Harrogate Grammar School

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Harrogate Grammar School
Hgs shield.jpg
Arthurs Avenue

, ,

Coordinates53°58′52″N 1°32′50″W / 53.980994°N 1.547271°W / 53.980994; -1.547271Coordinates: 53°58′52″N 1°32′50″W / 53.980994°N 1.547271°W / 53.980994; -1.547271
MottoArx Celebris Fontibus
Department for Education URN136497 Tables
HeadteacherRichard Sheriff
Age11 to 18
Sixth form460

Harrogate Grammar School, is a coeducational academy school and sixth form in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. It has about 1,700 pupils and there are about 600 pupils in the sixth form. The current headmaster is Richard Sheriff who became the full-time headmaster of the school in January 2007.

Early history[edit]

Harrogate Grammar School was founded in 1903 as the Municipal Secondary Day School of Harrogate. Its original premises were simply a collection of rented rooms in Haywra Crescent.[1] By the time the school achieved Grammar School status in 1931 the school had outgrown its premises as the original roll of 44 pupils had grown to 530. Work began on the 'new' Grammar School in Arthurs Avenue, to which the staff and pupils transferred in 1933.


The main 1933 building

During the Second World War, evacuees poured into Harrogate from the cities, which swelled the roll at the school to 900 pupils.

To keep pace with these numbers there have been various periods of building expansion, notably in the 1970s with the addition of a sports hall, gymnasium, music, reflexology and technology facilities.

Between 1976–77 a new sports hall was built together with a new classroom block. This eventually enabled the removal of the temporary classrooms situated in the old playground. An all weather shale pitch, primarily for hockey, was created at the Otley Road end of the playing field. A new Sixth Form block, including a common room, a new library and new science labs was added, these were situated to the rear and eastern aspect of the school. A humanities building was added in the 1990s.

In 2002 Harrogate Grammar School acquired Specialist Language Status and now has state-of-the-art language-learning facilities and the services of six native speaker language assistants each year. In 2006 the school was recognised as a successful specialist school and was invited to take on a second specialism in technology. A new-build library and IT suite were opened in July 2006. Temporary classrooms for the Sixth Form were added in October 2006, and these are expected to stay on the School grounds until the new sixth form arrangements have been built.

In 2010, Harrogate Grammar School opened their new Sixth Form block for its ever-expanding higher education 16–19 section. The Sixth Form has a lecture theatre with retractable seating of up to 300, as well as a number of classrooms and a cloister area. The new building replaces the old temporary classrooms that adjoined with the Arthur's Avenue nursery which were knocked down.

In 2011, following the government's plans to turn high performing comprehensive schools in the UK into academies, the school was granted academy status, giving the school more flexibility in its operation including its school curriculum. The school operated an 'independent academy trust' until the formation of the Red Kite Learning Trust (RKLT) in late 2015. The RKLT formed as a multi-academy trust (MAT) with partner schools, including nearby primary schools and Prince Henry's Grammar School in Otley who had already been linked through the Red Kite Alliance (RKA), a group of schools through which teaching and learning development is shared.

The Learning Trust and Alliance are based at Harrogate Grammar School and they coordinate events, conferences, networking and School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) through Red Kite Teacher Training thanks to the status of Harrogate Grammar as a National Teaching School.

Plans were made to expand the sixth form centre, an opening expected in September 2012. It would include a new café and increased study space in the area previously occupied by 'The Gate' and would be sited on what was a home-grown garden which has been relocated to outside the Sixth Form entrance. The extension opened in 2013 as 'The Sherwood Wing', named after Mrs Jan Sherwood, a former Sixth Form Director, for her contribution to the school.


The school shares its motto with the town of Harrogate. "Arx Celebris Fontibus" translates from Latin as "A citadel famous for its springs".[2]

The new Library and Learning Support Building completed in 2007

Sixth Form[edit]

The school has undergone a period of growth in its sixth form and now has a roll of 540 students. The increased provision for sixth form began in the 1980s when a dedicated sixth form block was added. Increasing numbers has meant that the sixth form accommodation has been extended in recent years; with the latest addition being a number of temporary classrooms which were installed in late 2006. In 2008 the school acquired planning permission to remove the temporary classrooms and replace them with a permanent structure.

In the Autumn term of 2010 the school opened an extension to the old sixth form block which includes a 300-seat lecture theatre called 'The Forum'. This venue has been designed to accommodate events such as conferences, coffee mornings, school plays, and open evenings. The new building incorporates seven new teaching rooms, a green room for the Forum (which can also be used as a teaching and conference room), a cloister garden and computer suite. The extension has replaced the four temporary classrooms that were constructed in late 2006.

Qualifications taught in the sixth form include GCE Advanced Subsidiary Level Qualifications, the GCE Advanced Level Qualifications and the International Baccalaureate diploma,[3] although the IB option is unlikely to exist from September 2009. There is also an option for pupils to retake Maths and English GCSE.

The sixth form includes a study centre, 19 classrooms and a dining facility called 'The Gate', which is run and maintained by canteen staff and is exclusive to the Sixth form. This has now been extended to include a new facility known as 'G2'. 'The Gate' now operates as part of an extended study centre because of need for increased provision.

Recent Ofsted statistics for A2 results last year put the school at 63rd in the country out of over 1800 for the 'value' it adds to students, this being in the top 3.5%.

House system[edit]

The School operates a House system, introduced in the 1950s. It was later ended but reinstated in 2001. The Houses in 2013 are: Ventus, Ignis, Terra and Aqua, representing the four classical elements.


In 1999 North Yorkshire County Council paid £6000 in an out-of-court settlement, "with no admission of liability" to a former pupil who stated that Harrogate Grammar School persistently failed to protect him from bullying. In 1999 the pupil and his mother founded the charity Bullying Online, now Bullying UK.[4]

Air Training Corps[edit]

On 17 February 1939 No 58 (Harrogate) Squadron of the Air Defence Cadet Corps was established at the school by the Air League of the British Empire.[5] The squadron has since moved to separate premises and is no longer associated with the school. Pupils from the school are still active cadets within the squadron.


A 2007 Ofsted inspection rated the school as Grade 1 "outstanding".[6]

Notable alumni[edit]

Achievement links[edit]


  1. ^ "Harrogate Grammar School History". Archived from the original on 31 December 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  2. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 16. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  3. ^ "Harrogate Grammar School". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Education Bullying victim paid £6,000 by council". BBC News. 1 November 1999. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  5. ^ "58 (Harrogate) Squadron History". Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2007.
  6. ^ Briggs, Anthony (10 October 2007). "Inspection Report: Harrogate Grammar School" (– Scholar search). London: Ofsted. Retrieved 11 June 2008.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Donald Bell VC". harrogategrammar.openhivefoundation.org. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  8. ^ Campbell, Duncan (8 June 2009). "Andrew Brons: the genteel face of neo-fascism". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  9. ^ "EXPOSED: BNP man's past". Harrogate Advertiser. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Wood Martyn". Bath Rugby Heritage. Bath Rugby. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Andy+gets+a+kick+out+of+life%3B+Acting+is+simply+child's+play+for...-a076672961

External links[edit]