Chosen Hill School

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Chosen Hill School
Large, 1,400 Students
Motto Carpe Diem (Seize the day)
Established 1959
Type Academy
Headteacher Sue Turner
Location Brookfield Road
DfE URN 136623 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 150+
Students 1,413
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses ‹See Tfm›     Scott
‹See Tfm›     Whittle
‹See Tfm›     Masefield
‹See Tfm›     Carne
Colours Bottle green
Publication CHS

Chosen Hill School is a large co-educational academy school in the village of Churchdown in Gloucestershire, England, very close to Cheltenham and near Gloucester. It is also a Beacon School. The school was recently mentioned in The Daily Telegraph as being the most over-subscribed school in Gloucestershire.[1] In June 2009, It was recognised by Ofsted as an Outstanding School.[citation needed] The school has a large Sixth Form, with many students going on to Higher Education, many Russell Group universities.

In 2009, Chosen Hill School sponsored the festival, Cheltenham Science Festival and received a visit from Lord Professor Robert Winston.[citation needed]

In 2011, Chosen Hill School became National Finalists in the Young Enterprise scheme, the first time a Gloucestershire school has gone through to the London finals in 25 years.[citation needed]


Chosen Hill School opened in September 1959 as a selective Grammar Technical School. The opening ceremony was in 1960 by Peter Scott, the Gloucestershire naturalist and author.[2] In the school's first year there were 270 pupils and a staff of 14. Chosen Hill's first headmaster was Dr David Gould. A year later there were 390 children and a staff of 21. By September 1961 there were over 500 pupils with a staff of 26. The school continued to increase by an annual intake of about 125 pupils a year.[2]

In September 1970, the school began the transformation into a 'progressive' comprehensive school. By this time the catchment area stretched as far as Warden Hill, Coombe Glen and Shurdington on the east side of Cheltenham and also included half of Churchdown village.[2] With the move to comprehensive education the children were split into streams, with the top streams entered for O levels and the bottom streams taking CSEs. The less academically able children were offered a wide range of subjects which included social studies, rural science, photography, printing, home decorating, car maintenance, girls' crafts, boys' cookery and typing.[2] Later, pupils were divided into three streams: top, middle and bottom. One of the school's teachers, Mr E Atkinson, developed a special tape recorder-styled visual aid reading machine to help pupils with reading difficulties. The machine was patented and manufactured by a local Cheltenham firm, and it was claimed that most reading problems were solved within two years.[2]

The purpose-built sixth form block, one of the first in Gloucestershire, opened in September 1972. In 1974 the new Upper School block opened which contained a new art room, a commerce room, music rooms and eleven new classrooms, as well as a complete new dining area and kitchens.[3] By this time the school roll had increased to 1,048 and there were more than 60 staff.[2]

In 1997, the school achieved Specialist Technology College status, and in 2002 it was awarded Beacon Status.

In 2008, the school was recognized as an Environmentally Friendly and a Healthy School. It was also mentioned in The Daily Telegraph as being the most over-subscribed school in Gloucestershire.[citation needed]

In 2009, the school sponsored the Cheltenham Science Festival. The school also received a visit from Lord Professor Robert Winston, who gave a talk to a science class about his life as a scientist, Ofsted and all of the science teachers and doctors.

In 2009, Chosen Hill - along with 14 other schools - formed the G15 Partnership, in which they agree to share resources and facilities to improve education. The school also runs a Language Education business in Gloucester Docks.

In 2011, the school officially became an academy under the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat school policy. The school is now independently run with state finance. The school operates as Chosen Hill School Limited.

In 2011, Betty Salter, the schools governor, was awarded a MBE by HM The Queen for her 48-year service to the school.

In 2012, the school received Satisfactory in an Ofsted inspection.[citation needed]


The school has a sports hall which holds four ball courts or one big five-a-side football pitch. The hall was named after former head teacher Alan Winwood. Also one of the two new sixth form blocks has been completed, and has been named the Gould block or "G" block for short after a previous head teacher David Gould.It also has a new Language Block that opened in January 2010.

In 2014, work began on a new block for Design & Art (DART), replacing original DT rooms with brand new ones for woodwork, art, food technology and textiles etc.


The school has four "houses": Carne House, Masefield House, Scott House and Whittle House. House events are held every year in order to gain points for each house, these include; a house music competition in the Autumn, various sports activities throughout the year and an annual Sports Day during summer.


Chosen Hill has a strong reputation for charity fundraising. Every year the school holds a "Come as you like day" when all pupils dress up as whatever they want and pay a minimum of £1. The proceeds are donated to LEPRA. Recently, following the death of the former Student Councillor, the school has started a "Pink Day" in aid of Breast Cancer, with the profits being donated to a Breast Cancer Charity.

Chosen Hill School is a huge campaigner of charity and publishes its charitable donations quarterly and annually. In 2011, the school donated over £7,000 to a number of charities, notably over £4,500 to Royal British Legion.

Renovation work[edit]

In July 2006 Gloucestershire County Council announced that it was providing £1.9 million to Chosen Hill School to replace outdated temporary classrooms with purpose-built facilities.[4] The money will be spent on a new Sixth Form Block, a refurbishment of the Science Blocks and a new Learning Support Building. The refurbishment of the Sixth Form Block started on 15 May 2007 and was completed in September. The Building was officially opened by Mr Gould (now, respectfully, in his late 90s) - Chosen Hill's first Headteacher, after the building was named The Gould Building. Dr David Gould donated £1,100 to the School. The Gould Building is not just used for A Level Students, but many classrooms are used for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Students for classes such as Science, ICT & Business Studies. In 2008, Chosen Hill School was granted multi-million pound funding for ten new classrooms in Lower School, a part of the Government's plan to rebuild all of the schools in the UK. In September 2008, the lower tennis courts were revamped and now temporarily house the two History rooms, as the previous site is being worked on. In 2009, the school reception was completely refurbished.

In 2011, plans were revealed to expand the school to fit the modern lifestyle of students.[clarification needed]

50th anniversary celebrations[edit]

In early 2008, Mrs Sue Turner (Head Teacher), announced that in 2009 there would be 50 different events to mark the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Chosen Hill School (1959). Such events include; Aerial photograph of the school; 'Picnic on the Pitch; Opening of the sixth form block; Fashion Show & Green fayre.

Awards & Recognition[edit]

  • In March 2005, Chosen Hill school were defeated in the final of the HSBC Under 14s Rugby Tournament at Kingsholm by St Peter's High School. In what stretched their unbeaten run in the tournament to eight years in a row. Chosen hill were however very tough competition only losing out by a single point.
  • On Wednesday 26 March 2008, Chosen Hill School won the HSBC Under 14s Rugby Tournament Ending a ten-year undefeated run by St Peter's High School.[5] Over 250 pupils attended the match at Kingsholm, Gloucester . The defending champions Chosen hill were defeated the following year in the final of the same competition. Chosen Hill is now competing against other schools to win The Daily Mail Cup.
  • In 2008, the school was recognized as an Eco-School and was given the Bronze award.
  • In 2008, the school won the Year 9 Cheltenham District Football Tournament, to become District Winners[5]
  • In 2008, the school won the Year 10 Cheltenham District Football Tournament, to become District Winners[5]
  • In 2008, the school won the Year 9 Cheltenham District Netball Tournament, to become District Winners[5]
  • In 2008, the school was recognised as a Healthy School.
  • As from April 2008, the school was recognised as an Investor in Careers.
  • In the autumn of 2008, Chosen Hill School entered the Young Rotary Chef of the Year competition, and was praised by many journalists and chefs of the quality of food-technology teaching within the school. A Year Ten student qualified for the regionals, but was defeated by another student.
  • In 2009, the school was recognised by Ofsted as Outstanding.
  • In 2010, the year 8 cricket team were runners-up in the County Cricket Cup
  • In 2011, several Sixth Form students took part in Young Enterprise for enrichment. Young Enterprise gives the chance for students to run a business, create a product and sell it. Chosen Hill School won 6 out of the eligible 9 awards (6/12 in total) and won the South West Regionals - the first time a Gloucestershire school has won in 25 years. They then competed nationally at the finals in London. Their product, 'Granny's Cookbook', featured local Granny recipes and was retailed at over 12 retailers, including the world-renowned Liberty in London, Waterstones and Rick Stein stores in Cornwall.

Website & Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)[edit]

In 2008, Chosen Hill School launched its new website. Along with this website came the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) for teachers and pupils. Students can access their e-mail, home directory, e-portfolio, computer drives, chat/forum pages and classroom resources. Teachers can access their e-mails, home directory, computer drives, classroom resources, and can send work to individual students. Students can complete their homework electronically, and send it back to their teachers for marking. In 2009, Parents were given access to view their child's progress, receive letters and pay bills electronically. In 2010, Students can access the Heritage records in school to search for books, DVD's or CD's that are in circulation, check whether they are in stock or on loan and can also reserve them (provided that the students know their Heritage Reader I.D's). In 2011, students were given access to forums and the school has taken advantage of opinion polls and questionnaires to save on paper.


  • Dr David Gould (1959–1977)[6]
  • Mr R G Lacock (1977–1988)
  • Mr Alan Winwood (1988–2001)
  • Mrs Susan Turner (2001–present)

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ [1] The Daily Telegraph - Most Oversubscribed schools in England
  2. ^ a b c d e f 'My school in pictures'. Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Echo, 7 December 1974, p8.
  3. ^ 'School notes'. Chosen Hill School Magazine, 1974, p5.
  4. ^ 'Chosen Hill school cash – Good choice!' Gloucestershire Conservatives website accessed August 2007
  5. ^ a b c d Chosen Hill School Website
  6. ^ 'The First Headmaster'. Chosen Hill School Magazine, 1977, p3.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°52′47″N 2°09′38″W / 51.87972°N 2.16056°W / 51.87972; -2.16056