Talk:Royal Grammar School, Guildford

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Good article Royal Grammar School, Guildford has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
March 5, 2011 Good article nominee Listed


Over the last few weeks I have generally re-written the article to better comply with wiki policy and contain much more detail with better referencing. I have also removed the multiple issues tags as these are no longer relevant.

I have also removed the copyrighted school logo and replaced it with a free image of the coat of arms of Edward VI which performs the same function, (looks better) and is as relevant if not more than the current logo as it is more timeless.

I also propose to move the list of alumni to a separate article, as it is poorly referenced, and brings the overall article standard down. This would be follow the pattern set by other article within the WikiSchools project which have a GA status, also if this list is not updated as regularly as the rest of the article it would not affect the main article. As such I plan to do this 7 days from now unless there are any objections. TheAuthor22 (talk) 21:06, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I have now moved the Alumni section to List of Old Guildfordians TheAuthor22 (talk) 18:53, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

February 2011 Assessment[edit]

I am assessing this article for the Schools project based on a request filed there. I am bumping this article up to a "C" rating. There is absolutely no reason to downgrade importance. An expert in UK schools might review the importance of this article and consider if this school might be eligible for "Top" importance, though this is only granted to a very limited number of schools in any given nation. The school's history and association with cricket might make it eligible, but I do not think I am in a position to make that call.

For a school of 500 years old, I find the history section to be rather short. This may be due to a lack of reliable sources being available. There is still a great deal of the article which needs to be referenced. The associated list of alumni includes a great many non-notable alumni which need to be removed. Many more need to be referenced properly.

While school articles need to be very careful about incorporating too much about sports/extra-curriculars, I found myself amazed that this school gave birth to cricket, but no more than 1-2 sentences discuss this. I would hope that good sources could expand this into its own small section (perhaps in the history section).

To get it up to a "B" class, editors are encouraged to consult the criteria for B-class articles. I wish editors the best of luck in their editing this very important school article. LonelyBeacon (talk) 03:12, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I was also asked to re-assess the article, but it looks like LonelyBeacon got here before me. I would say that the article is definitely of at least high-importance, and certainly some consideration should be given on giving it top-importance, though the school is not quite as well known as some top-importance schools such as Eton College.

There are certainly gaps in the article with need for expansion expansion, for instance the history section jumps from 1598 to 1866. The article on the whole is well referenced with use of citation templates, though some of the references could use with more fields being filled in, see the documentation of {{cite web}}. Avoid external links within the prose, and in particularly "click here" type references as present in the "Charitable status and public benefit" section. The "Headmasters of the Royal Grammar School (1554 - Present day)" section currently just links to the sub-article, there should be a brief summary in the main article per WP:SUMMARY. On the whole though, I would the argue the article is suitable for B-class. There is need for expansion, and some less important sections might be missing, but the referencing and coverage does meet the required standards in my opinion. CT Cooper · talk 14:52, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you both very much for having a look at the article, with regards to the History section, there appears to be no reliable sources documenting anything from about 1610 up until 1860, so I'm not really sure what can be done to rectify that gap? But there are plenty of sources either side, so more info can be added into there. I've had a look at the 'B' class criteria, and i'm not quite sure what more needs to be done to this article for it to reach this class? Thanks TheAuthor22 (talk) 21:25, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
If you can't find any sources, then there is little that can be done. The school might have some kind of archive on it's history, though getting access could be a challenge, so I think it is best to presume for the moment while assessing the article that there are no sources for that time period. I think LonelyBeacon's main concern with this article were the gaps in coverage, though given that a dead end has been reached on the history section, and my earlier comments, I will give this article B-class. CT Cooper · talk 11:06, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

This is not a GA review, but...[edit]

I saw this was listed for GA status, so I thought I'd take a look. I fixed some of the more obvious spelling errors and removed some of the more pointless wikilinks, although a further copy-edit would probably be a good idea. Here are few comments / suggestions which may help regular editors of the article / the GA reviewer:

  • The overall impression I get is that there is too much about trivialities of school life. Do we need all the information about school life / sports / ties etc?
  • Phrases such as "RGS is one of the most academic schools in the country" and "Sport plays an integral part of life at the RGS" are crying out for sources. Without them, it risks reading more like an uncritical brochure than an encyclopaedic article.
  • Other sections, such as "Old Guildfordians", and "Clubs and societies" (if kept) need sources.
  • "The Mayor and Approved Men of Guildford" - why these capital letters?
  • "a large amount of time at the Kings manor house in Guildford" - should this be "King's"?
  • although obtaining these books was not without its difficulties." Explain, please.
  • however a 20 acres (8.1 ha) site, called Bradstone Brook, located a few miles away in the village of Chilworth." Incomplete sentence.

I suggest looking at Chetham's School of Music and Wisbech Grammar School, two other English school GAs, for example, for comparison purposes. At the moment, I don't think the article is of GA standard. BencherliteTalk 13:37, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for having a look over the article, comments like this are just what it needs! I've fixed a few of the issues, but you could possibly clarify some points for me:
  • The overall impression I get is that there is too much about trivialities of school life. Do we need all the information about school life / sports / ties etc?
-I can see exactly where you are coming from with regards to unnecessary information, would you be able to give me an idea of exactly which sections you think need less detail/removing, so I can have a look at pruning, my only reservation is that removing a lot of the information about the current state would turn the article into mostly a history of the school article? But I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Not done
I would have thought that, if you can't find outside sources on a particular point, that might be an indication of excessive detail. I would suggest keeping material that is only based to a school source to a minimum, to the key details about the school. BencherliteTalk 19:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Phrases such as "RGS is one of the most academic schools in the country" and "Sport plays an integral part of life at the RGS" are crying out for sources. Without them, it risks reading more like an uncritical brochure than an encyclopaedic article.
-I have deleted the second of these, and will have a look for appropriate sourcing for the first one, but if none is found I will remove it.  Done
Both statements have now been removed. TheAuthor22 (talk) 20:17, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Other sections, such as "Old Guildfordians", and "Clubs and societies" (if kept) need sources.
-I assume the "if kept" applies to "Clubs and Societies"? For the "Old Guildfordians" section all those mentioned within it are referenced on their own article pages, so should the refs be duplicated into this article?  Done
Yes, and yes the references need to be repeated here. BencherliteTalk 19:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
  • "The Mayor and Approved Men of Guildford" - why these capital letters?
-Its how it is officially written on the charter, and cited in some of the sources (although some others do not have capitals). It most likely stems from old english, which capitalised all proper nouns like modern german. For this I would say leave it, as it in this situation it is technically correct.  Done
  • "a large amount of time at the Kings manor house in Guildford"
- should this be "King's"? Yes it should, fixed.  Done
  • although obtaining these books was not without its difficulties." Explain, please.
-This is mentioned in one of the references, I'll either find the explanation, or remove.  Done
Expanded and referenced TheAuthor22 (talk) 19:42, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
  • however a 20 acres (8.1 ha) site, called Bradstone Brook, located a few miles away in the village of Chilworth." Incomplete sentence.
-Fixed  Done
Thanks. TheAuthor22 (talk) 19:30, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
A couple of replies. BencherliteTalk 19:41, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Royal Grammar School, Guildford/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: SilkTork *YES! 02:22, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

I'll take a look over the next few days and then start to make some comments. SilkTork *YES! 02:22, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:


I'll put various comments and observations here as I read through. Some may be general observations not related to GA criteria. All observations are open for discussion. I will provide a separate section later with a summary of specific GA requirements. SilkTork *YES! 11:14, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Images are OK. The image - View towards the First XI cricket - should be moved to Commons. SilkTork *YES! 11:14, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • There has been some inappropriate edits by IP accounts, though these have been dealt with promptly and are within what would be expected for a Wiki article on a school so I don't think the article needs protection, though if it increases then protection should be applied for. SilkTork *YES! 11:58, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Please look at WP:SEEALSO and remove links that are not appropriate, or mention them in the body of the article. I don't see a need for any of the links to be in the See also section. If the link is important enough to be mentioned, then it should be in the body of the article. If it is felt important enough to mention that To be a Pilgrim is the school hymn, then mention it in the article with perhaps a bit of context - how long it has been the school hymn, etc. SilkTork *YES! 12:16, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Lead sections tend to be mentioned in GA reviews a lot as there is sometimes a mistaken belief that the lead is only a quick introduction; however, the Wikipedia requirement is more demanding than that. The lead should serve as a stand alone article, giving a summary of all the important details mentioned in the article. Many readers do do have the time or inclination to go beyond the lead. What is mentioned in the lead should be also mentioned in the article, and all important information should be briefly mentioned in the lead. If there is a section in the article, then that section should be summarised in the lead. If it is felt the section is too trivial to be mentioned in the lead, then it is worth considering if the section is needed. See WP:Lead for more details. SilkTork *YES! 12:22, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • The History section is quite long compared to the rest of the article. Consideration should be given to either developing the rest of the article, trimming the history section, or breaking it out per WP:Summary style into a stand alone article - History of Royal Grammar School, Guildford. SilkTork *YES! 12:33, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • There is a reference section and the bulk of the information is sourced; however, there are stray comments that deal with dates and data which need closer citing. SilkTork *YES! 13:01, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • At least one section in the article is a cut and paste of the source, which is a copyright violation. This needs to be dealt with as a priority. The section I found was regarding the 1962 fire, which copies this source. Editors involved in this article should know if there are others, and deal with them promptly. SilkTork *YES! 13:01, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • "the first recorded game of cricket" - sources I have checked say that it is the first mention of cricket, rather than the first recorded game.[1] The sources for this need to be stronger as well, as the dictionary is not an appropriate reference, as it is simply giving information which the reader has to interpret. You need reliable sources which explicitly state that the first recorded mention of cricket was at Guildford, and then you need to stick to the dates given in the source, and not give a date which has been calculated from the source. Making interpretations like this is considered WP:Original research - and is anyway not needed in this case, as there are plenty of sources which give the correct information. SilkTork *YES!
  • There needs to be some clarity regarding the date the school was founded. The article says "It was founded in 1509..", which is also what the school website claims, but that appears to be the date of the death of the sponsor, Robert Beckingham rather than the actual founding of the school, which appears to have been in 1512. I think the wording in the article needs to be careful, perhaps something like - "The school dates its founding to the death of Robert Beckingham in 1509 who left provision in his will to 'make a free scole at the Towne of Guldford'; in 1512 a governing body was set up to form the school." SilkTork *YES! 14:08, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • The prose is clear and readable. There are minor punctuation errors. I've sorted those I noticed in the History section as I was reading through, though haven't checked the rest of the article. A good copy-edit would be useful. See Wikipedia:Basic copyediting, and if help is needed, ask at Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors. The mistakes I noted were minor, and wouldn't impact on the GA review, so the copyediting can be left to later if wished. SilkTork *YES! 14:21, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Broad coverage and focus. The article appears to cover what would be expected, though I'll do a little more background reading as this is a fairly important school. There are too many minor details at times - we don't need to know about the teachers involved in the fire in 1962 - and a careful read through to minimise such detail would be useful. SilkTork *YES! 14:41, 24 February 2011 (UTC)


The school's website is incorrect in its reference to the law suit as saying that the dispute was regarding land belonging to the school. The sources do not say this. This is a helpful and detailed source, and it explains that the dispute was over a John Parrishe claiming land that was used by the people of Guildford. The school is mentioned because one witness remembers that when he was a pupil at the school he and some friends played on the common land. That he was a pupil at the school appears to be incidental. The game was played on common land, not school land. There seems to be no evidence that the cricket games were organised by the school. Other sources such as this are careful in how they present the information. We cannot read more into a source than what it says. It would be inappropriate to make a claim that cricket was played at the school when the evidence does not support this. The claim should be moved to the general article on Guildford and correctly presented. SilkTork *YES! 16:41, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I have modified the claim so that it gives the school's connection without overplaying it. And it does appear that some sources, such as the school website, have misunderstood the situation to be that cricket was played at the school rather than on the common land. It might be appropriate to make some mention of that. SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Other queries[edit]

  • Why isn't the school logo being used? Why is the Coat of Arms of England (1509-1554) used instead? SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
It was being used, but was replaced as it is a non-free image and at the time I felt that using the coat of arms of England (which appears above the schools main entrance and on the charter) would be better as it is a free alternative, that conveys the same message. GlanisTalk 19:54, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
School logo now used. SilkTork *YES! 11:28, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Here's a much cleaner version of the school logo I'm not yet confident enough to replace the existing image myself, however I believe this would provide a significant improvement over the image currently in use. Benstitch (talk) 19:44, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Image changed Benstitch (talk) 17:49, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Where does "Schola Regia Gramaticalis Edvardi Sexti" come from? From what I have read so far it appears the school's original name was the Free School of Guildford. SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Just below the arms above the main entrance as can be seen here (You'll need to zoom in to see it). GlanisTalk 19:54, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Sources I've read indicate that the Free School was the original name, and that is how it is referred to in the cricket sources, so I have amended it. This is a useful source, and gives additional information, such as the original location of the school. SilkTork *YES! 11:28, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  • There is still some copy-editing to be done. The Sport section has inappropriate capitals for various sports. SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Very little of the school's history appears in the lead, yet that is the bulk of the article. Could you summarise the school's history in the lead section please. SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I've had another go at this, its now about two thirds on History, with more of the information in the section summarised. GlanisTalk 21:15, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I will run through the article and put in fact tags at places where statements may reasonably be challenged - this will make it easier to identify where sources are needed. SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have looked back at the article from just before the involvement of User:Glanis - [2] - the improvements are impressive and Glanis/TheAuthor22 is to be heartily commended for some good work in the finest tradition of Wikipedia. SilkTork *YES! 19:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

GA points[edit]

  • Build the lead up per WP:Lead - OK
    • Source all statements that involve dates and data and opinions, and if in doubt, source it rather than leave it unsourced
  • Deal with the copyright violation issue and ensure no sentences in the article are copied from website or other sources - OK
  • Deal with links in See also section - OK
    • Cut out unnecessary detail
    • Check that all statements are appropriately sourced, and that the article is not making unwarranted interpretations - specificly, tidy up and appropriately source the cricket claim and the foundation date

I'll put this on hold until March 3rd. I'll be away in France until then and so unable to deal with any queries, but messages can be left on my talkpage, and I'll deal with them when I get back. SilkTork *YES! 14:41, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Looking good. I'm just going to read through again. I still haven't put in those fact tags I said I would. I'll put some in now if I find I need to, and then make any other comments as they crop up. SilkTork *YES! 19:16, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for all the work you've been doing, its good to have a fresh set of eyes look over the article. I've now replaced all the fact tags with references, and changed the end date of the Nettles bursary as this was incorrect. GlanisTalk 20:20, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Some points[edit]

  1. I know that our {{infobox UK school}} is not so pretty, but these boxes all have different embedded prorammes that you can't see. The {{infobox UK school}} has recently been updated by the programmers and should preferably be used so that everything works properly for UK schools. If you want me to do the change for you, let me know on my talk page.
  2. Crest: There is a perfectly acceptable FUR at WP:WPSCH/INFOBOX that is ready to copy, complete, and paste in the image upload form. You can rip any school crest from a school web site under this FUR. If you want me to do this for you, let me know on my talk page.
  3. Ref No.68 is behind a paywall. Perhaps you should mention this in brackets.
  4. Ref No.69 is behind a paywall. Perhaps you should mention this in brackets.
    Done for both of the above
  5. Ref No.59 - RGS Admissions Policy (info) [] is is dead.
  6. Old Guidfordians: I would have though that the standard header 'Alumni' would have been more apt, and to explain the name in the body text of the section.
    I'm not sure about "Alumni" as that is a bit of an americanism and isn't really used commonly in british english for schools (universities is a different matter) as has been discussed in length here but I would agree that "Former Pupils" is probably more informative so I\ll change it to that. GlanisTalk 14:09, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
    OK. I'm English and I use Alumni in the dozens of school articles I've written and repaired, but it's a matter of preference and not a GA criterion. Thanks for the heads up on the CfD - I don't know how I missed it. I've listed it at WT:WPSCH talk - if anything like this comes up again, do drop us a note at the project. --Kudpung (talk) 14:59, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
    BTW, See: Malvern College#Notable alumni (GA) --Kudpung (talk) 15:14, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  7. Old Guildfordians: I'm not sure that '...has been home to a number...' is the best turn of phrase, even if it was a boarding school and they were boarders. It makes it sound a bit like an orphanage ;)
    I'll change that to "... has educated a number..." :) GlanisTalk 14:09, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  8. The 'History' section is very long and could maybe divided into sub sections with L3 sub headers (WP:MOSHEAD).
  9. 'Academic' section: '...and is one of the top-performing schools at both A-Level and GCSE level.' Of what? and where? It might be expanded in the referenced source, but this probably needs to be qualified in the text.
  10. Sport: perhaps rewrite the short bulleted list as prose, per WP:MOS.
  11. Overall: In places, the prose leans away from a tight encyclopedic style, witut however, becoming overly familiar. A point to consider. There is a least one place where it rings, IHMO, slightly promotional.
  12. It may or may not help the reviewer if you put {{done-t}} ( Done) beside the items in the main checklist with the icons, but this depends on the reviewer's preference. It may also assist anyone else who chimes in to help out on the GA.
    I write comments in bullet points and sign and date each one to allow for comments to be made beneath, and for people to discuss, debate, agree or - as Kudpung suggests - tick them off. SilkTork *YES! 10:56, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  13. The word grocer is a common noun in regular parlance in most English language regions and might not need Wikilinking here. Even if the article were an WP:Orphan, it's probably not the best way to create backlinks. Check for any other overlinking.
Good luck, --Kudpung (talk) 08:07, 4 March 2011 (UTC) (Disclaimer: Please note that these comments are offered in good faith and are only intended to complement, but not influence the reviewer's assessment). --Kudpung (talk) 08:27, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Kudpung - all good points. And congrats on becoming an admin. That happened while I was in France, otherwise I would have supported you. SilkTork *YES! 10:51, 4 March 2011 (UTC)


Well done, this now substantially meets GA criteria. For ongoing development look at the History section and consider creating sub-headings or developing it as a split off article per WP:Summary style; also consider doing a section on the buildings, as in City of London School, or at least a section on the site itself - the location, the layout, and the buildings. I have been impressed at the development of this article, and - having looked at the contribution history of Glanis - to note that this is the first article Glanis has been involved with. An impressive achievement that promises well for the future. Not many editors gain a Good Article within 3 months of joining the project!

There was still a bit of tidying up to do, particularly in regard to copy-editing. Even though encouraged to do so, not all GA reviewers get involved in correcting errors, and even those who are happy to fix some minor errors might not be keen on doing a thorough copy-edit of a long article. Copy-editing is not to everyone's taste, and if not keen on doing it oneself then it is advisable to ask somebody who is - Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors are happy to help out. It is always good to ask for some form of peer review, either formally from Wikipedia:Peer review or from knowledgeable individuals. You will soon learn which people will glance at an article and say "that's nice", and which will read an article with a critical eye and leave useful comments. Kudpung is someone that I have noted will give a good critical view and will help out on editing, so would be a good person to keep in touch with.

I look forward to seeing more GA nominations from Glanis. SilkTork *YES! 13:05, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately I do come back occasionally and read GA reviews, and it is rather obvious who "You will soon learn which people will glance at an article and say "that's nice", and which will read an article with a critical eye and leave useful comments." was aimed at. I'm sorry that my reviewing skills don't meet some users standards, but Glanis left me a request to review the article and I wasn't going to ignore it. For the record, I did read the article, and I have left useful comments on a great deal many articles. CT Cooper · talk 20:56, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

March 2011 Assessment[edit]

I have been asked to review this article by Glanis. The article certainly is very different from when I saw it last, and is beyond B-class and looks impressive - I see a potential featured article here. I have difficulty finding fault with the page, though GAs aren't my speciality and other editors might well do. On the issue of the lead, it is of a more suitable length than it was and should be of decent enough quality for GA. CT Cooper · talk 23:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I see Kudpung has given some extra pointers, which I agree with. CT Cooper · talk 12:34, 4 March 2011 (UTC)