Reigate Grammar School
Reigate Grammar School is an independent co-educational day school
Day school
A day school—as opposed to a boarding school—is an institution where children are given educational instruction during the day and after which children/teens return to their homes...

 located in the town of Reigate
Reigate is a historic market town in Surrey, England, at the foot of the North Downs, and in the London commuter belt. It is one of the main constituents of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead...

, Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Intake is from 11 to 18, with the majority of its pupils entering at the age of 11, and others entering at 13 and 16.


The school was founded as a free school for poor boys in 1675 by Alderman Henry Smith with Jon Williamson, the vicar of Reigate, as master. It remained in the hands of the church until 1862 when a board of governors was appointed.

Under the Education Act
Education Act 1944
The Education Act 1944 changed the education system for secondary schools in England and Wales. This Act, commonly named after the Conservative politician R.A...

 of 1944 it became a voluntary aided
Voluntary aided school
A voluntary aided school is a state-funded school in England and Wales in which a foundation or trust owns the school buildings, contributes to building costs and has a substantial influence in the running of the school...

 grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

, providing access on the basis of academic ability as measured by the 11 plus examination. In 1976, it converted to its current fee-paying independent
Independent school (UK)
An independent school is a school that is not financed through the taxation system by local or national government and is instead funded by private sources, predominantly in the form of tuition charges, gifts and long-term charitable endowments, and so is not subject to the conditions imposed by...

 status. At the same time the sixth form
Sixth form
In the education systems of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and of Commonwealth West Indian countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Jamaica and Malta, the sixth form is the final two years of secondary education, where students, usually sixteen to eighteen years of age,...

 was opened up to girls. In 1993, the school became fully co-educational. In 2003, the school merged with St. Mary's School.

Many of the boys who attend the school and also the leavers go on to play for the their old boys' rugby club, Old Reigatians RFC
Old Reigatians RFC
Founded in the 1927/28 Season by the Old Boys of Reigate Grammar School Old Reigatians R.F.C. has seen many ups and downs over its 80 years. Located in the heart of Reigate it now runs three Senior sides, a Veterans side and proudly has the largest mini and junior sections in Surrey. The 1st XV is...

, which is based in the centre of Reigate on Park Lane.


In 2009, the Daily Telegraph placed the school 69th in its league table of independent school A Level results, with 89% of pupils gaining A or B grades at A Level.
At GCSE 72% A and A* results were achieved in summer 2009.
Typically the school sends 5-15 students to Oxbridge every year, with 10 students in 2011.


The school site is split into two locations, separated by the churchyard. On the "Broadfield" site, named so because of the playing field dubbed "Broadfield" behind the old science block, there are several old and new buildings. Until recently, Broadfield house (known to students as the history block), an old Reigate home, was where History, Economics, Business studies, Politics and other subjects were taught. It is now used for Drama. Also on Broadfield site is the newly renovated music block, which houses a recording studio, a concert hall, 17 soundproofed rehearsal rooms, a percusiion room, and 3 teaching rooms.

Opposite Broadfield house is Cornwallis building, which is another old Reigate home. It contains the Chaplain's office, the careers department, specially designed CCF training rooms and stores, and learning support for students with learning difficulties. This term the school has introduced a counselor who is based in Cornwallis.
The Peter Masefield Hall, named after a contributor of the same name, is the school canteen-cum-events room.

A purpose built performance room, opened by Judi Dench, is where the majority of the school's small scale performances take place. It is attached to the spacious sixth form center which comprises a computer suite, a sixth form only cafe and a large space. The sixth from center is attached to the old science building, which has been a fixture of the school for many years. However, in the last term the school has built the new Ballance Building, named after a past headmaster, which added 26 new multipurpose large teaching rooms, 4 labs and staff rooms for may departments. The old science building is connected to the new building, which has split it into two parts. All the sciences, all the subjects that used to be taught in Broadfield house and Classics are now taught in the Ballance Building.
Also on the Broadfield site is 4 multipurpose tennis courts, also used for hockey, netball and football, and rugby when it is particularly wet.

On the other site, known as "main school" because this is where the majority of the original buildings are. The main school buildings houses many classrooms, teaching the humanities, RS, modern languages (there is a fully kitted language lab) and FT. Also in the main school building is many staff rooms, a large library with Sixth form study area, a large communal staff room, a concert hall, a sports hall and the most recent addition, a new gym. The FT room has 10 workstations with all the appropriate pots and pans, an oven and a microwave each.
15 or so years ago, an art and design block was added to the main school.On the ground floor, Design Tech is taught in the three classrooms and computer suites, and also a large Design Technology lab where large projects take place and the DT club is based. On the first floor, accessible from outside the modern languages and FT rooms, is the largest airy Art room, with several pottery wheels, a darkroom, and plenty of storage and teaching space.

Behind the main school building is the Hamlin Building. The Hamlin Building is entirely devoted to the teaching of maths.
Further behind the Hamlin Building is the new indoor swimming pool, which uses UV light over chlorine, the DofE block, Spare classrooms and the memorial garden where the students congregate on Remembrance Day.

Offsite, the school owns the large playing field complex Hartswood in nearby Woodhatch, where all home matches in most sports are played. The students take a short bus journey provided by the school to Hartswood on the assigned games day.
Also, nearby Reigate Saint Mary's church plays a key role in student life. Every student goes to the church once a week in place of assembly, where the chaplain and a team of 2-3 students operate a small church service.
The nearby primary school Reigate Saint Mary's is a feeder school to RGS.

Independent Schools Inspectorate

The school is described as providing "a good all-round education" with "broad curriculum and a wide range of quality activities." Inspectors found it a "friendly, welcoming community in which pupils of all abilities are mutually supportive, creating a relaxed environment, which encourages pupils to fulfil their potential."

Other strengths of the school identified by inspectors included high quality pastoral care, support and guidance, mutual respect between pupils and staff, and excellent provision of ICT.

The team of 12 inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, who visited the school in October 2005, commented that "the school has much strength" but would benefit from greater sharing of good practice between departments, greater independent learning, and more risk assessments.


David Thomas has been headmaster of Reigate Grammar School since September 2001. He was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, and educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and The Queen's College, Oxford, where he completed an MA in Music.

Mr Thomas taught at The Leys School, Cambridge, and at The King's School, Canterbury, and spent five years as Director of Music at Fettes College in Edinburgh before moving to Trinity School, Croydon, as Deputy Headmaster. He is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference is an association of the headmasters or headmistressess of 243 leading day and boarding independent schools in the United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies and the Republic of Ireland...

 (HMC). His wife, Dr Andrea Thomas, has taught in several leading independent schools.

Clubs and societies

The school offers many opportunities for its student body to take place in extra-curricular activities. The music department runs many orchestras, bands, and choirs, including the very successful barbershop choir. Many students play for a school team in some capacity.

The drama department puts on many productions each year including small productions in the drama studio and an annual musical.
Another popular fixture is the MUN. Reigate has held an MUN conference every year for the past 16 years. Recently, a junior MUN conference for weaker delegates has been added.
Most departments run lunch time and after school clubs as well, including a Japanese club, an Art club, A film club and others.

School fees

For the 2009-2010 academic year, school fees are £4,286 per term. The school offers a range of scholarships and bursaries. Pupils scoring particularly highly in the entrance examination may be awarded a scholarship worth £1,000 per annum. In addition, the Reigate Grammar School assisted places scheme offers fee remission of up to 100%; this is a means-tested award. High achieving students at GCSE who receive 10 A*s or greater are eligible for a scholarship into the sixth form and a considerable discount of school fees.

Notable alumni

See also :Category:Old Reigatians
  • Susan Gritton
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    , singer
  • Trevor Kavanagh
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    Trevor Michael Thomas Kavanagh is a journalist and formerly the Political Editor of the Sun newspaper.Trevor Kavanagh was educated at Reigate Grammar School before leaving school at 17 to work for newspapers in Surrey and later Hereford. In 1965 he emigrated to Australia, working on several...

    , political editor of The Sun
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    , co-writer of Little Britain
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  • Keir Starmer
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    , Director of Public Prosecutions (England and Wales)
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  • Andrew Cantrill
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    , organist
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    , biographer, hoaxer, scourge of A.N. Wilson
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    Peter Lampl
    Sir Peter Lampl, OBE is a British philanthropist and Chairman of the Sutton Trust.- Personal life :His father was a Czech refugee who came to Britain in 1938. Lampl was born in Wakefield and as the family later moved he was educated at Reigate Grammar School and Pate's Grammar School...

    , actor, political activist and organist,
  • Quentin Cook aka Fatboy Slim
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    , musician (now uses the name Norman Cook)
  • Ray Mears, TV presenter and survival expert
  • Lord Sterling of Plaistow
    Jeffrey Sterling, Baron Sterling of Plaistow
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    , Conservative
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     and one time chairman of P&O
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  • Mike Sammes
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    , musician and musical arranger
  • Steve Mitchell (sailor)
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    , Olympic sailor, World and European Champion
  • Robert Shearman, writer
  • Bill Frindall
    Bill Frindall
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  • Robert Cole
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  • Alec Harley Reeves
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  • Will Beer, Sussex
    Sussex County Cricket Club
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  • Mick Brown
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    Mick Brown, a.k.a. "Wild" Mick Brown is a drummer who has played in the bands Dokken, Lynch Mob, and Xciter. He is a co-founder of Dokken and is known by many Dokken fans as "Wild" Mick Brown. Mick played drums for Ted Nugent on his 2006 "Unleash the Beast Global ScorchTour", and also on his 2007...

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External links

The REIMUN website {]
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