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 has six houses: Brampton, Churchill, Hamilton, Jennings, Park and York, all named after roads near the school.

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.


The uniform in Years 7 to 11 consists of: a navy blazer with badge; dark grey or black trousers of conventional cut; House tie; school pullover (ordinary grey v-necked pullover may also be worn); white or pale blue shirt with appropriate collar; black shoes suitable for formal wear; dark grey or black socks.

A summer-uniform alternative is also available. It consists of a white short-sleeved shirt with a school crest embroidered on the pocket and may be worn without a blazer or tie to and from the school in hot weather.

In the Sixth Form uniform regulations are relaxed but male and female students are still required to wear clothes which would be acceptable in a professional environment.[3]


Prior to the school's turning comprehensive in 1975, there were four houses, each named after one of the four roads 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 two other nearby thoroughfares. Each of the six houses has its own colour: Brampton, light blue; Churchill, red; Hamilton, green; Jennings, purple; Park, yellow; and York, white. Students' ties vary to display the corresponding house colour as an additional coloured stripe. The house system is used to divide each year group into six form groups, which remain the same throughout successive years, e.g. a student who is placed in 7B (Year seven, Brampton) upon entry will proceed into 8B, 9B, 10B and 11B. Inter-house competition is encouraged, with a rugby and football tournament taking place in each of the five compulsory years.


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.

The school is also home to the Verulam Big Band, a JazzSwing band composed of students. The composition of the band varies with each year, and the band has had as many as fifty musicians during some academic years. The band has played many significant local events, such as the Mayor's annual dinner at Sopwell House Hotel, and embarks upon a tour most years to a European country. The band has previously visited Lake Garda in Italy, Barcelona in Spain and the Moselle Valley in Germany.


  • 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 (born 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 (born 1935), Particle physicist (brother of Peter Kalmus). Fellow of University College, London.
  • Alan McWhirr (1937–2010) Schoolteacher, lecturer and archaeologist. Honorary Fellow in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, Leicester University.
  • Jim Rodford (born 1941) Bass guitarist, played with The Zombies, The Kinks, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Argent.
  • Mike Chaplin (born 1943) Artist and resident art expert on Channel 4's Watercolour Challenge.
  • Colin Blunstone (born 1945) Pop singer and songwriter, member of The Zombies pop group, together with Chris White, also an alumnus.
  • Edward ("Ted") Chance (born 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 (born 1947) Former Land Rover UK Operations Director, Rover Group Business Development Director, Visiting Fellow University of Buckingham Business School.
  • John Gosling (born 1948) Classically trained pianist and organist, former member of The Kinks pop group.
  • Robin Baskerville (born 1950) Diver; represented Britain in the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
  • John Sessions (real name John Gibb Marshall) (born 1953) Actor, comedian and TV panellist.
  • Richard Fox (born 1960) Slalom canoeist; three-times winner of the World Cup, four-times winner of the Euro Cup.
  • Simon Evans (born 1965) Stand-up comedian.
  • Jeremy ("Jez") Butterworth (born 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.
  • Photek (real name Rupert Parkes) (born 1972) Record-producer and DJ.
  • Jamie Duke (born 1974) Former Golf Hertfordshire under 21s Captain, Guru Recruiter - Top Billing of the year 2014. Awarded World Recruiter Award.
  • Ben Sturnham (born 1974) Professional rugby player for Saracens (1993-98), Bath (1998-2000) and Bristol (2000-2002).
  • Nicholas Crawley (born 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, ENO, ROH, etc.
  • Dan Watson (born 1979) Professional rugby player playing internationally for Hong Kong.
  • Andrew Daish (born 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.
  • Roughton ("Rou") Reynolds (born 1986) Member of Enter Shikari (lead singer), together with Chris Batten (bass player), also an alumnus.
  • Andrew Salter (born 1990) Founder of Salter Brothers Entertainment and manager/promoter to boxing Champion David Haye.


  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. 
  3. ^