Queens' School, Bushey
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The story of Queens' begins with two schools in Watford in the early 20th century.
Watford Central School was founded in 1912 in buildings in Derby Road vacated by Watford Grammar School for Boys when it moved to its present site in West Watford. In 1950, the central school became a new grammar school on the northwest side of Aldenham Road, Bushey, called Bushey Grammar School. The buildings vacated in Derby road were then occupied by the Central Primary School.
Alexandra School was founded in 1901 in Judge Street, North Watford. (These buildings later became an annexe to the Watford School of Art.) In January 1966 the school moved to the southeast side of Aldenham road, opposite Bushey Grammar School. The pedestrian underpass under Aldenham Road was built at this time, but the two schools had little interaction. Alexandra School had only three headmasters in its 68-year history.
In September 1969, the two schools were amalgamated to form Queens' School, a comprehensive school spanning a 52-acre (21 ha) site on both sides of Aldenham Road. At the time of the merger, Bushey Grammar had 800 pupils, while Alexandra School had 500 students. A crucial early decision was to extend the pastoral system of Bushey Grammar to the new school, with four houses spanning all year groups, two based on each side of Aldenham Road. This structure has served the school well, and persists to this day.
Queens' was awarded grant-maintained status in April 1993 and became a foundation school in September 1999. In September 2003, the school was designated a Specialist Sports College, and in April 2008 also became a Science College.
In July 2011, Queens' converted to academy status.
The school occupies a relatively isolated suburban campus on both sides of Aldenham Road, in Bushey on the outskirts of Watford in south Hertfordshire. As an amalgamation of two schools, Queens' has two sites named North and South, linked by an underpass. The north side (the former Bushey Grammar site) borders the Bushey Grove Leisure Centre and the Purcell School of Music (formerly the Royal Caledonian School), whereas the south side (the former Alexandra School site) borders the Metropolitan Police sports grounds as well as a powerleague site accessed through the school car park.
Queens' is a partially selective school, selecting 35% of its intake on academic ability, 5% on aptitude for music and 5% on aptitude for sport. The remaining places are allocated to siblings of current pupils and to applicants living nearest to the school. The catchment area for selective places extends approximately 7 miles (11 km) from the school: in addition to southwest Hertfordshire, it includes some northern parts of the London Borough of Harrow. However 95% of children admitted live within 3 miles (5 km) of the school.
The school is the largest in Hertfordshire.
The school is split into four houses, Drake and Newton based on the north side and Auden and Sutherland based in the south. Students are allocated a house on entry. Each house is typically further subdivided into two or three forms for each year group. Each house has associated colours, which are displayed on ties and school crests as part of the school uniform.
There is a strong identity among students with their house. This was created through inter-house competitions on sports day, a yearly music competition and various other sports related competition throughout the academic year. Furthermore, each house has both a Head of House and Deputy Head of House, as well as an assistant head of house, who assist with students pastoral care and help get to the root of discipline problems rather than simply giving a student a detention. Additionally sixth formers are very active in school and will help year 7's in their house through the Paired Reading Scheme, the Buddy Scheme and running the inter-house music competition. Also there is a friendly rivalry between houses, which adds to the atmosphere of the school.
The House system was praised by the last Ofsted report in September 2006. The house system is a large part of the reason why this large school does very well, because it makes the school feel like 4 small schools rather than one large one.
GCSE exam results are regularly far above the national average, with outstanding value added figures and the last OFSTED report was very positive about the school.
At A-level the results are also well above average.
Scholastic and sporting achievements
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- National Debating champions in 2005 and 2007
- English National Golf Champions 2007
- English Schools FA (ESFA) U19 Football Champions 2008
- English Schools FA (ESFA) U13 Football Runners up 2008
- English Schools FA (ESFA) U14 Football Runners up 2009
- Reached 3 English Schools FA (ESFA) Finals 2011
The school won the 2009 Sports Colleges Award for Innovation for development of a virtual learning environment (VLE).
Notable former pupils
- Mark Oaten, politician, Lib Dem MP from 1997 to 2010 for Winchester
- Kenny Jackett, manager for Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Sean Murray, footballer for Watford
- Gavin Massey, footballer for Colchester United
- Will Norris, goalkeeper for Cambridge United
Bushey Grammar School
- Ann Coffey, Labour MP since 1992 for Stockport
- Terry Johnson, playwright, theatre producer/director
- E. J. Lowe, Professor of Philosophy, Durham University
- Main block at Watford Central Primary School Archived 11 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Images of England, English Heritage National Monuments Record.
- "Watford Central School and Bushey Grammar School". Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. nostalgia site.
- Queens' School: The first Ten Years, Queens' School, 1976.
- Bob Nunn (1987). The Book of Watford: A portrait of our town c1800–1987. Watford: Pageprint. p. 318.
- Admission Policy Archived 11 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Queens' School.
- Determination: Queens' School, Bushey, Office of the Schools Adjudicator, 23 February 2004.
- "Moving On – Applying for a Secondary or Upper School place for admission in September 2011". Hertfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Inspection Report: Queens' School, Office for Standards in Education, September 2006.
- "Profile: Mark Oaten". BBC News. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2009.