King James's School, Almondbury
|Established||1547 (royal charter 1608)|
|Principal||Mr Ian Rimmer|
|Location||Saint Helen's Gate
|DfE URN||138706 Tables|
King James's Grammar School was founded as chantry school in 1547 and received its name and a royal charter in 1608 thanks to the efforts of three men who travelled on horseback to London to get a royal charter from the king. They rode from Farnley Tyas, the nearby village, having been sent to London to get the charter by the local wealthy men from Almondbury who wanted a local school for their offspring to visit. Extensions were made to the school by William Swinden Barber between 1880 and 1883.
The grammar school era ended in 1976 when it became a comprehensive school: King James's School. The school was designated a specialist Science College in 2004. In September 2012 the school converted to academy status. The current principal is Ian Rimmer.
The school today
King James's School is a comprehensive secondary school with a catchment area that includes Almondbury, Dalton, Grange Moor, Kirkheaton and Lepton. The school offers GCSEs, BTECs and Cambridge Nationals as programmes of study for pupils.
The school is the subject of two histories: A History of King James's Grammar School in Almondbury (author: Gerald Hinchliffe) and King James's School in Almondbury: An Illustrated History (editors: Roger Dowling and John Hargreaves).
A book Morning Assembly (editor: Roger Dowling; text: Andrew Taylor) gives a detailed account of the life of former headmaster Harry Taylor together with a compilation in facsimile form of some 100 prayers collected by Harry Taylor for use each day at morning assembly.
Notable former pupils
King James's Grammar School
- Felix Aylmer, actor
- Sir John George Beharrel, former managing director of the Dunlop Rubber Company and a director of Imperial Airways
- David Brown, Managing Director David Brown & Sons and owner of Aston Martin Ltd.
- Peter Carter QC, Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee from 2003-05
- Maj-Gen Henry Evans CB, Director of Army Education from 1969–72
- Prof Ian Graham Gass, Professor of Earth Sciences at the Open University from 1969–82
- Philip Goldsmith, President of the Royal Meteorological Society from 1982-5
- Michael Hardcastle prolific author of Children's literature
- Sir Harold Percival Himsworth, former Honorary Physician to the Queen
- Derek Ibbotson, athlete
- Michael Jackson, writer and beer connoisseur
- Gorden Kaye, actor (star of the BBC Television programme 'Allo 'Allo!)
- Prof Henry Laycock, Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Canada
- Herbert Morley CBE, Director General and Manager of Steel, Peech and Tozer from 1965-8
- David Morphet, author
- Ryan Sidebottom, England cricketer
- Prof Keith Vickerman, Regius Professor of Zoology from 1984-98 at the University of Glasgow
- Prof James Pounder Whitney, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge from 1919–39
- Robert Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Detective
- Professor Alan Prout, sociologist, University of Leeds
- A History of King James's Grammar School in Almondbury (1963), Gerald Hinchliffe, The Old Almondburians' Society, 384pp, ASIN B0000CLZS5
- An Illustrated History of King James's School in Almondbury (2007), Gerald Hinchliffe, Edward Royle, Richard Taylor, et al., The Old Almondburians' Society, 112pp, full colour