The Elizabethan Academy

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The Elizabethan Academy
Elizabethan High School Logo.png
Motto ...where everyone's unique (formerly Viribus unitis ("By Joining Forces"), Learning through thinking)
Established 1979
(Moved to Hallcroft Road Easter 2007)
Type Academy
Principal Joanne Coften
Chair of Governors Ron Parry[1]
Location Hallcroft Road
DN22 7PY
Coordinates: 53°20′01″N 0°57′02″W / 53.3336°N 0.9506°W / 53.3336; -0.9506
Local authority Nottinghamshire
DfE URN 138076 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1198
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Navy, red
Former names Retford High School for Girls, The Elizabethan High School
Former URN 122885

The Elizabethan Academy (formerly The Elizabethan High School) is a secondary school with academy status located in the Nottinghamshire market town of Retford, England. It is situated to the north of Retford town centre, to the east of the A638, on the side of the River Idle once known as West Retford. The academy has specialist status in Science and Mathematics.[2]


Grammar schools[edit]

The Retford High School for Girls was a girls' grammar school, also known as Retford County High School for Girls in the 1950s. The analogous boys' school was the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford (now part of Retford Oaks Academy). In 1940, 180 girls from Great Yarmouth High School for Girls were evacuated to Retford, and joined the school. They stayed until September 1944. The school on Pelham Road had around 400 girls in the 1950s and 1960s. The former site is to become a Nottingham County Council property.[3] It was off Queen Street, the road leading from the A620 Babworth Road to Retford railway station, in the area known as West Field close to the East Coast Main Line.


The Elizabethan High School was first created in September 1979, following a reorganisation of the secondary schools in Retford. At this time the former Hallcroft Girls' secondary modern school on Hallcroft Road became the new school's Lower Site and the Retford Girls' High School became the school's Upper Site, next to the Chesterfield Canal.[4][5]

Whilst split across two sites, years 7 and 8 were taught at the Lower Site and years 9 through 13 at the Upper Site. To facilitate this arrangement, staff travelled between the sites during the school day, although the students remained on a single site.

New building[edit]

As part of the Bassetlaw PFI project, the school buildings in Retford were replaced. This project culminated in 2007 with the school being relocated to a purpose built building, not far from the former Lower Site, on the school's playing fields. This new building replaced the split site arrangement with a single site and moved the Post 16 provisions to new Sixth Form centre jointly run with other schools.


The school became an academy in April 2012, and was renamed The Elizabethan Academy. The school is no longer directly funded or operated by Nottinghamshire County Council, but still coordinates with the council in regards to admissions.


  • Mrs Christine Horrocks
  • Mrs Lynn Kenworthy
  • Mr Bob Hopley
  • Mr Don Wilcox


Modern facilities were provided for the school as part of the PFI scheme which saw the rebuilding of secondary schools across Bassetlaw. PE facilities are largely provided as part of the new site, in contrast to former provisions at the previous sites. Modern ICT facilities including building-wide wireless coverage, mobile laptop trolleys, six permanent ICT teaching rooms and interactive white boards.

Academic performance[edit]

GCSE results have improved steadily over recent years and, as of 2010, 80% of GCSE students achieve 5A* to C grades, with 53% achieving 5A*-C grades including English and Mathematics, exceeding the national average of 48.9%. The school's Post 16 centre, run jointly with Retford Oaks Academy achieves results above the average for England.

In terms of academic performance, the Elizabethan is the highest performing of the two schools in Retford, with above average GCSEs. A-levels results at slightly below the average for England, though above average for the Local Authority. The results are good for a school in Bassetlaw, which is one of the lowest performing districts in Nottinghamshire.


The school has received a rating of "good", the second highest rating, from Ofsted in its latest inspection in May 2011. This was an improvement from its previous rating of "satisfactory" in 2008.[6]


The school produces a termly newsletter, The Elizabethan Highlights, which is distributed to current students and other interested parties.[7]


Retford High School for Girls[edit]


External links[edit]