George Abbot School

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George Abbot School
Motto Non Sibi Sed Toti
Not For Oneself But For All[citation needed]
Established 1957 (when it opened or 1959 when it was renamed)
Type Academy[1]
Headteacher [1] Mrs Kate Carriett
Chair of Governors Vivienne Johnson[citation needed]
Location Woodruff Avenue
51°15′14″N 0°32′53″W / 51.254°N 0.548°W / 51.254; -0.548Coordinates: 51°15′14″N 0°32′53″W / 51.254°N 0.548°W / 51.254; -0.548
DfE number 936/4456
DfE URN 136906 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Capacity 1932[1]
Students 1946 as of September 2015[1]
Gender Mixed-sex
Ages 11–18[1]
Houses Falcon, Gryphon, Martlet, Wyvern and Phoenix[citation needed]
Colours Navy, Gold
         [citation needed]

George Abbot School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status in Burpham, north-east of the town centre of Guildford. The school is named after the Guildford-native 17th-century Archbishop of Canterbury George Abbot. Surrey County Cricket Club's Cricket Academy is in the grounds of the school.

The school is currently under the leadership of headteacher Mrs. Kate Carriet. The school caters for seven years (years 7 to 13, typically ages 11 to 18) with years 7 to 11 each split into ten classes containing around 30 pupils which totals around 300 students a year. In a given year, the school may teach an additional form, Q, to help students who are underperforming at the school. The school is often oversubscribed with up to 350 students applying for the 300 spaces available in September each year.[citation needed] It currently has 1,924 students on roll with around 400 in the sixth form.[2]


The two main buildings are Elmslie and Raynham, named after the two headteachers when the buildings were separate schools, Miss Elmslie for girls, and Mr Raynham for boys.

In addition to these, the school has a textiles block, art block, photography block (which was also the old sixth form centre), sports hall (Surrey County Cricket Club's Cricket Academy), Wilson building (for English) and has in 2006 completed the building of a performing arts centre (which includes the sixth form centre).

Elmslie Building (E)[edit]

Elmslie building has 3 food technology classrooms, the humanities department, 2 computer rooms, biology laboratories, leisure and tourism classrooms and business studies classrooms. It also includes the main reception, the lower school library (known as the Gallery because of the art work displayed at the entrance), Elmslie Hall, a small canteen, Fitness Suite and 2 gyms. Year 8 and 9 have their tutor rooms in Elmslie.

Raynham Building (R)[edit]

Raynham building has the construction workrooms, Science Department (Physics and Chemistry Laboratories), Languages, Visual Arts and Mathematics. Raynham also has the largest canteen and also a hall. Raynham is connected to the Upper School Information Centre (USIC) which holds the upper school library, the careers office and the Computer Systems Office. Year 10 and 11 have their tutor rooms in Raynham.

Wilson Building (W)[edit]

Wilson holds the English Department and the Special Education Needs Office. Year 7 have their tutor rooms in Wilson. Outside the main entrance of Wilson is a sculpture garden, in which art work and sculptures are displayed, including benches and seats designed and made by art students.

C Block (C)[edit]

C Block's lower floor is devoted to photography and youth work, its upper floor includes the diploma room, several computer rooms and other offices.

Textiles Block (T)[edit]

The Textiles Block (or T Block for short) has three textile classrooms, one textiles room has been split into two. T Block also holds the staffroom, the staff kitchen and the Visual Impairment Resource Base (Or VI Unit as it's usually called)

VI Unit[edit]

The VI unit modifies work so that students with impaired vision are able to see/feel their work. This can be as simple as increasing font size to Braille.[clarification needed] All VI Students are given laptops (or Braillenotes) so they may produce work more quickly as writing can be slow, of poor quality or they may not be able to write at all.

Performing Arts Block (PA)[edit]

2008 saw the opening of the newly built 6th form and performing arts building which now lies adjacent to the upper school library. The old sixth form centre is now devoted to study as the common room has been converted into a computer suite. The newly built common room can house almost all 400 sixth formers at any one time and also contains a canteen. Sixth form is based upstairs and the performing arts have full use of the lower floor. Music has completely relocated from Elmslie to 3 brand new, spacious class rooms all adapted specifically to the needs of music. There are also 8 bookable sound proof practice rooms in addition to 3 recording and practise rooms off of one classroom. there is also a dance hall with a sprung floor and mirrored walls.

House system[edit]

The old school houses were originally named after eight notable Britons in the 1970s; Arnold, Livingstone, Scott, Kelvin, Shakespeare, Harvey, Dryden and Newton.[citation needed] The Girls school houses when the school opened in 1961 were(Christina) Rossetti (Yellow); (Colonel John) Glen (red); (Sir Winston) Churchill (Blue); and (Margot)Fonteyn (Green). However, during the latter part of the 1970s the names were changed to mythical creatures, and the houses were called Falcon, Gryphon, Martlet and Wyvern. This was subsequently amended so that the house names were those of local villages and places, for example Clandon, Albury, Loseley, Onslow and Sutton.In 2003 Phoenix was added as a house name and then each house was formed from two forms.

These five houses were reorganised so they contain two forms each:[citation needed]

  • Gryphon (Red) – forms G and P
  • Phoenix (Green) – forms O and M
  • Falcon (Blue) – forms F and C
  • Martlet (Purple) – forms A and W
  • Wyvern (Orange) – forms Y and E

All houses chose a boy and girl from year 11 to be sports captain for the house (though each year will have their own) whilst house captains are chosen from the sixth form. Additionally every class chooses a representative to sit on a year council, with each year choosing two of these class reps to represent the year group on the school council.[citation needed]


All students must take three GCSE subjects. In Years 7 to 9, students are required to participate in five creative/expressive subjects: dance, drama, music, textiles and art. During Year 7 students are taught both French and German. Upon going into Year 8, they choose between French and German and then carry on their chosen language until Year 11. Students have to choose between Latin and Spanish in years eight and nine. Some carry on these languages for GCSE. All GCSE students are advised to take at least one creative/expressive subject, which at GCSE include Photography, Computer Graphics and Architectural Design, however if they do pick three academic subjects or three creative subjects, that is accepted. Other subjects include History, Leisure and Tourism, Sociology and Physical Education.

Some students take triple science GCSE, leading to three GCSE exams. Approximately 50% of Years 10 and 11 take full course religious education, whereas the other half take short course. Some have the option of taking fast track languages (a year early) so they are able to learn another language (Spanish, German, or French) and take two language GCSEs. Fast track art is also available for a small number of students who are able in the arts.[3]

Sixth Form[edit]

George Abbot has a sixth form, with over 400 students. A-level courses are taught in a range of subjects. A new Sixth Form Centre has recently been built above the music facilities, with a new common room and additional office space.


As of summer 2013, the catering at George Abbot School is being run by Innovate Services Ltd. There is a World Food Centre in Elmslie, and a more traditional menu in the Raynham canteen. The Sixth Form have their own canteen, based on the brand Coffee Republic.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "George Abbott School". Department of Education Edubase. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "George Abbot School Homepage". Retrieved 15 December 2007. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Olympians celebrated on George Abbot return". get SURREY. 28 September 2012. 

External links[edit]