Reigate Grammar School
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|Reigate Grammar School|
|Type||Independent day school|
|Local authority||Surrey County Council|
|Department for Education URN||125422 Tables|
|Colour(s)||Blue and White|
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.
The Good Schools Guide says of the school 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'.
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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 Peter Masefield Hall, named after a contributor of the same name, is the school canteen/events room.
The Drama Studio is attached to the 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 teaching rooms and 4 science 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 and Food Technology. Also in the main school building are a library, a staff room, a concert hall, a sports hall and the most recent addition, a gym.
On the ground floor, Design Technology is taught in three classrooms and a Design Technology lab. On the first floor is the Art Department.
Behind the main school building is the Hamlin Building, used for the teaching of maths. Further behind the Hamlin Building is the indoor swimming pool, the DofE block 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. Nearby is Reigate Saint Mary's church where every student goes once a week in place of assembly. The nearby Reigate St Mary's Preparatory School is owned by Reigate Grammar.
A new Centre of Learning has been built on the site of the former Merrick House flats. The Centre of Learning includes a new 6th Form Centre and study areas. It was funded by a £4,000,000 grant from The Peter Harrison Foundation.
Independent Schools Inspectorate
This section needs to be updated.July 2017)(
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, son of Alvin Stardust  is the headmaster at Reigate Grammar school. He was previously headmaster at Pate's Grammar School and Sir John Lawes School. He is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
In 2013 the school offered to give financial support to Dunottar School and 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 from the current parents, who planned to manage the school themselves. Reasons 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 negotiations. As a result, the new Centre of Learning was funded by The Peter Harrison Foundation.
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