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 the town of Clitheroe in Lancashire, England, formerly an all-boys school. It was founded in 1554 as "The Free Grammar School of King Philip and Queen Mary" "for the education, instruction and learning of boys and young men in grammar; to be and to continue for ever."

After 42 years of sharing the school buildings with the boys, the newly-built Girls Grammar School opened in 1957, and merged 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 January 1, 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 on 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.


For years 7-11 Clitheroe Royal Grammar School teaches:

  • Religious Studies (with Ethics for GCSE)
  • Design and Technology
    • Food Technology
    • Resistant Materials
    • Systems and Control
    • Textiles
    • Graphic Products
  • Information Communication Technology

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 primarily 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.


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 and Sixth Form 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 (12:30 for Sixth Form). 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 the committee of four people (chair, two vice-chairs, and a secretary) and the entire representative body. Two representatives are elected from each of the 20 main-school forms in September, whose responsibility is to go to these meetings and put forward points about the school; these 40 students 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, 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, 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 four classrooms and two 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.

School Newspaper[edit]

The school newspaper, the Royal Blazer, was printed three times a year until 2006. 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.

Student Groups[edit]

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

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 weekly. The Main School society is run by the head of English.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morris, Richard (March–April 2005). "Sir William Addison (1905-1992) - a retrospective" (PDF). Loughton and District Historical Society. Newsletter 165: pp. 3–5. Retrieved 20 March 2016. He was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School ... 
  2. ^ Pierce, Steve (23 May 2003). "Obituary : William Blezard". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2016. 1938, he won a Lancashire County scholarship, leaving Clitheroe Royal grammar school [...] to go to the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London. 
  3. ^ Howard, John (31 October 2002). "Obituary : Pattie Coldwell". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2016. After leaving Clitheroe Royal Grammar school, she worked as a secretary... 
  4. ^ Newley, Patrick (12 August 2008). "Obituary : Bryan Cowgill". The Stage. Retrieved 20 March 2016. He was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. 
  5. ^ Geldard, Suzanne (6 June 2014). "Dobson: Bolton exit could have ended career before I joined Burnley". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 20 March 2016. [His wish to be a professional footballer] was nurtured at school, Clitheroe Royal Grammar... 
  6. ^ Moss, John. "Manchester Local Artists : Ross Eccles". Papillon Graphics Virtual Encyclopedia & Guide to Greater Manchester. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Ross was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School before studying Architecture at the Birmingham School of Architecture. 
  7. ^ Graham, Natalie (5 May 2010). "Peter Hargreaves: My First Million". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Born in Lancashire, Hargreaves attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School... 
  8. ^ Law, Cheryl (2000). Women, A Modern Political Dictionary. I.B.Tauris. p. 77. ISBN 978-1860645020. Retrieved 20 March 2016. HART, Judith Constance Mary (nee Ridehalgh) (1924-) politician; do. H. Ridehalgh, Linotype operator; e. Elementary School, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, LSE... 
  9. ^ The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1983. Times Books. 1983. p. 53. ISBN 0723002576. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Mr Michael Hindley, lecturer. Born Apr 11 1947; educ. Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and London and Lancaster universities. 
  10. ^ "Louise wins coveted radio award". Burnley Express. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil Louise Hulland hit the national spotlight this week. 
  11. ^ "James King - The extraordinary life of a largely forgotten Clitheroe sea hero". Lancashire Life. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2016. ...James was a pupil at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School until the age of 12. 
  12. ^ Tinniswood, Steve (25 July 2015). "Saturday interview: Modern pentathlon star Samantha Murray in hunt for European glory". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 20 March 2016. The former Bowland High School student - who also studied at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School sixth form... 
  13. ^ "Starkie, Thomas (STRY799T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.  "School, Clitheroe Grammar."
  14. ^ "Olympic kayak hero returns to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School". The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2016. Jon, who attended CRGS from 1996 to 2003... 

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