Bishopshalt School is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status based in the London Borough of Hillingdon. It has specialisms in music and the performing arts.
The current building within which the school is housed was built in 1858. The school dates back to 1907, when it was first established as Uxbridge County School in the Greenway.<ref name="Pearce 89">Pearce 2007, p.89</ref> It was designed by the architect H. G. Crothall for the Middlesex Education Committee. The Middlesex Education Committee purchased the present site for £6900 in 1925 and in 1928 the school moved there.<ref name="Pearce 89"/> The original buildings in the Greenway became part of Uxbridge High School. On 6 October the school was officially opened by Sir John Reith, the Director-General of the BBC.
Walter Wilks Sawtell was headmaster of the school from its founding in 1907 until 1929. He remained in the position to oversee the move of the school, before resigning to become rector of Madehurst in Sussex. The school name was changed to Bishophalt School in 1930 to acknowledge it was no longer in Uxbridge. It is derived from the history of the site as for 500 years, the Bishops of Worcester rested at the grounds of the school on their journeys to and from London.
A Cierva C.19 Mk.3 Autogiro landed on the school field in July 1931, piloted by Cierva Autogiro Company, Ltd., Flying Manager Reginald A.C. Brie, a former pupil of the school. During the Second World War, the school was used for rallies and inspections of the local Girls' Training Corps. Randall's of Uxbridge, a local family-owned department store, donated three oak chairs to the school in October 1949. In 1969, the school's air raid shelters were removed and replaced by a car park. The shelters had been built in 1939 but remained because of the threat of the Cold War.
The London Borough of Hillingdon held council meetings in the school hall while the Civic Centre in Uxbridge was under construction. In 1977 the school changed from a grammar school to a comprehensive.<ref name="Pearce 119">Pearce 2007, p.119</ref>
An episode of Jeeves and Wooster starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry was filmed in the school grounds. The school has also been used as a filming location, for the film adaptation of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, directed by Gurinder Chadha, and the BBC comedy Big School.
The current Headmaster is Mr Kimberly Rowe started in September 2011. The former Headmaster Mr David Bocock, started in 2004;,<ref name="Pearce 120">Pearce 2007, p.120</ref> he was a previous deputy head. He succeeded Vince Hodkinson as Headmaster, who became Headmaster in 1996. The Headmaster prior to Vince Hodkinson was Dr Leslie Bather, from 1970-1996.<ref name="Pearce 120"/>
Bishopshalt School specialises in music and the performing arts. It has its own large playing fields and an ornamental garden specifically for the 6th form students. Bishopshalt has six 'houses', five named after bishops that rested at the old mansion: Cranmer, De Salis, Evesham, Manor, Stanley and Worcester. The school motto is Fidelis, meaning Faithful.
De Salis house was named after Bishop De Salis, one of whose elder brothers, Cecil Fane de Salis, was a benefactor of the school and last owner of the nearby Dawley Court, Goulds Green.
Bishopshalt School runs a dramatic society named Bishopshalt Operatic and Dramatic Society, known as BODS. The company is open to students at the school from the tenth to the thirteenth academic year. They perform annually during December. The latest BODS show was- 'We Will Rock You.' The Junior BODS (for years 7,8 and 9) are performed in June/July every year. The latest Junior BODS show was- Aladdin.
It gets the third highest A level results in Hillingdon and above average results at GCSE. Bishopshalt also recently won the Hillingdon Maths challenge for Year 7. They have a successful netball and football team as well.
Notable former pupils
- Claire Richards, singer (played role of Maria in school adaptation of The Sound of Music in 1992)<ref name="Pearce 119"/>
- Neil Shipperley, footballer
- Warren Goodhind, footballer
Bishopshalt Grammar School
- Jorge Mendonca DSO, Colonel, British Army; former Commanding Officer, Queens Lancashire Regiment
- Carla Mendonca, actress; also sister of Col Jorge Mendonca DSO
- Colin Brake, screenwriter and author
- Brian (Dolphin) Taylor, drummer, Stiff Little Fingers and Tom Robinson Band
- Leslie Clifford Bateman CMG, Malaysian politician
- Prof Vernon Bogdanor CBE, Professor of Government at the University of Oxford
- Keith Eaton, Chief Executive of the Institution of Structural Engineers since 1999
- John Taylor Hughes, Anglican Suffragan bishop of Croydon 1956-1977 and to the Forces 1966-1975.
- Oswald Morris, cinematographer
- Bernard Miles, character actor, writer and director
- Alan O'Neill, Managing Director of Eastman Kodak UK from 1998–2001
- Mel Read, Labour MEP for the East Midlands from 1999–2004
- Nick Simper, Deep Purple bass guitarist
- Prof Colin Tapper, Professor of Law at the University of Oxford from 1992–2002
- Keith Thompson, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University from 1992-5, Editor of Journal of Education for Teaching from 1968–74, and Principal of Madeley College of Education from 1972-8
- Prof Robert (Bob) Vaughan FRS, Professor of Pure Mathematics at Imperial College London from 1980–1998 and at Penn State University from 1999. EPSRC Senior Fellow 1991-1996.
- John Arthur Watts, Conservative MP for Slough from 1983–97, and Leader of Hillingdon Borough Council from 1978–84
- Leonard Wood, Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry from 1973–80 and EMI executive
- Prof. David G. Marsh Dept. Clinical Immunology Johns Hopkins University U.S.A.
Michael Hornby. FMCS. Bs. Professor of mechanical studies university college of London.
- Pearce, Ken. (2007) Hillingdon Village. Stroud: Sutton Publishing ISBN 978-0-7509-4675-9