Verulam School

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Verulam School
Motto Faire Mon Devoir (French: "To do my duty")
Established 1938
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr Paul Ramsey
Location Brampton Road
St Albans
51°45′20″N 0°18′58″W / 51.75544°N 0.31621°W / 51.75544; -0.31621Coordinates: 51°45′20″N 0°18′58″W / 51.75544°N 0.31621°W / 51.75544; -0.31621
Local authority Hertfordshire
DfE URN 117505 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1030[1]
Gender Boys (Girls in 6th form)
Ages 11–18
Houses Brampton, Churchill, Hamilton, Jennings, Park, York
Colours Blue and Yellow         
Publication Verulam Voice, Top Button

Verulam School is a state secondary school for boys with academy status in St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK. It was founded in 1938 and was originally named St Albans Boys' Modern School.[2] The name was changed in the 1940s to St Albans Grammar School for Boys and subsequently, following its change of status to a comprehensive in 1975, to Verulam School.

The Headmaster is currently Paul Ramsey. He came to the school from Watford Grammar School as Head of English in January 2000, became Deputy Head and subsequently Acting Headmaster on the resignation of Mr David Kellaway in December 2008; he was appointed Headmaster in May/June 2009.

The school caters for boys between the ages of 11 and 19. Boys can stay on into the Sixth Form, which also welcomes male and female students from other schools.

The school works in partnership with two neighbouring schools to enhance post-16 educational provision. This partnership is known as the "BeauSandVer" consortium and consists of Sandringham School, Verulam School and Beaumont School.

An Ofsted inspection in October 2017 judged the school to be 'Inadequate'. However, a Herts for Learning review in January 2018 rated the school 'Good' and highlighted improvements in the areas criticised by Ofsted. A further inspection by Ofsted in July 2018 reached the conclusion that Safeguarding is effective and complimented the school on responding to the October inspection "with great urgency".[citation needed]


Prior to the school's turning comprehensive in 1975, there were four houses, named after the four streets forming a rectangle around the school site. These were Brampton, Hamilton, Jennings and Park. From 1975 onwards, with the increase in the yearly intake, two further houses were added, York and Churchill, also named after nearby roads.

Inter-house competition is strongly encouraged, with the highest scoring house winning a reward trip to a theme park (usually Thorpe Park).


'Food for Thought' is the name of Verulam's canteen, which is open at break and lunch time. Students have a smart card with which they purchase food. Lunch time is from 12:45pm - 1:35pm, except on Teamwork Tuesday when lunch will end at 1:20pm. Student are encouraged to pick healthier options which will sustain for longer.


The school participates in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, taking students through all of the phases from bronze to gold, with expeditions in places such as The Chilterns on Bronze, Dartmoor and Exmoor on Silver, and Scotland, New Zealand and Morocco on the expeditions for the Gold award.

Students must join at least two clubs or societies, as part of the Extra-Curricular-Core Offer. Societies include the Music Tech Society, the Debating Society, the Film Society, the Gardening Society, the Sociology Society, the History Society, the Car Society, the Radio Society and the Christian Union.

The school runs a student JazzSwing band, the Verulam Big Band. The latter have gone on a European tour.

Verulam Voice[edit]

Verulam releases a weekly newsletter for parents called Verulam Voice. A sister publication, Student Voice, was also published for a while. It featured satirical articles and students' news and views from students highlighting their experience of school.


  • Ernest Gellner (1925–1995) Distinguished philosopher and social anthropologist; at the age of 17 won a scholarship to Balliol College Oxford; member of the British Academy, fellow of King's College Cambridge, author of numerous academic works.
  • Peter Kalmus OBE (b. 1933), Particle physicist. Honorary Fellow of University College, London. Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association. Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics (one of only 38 others including 7 Nobel Laureates), author of numerous academic works.
  • George Kalmus CBE, FRS (b. 1935), Particle physicist (brother of Peter Kalmus). Fellow of University College, London.
  • Jim Rodford (b. 1941) Bass guitarist, played with The Zombies, The Kinks, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Argent.
  • Mike Chaplin (b. 1943) Artist and resident art expert on Channel 4's Watercolour Challenge.
  • Colin Blunstone (b. 1945) Pop singer and songwriter, member of The Zombies pop group, together with Chris White, also an alumnus.
  • John Sessions (real name John Gibb Marshall) (b. 1953) Actor, comedian and TV panellist.
  • Richard Fox (b. 1960) Slalom canoeist; three-times winner of the World Cup, four-times winner of the Euro Cup.
  • Mike Keirle (b. 1962), Anglican priest and Dean of Jersey
  • Simon Evans (b. 1965) Stand-up comedian.
  • Photek (real name Rupert Parkes) (b. 1972) Record-producer and DJ.
  • Ben Sturnham (b. 1974) Professional rugby player for Saracens (1993-98), Bath (1998-2000) and Bristol (2000-2002).
  • Andrew Daish (b. 1984) 1st XV Rugby Captain (2002-2003), playing professional rugby for London Welsh RFC, Pertemp Bees RFC, Old Albanians RFC and playing internationally for Sweden.
  • Rou Reynolds (b. 1986) Member of Enter Shikari (lead singer), together with Chris Batten (bass player), also an alumnus.
  • Alan McWhirr (1937–2010) Schoolteacher, lecturer and archaeologist. Honorary Fellow in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, Leicester University.
  • Edward ("Ted") Chance (b. 1947) Free-lance professional horn-player, teacher and composer. Has appeared with most of the top UK orchestras, including the Philharmonia, BBCSO, RPO, ROH, ENO, BBCNOW, BBCSO etc.
  • John Sparrow (b. 1947) Former Land Rover UK Operations Director, Rover Group Business Development Director, Visiting Fellow University of Buckingham Business School
  • John Gosling (b. 1948) Classically-trained pianist and organist, former member of The Kinks pop group.
  • Robin Baskerville (b. 1950) Diver; represented Britain in the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
  • James Talon (b. 1967) Artist and Musician
  • Jeremy ("Jez") Butterworth (b. 1969) Playwright, film-script writer and film director. His works have been staged in the West End and New York. Jez's work has included various collaborations with his brothers, all of whom attended Verulam School; in order of seniority they are Tom, Stephen, Jez, and John-Henry.
  • Dennis Flipper (b. 1970) Chair of Furniture Studies at University of Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield
  • Jamie Duke (b. 1974) Former Golf Hertfordshire under 21s Captain, Guru Recruiter - Top Billing of the year 2014. Awarded World Recruiter Award.
  • Nicholas Crawley (b. 1979) Opera singer (bass-baritone). Studied at the Royal Academy of Music, awarded the Independent Opera Vocal Scholarship in 2012. Has appeared in roles with Nederlandse Reisopera, Opera Holland Park, ENO, Stadttheater Klagenfurt etc.
  • Dan Watson (b. 1979) Professional rugby player playing internationally for Hong Kong.


  1. ^ "Verulam School Inspection Reports" (PDF). Verulam School. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  2. ^ "A brief History of the School". Verulam School. Archived from the original on 18 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-26.