Robert Smyth Academy
|Robert Smyth Academy|
|Type||Academy - Converter Mainstream|
|Motto||'Respect, Succeed, Aspire'|
|Department for Education URN||120237 Tables|
|Headteacher||Mr D. Cleary|
|Age||11 to 19|
|Houses||Bragg, Logan, Hammond|
Around 1570, Robert Smith, from the town, walked to London. By 1598, he had become comptroller of the City of London. In 1607 he founded Market Harborough Grammar School. The building still exists in the Market Place. For the first 150 years, it was only open to boys who were of the Anglican faith. In 1909, Leicestershire County Council built a new school, called the County Grammar School of Edward VII, on the present location on Burnmill Road. In 1944, the school fees were stopped and it became known as Market Harborough Grammar School. In 1978, it became Robert Smyth School, and in 2011, it became Robert Smyth Academy
It used to be known as Market Harborough Upper School, being one of the few remaining upper schools in England. It is one of two secondary schools in the Harborough district, the other being Lutterworth College. They both consistently get some of the best exam results in Leicestershire. The middle school in the town is the Welland Park Academy, to the south of the town.
With around 100 staff and more than 1,300 pupils, it provides a comprehensive education for pupils in Key Stage 4 (KS4), for GCSE and Post-16 (A-levels). It is a Technology College and has been awarded both an Investors in People award and an Artsmark Gold award. In 2006 a successful application was put forward for the school to become a dual status technology/arts college. The catchment area of the school covers both the town of Market Harborough itself and the surrounding South Leicestershire villages, primarily Kibworth, Fleckney, Great Glen, King's Norton, Foxton, the Langtons, Gumley and Laughton.
In September 2017, the Academy became a member of the Tudor Grange Academies Trust (TGAT) following previous financial trouble. Since then, many changes have taken place, such as the new tutor groups, houses, lesson times, uniforms, dress code, IT infrastructure and more. Much of this was met with resistance by the students from all year groups, particularly from Sixth Formers losing the ability to leave school during the day (before lunchtime). TGAT are again making several more changes in September 2018, with six 50-minute lessons changing to five 60-minute lessons, including different lunch times for Y7-8 and Y9-13. Additionally, bells will no longer be used to signal lesson times and instead students will need to rely on their own timekeeping to get to lessons on time.
Houses and forms
The school consists of three 'houses', Bragg, Logan and Hammond. The houses are named after historical figures from the town and are mainly in existence for administrative purposes (main school lessons are timetabled by house group and house assemblies are held weekly) but inter-house sports are also popular activities. Two Year 12 pupils from each house are nominated by staff annually to become school prefects and each house has a number of house prefects depending on the intake that year. The school also has a school council, namely Student Voice, which consists of two pupils from every tutor group who attend fortnightly meetings. Currently, Student Voice is Chaired by two Year 13 students, and the Committee has two members.
Post-16, or sixth form as it's commonly known, is housed in the 'Sixth Form Centre', a separate building to the lower school, providing a cafeteria, computer suite and quiet work areas. Sixth form lessons are held throughout the school - the Sixth Form Centre has a few classrooms, but the majority of classes are still taught in the main buildings.
Both sixth form and main school pupils have access to the library, which also contains a small number of computers. Lower school pupils have a separate canteen. Main school pupils are not permitted to set foot in the Sixth Form Centre but often do for many reasons.
In sixth form, pupils are requested to make appropriate choices and avoid extremes of fashion. In the past, shorts for Sixth Form boys were not permitted, this rule has since been relaxed to allow the wearing of tailored shorts, during high temperatures of the 6th and final term of the year. The wearing of shorts by sixth form boys and, as of 2009, girls, has proved contentious at the school. Following a letter sent in to the local newspaper by Oliver Langmead, a sixth form pupil, media interest has arisen, with articles appearing in the Harborough Mail, Leicester Mercury and a radio interview that took place on BBC Radio Leicester.
For those who are in year 10 and 11, there is a dress code. The school provides shirts and blazers with the school badge. However, pupils can wear a white shirt, a shirt with a collar and a black blazer. Grey trousers must be worn. Also, girls can wear knee-length black skirts, with either black or flesh-coloured tights. Black shoes are to be worn. Only studs can be worn in the ears. The school has also come under fire recently for not adopting a unisex dress code, currently girls can wear either trousers or skirts, however boys are only permitted to wear trousers. The school has been criticised for its sexism towards boys as a result, however they continue to deny such allegations.
Other notable facilities of the school are the Main Hall - an assembly hall, in which assemblies are held, as well as concerts, proms and other large-scale events. The Old Gym, which previously allowed pupils can take part in activities such as trampolining and table tennis, has been converted into a performing arts hall - "The Max", named after governor Maxwell Corney. This has a highly flexible format with space for dancing classes, acting and small offset theory classrooms. A new/extended sports centre has been built adjacent to the existing one (in which indoor football, netball, basketball and other sports can be played) to modernise the sports facilities at the school. There is also a large school field, on which football, hockey and rugby are played, an outdoor basketball court and two tennis courts. The library offers the usual reference facilities plus a thriving lunch time chess club. The school has a number of IT rooms, all networked with internet access and several science labs.
A new canteen for years 10 and 11 opened on 18 February 2011. The £1 million facility was built to replace a Nissen hut style structure and contains a kitchen, dining room and new food technology classroom. Pupils voted for the name of the canteen, selecting 'Sixteen07' in honour of the school's founding date.
- Richard Clarke (diplomat), High Commissioner to Tanzania from 2001–03
- Matthew Cornwell - Northampton Saints player, Ex Exeter player, Ex Leicester Tigers player and England U21 Captain
- Dan Cole (rugby union) - Leicester Tigers player and England Saxon
- Josh Devine - Drummer for One Direction
- Martin Johnson - Former rugby player and former manager of the England rugby union team.
- Josh Knight - Leicester City footballer
- Andy Peake - Former footballer
- Allison Pearson (née Judith Lobbett) - Daily Mail columnist
- Frances Quinn - winner of The Great British Bake Off
- Ben Smith - Leicestershire and Worcestershire county cricketer and batting coach
- Prof Bob White FRS, geophysicist, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Cambridge
Market Harborough Grammar
- Sir William Henry Bragg KBE, Nobel prize-winning physicist and inventor of the X-ray spectrometer
- Prof Dame Rosemary Cramp (1940-7), Professor of Archaeology, University of Durham (1971–90)
- Prof Ann-Louise Kinmonth CBE, Professor of General Practice from 1997-2011 at the University of Cambridge, and Professor of Primary Medical Care from 1992-96 at the University of Southampton
- Sqn Ldr Tony Pickering, Battle of Britain pilot
- Sir Edmund Spriggs FRCP
- David Wells, Managing Director of the Service Division from 1993-96 at British Gas
- Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Keith Williamson (1939–44) Chief of the Air Staff 1982-85
- "Harborough Mail News Article". Harborough Mail. 27 April 2007.
- Ann-Louise Kinmonth
- Tony Pickering
- Edmund Spriggs