Bishop Stopford's Maths and Computing School

Bishop Stopford's Maths and Computing School

Infobox Secondary school

name = Bishop Stopford's Maths & Computing School
native_name =
motto = "animus noster dei gloria"
established = 1967
type = Voluntary aided [ [ School web sit: Governing body] ] secondary school specialist in maths and computing, and engineering (operational)
Specialist = Maths and computing and engineering
affiliations = Church of England, London Borough of Enfield, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
founder = The Bishop of London, the Very Reverend Robert Stopford
chaplain = Fr Antony Homer
head_label = Acting Head mistress
head = Mrs Elizabeth Kohler
faculty = 100+
teaching_staff = 100+
enrollment = 1550
survival_rate = 89% in 2007
address = Brick Lane, Enfield
city = London
country = England, United Kingdom
oversight = Board of governors
colours = Black and navy blue

Bishop Stopford's Maths & Computing School, commonly known as Bishop Stopford's or just Bishop's, is a voluntary aided, co-educational secondary school in with sixth form. The school has strong links with the Church of England. Worship is in the High Church Anglo-Catholic tradition using the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, although modern translations are mandated for study. It is located in Brick Lane, Enfield, near Ponders End, Greater London, England. The postal address is Brick Lane, Enfield, Middlesex. EN1 3PU.


Bishop Stopford's has approximately 1,550 pupils from the ages of eleven to nineteen, and over one hundred staff. In 2004 Bishop Stopford's School became a double specialist school for mathematics and computing, and engineering.

Not only does the school have one of London's largest sports halls, but it is also the largest school in the borough.


After almost a century of attempts by the Church to found a church secondary school in Enfield, Bishop Stopford's was founded on St. Polycarp's Day 1967 and opened its doors to its first pupils on 7 September 1967. Its founder was the then Bishop Of London, the Very Reverend Robert Stopford. The school was founded to provide a Church school for the children of Enfield, who at that time had several Church primary schools but no Church secondary schools. The school was established in the buildings of the old Suffolk's Secondary Modern School. The three heads of Bishop Stopford's have been Head Masters the late Dr Geoffrey Roberts PhD, MA, BA, JP (1967 to 1988), Mr. Brian Robin Pickard M.A. (1988 to 2001), Head Mistress Mrs. Bridget Sarah Evans (2001 to May 2008 - But will be returning May 2009) and Acting Head Mistress Mrs E. Kohler (May 2008 - May 2009) while Mrs Evans is on a secondment.


Each pupil and member of staff belongs to one of the six 'houses', known in short as Coventry, Georges, King Alfred's, Temples, Waltham, and Trinity. The first three are known by the acronym CGK and the second TWY.As from september 2009 Each pupil and member of staff belongs to one of the Eight 'houses', known in short as Coventry, Georges, King Alfred's, Canterbury, Temples, Waltham, Trinity and Douglas. The first four are known by the acronym CGKU and the second TWYD.

The Four Foundation Houses
*The House of the Resurgent City and Cathedral Church of St. Michael and all Angels at Coventry
*The House of Saint George the Martyr, Glorious Patron of England
*The House of Alfred The Great, King of the West Saxons.
*The House of William Temple, Head Master, Archbishop and Servant of God.

The Two New Houses
*The House of the Holy Cross of our Saviour at Waltham
*The House of the Holy, Blessed and Glorious Trinity

The Two Proposed Houses
*The House of the twinned Bishop Douglas School, will be represented by the letter D and by the colour orange. TWY will become TWYD
*The House of the Archbishop of Canterbury, will be represented by the letter U and by the colour pea green. CGK will become CGKU

It was the intention that the houses should reflect attitudes and ideals rather than being a collection of six different examples of one type of thing.

Each house has its own colour, which has little modern significance other than the socks which pupils wear for games (in an earlier era, a football shirt and shorts of the appropriate hue were also required). Coventry wear green; George's red; King Alfred's yellow; Canterbury pea green; Temple's light blue; Waltham purple or white; Trinity royal blue and Douglas orange.

In September 2006 the new intake, year 7, had colours added to their tie. A yellow diagonal stripe denotes their year group, below this is a stripe in the house colours (for King Alfred's this is a shade of gold). Future years will have a year colour, with their house colour below it. The new tie also features the Bishop's Crosier symbol of the school.In September 2007 the new intake, year 7, had a blue stripe added to their tie

House colours
* Coventry - Green
* St. Georges - Red
* King Alfreds - Gold
* Canterbury - Pea Green (proposed)
* Temples - Turquoise
* Waltham - White(boys)/Purple(girls)
* Trinity - Royal Blue
* Douglas - Orange (proposed)

The champion house (until the end of the academic year ending in Summer 2009) is St Georges, under the direction of their House Mistress Mrs G Hardcastle.

Each house has a designated area of the school for registration. These are:

* Coventry - Orchard Wing (Downstairs)
* Georges - East Wing Extentsion - DT & English
* King Alfred's - Orchard Wing (Upstairs - Mathematics)
* Canterbury - Jubilee Wing (Upstairs)
* Temples - West Wing (Downstairs - Languages)
* Waltham - South East Wing (will be moved into the east wing when SE wing is demolished.)
* Trinity - West Wing/Orchard Wing (Upstairs)
* Douglas - Jubilee Wing (Downstairs)

It was forbidden for pupils to enter another house's area during break or lunch. This was such a strongly held rule that a teacher and two house prefects were on duty solely to enforce it. Since 2005 this rule has not been enforced.

Choir Form

The Choir Form was founded in 1973 and takes boys and girls from all six houses from the second year to the sixth form. (First years may volunteer for the Junior Choir.) Whilst remaining members of their houses, pupils in the Choir Form attend registration together, sing in assembly, hymn practice, choir practice and compline together. They attend a residential singing week every year, which has been at Seasalter, Walsingham, and Winchester. In 2004-5 the Choir Form was renamed the Music Form to incorporate a wider range of musical abilities and the modernisation of school worship. The intention is to give young musicians an opportunity to practice for participation in worship.


The school has been fully modernised and now features:
* Automatic doors
* Elevators
* ID card entry
* Electronic Registration
* Smart Boards in ALL Classrooms, for interactive learning
* Entrance Revolving Doors
* 200 space parking lot
* 2 very secure entrances

Bishop Stopford's is laid out differently from most modern schools. Its house structure and tradition lead it to be laid out with the following sections:

* East Wing; rooms E1 to E7
* East Wing Extension; rooms E8 to E21, (English & Technology Building)
* West Wing; rooms W1 to W15
* South East Wing (Huts - soon to be demolished); rooms SE1 to SE4
* South West Wing (Destroyed by fire); rooms SW1 to SW17
* Orchard Wing (Business, Maths and ICT Block); rooms OW1 to OW25
* Jubilee Wing (Science Block); rooms JW1 to JW11
* Sports Hall
* West Wing Art Block; rooms W16 to W19
* West Wing 6th Form Building; rooms W20 to W30
* Canteen (old Suffolks Building has been demolished), temporarily in the area surrounded by the Sports Hall, Orchard Wing, Jubilee Wing and West Wing.
* Office and Administration Block (Has been completed); rooms O1 to O4

The new canteen is planned to be in the Orchard Wing by the year 2008.
* A new building project is due to commence during 2007, comprising buildings for technology, English, the sixth form, catering and a new office & administration block as can be seen in the [ architechts' plan]

The East and West Wings are joined by the forbidden Chapel Corridor. The West Wing is joined to the Orchard Wing via a bridge overlooking the yard. The East Wing is connected to the DT & English Building via a bridge overlooking suffloks and the south east wing, and the Post-16 Building is connected to the West wing through what used to be called W14 or the Graphics Room. This means that the whole school is accessible indoors via intricate corridors and passageways. Many a student has been caught on a rainy day trying to use the Chapel corridor to try to go from German to History. The sight of a master or mistress chasing after them with black gown billowing is something generations of Stopfordians will have seen, or been part of.Stopfordians usually enjoy lunch and break times in "the yard" in other words the playground. But 1998 to 2008 pupils will know of the space between the west wing, boys toilets, and art block to be "tha Flow" predominantly where 2008 Y11's go.


The school remains one of the few educational institutions still to use gowns however this has been reduced in recent years. The uniform is a white shirt, navy blue tie, navy blue V-necked pullover and blazer bearing the school crest, and black trousers for boys and blue pleated skirt or blue trousers for girls. The summer uniform substitutes short-sleeved shirt. The uniform has the advantage that most of it was widely available from a variety of retail outlets and hence affordable to most. Ties now also bear the house and year colours. In the past, pupils could also opt for "shirt sleeve order" in the summer, with sleeves rolled up, pullover and tie removed, and top button undone. Now students are expected to wear their tie at all times, and may only undo their top-button, and remove pullovers or blazers with express permission. There are strict rules for the length of skirts and height of socks for girls.

Unusually, teachers at Stopford's are restricted by a strict dress code, which is not enforced so strictly since the new Headmistress took over. Prior to 2001 female members of staff were forbidden to wear trouser suits and must wear skirts. Male members of staff should wear a suit. Some staff wore traditional black teaching gowns, which complimented the blue and grey gowns of the pupils. Until 2001 all staff were referred to as Masters or Mistresses, the term "teacher" did not enter the Stopford's lexicon. "Lesson" was not heard other than the religious lesson in assembly. What ordinary schools call a "lesson", Stopford's called a "period".

Masters or Mistresses are always referred to by the title "Sir" or "Miss". However in recent years the use of the teachers' surname preceded by his or her title is acceptable. Using first names to refer to teachers is forbidden.

Pupils' uniform is normally bought from the tailors S. Brigg and Sons. However, gowns are purchased from the robe makers Ede and Ravenscroft of Cambridge and London.


Bishop Stopford's School has had three Chaplains since 1967. These have been the self-styled "Father" James Lowry followed by the Revd. Stephen Taylor. More recently, in May 2006, the school appointed its third chaplain, Father Antony Homer. All chaplains have chosen to take the salutation "father".

Indeed, the last chaplain, who was ordained while serving as a teacher at the school was affectionately referred to by some as, Mr. Father Taylor. He was a chemistry teacher until he left the school in 2002 to teach in France. He returned a year later, much to the delight of the students. Father Taylor eventually left to take on a full-time parish in March.

The new chaplain is 'Catholic' both in liturgical practice and in orthodox belief, and likes to be known informally as "MC Antony." He trained for Ordination at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, in West Yorkshire. Father Antony is a member of the Society of the Holy Cross [SSC] and a member of the Company of Mission Priests [CMP] .

As well as presiding over school religious occasions the chaplain coordinates the pastoral side of the school, having frequent contact with the Senior Six, Heads of House and the Senior Leadership team of the School.

The chaplain is available to talk with students and staff. Chaplain is currently a part-time position, and Fr Antony is also incumbent at Holy Trinity Church, Winchmore Hill.

Rule book

The Bishop Stopford's School Rule Book contains the school rules, and also the Church and School calendar. When the school was founded it was decided to have as few rules as possible, with new rules being introduced as and when required. Thus the rule book gradually expanded during the School's first twenty-four years. Since 2001 the rules have been simplified and can be seen at the [ School Web Site]


All pupils must attend one assembly a week, normally with their houses, however the Sixth Form has its own assembly on Fridays.

Coventry and Georges - Tuesday
King Alfreds and Temples - Wednesday
Waltham and Trinity - Thursday

The assembly at Bishop Stopford's School differs considerably from most other schools. It begins with triumphant organ music during which all pupils and staff present must stand. A house prefect from one of the houses whose assembly is being held then leads in the procession of all the prefects from the two house. Following the prefects are the senior staff, normally the Deputy Head Master and the Deputy Headmistress. Behind the deputy heads come the Chaplin. He is then followed by the Head Master's prefects, who are followed by the Headmistress. (The Head master's Prefects retain the male prefix even when there is a female head) The current Head Mistress no longer observes the tradition of previous head Masters who have carried in their academic hat however gowns are still worn. It used to be customary for the Head Master's prefects to carry the school roll and the shorts rested upon a velvet cushion however with the abolition of forgiveness and the roll now consisting of three quivers this has been stopped.

Following the procession the head used to instruct both sides of the great hall (one house on each side of the hall in collegiate fashion similar to the House of Commons) to take their seats. Although this seating arrangement has been reviewed recently. The assembly then proceeds in a more customary fashion including prayers and hymns. At the conclusion the organ is once again played and the procession lead out in the same order they came in.

Until Mrs Evans became head, every assembly began with the words, "We praise God who has brought us safely to the beginning of another day", and at the beginning of new school years or terms the lines "...and to the beginning of another year" or "...and to the beginning of another term" were added respectively. At the end of term communions the opening, "We praise God who has brought us safely to the beginning of another day, and the end of another term" is used. This would be followed by the opening of the Book of Common Prayer Morning Prayer Service lines sung by the organ master with the responses sung by the choir. With no full time organist this practise has been discontinued. Indeed, all assemblies are now less formal and less religious with the aforementioned openings reserved for end of term communions only.

Patronal Festivals

The school observes six patronal festivals each year, one for each house. They are celebrated in the hall by the individual houses on days significant to their patron. The patronal festival includes the school Eucharist as well as performances in music and the arts by house pupils.

The School Eucharist

The school Eucharist is said on many occasions throughout the year. Most pupils experience the Eucharist at the three Holy Communions at the end of each term and at their house's patronal festival. However, the school Eucharist is also said every morning before lessons in the chapel by the chaplain.

The School Chapel

The school chapel was formerly a small room on the first floor of the West Wing of the school, but is now situated in a vestibule accessed from the corridor between the East and West Wings, opposite the great hall. The school Eucharist is said in the chapel every morning as is the "Prayer For All Stopfordians". This is a special prayer for all those who have a connection with the school, living or dead.

The Chapel Corridor

The corridor between the east and west wings of the school which is the only way to access the chapel and the great hall is strictly out of bounds for all students except the sixth form. It is one of the most strictly enforced traditions and even today it is rare for a student in the school to go through the chapel corridor other than for assembly or Eucharist. This tradition is perhaps one of the least popular amongst pupils and most popular amongst staff as it means pupils, on wet cold days, have to walk around outside to get to their lessons whereas staff have warm, dry and quiet passage to lessons. There have been occasions when students have managed to access the school corridor and vandalise it, this has generally been seen as an attack on the rule that keeps them out. This power struggle between staff and student was finally won when the extreme measure was taken by the teachers of installing a keycode access system. Mrs Kohler commented: "You must understand, children are filthy vile animals, and should be treated as such. They must walk through the rain, regardless of their health conditions."

chool Organ

The school's pipe organ was made from the remains of a church organ salvaged from Sandylands Methodist Church in Morecambe, Lancashire. Bought for £400, the organ is now insured for several hundreds of thousands of pounds. Two new manuals and a new pedalboard were added during its installation, and additional pipes were bought and also built from wood. A new oaken enclosure was built and new wiring and electric bellows bought. The motor for the blower was purchased from from Trinity College of Music. As with many cathedral organs, the dummy pipes at the front of the organ are decorative and not functional.

Several notable organists have performed recitals on this instrument, including Carlo Curley, Peter Hurford, Stephen Darlington, Thomas Trotter, and John Scott.

Since the organ was rebuilt, several pupils have learned how to play on the instrument, and from 2007 selected students from the Music Form have been given the opportunity to learn the organ through funding from 'Gifted and Talented' and 'Aim Higher'. The intention is for those students to perform during assemblies and other school events. This has proved a great success, with an organ version of Bob Marley's Jamming receiving a 10 minute standing ovation.

The Great Altar

The stage contains the great altar, which is said to be the largest mobile altar in the Diocese of London, and which was borrowed by the Oxford Movement for use in the Royal Albert Hall in their 150th anniversary celebrations. The Altar is covered by one of four different Altar cloths of appropriate colours for the Church year, made by various teachers and pupils of the school.


The school is famous for its traditions, many of which were instituted by its first head master.

=The School Pilgr

Every year pupils from Years 7 to 10 go on an eleven-mile (twenty-two-kilometre) sponsored walk known as the "School Pilgrimage", along the canal tow-path of the River Lee (or Lea) Navigation from Ware to Enfield Lock. Sums raised have contributed substantially to the school foundation fund.

The Beating Of The Bounds

Every year, on Ascension Day, a group of pupils went round the boundaries of the school whipping selected areas with special whips.This is based on the Anglo-Saxon practise of beating the bounds. This has since been modernised, but a special Ascension Day assembly is still held, remembering the practice.

Merits and reward system

A "merit" is a house point awarded for good work or behaviour.

A "demerit" is a subtraction for bad behaviour of a house point from a pupil's total.

A "placet" is equivalent to ten merits. In 2003-4, placets (from the Latin for "pleasing") were replaced with "Commendations".

A "commendation" is when a subject teacher congratulates you for your hard work and dedication to the subject, a certificate is then given to you by the head teacher

A "praise card" is when a card commending your work and behaviour, is sent home to parents.

If a student obtained three placets they were given a "Public Commendation". This was abolished in 2004 as it was too similar to the new commendation which replaced the placet.

The placet involved, as is usual with anything Stopfordian, some ceremony. A master who thought one of his pupils had completed work worthy of a placet would fill in a chit to be sent to the head master along with the work. If the work was in an exercise book a stamp was put in the book and the chit sent anyway. Then, during placet week all those who had received placets would go to the head master's study and receive a personal audience with him, during which the work would be discussed briefly, the pupil congratulated and handed a certificate. Traditionally there was one placet week per term, however under the new commendation scheme no personal contact with the head is maintained, however the names are read out at the final assembly of the term.

A pupil who obtained three placets in any term was given a Public Commendation which involved the pupil's name being read out at the end of term triumvirate house meeting. The abolition of the triumvirate house meetings at the same time as the Public Commendation meant no change to this procedure was needed.

With the introduction of the new merit system in 2003, Merits were no longer recorded by teachers but were given out by them in the form of blue stickers with the Bishop's crozier logo on it. These stickers are stuck into the homework diary kept by all pupils. Then, termly, form tutors total the merits of each pupil and award bronze, silver or gold certificates depending on the number of Merits attained.


C1 to C5 with C5 being the most serious of all the sanctions

Late slips - are given when a pupil is more than 3 minutes late to lesson, ten minutes per late slip.

Departmental Detention - issued by the head of department, can last for 45 minutes

House Detention - issued by head of house or form tutor, can last for 45 minutes

School Detention(signed)-issued by a senior member of staff, the letter is sent home, you have to present your signed letter to the teacher overseeing the detention. Can last for 1 hour

School Detention (un signed) - can last for 1 hour and a half.

Internal exclusion (isolation) - pupil can be placed in the headteachers corridor or the UNIT - situated in the ground floor of the jubilee wing.

Suspension - can range from 1 day to 45 days depending on situation.

Expulsion - where a pupil is not allowed to return back to the school.

With My Duty

At the top of every piece of work, pupils are required to write the date, the title, and the words 'With My Duty', to show their acknowledgment of their duty to themselves, their parents, the school, and to God. Because of the religious context of this phrase, many teachers no longer enforce the "WMD" rule, accepting that it maybe offensive to non-christians.

Cardinals' hats

This is a tradition of which some pupils may not be aware. When a cardinal dies his hat is hung in the Vatican forever. This has been going on for over a thousand years, and some of the old hats are now disintegrating. At Bishop Stopford's the programmes of all School productions are pinned to the beam above the stage facing the great altar. They hang there until "like cardinals' hats they are molested by moths" as the first Head Master would say.

The School Prayer

The School Song

The school song is the hymn "Captain Of Israel's Host and Guide" by Charles Wesley, set to the tune "Marienlyst" by J.W.David.

The words to the school song are:

"Captain of Israel's Host and guide,
of all who seek the land above,
beneath they shadow we abide,
the cloud of they protecting love,
thy strength, thy grace,
they rule, thy word,
our end the glory of the Lord.

By thine unerring spirit led,
we shall not in the desert stray,
we shall not full direction need,
nor miss our providential way.
As far from danger, as from fear,
while love almighty love is near."


The School Roll

Since the school was founded, every new pupil and teacher at the school has signed his name on the School Roll. Originally a single roll of paper, kept in a leather quiver, this has now had to have additional paper added to the first roll and two new separate rolls (and quivers) made to accommodate new names. The roll was carried in the procession every morning in Assembly but as it now comprises three quivers this has been stopped. On special occasions one of the three quivers is carried to signify the roll's importance in the life of the school.

Some people are on the roll twice. This includes the second Head Master, Mr. Pickard, and all the Head Master's prefects who sign the roll for a second time upon being elevated to that rank.

At least two honorary Stopfordians are on the roll, Christoph Spital, who has run the exchange programme with Germany since 1985, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh , who visited the school in October 2003.

The Head Master's Prefects are the guardians of the Roll during their time in office and have to present the Roll on Founders' Day.

topfordian artwork

The school has a huge collection of in-house art work, mostly created by the sixth forms through the years and by the long time head of art, the recently retired Peter Webb. Mr. Webb was a highly regarded artist, and one of the most eccentric teachers in the school. He was famous for his excitement regarding taking his clothes off for life drawing classes, round glasses, Beatle haircut and clothes.

Peter Webb painted many portraits of staff on their retirement. His huge painting of Dr. Roberts adorns the Great Hall, next to which is now hung a smaller portrait of Mr. Pickard, the second Head Master. One of the most influential deputy headmistresses, Mrs. Peploe, famous for her strictness, looks over the chapel corridor in art-form. Perhaps the positioning of this picture pays homage to her days trying to catch pupils trying to go through the chapel corridor. Webb also painted a very large "The Denial Of Saint Peter", featuring a likeness of the then Chaplain Lowry in the role of the Disciple Peter, apparently in a drunken stupor. This painting was Webb's personal property and was removed from the School on his retirement. Mr. Webb's most famous artwork, completed with the help of the sixth form, is the statue of Bishop Stopford himself, made out of Papier-mâché on a galvanised chicken-wire frame, however it is so good that many students complete a Stopford's career convinced that it is a bronze.

The School Plant

The chamomile - or as it is also known "anthemis nobilis" is the school plant. Also carried in processions, it represents the school's ability to thrive in adverse conditions. This is taken from the line in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 'The Camomile; The more it is trodden on, the faster it grows'. The choice reflects the hardships the school endured in the early years.


"Forgiveness" is an alternative to corporal punishment. If a pupil wants to choose to be forgiven rather than having the cane he may do so. A pupil who chooses forgiveness is made to perform arduous tasks or physical exercise for a period of approximately one hour, after which he is said to be 'forgiven'. To make the choice, a pupil is presented with a cushion bearing a pair of blue and a pair of black shorts. If he selects the blue shorts he will receive the cane, if he opts for the black shorts he will receive forgiveness. The shorts were carried on the cushion in procession in House Assemblies. With the abolition of corporal punishment in England the trial by shorts procedure is now defunct. In recent years Forgiveness has become less and less common however it remains one of the strictest punishments in British schooling.

Although corporal punishment is no longer used, the school displayed many canes in the Great Hall and the Head Master's study until very recently. These canes, along with special whips, are used in the beating of the bounds celebration.

Oak Up

Before the destruction of the South West wing due to fire, the Head Master had his study upstairs. When he did not want to be disturbed he would write on a blackboard the words, "OAK UP" to signify this. This came from the Cambridge tradition where those who did not wish to be disturbed would close the outer oak doors of their accommodation. This was known as 'sporting one's oak'. However, most of the Stopfordians did not know this so proceeded to walk straight past this sign.

The sign is an example of the so-called "instant traditions" of the first Head Master, Dr. Roberts. Indeed this remark was made by the Bishop of London during an address at Speech Day. Although many of the traditions were instituted rather than evolved, they are an integral part of the life of the school and loved by many.


The first Head Master was famous for keeping bees in the school. It was not uncommon to see the Head Master walking around the school in the full apparel of a beekeeper. Several bee hives were kept in the small garden, and honey was extracted and jarred to be later traded for charity money at the school fete.

Noteworthy teachers

The longest serving teacher currently at the school is Mr. Malcolm Chalmers who has been at the school since a term after the founding, approximately thirty-nine years. There are also many other teachers who have been there over twenty years. These include: Miss Batty (Teacher of ICT), Miss. Leverington (House Mistress of Temple's House), Mrs. Hannan (Head of the Lower School), Mr. Geary (Head of Business and Economics), Mr. Peutrill, Miss. A. Jones (Head of Upper School), Miss. Jones (Head of Science) and Mr. Jones. Mr. Leslie Pringle who was a pupil at both the previous Suffolks Secondary Modern School and at Bishops', returned to teach divinity, being the first of a number of pupils to return as staff.

Mr July, a very popular teacher and form tutor of 10G, died of lung cancer in 2006. A memorial service was held for him in the Great Hall


The school is notable as one of the only educational institutions still to require its students to wear gowns. Although in 2003 the new Headmistress instituted blazers with gowns reserved for special occasions. The gowns vary in colour but all take the form of a long sleeveless robe. House Prefects wear grey gowns, School Prefects wear royal blue and Senior Prefects navy blue. House Captains also wear navy blue. The most senior rank of prefects, the Senior VI, wear navy blue Senior Prefect gowns with a coloured flashing to signify their rank. The Deputy Head Boy and Girl have a thin purple stripe and the Head Boy and Girl have thick purple stripe. The most senior and oldest rank of prefect, the Head Master's Prefects, have a thick red stripe on their gown. To wear a gown is considered a great privilege by the students.


Bishop Stopford's School has one of the most complex prefect systems in operation in British schooling. It is generally regarded as a strength of the school.

The lowest rank of prefect is the "House Prefect". This is open to the boys and girls in the fifth form and they are chosen by their house master or house mistress. The next rank up is "School Prefect". This rank comprises students from the lower and upper sixth forms and are selected by the Heads of Houses, the Head of the Sixth Form, the Head of the Upper School and the Head Master. "Senior Prefects" are the next rank up. This comprises house captains and former house captains. House captains are traditionally selected from the lower sixth form and serve for a year. In the upper sixth they retain all the rights and privileges but not the title. The next rank up is the "Deputy Head Boy" and "Deputy Head Girl". These are chosen by a poll of the entire sixth form. Then comes the "Head Boy" and "Head Girl", also chosen by poll. The Head Master's Prefects (still styled in this fashion even when there is a Head Mistress) are the most senior and most ancient rank of prefect and are chosen personally by the Head Master or Mistress upon consultation with the Head of Sixth Form and Head of Upper School.

The "Deputy Head Boy" and "Deputy Head Girl", the "Head Boy" and "Head Girl", and the "Head Master's Prefects" are collectively called the "Senior Six" or "Senior VI". They wear special gowns and represent the school on public and state functions. They also have considerable rights, powers and privileges as well as the ear of the senior staff of the school.

Headteacher's Prefects are Prashant Christy and Priya Deo.
Head Boy of the school is Stephen Ruggles and the Head Girl is Sarah Hamlin.
Deputy Head Boy is Saleem Hussain and Deputy Head Girl is Hannah Mann.

Prefects' Investiture

The investiture of prefects is one of the pastoral and ceremonial highlights of the school year. House, school and senior prefects are invested in their own house assembly.

The Head Master asks the House Master or Mistress to stand and asks:

"Is there anyone in N house worthy of the rank of X prefect?"

To which the House Master or Mistress will respond, assuming there are:

"There are."

Head Master - "Have they been told of all their duties and all that will be expected of them?"Housemaster - "They have."Head Master - "Then I shall admit them."

The House Master then reads out the name and rank of each pupil to be invested. One by one they stand, and then have their gown placed on them. They then have to go to the Head Master and kneel before him. He then asks them some questions to which the prefect-to-be gives certain responses. A prefect's badge is then pressed into the hands of the pupil, who is now a prefect.

The investiture of members of the Senior Six is twofold. There is a private conference with the Head Master in which the pupil has to place his or her hands on a bible and promise to uphold the ten commandments and the dignity of the school amongst other things.

The public ceremony of investing the Senior Six takes place in all the house assemblies and involves the passing of the gowns from the old Senior Six to the new Senior Six. A prefect's term in the Senior Six lasts the entirety of their final year at the school.

Changing traditions

Since the arrival of Bridget Evans, there has been a drive to improve the school's academic performance. This means that Bishop Stopford's heads the league tables for non-selective mixed schools in Enfield. It also has an Investors in People award and is involved in the "Healthy Schools Campaign".

However, some older Stopfordians regret the loss of old customs. For example, the last chaplain, Father Taylor was a steadfast traditionalist and is said to be one of the many teachers who spoke against abolishing the houses when the idea was proposed by the current Head. His sermons in communion were often comical, and frequently had both staff and students in fits of laughter. However, when defending tradition he was very serious indeed. He had instituted some traditions of his own and is the only teacher other than Dr. Roberts who had done this on a large scale. He is also responsible for the restoration of the procession and of the collegiate seating arrangement after both were abolished for a brief period during 2004. Many Stopfordians believe that on Fr. Taylor's departure the last bastion of the tradition of the Roberts and Pickard era has gone. Other teachers like and benefit from the traditions but it is unlikely that many would defend them in the same way.

elected Old Stopfordians

* Ruth Symes became a children's author, writing books such as Carnegie Medal nominated "The Master Of Secrets", "Smelly Sock Soup", "Little Tail", and "Floppy Ears", and for the television programme "The Hoobs".

* Winston Marche became a professional musician, playing drums for among others, Bob Dylan

* Dr. Andrew Wright, became a senior lecturer in religious and theological education at King's College, London and is the co-ordinator of the Centre For Theology, Religion And Culture (CFTRAC)at that college.


# [ "Treading on the Camomile" G. Roberts (Links to British Library Catalogue Data - requires registration)] .

External links

* [ Partner school in Germany]
* [ Friends Reunited Page]
* [ School Website]

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