Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham


Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham

Infobox UK school
name = Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School


size =
latitude =
longitude =
dms = dms
motto = Quality with Excellence
motto_pl =
established = 1576 [cite web| title= Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School's Website | url=http://www.qegs.org.uk/index.php?section=2]
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Grammar School
religion =
president =
head_label =
head = Mr. David Anderson
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label =
chair =
founder =
founder_pl =
specialist = Mathematics, Computing [cite web| title= Ofsted Page | url=http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports/index.cfm?fuseaction=summary&id=118921]
specialist_pl =
street = Abbey Street
city = Faversham
county = Kent
country = England
postcode = ME13 7BQ
LEA = Kent
ofsted = 118921
staff =
enrollment = 852
gender = Mixed
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses =
colours =
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website = http://www.qegs.org.uk/index.php?section=1
website_name = Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School is a selective co-educational grammar school in Faversham, Kent, England. It was formed in 1967, when the Faversham Grammar School for Boys, the William Gibbs School for Girls and the Wreights School merged and moved into new accommodation opposite. The school is attended by approximately 850 students, who come from Faversham and the nearby towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay. The school is a Mathematics and Computing Specialist School, a title gained in 2005. The current headteacher is Mr. Anderson, who took over from Mrs. Jane Percy in 2007. At the end of Summer term 2007, Chris Care, a geography teacher for many years at the school replaced Ms. Fullager as deputy headteacher.

History of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School

Foundation

Faversham Grammar School was founded in 1527 by John Cole, who endowed it with property of which he made Faversham Abbey trustee. The property was confiscated by Henry VIII when he dissolved the abbey in 1538, and the school had to close. In 1576 the borough council successfully petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for return of the endowment, and the school re-opened. However, the school it had no permanent premises of its own till 1587 when, as a result of community effort, the purpose-built premises were erected on the western edge of the Shooting Meadows, where archery was then practiced and where the school’s modern-day successor has its buildings and playing fields. The new premises of 1587 were timber-framed, and 60 tons of oak were needed for the frame, which (as usual with this type of building) was first ‘test-assembled’ off-site.

The Elizabethan building remained in use as a school till 1879, when much larger premises (since demolished) were erected in St Ann’s Road. For a few years it was used as dwellings, and its condition began to deteriorate. Fortunately, however, the town’s Masonic Lodge of Harmony was seeking a permanent home of its own, and in 1887 was able to buy it and save it from gradual decay. Conversion and restoration were sensitively undertaken by Benjamin Adkins, an architect who was also a Lodge member. The first-floor schoolroom was altered as little as possible, and extra accommodation was provided by ‘under-building’ where the covered playground had been at ground-floor level. The Grammar School was funded in 1527 by the Abbey. It was founded in 1147 by King Stephen and his Queen, Matilda. The site was just to the north east of the town, where the northern playing fields of the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School is now situated.

The aim of Stephen and Matilda was to found a royal mausoleum for the House of Blois. They hoped, at that time, that the House of Blois would be victorious and rule over England for generations to come.The Abbey was dissolved in 1538 and subsequently most of it demolished as part of King Henry VIII’s plans to sweep the monasteries from England. Much of the building material was removed by military engineers and transported by sea to France, where it was used to strengthen the fortifications of the towns in the Pale of Calais, which at the time was England's continental bridgehead. Faversham Abbey in 1735, showing the Inner Gateway, demolished in 1771, the Guest House, now Arden's House and the Outer Gateway, demolished in 1772. Some of the domestic buildings remained in 1671, but not long afterwards the final traces were removed and the exact site of the once famous church sank into oblivion and was lost.

Excavations of the site have revealed that the church had a total length of about 370 feet; the long nave was flanked by north and south aisles in the usual manner and gave a total width of nearly 80 feet.The nave joined the large transept under a massive central tower, the foundation sockets of which took the form of large rectangular pits. From here the chalk foundations of the choir, still with aisles to north and south, ran eastwards to end in a large apse. This was flanked by two smaller apsidal foundations which terminate in aisles. Four more small apses existed on the transept arms. Among the few surviving buildings of Faversham Abbey are the two Barns at Abbey Farm. The smaller (Minor) Barn dates from 1425 and the larger (Major) Barn dates from 1476. In the farmyard of which they form part there are other listed buildings, including Abbey Farmhouse, part of which dates from the 14th century, and a small building which is thought to have been the Abbot’s stable. Also surviving is the Abbey Guest House, on the east side of the Outer Gateway of the Abbey; now known as Arden's House. Arden's House, now a private residence in Abbey Street, was the location of the infamous murder of Thomas Arden in 1551.

King Stephen in 1154, his wife Matilda in 1152 and son Eustace in 1153, were all buried in the Abbey; two deep pits close to the very centre of the choir were probably the royal tombs. The Abbey Church was excavated in 1964 and the empty graves of King Stephen, his wife and son were found. Their bones are said to have been thrown into Faversham Creek when the building was dismantled. However in the Parish Church is a canopy tomb with no contemporary inscription where is said that their bones were re-interred.

Recent History of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School

The school had a successful Ofsted in May 2006. As a Maths and Computing Specialist school it has strong links with the Abbey school and nearby Primaries.

The school is the holder of district cups in athletics and football and enjoys a wide sporting programme.Individual pupils have gained success at national level in a variety of fields both sporting and otherwise.

6th formers visted Cuba in the summer of 2008 to take part in conservation work with turtles and the school continues to have an active extra curricular programme.

References


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