Whitchurch High School

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Whitchurch High School
Tree-lined entrance to Whitchurch High School, Cardiff - geograph.org.uk - 1725280.jpg
Motto Learning for Life (Welsh: Dysgu Gydol Oes)
Type Foundation school
Community secondary school
Head teacher Huw Jones Williams
Location Penlline Road and Glan-y-Nant Terrace
CF14 2XJ
Coordinates: 51°30′48″N 3°13′24″W / 51.51339°N 3.22323°W / 51.51339; -3.22323
Local authority Cardiff
DfE number 681/5403
DfE URN 401880 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 153
Students 2,300 approx
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Grey Blazers and White Shirts. Blue Ties (Lower school) & Maroon Ties (Upper school)
Predecessor schools Whitchurch Grammar School
Whitchurch County Secondary School
Website WHS

Whitchurch High School (Welsh: Ysgol Uwchradd yr Eglwys Newydd) is a large, co-educational, comprehensive secondary school in the suburb of Whitchurch in Cardiff, Wales.

Organisation and structure[edit]

The school is currently the largest in Wales (according to the school's last Estyn report) with 2400 pupils. In accordance with the three-tier system, it is divided between two sites, known as Upper and Lower. The Lower School site houses Years 7 to 9, with the Upper School providing facilities for years 10 and 11. The Upper School site also includes the Sixth Form Centre.

The school's Leadership Team is composed of the headteacher, two deputy headteachers and seven assistant headteachers. The current headteacher is Mr Huw Jones-Williams, who took over from Gareth Mathewson OBE in September 2008. He was Head of Fitzalan High School and a former Deputy Head at Whitchurch.

The school's uniform now consists of a yellow and grey blazer, with a blue tie for Lower School and a maroon tie for Upper School.


In 2015–16 the school budget per pupil was £4,411, amongst the lowest for secondary schools in Cardiff.[1]


Whitchurch High School came into being in 1968, following the government circular of 1965, which replaced the existing tripartite system with comprehensive education. The new comprehensive school was created through a merger of the well established Whitchurch Grammar School, and Whitchurch County Secondary School, a secondary modern school; both were under the control of Glamorgan County Council until the beginning of 1967, when Whitchurch became amalgamated as a suburb of the City of Cardiff. The former, based on Penlline Road, became the Upper School site, and the latter, on Glan-y-Nant Terrace, the lower school. Like its predecessors, the school was co-educational and catered for a broad catchment area centred on the suburbs of Whitchurch, Rhiwbina and Tongwynlais in the northern part of Cardiff. The comprehensive school was initially run by Cardiff County Borough until the local government reform of 1974, which included Whitchurch in the new county of South Glamorgan. In 1996, the school reverted to Cardiff County Council, which became a unitary authority. As of September 2011, the school has been granted foundation status by the Welsh Assembly, following controversy over the local authority's proposals to reduce the school's intake.

The school's badge is a white church tower on a blue background with the surround 'Album Monasterium'. This is not the school's motto, but is rather the Latin translation of the school's name.


The school's Sixth Form school offers AS/A2 levels, a few stages of the Welsh Baccalaureate, and some vocational courses. Up until 2012, it was one of the only secondary instititutions in Wales to offer the International Baccalaureate.


The school has a tradition in sport, music, drama and politics, with facilities such as:

  • A large, floodlit astroturf pitch on the lower school site used mainly for hockey and football (1997)
  • A sports recreational hall, located on the lower school site, opened by HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew. (2004)
  • A sports recreational hall with a fitness suite, changing rooms and classrooms located on the upper school site. (2006)
  • The school has 10 floodlit, five a side football pitches with clubhouse and parking located on the lower school site. The facility is run by the private company Powerleague, and is available for community use outside of school hours. (2007)
  • Extensive, well drained playing fields on both the upper and lower school sites which are used for home matches by the schools rugby and football teams.
  • Traditional school gyms with climbing equipment, ropes, gymnastic apparatus and crash mats on both the upper and lower school sites.
  • The Dutch Barn, formerly a derelict gym on the lower school site, has been converted into a hall used for school assemblies, art exhibitions and the annual Matthew Pasley and Richard Fice Memorial Concerts. (2002)
  • A purpose built music block on the lower school site (2009)
  • A dedicated drama studio.
  • A large vertical climbing wall and horizontal bouldering wall (2011)

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Whitchurch has a strong sports department and has produced many athletes who have represented Wales or Great Britain in recent years.[2][3]

The school was named Sports State School of the Year by 7th Annual Aviva Daily Telegraph "School Sports Matters" National Awards in November 2011 in recognition of its sporting achievements.[4][5]

The Japanese School in Wales (ウェールズ補習授業校 Wēruzu Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a weekend Japanese educational programme, is held at Whitchurch High School.[6]

Notable former pupils of Whitchurch High School[edit]

Whitchurch Grammar School[edit]


  1. ^ "A report on Whitchurch High School" (PDF). Estyn. January 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "From Gareth Bale to Sam Warburton and Gerraint Thomas - Prime Minister heaps praise on Cardiff school's sporting heroes". South Wales Echo. 3 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "A school for sporting idols". South Wales Echo. 6 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Whitchurch High School wins Sports State School of the Year Award
  5. ^ "School Sport Matters awards: stars come out in force to hail heroic sporting efforts of British schools". The Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "欧州の補習授業校一覧(平成25年4月15日現在)" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Retrieved on 10 May 2014. "Whitchurch Upper High School, Penlline Rd., Whitchurch, Cardiff CF4 2XJ, U.K."
  7. ^ "Lions captain Sam Warburton revels in special 48 hours for himself and Tottenham forward Gareth Bale". The Independent. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Proudly Welsh ice skater Lloyd Jones set to star at the Winter Olympic... representing France". Wales Online. 26 January 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Stars are on opposite sides of school fence". South Wales Echo. 24 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Pride at Cardiff school that developed Sam Warburton and Gareth Bale". guardian.co.uk. 13 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Geraint Thomas clinches first Welsh gold at London 2012". news.bbc.co.uk. 3 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2011: Cardiff-born Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton were stars from the start, reflects coach". The Daily Telegraph. 14 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "OFT chief to move on". BBC News. 25 February 2000. 
  14. ^ Powell, Kenneth (28 November 1997). "Obituary: Dale Owen". London: The Independent. 
  15. ^ Woods, Lesley (2009). "Welsh Warrant Officer steps down from top job". RAF.MOD.UK. Retrieved 3 November 2010. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]