Nottingham High School

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Nottingham High School
Illustration of a silver heater-shaped shield bearing three naturally-coloured blackbirds. These face left, as if about to take flight. Two blackbirds are above the third to make a triangle. The shield has a red horizontal band with a golden ducal coronet on the left and right and an open book in the middle. The book has blank white pages, a red cover and gilded page edges. Below the shield is a parchment (curved like a smile, curled at each end, and centred) with an uppercase "Lauda Finem" in an old-fashioned serif font. The front of the parchment is yellow and the back red.
Photograph of a Gothic Revival building in grey slate, with walls of light brown and a pitched roof bearing algae. It has a wide chimney on each side, five large multi-segment windows on each storey on each section. The left and right sections have two and three storeys respectively, separated by a central protrusion with five storeys. The central section has two-storey bays window flanking an arched, elevated wooden door, above an outdoor double staircase with a simpler wooden door in the front. Above each bay window is a smaller window. Above these is a narrower section with three large multi-segment windows, above which is a yet narrower section forming a square tower and the highest storey. The tower is crenellated with one large multi-segment window, a flagpole with no flag in the centre, and a crenellated stone structure projecting from the right corner like a crow's nest, which could be used as a lookout. The building is fronted by a lawn between an embankment and a planted area. Steps down from the central part lead to a war memorial: a bronze statue of a First World War uniformed British soldier looking back and pointing up towards the left, atop a white stone plinth with a relief of Nottingham's heraldic achievement, an inscription on a plaque and a relief of the lozenge of Dame Agnes Mellers. The war memorial has stone steps on all four sides separating an outer circle of shrubbery. Below is a paved stone floor.
South side of the school
Address
Waverley Mount

, ,
NG7 4ED

Coordinates52°57′45″N 1°09′33″W / 52.96253°N 1.15912°W / 52.96253; -1.15912Coordinates: 52°57′45″N 1°09′33″W / 52.96253°N 1.15912°W / 52.96253; -1.15912
Information
TypeIndependent day school
MottoLatin: Lauda finem
(Praise to the end[1])
Established1513; 508 years ago (1513)
FoundersDame Agnes Mellers, Sir Thomas Lovell and King Henry VIII
Local authorityNottingham
Department for Education URN122915 Tables
Chairman of GovernorsMr Steve Banks
HeadHeadmaster of the Senior School:
Mr Kevin Fear
Head of the Infant and Junior School:
Clare Bruce
Staff<130
GenderCo-educational since 2015;[2] previously boys
Age4 to 18
EnrolmentSenior School:
~1056
Infant and Junior School:
~270
Totals:
987[2]
HousesSenior:
Cooper's
Maples'
Mellers'
White's
Junior:
Ball's
Hardy's
Tonkin's
Trease's
PublicationFormer Senior School:
Old Nottinghamian
Former 'Junior School':
Young Nottinghamian
Former 'Lovell House':
The Squirrel
AlumniOld Nottinghamians[3]
Websitewww.nottinghamhigh.co.uk

Nottingham High School is an independent, fee-charging day school for boys and girls in Nottingham, England, with an Infant and Junior School (ages 4–11) and Senior School (ages 11–18).[4] There were 738 students in the 2019–2020 academic year, of whom 151 were in the sixth form (studying for advanced certificate examinations).[5]

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

The original 1512 charter approving the foundation of a free grammar school in Nottingham

In 1513, the "Free School" was founded by Dame Agnes Mellers, after the death of her husband Richard, partly in his memory, but also as atonement for wrongdoings against the people of Nottingham.[6][7] To do so she enlisted help from Sir Thomas Lovell as Governor of Nottingham Castle and Secretary to the Treasury. Through their combined efforts, King Henry VIII sealed the school's foundation deed on the 22 November that year. It is unclear whether this was a new institution or an endowment of an existing school, of which records exist back to 1289.[6] Almost 20,000 boys are estimated to have attended between 1513 and 2013.[8]

In the Foundation Deed, Mellers provided for a Commemoration Service in St Mary's Church in the Lace Market "on the Feast of the Translation of St Richard of Chichester, namely 16 June" each year,[6] although the service "is now held on the nearest Saturday to that date".[9] With the exception of Nottingham Goose Fair, this is the most ancient ceremonial event still held in the City of Nottingham,[10] and the oldest still largely in its original form (the Goose Fair now being a funfair rather than a livestock fair), although there seems to be no record of it being held between the mid-16th century and its revival in 1923.[6] The formal procession seeks to symbolise the ancient links the School has with the Crown, the City and the Church. The Foundation Deed also provides for distributing (out of a total sum of 20 shillings) certain monies to the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Vicar and others. and for the purchase of bread, cheese and ale for consumption by officials attending the Service. Any balance remaining is required to be given to the poorest scholar, but now is given to a representative scholar of the school.[citation needed]

Coat of arms[edit]

The College of Arms granted the school a coat of arms in 1949,[6] the full blazon being:

Ermine, a lozenge argent charged with three blackbirds rising proper. On a chief gules, an open book also proper, garnished or, between two ducal coronets of the last. And for the crest, on a wreath argent and gules, a squirrel sejant gules holding between the paws a ducal coronet or. Mantling, argent and gules. Motto "Lauda Finem".

The motto, Lauda finem, is Latin for "praise [to] the end".[1]

The arms incorporate those of the founder: the arms of the Mellers family were three blackbirds (or merles – an example of canting arms) – on a white field; Dame Agnes, being a woman, would have displayed them on a lozenge, not a shield. In 2007 the school unofficially introduced a new logo for more general use, a modified version of the shield that omits the lozenge and ermine field.

Remembrance Day service[edit]

Affixed to the weathered, discoloured white stone war memorial is a black plaque with white text in Times New Roman font. The text, which is centred and has generous line spacing, reads: "To the Glory of God / In lasting and grateful memory / of those former members / of this School / who by the sacrifice of their lives / for the cause of their Country / in the Great War 1914 – 1918 / and the Second World War 1939 – 1945 / ennobled the traditions / which they had here received."
Plaque on the war memorial

An annual Remembrance Day service on 11 November is attended by the whole school with the Headmaster, President of the Old Nottinghamians and the School Captain placing wreaths at the war memorial. Scholars attend a morning special assembly in the Player Hall, at which a minute's silence is observed. Representatives of the school's Combined Cadet Force mark their respect with a parade round the main school building.[11]

Premises[edit]

Location[edit]

Since 1868 the school has stood high on Waverley Mount to the north of the city centre,[12] looking down towards its foundation site in St Mary's Church and continuance in Stoney Street. The present site has undergone a long programme of building and development.

Main building
Photograph of a Gothic Revival building. The walls are light brown and the pitched roof, which has algae growing on it, is grey slate. There is a wide chimney on each side of the building. There are five large multi-segment windows on each story on the left section, and five large multi-segment windows on each story on the right section. The left and right sections have two and three stories respectively and are separated by a protruding central section, which has a total of five stories. The central section has a two-storey bay window on each side of an arched, wooden door, which is elevated. The door is above an outdoor double staircase, which has a simpler wooden door in the front. Above each bay window is a smaller window. Above the smaller windows is a narrower section with three large multi-segment windows, above which is a yet narrower section, forming a square tower and the highest storey of the building. The tower is crenellated and has one large multi-segment window, a flagpole without a flag in the centre, and a crenellated stone structure projecting from the right corner that resembles a crow's nest in that it could be used as a lookout point. In front of the building is a lawn that separates an embankment from a planted area. Steps lead down from the central part of the building to a war memorial, which is in the form of a bronze statue of a First World War uniformed British soldier looking backwards and pointing up towards the left, standing atop a white stone plinth that has a relief of the heraldic achievement of the city of Nottingham, an inscription on a plaque, and a relief of the lozenge of Dame Agnes Mellers. The war memorial is elevated with stone steps on all four sides, which separate an outer circle of shrubbery. Below the war memorial is a paved stone floor.
War memorial at the south gates

An example of Gothic Revival architecture, the original school building on the present site, built between 1866 and 1867, was designed by Thomas Simpson.[13] It consists of a tower and three wings: West Wing, Middle Corridor and East Wing. West Wing houses classrooms for mathematics, English and geography. Housed in Middle Corridor are the learning support department, two ICT centres, two language laboratories, religious studies classrooms, two multi-purpose lecture theatres, the library and staff offices. East Wing contains the old gymnasium, the Player assembly hall and classrooms for modern languages, history and classics. The school front and other features are Grade II listed.

The Player Hall
Photograph of a Gothic Revival building. The walls are light brown and the pitched, grey-slate roof has algae growing on it. There is a wide chimney on each side. There are five large multi-segment windows on each story on the left section and on the right section. Both sections have two and three stories and are separated by a protruding central section, which has a total of five stories and a two-storey bay window on each side of an arched, wooden door, which is elevated. The door is above an outdoor double staircase, which has a simpler wooden door in the front. Above each bay window is a smaller window. Above the smaller windows is a narrower section with three large multi-segment windows, surmouned by a yet narrower section, forming a square tower and the highest storey of the building. The tower is crenellated and has one large multi-segment window, a flagpole without a flag in the centre, and a crenellated stone structure projecting from the right corner that resembles a crow's nest in that it could be used as a lookout point. In front of the building is a lawn that separates an embankment from a planted area. Steps lead down from the central part of the building to a war memorial in the form of a bronze statue of a uniformed, First World War British soldier looking backwards and pointing up towards the left, standing atop a white stone plinth with a relief of the city's heraldic achievement, an inscription on a plaque, and a relief of the lozenge of Dame Agnes Mellers. The war memorial is elevated with stone steps on all four sides, to separate an outer circle of shrubbery. Below the memorial is a paved stone floor.
The south side of the school, showing the war memorial
Tower

Overlooking the city centre is the school tower, used as a staff office. A school standard and the Union Flag are raised on it on special occasions such as Founder's Day and the official birthday, and as remembrance should a member of the school staff have died.

Additions

To the west, the Founder Hall building was built in 1963 to mark the school's 450th anniversary. It includes the school's swimming pool and the Founder Hall itself, and acts as a performing venue to supplement the Player Hall. A drama studio was added in 2013 to mark the school's 500th anniversary.[14]

The Simon Djanogly Science Building from 1984 is situated to the south west with 13 laboratories for all three sciences. A 25-yard CCF shooting range remains in the basement.[15] The building was opened on 2 March 1984 by the Duke of Edinburgh.[7]

In front of the science building is the music school, completed in 1997. This houses the Lady Carol Djanogly Recital Hall, the Jones Trust Music Room, a music technology studio, a resources centre, seven instrumental teaching rooms and a larger brass teaching room, a percussion studio and a classroom for Infant and Junior School pupils.[16]

Lady Carol Djanogly Music School

In 1989 a sports hall was built on land to the north-east of the site formerly occupied by fives court and a shooting range.[17] It contains an multi-purpose exercise hall and a fitness room for older pupils.

In the north-west corner is the Sir Harry Djanogly Art, Design and Technology Centre. The ground floor was built in the mid-1990s and a first floor added in the 2003/2004 academic year to accommodate modern facilities for the Art Department.

A new dining hall and sixth form centre were constructed in the West Quad in 2009.

Lovell House Building

Waverley House School to the west of the main site was purchased in 2008. The site was refurbished and renamed the Lovell House Infant School. In 2013, this single-sex establishment was combined with the Junior School to form Nottingham High Infant and Junior School.

Playing field[edit]

The school's games field is not on the main site but at Valley Road, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) to the north. It features a number of rugby pitches and posts during winter, which are converted for athletics in the spring, with a running track and areas for shot put, javelin, discus, pole vault, hurdles and high jump. During the summer, the ground is used for cricket, with nets and squares created for the season. Tennis courts and an archery range are also located there. The pavilion has several changing rooms on the ground and first floors, and a refreshment area for staff and guests.[18] Until 1897, pupils took their PE and games lessons at the Forest Recreation Ground.[8]

School organisation[edit]

The Junior and Senior Schools both have four houses, each named after a person connected with the school. The house system plays an integral role in school life. House tutors provide pastoral care and support.[19]

Junior School houses[edit]

The Junior School's four houses are named after former pupils or staff who served with distinction in the First World War and were killed in action or died of their wounds.[20] Ball's House recalls Captain Albert Ball VC DSO MC, a fighter pilot in the RFC and pupil at the school in 1907–1909, Hardy's House Rev. Theodore Hardy VC DSO MC, an assistant master in 1891–1907 and a British Army chaplain in 1916–1918, Tonkin's House FC Tonkin DSO MC, a former pupil who served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and Trease's House Lt Reginald Trease DSO MC, a pupil at the school in 1898–1905. The houses compete annually for a General Efficiency Cup donated in 1927 by William Crane.[20]

Senior School houses[edit]

The four houses in the Senior School are Mellers', named after the school's founder, Cooper's, named after Frederick Cooper, an artist who in 1872 donated almost 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land to the school, Maples', named after Samuel Maples, a former pupil who bequeathed £3,000 to fund scholarships in 1892, and White's, after Sir Thomas White, who endowed a charity to provide interest-free loans to "young men of good name and thrift" in the Midlands, some money from which was lent to the school in slightly questionable circumstances in the mid-19th century).[6]

Wheeler Cup

Houses compete for the Wheeler Cup, which is awarded on the cumulative performance in competitions throughout the school year. These cover athletics, chess, hockey, cross country, rugby, bridge, shooting, swimming, cricket, general knowledge, verse recitation, singing, and individual music.

Curriculum[edit]

Nottingham High School offers a wide range of GCSE, Advanced Subsidiary-Level (AS-level) and General Certificate of Education Advanced-Level (GCE A-level) subjects. Many are also studied by younger pupils at the school in years seven and nine.[21][22]

Sixth-form subjects include Ancient Greek, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Civilization, Design and Technology, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), French, Further Mathematics, Geography, Government and Politics, German, History, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Music Technology, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Statistics, and Spanish.

All sixth-form students were expected to undertake the EPQ from 2010, but for students entering sixth form from 2019 it is optional.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Pupils are encouraged to take up extra-curricular activities, including sports played at county, regional and national levels.[23] They include Young Enterprise, music,[24] bridge,[25] first aid, drama,[26] photography,[27] the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme,[28] Combined Cadet Force,[29] shooting,[15] Global Footprints expeditions,[30] World Challenge Expeditions,[30] public speaking, Young Engineers,[31] debating, Eco-Schools,[32] chess,[33] and science (national Olympiads, competitions and camps for biology, chemistry and physics).

Expeditions have taken pupils to places that include Bolivia (2013, 2017),[34] Sri Lanka (cricket, 2013),[35] Stowe, Vermont, (skiing, 2011), New York (Big Band/Cutting Harmony, 2010), South America (rugby, 2010), Barbados (cricket, 2009), Siberia (World Challenge Expedition 2009), New Zealand (rugby, 2008, 2016), South Africa (rugby, 2006), Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands,[36] Morocco, Malawi, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Belize, Borneo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Russia,[37] Vietnam, Norway, Tanzania, France,[38] Germany,[39] Egypt, Greece, and Italy.[40]

Local school trips have included Hadrian's Wall,[41][42][43] Verulamium,[44] Twycross Zoo,[45] the National Space Centre,[46] the Science Museum, London, Lunt Roman Fort, the Royal Armouries,[47] Lincoln Cathedral, Snowdonia, RAF Cranwell,[48] East Midlands Helicopters,[49] Hucknall, Burbage Brook, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Lake District,[50] Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre,[51] Nottingham Magistrates' Court, the Nottingham Theatre Royal, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, and the Nottingham Playhouse.

Uniform[edit]

In Years 7 to 11, the uniform consists of a black blazer with a badge bearing the arms of Dame Agnes Mellers (displayed on a lozenge), black or charcoal grey trousers, a white or grey shirt, black leather shoes, a house tie, and black, grey or navy blue socks. It is also possible to wear a jumper under the blazer. This is usually grey with white and black around the neck. For those who have represented the school in sport, it may be black and bear the school coat of arms.

In the sixth form, students wear a black, grey or navy blue suit with a shirt of any colour but black.[52]

Junior School tie, House tie (Whites), Lovell Order tie

Ties are a feature of the school uniform and used to signify pupils' status within the school.[17]

House ties.

Special ties include:

  • Foundation – A black tie bearing a red squirrel holding a ducal coronet (the crest from the school's coat of arms), presented on Founder's Day to pupils who have performed well in public examinations (at least ten grade As at GCSE or three As at A-Level), and to teachers on completing ten years' service
  • Lovell Order – Black, bearing the arms of Sir Thomas Lovell, for those who have performed a special service, such as librarians, the choir, orchestra and band secretaries, society officials and the stage staff, and teachers completing twenty years' service
  • Sports Colours – White with narrow diagonal black and yellow stripes, for high sporting achievement, such as first-team level (usually for sports, and occasionally chess, bridge and general knowledge teams)
  • Music Colours – Similar to sports colours, first awarded in 2007 to mark outstanding contributions to school music
  • Third XV – Black with orange stripes to members of the school rugby third XV
  • Prefects – no longer awarded
  • Officers – Black with red stripes, bordered by white bands with the school coat-of-arms at top, presented since 2005 to Officers of the School (School Captain, School Vice-Captains and House Captains)
  • Quincentenary – Black with diagonal stripes and school coat-of-arms, designed by Young Enterprise Team Sterling, sold to pupils and Old Nottinghamians to mark the 500th anniversary of the School

Fees[edit]

The school charges admission fees. About a tenth of pupils are supported by bursaries or scholarships giving a reduction of between 10 and 100 per cent, depending on family income.[53]

Media[edit]

Some of a 1990 episode of the TV series "Boon", starring Michael Elphick, was filmed at the school, with some pupils as extras. The story was entitled "Bully Boys", the sixth episode of the fifth series, broadcast on 30 October 1990. The main playground, the Bridge Library (now the library reception), and the Valley Road playing fields were shown.

Kevin Fear (the school's current headmaster) and certain boys, were filmed by ITV for a news story shown as part of the news programme "ITV News Central".[54] Filming took place at several school locations, including the headmaster's office, various classrooms and the Lower School Library. The news was that the school had announced it would admit girls – for the first time in its 500-year history – from 2015/2016.[54]

List of Masters[edit]

* Resigned or retired
† Died in office
‡ Never assumed post[6]: 71 

Brian Garnet (headmaster 1565 – c. 1575) is notable as the father of the Jesuit priest Henry Garnet, who was executed for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.[6]: 30, 90 

Notable alumni[edit]

All former pupils and staff members are granted the title 'Old Nottinghamian'.[3][55] For more than a century, the Old Nottinghamians' Society has existed continuously, with its origins dating back to 1897, at which time it was called the NHS Dinner Committee.[55] Between 1902 and 1961 it was known as the Nottingham High School Old Boys' Society.[55]

Arts[edit]

Academia and religion[edit]

Armed forces[edit]

Media and entertainment[edit]

Civil and diplomatic service[edit]

Commerce[edit]

Law[edit]

Politics[edit]

Science and technology[edit]

Sport[edit]

References[edit]

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