King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

King Edward VI Grammar School
Motto Quicquid agas sapiens age fortiter ex animoque ('Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might', Ecc 9:10)[1]
Established 1551
Type Grammar school, Academy
Headteacher Tom Carter
Chairman Spencer Wilcox[2]
Founder Edward VI
Location Broomfield Road
DfE number 881/5411
DfE URN 136642 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 74 teaching, 62 support[3]
Students 866
Gender Boys; Mixed (Sixth Form)
Ages 11–18
Houses Holland    ; Mildmay    ; Strutt    ; Tindal    
Publication The Chelmsfordian[4]
Former pupils Old Chelmsfordians

King Edward VI Grammar School, or KEGS, is a British grammar school with academy status located in the city of Chelmsford, Essex, England. It takes pupils between the ages of 11 and 18 — from Year 7 to 11 the pupils are exclusively male, although it becomes mixed in the sixth form (years 12 and 13).[5]

The current headteacher is Tom Carter,[1] who was appointed in Autumn 2014 after Tom Sherrington left in August 2014.


  • History of the school 1
  • House system 2
    • House events 2.1
  • Extracurricular activities 3
    • Combined Cadet Force and Corps of Drums 3.1
    • KEGS music 3.2
    • World Challenge 3.3
    • The Fleur De Lys Society 3.4
    • The KEGS Ambassador 3.5
  • Notable former pupils 4
    • Of the Chelmsford Chantry School (before the Royal Charter of 1551) 4.1
    • Pre 1900 4.2
    • 1900-1960 4.3
    • Post 1960 4.4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History of the school

KEGS was one of many grammar schools founded by Edward VI.[6] Its current form resulted from a royal warrant dated 24 March 1551, although evidence of this school exists from as far back as the 13th century, possibly earlier, in an alternative location.[7] Indeed, the school of 1551 was merely a "rebranding" of the Chelmsford Chantry School, a Roman Catholic institution which had been abolished along with the monasteries during the English Reformation. The school was moved to its present site on Broomfield Road in 1892.[8] Once a boarding school, it was one of many grammar schools to fully join the state sector and abolish the nominal fees. The last boarders left in the 1970s. In 1976 it admitted the first female pupil (Fiona Hook) to the Sixth Form, to study Classics.

The school has been ranked in the top 50 schools in the country in national examination league tables.[9] KEGS was previously a Foundation School and Specialist Science College and Language College. The school converted to academy status in April 2011, but continues to have science and languages as specialisms. It is also a Leading Edge school.

In 1981 it was named by The Sunday Times as the most successful state school as measured by Oxbridge open awards. In 1998, it was rated by the Financial Times as the most successful state school at GCE advanced level in the period 1993-1998.[6] In 2001 the school was named Sunday Times School of the Year. In 2003 the Daily Mail called the school "one of England's most ancient and traditional grammar schools." The 2006 Good Schools Guide names KEGS as the top school (independent or maintained) in England for A-level Chemistry, and the top selective state school for boys in English Literature at A-level. In November 2006, it was judged to be "outstanding" by OFSTED.[10]

House system

In 1907, headmaster Frank Rogers set up the system of "Houses"[11] — Holland, named for Philemon Holland; Mildmay, for Sir Walter Mildmay; Strutt, for Joseph Strutt; and Tindal, for Nicholas Conyngham Tindal, dividing the school into four forms in each year. The four houses, each with a staff head of house and a team of house officials drawn from the Upper Sixth, including a House Captain and deputies, compete throughout the year in sporting, musical and theatrical events, among others, to gain points towards the house championship. Each House is represented by a colour:

Holland Mildmay Strutt Tindal

House events

The House System has adapted into a competition in which each house competes in various inter-house competitions in order to win points to get the 'House Trophy'.[12]

Standards: In June, every member of the house is encouraged to partake in athletic events over three evenings, with each event awarding the participant a maximum of three points depending on how well the task was completed. A single point is awarded simply for turning up, encouraging mass participation.

House Music: Each house is designated 30 minutes to present five musical acts, with requirements such as representation from each section of the school, which are judged by a panel including a guest well-renowned in a field of music.

House Drama: Each house must perform five acts that fall into different categories (e.g. Monologue, Duologue, Junior & Senior Pieces), and again requiring participation from across the school, which are each then marked out of 100.

House Sporting Events: Particularly in the lower school, emphasis is placed on sporting events, with annual rugby, football, cross-country, rowing and other events being held for each year group. 'Sports Morning', in the winter, and 'Sports Day' in the summer are also held with a larger amount of pupils taking part.

Extracurricular activities

Combined Cadet Force and Corps of Drums

The school maintains an Army contingent of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), which is also open to students of Chelmsford County High School for Girls. Military music is provided within the contingent by a Corps of Drums playing drums, flutes and bugles. The Corps wears the full dress scarlet tunics of The Essex Regiment, incorporating the purple facings which gave the Essex Regiment its nickname 'The Pompadours'. It carries the drums of the 4/5th Battalion (Territorial Army) emblazoned with the Regiment's battle honours.[13]

KEGS music

The school has many ensembles, of which the orchestras include members from other schools, though the majority are from KEGS and Chelmsford County High School for Girls. The other ensembles are exclusive to those who attend KEGS.[14]

  • Junior Orchestra (Combined with previous KEGS Strings)
  • Senior Orchestra
  • Chamber Ensemble
  • Choir
  • Wind Band
  • Jazz Ensemble

World Challenge

Whilst in the sixth form, each student has the chance to embark on a biennial World Challenge Expedition. Here teams of around 10-15 students undertake an eighteen-month build-up to raise money for, and participate in a month-long expedition in a remote, wild destination.[15] The expedition involves:

  • acclimatisation for and participation in a remote trek
  • community work with a school or village
  • sight-seeing
  • rest & recreation

In summer 2006, the school successfully sent 70 students in five teams to India and the Himalayas. A typical trek here involved fifteen days walking and camping at altitudes of over 4000 metres. Sight-seeing took the teams from Jaipur and Pushkar in Rajasthan to the Taj Mahal in Agra.

In summer 2008, students completed successful expeditions to China, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan. Previous destinations have included Peru, Bolivia and Tanzania. In 2010 five teams left for Uganda and Madagascar.

The Fleur De Lys Society

The Fleur de Lys Society (FDL) was a sixth-form debating society cum charity fundraising society. The FDL was believed to have been started by Frank Rogers, an influential Headmaster. As well as holding debates on a variety of topical subjects, it was also an important charitable organisation within the school. From 1980 to 2007 the FDL held its annual charity week, usually the final week of Spring Term. FDL Week involved events for the entire school, where money was raised for chosen charities - in 2005, £5,000 was raised and divided among J's Hospice, The Teenage Cancer Trust and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The society hosted weekly assemblies for the school and in order to become a member you had to be voted in by your sixth form peers via means of an election speech. Many former Fleur De Lys members have gone on to achieve great things - for example, Joe Thomas who currently stars in E4's The Inbetweeners. However, due to the controversial nature and content of several debates, the Society was suspended in 2007.

The KEGS Ambassador

The KEGS Ambassador[16] is the school's independent student newspaper. Since its creation in January 2009, it has featured numerous articles by alumni, staff and students.

Notable former pupils

Of the Chelmsford Chantry School (before the Royal Charter of 1551)

  • John Dee, noted mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, occultist, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I; responsible for the English translation of Euclid's work.

Pre 1900


Post 1960


  1. ^ a b "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Headteacher's Welcome". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Board of Governors". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Staff List". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » 'The Chelmsfordian". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Admissions Policy". Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Our History". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "KEGS Prospectus: A 21st Century Grammar School". Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  8. ^ A History of King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, 1551-2001 — Anthony Tuckwell
  9. ^ "BBC News: Secondary league tables". Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » Ofsted Report". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  11. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford » House System
  12. ^ KEGSNet: House Competition
  13. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School » CCF
  14. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School » Music
  15. ^ King Edward VI Grammar School » World Challenge
  16. ^ The KEGS Ambassador: KEGS school newspaper

External links

  • The official KEGS website
  • The School's most recent Ofsted inspection report