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|Motto||Non sibi sed omnibus
(Not for oneself but for all)
|Deputy Head||Tim Lissimore|
|DfE URN||136621 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
|Houses||Brecon, Camberwell, Datchelor, Greencoat, Hayes, Southwark|
Black, White and Gold
|Publication||Omnibus, Wilson's Update, "The Sixth Form Mercury" and The Wilsonian|
Wilson's School is a boys' academy school in Wallington in the London Borough of Sutton. The school educates approximately 1,100 pupils, with entry by academic selection based on performance in an entrance examination.
It was founded as Wilson's Grammar School in Camberwell in 1615, making it one of the country's oldest state schools. Wilson's moved to its present location on part of the site of the former Croydon Airport in 1975. The school became voluntary aided in 1997 and an Academy in June 2011.
In 2015 the school celebrated its 400th anniversary with a visit from Prince Edward and a service at Southwark Cathedral.
- 1 Academic performance
- 2 History
- 3 School Coat of Arms and Badge
- 4 Houses
- 5 Uniform
- 6 Music and drama
- 7 Sport
- 8 Combined Cadet Force
- 9 Old Boys
- 10 Governors
- 11 References
- 12 External links
- "Wilson's is an outstanding school that deserves its high reputation. This is how the school sees itself, a view shared by the vast majority of the large number of parents who responded to the inspection questionnaire. One parent summed up the school well by noting of their son, 'Wilson's has helped him realise his potential and given him a lifelong love for learning.'"
The school was founded by Edward Wilson in 1615 and was located in Camberwell, now part of Greater London but at that time a small village of cottages, homesteads, inns and larger buildings grouped around a village green. Wilson was born around 1550 in Cartmel, Lancashire, which had its own grammar school, from where he passed on to Cambridge University. No record remains of him taking a degree, although it is known that he went into the Church, being appointed Deacon at Ely in Norfolk in 1576. He subsequently became Vicar of the Parish of Camberwell, which was presented to him by the Queen in person. This would indicate that he favoured the settlement of the Church of England which Elizabeth I was resolved to make. His nephew Peter Danson became a governor of the new school at its founding. Danson was also vicar of Carshalton in Surrey, only one mile from the present site of the school. A further member of the Wilson family, a namesake of Edward Wilson, is named in the Charter of the School as the Master.
After his wife died, and having had no children, he decided to set up a school using his available resources to create a legacy- saying in the royal charter that for all time there would be a school in Camberwell named after him. At the time, the establishment of a grammar school in England required the assent of the crown. This was obtained after the first school buildings were constructed. The original Charter bearing this assent has since been lost, although in 1929 the governors of the school obtained a certified extract from the Patent Rolls. This requirement for the agreement of the Crown explains the legend "Founded in 1615 by Royal Charter" that appears in various places beneath the school name. The Charter was granted by King James I, who had succeeded his cousin Elizabeth by this time.
The charter names the school as "The Free Grammar School of Edward Wilson, clerk, in Camberwell, otherwise Camerwell, in the County of Surrey."
In 1845 the school was forced to close as a result of a financial scandal. This was the result of Governor James Goulston, who sued the school. Following an Order in Council of Queen Victoria in 1880, which superseded the previous Royal Charter, the school was rebuilt on a different site in Camberwell, opening in 1883. It again catered to the need for schooling of boys in Camberwell, which by this time had grown considerably from its rustic origins. Its working population largely consisted of men working in the professions, clerks, journalists, tradesmen and labourers. Naturally, a grammar school provided an asset to the neighbourhood, with the prospect for boys to go on to University education. For five and a half years during the Second World War, Wilson's was evacuated to a Camp School at Itchingfield near Horsham, Sussex, and for the only period in its history became a boarding school. The whole compound stood around a broad elliptical area, set in large part to grass and the remainder, an asphalt quadrangle. Radiating from this central area, in spoke-like fashion, was a series of large cedarwood huts. These were the dormitories, ablution blocks and classrooms. Two larger buildings stood adjacent to the asphalted space, one the dining hall and the other the assembly hall which also functioned as the gym, cinema and church. The whole establishment catered for four hundred plus boys forming six houses, all named after past headmasters of the school, Nairn, Macdowell, Wilson, Kelly, Whiteley and Jephson. The Head Master of Christ's Hospital was kind enough to allow Wilson's the use of the school's cricket pitches, swimming bath and other facilities, including the Great Hall for Speech Day.
In 1958, an elementary school in Camberwell known as the Greencoat School was closed after a 250-year history and part of its assets passed to Wilson's Grammar School. The funds were used to provide a new science facility, the Greencoat Building, which was constructed opposite the main school site in Wilson Road. Two carved figures of a boy and a girl which are believed to have stood over the boys' and girls' entrances to the school were installed first in the Greencoat Building, and later in the Greencoat Courtyard in the new school at Wallington.
While information on pupils taught at the school before 1843 has been lost, Wilson's has a long list of noted Old Boys across the fields of entertainment, science, the military and the church. A Short History of Wilson's School, from which much of the information below was taken, was first published in 1951; its most recent edition was in 1987.
In 1975 the school moved to the current site. A three part plan for expansion only saw part one carried out, though subsequent construction has occurred such as the building of additional science blocks, the Sixth Form Centre, the Foundation Building, the Venner Building (for Art and Design), the Mary Datchelor Wing (which houses the Music Department) and a new Lower School (to accommodate Year 7 and 8 teaching).
The school site is very large and includes a dozen Astro football pitches available to pupils at lunchtimes.
School Coat of Arms and Badge
From 1883 the school was accustomed to use as a coat of arms the version of the Wilson shield used by Edward Wilson, probably without authority. In 1985 the then Chairman of Governors, Lt. Col. W. R. Bowden, obtained a Grant of Arms from the College of Arms. The new officially authorised Arms introduced to the previous form a silver bar between the wolf and the objects above, together with a gold border. Additionally, a crest is added above the helm in the form of a black wolf holding a silver fleur-de-lys in his paws with a black and gold mantle.
The blazon reads: "Sable a Wolf Salient Or and a Barrulet enhanced Argent in chief a Fleur de Lys also Argent between two Bezants all within a Bordure Gold And for the Crest upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Sable a demi Wolf Salient Sable holding between its paws an Ogress charged with a Fleur de Lys Argent Mantled Sable doubled Or."
The Grant of Arms also gives the rights to a badge, defined as "Within a voided Hexagon Sable charged with three Fleur de Lys Argent and three Bezants a Wolf salient Sable armed and langued Gules." A lapel badge of this design is worn by senior prefects.
Each pupil is allocated to one of the houses upon entry to the school. In 1981, four new houses (Brecon, Camberwell, Greencoat and Hayes) replaced the previous six (Jephson, Kelly, McDowell, Nairne, Whiteley, Wilson). Southwark was added in 2002, when the school became five form entry. In 2014, the six house structure was restored with the advent of Datchelor. Students in the same year in the same house are in the same form, and have registration, form period and lessons in Years 7 and 8 together. House points are awarded for academic, sporting and extracurricular success; all members of the staff are allocated to Houses; all students in years 7 and 8 wear a lapel badge of their house crest, students in years 9-11 wear a tie with an extra band on it in the colour of their house. Three of the houses learn German, while the other three houses learn French.
There are currently six houses in the school, corresponding to the six forms of entry. The sixth house, called Datchelor, was introduced in September 2014. They are:
- BRECON takes its name from the Brecon Beacons, originally the venue for the field-study trips taken by the majority of Year 7 students and Geography students. Colour: red. Motto: Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN ("The Red Dragon goes on and on" – the unofficial national motto of Wales).
- CAMBERWELL This house is named after the school's original location in south-east London; the phoenix refers to the school's rebirth in 1883 and again in 1975. Colour: blue. Motto: VIVAT REDIVIVA ("Live Again Live Forever")
- DATCHELOR Named after Mary Datchelor School, a girls' grammar school in Camberwell which closed in 1982. Some of the school's assets passed to Wilson's, enabling the Mary Datchelor wing to be built. The 19th-century painting 'Scholarship Crowning Endeavour' in the Hall is from the Datchelor school hall. Colour: orange. Motto: NON SINE PULVERE PALMA ("No Palm Without Dust")
- GREENCOAT named after the Greencoat School. The Greencoat Courtyard houses the sculpted figures of two schoolchildren from Greencoat School. Colour: green. Motto: VIROR VIRES VIRTUS ("Green our strength and courage")
- HAYES takes its name from the school's alumni sports club, the Old Wilsonians' Association, located in Hayes, Kent. Colour: yellow. Motto: OMNIBUS QUISQUE CUIQUE OMNES (" All For One And One For All")
- SOUTHWARK refers to the Church of England's Diocese of Southwark, with which the school has historical links and which has representatives on the school's Board of Governors. The design is taken from a mediaeval ceiling boss in Southwark Cathedral that shows the Devil eating Judas Iscariot. Colour: purple. Motto: MODO MODO INCEPTUM ("We have only just begun")
The School Uniform consists of a white shirt, grey or black trousers, and black blazer emblazoned with the school badge on the left chest pocket. The tie is black with alternating thin white and yellow stripes of equal width.
Traditionally, Sixth Form students were differentiated from the lower years by wearing a black tie variant featuring a repeated small version of the school crest. There was also a prefect tie issued which reverted to stripes – in this case a black tie with alternating blocks of silver white flanked by two thin yellow bands. The prefect tie has recently changed, becoming a black tie with small school crests distributed across material.
Currently however, Sixth Form students are permitted to wear lounge suits or dark jackets, collar and tie with the option of jumpers if necessary.
In addition to this, members of the CCF are allowed (and generally expected) to wear their uniform on Tuesdays, in preparation for parade in the evenings, though they may wear slightly different dress during the day. Furthermore, NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) in the CCF may wear a special tie, either a tie in the colours of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (in the case of members of the Army section), or a tie in the colours of the Royal Air Force (in the case of members of the RAF section).
Music and drama
The school considers music to play a vital role in the cultural life of the school. The school has an established programme of free vocal tuition or specialist instrumental tuition on a wind instrument for every pupil in Year 7.
Musical ensembles range from those for more advanced players (including Senior Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble, and Wind Band) to a range of smaller ensembles catering for every instrumentalist. There is a Senior Choir and a Junior Choir (which combine for school events to form an ensemble of up to 90 singers) as well as a Chamber Choir. The Music Department has three full-time staff and a team of fifteen peripatetic teachers (many of whom run and support ensembles). There are concerts and performances throughout the year, including events held jointly with Wallington High School for Girls.
Collaboration between Music and Drama departments has yielded a range of productions. In recent years this has included a senior musical production of High Society, as well as performances of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, and King Lear and Alan Bennett's The Madness of King George. Junior Productions have included Fiddler on the Roof and Beauty and the Beast.
In more modern times, the school's main sport is association football. Wilson's has six teams at Under 19 level and at least two teams for every age group from Under 12s (the Under 12s also have C,D E and F teams) to Under 16s. In 2007 the 1st XI won the U19 Surrey Cup but lost to Millfield School in the semi-finals of the National Championship. Part of the school site is shared with Powerleague, giving pupils access to 12 Astro courts each lunchtime in addition to the large playground.
Rugby union was first introduced to the school in 1886, although it has not been continuously played since then. It was revived in 1921, in the 1960s, 1980s and has continued since a further revival in the mid-1990s. Rugby teams in all year groups compete against a range of local schools, including, Trinity, Whitgift, Boxhill and Graveney. The teams often participate in sevens tournaments. Wilson’s has produced a number of Surrey players in last few years, and has close contact with local clubs such as Sutton & Epsom and Warlingham.
With Cricket there is a team for every year group up until Year 11 when there is a first, second and often a third team. The school competes against local schools on Saturdays and there is first team tour every two years.
Alongside cricket, athletics is also popular. During the summer term, the school partakes in many track and field events; these include 100 m to 1500 m races, hurdles, javelin, shot put, long jump, high jump, triple jump and discus.
The school was designated an Academy School by Badminton England in February 2006. The six boys considered best in Badminton from years 8 to 12 receive specialist coaching and there is an after-school club for years 7 and 8 on Mondays and for years 9 and above on Fridays. The school is home for the Chadacre Badminton club, one of the top clubs in the county at senior level.
Combined Cadet Force
Wilson's School CCF was established in 1910 as an Army Officer Training Corps on the original Camberwell site by a teacher, Captain Edmonds. It continued to flourish after the school's move to Wallington, particularly under the leadership of Maj. Chris Burton, and is now a Combined Cadet Force with Army and RAF sections, the latter introduced in 1964. The corps is inspected every two years and is regularly appraised at a standard well above the average for school CCFs.
In each year since 2011, members of the RAF Section have reached the National Final of the Air Squadron Trophy and in 2016 gained second place overall.
Class lists from 1615 to 1843 have been lost, making it impossible to record with absolute certainty those who rose to fame in that period. However, A Short History notes that James Tyrrell, grandson of Archbishop Usher and author of A General History of England and other works, is known to have been a pupil in the middle of the seventeenth century.
Entertainment and sport
- Sir Michael Caine (formerly Maurice Joseph Micklewhite), actor. Caine wrote of his dislike of his time at Wilson's, which was still in Camberwell during that period, in his autobiography "What's It All About?". However, he also states that his English teacher, Eric Watson "took the trouble to guide my rebellious mind into the area of literature."
- Simon Furman, comic book writer
- Stephen Jenkins, stage name Stephen Beckett, actor with regular roles in Coronation Street and The Bill
- Andrew Kazamia, actor with a regular role in London's Burning, playwright and film-maker
- Tom Abbott, presenter and commentator for US television network The Golf Channel.
- Andy Scott, professional footballer and manager
Arts, humanities and politics
- John Galliano, CBE, RDI, fashion designer
- Pascal Anson, Artist and Designer
- Harry Golombek, OBE, Chess Grandmaster
- Roy Porter, historian
- Aaron Porter, President, National Union of Students of the United Kingdom, 2010–11
- Sir Norman Reid, former director of the Tate Gallery
- Mark Stone, opera singer
- Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude Magazine and playwright
- Colin Butts, writer, Is Harry on the Boat?
- Capt. Harold Auten, VC, DSC, RD, "Q-Ship" commander in the First World War, author of ""Q" Boat Adventures" and later executive Vice-President of the Rank Organisation
- Sir Alan Cobham, KBE, AFC, pioneer aviator (first flight from Britain to Australia in 1926 and pioneer of air-to-air refuelling). Curiously, his flight to Australia was from Croydon Airport, the site of which is the present location of the School.
- Sir Lewis Fermor, OBE DSc FRS
- Sir James Jeans, OM MA DSc ScD, astronomer
- George Barker Jeffery, mathematician
- John Stevens Henslow. botanist and geologist
Industry and government
- The Very Revd. Dr Walter Robert Matthews, CH, KCVO, DD, DLitt, former Dean of St Paul's Cathedral
An exhaustive list is to be found in Appendix A of "A Short History of Wilson's School". The following are particular highlights from this. Dates are of their governorships.
- Hugh Boulter, DD, 1708–1722, Chaplain to George I, Bishop of Bristol, Archbishop of Armagh (Church of Ireland)
- Rev. Dr. George D'Oyly, 1820–1846, theologian, biographer and the main founder of King's College London
- Edmund Gibson, DD, 1703–1717, Bishop of Lincoln and later bishop of London
- George Hooper, DD, 1675–1703, Bishop of St Asaph, later bishop of Bath and Wells. Chaplain to Charles II and Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University
- William Dalrymple Maclagan, 1869–1875, Rector of Newington and later Archbishop of York, author of hymns
- "URN 136621 Wilson's School". Edubase. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- 2015 A level results
- Wilson's OFSTED Report, 2007
- Allport, D.H.; Friskney, N.J. (1987), A Short History of Wilson's School, Wilson's School Charitable Trust
- "Wilson's School – The House System". Wilsonsschool.sutton.sch.uk. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Rugby". Wilson's School.
- "Athletics". Wilson's School.
- "Badminton". Wilson's School.
- "Wilson's School – Table Tennis". Wilsonsschool.sutton.sch.uk. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- Photographs printed in "A Short History of Wilson's School" pp 227–234.
- Stephen Beckett
- Andrew Kazamia
- Brentford Official Matchday Magazine versus Brighton & Hove Albion 22/08/98. Blackheath: Morganprint. 1998. p. 16.
- JSTOR 769478
- "Person Page 20974". thePeerage.com. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "A Short History of Wilson's School" p 259.