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Latymer Upper School

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Latymer Upper School
Motto Latin: Paulatim ergo certe
(Slowly Therefore Surely)
Established 1624
Type Independent day school
Headmaster D W Goodhew
Location King Street

W6 9LR
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
DfE URN 100370 Tables
Staff 98 full time, 28 music staff
Students 1,284
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Former pupils Latymerians

Latymer Upper School is a selective independent school in Hammersmith, west London, England, between King Street and the Thames. Founded by Edward Latymer in 1624, it is a coeducational school with over 1,200 pupils. It has a Prep department for pupils aged 7 to 11 and is one of the leading academic schools in the country, as measured by its position in the national league tables of GCSE and A level performance, and one of the top schools for the arts and sport. The Sixth Form of 340 is one of the largest in London and offers forty academic courses as well as extra curricular activities. According to the Good Schools Guide, the school "aims to set new standards for co-education in west London."[1] As of 2016, the school charges fees of £18,420 a year per student.[2]

History and traditions

Latymer Upper School was founded in 1624 by Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer and puritan, who left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of “eight poore boyes” from Hammersmith. For the next twenty years, local boys were educated in a school erected in Fulham's churchyard, moving in 1648 to another school built in Hammersmith. Later, in 1657, a parochial charity school was set up, which served as the Latymer legacy for the following century until it was rebuilt in 1755. A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School. The site also includes Latymer Prep School.

In the 1950s, the school was a direct grant grammar school, which took large numbers of state school pupils, whose fees were paid by the local authority, solely on the basis of merit. At the same time, it continued to take some fee-paying pupils. The Direct Grant system was abolished from 1975, and the school became fully private.

The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and in 2004 the main school started to become co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7. With that year's entry moving into Year 11, the school became fully co-educational by 2008.

Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's Church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other beneficiaries of the school.


Pupils come from a wide area of London. Around 70 pupils are on 100 per cent bursaries. The Good Schools Guide said "This is an urban inner-city school that still has a grammar school feel and parents value the social mix that comes from taking in plenty of state school children at 11."[1] Tatler notes that the school says it is 'fishing in a brighter gene pool,’ and that 'philanthropy is integral to the spirit of the school and Latymer is one of the leaders in providing means-tested bursaries'.[3]

Latymer Upper School is one of the highest academically performing schools in the UK historically and to date.[4] Most of the school’s own on-site prep pupils enter the school, whilst around a further 50 per cent enter from local state primary schools. Tatler Schools Guide commentated that 'competition for Latymer places is hotter than ever: 1,100 applicants sat the exam last spring; 400 were interviewed for 168 places'.[3] The examined subjects are usually in English, Maths and reasoning, and there is an interview. There were 26 Oxbridge places in 2015, and an increasing number to US universities such as Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, Pennsylvania and Yale, and a range of other top international universities. A few pupils annually transfer to art, music or drama schools, with others training to become medics, economists, engineers and linguists.[5]

GCSE summary: last five years[6]

YEAR  %A*  %A*A  %A*AB
2016 61.6 86.9 97.7
2015 69.7 92.2 98.8
2014 64.9 89.6 97.4
2013 73.3 94.0 99.2
2012 63.6 90.4 98.4

A level summary: last five years

YEAR  %A*  %A*A  %A*AB
2016 32.0 75.8 95.2
2015 32.1 73.3 91.7
2014 35.5 77.1 93.8
2013 25.5 65.1 88.1
2012 30.0 74.0 94.6


The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, football, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's two full orchestras and five string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.

There are over 40 clubs and societies at Latymer, including the J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies. There are also clubs for bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. The Drama Society holds several productions each year.[7] Two students in Year 10 won the International Debating Competition in Cambridge at their age level. The final consisted of four other London-based schools that included St Paul's and Westminster.

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer School. There are trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exchanges, work experience in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, Classics trips to Italy and Greece, sports tours and expeditions. Latymer Upper also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.[8]

The school is active in charity work: the annual "Charities' Week" raised £3,000 in 2006. The school branch of Amnesty International is involved in fund- and awareness-raising campaigns. A student-led environmentalist group has led to each classroom being equipped with a recycling bin.[citation needed]

Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled. In addition, the school offers all students a trip every year in 'Activities Week'. Destinations have included Spain, the Ardèche gorge in the south of France.[9]


Latymer Performing Arts Centre, Hammersmith, London

The school's sporting facilities on site include a boathouse with direct access to the Thames, a sports hall and an indoor swimming pool. The school also maintains playing fields about a mile and a half away, on Wood Lane, with a £2m sports pavilion and changing rooms completed in 2004. The £4m Latymer Theatre and Arts Centre opened in 2000 and includes a 300-seat galleried box theatre, music practice rooms, art galleries and studios, plus a cafe and atrium area. In 2009 the £6m Latymer Performing Arts Centre was completed, providing students with drama studios, rehearsal rooms and a 150-seat recital hall[10] In March 2016, the school opened a state of the art sports facility, which includes a six lane swimming pool, basketball hoops, badminton markings, a fitness suite, and a rock climbing wall whilst at the same time offering an area for all pupils to take their examinations.[11]

The £8m Science and Library building which includes science labs for the three sciences and a library with seating for over 200 pupils opened in 2010. van Heyningen and Haward Architects were responsible for the design and delivery of these four buildings during a ten-year working relationship with the school.[12] 150 computers are provided for pupil use, networked and with e-mail and internet access, and ICT is taught in one lesson a week in Years 7 to 9. Pupils are permitted to cycle to school, with storage space provided for their bikes. Meals are self-service in the lunch hall, and there is a café in the "atrium".

Coat of arms

The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, paulatim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus due to there being no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. The motto was dropped in 2004 along with the coat of arms, and a new, much simpler, shield (described in the school literature as a "new crest") was adopted.[13]

The original arms continue to be used, with a different motto, by the sister school, The Latymer School.

Old Latymerians



In sport

In politics

Other fields

Notable former staff

See also


  1. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School, London". Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  2. ^ School Fees Information
  3. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 2017-02-17. 
  7. ^ Clubs Latymer Upper School
  8. ^ Clubs, Activities and Trips Latymer Upper School
  9. ^ Activities Week Latymer Upper School
  10. ^ New Music Building Building, Latymer Upper School
  11. ^ "New Sports Centre opens - LUS". 
  12. ^ "van Heyningen & Haward: Latymer Upper School, West London - Architecture Today". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Old Latymerian News, October 2004 (PDF document). Accessed 15 December 2006.
  14. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About Britain's Hottest Band". 1 July 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°29′31″N 0°14′13″W / 51.492°N 0.237°W / 51.492; -0.237