King Henry VIII School Abergavenny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

King Henry VIII School
Ut Prosim logo, KHS Abergavenny.jpeg
MottoRespecting tradition, embracing the future Welsh: Parchu traddodiad, cynnwys y dyfodol (Previously: Ut Prosim
Latin: That I might be of service)
Established1542
TypeState school
Head TeacherNicholas Oaten
LocationOld Hereford Road
Abergavenny
Monmouthshire
NP7 6EP
WalesWales
Local authorityMonmouthshire County Council
Students1200
GenderCoeducational
Ages11–18
HousesAragon, Howard, Parr, Seymour
ColoursBlack and yellow
Websitewww.kinghenryviiischool.org.uk
 
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 51°49′53″N 3°01′02″W / 51.8313°N 3.0173°W / 51.8313; -3.0173

King Henry VIII School
Ut Prosim logo, KHS Abergavenny.jpeg
MottoRespecting tradition, embracing the future Welsh: Parchu traddodiad, cynnwys y dyfodol (Previously: Ut Prosim
Latin: That I might be of service)
Established1542
TypeState school
Head TeacherNicholas Oaten
LocationOld Hereford Road
Abergavenny
Monmouthshire
NP7 6EP
WalesWales
Local authorityMonmouthshire County Council
Students1200
GenderCoeducational
Ages11–18
HousesAragon, Howard, Parr, Seymour
ColoursBlack and yellow
Websitewww.kinghenryviiischool.org.uk

King Henry VIII School Abergavenny (Welsh: Ysgol y Brenin Harri VIII) is an English-language comprehensive school situated in the town of Abergavenny, in the county of Monmouthshire, Wales.

History[edit]

Founding 1542–1664[edit]

Following the Reformation of the 1530s, the Letters Patent setting up the school were issued on July 24, 1542. By these, tithes assigned to local churches at Llanfihangel Crucorney, Llanddewi Rhydderch, Llanelen, Llanddewi Skirrid, Bryngwyn and Llanwenarth and belonging previously to the Benedictine priory were now given over to the new school. In addition a much richer prize, the tithes of Badgeworth in Gloucestershire which had previously belonged to Usk priory were now given ober to Abergavenny's use. Finally the priory chapel of St. Mary's was to become the new parish church of Abergavenny and so the redundant church of St. John's could be used to house the new school.[1]

The monies available from these tithes were to be put into trust controlled by "the bailliffs and commonality", the forerunners of the Town Council. It was to provide a Free Grammar School where Latin grammar was taught. The new grammar school was named after its benefactor Henry VIII who also appointed its first headmaster, Richard Oldsworthy. The school when it opened had 26 pupils, all boys aged between 7 and 14.[1]

The connection with Jesus College, Oxford 1664–1887[edit]

The first century of the school's life was uneventful and change only came as a result of financial of the financial mismanagement of the local trustees who had leased out the Badgeworth lands for an undervalued rent: when the 99 year lease came to an end in 1664 it passed to Jesus College, Oxford, who in return provided not only an equal rent but a Fellowship and Scholarship to the college. This began the close connection between the school and the college which not only provided a home for many of its ablest pupils, but also provided the school with its headmasters.[1]

An Act of Parliament in 1760 reorganised the school's governance. Henceforth Jesus College, which had finally gained control of the Gloucester tithes, was responsible for paying the headmaster and his assistant. The Act did have some effect as the old school building was pulled down and replaced on site with the religious tower and fine Georgian master's house which still stands today. By the time of the headmastership of the Reverend William Morgan (1765–75) the school was flourishing with some 70-80 boys.[1]

Change began in the 1870s. The Headmaster, James Webber, reorganised the curriculum, teaching classics, maths, drawing, French, writing, divinity and arithmetic. He built two new classrooms within the confines of St. John's. By 1878, 73 pupils were being taught by 3 masters. By 1887 the charity commissioners had prepared a scheme to create a second grade commercial schoo, on a new site, and it was this proposition that resulted in the severing of the centuries old links between the school and Jesus College.[1]

A century of reorganisation 1891–1972[edit]

The first attempt at reorganisation was the 1891 scheme which proposed the creation of a 200 pupil school on a 9 acre site on Pen-y-pound. Building of the school was delayed by many problems and was not completed until 1898 at a cost of £6,945. The school at this time was supposed to be a grammar school taking pupils from all over North Monmouthshire with a curriculum of Latin, English, History, Geography, French, Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry and Chemistry.[1]

In the 1920s there was new building with three classrooms, a gym and a library. The Old Boys' Association was founded at a meeting on 7 November 1923 and was soon thriving, with branches of the Abergavenny Society in both London and Aberystwyth. By 1930 the school had 150 pupils. The new sciences of Physics and Biology were introduced in the period and the increased importance of metalwork and woodwork led to the building of a handicrafts room.[1]

Following Butler's Education Act of 1944, Monmouthshire County Council put forward three options for Abergavenny: boys and girls grammar schools and a secondary modern school; a co-educational grammar school and a secondary modern school or a multilateral school. All three options were to be tried over the next 25 years.[1]

Harry Newcombe retired as headmaster in 1954. He had managed to gain the school a good reputation as a classical grammar school. The Local Education Authority issued a Statutory Notice on 21 September 1954 to set up a multilateral school of 850, the first stage of which would be the amalgamation of the Boys' and Girls' Grammar Schools. Between 1954 and 1956 plans were laid by the authority for an enlarged mixed grammar school and finally provided for a school of 510 pupils with a 60 pupil sixth form.[1]

The new school on the Old Hereford Road site was to be the first phase of the multilateral school, the present Upper school. It was to have an assembly hall, a gym and three floors of classrooms and practical rooms. Building was only begun in 1960 and so the school was not opened until 1963. It was to be made up of a total of 448 pupils from King Henry VIII Boys Grammar School, the Girls' Intermediate High School, St. John's Private school an the Convent school.[1]

The transition from mixed grammar to comprehensive school was carried out under the headmaster, Russell Edwards. This involved the building of a new school adjoining the grammar school on the Pen-y-pound site. It also involved the incorporation of Grofield Secondary Modern School which had been established in 1947. Until the new building was completed in 1972 this required the juggling of both staff and pupils between the different sites. The new comprehensive kept the name of its predecessor. The old grammar school became the Upper School while the new building became the Lower School.[1]

Recent History 1972–[edit]

The school with a planned population of 850 pupils when conceived in the 1940s had a peak population of 1825 pupils in 1983. In 1983 as part of the International Year of Communications the school participated in a satellite quiz with Parramatta High School in New South Wales, Australia, which was celebrating its 70th anniversary.[2] The school saw a sharp decline in numbers over the course of the 1980s, with 1200 pupils in 1990. Pupil numbers have remained broadly consistent over the following two decades.[1]

School Houses[edit]

The school originally had two houses Oppidan and Rustican, from the Latin for Town and Country. As the school grew, a new house structure was created based on four of Henry VIII's wives: Aragon (Catherine of Aragon), Howard (Catherine Howard), Parr (Catherine Parr) and Seymour (Jane Seymour). These houses continue to compete at the annual Eisteddfodau and at sporting occasions.

Head Masters of King Henry VIII School[edit]

The known headmasters at the school since its founding are as follows:[1]

Welsh Government School Banding[edit]

In 2011, the school was placed in Band 3, with a score of 28 assessed on its performance in the academic year 2010-11.

This compares favourably with the other secondary schools in Monmouthshire:

Chepstow - 28 (Band 3) Monmouth - 29.5 (Band 3) Caldicot - 38.5 (Band 5)

The nearby Crickhowell High School in Powys was also placed in Band 3 with a score of 28.[3]

When the 2012 assessment was released on December 18, this had fallen to Band 5, with a score of 39.5. The year's figures brought the Government's banding system under severe criticism from teaching unions and opposition political parties. The results were described as being based on "arbitrary and misleading" figures and "not credible", "crude" and "vague and confusing".[4]

The other schools in the area scored as follows:

Monmouth - 26 (Band 3) Caldicot - 29 (Band 3) Chepstow - 31.5 (Band 4)

Crickhowell High School - 14 (Band 1)[5]

Motto[edit]

The school is associated with two separate mottos. For many centuries the school's motto had been 'that we shall be of service' (Latin: Ut Prosim), but it was decided that, for the sake of change, a new motto should be created, and it is now "Respecting tradition, embracing the future".

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • Nelmes, G.V.. "A Brief History". A Pictorial History of King Henry VIII School –. ISBN 0 9514238 5 1.