King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

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King Edward VI Grammar School
Broomfield Road
Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 3SX
Coordinates51°44′24″N 0°27′54″E / 51.74°N 0.465°E / 51.74; 0.465Coordinates: 51°44′24″N 0°27′54″E / 51.74°N 0.465°E / 51.74; 0.465
School typeGrammar school, Academy
MottoQuicquid agas sapiens age fortiter ex animoque ('Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might', Ecc 9:10)[4]
FounderEdward VI
Department for Education URN136642 Tables
ChairmanSpencer Wilcox[1]
HeadteacherTom Carter
Staff74 teaching, 62 support[2]
GenderBoys; Mixed (Sixth Form)
Age11 to 18
Number of studentsOver 1000
HousesHolland    ; Mildmay    ; Strutt    ; Tindal    
PublicationThe Chelmsfordian[3]
Former pupilsOld Chelmsfordians

King Edward VI Grammar School, or KEGS, is a British grammar school with academy status located in the city of Chelmsford, Essex, England. It takes pupils between the ages of 11 and 18 — from Year 7 to 11 the pupils are exclusively male, although it becomes mixed in the sixth form (years 12 and 13).[5]

The current headteacher is Tom Carter,[4] who was appointed in the autumn of 2014 after Tom Sherrington left in August 2014.

History of the school[edit]

KEGS was one of many grammar schools founded by Edward VI.[6] Its current form resulted from a royal warrant dated 24 March 1551, although evidence of this school exists from as far back as the 13th century, possibly earlier, in an alternative location.[7] Indeed, the school of 1551 was merely a "rebranding" of the Chelmsford Chantry School, a Roman Catholic institution which had been abolished along with the monasteries during the English Reformation. The school was moved to its present site on Broomfield Road in 1892.[8] Once a boarding school, it was one of many grammar schools to join the state sector and abolish the nominal fees. The last boarders left in the 1970s. In 1976 it admitted the first female pupil to the Sixth Form, to study Classics.[6]

The school has been ranked in the top 50 schools in the country in national examination league tables.[9] KEGS was previously a Foundation School and Specialist Science College and Language College. The school converted to academy status in April 2011, [10] but continues to have science and languages as specialisms. It is also a Leading Edge school.[11]

In 1981 it was named by The Sunday Times as the most successful state school as measured by Oxbridge open awards. In 1998, it was rated by the Financial Times as the most successful state school at GCE advanced level in the period 1993-1998.[6] In 2001 the school was named Sunday Times School of the Year.[8] The 2015 Good Schools Guide names KEGS as the top selective state school for a number of A-level subjects, as well as GCSE History and FSMQ Additional Mathematics.[12] In November 2006, it was judged to be "outstanding" by OFSTED.[13]

House system[edit]

In 1907, headmaster Frank Rogers set up the system of "Houses"[14] — Holland, named for Philemon Holland; Mildmay, for Sir Walter Mildmay; Strutt, for Joseph Strutt; and Tindal, for Nicholas Conyngham Tindal, dividing the school into four forms in each year. Due to the expansion of the school roll over the last few years, this has not been the case. Instead, there are five forms, which contain a mix of people from different houses.

House events[edit]

The House System has adapted into a competition in which each house competes in various inter-house competitions in order to win points to get the 'House Trophy'.[15]

Standards: In June, every member of the house is encouraged to partake in athletic events on one evening, with each event awarding the participant a maximum of three points depending on how well the task was completed. A single point is awarded simply for turning up, encouraging mass participation.

House Music: Each house is designated 30 minutes to present five musical acts, with requirements such as representation from each section of the school, which are judged by a panel including a guest well-renowned in a field of music.

House Drama: Each house must perform five acts that fall into different categories (e.g. Monologue, Duologue, Junior & Senior Pieces), and again requiring participation from across the school, which are each then marked out of 100.

House Sporting Events: Particularly in the lower school, emphasis is placed on sporting events, with annual rugby, football, cross-country, rowing and other events being held for each year group. 'Sports Morning', in the winter, and 'Sports Day' in the summer are also held with a larger amount of pupils taking part.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Combined Cadet Force and Corps of Drums[edit]

The school maintains an Army contingent of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), which was also open to students of Chelmsford County High School for Girls until 2017. Military music is provided within the contingent by a Corps of Drums playing drums, flutes and bugles. The Corps wears the full dress scarlet tunics of The Essex Regiment, incorporating the purple facings which gave the Essex Regiment its nickname 'The Pompadours'. It carries the drums of the 5th Battalion (Territorial Army)[16] emblazoned with the Regiment's battle honours.[17]

KEGS music[edit]

The school has many ensembles, of which the orchestras include members from other schools, though the majority are from KEGS and Chelmsford County High School for Girls. The other ensembles are exclusive to those who attend KEGS.[18]

  • Junior Orchestra (Combined with previous KEGS Strings)
  • Senior Orchestra
  • Chamber Ensemble
  • Choir
  • Wind Band
  • Jazz Ensemble

World Challenge[edit]

Whilst in the sixth form, each student has the chance to embark on a biennial World Challenge Expedition. Here teams of around 10-15 students undertake an eighteen-month build-up to raise money for, and participate in a month-long expedition in a remote, wild destination.[19]

The Fleur De Lys Society[edit]

The Fleur de Lys Society (FDL) was a sixth-form debating society-cum-charity fundraising society. The FDL was believed to have been started by Frank Rogers, an influential Headmaster.[citation needed] As well as holding debates on a variety of topical subjects, it was also an important charitable organisation within the school. However, due to the controversial nature and content of several debates, the Society was suspended in 2007.

The KEGS Ambassador[edit]

The KEGS Ambassador[20] is the school's independent student newspaper. Since its creation in January 2009, it has featured numerous articles by alumni, staff and students.

KEGS Medical Society[edit]

The KEGS Medical Society (MedSoc) is where topical medical issues are discussed.

The KEGS Economics Journal[edit]

The KEGS Economics Journal is another of the school's student-led newspapers. They feature articles on a wide variety of national and international economic and political affairs.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Of the Chelmsford Chantry School (before the Royal Charter of 1551)[edit]

  • John Dee, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, occultist, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I; responsible for the English translation of Euclid's work.

Pre 1900[edit]


Post 1960[edit]


  • John Watson, character in the 2010 BBC series of Sherlock. John Watson's CV is visible in episode two, where KEGS is cited under Education Qualifications (with 6 A*).


  1. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Board of Governors". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Staff List". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » 'The Chelmsfordian". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Headteacher's Welcome". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  5. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Admissions Policy". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Our History". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  7. ^ "KEGS Prospectus: A 21st Century Grammar School". Archived from the original on 2014-12-26. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b A History of King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, 1551-2001 — Anthony Tuckwell
  9. ^ "BBC News: Secondary league tables". Archived from the original on 2016-07-03. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  10. ^ "William de Ferrers and KEGS get academy status". Essex Chronicle. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Leading Edge and Learning Lessons". Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  12. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford - The Good Schools Guide". Archived from the original on 2016-01-05. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  13. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Ofsted Report". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  14. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » House System
  15. ^ "KEGSNet: House Competition". Archived from the original on 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
  16. ^ corrected after reference to the Band Master Mr Worrall
  17. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School » CCF
  18. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School » Music
  19. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School » World Challenge
  20. ^ "The KEGS Ambassador: KEGS school newspaper". Archived from the original on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  21. ^ "Major General Peter Baldwin - obituary". The Telegraph. 29 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2018-04-17. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Wilf Sizer". Archived from the original on 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2018-04-02.

External links[edit]