Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham

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Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham Logo.jpg
Abbey Street

, ,
ME13 7BQ

Coordinates51°19′01″N 0°53′46″E / 51.317°N 0.896°E / 51.317; 0.896Coordinates: 51°19′01″N 0°53′46″E / 51.317°N 0.896°E / 51.317; 0.896
TypeGrammar School;
MottoQuality with Excellence
Established1576 [1]
Department for Education URN136570 Tables
Head teacherMr. David Anderson
Age11 to 18

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (usually known as QE or QEGS) is a selective co-educational grammar school with academy status in Faversham, Kent, southeast England. It was formed in 1967, when the Faversham Grammar School for Boys, the William Gibbs School for Girls and the Wreights School merged and moved into new accommodation opposite.

The school is attended by approximately 984 students, who come from Faversham and the nearby towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay. The school is a Mathematics and Computing Specialist School, a title gained in 2005. In 2009, Modern Languages was also added to that list. The headteacher is David Anderson, who had extensive experience in Kent Grammar Schools prior to his appointment.



Originally Faversham Grammar School, the School was founded in 1527 by John Cole, who endowed it with property of which he made Faversham Abbey the trustee. The property was confiscated by Henry VIII when he dissolved the abbey in 1538, and the school had to close. In 1576 the borough council successfully petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for return of the endowment, and the school re-opened. The school had no permanent home of its own till 1587 when, as a result of community effort, the purpose-built premises were erected on the western edge of the Shooting Meadows, where archery was then practised. Here the school's modern-day successor has its buildings and playing fields. The new premises of 1587 were timber-framed, and 60 tons of oak were needed for the frame, which (as usual with this type of building) was first ‘test-assembled’ off-site.

Disposition of the original building[edit]

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School from the churchyard

The Elizabethan building remained in use as a school till 1879, when much larger premises (since demolished) were erected in St Ann’s Road. For a few years it was used as dwellings, and its condition began to deteriorate. Fortunately, however, the town’s Masonic Lodge of Harmony was seeking a permanent home of its own, and in 1887 was able to buy it and save it from gradual decay. Conversion and restoration were undertaken by Benjamin Adkins, an architect who was also a Lodge member. The first-floor schoolroom was altered as little as possible, and extra accommodation was provided by ‘under-building’ where the covered playground had been at ground-floor level.

The Abbey[edit]

The Grammar School was funded in 1527 by Faversham Abbey, which was founded in 1147 by King Stephen and his Queen, Matilda. The site was just to the north east of the town, where the northern playing fields of the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School are now situated. The aim of Stephen and Matilda was to found a royal mausoleum for the House of Blois. They hoped, at that time, that the House of Blois would be victorious and rule over England for generations to come. The Abbey was dissolved in 1538 and subsequently most of it demolished as part of King Henry VIII’s plans to sweep the monasteries from England. Much of the building material was removed by military engineers and transported by sea to France, where it was used to strengthen the fortifications of the towns in the Pale of Calais, which at the time was England's continental bridgehead. There is a print of Faversham Abbey in 1735, showing the Inner Gateway, demolished in 1771, the Guest House, now Arden's House and the Outer Gateway, demolished in 1772. Some of the domestic buildings remained in 1671, but not long afterwards the final traces were removed and the exact site of the once famous church sank into oblivion and was lost.

Graves and excavations[edit]

Excavations of the site have revealed that the church had a total length of about 370 feet; the long nave was flanked by north and south aisles in the usual manner and gave a total width of nearly 80 feet. The nave joined the large transept under a massive central tower, the foundation sockets of which took the form of large rectangular pits. From here the chalk foundations of the choir, still with aisles to north and south, ran eastwards to end in a large apse. This was flanked by two smaller apsidal foundations which terminate in aisles. Four more small apses existed on the transept arms. Among the few surviving buildings of Faversham Abbey are the two Barns at Abbey Farm. The smaller (Minor) Barn dates from 1425 and the larger (Major) Barn dates from 1476. In the farmyard of which they form part there are other listed buildings, including Abbey Farmhouse, part of which dates from the 14th century, and a small building which is thought to have been the Abbot’s stable. Also surviving is the Abbey Guest House, on the east side of the Outer Gateway of the Abbey; now known as Arden's House. Arden's House, now a private residence in Abbey Street, was the location of the infamous murder of Thomas Arden in 1551.

King Stephen in 1154, his wife Matilda in 1152 and son Eustace in 1153, were all buried in the Abbey; two deep pits close to the very centre of the choir were probably the royal tombs. The Abbey Church was excavated in 1964 and the empty graves of King Stephen, his wife and son were found. Their bones are said to have been thrown into Faversham Creek when the building was dismantled. However, in the Parish Church is a canopy tomb with no contemporary inscription where is said that their bones were re-interred.

Recent history[edit]

The school had a recent successful Ofsted inspection. As a Maths and Computing Specialist school it has strong links with the Abbey school and nearby primary schools. The school enjoys a wide sporting programme. Individual pupils have gained success at national level in a variety of fields, both sporting and academic. The school continues to have an active extra curricular programme, with trips to Morocco, India, Cuba and many more.


School structure[edit]

The house system was reestablished in 2008 with the aid of a team of students in the Sixth Form, and are represented by a colour along with a patron. The five houses are: Q (patron Cole), E (patron Johnson), G (patron Gibbs), S (patron Wreight), and F (patron Fowlds).[2]

Lower school[edit]

As of 2013, the lower school has an intake of around 125 students at the beginning of Year Seven (aged 11).[3] The lower school (Years 7-11) is 639 students strong,[4] for whom the school uniform consists of a navy blue blazer with the school badge on the breast pocket for both boys and girls. Boys are required to wear a white shirt that can be either long or short sleeved and must be worn with a tie along with black tailored trousers. Girls are required to wear a white revere style fitted shirt, with the option of the length of the sleeve, a navy blue pleated skirt or tailored navy blue trousers. Socks must be in the colours of navy, black or grey and shoes must be black. Additionally, a dark navy v-neck jumper maybe worn, but should contain the school logo and come from the school's official suppliers.[5]

Sixth form[edit]

A minimum of 20 offers per year will be made to external applicants.[3]



The school year runs from September to July, split across three terms: the autumn term (September to December), spring term (January to April) and the summer term (April to July). Students receive two weeks off for Christmas and Easter, a six-week summer break, and three "half term" breaks.[6]


League tables published by the BBC based on 2008 A-level results rank Queen Elizabeth's as the ninth best school in Kent.[7] According to the BBC, in 2009 A-level students achieved an average of 932.7 QCDA points against a national average of 739.1 and 99% of students achieved five or more grade C results (or equivalent) at GCSE, including Maths and English.[8]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

There are many clubs during lunch break (12:55-1:50) and after school you do not have to pay to join and there is a wide range of different clubs for different interests; including STEM, History, Computing, Textiles, Sports, Languages and Music. Musical instrument lessons are also on offer, but are not free.


Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School's Website".
  2. ^ "The House System". Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Admissions of Pupils to the School" (PDF). Queen Elizaebth's Grammar School, Faversham. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Inspection Report" (PDF). Ofsted. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Uniform Policy" (PDF). Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Term Dates 2012/13 and 2013/14" (PDF). Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  7. ^ "Secondary Schools in Kent". BBC News. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
  8. ^ "Performance results for Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School". BBC News (BBC). 13 January 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  9. ^ Snell, Daniel C. "Johns, Claude Hermann Walter". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34198. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. ^ Dubow, Leslie. "Rickett, Sir Raymond Mildmay Wilson". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/62022. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)