Clitheroe Royal Grammar School

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For other schools with the name RGS, see Royal Grammar School.
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.jpg
Motto Latin: In Saxo Condita;
"Founded on Rock"
Established 1554
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher Judith Child
Deputy Headteachers Jonathan Powell (Sixth Form), Catherine Reeves (Main School)
Chairman of Governors Andrew Clayton
Location Chatburn Road
Coordinates: 53°53′N 2°23′W / 53.88°N 2.38°W / 53.88; -2.38
DfE number 888/5403
DfE URN 136390 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1290
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Website Official website

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School is a co-educational grammar school in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England, that used to be an all-boys school. It was founded in 1554 as "The Free Grammar School of King Philip and Queen Mary" with its mission statement “for the education, instruction and learning of boys and young men in grammar; to be and to continue for ever.”

After 44 years of sharing the school buildings with the boys, the newly built Girls Grammar School opened in 1958 and amalgamated with the Boys Grammar School in 1985. CRGS celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2004, an event marked by the planting of a tree by HRH The Duke of York.

After becoming a Grant Maintained School in September 1991 Clitheroe Royal Grammar School became a Foundation School with a Foundation under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Most recently on 1 January 2011 the School converted to Academy School Status under the Academies Act 2010.

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School continues to thrive on two sites with the Sixth Form Centre occupying the historic buildings in York Street and the Main School at the former Girls Grammar School buildings on Chatburn Road.


The Main School intake each year is 120 children who have each reached the required standard in the School's entrance examination, with places being offered preferentially to candidates living within the School's defined 'Catchment Area'. These are then divided into four forms (C, R, G and S), of 30 pupils each. This means the pupil population at Main School is about 600 (120 per year, with five years). Sixth Form entry is based on GCSE performance and takes in around 330 students per year. The matriculation requirements are five grade Bs at GCSE with at least a Grade C in English Language and Mathematics[1], while some subjects also require specific grades in related GCSE subjects, where applicable.


Clitheroe Royal Grammar School teaches the following for Years 7–11:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
    • French
    • German
    • Spanish
  • Latin (Year 8 onwards)
  • Sciences
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

(At GCSE level, these can be as a Double Award)

  • Humanities
    • History
    • Geography
    • Classical Civilisation (Year 10 onwards)
  • Music
  • Religious Studies (with Ethics for GCSE)
  • Design and Technology
    • Food Technology
    • Resistant Materials
    • Systems and Control
    • Textiles
    • Graphic Products
  • Information Communication Technology
  • P.E. (Up to two hours a week in year 7–9 and one hour a week in year 10–11, no examination taken)

Students also do a rotation of Personal/Social/Health Education (PSHE) dealing with citizenship and society among other things.

Sixth form[edit]

York Street Building

The school was originally based at St Mary's churchyard, and was moved to the York Street site in 1814 in rooms that are now used to teach Art and Foreign Languages. The school was extended in 1878 and again in 1914 to include what is now the Library. In 2009 the site was extended further to create more classrooms and a conference room. The sixth form centre has a wider selection of courses and is one of the largest sixth forms in the United Kingdom. The courses offered are inclined towards traditional academic subjects:


The school employs around 80 teachers along with laboratory and IT technicians. The teachers often have both upper and lower school classes on two sites, which leads to a movement of teachers during the 15-minute breaks.


Unlike many other schools, CRGS does not operate a singles/doubles system. Instead, the timetable consists of five hourly periods per day, with a fifteen-minute break between each, allowing teachers to go between the two sites. Lunch is between third and fourth periods, and lasts an hour. Main School registration begins at 8:50 am and lasts ten minutes, and the final bell rings at 3:45 pm, or, on a Wednesday, 2:30 pm. Assemblies are usually held every Tuesday for part of the first period at Main School, and less frequently at the Sixth Form.

School Council[edit]

The school has a student council that meets weekly, alternating between just the committee of 4 people (Chair, two Vice-chairs, and a secretary) and the whole representative body. Two representatives are elected from each of the 20 main-school forms in September, whose responsibility it is to go to these meetings and put forward points about the school; these 40 student form the whole representative body. These are usually ideas from pupils passed on to the council members in a tutorial period. Often these relate to fund-raising events (outside of the Fourth Year Charity Committee), new facilities or programmes within the school. A similar system operates at the Sixth Form.

Commemoration Day[edit]

Every year, the school holds a commemoration day to remember the founding of the school. It happens on St John the Baptist's Day in the local parish church of Mary Magdalene.

From the Statutes, dated 1622:

We ordaine and be yt a Statute of this Schoole for ever. That from henceforth once every year upon St John Baptists day called Midsommer day in the forenoone there shalbee a Sermon preached in the Church of Clitherow where the Maister Usher and Schoolers of the said Schoole shalbee p'sent before the Governors of the said Schoole and therein shalbee a comemoracon of the foundation of the said Schoole with an exhortation to the said Governors Schoolmr and Usher that they faithfully and diligently p'forme their duties.

Or, modernised:

Let this be a Statute of this school forever. Every year upon St John the Baptist's day (Midsummer's day) in the morning there shall be a Sermon preached in Clitheroe Church where the Master Usher and Scholars of the School shall be sent before the Governors the School and there shall be a commemoration of the foundation of the School with an exhortation to the Governors, Headteacher and Usher that they faithfully and diligently perform their duties.

Language College bid[edit]

After failing in the bid to become a Technology College, a language college committee was set up at CRGS in the autumn term of 2005, seeking to get specialist Language College status for the school. Along with the help of members of staff meetings were held on Tuesday Lunchtimes. The bid was successful, and the school now receives extra funding for expansions and developments into further Language areas.

As a result of the new status, taster courses in Mandarin, Urdu and Russian are being held, which should soon be extended to the local community. The building program has been completed and contains 4 classrooms and 2 store rooms. In 2008, the school was awarded the Foundation International School Award in 2008 and the Full Award in 2009, recognising the outstanding work with partner schools in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, as well as new links that are developing as the Talking Languages Together group develops.

School Newspaper[edit]

The school newspaper, the Royal Blazer was printed three times a year. The paper was distributed within school free of charge, and was put up for sale in the local area. Students were encouraged to contribute articles on subjects important to them and the local community. With a readership approaching 2,000 (students, parents, teachers, old boys and girls), it was an important publication for the school. However, it has not been published since 2006.

Student Groups[edit]

There are many groups for students to join and be an active part of, including:


  • Drama Club
  • Science Club
  • Maths Club
  • Quiz League
  • Dance Club
  • Debating Club
  • Photography Club

Sport Teams

  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Golf


  • Choirs
    • Junior Choir
      • Girl's Choir
      • Boy's Choir
    • Chamber Choir
  • Instrumental Groups
    • Concert Band
    • Guitar Ensemble
    • Orchestra
    • Swing Band
    • String Ensemble

Debating Societies[edit]

There are debating societies at both the Main School and Sixth Form College. The latter is named "Soundbite" and is run by a small group of upper-sixth students. "Soundbite" fields debaters to most of the major university competitions including Oxford, Cambridge and Durham, and meets on a weekly basis. The Main School society is run by the head of English.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kneale, Kenneth (1992); Essex Heritage, Leopards Head Press, pp.3-14. ISBN 0904920232
  2. ^ Morris, Richard; "Sir William Addison (1905-1992) – a retrospective" in Loughton and District Historical Society: Newsletter 165, March/April 2005, pp.3-5
  3. ^ European Parliament - section on MEPs, accessed 19 March 2012

External links[edit]