- St Paul's School (London)
Infobox UK school
name = St Paul's School
size = 160px
latitude = 51.4874
longitude = -0.2383
motto = "Fide Et Literis"
Latin: "By Faith and By Learning")
head_label = High Master
head = Dr
George Martin Stephen
chair_label = Chairman of the Governors
chair = Sir Alexander Graham GBE DCL
street = Lonsdale Road
city = Barnes
country = ENG
postcode = SW13 9JT
Richmond upon Thames
staff = c.110
enrollment = c.800
gender = Boys
lower_age = 13
upper_age = 18
houses = A – H
colours = Black and White
color box|Black color box|White
free_label_1 = Former pupils
free_1 = Old Paulines
website = http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/
website_name = stpaulsschool.org.uk
St Paul's School is a boys'
independent school, founded in 1509by John Colet. It was one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, originally located in the City of London. Since 1881 St Paul's has had its own preparatory school, Colet Court, and from 1887, under the direction of a new High Master, it expanded rapidly.
It is now located on a large site in the
London suburbof Barnes and is one of the top academic schools in the country, as measured by its position in the national league tables of GCSEand A levelperformance, as well as being among the top schools with respect to the arts and sport. cite web|url=http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/page.aspx?id=8286#_Toc26259462 |title=St Paul's School OFSTED Inspection Report, Educational Standards Achieved by Pupils at the School |accessdate=2008-04-27 |date=2001-10 ] There are currently plans to rebuild and expand the school, as the current buildings have reached the end of their lifespan.
According to the "
Good Schools Guide", it "Remains one of the top two or three London boys' schools". [http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/school/st-pauls-school.html]
St Paul's School originally takes its name from
St Paul's Cathedralin London. A cathedral school had existed since around 1103. By the sixteenth century however, it had declined, and in 1509, a new school was founded by John Colet, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, on a plot of land to the north of the Cathedral.
The eldest son of Sir Henry Colet, a member of the
Mercers' Companyand twice Lord Mayor of the City of London, he inherited a substantial fortune and used a great part of it for the endowment of his school, having no family of his own; his 21 siblings all died in childhood and he was a celibate priest. He described himself in the statutes of the school as "desyring nothing more thanne Educacion and bringing upp chyldren in good Maners and litterature." cite web|url=http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/page.aspx?id=8363 |title=STATUTA PAULINÆ SCHOLÆ |accessdate=2008-04-27 ]
Originally, the school provided education for 153 children of "all nacions " [sic] " and countries indifferently", primarily in literature and etiquette. The number 153 has long been associated with the miracle of the draught of fishes recorded in St John's Gospel, and for several generations Foundation Scholars have been given the option of wearing an emblem of a silver fish. St Paul's was the largest school in England at its foundation, and its High Master had a salary of 13 shillings and sixpence weekly, which was double that of the contemporary Head Master of
Eton College. The scholars were not required to make any payment, although they were required to be literate and had to pay for their own wax candles, which at that time were an expensive commodity.
Colet was an outspoken critic of the powerful and worldly Church of his day, a friend of
Erasmusand Sir Thomas More. Erasmus wrote textbooks for the school and St Paul's was the first English school to teach Greek, reflecting the humanist interests of the founder. Colet distrusted the Church as a managing body for his school, declaring that he "found the least corruption" in married laymen. For this reason, Colet assigned the management of the School and its revenues to the Mercers' Company, the premier livery company in the City of London, with which his father had been associated. In 1876 the company were legally established as trustees of the Colet estate and the management of the school was assigned to a Board of Governors consisting of the Master, Wardens and nine members of the company, together with three representatives each of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. The Mercers' Company still forms the major part of the School's governing body, and it continues to administer Colet's trust.
One of St Paul's early headmasters was
Richard Mulcaster, famous for writing two influential treatises on education (Positions, in 1581, cite web|url=http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~wbarker/positions-txt.html |title=Positions wherein... |accessdate=2008-04-27 |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20060927134327/http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~wbarker/positions-txt.html |archivedate=2006-09-27 ] and Elementarie in 1582). His description in Positions of "footeball" as a refereed team sport is the earliest reference to organised modern football. For this description and his enthusiasm for the sport he is considered the father of modern football.
Between 1861 and 1864, the
Clarendon Commission(a Royal Commission) investigated the public school system in England and its report formed the basis of the Public Schools Act 1868. St Paul's was one of only nine schools considered by the Clarendon Commission, and one of only two schools which was not predominantly attended by boarders (the other day school was Merchant Taylors').
Charles Dickens, Jr, writing in 1879 [ Charles Dickens, Jr, "Dickens's Dictionary of London" (1879)]
Between 1886 and 1895, St Paul's boys won 173 entrance awards at Oxford and Cambridge, which was 26 more than any other school. Over many years its record of Open Awards at Oxford and Cambridge in all subjects has been equal, or superior, to that of any other school of comparable size.
chool coat of arms
Like many ancient educational foundations, St Paul's School traditionally used the arms of its founder,
John Colet. His arms were "Sable on a chevron Argent between three Hinds trippant Argent three Annulets Sable", and they were originally used by his great-grandfather, Richard Colet. As Dean of St Paul's, he was entitled to impale them with the arms of the Deanery, and the school has often used them in this form also. In 2002, the school obtained its own grant of arms from the College of Armsconsisting of the arms of Dean Colet surrounded by a gold bordure, upon which the crossed swords of the Dean of St Paul's are repeated.
Apposition has been held annually at St Paul's since it was founded in 1509 and was originally a way of allowing the Mercers Company to assess teaching staff and the High Master, with the option of dismissing or reappointing them.
Consequences of apposition have led to the dismissal of previous High Masters including Thomas Freeman, for lack of learning (although more probably for holding the incorrect religious views) in 1559. In 1748, High Master Charles was removed as he had allegedly threatened to "pull the Surmaster by the nose and kick him about the school."
Today, the ceremony takes place in May and is purely ceremonial, incorporating prize giving for boys in the final two years. Junior Prize Giving now also takes place which sees prizes being given to younger boys in the school; this was first held in
The original school, which stood in St Paul's Churchyard, was destroyed with the Cathedral in the
Great Fire of Londonin 1666. [ cite web|url=http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/greatfire.htm |title=The Great Fire of London, 1666 |accessdate=2008-04-27 |last=Jokinen |first=Anniina |date=2001-10-26 |publisher=Luminarium ] The school was twice rebuilt, first in 1670, and again in Cheapside in 1822; but towards the end of the 19th century, as London expanded and residents moved away from the City of London and its environs, it was decided that the school should move to larger premises.
In 1884 a new building designed by the architect
Alfred Waterhouserose to dominate the countryside of Hammersmith. The terracotta for the Hammersmith school was made by the famous Gibbs and Canning Limited of Tamworth. At this time the street numbering was changed locally and so the school address, whether by accident or design, became 153 Hammersmith Road. The preparatory school, Colet Court, was soon afterwards housed in new premises in a similar style on the opposite side of the road.
In September 1939 the school was evacuated to Easthampstead Park, near Crowthorne in Berkshire, where, under the then High Master, W. F. Oakeshott, it became solely a boarding school for the period of the war. Playing fields and some other facilities were borrowed from nearby
Wellington College, but the boys and the teachers from the two schools remained entirely separate.
In the meantime, the London buildings became the headquarters of XXI Army Group under the command of General, later Field-Marshal,
Bernard Montgomery, himself an Old Pauline. There the military side of the invasion of Europe was planned, including the D-Daylandings. [ cite web|url=http://www.oldpaulinelodge.org.uk/School.htm |title= A brief history of the St.Paul's School |accessdate=2008-04-27 |last=Mead |first=Hugh |date=2006-05-04 ] The map that he used is still present in the modern day site of the school in the Montgomery Room. The school recovered its buildings in September 1945, and resumed life essentially as a day school, although it retains a small number of boarders to this day.
By 1961 it had become evident that the old school buildings were unsuited to modern educational needs. By good fortune, the opportunity then came to rebuild the School on a 45 acre (182,000 m²) riverside site at Barnes, adjacent to
Hammersmith Bridge. This land had previously been the site of reservoirs which were filled in, reputedly with earth excavated during the construction of the Victoria Line. The sports pitches took a long time to settle, and competitive matches were not played regularly at the Barnes site until summer 1979.
The present and fifth School buildings were opened in September 1968. The new site also includes St Paul's Preparatory School, or Colet Court, whose pupils account for roughly one half of the senior school's intake each year. The Waterhouse building on Hammersmith Road was demolished amid protests to allow building of flats, apart from the gates and the peripheral walls, the High Master's House, and a toolhut, though the Colet Court building also survives.
The 1968 buildings include a 25m swimming pool and dining hall shared with Colet Court. Extensive sports facilities notably included a
fencingsalle, five fivescourts and three squash courts. The location next to the River Thamesmeant that a rowing boathouse was included in the plans, which itself included both an indoor training tank and housing to accommodate a boatman, whose primary job was to build and maintain the boats. A striking and deliberate omission from the new buildings was any provision for a school hall capable of holding all masters and boys simultaneously, and although the main sports hall is large enough to accommodate the entire school, the difficulty in setting up enough chairs means that the hall is used to house the entire school only twice per year. There were originally two boarding houses in the 1968 buildings (School House and High House) accommodating up to 120 boarders, but the number of boarders has steadily declined since then and is now only 20. One of the boarding houses has been demolished to make way for a new music building, which houses the Wathen Hall. The only building which remained from the previous Water Board landowners became the music department for Colet Court.
The original buildings were built using a modular system of interlocking concrete slabs. This allowed for relatively quick and cheap construction, and allowed for the fact that much of the site was formed from reservoir land which was still settling. The whole complex is now in need of replacement; the only existing buildings likely to remain are the Music school, incorporating the Wathen Hall from 1999 and the Rackets Court.
By the end of the nineteenth century the funds of the Dean Colet Foundation had increased to such an extent that the Trustees decided to build a school for girls, and in 1904,
St Paul's Girls' Schoolwas opened in Brook Green, Hammersmith, just around the corner from the then site of the boys' school in Hammersmith Road. Unlike the boys', the girls' school remains in its original position, although it has expanded and constructed new buildings and facilities alongside the old. During the past 100 years the School has earned a reputation which today places it foremost among girls' schools in the country. In 1881, a boys' preparatory school was founded which later became Colet Court. Colet Court is now on the same site as the main school and most of its pupils are expected to pass into St Paul's School when they reach the age of 13. It thus serves as a junior school for the main establishment.
The boys' school numbered 846 boys in 2005, the 496th year of its foundation. Approaching its 500th anniversary an ambitious total rebuilding of the school at its present site is planned, to be completed over a 25 year period. The current High Master,
George Martin Stephen, announced an aspiration for the school to be needs-blind within 25 years – £250 million will need to be raised to accomplish this.
The school day lasts from 8.35a.m. to 4.15p.m. and consists of 8 periods, including a one and three-quarter hour lunch break during which pupils are encouraged to participate in sporting or extracurricular activities such as music, debating or computing. Pupils of all ages are not allowed to leave the school premises without permission at any time during the day.
The school still maintains a limited boarding facility for the use of some twenty boys. There are strong boarding house traditions including the annual bonfire and two hours of compulsory study known as "prep" every evening. Newer traditions include the sponsored all night five-a-side football tournament, a "charity sponging" event and the 4-2-1 football league tournament.
A large number of music concerts, art exhibitions and plays take place each year, and pupils regularly receive national recognition for their achievements. The school also has a strong sports department; St Paul's was a founding member of the
Rugby Football Unionin 1871 and was pre-eminent in public school boxing, its first team failing to win only two boxing matches against first team boxers from other schools over a period of 25 years; however, boxing was discontinued as a school sport in the 1960s. More recently, the school teams were runners-up in the rugby U15 Daily Mail Cupin 2005, and in 2007 the Boat Club has twice won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cupat Henley Royal Regatta.
Old Pauline Club
The majority of former pupils keep in touch with each other through the Old Pauline Club. Various sporting clubs are affiliated to the Old Pauline Club, such as the Old Pauline Football Club (OPFC), the Old Pauline Association Football Club (OPAFC), the Old Pauline Cricket Club (OPCC), the Old Pauline Association Club (OPAC) and the Old Pauline Harvey Chess Society (OPHCS), who participate in many national tournaments with moderate success. The club is based in
Thames Dittonand owns a number of sports pitches there, as well as the Colets' Health and Fitness Club.
In 2005, St Paul's obtained (for the second year running) the best overall placing in the boys' school GCSE exam league tables published nationally, and was also the leading boys' school in the A level results tables. 60 of its leavers went to Oxford or Cambridge, which was also the highest proportion achieved by any boys' school in the country.
In 2007, the 2005 record was matched again, with 62 leavers receiving offers from Oxford and Cambridge. [ cite web|url=http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/page.aspx?id=19155 |title=Oxbridge successes for 2007 entry |accessdate=2008-04-27 ] At A level, 97.8% of the grades were A or B, and, out of a year group of 163 A level candidates, 116 achieved straight A's in between 3 and 6 A level subjects. Also in 2007, at GCSE level, 79.3% of grades were A*, and 96.6% were A* or A. No grade in any GCSE subject was lower than B. Out of a GCSE year group of 177, 45 achieved A* grades in all their GCSE subjects and a further 29 achieved A* grades in all but one subject. ["The Bridge" (school magazine) Issue 31 Spring 2008 p 3 "Academic News"]
In 2008, for the fist time, its students will be sitting the
IGCSEexam instead of GCSEin Science, following sitting IGCSE in Mathematics the previous year. The school does not currently offer the International Baccalaureateas an alternative to A level, and has suffered on many league tables as a result. Stephen, High Master of St Paul's, has stated he believes that "league tables put massive pressure on headmasters to do bad things"cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title= Tables 'restrict A-level choices' | date= 2008-04-25| publisher= BBC News| url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7367133.stm | work =BBC News | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-27 | language = ] and has announced that St Paul's will be joining other private schools in London in withdrawing from the ISC's 2008 league tables.cite news | first=Julie | last=Henry | coauthors= | title=Leading schools revolt over league tables | date= 2008-04-26| publisher= | url =http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/27/nschool127.xml | work =The Telegraph | pages = | accessdate = 2008-04-27 | language = ]
The masterplan is the current plan to rebuild the entire site of the school, to be started within the next few years (as of
2007). The school has stated that the rebuild should not change the nature of the school (for example, not dramatically changing the number of students attending) and should just improve the current available facilities.
The majority of the current buildings date from the 1960s, and the CLASP construction technology used has a limited life span. Even though over the last few years various buildings (such as the new music school) have been added on the campus wherever space was available, the dated buildings currently represent approximately three quarters of the school.
Local planning restrictions combined with a lack of available surplus land mean that St Paul's is faced with progressively replacing obsolete buildings with new ones located in the same general area. The plan should eventually result in a large building footprint area increase as well as increasing the amount of staff housing. The number of car parking spaces will be reduced, but there will be much more available room for bicycles. Plans to redevelop the site are now well advanced; Nicholas Hare Architects LLP have been appointed to produce detailed designs for the first set of new buildings. [ cite web|url=http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/page.aspx?id=18196 |title=Architect Announced |accessdate=2008-04-27 |publisher=St Paul's School ]
High Masters of St Paul's School
The headmaster of St Paul's is known as the High Master and his deputy is known as the Surmaster, which is also the title given to him in the statutes. The following have been High Masters of St Paul's School:
Notable former pupils
:"See also: "
St Paul's Girls' School
List of Victoria Crosses by School
* [http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/ St Paul's School official website]
* [http://www.coletshealthclub.co.uk/ Colets Health and Fitness Club]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/historyofstpaul00uoft A History of St Paul's School] Sir Michael McDonnell's classic history of the school, scanned onto the internet (1909)
* [http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/school/st-pauls-school.html Profile at the
Good Schools Guide]
* [http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/page.aspx?id=8272 Old Pauline Club]
** [http://www.opafc.com/ Old Pauline Association Football Club]
** [http://www.opcc.org.uk/ Old Pauline Cricket Club]
** [http://www.opfc.org.uk Old Pauline Football Club]
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