Reigate Grammar School
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Reigate Grammar School (often abbreviated to RGS) is an independent co-educational day school located in the town of Reigate, Surrey, United Kingdom. Following the school's takeover of a local prep school, it now caters for students from ages 2 to 18, however the prep school is operated separately.
The school was founded as a free school for poor boys in 1675 by Alderman Henry Smith with Jon Williamson, the vicar of Reigate, as master. It remained in the hands of the church until 1862 when a board of governors was appointed.
Under the Education Act of 1944 it became a voluntary aided grammar school, providing access on the basis of academic ability as measured by the 11-Plus examination. In 1976, it converted to its current fee-paying independent status. At the same time the sixth form was opened up to girls. In 1993, the school became fully co-educational. In 2003, the school merged with a local prep school St. Mary's School.
In 2015, The Sunday Times Parent Power guide ranked RGS as the top co-educational independent day school in Surrey. Also in 2015, over 71% of A Level results were A* or A grades, which placed Reigate Grammar 35th nationally in The Telegraph. In 2016 students achieved a 100% pass rate at GCSE, with 83% of results graded A* and A.
Reigate Grammar sends a reasonable number of students to Oxford and Cambridge, with a record-breaking entrance of 14 in both 2013 and 2015. The Good Schools Guide says of that it is 'a good all round school with a strong head. A very unpretentious place - parents say it is just like the state grammar schools they used to attend'.
In a 2009 report conducted by the Sutton Trust, Reigate was placed in the top three percent of schools in terms of achieving places at the highly selective top 30 universities, higher than Eton College and local rivals Whitgift School. Compared to other co-ed independent day schools, Reigate was placed 12th.
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The school site is split into two locations separated by the churchyard. On the "Broadfield" site, named so because of the playing field dubbed "Broadfield" behind the old science block, there are several old and new buildings. Until recently, Broadfield house, an old Reigate home, was where History, Economics, Business studies, Politics and other subjects were taught. It is now used for Drama. Also on Broadfield site is the newly renovated music block, which houses a recording studio, a concert hall, 17 soundproofed rooms, a percussion room, and 3 teaching rooms.
Opposite Broadfield house is the Cornwallis building, which is another old Reigate home. It contains the Chaplain's office, the careers department, CCF training rooms and stores, and learning support for students with learning difficulties. The school has introduced a counselor who is based in Cornwallis. The Peter Masefield Hall, named after a contributor of the same name, is the school canteen/events room.
A purpose built performance room, opened by Judi Dench, is where the majority of the school's small scale performances take place. Known as the 'Drama Studio', it is attached to the large sixth form centre which includes a computer suite, a sixth form only cafe and a large space for students to relax and revise. The sixth form centre is attached to the old science building, which is partly refurbished and partly old and run down. However, the school recently rebuilt the Ballance Building, named after a past headmaster, which added 26 new large teaching rooms, 4 science laboratory's and staff rooms for many departments. The Ballance Building replaced a connecting corridor between the two parts of the old science building. All the subjects that used to be taught in Broadfield house and Classics are now taught in the Ballance Building as well as science on levels one and two in the new laboratories. Also on the Broadfield site are 4 multipurpose tennis courts, also used for hockey, netball and football.
On the other site, known as "main school," are the majority of the original buildings. The main school buildings house many classrooms, teaching the humanities, RS, modern languages ,there is also a computerized "language lab" and Food Technology room. Also in the main school building are staff rooms, a library with a small Sixth form study area, a communal staff room, a concert hall, a sports hall and the most recent addition, a gym. The FT room has 10 workstations with the appropriate equipment.
An art and design block was built on the main school site. On the ground floor, Design Technology is taught in the three classrooms which include access to computers, and also a Design Technology lab where projects take place. On the first floor, accessible from outside the modern languages and FT rooms, is the Art Department. Rooms 29, 30, 31 and The Darkroom are all found here. Rooms 30 and 31 share the same large space. The Darkroom is found under the mezzanine and a Staff Office connects Rooms 30&31 to Room 29 which is also accessible from the main Art Corridor. Room 29, although smaller, takes a smaller number of pupils and has two pottery wheels.
Behind the main school building is the Hamlin Building. The Hamlin Building is entirely used for the teaching of maths. There are eight rooms numbered H1-H8. H1-H4 are found downstairs, and H5-H8 are all upstairs. Further behind the Hamlin Building is the indoor swimming pool, which uses chlorine, the DofE block, spare classrooms (part of the DofE block labelled D1 and D2) and the memorial garden which is used on Remembrance Day.
Offsite, the school owns the playing fields at "Hartswood" nearby Woodhatch, where most home matches in most sports are played. The students take a bus journey provided by the school to Hartswood on assigned games days. Nearby Reigate Saint Mary's church in which every student goes to the church once a week in place of assembly, where the chaplain operates an assembly without any religious teaching during the speeches. The nearby Reigate St Mary's Preparatory School is owned by Reigate Grammar.
A new Centre of Learning is being built on the site of the former Merrick House flats. The Centre of Learning will include a new 6th Form Centre and study areas. It is being funded by a £4,000,000 grant from The Peter Harrison Foundation.
Independent Schools Inspectorate
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In 2016, the Independent Schools Inspectorate rated Reigate Grammar as 'Exceptional' for Achievement and Learning, making it the first co-educational day school to achieve this rating. Their report found that 'Pupils of all needs and abilities are highly successful in their learning. The school fully meets its aim to develop the talents and abilities of the pupils. The school has responded positively and successfully to the recommendation of the previous inspection to develop independent work and intellectual curiosity and to ensure challenge and rigour in learning are provided more consistently throughout the school. [...] Pupils are extremely well supported by the excellent quality of teaching throughout the school'.
In former reports, Reigate Grammar is described as providing 'a good all-round education' with 'broad curriculum and a wide range of quality activities'. Inspectors found it a 'friendly, welcoming community in which pupils of all abilities are mutually supportive, creating a relaxed environment, which encourages pupils to fulfil their potential'.
Other strengths of the school identified by inspectors included high quality pastoral care, support and guidance, mutual respect between pupils and staff, and excellent provision of ICT.
The team of 12 inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, who visited the school in October 2005, commented that "the school has much strength" but would benefit from greater sharing of good practice between departments, greater independent learning, and more risk assessments.
Shaun Fenton is the current headmaster at Reigate Grammar school. He was previously headmaster at Pate's Grammar School and Sir John Lawes School. Fenton is the son of Alvin Stardust, and brother of producer Adam F.
Clubs and societies
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The school offers many opportunities for its student body to take place in extra-curricular activities. The music department runs many orchestras, bands, and choirs, including the barbershop choir. Many students participate in the school sports squads in some capacity. In 2017, the RGS 1st XV rugby team was crowned national champions at the Under 18 NatWest Plate competition.
The drama department puts on many productions each year, including small productions in the drama studio and an annual musical. Another popular fixture is the Model United Nations (MUN). Reigate has held a MUN conference every year for the past 16 years. Recently, a junior MUN conference for younger delegates has been added. Some departments run lunch time and after school clubs.
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The tuition fee for the academic year 2017–18 is £6,020 per term, equating to £18,060 per annum. The school offers a range of scholarships and bursaries. Pupils scoring particularly highly in the entrance examination may be awarded a scholarship worth £1,000 per school year. In addition, the Reigate Grammar School assisted places scheme offers fee remission of up to 100%; this is a means-tested award. High-achieving students at GCSE who receive 10 A*s or greater are eligible for a scholarship into the sixth form and a considerable discount on school fees. However the school fees increase each year the student moves up the school.
In 2013, the school offered to give financial support to Dunottar School; in return Reigate Grammar School would help manage Dunottar. Then in late 2013 it was announced that Dunottar would be closed due to dwindling pupil numbers and poor finances. This caused uproar for the current parents, who planned to manage the school themselves. Reason's for the planned take over include the selling of Dunottar's school property to fund the new Centre of Learning at Reigate Grammar School. However Reigate Grammar School was unsuccessful and the parents had Dunottar school sign a 10 year contract with United Learning after an intense round of negotiations. As a result the new Centre of Learning was funded by The Peter Harrison Foundation.
In 2007 a former pupil of Reigate Grammar School set up a spoof Facebook group called "The Reigate and Redhill Institute Of Midnight Dogging". This group was designed to be a satirical look at the sexual practice of dogging. The school reacted by suspending two ex-pupils for being members of the group, gaining widespread coverage from national media. The boys, however, did not become members of the group to take part in the activities promoted, but instead to post comments on the site.
- Will Beer, Sussex cricketer
- Mick Brown, Author and journalist
- Andrew Cantrill, organist
- Robert Cole, Times' financial journalist
- Quentin Cook aka Fatboy Slim, musician (now uses the name Norman Cook)
- Bill Frindall, BBC cricket scorer
- Susan Gritton, singer
- Anthony Hidden, high court judge
- Bevis Hillier, biographer, hoaxer, scourge of A.N. Wilson
- Godfrey Ince, civil servant
- Trevor Kavanagh, political editor of The Sun
- Peter Lampl, actor, political activist and organist
- Ray Mears, TV presenter and survival expert 
- Steve Mitchell (sailor), Olympic sailor, World and European Champion
- Alec Harley Reeves, Electronics engineer, inventor of Pulse code modulation
- Mike Sammes, musician and musical arranger
- Robert Shearman, writer
- Keir Starmer, Labour Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras
- Lord Sterling of Plaistow, Conservative peer and one time chairman of P&O
- Fred Streeter (1879–1975), horticulturalist and broadcaster
- Andrew Sullivan, journalist, blogger, and political commentator
- David Walliams, actor and co-writer of Little Britain.
- Ben Edwards (commentator), BBC Formula One racing commentator and former racing driver 
- URN 125422Reigate Grammar School
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- Sale, Jonathan (2007-09-20). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Ray Mears, survival expert". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Maley, Jacqueline (2006-07-07). "He's an incredibly single-minded individual. He didn't miss a single training session in nine months". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- CMT, CMT (2012-05-15). "Ben Edwards (RGS 1978-1983)". Reigate Grammar School. Reigate. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2014-07-31.