Archbishop Tenison's Church of England School
|Type||Voluntary aided school|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Chair of Governors||Simon Tenison|
|Location||55 Kennington Oval
|DfE URN||100640 Tables|
|Colours||Navy and Red|
- For the school of the same name in Croydon see Arcbishop Tenison's School, Croydon
Tenison's is now an 11–18 voluntary aided, boys and girls in September 2015 comprehensive school, part of the educational provision of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark and the London Borough of Lambeth. Girls are admitted to the sixth form. Tenison's became a specialist arts college in 2003. The school caters for around 530 pupils, of whom 80 are in the sixth form. The school is located directly opposite The Oval cricket ground, home of Surrey County Cricket Club.
Thomas Tenison, an educational evangelist and later Archbishop of Canterbury, founded several schools in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A boys' school now at the Oval was founded in 1685 in the crypt of St Martin's in the Fields and relocated by 1895 in Leicester Square on the site previously occupied by the Sabloniere Hotel. The school moved to The Oval in 1928, with the new building being opened by the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII). A girls' school was formally established in 1706 for 12 girls and in 1863 a new school building was erected at 18 Lambeth High Street. The girls school closed in 1961, when it amalgamated with Archbishop Temple's Boys School to form a mixed VA school. The building was used by Temple's as a first-year annex from 1968 to 1974, when Archbishop Temple's School closed. Archbishop Tenison founded another school in nearby Croydon in 1714.
Archbishop Tenison's at The Oval became a grammar school, then a comprehensive. Tenison's became a Grant-Maintained school in 1993, and a Voluntary-Aided School in 1998.
The badges of both the schools founded by Thomas Tenison are based on his personal coat of arms, which consist of the arms of the see of Canterbury impaling the Tenison family arms. The former, placed on the dexter side of honour, are blazoned as: Azure, an archiepiscopal cross in pale or surmounted by a pall proper charged with four crosses patee fitchee sable. The arms of Tenison, placed on the sinister side of the escutcheon are blazoned as: Gules, a bend engrailed argent voided azure between three leopard's faces or jessant-de-lys azure. In standard English: a red field bearing a white (or silver) diagonal band with scalloped edges, and a narrower blue band running down its centre. This lies between three gold heraldic lion's faces, each of which is pierced by a fleur-de-lys entering through the mouth.
These arms are a difference, or variant, of the mediaeval arms of the Denys family of Siston, Gloucestershire, (Gules, three leopard's faces or jessant-de-lys azure over all a bend engrailed of the last) and may have been adopted by the Tenison family because its name signifies "Denys's or Denis's son". The arms without the bend were originally those of the Norman de Cantilupe family, whose feudal tenants the Denys family probably were in connection with Candleston Castle in Glamorgan. St Thomas Cantilupe (d.1282), Bishop of Hereford, was the first to adopt these jessant-de-lys arms in place of his former arms of three fleurs-de-lys, visible on his seal. He gave a reversed (i.e. upside down) version of the new Cantilupe arms to the See of Hereford, which uses them to this day. A version of the Denys arms was also adopted by the family of the poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, not known to have been a descendant of Archbishop Thomas Tenison. The bend engrailed correctly "debruises" the leopard's faces, that is to say it is superimposed on them, as a heraldic difference. However this image was later on occasion "tidied-up" to show the bend passing between the leopard's faces, for example on a 17th-century mural monument to the Denys family in Pucklechurch Church.
The school achieves well above average GCSE results.
Notable Old Tenisonians (OTs)
- Carl Cort, footballer
- Jason Euell, footballer
- Patrick Harrington, political activist
- Stephen Moore, actor
- Shaun Newton, footballer
- Barry Hayles, footballer
- Carl Wheatle, basketballer
- Jeremiah Emmanuel, youth influencer
Archbishop Tenison's Grammar School
- Nigel Anthony, aka Nigel "Nat" Gosling, actor
- Tony Banks, Baron Stratford, Labour MP from 1997–2005 for West Ham and from 1983-97 for Newham North West
- Richard Blake, editor from 1981–86 of Whitaker's Almanack
- Nicky Clarke, celebrity hair stylist
- Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely
- Cyril Easthaugh, Bishop of Peterborough
- George Field, Serjeant at Arms from 1935-49
- Richard Findlater, journalist and author, and editor from 1961–85 of The Author
- Chris Gent, former Chief Executive Officer from 1997–2003 of Vodafone, and Chairman since 2005 of GlaxoSmithKline
- Bernard Gillman, General-Secretary from 1973–85 of the Society of Civil and Public Servants
- Nick Kurth, air vice-marshal, Chief of RAF Staff Support Air Command since 2007, and President since 2005 of the RAF Mountaineering Association
- Don Letts, musician, member of Big Audio Dynamite
- George Murray, Chief Leader Writer of the Daily Mail from 1939–70
- Gary Olsen, actor
- Arthur Payne, Director from 1968–78 of the Shoe and Allied Trade Research Association, and former Industrial Professor at Loughborough University's Institute of Polymer Technology
- Chris Riddell, award winning illustrator, author, political cartoonist
- Alfred Shepperd, Chief Executive from 1986–90 of Wellcome plc (merged with Glaxo in 1995), and of the Wellcome Foundation from 1977-90
- Ernest Whitfield, 1st Baron Kenswood, violinist