St Olave's Grammar School

Infobox UK school
name = St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School

size = 100px
latitude = 51.3675
longitude = 0.104
dms =
motto = "Olaf to Right the Wrong"
motto_pl =
established = 1571
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Voluntary aided grammar school
religion = Church of England
free_label_1 = Chaplain
free_1 = Hugh Broadbent
president =
head_label = Headmaster
head = Anthony Jarvis
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label = Chair
chair = Malcolm Edwards
founder =
founder_pl =
specialist = Maths and Computing (Operational), Science
street = Goddington Lane
city = Orpington
county = Kent
country = Englandflagicon|England
postcode = BR6 9SH
LEA = London Borough of Bromley
ofsted = 101676
staff =
enrollment = 934
gender = Boys (Mixed in the sixth form)
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses = Bingham, Cure, Harvard, Leeke
colours = Main: Purple, Black, White
Houses, respectively: Yellow, Red, Green, Blue
publication =
free_label_2 = Affiliation
free_2 = Member of the Woodard Foundation
free_label_3 = Beneficiary of
free_3 = Alleyn's College of God's Gift in Dulwich Estate
free_label_4 = Former Pupils
free_4 = Old Olavians
website =
website_name =

St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School for Boys (also known as St Olave's, St Olave's Grammar School, or simply Olaves) is a selective boys' secondary school in Orpington, England. The name is either pronEng|ˈoʊlævz, or IPA|/ˈɒlɪvz/ (homonymous with "olives"). The school is consistently one of the top achieving state schools in the UK.


The school in its current state was formed from an agreement in 1896 between two schools, St Olave's Grammar School (founded 1571), and St Saviour's Grammar School (founded 1562). (Its sister school, St Saviour's and St Olave's Church of England School, [ [ St Saviour's and St Olave's Church of England School] ] was re-established as a girls' school in 1903). The school, was founded for the parish of St Olave in Southwark (1096-1926) which was named after Saint Olaf. In the seventeenth century St Olave's Headmaster Robert Browne was imprisoned for his religious non-conformism.

Originally situated on the south bank of the Thames in Southwark in Tooley Street (the street name is a corruption of St Olave's), the school moved to suburban Orpington in 1968.

General information

The school has an Anglican foundation, and is also affiliated to the Woodard Foundation. The school's headmaster is currently Anthony Jarvis, an associate member of the HMC.

The school is heavily oversubscribed (more than 7 applicants per place in 2004). Entry is determined by competitive tests in English and Mathematics. Since 1998, the school has admitted girls to its sixth form. It is currently designated as a science, mathematics and computing specialist school.

Members of the school are known as Olavians, and alumni as Old Olavians. There are four houses: Bingham, Cure, Harvard and Leeke. These exist for the purposes of the classes and house competitions in the Lower School (Year 7 to 9) and for games competition in Year 10.

St Olave's exclusively provides Choristers for the Choir of the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, London, which is the Chapel of the Royal Victorian Order and of the Duchy of Lancaster.

The school was at the centre of controversy in 1996 when Labour Party Shadow Cabinet minister Harriet Harman sent her son to the school, despite it being some considerable distance from where she lived. Many considered her sending her son to a selective school to be contrary to Labour's supposedly egalitarian principles.

Its historic sister school is St Saviour's and St Olave's Church of England School in New Kent Road. Established in 1903, this is a non-selective school in an economically deprived area that is very different in nature from its brother school. Both schools are beneficiaries of the charity St Olave's and St Saviour's Schools Foundation, [UK charity|312987|St Olave's and St Saviour's Schools Foundation] which in turn is a beneficiary of The Dulwich Estate, successor to the historic Alleyn's College charity. [UK charity|312751|The Dulwich Estate]

St Olave's now also has a strong relationship with Newstead Wood School for Girls, a selective all girls' school situated a mile away.


The school is notable for being one of only a few state schools to play the game of Eton Fives (housing the only indoor Eton Fives courts in the country). In the 2004 Rugby Fives National Championships at the Year 8 level, St.Olaves had four players (Martin Bassot, Jamie Moore, Luke Wooldridge and James Goodman) in the semi-finals of the main competition (therefore having the top 4 players in the country), something that no school had ever done before. Jamie Toop won the English Schools Senior Fives title three years running.The school fields successful Rugby teams from U-12 to the first and second XVs. The second XV have now been unbeaten at home for 3 years. Former School Captain David Akinluyi played for Northampton Saints in the Guinness Premiership until 2007.

The school has been successful in basketball, winning the Kent Cup between 2002, 2005, and in 2007. Cricket is another sport which st. Olaves has found considerable success in. In Cricket: James Goodman is in the Kent academy and has trained at the World Cricket Academy in Mumbai, India. He has also captained the U16 England International Team.

In Chess: The St Olave's chess team have continued to impress over a decade by winning the prestigious Millfield International Chess tournament. Notable players are Callum Kilpatrick, Richard Lobo and Jia Shen Lee who have all represented the UK, and Constantine Philippou, Pedrum Hashemi, Vishnuu Nithiyananthan, Sunil Parthiban and Sanjeev Math who have all represented Kent and some of which, have represented their county at a national level.


2008 was a record year in the A-Level results with St. Olaves having 95.8% of all grades received at A or B level placing them 3rd Overall in the country. The school also got 100% A*-A maths GCSE grades.

Notable alumni

"This is a partial list. For a more comprehensive one see: List of notable Old Olavians"

*H. B. Acton (1908–1974), philosopher
*Sir William Ashley (1860-1927), economic historian
*Samuel Laman Blanchard, (1804–1845) author and journalist
*Lawrence Durrell, (1912–1990) novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer
*Abba Eban, (1915–2002) Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations; Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs; Israeli Deputy Prime Minister
*Mark Ellis Record Producer (U2, Depeche Mode, The Killers)
*Henry Hartley Fowler, 1st Viscount Wolverhampton, (1830–1911) politician †
*Andy Green, (1962– ) past team leader of RAF Red Arrows Display Team; current holder of the world land speed record
*John Harvard, (1607–1638) first benefactor of Harvard University
*The Board, Secret Society (Eminence Grise)
*William Heberden, (1710–1801) physician, coined the term "Angina pectoris" †
*Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton, (1904-1989) Chairman of the BBC and ITA
*William Sherlock, (1641–1707) English church leader
*Thomas Frederick Tout, (1855–1929) historian
*William Van Mildert, (1765–1836) Bishop of Durham; founder of the University of Durham
*Som Wardner, Lead Singer of My Vitriol
*Colby O Donis, Singer† Alumni of St Saviour's Grammar School prior to the merger


Further reading

*Carrington, R.C. "Two Schools: A History of the St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School Foundation and its Schools". McCorquodale Printers Ltd., London, 1971.

External links

* [ St Olave's Grammar School website]
* [ The Old Olavians network]
* [ The Old Olavians Rugby Club]
* [ The Old Olavians Masonic Lodge]
* [ Queen's Chapel of the Savoy]
* [ St Saviour's and St Olave's Church of England School website]


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