some of the best GCSE and A-Level results in the county of North Yorkshire. In May 2012 the school received an Ofsted rating of 'Good' overall, with 'Outstanding' behaviour and safety of students. The school has retained its name but is now a comprehensive school. Originally under the grammar school system, pupils who failed their 11 plus exam would have attended Wetherby Secondary Modern School (now Wetherby High School). Since Tadcaster is now in the district of Selby and Wetherby is in the City of Leeds, it is a difficult and bureaucratic process to educate pupils on the opposite side of the borderline to where they live. Although the school is most commonly organised through vertical forms, there do exist six houses, the established houses of Oglethorpe and Dawson, named after the two merging schools' founders, Fairfax, after English Civil War commander-in-chief and alumnus Thomas Fairfax, and Calcaria, the Roman name for Tadcaster, with two new houses, Toulston and Wharfe, whose names were selected by pupils.
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In 1960 it moved to the site of Toulston Lodge, just outside Tadcaster. Although Toulston Lodge has now been converted into classrooms, as opposed to living quarters, the original fireplace is still in place, as is the skylight and the wooden elephants that surround it. There is a claim that Toulston Lodge once belonged to Oliver Cromwell.
Since 2000 new school buildings added include a science block, library, and an extension to the Design Technology block. In addition, a new sixth-form block was constructed which also houses Religious Education classrooms, and there is a new entrance area with three business classrooms. Overall it includes three business rooms, one law room, three computer rooms, two science classrooms and three religious education rooms.
During the summer of 2006 a new entrance was built with automatic doors, a new disabled ramp was built for access to the science block and a new path was built along the school car park to the pottery shed. Also, during summer 2009, a new disabled ramp was built for access into the English temporary buildings. New wooden fencing was added in and around the school car park. Another addition to the school was a wooden sculpture at the entrance. This was erected in memory of the fallen Old Tree, formerly a school landmark since the change of site in 1960.
School Houses, into which the pupils of Tadcaster Grammar School are divided, are:
- Oglethorpe House — after Owen Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle, and founder of the school in 1557. Green
- Dawson House — after Dawson's Girls' School, with which Tadcaster Grammar School was merged. Yellow
- Fairfax House — after English Civil War commander-in-chief and alumnus Thomas Fairfax. Blue
- Calcaria House — after the Roman name for Tadcaster. Red
- Toulston House — after school building Toulston Lodge, former residence of Oliver Cromwell. Orange
- Wharfe House — after the River Wharfe, which runs through Tadcaster. Purple
The school has a uniform policy. Boys wear a black blazer, embroidered with the hog, the schools emblem, black trousers, a white shirt and black shoes. Girls wear a plain formal navy skirt, a plain white shirt, tie and a navy v-necked jumper with the school logo; black shoes and navy tights are also worn. Some girls wear trousers instead of a skirt and tights. Ties for lower school are teal and navy, with year 11 ties navy and patterned with the hog emblem. Each tie also features a stripe of colour which correlates to the house to which the student belongs.
Historically the school has leant towards Rugby Football as its main sport, however in recent years Cricket and Association Football teams have been formed, with school alumnus Matthew Kilgallon, Mark Ford, David Brown and the current Leeds United youngster, Charlie Taylor, becoming professional footballers.
Notable former pupils
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Alumni of Tadcaster Grammar School are referred to as 'Old Tadites'. Some notable 'Tadites' include:
- Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron – English Civil War General and parliamentary commander-in-chief.
- John Smith and Samuel Smith – Brothers who established John Smith's Brewery and Samuel Smith Brewery
- Thomas Potter – Industrialist and Liberal politician
- Adelle Stripe – Poet
- Charles Hague – Violinist and professor of music at Cambridge University
- Humphrey Smith – Multi-millionaire owner of Samuel Smith Brewery and businessman
- Glamour Of The Kill – Heavy Rock band
- David Brown – Bradford City footballer
- Matthew Kilgallon – Sunderland footballer
- Mark Westaby – Strongman
- Grammatics – Alternative Rock band
- Ed Bicknell – Musician
- Mark Ford – Leeds United footballer
- Paul Blomfield – Labour Party Politician
- Ross Greenwood – Footballer
- Charlie Taylor – Leeds United footballer
- Lewis Cook - Leeds United footballer
- "Tadcaster Grammar School home page". Tadcaster Grammar School. Retrieved 17 February 2015.