The Blue School, Wells

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The Blue School
Motto Recta Certa
(Straight and true)
Established 1641
Type Academy
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mark Woodlock
Location Kennion Road
51°12′45″N 2°39′15″W / 51.2125°N 2.6542°W / 51.2125; -2.6542Coordinates: 51°12′45″N 2°39′15″W / 51.2125°N 2.6542°W / 51.2125; -2.6542
DfE URN 137285 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,570 in 2013[1]
Ages 11–18

The Blue School is a coeducational, secondary school located in Wells, Somerset, England. It had 1,570 students aged 11 to 18 of both sexes and all ability levels of which 284 were in the sixth form in 2013.[1] It is currently a Church of England voluntary controlled school. The school motto is "Recta Certa" meaning straight and true. It became an Academy in August 2011.

An Ofsted inspection in 2007 judged the school to be 'outstanding',[2] while the next Ofsted inspection in 2010 rated the school as 'good', with outstanding elements.[3] A further Ofsted inspection was conducted throughout October 2013 again giving a rating of Good.[1] The school is a Specialist Science College and in 2006 the Princess Royal opened a new science centre.[4]

School Council[edit]

The Blue School was the first pilot for an innovative approach to school councils based on self-selection called Learning to Lead [5][6] The School Community Council received praise in the School's 2007 Ofsted report.[2]

The school council runs on principles of self-election, and has over 250 members, including students of all ages and staff. Meetings are conducted during lunch times and projects include: keeping chickens, fundraising for many charities, running a garden and many more.

In 2010, an ambitious project backed by Lottery Funding to set up a School-based radio station got under way. The project, run by students, produced a series of podcasts. In Mid 2013, after relocating, the "Blue Lounge Radio" prepared to begin to broadcast again pending the arrival of new hardware.


The pedestrian entrance

The school was founded in 1641 as one of the first free schools in the country.[7][8] The name Blue comes from the early uniforms which were blue in colour.

In 1654, Margaret, widow of Ezekiel Barkham of Wells, purchased a farm in Yenston, to endow a school in Wells. The Blue School retained the farm for nearly 350 years until it was sold in 1990 and 1992.[9] The income from the endowment was to be used for paying a schoolmaster's salary of £20-0-0 pa. and the residue for apprenticing the boys when they could 'read, write and cast accounts'.[10] The school owned a number of properties in the area scattered over several parishes.[10]

Other schools were united with the Blue School foundation, including Hodge's Charity School.[10]

A charity for the benefit of the poor of St. Cuthbert's parish was established in 1675 by the will of Adrian Hickes of London, although lands in Wells and Glastonbury to endow the charity were not purchased until 1701. In 1713 a voluntary subscription school was established in Wells for boys and girls and a schoolroom was built for this purpose by Philip Hodges. He also purchased land in Glastonbury St. John, the income from which was to be used to pay the master's salary. In 1715 it was proposed that a charity established by Barkham be amalgamated with that deriving from the Hickes bequest.

Philip Hodges' will of 1723 empowered the master of the subscription school established in 1713 to teach also the pupils of Barkham's charity school. Lands in Lympsham, East Pennard and Pylle were purchased in 1732 and an estate at Norwood Park, Glastonbury in 1735. In 1740 the estates of all three charities were transferred to new trustees. Some property in Frome was acquired between 1732 and 1764 and in Queen Camel between 1730 and 1739. The charities all became part of the Blue School foundation.[10]

The current school is made up of two main blocks, Milton and Kennion which are named after the roads which they are closest to. They were built as separate schools in the 1950s and 1960s respectively but they were then joined in the 1970s. The next major change was the sports centre in 1999 which added large sporting facilities for the use of the school and the general public. Then in 2005, the school built a brand new science block.[11] More recently, in 2013, a block (named Barkham) was built, on the disused swimming pool, specifically for sixth form lessons.[12]

Notable pupils[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "2013 Inspection Report" (PDF). Oftsed. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Inspection Report". Ofsted. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Inspection Report". Ofsted. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Royal start to school's new term". BBC News. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Learning to Lead
  6. ^ DCSF research report reference DCSF RR001 - page 55 - 60
  7. ^ "Wells Blue School". National Archives. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Davidson, Max (2 August 2008). "Town vs gown: Wells, Somerset". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  9. ^ 'Henstridge,' A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7: Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds (1999), pp. 108-19, at
  10. ^ a b c d The Eldridge Deposit at
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Hooper, James (7 June 1994). "To he who lit the Stygian caves". Depth through thought -OUCC News. Oxford University Cave Club. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  14. ^ "Edgar Wright". MUBI Europe. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "interview". sky1. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Patrick Webb". Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Interview: A man of steel". Retrieved 23 March 2016. 

External links[edit]