Wallington County Grammar School
Template:Refimprove Template:Infobox UK school Wallington County Grammar School (W.C.G.S.) is a state-funded boys' grammar school located in Wallington, Sutton, London. Places at the school are invariably oversubscribed and entrance is via competitive exam. Old boys are referred to as "Old Walcountians".
The school opened on the 19 September 1927, in Queen's Road, Wallington, about half a mile from the present site, with a total of just 71 pupils. The original building had a single story, with a wooden extension. The first headmaster was Mr. Walter. T. Hutchins (MA Oxon), whose portrait now hangs in the school hall. Mr Hutchings was only 33 years old when he opened the school, and he was to serve as Headmaster for 32 years. The school moved to its present site in Croydon Road in 1935.
During the Second World War, the school was damaged by a V-2 bomb in the summer of 1944. All the windows were blown out and the roof of the school hall collapsed. However the school continued to function, with prefects, teachers and students working to rebuild the ruined structure, and it was "business as usual" before the war ended. Due to the lack of accommodation the first year entry boys had their morning lessons at Carew Manor, walking at lunchtime through Beddington Park to the main school. 52 old boys from the school were killed in action during the course of the war, and they are commemorated by a memorial in the school hall. A memorial plate awarded by the Mayor of Dunkirk is also on display in the school hall.
The school has been expanded beyond the original structure over the years, with the "New Block" (now called the "English" Block) completed in 1952, which provided laboratories and additional classrooms. It now houses all English and Drama classes, as well as the dining hall and the offices of several Subject Leaders. The Sixth Form block, located near the school playing fields, was completed in 1973, and now contains History, Economics, Philosophy and Physical Education classrooms, as well as the school's Learning Resource Centre, Sixth Form Common Room and Offices. The completion of this block allowed for the movement of the lower school (Years 7-9) from Carew Manor to the main site.
In 1997, an old boy of the school, Christopher Woodhead who was then HM Chief Inspector of Schools, opened a new Science block. This block contains science classrooms, laboratories and various science department administration offices. The second part of the building's development was completed in 2000. The school was awarded "science college" status in 2005 for its excellence in Science and Mathematics. This meant extra funding for the school, which helped to further improve the standard of the school's science department. More recently, the school was awarded a second specialism - Applied Learning. The most recent addition to the buildings is the sports hall, which was opened in April 2010. The development of the hall cost £1.34 million, of which £785 000 was funded by the LEA and the remainder was funded by the school's and PTFA's own fundraising efforts. The construction incorporates various cutting edge aesthetic features including a V-shaped roof and subtly undulating walls.
Girls were admitted to the sixth form for the first time in 1999.
The school gained academy status on 1 June 2011.
- Mr W.T. Hutchins - 1927–1959
- Mr J. Hitchin - 1959 - 1975
- Mr R.S. Harrison - 1975–1990
- J.M. Haworth - 1990–2009 (early retirement 2009)
- Peter Smart - Acting 2009–2010; permanent 2010–2013
- Mr Wilden - 2013-
On entry to the school, pupils are placed into one of six Houses, which compete against each other in sports and other activities. The Houses each have a local historical association, and assigned colours:
Ruskin: Yellow and black (named after John Ruskin, the poet)
Woodcote: Green and black (a part of Wallington noted in Roman area records)
Radcliffe: Navy and sky blue (named after John Radcliffe, the 17th century physician, and sometime area resident)
Mandeville: Maroon and white (named after Sir Geoffrey de Mandeville, resident and landholder after the Norman Conquest and mentioned in the Domesday book)
Bridges: Blue and White (named after sometime area resident, Canon Alexander Henry Bridges, Rector of Beddington)
Carew: Blue and red. (a reference to a family of nobility resident in the area in Tudor times, the Carews)
The House system is run by House Masters - teachers who direct the Houses, and House captains - senior students responsible for day-to-day House activities.
Wallington County Grammar School is a good school which seeks to be an outstanding one. Students enter the school with very high levels of attainment. As the most recent Ofsted report noted, "students gain GCSE results which are consistently well above national averages.". Progress and attainment in the Sixth Form are both outstanding. The 2012 Ofsted reports that Achievement of pupils, Behaviour and safety of pupils and Leadership and management are outstanding, while Quality of teaching is Good.
Extracurricular activities offered by the school include Debating, Public Speaking, Chess, Christian Union, Football, Islamic Society, Art, Drama, Music, trips abroad, Cricket, Field hockey, Athletics, Cross-country running and Rugby union. As part of the school's drive to create more societies, newer clubs such as the Puzzle Club and a Film Club have also been founded.
On 17 March 2006, a Charity Bands Concert was held at the school to raise money for Madidima Primary School in South Africa. Seven bands formed by the school pupils performed to an audience in the school hall and a total of £545 was raised through ticket and refreshment sales.
The school has regular trips abroad, which have included cultural tours to China and Russia; geography expeditions to Iceland and a cruise around the Red Sea. It is customary that at least two or three members of school staff lead the trips, as well as prefects or other senior members of staff.
Another fundraising concert, known as the Battle of the Bands, was held on 20 October 2006 in order to help fund the school's new sports hall. On this occasion, the event was competitive, and the winner was to be decided by a panel of judges. The winners, Dazed, also gave an acoustic performance after the concert in memory of Jimmy Li, a pupil of the school who had died in a car crash in January 2006. In total, more than £1000 was raised. The event, which is open to entries from the entire student body, has become a recurring annual event and a popular item in the school's calendar. The school plans to host future RAG (Raising And Giving) events to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.
In 1999, the 1st XV Rugby team won the final of the Daily Mail U18 Vase in a match played at Twickenham Stadium. The match against Lymm High School ended 16-9 in Wallington's favour.
Notable former pupils and staff
- Chris Bates, BBC Television Show 'The Apprentice', runner up who came 2nd in 2010.
- Paul Deighton, Investment Banker and chief executive of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
- John Marco Allegro, biblical scholar and BBC broadcaster.
- Philip Yea, businessman, Director of Vodafone group plc., Chairman of the British Heart Foundation and Senior Business Adviser to Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- Douglas Allen, Baron Croham, former Head of the British Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Department, and President of the Institute for Fiscal Studies from 1979-92.
- Prof Harold Barlow, Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCL from 1950–67
- Steve Brown, Professional darts player.
- Angus Calder, Historian, writer and poet.
- Timothy Chambers OBE FRCP JP physician; High Sheriff 2009-10 and Vice Lord-Lieutenant 2012- of the County and City of Bristol; Master Apothecary 2011-12.
- Ryan Cummins, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire cricketer.
- Peter Loader, Surrey and England cricketer, last English bowler before Dominic Cork to take a test hat-trick on home soil, against the West Indies in 1957.
- Arnold Long, Surrey and Sussex cricketer.
- Nick Ross, television personality and ex-presenter of Crimewatch.
- Malcolm Savidge, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen North 1997 to 2005.
- M. J. Seaton FRS, mathematician, atomic physicist and astronomer, Professor of Physics UCL 1963-88 (Emeritus 1988-2007) and President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1979-81.
- Rear-Adm Philip Wilcocks CB.
- Chris Woodhead, formerly HM Chief Inspector of Schools.
- Adrian Simpson, presenter
- David Bond, BBCs Sports Editor