Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Bradford Grammar

An Outstanding Independent School in Yorkshire

Bradford Grammar School is of ancient foundation – its origins traceable to a grammar school as early as 1548.  However, it was the charter of Charles II in 1662 which created the ’free grammar school for better teaching, instruction and bringing up of children in grammar and good learning and to continue for that use forever’.  The School’s earliest site was next to the Parish Church on Church Bank – now Bradford Cathedral; BGS has always had close links with the Church throughout its history.  The School has had three central locations in the city (one of which was short-term while re-building took place) until it moved, in 1949, to its current site on Keighley Road, some distance outside the town centre.
 Perry Uniform for Bradford Grammar
The Free Grammar School, which offered free education to children of Anglican families, funded by donations and bequests, operated from 1662 until 1871.  It moved to a new site in Manor Row in 1820 but remained a relatively small school, with numbers seldom exceeding 60, while the population in the city – mainly non-conformist – was rising considerably during the 19th century with the growth of the wool industry.  Change came with the Forster Acts of 1869 and 1870, which created a national elementary system of education, and, significantly for BGS, the Endowed Schools’ Act dissolved the Charter of 1662, enabling the use of School endowments to fund the demolition of the old school and the building of a new and larger grammar school on the same Manor Row site; hence, the pupils moved briefly into temporary premises in Hallfield Rd. from 1872 – 1873.  BGS was the first school in the country to be reorganised under the provisions of the Act – appropriately since W E Forster was also the Liberal MP for Bradford.  It was to prove a seminal moment for the School: under the new leadership of a strong Governing body led by Jacob Behrens, a successful wool merchant of German origin, and the reforming Headmaster, William Hulton Keeling, the School not only expanded rapidly to well over 400 pupils but began to develop its high academic reputation of national standing: as early as 1901, BGS achieved 21 Oxbridge awards.  Keeling expanded the curriculum and began to develop the corporate life of the School, founding the House system and starting school games.  From 1892, the local Council were able to finance local authority scholarships – a system which proved mutually beneficial.
 Perry Uniform for Bradford Grammar
Important changes accelerated in 1926 during the headship of Dr W Edwards: the School opted to receive direct grant funding from the then Board of Education, while at the same time purchasing new premises for the Junior School in Thornville, a large Victorian mansion opposite Lister Park; more significantly, the search began for a new site for a now overcrowded school, which culminated in the building of the current premises on Keighley Rd by 1939.  However, it was not until 1949, during the headship of R B Graham, that the School moved in, the buildings having been commandeered for use by the Army in 1939.
BGS owes a huge debt of gratitude to the drive, determination and vision of the then long-serving Chairman of Governors, Douglas Hamilton, whose leadership and skill ensured the success of various appeals in difficult times to make such a move possible.  He also ensured that BGS by the 1950s was a well-established direct-grant boys’ grammar school of 1,000 pupils – one of 179 such schools accepted under the new provisions of the Butler 1944 Education Act.  This arrangement provided a generous supply of able scholars funded by Bradford and W Riding LEAs respectively, alongside fee-paying pupils selected by the School’s own Entrance Examination.  The School consistently achieved high ranking for its scholastic achievement under the successive headships of J P Newell and K D Robinson, and at the same time co-curricular activities expanded significantly.
Perry Uniform for Bradford Grammar
In 1975, when the direct grant arrangements were abolished under a Labour Government, BGS became a fully independent boys’ school at the beginning of the headship of David Smith, who was later to serve as Chairman of HMC Schools and was also a strong advocate of the Assisted Places Scheme, to which the School belonged from the 1980s until its abolition in 1997.  Also in 1975, the Junior School moved from Thornville to its present site in Clock House, which was successfully re-modelled and extended.  The School continued to prosper, with additional new buildings such as the Sports Hall, the Clarkson Library – so named after a legendary Second Master and benefactor, W E Clarkson – and the Hockney Theatre.  It has always been able to rely on a successful tradition of generous benefaction from former pupils to fund such projects.  In 1984, the school began its transition to coeducation with its first intake of 6th form girls and became fully coeducational from 1998 under the headship of Stephen Davidson. BGS has been proud to achieve outstanding Inspection Reports from the Independent Schools’ Inspection Service – the most recent in 2011.  Additionally during the last decade the premises have been greatly enhanced by an ambitious process of further development, which has provided a wide range of outstanding facilities for study, culture and recreation.  This process continues under the present Headmaster, Kevin Riley
Perry Uniform for Bradford Grammar
The School Motto is Hoc Age, which generations of pupils have taken to mean ‘Do this!  Get on with it!’  There are other explanations of its meaning, one of which is ‘Pay attention!’, but the most likely explanation is that the words are an echo of the Communion Service injunction ‘Do this in memory of me’.

Friday, 4 September 2015


My First Day at School

A poem by Paul Dorset


I knew it was special as I opened my eyes
And carefully climbed out of bed.
I tried to remember what day was today.
Just exactly what had mummy said?
She'd said to be quick, no hanging around
Wash my face, clean my teeth, brush my hair.
And then to go straight to the bedroom.
Use the clothes on the back of my chair.

For breakfast we always had Cornflakes
Washed down with a lovely big drink.
But today we seemed in a hurry
And the dishes were left in the sink.
We got in the car and I sat in the back
To be plonked there had seemed very cruel.
But just then was when I remembered
Today was my first day at school!

Yes, today was my first day at school.
How could I forget such an outing?
I squeezed mum's hand tight as we went in the gate
And I listened to all of the shouting.
We went into school and we walked to my class
Lots of small children were there,
I had my own hook to hang up my coat
And I had my own table and chair.

Teacher told us her name was Miss Jenny
I told her that my name was John.
Then we got some grey paper, a brush and some paint
And I looked up but mummy was gone.
What fun we had had with the painting
I'd drawn pictures of pirates and ships
Then we went to a room to eat up our lunch
And I got Fish Fingers and Chips!

We played in the playground for ages
I made friends and we all chattered lots
Then it was time to go in for the story
About a giant with big yellow spots!
He had a strange face that had great big blue eyes
And a very long winding red nose
Then we all did some singing, and jumped up and down
And wiggled our fingers and toes.

I put on my coat and I waited
Until it was our turn to leave
My mum saw me coming, came over to me
And gave a small tug on my sleeve.
I really enjoyed all that schooling
And I told her just what I'd liked best
But tomorrow I don't think I'm going
I'm tired and I'll want a big rest.

Mum laughed and she laughed for ages
I thought that she'd never end
But when she came to her senses
She told me the truth, as a friend.
'Your school is a place for your learning
It's also for fun and for play
But school's not a place for just once a week
You'll be going to go there each day!'

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


A community that enables individuals to flourish

King's is the oldest choir school and the second oldest school in the world. The School is located in the centre of the historic city of Rochester, nestling amidst the tranquil setting of the Cathedral precincts, and in the shadow of a castle which boasts one of the finest Norman keeps in the country. King's is truly a School with a strong historical tradition and a clear vision of education for the 21st century.
The name of 'King's School' dates from the Reformation, when, in 1541, King Henry VIII reconstituted the Cathedral Foundation after the dissolution of the Monastery, although there has been a school on the Cathedral Foundation since 604 AD.

King Henry appointed a Dean and Chapter, a full choral establishment and 'twenty scholars to be taught Grammar', together with a Headmaster and Undermaster of the Cathedral Grammar School.
A turning point in the later history of the School occurred in 1842, with the appointment of the Reverend Robert Whiston as Headmaster. At the beginning of his term of office, a new School Room was built which still survives as part of Main School. Whiston was a man of strong convictions and his campaign for the rights of King's Scholars led him into conflict with the Dean and Chapter of his day. The whole story formed the plot for Trollope's novel 'The Warden'.
A scheme for the administration of the School was made and sealed at the Court of Windsor in 1877 and this, with its amendments, forms the current Instrument of Government of the School - and thus the School took its place in the setting of nineteenth century Public Schools. In 1909, the Headmaster of the day was elected to the Headmasters' Conference (HMC), at which the School has been represented ever since.
The last fifty years have seen the School grow in both size and stature and there are currently almost 600 pupils from 3 - 18 years of age on the School roll.
The School is part of the Cathedral Foundation. The Bishop is the Patron and the Dean and Chapter form part of the Governing Body.
We wish the school and Pupils a great start to the academic New Year.
Perry Uniform.