Bancroft's School

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This article is about the school in England. For the school in the United States, see Bancroft School.
Bancroft's School
Bancrofts School.jpg
Motto Unto God Only Be Honour and Glory
Established 1737
Type Independent day school
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mrs M.E. Ireland
Chaplain Rev. I Moore
Chairman of Governors Stephen Foakes, TD, DL, FCIB
Founder Francis Bancroft
Location High Road
Woodford Green
Greater London
IG8 0RF
England Coordinates: 51°36′17″N 0°01′39″E / 51.60482°N 0.02742°E / 51.60482; 0.02742
Local authority Redbridge
DfE number 317/6063
DfE URN 102875 Tables
Staff c.90
Students 1000 (including 200 in the preparatory school)
Gender Coeducational
Ages 7–18
Houses      North
     East
     West
     School
Colours Blue, Black
Former pupils Old Bancroftians
Website www.bancrofts.org

Bancroft's School is a co-educational independent school located in Woodford Green, Essex and the London Borough of Redbridge. The school currently has around 1,000 pupils aged between 7 and 18, around 200 of whom are pupils of the Preparatory School and 800 of whom are pupils of the Senior School. Typically just under 10% of students at the school go on to study at either Oxford or Cambridge University, putting the school at 90th in the country in terms of Oxbridge admissions.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The school was founded in 1737, following the death of Francis Bancroft,[1] who bequeathed a sizeable sum of money to the Drapers' Company, which continues to act as trustee for the school. Bancroft's began in the Mile End Road in London's East End as a small charitable day school for boys, with an attached almshouse for 24 elderly gentlemen, and over the next 250 years it evolved steadily to its present form.

The foundation was originally known as Bancroft's Hospital and until the late 19th century also acted as home for almsmen.[citation needed] The school then moved to a new site at Woodford Green and the original buildings were demolished; the site is now occupied by Queen Mary College, a colleges of the University of London.

A school cricket match in front of the prep school

The new school in Woodford Green occupies four and a half acres, and the main buildings were designed by Arthur Blomfield, who was also responsible for Selwyn College in Cambridge. Originally there were just a hundred pupils, including sixty boarders, but the numbers grew steadily during the twentieth century until there were nearly one thousand on the roll. The buildings were also extended, with the Science Block (1910), a new Assembly Hall (1937), the Adams Building (1964), a new Gymnasium Block (1975), the Prep School (1990), the Courtyard Building (2006), new Sports Block (2007), and Prep School Extension (2009).

Following the Education Act 1944, Bancroft's became a direct grant grammar school. However, the removal of this status in the 1970s prompted the governors to decide on three courses of action: to discontinue boarding, to admit girls for the first time and become fully independent. Some years later the decision was also taken to build a new Preparatory Department. These were all completed by 1990; the school now takes half its pupils from age 7, and half the pupils are now girls. In 1997, the government abolished the Assisted Places Scheme, which had helped children from poor families to attend the school; the governors replaced these by Francis Bancroft Scholarships, which were supported by the Drapers' Company and by the residue of Francis Bancroft's original will. These awards are means-tested, and can be worth the entire school fee.

In 2004, a new major building programme began. The Courtyard Building, consisting of new kitchens, a communal atrium, staff offices, further teaching rooms and a new Sixth Form Centre, was opened by Chris Woodhead in February 2006, and a new large Sports Hall was completed at the beginning of the Summer Term 2007. In 2009, a conversion of the old gymnasium into a modern Drama Centre was finished with students enjoying the new facilities available. A large new building for the prep school and a second floor in the historic library for additional computer usage was completed in 2010. In 2011, an extension to the recently built 6th form block comprising a number of new facilities including a separate 6th form library was completed. The school also continues to invest heavily in its IT infrastructure with the roll-out of new hardware and software systems in 2007.

Mary Ireland became headmistress in January 2008, succeeding Peter Scott. She last worked at Christ's Hospital, where she was deputy head to Peter Southern, himself a previous headmaster at Bancroft's.

The school team, lead by prodigious teacher Kevin Gallagher won the Kids' Lit Quiz in 2009 at the world final in South Africa.[2]

Year groups[edit]

Prep School
Year Name
Year 3 Alpha
Year 4 Beta
Year 5 Prep 1
Year 6 Prep 2
Senior School
Year Name
Year 7 Thirds
Year 8 Removes
Year 9 Lower Fourth
Year 10 Upper Fourth
Year 11 Fifth Form
Year 12 Lower Sixth
Year 13 Upper Sixth

Prep School[edit]

Bancroft's Preparatory School
Established 1990
Type Preparatory day school
Head Joe Layburn
DfE number 317/6071
DfE URN 132134 Tables
Students 200~
Gender Coeducational
Ages 7–11
Website Prep School website

The prep school was founded in 1990 after the senior school had converted from a direct grant grammar to an independent school. Unlike most traditional prep schools, the final year is Year 6 (age 11) and not Year 8 (age 13). It is situated near Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green.

Curriculum[edit]

For the first two years, students study the following subjects: English, Maths, Spanish, German, ICT, Combined Science, Drama, Classics (in Thirds, Year 7), Religious Studies, Geography, Latin (from Removes, Year 8) and upwards, PSHE, History, PE, Games, Music, Technology and Art.

In the Remove year (Year 8), students choose a second language (Mandarin, Russian or Classical Greek) and to drop two creative subjects (from Art, Music, Design Technology & Electronics, and Drama) to study in the Lower Fourth Year.

At GCSE level, all pupils take the following common core subjects: English, English Literature, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Four additional subjects are chosen, one of which must be a modern language: Art, DT, Electronics, Music, Spanish, German, French, Latin, Classical Civilisation, Ancient Greek, Religious Studies, Geography, History and Ancient History of which the majority of students choose to specialise in Greek Civilisation .

The school has opted to follow the IGCSE syllabus in Mathematics and English. About a quarter of the pupils take Mathematics a year early, and go on to take Additional Maths in the Fifth Form. A similar proportion take French a year early, and then go on to study a third of the AS Level course and now Critical Thinking as well, with the option to take the AS exam in Critical Thinking at the end of the year.

A-Level students pick four of the subjects from the list that the school offers: Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Critical Thinking, Design Technology, Drama, Economics, Electronics, English Literature, French, Geography, German, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Studies and Spanish. There are also courses to AS level in Government and Politics, and Music Technology.

Play Directing, German (beginners), Spanish (beginners), Circuit Training, Creative Writing, Computer programming, Music Theory, Financial Studies, Medicine, ICT (ECDL) and Critical Analysis are also offered to students choosing to continue with only three of their A-Level choices in the Upper Sixth. Only the more academically challenged students tend to take four subjects,

Grading system[edit]

Pre-GCSE students (Thirds, Removes and Lower-Fourths [up to the last half-term of the year]) are given grades with A to D measuring effort (With A representing the highest level of effort given) and 6 to 1 measuring achievement (With 6 representing the highest level of achievement). GCSE students receive a number grade for achievement ranging from 1 to 9, 9 being a high A*, 8 being an A*, 7 being a A/A*, 6 being an A, and so on, along with three separate letter grades, which are based on a student's attitude, classwork and homework. In sixth form years, grading is carried out using the same letter and number grades as those used for GCSE students, but numeric grades correspond to expected AS or A Level results instead.

Previous headmasters[edit]

Name Joined Left
Herbert Clement Playne 1906 1931
Thomas Grantham Wells 1931 1943
Sydney Adams 1944 1965
Ian MacDonald Richardson 1965 1985
Peter Campbell David Southern 1985 1995
Peter Scott 1995 2008
Mary Ireland 2008 -

[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Born Died Known For
Connop Thirlwall 1797 1875 Bishop of Saint David's, 1840–1874, and historian
Sir Allan Powell 1876 1948 Chairman of Governors of the BBC, 1939–1946
Sir Reader Bullard 1885 1976 Ambassador to Iran, 1943–1945
Robert "Eddie" Cruickshank 1888 1961 World War I Victoria Cross
Gilbert Waterhouse 1893 1916 Trench poet
Sir Kenneth Peppiatt 1893 1983 20th Chief Cashier, Bank of England, 1934–1949
Anthony Jacques Mantle, DFC 1899 1988 World War I Distinguished Flying Cross
Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus Charles Newman 1904 1972 World War II Victoria Cross
Norman Suckling 1904 1994 Biographer, composer, pianist, writer on music, and educator
Sir Frederick Warner 1910 2010 Chemical engineer
Denis Quilley 1927 2003 Actor
Sir Neil Macfarlane 1936 Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam 1974–1992
John F. Dewey 1937 Structural geologist, authority on the development and evolution of mountain ranges
Martyn Turner 1948 Political cartoonist
David Pannick 1956 Barrister
Hartley Jackson 1952 Chartered Accountant, Director of Jackson & Jackson
Michael Richard Lynch 1965 The first British-based internet billionaire entrepreneur
Alan Davies 1966 Comedian, writer and actor
Hari Kunzru 1969 British Indian novelist (The Impressionist)
Samantha Smith 1971 Former British No. 1 ladies tennis player
Adam Foulds 1974 Novelist and poet
Russell Lissack 1981 Lead Guitarist, Bloc Party
Samantha Spiro 1968 Olivier Award-winning actress (Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick)

The Old Bancroftian Association[edit]

The Old Bancroftian Association (OBA) was founded in 1892 when the Old Bancroftians' Football Club was formed, although there were already a few unofficial groups which had been around since the 1860s. The first meeting was held in 1896 at the Haunch of Venison in Fleet Street. However, a constitution was not agreed until 1909, when the first President, H.C Playne[4] (who was also the school's Head Master), was appointed. The idea of the association was to keep young and old members together.

The association grew rapidly over the years, to a size of 3175 members in 2005, when membership for life was introduced for all Bancroftians.[5]

The association provides a range services for former members of the school, including the organisation of reunions and sports acivities, including cricket, rugby golf, and Masonic Lodge.

References[edit]

External links[edit]