Queen Mary's Grammar School

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Queen Mary's Grammar School
Motto Quas dederis solas semper habebis opes
(What thou hast given alone shall be eternal riches unto thee.)
Established 1554
Type Grammar school
Location Sutton Road
West Midlands
Coordinates: 52°34′39″N 1°57′59″W / 52.5775°N 1.9665°W / 52.5775; -1.9665
Local authority Walsall Borough Council
DfE number 335/5404
DfE URN 136773 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Boys (mixed sixth form)
Ages 11/12–18
Houses Aragon
Colours Blue, Yellow, Green, Red
Website www.qmgs.org

Queen Mary's Grammar School (QMGS) is a selective boys' grammar school with academy status located in Sutton Road, Walsall, England, about a mile from the town centre and one of the oldest schools in the country. The sixth form is coeducational.


Admittance to the school is by entrance exam taken at the age of 10/11; 120 pupils enter the school in September each year. This will soon change to 150 pupils in September 2016. There are 96 to 120 pupils in each of the other, older year groups. In sixth form there are currently (as of 2014) 162 pupils in Year 12 and 143 in Year 13 attending schools around the borough. At this stage of the school, girls are also admitted. The school has grown from 718 in 2011 to 826 in 2014.



It was founded in 1554 by George and Nicolas Hawe, two leading townsmen, with Queen Mary I as its royal patron and benefactor.[1] At this time it had about sixty pupils, all boys, and taught Classics almost exclusively.

New sites[edit]

It has grown significantly since its foundation and moved three times. Originally housed in an old town guild-hall near St Matthew's Parish church, it moved to Park Street in 1811, into new buildings in Lichfield Street in 1850 (a site now used by Queen Mary's High School for Girls) and finally to a purpose-built school on the Mayfield site in 1965.[2]

Academic performance[edit]

Queen Mary's performs very well in exams across the board, with consistent success in the sixth form.[3] In recent years, the school has become a specialist Language College. The extra funds from this have, amongst other things, facilitated the building of a new wing of the school buildings. The school recently completed work on a new sports hall to support the current gym and swimming facilities. The Science Block was also updated, with new Biology labs being built. A new sixth form block has been constructed and it opened late September 2012. The School is rated by Ofsted 'Outstanding'.


The school's badge is based on the Heraldic badge of Queen Mary and reflects her parentage, being formed from half a Tudor rose (a symbol of Henry VIII) impaled with a sheaf of arrows (a symbol of Katharine of Aragon). The badge was modified slightly during the 2006/2007 school year. A fully red rose was changed to an accurate red and white Tudor rose, which is usually shown with a red outer rose and a white inner one. However the school's Tudor rose, based on early school records, has a white outer rose and a red inner one,[1] which the College of Arms accepts as equally valid. Despite the update, there are still some subtle differences between the current badge and Queen Mary's.[4]


A host of extracurricular activities is available for pupils, including plays and drama, sports teams, quiz teams, many subject-related societies, and a Combined Cadet Force contingent (Army and RAF sections). The school has a close relationship with its sister school, Queen Mary's High School. Pupils regularly collaborate to stage plays and the two schools participate in a German exchange every year with a school in the town of Biedenkopf.

Many trips are run throughout the year, many of them international. Pupils, in recent years have had the opportunity to travel to places such as France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, China, Morocco, Iceland and Alabama.

In sport, the school's Under 18 and Under 16 hockey teams both won the Staffordshire Cup for their respective age groups in the same season.

QMGS also hosted the national finals of Junior Schools' Challenge quiz on 24 June 2007, with a team from the school winning the Plate Final. In 2008, the school hosted and reached the national final, losing in the final. In 2012, they hosted a semi-final against Hereford Cathedral School only losing by one question (610-600).

The school is the only school in the country to have won the UKMT Junior Maths Team Competition twice, doing so in successive years. The competition attracts over 1000 schools every year.

The school has a plaque in St George's Church, Ypres, to honour the ex pupils of the school who died in the Ypres Salient and the Somme, during World War One. The plaque was paid for by the QM club, and was formally unveiled during the Year 9 Battlefields trip. QMGS was the last school ever to be allowed to have a plaque.

Every year, Year 7 and the senior prefects visit Westminster Abbey, London to commemorate their founder on the Friday closest to 6 July.


Project Horizon is the school's near space programme, founded in 2012, which runs annual missions. A small payload carrying cameras and tracking hardware are lifted by a high-altitude balloon filled with helium gas into the stratosphere until the balloon bursts, allowing the payload to descend back to the ground. Film footage and still images of the payload's journey are recorded throughout the entire flight, capturing views of Earth from the stratosphere.

Notable former pupils[edit]

The late John Anderson, former Second Master, received the MBE for services to the CCF. Former history master and former Labour councillor for Pelsall, the late Tom Perrett, was awarded the MBE in January, 2007. Dave Pomeroy, a former mathematics teacher, received an OBE from the Queen. Late PE teacher George ('Sam') Crudace was awarded the British Empire Medal.

Notable former pupils include:


  1. ^ a b Anderson, J.S. (2004) "Queen Mary's 1954-2004". Queen Mary's Club
  2. ^ Fink, D.P.J. (1954) "Queen Mary's Grammar School 1554-1954". Queen Mary's Club
  3. ^ At GCSE, the school last year boasted a 67% A*/A pass rate. Queen Mary's Grammar School[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ James Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry

External links[edit]