The Harvey Grammar School

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The Harvey Grammar School
Cheriton Road

, ,
CT19 5JY

Coordinates51°05′11″N 1°09′26″E / 51.08627°N 1.1573°E / 51.08627; 1.1573Coordinates: 51°05′11″N 1°09′26″E / 51.08627°N 1.1573°E / 51.08627; 1.1573
TypeGrammar academy
MottoTéméraire redoutable et fougueux
Established1674; 346 years ago (1674)
FounderSir Eliab Harvey
Department for Education URN138480 Tables
HeadmasterMr S Norman
Age11 to 18

The Harvey Grammar School is located in Folkestone, Kent, England. It is a grammar school with academy status founded by Sir Eliab Harvey in 1674.


A selective school for boys only, the school has around 900 on its roll. Although officially known as the Harvey Grammar School, it is called The Harvey by many locals or abbreviated to HGS, as its partner school the Folkestone School for Girls is known "FSG".

The school is situated on the A2034 (once the A20) at the junction of the B2064 and near the Folkestone West railway station, Folkestone Cricket Club, Folkestone Optimists Hockey Club at the Three Hills Sports Park and Folkestone Invicta F.C.. It is easily accessed from the last junction of the M20 motorway.


The grammar school was established in 1674, following the death of William Harvey, the eminent physician and discoverer of the major details of blood circulation. A small class with one schoolmaster was first created, until Eliab Harvey, William's nephew, acting as executor of his uncle's will, founded a larger school of the same name.

In July 1921, the body of the headmaster of the day, 43-year-old Major Harold Arthur Denham, was found in undergrowth in Hawkinge with self-inflicted bullet wounds. An inquest later arrived at a verdict of "suicide while temporarily insane".[1]

Leadership and structure[edit]

The school has a well established house system, with four houses (Discovery, Endeavour, Resolution and Victory) that use the colours green, blue, red and yellow respectively. Each house is split into 5 separate forms and split between junior and senior (e.g. DJ1, DS1, EJ1, ES1 .etc) The current headteacher is Scott Norman and current Chair of Governors is John Dennis. The current Head Boy is Harris Morris (Discovery), and the current Deputy Head boy is Laurie Smith (Discovery).

The school[edit]

The main school site is situated in the Folkestone suburb of Cheriton. It has been there since 1912-13 when the main building was constructed. In 1989, school buildings in the town centre, next to the Folkestone Library, were closed on completion of a new Science & Technology Block on the main site. A sports hall was added in 1997 and, in 2001, a further building was added with facilities for ICT, Art, Business Studies and Biology; this was named the John Edwards Centre in 2002 in honour of the school's headmaster from 1986 to 2002. In 2015 a new 12 classroom building was added and named the Wright building in honour of Bill Wright who served as headteacher between 2008 and 2014. In 2017, a new P.E block was constructed of which includes a gymnasium and fitness suite along with 2 classrooms for the Religious Studies department. This new block is annexed with the current Sports Hall. The school also boasts an adjacent sports field named in honour of long serving Head of PE Alan Philpott, with a cricket pavilion named after former pupil Les Ames (Kent and England wicketkeeper-batsman); money for this was raised by the Old Harveians Association under the leadership of its President, John Smith. The pavilion was opened in 1997 by Colin Cowdrey in a ceremony also attended by Godfrey Evans, another famous former Kent and England wicketkeeper. In a special match to mark the pavilion opening, the school's 1st XI cricket team played a celebrity team that included ex Kent and England opening batsmen Brian Luckhurst and Mike Denness. The school also benefits from the proximity of the Three Hills sports facilities.

The Harvey's badge is worn by all boys 11–16 on their school uniform. The badge is inscribed with 'Temeraire Redoutable et Fougeux'. The uniform consists of a black blazer with badge, black trousers and black shoes, a white shirt and a tie. The tie of which uses the colour corresponding to the pupil's house, in a diagonal-stripe fashion. The sixth form wear a different, less strict but still formal suit of their choice, with a different tie which is plain black with the school badge insignia emblem. Once they have reached the sixth form, this can rise to have a single house-coloured stripe diagonally across, to denote prefect status.

The Harvey has an excellent record in sport across the county of Kent and beyond. It has reached more county football and cricket finals than any other school in Kent, a proud tradition largely established by long-standing Head of PE Alan Philpott (1957–92) (alumnus).

Academic record[edit]

The school was rated as outstanding in all areas by OFSTED in 2016. Academic standards are high, and many of the boys achieve good GCSE grades. The majority go onto the Sixth Form which was praised by OFSTED in 2016. OFSTED also praised the school for the pastoral care of its students which includes continual revision of targets and parent information evenings for GCSE options, Sixth Form study and parent evenings. The flexibility offered by the school, especially at A Level where it works very closely with the Folkestone School for Girls to provide an extensive range of subjects, makes it a popular choice in the area. The Harvey often achieves above 60% A*-B grades at A Level and close to 100% 5 A*-C at GCSE.

Michael Howard, former local MP and former Leader of the Conservative Party, described the Harvey as "a jewel in Folkestone's crown" at a school prize-giving, whilst the Good State Schools Guide refers to the Harvey as "a potent mix of friendliness and formality, of tradition and innovation".[citation needed]

Many school leavers choose go on to study a wide range of degree subjects at university. A handful of students apply to Oxford or Cambridge each year, with successful applications in the last few years in subjects including Natural Sciences, Mathematics with Physics, English Language and Literature, Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic and Philosophy, Politics & Economics.

Specialist and academy status[edit]

The school converted to academy status on 1 August 2012 and holds specialisms in Sport, Mathematics and Computing.

Community involvement[edit]

The Harvey promotes charities very strongly and has raised around £300,000 for charity, previously through an Annual Sponsored Walk around the surrounding coastline and/or countryside. It involved all students (992) setting out along a marshalled route with sponsored cards, helping raise money for charity. An annual Prizegiving Day is held at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone to recognise those boys who have achieved a high standard in academic and/or sporting activities. Guest speaker in 2018 was Edward Argar who is a Member of Parliament for the constituency of Charnwood since the 2015 elections and a former pupil of the school.[citation needed] The Headmaster, Chair of Governors, Head Boy and Guest Speaker are invited onto the stage to make speeches and then prizes are presented to the recipients.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

There is an extensive range of trips: to the United States for football and computing, to Barbados for cricket, and Barcelona and the Netherlands for hockey and basketball. The football trips to the USA have taken place every other year since 1989. The 2009 trip saw the Harvey return home undefeated, having comprehensively beaten Susquehanna Valley High School, Conklin, New York, Owego Free Academy, and Seton Catholic Central High School, Binghamton. Cricket tours to Barbados regularly take place together with the USA football tours. The Barbados tours replaced the highly popular annual cricket tours to the West Country. In the past twenty years, over 1200 students have taken part in the school's annual ski trip. Curriculum-related trips to France, form an integral part of the school's Languages programme, whilst a History trip to Ypres is an annual event. The school has a Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme, highly successful[citation needed] Young Enterprise groups in the sixth form, and an award-winning Debating Group. Music and Drama are also an integral part of Harvey life with various musical groups in place, an annual pantomime and regular showcase nights.

An annual "Len' Ball" is traditionally held in conjunction with the Folkestone School for Girls each year at a large venue within the Folkestone area. This provides the opportunity for the school leavers' to come together, to celebrate their passing from school to further education or employment.

The school's secret war contribution at Station X[edit]

Harvey Bletchley Plaque.jpg

Three former staff and a pupil at the Harvey worked at the once secret code breaking centre at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, which was recently made public and has become a tourist attraction. Their unique roles are honoured on a plaque in the school hall. The school's Headmaster Oliver Berthoud (1946–1952) was there, as was the school's long-serving secretary Miss Audrey Wind. Although they worked closely in the school it was not until a discussion one day in Mr Berthoud's office that he managed to get Miss Wind to admit to her involvement and they spoke at length about their time there.

On a visit to the school in late 2006 Miss Wind commented that no one was allowed to talk about their involvement. They were sworn to secrecy and it was amazing that four Harveians had worked for Ultra during the war. She is the sole survivor of the four but now in her eighties still gives talks on the topic at functions and at the school to boys studying the period. Following her half-century of service to the school, Miss Wind became the first and only female member of the school's old boys' association.


Main building, John Edwards Centre, Maths Block, Music Room, Drama Room (New Sixth Form Common Room), Science and DT Block and Wright Building and newly constructed Sports Block

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Alumni Cantabrigienses: Dabbs-Juxton (Cambridge University Press, 1944), p. 276
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 August 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ British Olympic Association > Athletes > Steven Heard

External links[edit]