Reigate Grammar School

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Reigate Grammar School
Reigate Grammar School.jpg
Established 1675
Type Independent school
Headmaster Shaun Fenton
Founder Henry Smith
Location Reigate Road
United Kingdom
DfE URN 125422 Tables
Students 877
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Blue & White
Publication The Review

Reigate Grammar School (often abbreviated to RGS) is an independent co-educational day school located in the town of Reigate, Surrey, United Kingdom. Grade levels range from 7 to 13, with the majority of its pupils entering at the age of 11, and others entering at 13 and 16.


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.[1] 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 St. Mary's School.[2]

Many of the boys who attend the school and also the leavers go on to play for their old boys' rugby club, Old Reigatians RFC.


The Times Good School placed the school 162nd in the country, and 5th in Surrey. In 2012 there was a 97.5% pass rate at GCSE, with 71.2% at A* and A. At A level, in 2011 there was a pass rate of 97.2% and 58.9% were graded A* or A in 2012. The school sends a reasonable amount of students to Oxford and Cambridge, with a record breaking entrance of 14 in 2013. 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.


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 (known to students as the history block), 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 rehearsal 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, specially designed CCF training rooms and stores, and learning support for students with learning difficulties. This term 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 spacious sixth form centre which comprises 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 has been a fixture of the school for many years. However, in the last term the school built the new Ballance Building, named after a past headmaster, which added 26 new multipurpose large teaching rooms, 4 labs 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, and rugby when it is particularly wet.

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 a fully kitted language lab) and Food Technology. Also in the main school building are staff rooms, a large library with a Sixth form study area, a large communal staff room, a concert hall, a sports hall and the most recent addition, a new gym. The FT room has 10 workstations with all the appropriate pots and pans, an oven and a microwave each and has recently been expanded to withstand the influx of pupils entering the school.

An art and design block was added to the main school. On the ground floor, Design Technology is taught in the three classrooms and computer suites, and also a large Design Technology lab where large projects take place and the DT club is based. 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, open-plan space, flooded with natural light. 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 several pottery wheels.

Behind the main school building is the Hamlin Building. The Hamlin Building is entirely devoted to the teaching of maths. There are eight rooms numbered H1-H8. H1-H4 are found downstairs, and H5-H8 are all upstairs. A small seating area is also located downstairs. Further behind the Hamlin Building is the new indoor swimming pool, which uses UV light over chlorine, the DofE block, spare classrooms (part of the DofE block labelled D1 and D2) and the memorial garden where the students congregate on Remembrance Day.

Offsite, the school owns the large playing field complex Hartswood in nearby Woodhatch, where all home matches in most sports are played. The students take a short bus journey provided by the school to Hartswood on assigned game day. Nearby Reigate Saint Mary's church plays a key role in student life. Every student goes to the church once a week in place of assembly, where the chaplain and a team of 2-3 students operate an assembly with the option to pray at the end but without any religious teaching during the speeches. The nearby primary school Reigate Saint Mary's is a feeder school to RGS and also owned by Reigate Grammar School.

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. [3]

Independent Schools Inspectorate[edit]

The school 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.[4]


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 the late rock and roll artist Alvin Stardust, and brother of producer Adam F.

David Thomas was headmaster of Reigate Grammar School from September 2001 to July 2012. He is now Master of Music at Winchester College.[5]

Clubs and societies[edit]

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 very successful barbershop choir. Many students participate on the school athletic squads in some capacity.

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 weaker delegates has been added. Most departments run lunch time and after school clubs as well, including a Japanese club, an art club, and a film club amongst others.

School fees[edit]

The tuition fee for the academic year 2016–17 is £5,820 per term, Therefore £17,460 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.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Voluntary schools which have become independent schools". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 5 November 1980. col. 579W. 
  2. ^ "History & tradition". Reigate Grammar School. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Inspection Report on Reigate Grammar School". Independent Schools Inspectorate. 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-16.  Archived January 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Purcell School headteacher David Thomas resigns, Watford Observer, 19 November 2014
  6. ^ a b c "Reigate Grammar School". UK Schools Guide. 2005. Archived from the original on 7 February 2006. 
  7. ^ "Sir Anthony Hidden, judge - obituary". Telegraph. 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  8. ^ Sale, Jonathan (2007-09-20). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Ray Mears, survival expert". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ CMT, CMT (2012-05-15). "Ben Edwards (RGS 1978-1983)". Reigate Grammar School. Reigate. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 

External links[edit]