John Mason School

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John Mason School
John Mason School logo.jpg
Established 1960
Type Academy
Chairman Of Governors Mr Paul Brooks
Location Wootton Road
OX14 1JB
Coordinates: 51°40′35″N 1°17′18″W / 51.6764°N 1.2884°W / 51.6764; -1.2884
DfE number 931/4126
DfE URN 140580 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students c. 1000 Students
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Thames, Ock, Stert

John Mason School, or JMS, is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England.


Established as an old grammar school in 1960, Berkshire Education Committee named JMS after sixteenth-century intellectual, diplomat and spy Sir John Mason, whose picture can be found hanging in the school hall. He was born in Abingdon and educated at the nearby Abingdon School.

Situated on Wootton Road, John Mason is centrally located in a four-way partnership of Abingdon schools known as 14:19 Abingdon. The other members are Larkmead School, Fitzharrys School and Abingdon and Witney College. The four partners share Sixth Form lessons. John Mason has approximately 1000 students as of 2007. Mrs Sarah Brinkley began as the school's new headteacher in 2015.

Specialist school and academy status[edit]

The three schools in the Consortium were granted Specialist School Status in 2004. John Mason focused in the visual arts department. This meant it will now received greater funding from the government to provide for specialist equipment. In 2006 JMS opened the 06 Gallery, a new construction reflecting the specialism, featuring many of the student artwork.

Previously a community school administered by Oxfordshire County Council, John Mason School converted to academy status on 1 February 2014. However the school continues to coordinate with Oxfordshire County Council for admissions.


The school has three houses, Stert, Ock, and Thames, of the colors red, green and blue respectively. There was a fourth house, Isis, but this was dissolved in 1993. The houses are named after watercourses in the town of Abingdon.

Positive Performance[edit]

According to the Department of Education 2011 breakdown of A-level results, John Mason were the sixth best in the UK for performance in mathematics, with 38% of students getting A* grade.[1] John Mason school has also been said to be "a school that, under a particularly inspirational head, is taking very very positive steps to provide students with a range of qualifications and the type of education that is relevant to the modern world." Michael Gove.

The Welsh Farm[edit]

The school owns a farm, known as the Welsh Farm of Troedyrhiwgellifawr which lies near the village of Pumsaint and the town of Llandovery. Wales. Students commonly undertake a four-day trip and some have the option to revisit for a Geography Fieldwork trip or a Triple Science Observational Cosmology Trip and in Year 12.

The John Mason Association owns and runs the Welsh Farm, which is visited by nearly all students, and used for field trips, tutorial group visits and other special trips.

Notable former staff and pupils[edit]

Paul Mayhew-Archer (a writer on The Vicar of Dibley and My Hero) was formerly a teacher at JMS.[2]

Famous former pupils include the Premiership footballer Matthew Taylor, BBC and Channel 5 news presenter Katie Ledger,[3] folk musician John Spiers[citation needed] and Dr Mike Leahy,[4] who presents his own TV programme Invasion of the Bodyscratchers and has appeared in many other medical programmes.

  1. ^ Bardsley, Fran (24 July 2012). "Four schools among the best for A-Levels". The Oxford Mail. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Wittenham, Ross (7 February 2012). "Paul Mayhew-Archer talks about his life in comedy with the BBC". Daily Info (Oxford). Retrieved 4 August 2012. After the interval we were treated to a talk by Mayhew-Archer himself, a mainstay of the British comedy scene for thirty years. Here he was playing to his home crowd, having started off his career as a teacher at John Mason School, just down the road. 
  3. ^ "Ignore moaners, says TV presenter". Oxford Mail. 27 January 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Airs, Thom (2 November 2009). "Oxford scientist is really bitten by the TV bug". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 

External links[edit]