George Abbot School

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George Abbot School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Burpham, north-east of the town of Guildford. The school is named after the 17th-century Archbishop of Canterbury George Abbot who came from Guildford. Surrey County Cricket Club's Cricket Academy is located in the grounds of the school.

The school is currently under the leadership of headteacher Danny Moloney. The school caters for seven years (years 7 to 13, typically ages 11 to 18) with years 7 to 11 each split into ten 30-pupil classes totalling 300 students a year. The school is often oversubscribed with up to 350 students applying for the 300 spaces available in September each year. It currently has 1,924 students on roll with around 400 in the sixth form.


The two main buildings are Elmslie and Raynham, named after the two headteachers when the buildings were separate schools, Miss Elmslie for girls, and Mr Raynham for boys.

In addition to these, the school has a textiles block, art block, photography block (which was also the old sixth form centre), sports hall (Surrey County Cricket Club's Cricket Academy), Wilson building (for English) and has just completed the building of a performing arts centre (which includes the sixth form centre).

Elmslie Building (E)

Elmslie building has 3 food technology classrooms, the humanities department, 2 computer rooms, biology laboratories, leisure and tourism classrooms and business studies classrooms. It also includes the main reception, the lower school library (Known as the Gallery because of the art work displayed at the entrance), Elmslie Hall, a small canteen, Fitness Suite and 2 gyms. Year 8 and 9 have their tutor rooms in Elmslie.

Raynham Building (R)

Raynham building has the construction workrooms, Science Department (Physics and Chemistry Laboratories), Languages, Visual Arts and Mathematics. Raynham also has the largest canteen and also a hall. Raynham is connected to the Upper School Information Centre (USIC) which holds the upper school library, the careers office and the Computer Systems Office. Year 10 and 11 have their tutor rooms in Raynham.

Wilson Building (W)

Wilson is completely devoted to the English Department. It also holds the Special Education Needs Office. Year 7 have their tutor rooms in Wilson. Outside the main entrance of Wilson is a sculpture garden, in which art work and sculptures are displayed, including benches and seats designed and made by art students.

C Block (C)

C Block's lower floor is devoted to photography and youth work , its upper floor includes the diploma room, several computer rooms and other offices.

Textiles Block (T)

The Textiles Block (or T Block for short) has three textile classrooms, one textiles room has been split into two. T Block also holds the staffroom, the staff kitchen and the Visual Impairment Resource Base (Or VI Unit as it's usually called)

VI Unit

The VI unit modifies work so that students with impaired vision are able to see/feel their work. This can be as simple as increasing font size to Braille. All VI Students are given laptops (or Braillenotes) so they may produce work more quickly as writing can be slow, of poor quality or they may not be able to write at all.

Performing Arts Block (PA)

2008 saw the opening of the newly built 6th form and performing arts building which now lies adjacent to the upper school library. The old sixth form centre is now devoted to study as the common room has been converted into a computer suite. The newly built common room can house almost all 400 sixth formers at any one time and also contains a canteen. Sixth form is based upstairs and the performing arts have full use of the lower floor. Music has completely relocated from Elmslie to 3 brand new, spacious class rooms all adapted specifically to the needs of music. There are also 8 bookable sound proof practice rooms in addition to 3 recording and practise rooms off of one classroom. there is also a dance hall with a sprung floor and mirrored walls.

House system

The old school houses were originally named after eight notable Britons in the 1970s; Arnold, Livingstone, Scott, Kelvin, Shakespeare, Harvey, Dryden and Newton. However during the latter part of the 70's the names were changed to mythical creatures, and the houses were called Falcon, Gryphon, Martlet and Wyvern. This was subsequently amended so that the house names were those of local villages and places, for example Clandon, Albury, Loseley, Onslow and Sutton.In 2003 Phoenix was added as a house name and then each house was formed from two forms.

These five houses were reorganised so they contain two forms each: Gryphon (Red) - forms G and P. Phoenix (Green) - forms O and M. Falcon (Blue) - forms F and C. Martlet (Purple) - forms A and W. Wyvern (Orange) - forms Y and E.

All houses chose a boy and girl from year 11 to be sports captain for the house (though each year will have their own) whilst house captains are chosen from the sixthform. Additionally every class chooses a representative to sit on a year council, with each year choosing two of these class reps to represent the year group on the school council.


George Abbot offers a variety of subjects. In Years 7 to 9, students are required to participate in five creative/expressive subjects: dance, drama, music, textiles and art. During Year 7 students will be taught both French and German. Upon going into Year 8, they will choose between French or German and then carry on their chosen language until Year 11. Students also have to choose between Latin and Spanish to study for Year 8 and Year 9, and some carry on these languages for GCSE, although it is not necessary. All GCSE students are advised to take at least one creative/expressive subject, which at GCSE include new subjects such as Photography, Computer Graphics and Architectural Design,however if they do pick three academic subjects or three creative subjects, that is also accepted. Other subjects include History, Leisure and Tourism, Sociology and Physical Education. All students must take three GCSE subjects.

Some students also take triple science GCSE, leading to three GCSE qualifications. Approximately 50% of Years 10 and 11 also take full course religious education, whereas the other half take short course. Some also have the option of taking fast track languages (a year early) so they are able to learn another language (Spanish, German, or French) and get 2 language GCSEs. Fast track art is also available for a small number of students who are more able in the arts.

Sixth form college

George Abbot also benefits from a contained sixth form college, with over 400 students currently being taught in the facility with A-level courses that are taught in a wide range of subjects. A new Sixth Form Centre has recently been built above the music facilities, with a new common room and additional office space and teaching facilities.


Template:As of, the catering at George Abbot School is being run by Innovate Services Ltd. The school canteens use a cashless system, using your fingerprint to pay for food and top up your account. There is a wide choice of food, with a World Food Centre in Elmslie, serving food from across the globe, and a more traditional menu in the Raynham canteen. The Sixth Form have their own canteen, based on the brand Coffee Republic, giving their servery more of a high-street feel.

Notable former pupils

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  • Iain Ballamy, professional saxophonist
  • Ashley Giles MBE, Director of Coaching at Warwickshire County Cricket Club and National Selector for the England and Wales Cricket Board
  • Matthew Jarvis, professional footballer
  • John Renbourn, folk guitarist and former member of Pentangle.
  • Maureen Barton. 1968 Olympic Long Jumper
  • Alex McCarthy, professional footballer



External links

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