The Latymer School

Infobox UK school
name = The Latymer School

|121px|The Latymer School Crest
size =
latitude = 51.6250
longitude = -0.0744
dms = yes
motto = "Qui patitur vincit"
(Latin: He who endures wins)
motto_pl =
established = 1624 (present site 1910)
approx =
type = Voluntary aided selective
religion =
president =
head_label = Headteacher
head = Mark E.Garbett, MA, M.Ed, NPQH
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label =
chair =
founder = Edward Latymer
founder_pl =
specialist = Arts College
street = Haselbury Road
city = Edmonton
county = London
country = England flagicon|England
postcode = N9 9TN
phone = 020 8807 4037
fax = 020 8887 8111
LEA = Enfield
ofsted = 102055
staff =
enrollment = 1400
gender = Coeducational
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses = Ashworth
colours =
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =

The Latymer School is a selective, mixed grammar school in Edmonton, north London, England. The school underwent its most recent OFSTED inspection in 2008 [ [ Ofsted: The Latymer School] ] , receiving inspection grades of 'Outstanding' for both school and sixth form. Inspectors praised the maintenance of "top class academic standards while continually seeking to widen and enrich the curriculum." The "Good Schools Guide" called the school "A top-notch academic grammar school which produces mature, confident pupils." [] The school is also a Specialist Arts College in the UK government's Specialist Schools Programme for art, media and drama.

Approximately 160 pupils are admitted to Year 7 (aged 11 or 12) annually on the basis of competitive examination, with an additional 20 places are reserved for students with exceptional musical talent. A prerequisite for application is that students must live within one hour of the school by public transport. Around 60-70 students join the sixth form in Year 12 (aged 16 or 17) per year, mixing with Latymer pupils who have made the transition from Year 11. External applicants to sixth form undergo interviews and must perform sufficiently well at GCSE (or equivalent) level, usually 6 grade As.

History and traditions

Latymer was established in 1624 on Church Street, Edmonton by bequest of Edward Latymer, a London City merchant in Hammersmith. Although most of his wealth passed to the people of Hammersmith and the Parish of St Dunstan's (now Latymer Upper School), he named certain properties and estates to fund the education and livelihoods of "eight poore boies of Edmonton" with a doublet, a pair of breeches, a shirt, a pair of woolen stockings and shoes distributed biannually on Ascension Day and All Saints Day. Students were educated in "God's true religion" and reading English to the age of thirteen at existing petty schools. The boys had to wear the red Latymer cross on their sleeves and were under a duty to carry out the provisions of his will "unto the end of the world".

The school has formal links with St. John's College, Cambridge (Edward Latymer's College) and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (the College of Edward Latymer's father, William Latymer) which have endowments which may be used for the furtherance of the studies of former Latymer pupils at those Colleges.

In 1662, John Wild of Edmonton made a bequest, including £4 per annum for the maintenance of a schoolmaster and a similar sum to maintain a poor scholar at Cambridge. This was followed in 1679 with Thomas Style's request of Edmonton of £20 per annum for teaching "twenty poor boys ... Grammar and Latin tongue." Several similar benefactions produced about £550 per annum, which funded the instruction of more than one hundred boys, of which sixty were clothed. For more than a century, no further significant bequests were made until in 1811, Ann Wyatt, an eccentric widow from Hackney, left £500 5% Navy Annuities to build a new school, and £100 in the same securities for its maintenance. The school-room was built in 1811 in accordance to her will.

The school did not take on Latymer's name for some centuries, and has only been situated on its present site since 1910, when it also became coeducational. The school motto, "Qui Patitur Vincit" ('Who endures wins'), was also adopted in 1910 by Richard Ashworth, then headmaster.

Internally, Latymer history is propagated by school assemblies. It is traditional for headmasters to lecture students on the school's origins, and their personal interpretation of the school's motto during the first assembly of the academic year.

The Latymer School Song [ [ The Latymer School] ] was written in the 1950s by Alice W. Linford, with music by Ronald Cunliffe. It is sung on Foundation Day and at the annual Awards Ceremony. Guests at the Awards Ceremony have included Robert Winston, Boris Johnson, and others.

Former headteachers

In 1724 Thomas Hare, the parish clerk, was appointed Latymer schoolmaster by the vestry, while the Revd. John Button taught the boys funded by the donation of Thomas Style. In 1737 Zachariah Hare succeeded his father; two years later the various charities were amalgamated and land and a school-house were purchased, Zachariah becoming the first headmaster under the new scheme.

In 1781 John Adams was appointed headmaster. His friend, J. T. Smith, related that plates of Hogarth's Industry and Idleness hung in the schoolroom; once a month Adams read a lecture on these examples and then rewarded the industrious boys and caned the idle. He was succeeded in 1802 by his son, John Adams junior, clerk to the vestry and an able and efficient teacher. Adams numbered the 106 boys in the school according to their seniority. Each number was on a leather medal which, together with eight other medals recording school position in particular subjects including Latin, mathematics, and behaviour, was strung on a cord worn by the pupil. The numbers were registered from time to time and prizes were presented by the trustees to boys who had excelled.

Charles Henry Adams succeeded his father in 1821 but failed to maintain the standards of the school. A vestry inquiry in 1848 found that the system of education was unsatisfactory; Latin was no longer being taught and many of the pupils were not receiving clothing. Nevertheless he was still in charge of the school with his son, as usher, a member of the fourth generation of the family to teach in the school, when it was inspected in 1865. There were 89 boys on the books, of whom 65 were present in the morning but only 29 returned after lunch. Latin teaching was confined to reading aloud from a grammar and the standards in elementary subjects were very low; the income of the Cambridge scholarship was used for church repairs. In 1868 Adams agreed to retire on a pension.

The Revd. Dr. Charles. V. Dolbé was appointed headmaster, and under a new scheme £210 of foundation income was diverted to elementary schools attached to St. Paul's Winchmore Hill, Christ Church, Southgate, and St. James, Upper Edmonton. The residue was to provide two Latymer schools: an upper for foundationers and fee-payers in the existing buildings, and a lower or elementary school.

In 1897 W. A. Shearer, the new headmaster of the upper school, found not only that the buildings were inadequate and defective, but also that R. S. Gregory, Vicar of Edmonton, wanted to close the school and use the funds for the Church of England elementary school, a proposal which aroused much opposition, especially from the Edmonton Urban District Council. In 1901 the lower school was accommodated in new buildings in Maldon Road, and a site in Hazelbury Road was acquired for a new upper school, but in 1908, before building began, Shearer was killed in an accident. The upper school was temporarily closed, but in 1910 it reopened as a co-educational grammar school with 25 pupils and R. Ashworth as headmaster. Numbers increased rapidly and the school was enlarged in 1924 and 1928. Soon after this Ashworth died while still in office, leaving a flourishing school of over 700 pupils. V. S. E. Davis, who became the next headmaster, was a young man and guided the school with great skill through one of its most difficult periods through World War II. The school was granted voluntary aided status in 1951. Davis retired in 1957 and was succeeded by Dr. Trefor Jones. In 1964 there were nearly 1,100 pupils.

Bold names have Houses in their honour.

chool site

Much of the north end of the school (principally the Small Hall and surrounding rooms) was built in 1910 after the Old Latymer Schoolhouse (Built mainly by Anne Wyatt and extended in the time of Charles Dolbé) in Church Street was abandoned. The buildings on the present site were provided by Middlesex County Council at a cost of £6782, and accommodated 150 pupils. Twelve classrooms built in 1924 in the North Block allowed pupil capacity to triple.

The Great Hall, science laboratories and South Block were opened in a ceremony in 1928 by the Duke and Duchess of York (later to become by their majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother). Fully equipped with stage and seating for over 1000 people, the hall is used for school assemblies, concerts, drama productions and other major events. The hall has been refurbished twice since it was built, most recently in 1999. It is home to the Davis organ, which was recently repaired and upgraded.

The gymnasia, art studios and technology block were opened in 1966 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The 12 science laboratories and 6 technology rooms (including facilities for graphic design, product design, textiles and cookery) were re-equipped and modernised in the late 1990s.

Much of the school was modernised in the time of Dr. Trefor Jones. The balconies were altered in the Great Hall so that the pillars would not be so obstructive to the view of the stage and the balustrade removed and replaced with panels of fluted light oak. Dark green tiles adorned the walls below the dado rail in much of the older parts of the school which were removed and the walls refinished. There has been a recent programme of modernisation and refurbishment of the classrooms, including the integration of ICT into each room.

There is a suite of three ICT rooms containing in total approximately 100 computers (networked and accessible to pupils and teaching staff) and another 100 or so in nearly every classroom, music rooms, media department and the technology department, which are used extensively in the teaching of a large number of curriculum subjects. The school network is accessible to students from the internet via the Latymer Integrated Learning Environment (LILE). [ [ LILE] ] Most classrooms have interactive white-boards. There are also 3 laptop trolleys, 2 of which contain 30 laptops, which teachers can book for lessons. Another laptop trolley containing 10 laptops is located at the library for use. All staff are issued with their own laptop computer. The sixth form study area, careers library, learning resources centre and technology block also have computer workstations. The Ashworth library holds approximately 20,000 volumes and is run by a chartered librarian. A separate Learning Resources Centre (LRC) contains a further 2,000 reference volumes, a vast selection of periodicals, and computing facilities. There is a Connexions Careers Library with facilities for accessing the latest information on university courses and future career directions.

The sixth form common room was converted in 2000 from the Jones Lecture Theatre, which had itself been converted from a gymnasium to mark the retirement of Dr. Jones as Headmaster in 1970. The sixth form study area was built as the common room in 1984 to mark the retirement of Edward Kelly. Upon the conversion of the Jones Lecture Theatre to the common room, the 1984 building was made into a space for the sixth form to study in their free periods and a connecting building was built between the two, housing offices for the Head of the Sixth Form.

The 'Mills Building' (after the vision of Geoffrey Mills), a performing arts complex, was opened in the spring of 2000 to service the Music, Drama and Media Studies departments. It was funded by donations from former pupils, parents and friends of the school. The complex offers a range of studio-space, larger rooms for music and drama, and air-conditioned individual music practice rooms. This facility and the new Sports and Dining Complex, were envisaged by the then Headteacher Geoffrey Mills and the Governors in 1995.The school owns a residential outdoor pursuits centre in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. The centre, Ysgol Latymer, was established on the site of an old primary school situated in the small village of Cwm Penmachno (5 miles from Betws-y-Coed) in 1966. Since, the school has developed it into a well-equipped residential centre, accommodating up to forty staff and pupils. It acts as a base of operations for week-long trips in the first and third years. Activities include hill walking, orienteering, mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, swimming, rafting and skiing. Students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, GCSE AS and A-level PE also visit the centre. It is the heart of the annual "Fourteen Peaks" challenge when staff and senior students may undertake an extensive programme of hill walks.

The school owns 12 acres of playing fields laid out for football, hockey, rugby union, cricket, rounders and athletics according to season.

A new Sports and Dining Complex was opened in a ceremony by Anne, Princess Royal on May 18 2006. It includes a fitness suite (complete with aerobic and fixed weight equipment), specialist sports science classroom, changing rooms with showers, and a multi-purpose gymnasium, which allowed the broadening of the sports curriculum to badminton, volleyball, table tennis and health and fitness. The facility is a brownfield development, occupying only slightly more area than the previous catering facility from the 1940s. Various environmentally friendly measures are incorporated into its design, including solar panels providing hot water, sun pipes reducing the need for artificial lighting and wind catchers to provide ventilation. Fresh, hot meals are cooked every weekday in the catering facility which seats 280, and sandwiches are prepared in site. A coffeeshop service is provided for staff and sixth-formers.

Ethos and extracurricular activities

According to official canon, the school aims:“"To provide a first class, liberal education where pupils achieve their full potential and show consideration for others."This is in conjunction with nine other aims. [ [ The Latymer School: "Aims"] ]

Latymer is strong academically, performing consistently at the top of national league tables, including coming first in national value added tables and achieving the highest proportion of A* grades at GCSE among state schools in 2006. In recent years the school typically produces around 20-40 successful Oxbridge applicants annually (roughly 10-20% of each year group). Its further strengths include a long-standing tradition in music, including several orchestras and many other voice and instrumental ensembles, as well as a well-supported programme of other varied extracurricular activities.

The school has strong links with other schools across Europe with regular exchanges to Institution de la Sainte-Croix, Tours, France; Heisenberg Gymnasium, Gladbeck, Germany; and School 316 in St Petersburg, Russia. In addition, there are trips to Milan and Verona in Italy for junior sports teams, senior sports trips to Barbados, canoe trips to the Ardeche and ski trips to the French Alps. There are also geography expeditions to southern Iceland and classics trips to Sorrento, Italy every two years. Art trips go to New York City and Media Studies to Hollywood. Every summer the chamber musicians tour in Europe, most recently Prague.

Latymer has a House system of six houses. Two Houses take their names from local historical figures Charles Lamb and John Keats, while Richard Ashworth and Charles Dolbé were former headteachers. Edward Latymer was the founder of the school and Anne Wyatt was a generous patron of the school. Staff are allocated to Houses and are form tutors to pupils in their own House. Much of the House activity is run by sixth form pupils, elected by their House, under the supervision of Senior House Staff. Each house has an associated colour, which is typically only worn for sports day events. The house colours are as follows: Ashworth: Sky Blue, Dolbé: Royal Blue, Keats: Red, Lamb: Purple, Latymer: Dark Green, Wyatt: Yellow. In the school's pastoral system, from years 7-11, form groups are split according to Houses, each form has a form tutor and each year a Head of Year. Upon reaching sixth form, students retain their House affiliations but join smaller mixed form-groups for registration. Each year, the Houses compete with each other for the Dormer Shield in events such as music, drama, debating, chess, cakes, arts and crafts, and sports. The winning House has their name engraved upon the shield, the runner up receives the Jones Cup. Most recently Dolbé won the shield in 2008.

The PE department offers an extensive extracurricular programme in a wide variety of sports, and pupils participate regardless of ability level. 56 clubs run throughout the week and 300 pupils take part in activities in the average daily programme. Various fixtures occur every Saturday and most evenings.

The school is very active in charity work, with each House choosing one charity to support every year with various fund-raising events such as cake sales, non-uniform days and sponsored silences. There is also a strong charities committee run by sixth formers which organises many events for various charities such as Medecins sans Frontiers, Terrence Higgins Trust and Children in Need to name a few. One perennial fund raiser is the Dolbé-Keats Bazaar, run by the two Houses in December with stalls and live music (including performing members of staff). The school branch of Amnesty International has a strong following and runs a "Cage Week" annually, wherein staff are locked in a small cage to highlight the case for human rights and to raise money. The Latymer World Community Society is active in supporting fair trade and the sponsorship of children in less economically developed countries. School policy encourages a large percentage of waste to be recycled.

Student societies in the school are very active and cover a range of interests including music (such as its jazz band and barbershop singing groups), politics, debating, psychology, philosophy, chess, animal rights, medicine, cryptography and film criticism. The politics society in particular has played host to a series of prominent guest speakers, including George Galloway, Joan Ryan, Stephen Twigg, David Burrowes, Andy Love, Vincent Cable, Danny Chalkley, and Gerrard Batten. The school has a tolerant view of religious societies, and there are firmly established student-led Christian, Islamic and Jewish societies.

Notable alumni

*Mark Alexander Abrams, 20th century social scientist [ The Papers of Mark Abrams on Janus] ]
*Claire-Hope Ashitey, Actress [ Children of Men (2006) - Cast and Crew at Visual Hollywood] ]
*Eileen Atkins DBE, Actress [ Dame Eileen Atkins Performer] ]
*Richard Cook, Music writer in "NME", "The Sunday Times" and "New Statesman" [,,2176359,00.html Richard Cook | Obituaries | Guardian Unlimited] ]
*Bruce Forsyth CBE, Entertainer [,,1977341,00.html Profile: Bruce Forsyth | Media | The Guardian] ]
*Johnny Haynes, Former Fulham F.C. and England football captain (Keats house)]
*Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP [ Biography] ]
*Albert Meltzer, British anarchist [ I couldn't paint golden angels - Chapter I] ]
*Tim Pope, Film and music video director [ : bio] ]
*Mike Scott, Television presenter [ Obituary, The Independent] ]
*Leslie Welch, Radio and TV personality, known as the "Memory Man" [ Biography] ]
*Yorick Wilks, artificial intelligence pioneer [ Yorick Alexander Wilks: A Meaningful Journey] ]
*B.J. Wilson, Original drummer of Procol Harum [ Kenny White on Barrie Wilson] ]


External links

* [ The Latymer School's official website]
* [ Latymer Integrated Learning Environment]
* [ A summary of Latymer's academic performance]
* [ 2005 OFSTED report]
* [ A detailed history of the Latymer schools at British History Online]
* [ Profile at the Good Schools Guide]

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