Larne Grammar School

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Larne Grammar School
Larne Grammar School Crest.gif
Motto "Pollicitis addere facta"
Fulfil your promise
Established 1886
Type Grammar
Religion Integrated Christian
Headteacher Mr Johnathan Wylie
Chairman of Board of Governors Rev Dr Colin McClure
Founders Sir Edward Coey
Mr. John Crawford
Location Lower Cairncastle Road
County Antrim
BT40 1PQ
Northern Ireland
54°51′12″N 5°49′55″W / 54.853364°N 5.832063°W / 54.853364; -5.832063Coordinates: 54°51′12″N 5°49′55″W / 54.853364°N 5.832063°W / 54.853364; -5.832063
Local authority Education Authority
Staff 50
Students 760
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11–18
Houses Curran, Drumalis, Gardenmore, Inver
Colours Navy blue and maroon          
Publication The Grammarian
Former Pupils Grammarians
Website Larne Grammar School Website

Larne Grammar School is a co-educational voluntary grammar school located in Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Founded in 1886 by Sir Edward Coey and John Crawford,[1][2] it has around 760 pupils and 50 teaching staff.


The school was opened by Mr. John Crawford and Sir Edward Coey in 1887. Mr. R.M. Jones M.A. opened the school to its first pupils. Larne Grammar School was set up as an all boys fee paying and boarding school. During the school's first 20 years, very few pupils attended, and the school was threatened to be closed on numerous occasions. The school temporarily closed between 1914 and 1918 due to the outbreak of World War One. In 1922, Larne Grammar School merged with Larne Girls' School, and a Preparatory Department was established. Larne Grammar began to grow, with more and more pupils joining the voluntary school. During the early 1970s, the school was extended to accommodate the growing number of pupils. 19 new classrooms, a sports hall and changing rooms were built to the rear of the school. During the leadership of Headmaster D.J. Thompson, the original school building was demolished and replaced by a new school in 1987. 22 new classrooms, a new sports hall,new staff offices and a new canteen were built, as well as a new atrium, reception and Headmaster Suite. The extension from 1972 remained, but was refurbished. The original assembly hall was retained and still remains today. In 2001, under the command of John Wilson, a new Technology and Design Department was established. The new building consists of two classrooms with workshops, offices and lavatories. The building has solar panels and provides all of the energy required to power the entire school. Furthermore, a new Music Department was constructed towards the rear of the building, with a large classroom, offices and tuition rooms.To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Larne Grammar School, a new astro-turf hockey pitch, four tennis courts and a new pavilion were built. All classrooms have been fully refurbished during the 2012/13 school year, with new equipment being added such as Apple Computers, new desks and new chairs; all of which under the orders of new Headmaster Jonathan Wylie.[citation needed]

Name Year of Appointment Year of Withdrawal
Headmaster R.M. Jones 1888 1891
Headmaster William Dawson 1891 1900
Headmaster William Smith Johnson 1900 1903
Headmaster James MacQuillan 1904 1937
Headmaster John W. Darbyshire 1937 1943
Headmaster Ronald Henry Davies 1943 1950
Headmaster Joseph Alan Stewart 1950 1973
Headmaster D.J. Thompson 1973 1989
Headmaster H.M. Morrow 1989 2001
Headmaster John Wilson 2001 2012
Headmaster Jonathan Wylie 2012 Present


The school was inspected in November 2000 by the Department of Education.[3] The following strengths were identified:

  • Exemplary behaviour and motivation of the pupils
  • Many instances of good teaching
  • High standards achieved by many of the pupils
  • Good accommodation.

With J Wilson as headmaster, the school flourished with pupils gaining an overall excellent standard of teaching with GCSE and A Level grades much higher than the Northern Ireland average, which has the highest average throughout the UK.[citation needed] To enroll at the school, pupils go through several selection processes to ensure that all pupils have a high academic standard.


Key Stage 3: Years 8-10
Art & Design French ICT Physical Education Technology & Design
Biology Geography Learning for Life & Work Physics
Chemistry History Mathematics Religious Studies
English Home Economics Music Spanish
  • All subjects are compulsory
GCSE: Years 11–12
Additional Mathematics Chemistry English Literature History Music Religious Studies (Long Course)
Art & Design Classical Civilisation French Home Economics Physical Education Spanish
Biology Engineering Geography ICT Physics Technology & Design
Business Studies English Language Health & Social Care Mathematics Religious Studies (Short Course)
  • Bold subjects are compulsory
AS & A2 Level: Years 13–14
Accounting Business Studies French Home Economics Performing Arts Sport
Applied Business Studies Chemistry Further Mathematics Human Biology Physical Education Technology & Design
Applied Mathematics Computing Geography ICT Physics
Applied Science Classical Civilisation Health & Social Care Law Psychology
Art & Design Engineering History Mathematics Religious Studies
Biology English Literature History of Music Music Spanish

Teaching Staff[edit]

Larne Grammar School has 60 teachers and 772 pupils, giving the school a pupil teacher ratio of 12.7 pupils per teacher, which is much lower than the Northern Ireland average of 15.6 for Grammar Schools, and 16.8 for all schools delivering secondary education.[citation needed]

All subjects have at least two teachers, with many having more. All teachers are able to teach at least one subject to A level, with many able to do so with two subjects.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Department of Music

  • Orchestra
  • Woodwind Group
  • Brass Group
  • String Group
  • Traditional Irish Group
  • Jazz Band
  • Music Theory Club
  • Music Appreciation Society
  • Junior Choir
  • Senior Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Choral Group
  • Music Lessons in the following instruments;
  • -Brass:Trumpet, Cornet, eFlat Tenor, French Horn, Horn, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba, Trumbone
  • -Woodwind: Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone
  • -String: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
  • -Percussion: Drum Kit, Side Drum
  • -Other: Guitar, Piano, Voice

Department of Physical Education and Sport

  • Rugby
  • Hockey
  • Badminton Club
  • Tennis Club
  • Netball Club
  • Volleyball Club
  • Basketball Club
  • Rowing Club
  • Dance and Fitness Club
  • Dance Club
  • Fitness Club
  • Cross Country Club
  • Athletics Club
  • Walking Club
  • Yoga Club

Department of the Environment

  • Conservation Society

English Department

  • Club of Literature
  • Debating Society
  • Drama Club
  • Junior Reading Club
  • Senior Reading Club

Modern Languages Department

  • French Club
  • Spanish Club

Technology and Design Department

  • Remote Control Car Club


  • Charity Committee
  • Chess Club
  • Homework Club
  • Photography Club



In 2000, the School won the Ulster Senior Schoolgirls' Hockey Cup, an annual competition competed for by schools affiliated to the Ulster Women's Hockey Union, by beating Ballymena Academy 2–1 in the final.


The 1st XV have reached the final of the Subsidiary Shield competition of the Ulster Schools Cup on three occasions in 1981, 1991 and 1992, but lost on each occasion.[4]

On 9 March 2007, the 1st XV rugby team won the Schools Trophy by beating Omagh Academy 11–3 in the final.[5] They won it again on 22 February 2008, beating Dalriada 12–0 in the final.[6]

At junior level, the school Medallion XV were finalists in the Medallion Shield in 1955.[7] The team won the subsidiary Medallion Plate in 1987 and were runners up in the Plate in 1998 and 1999.[8][9][10] The lowest of the subsidiary competitions, the Medallion Trophy, was won in 2008 when Downshire High School were narrowly defeated by 13–12 in the final.[11]


In the summer of 2008, the school senior boys 4 × 100 m team qualified from the Ulster heats to reach the All Ireland School Athletics Finals. The team won the title in a time of 43.67 seconds, less than a tenth ahead of second place Castleknock College. [12] In 2009 the team retained the title, making them only the 6th school to ever do so.[citation needed]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Plaque honours ham entrepreneur", BBC News, 18 November 2006
  2. ^ "Larne Grammar School", ArtOliphant
  3. ^ "Larne Grammar School", Department of Employment, April 2002
  4. ^ "RSD in shield success". Tyrone Courier. 27 March 1991. p. 44. 
  5. ^ "Northern Bank Ulster Schools' Round up Saturday 10th March 2007". Ulster Rugby. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Northern Bank Schools' Trophy Final". Ulster Rugby. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Belfast Newsletter. 28 March 1955. p. 3.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Medallion win a thriller - and the Plate". Larne Times. 9 April 1987. p. 42. 
  9. ^ "Medallion go down fighting in Ravenhill final". Larne Times. 26 March 1998. p. 63. 
  10. ^ "Ballyclare take the honours at Ravenhill...". Newtownabbey Times. 25 March 1999. p. 62. 
  11. ^ "Larne Grammar School win Medallion Trophy". Ulster Rugby. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2008. 
  12. ^ a b "Irish Schools Relay Gold for Larne Grammar Four". Larne Times. 5 June 2008. 
  13. ^ "Members of Parliament for Belfast, East", Peter Robinson official website
  14. ^ "William Craig obituary". The Telegraph. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Larne Grammar School Photo Gallery"
  16. ^ "Raymond Snoddy profile". The Institute of Ideas- Battle of Ideas 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Schools Cup draw". BBC Sport. 30 November 2000. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "IRFU Committee Profile - Stephen Hilditch". Irish Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 

External links[edit]