Wallington County Grammar School


Wallington County Grammar School

Infobox UK school
name = Wallington County Grammar School


latitude = 51.369
longitude = -0.149
phone = 020 8647 2235
fax = 020 8254 7921
established = 1927
type = Grammar
head = Dr J.M. Haworth
street = Croydon Road
city = Wallington
county = Surrey
country = England
enrollment = c.880
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
website = http://www.wcgs.org.uk/

Wallington County Grammar School is a state funded grammar school located in the London Borough of Sutton. As of May 2006, it had approximately 880 pupils. Places at the school are usually oversubscribed, and entrance is via competitive exam.

General Information

Wallington County Grammar School (W.C.G.S.) is a boys' grammar school (with girls admitted in 6th form) located in Wallington, Surrey. Old boys (and girls) of the school are referred to as "Old Walcountians".

The current headmaster is Dr JM Haworth, his PhD earned in theology.

Structure, Prefecting and Hierarchy

Despite the fact that it is entirely state funded, the school is similar to many independent schools in terms of its internal structure. In particular, WCGS employs a prefect system to keep order among younger boys. Prefects are of two ranks: junior and senior, demarcated by responsibility level. The Captain and Vice-Captain of School are both senior prefects and take responsibility for various scheduling and ceremonial duties. One of the senior prefects is appointed "Keeper of the Records" and he or she is responsible for the maintenance of the school's inter-house trophies and flags, which are displayed in the school's Hall. The current Captain of School is Eliot Henderson, the Vice-Captain is Thomas Newman.

Like many independent schools, WCGS maintains an active house system. The houses organize their own prefecting structure with most senior prefects receiving courtesy rank in their respective house. These individuals may style themselves 'House Prefect', while 'House Captains'---head prefects for the houses---are almost always senior prefects too.

Captains of the school's highest level sports teams (e.g. rugby 1st XV , cricket 1st XI, chess 1st VI) are styled 'Captain of Rugby', 'Captain of Cricket' etc. To varying degrees, these officers are involved in organizing, coaching and selecting the teams they lead. By convention, sports captains hold senior prefect rank.

Uniform

Boys wear a school uniform which consists of a navy blazer bearing the school's crest, white button shirt, black or charcoal trousers, black shoes and school tie. Members of the sixth form are permitted to wear plain shirts of any colour. The school crest is a single shield with yellow and blue squares, the school tie has a black base with yellow and blue stripes. Depending on the boy's accumulated honours, the tie he is eligible to wear varies. Examples include the '100 Tie' and the 'Arts Tie.' The 100 tie is awarded after the 100th time a pupil represents the school at sports, while the 'Arts Tie' is awarded if a pupil performs well in a school play or for sustained contribution to the school's musical societies. "House Ties" are also awarded, in the respective colours of the house, by the housemasters for achievement in house competitions. A recently introduced sixth form tie is also available to members of the senior school. Prefects wear various badges of office on their left blazer lapel.

House System

Pupils are separated into Houses, that compete against each other in sports and other activities. The houses each have a unique name, with some 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 prefects, senior boys responsible for day-to-day House activities.

History

The school opened on the 19 September 1927, with the original site located in Queen's Road, Wallington, about half a mile from the present site. 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. The school moved to its present site in Croydon Road in 1935. During the Second World War, the school was damaged by a V1 flying 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. 54 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 Head of Science, History and English office.

The Sixth Form block, located near the school playing fields, was completed in 1973, and now contains History, Economics and Physical Education classrooms; as well as the school library, Sixth Form Common Room and Head of Sixth Form and Sports 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 newest addition to the site 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, including ICT. This meant extra funding for the school, which helped to further improve the standard of the school's science department.

The school is also planning to build a new sports hall, in place of the current one which has been deemed to be insufficient by the OFSTED inspections since the 1940s. Is is planned to be completed by January 2009. The development will cost £1.34 million, of which £785 000 will be funded by the local LEA and the remainder is to be funded by the school's and PTFA's own fundraising efforts. Planning permission for the project is currently pending.

Headmasters

Mr W.T. Hutchins - 1927 - 1959

Mr Hitchin - 1959 - 1975

Mr R.S. Harrison - 1975 - 1990 (murdered shortly after retirement)

Dr J.M. Haworth - 1990 - Present

Extracurricular activities

Debating, Public Speaking, Chess, Karate, Christian Union, Islamic Society, Art, Drama, Music, Trips Abroad, Cricket, Field hockey, Athletics and Rugby union. As part of the school's drive to create more societies, newer clubs have been founded, such as the Puzzle Club and an International Movies Club. A Warhammer club was also set up in the school in 1998. Recently, a school soccer team has been founded as a result of requests by students.

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, but there was no competition between them.In total, £545 was raised by ticket and refreshment sales.

The school's regular trips abroad are usually available to most year groups. Some of the wide and varying locations of the trips include 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 upcoming 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.

Sporting achievements

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.

Pupils and Staff of Note

* Douglas Allen, Baron Croham, former Head of the British Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Department.
*Ray Baker, Surrey cricketer
*Nick Ross, television personality and presenter of Crimewatch.
*M. J. Seaton, mathematician, atomic physicist and astronomer.
*Chris Woodhead, formerly HM Chief Inspector of Schools
*Paul Deighton, Investment Banker and CEO, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
*Philip Yea. CEO of 3i
*Steve Brown, Professional darts player
*Malcolm Savidge, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen North 1997 to 2005.
*Arnold Long, Surrey and Sussex cricketer.


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