Philip Morant School and College

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Philip Morant School and College
Motto Aspiration, Success, Kindness
Type Academy
Principal Ms Catherine Hutley
Chair of Governors Lorna Kean
Location Rembrandt Way
51°52′53″N 0°52′18″E / 51.881423°N 0.871590°E / 51.881423; 0.871590Coordinates: 51°52′53″N 0°52′18″E / 51.881423°N 0.871590°E / 51.881423; 0.871590
DfE number 881/5404
DfE URN 137619 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,600
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Aylward, Ryder, Churchill, Nuffield, Faraday
Colours Dark green

Philip Morant School and College (originally known as Norman Way School) is a Secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located within the Prettygate suburb of Colchester, Essex, England. The name Philip Morant was chosen a few months later, after the 18th Century local historian and archeologist.[1] The school has been given academy status, with this plan going into action in November.


After Mr Roger Abo Henriksen left the school at the end of the 2012-2013 school year Mr James who was a deputy head of the school was chosen to be Mr Abo Henriksen's replacement. Catherine Hutley was appointed Principal from September 2014.


The school was founded in September 1965 as a comprehensive secondary school. For the first two years it was located in the Greyfriars area of Colchester and took on only first and second year pupils (nowadays termed Year 7 and Year 8). During this time the current House Block, Hall and Gym were built in the Prettygate. The school expanded in several stages – the main work took place in 1974 and 2003. In 1993 the school became a specialised Technology College. In 1996 a sixth-form college was added to the school. The school converted to academy status in 2011 but continues to have technology as a specialism.

Building work[edit]

In the summer of 2013 the school underwent building work, there was a new roof built to connect the house block and the main building together.

Construction work began in the early summer of 2015, which enabled the upper floor of the house block to be converted into science laboratories for students' lessons. Therefore, different faculties will be moving around the school.

Philip Morant[edit]

Philip Morant was born in 1700 and died in 1770. Born in Jersey, he studied at Pembroke College Oxford, later taking his MA degree at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. From 1737 until his death he was rector of St Mary-at-the-Walls, Colchester, but his grave is to be found in Aldham in Essex, of which parish he was also appointed Rector in 1745. His chief claim to fame was as the author of a detailed History of Essex which remains a standard work of reference. A copy of Morant's History, in two volumes dated 1768, is on permanent loan to the School by the Essex Archaeological Society.[2]

The School Badge[edit]

The School Badge is surrounded by a design of brickwork as a reminder of the parish (St Marys-at-the-Walls) in which Morant lived and worked for over thirty years and in which the school stands. The quartering of the badge is formed by the representation of a cross signifying both Morant‟s work as a churchman and also the School's spiritual life. The emblems in the quartering are:

  • A crown from the arms of the Borough of Colchester (on which the crown of the Three Kings appear to commemorate the work of Helena, patron saint of Colchester).
  • A torch, to signify learning and endeavour in games and sports.
  • A chevron (part of the arms of the Morant family)
  • An open book (both to commemorate Morant's great interest and achievements in the field of history and to represent the academia within the school)[3]


'Aspiration, Success, Kindness' is the motto for Philip Morant. The school also created a logo to go with the motto. It contains a circle with a thought box and the text of 'ASK' inside the thought box.


Students at Philip Morant School are sorted into different houses for their time at the school.

Currently there are 5 houses;

  • Aylward,
  • Faraday,
  • Nuffield,
  • Churchill,
  • Ryder

Each house is named after a prominent member of society and traditionally contains students gifted in a certain area of academia.


Aylward House Uniform

The House colour for Aylward is blue. The House motto is "We are the best house - Be True". The House is named after Gladys Aylward, a missionary. Aylward was born of a working-class family in Edmonton, London in 1902. She was unable to enrol in missionary school and so she spent her life savings on a passage to Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, China, to work there. Aylward became a revered figure among the people, taking in orphans and adopting several herself, intervening in a volatile prison riot and advocating prison reform, risking her life many times to help those in need. The major motion picture based on her life, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, was released in 1958. Aylward died on 3 January 1970 just short of her 68th birthday, and is buried in a small cemetery on the campus of Christ's College in Guandu, New Taipei, Taiwan.


The House colour for Churchill is Green. The House motto is "Service Before Self". Churchill House is named after Sir Winston Churchill. Sir Winston Churchill was a British Conservative politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century, he served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 1951–55).

Churchill and Ryder are considered the original two Houses.


The House colour for Faraday is Purple. The House motto is "To thine own self be true". Faraday House is named after Michael Faraday, a self-educated man who rose from humble beginnings as an errand boy to become one of the greatest English scientists of all time. His determination and insight led to the discoveries upon which most 21st-century technology is based. His main discoveries include that of the Magnetic Field, Electromagnetic Induction, Diamagnetism and Electrolysis.


The House colour for Nuffield is Red. The House motto is "Out of Difficulties grow Miracles". Nufflied House is named after Lord Nuffield, an ordinary boy who grew up to achieve extraordinary things. Not only was he successful in making his fortune but he was successful at being unspoiled by it. His generosity and vision in furthering Science, Education and Medicine can be an inspiration for today's young people.

Lord Nuffield was born in 1877 at 47 Comer Gardens, a terraced house in the Comer Gardens area of Worcester, about 3.2 kilometres north-west of the centre of Worcester, England. He was the son of Frederick Morris and his wife Emily Ann, daughter of Richard Pether. When he was three years old his family moved to 16, James Street, Oxford. His home in James Street now has a Blue Plaque. He died in August 1963, aged 85, he had no children.


Ryder House Uniform

The House colour for Ryder is Yellow. The House motto is "It takes courage to care". The House mascot is a Lion. Ryder is often considered one of the original two Houses, with Churchill. The school colours of Green and Yellow reflect this. Ryder House is named after Baroness Ryder of Warsaw.

Sue Ryder was born in Yorkshire in 1924, during World War II she served with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Established by Winston Churchill in 1940, the SOE promoted and coordinated resistance activity in German occupied Europe.

After World War II, her life's mission became clear. During the post-war reconstruction in Europe, she had worked as a volunteer amongst displaced and stateless refugees. During this time she opened her first home, St Christopher's in Germany. It was designed as a haven for refugees, many of whom were survivors of concentration camps. On her return to England, she established the Sue Ryder Foundation with the aim to provide care where it is needed most.


There are several main buildings at Philip Morant. There is the two-floored 'House Block' where English, Humanities, Drama, Science and Media Studies are taught. In a small building connected to the House Block, there is the detachable Art classrooms.

There is a one-floored Technology Block nearby where all forms of Technology are taught. Connected to this block are the Gymnasium, Main Hall, and the 3 floor Mathematics Block. There is the Music block, next to the Technology Block. Attached to that is the Sports Hall and the Sports Hall Annex. Finally there is the 'L Block', where Geography, History and some science rooms are located, as well as a computer room. There are also computer rooms dotted around the school. The College is contained in a separate building. Around these buildings are playgrounds and a Car-park.


There are around 1600 students (as of 2008). The students are divided into 5 houses: Aylward, Churchill, Faraday, Nuffield, and Ryder. Each house has around 300 students, a "House area" and a certain day of the week when Prefect duties are done, though before 2011 students used to do two days. Students in Year 10 and 11 can become prefects - this means they do 'duties' around the school one lunchtime a week. This may include things like monitoring the halls or 'door duties'. Students can then become Senior Prefects, which allows them to go first into lunch every day of the week (instead of the one day for their house). Each year, 12 students in Year 10 are selected to be in the 'Student Management Team' until they leave. This team includes the Head Boy and Girl of the school. Students also have the opportunity to become eco-reps, sport captains, form captains and members of the school council.

Ofsted report[edit]

The Ofsted inspection in 2001 rated the school as level 1, "outstanding". In 2006 the school received an overall level 2, rating the school as "good" but "with some outstanding features".[4] The most recent inspection in early 2015 rated the school as level 2 "good" which was an improvement to the previous year of mainly level 3s 'requires improvement'.[5]

Planning controversy[edit]

Norman Way was originally planned in the 1960s to be an inner ring road for Colchester with the "Norman Way School" (and several neighbouring schools) facing onto the road. Instead the metalled road was truncated a short distance before the school for safety reasons, and a footpath set on the original route. The alternative vehicular route requires driving through narrow residential streets. Several times since then the school has applied to have Norman Way extended along part or all of the original route so that pupils and visitors would not have to walk the extra 100m, but each time this was vetoed by the Council after vigorous protests against the increased traffic expected by the local residents.

In summer 2009 the school again applied to extend the road through fields in the southern residential area, but this time it was to be linked to a £130m government-funded expansion of the school which would allow it to take on pupils from other two schools. Council policy was set in October 2009 to allow the road extension if it can be proven that the grant is genuinely conditional on the altered road access.[6] In mid-2010 it was announced that there would be no cash for the school expansion from Building Schools for the Future programme. However Colchester council has not announced that it will halt its road building programme, in spite of local demands to preserve the green space.[7]

In July 2015 the school once again caused controversy when it erected a metal fence across a stretch of the Norman Way footpath without consulting residents.[8]


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  6. ^ Colchester: Council cabinet agrees to release schools' land - with conditions, Essex County Standard
  7. ^ Colchester: Give up field! Essex County Standard, 19 November 2010
  8. ^ [1] Colchester Gazette 3 August 2015

External links[edit]