Queen Elizabeth's High School

Queen Elizabeth's High School

Infobox UK school
name = Queen Elizabeth's High School

size = 150px
latitude = 53.399298
longitude = -0.772648
dms =
motto = "Officium omnes adligat" ("Service links all")
motto_pl =
established = 1589
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Grammar School
religion =
president =
head_label =
headmaster = Mr D.J. Smart
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label =
chair =
founder = Sir Robert Somerscale
founder_pl =
specialist =
street = Morton Terrace
city = Gainsborough
county = Lincolnshire
country = England flagicon|England
postcode = DN21 2ST
ofsted = 120655
staff = c. 80
enrollment = c. 1200
gender = co-educational
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses = Austen, Brunel, Churchill, Darwin, Elgar and Scott
colours = Navy, red and yellow
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website = http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk
website_name =

Queen Elizabeth's High School is an 11-18 co-educational grammar school, based in Gainsborough in northern Lincolnshire. It is well known within the local area as an institution of extremely high academic excellence.

The school is selective; pupils wishing to enter the school at age 11 must sit and pass the Eleven Plus exam prior to entry. The school is a centre for sitting the exam.



Although the details are unclear, Gainsborough appears to have had a small grammar school from the 15th century provided by the local clergy, where possibly several of the Pilgrim Fathers received their early education. Many of the school's early records were lost during the reign of Charles I, owing to the prominent Puritan sympathies of many associated with the school who sought to avoid detection, and so had the incriminating records destroyed.

Queen Elizabeth's High School formally originates however in 1589, when Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to Sir Robert Somerscale in order to establish Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School for boys, with the express purpose of providing an education in the Classics and Divinity for the sons of the emerging middle class in the town. In 1828, the Chartist poet Thomas Cooper sought to set up a rival grammar school, but failed, and saw his school absorbed by QEHS. Gainsborough High School, a grammar school for girls, was founded in 1920.


From 1795 until 1940 QEGS was located on Cox's Hill, at what is now the Hickman Hill Hotel. In 1940 both schools re-situated to the present Morton Terrace site, on which the local technical college was also based. Under the Tripartite System they became fully state grammar schools, having been fee-paying before then. The schools merged to form the current setup of QEHS in 1983.

Recent history

In 2006, the headteacher of 11 years, Mr. John Child MA (Cantab.), resigned his position to give way to the current head Mr. David Smart.

chool administration and structure

Each year from 7 to 11 has ca. 180 students, and each year is divided into 6 "forms" (the Sixth Form years generally contain approximately 140 students and are divided into eight smaller forms). [http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/documents/Library/Prospectus%5CProspectus%202006.pdf]

The House system

There are six houses at the school Austen, Brunel, Churchill, Darwin, Elgar and Scott named after notable Britons.

The houses compete in a closely-fought competition throughout each school year, taking part in a series of events ranging from cricket and football through to debating and drama. The current holders of the inter-house championship are Grenville house (Old system). Students can win colours for representing house and school in events.

The school contains approximately 1200 students from over a wide area including Northern Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. There are roughly 80 teaching staff and many support staff.

The current Senior Management Team comprises

*Mr DJ Smart - Headteacher
*Mr PW Russell - Deputy Head (Standards)
*Mr MA Cowling - Assistant Head (Student Welfare)
*Dr MJ Fraser - Assistant Head (ICT)
*Mr S Worrall - Assistant Head (14-19 education)
*Mr S Burnage - Assistant Head (Director of Specialisms)
*Mrs D Brown - School Administrator

The School day

As of 2008, the School has an six period day, though many lessons are taught as double periods. There are four periods in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each period lasts 50 minutes. Students have a 20 minute break mid-morning, and a 50 minute lunch break. [http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/documents/Library/Prospectus%5CProspectus%202006.pdf] .

ubject departments

Music and drama at the School



The school has many musical groups, run by the members of Music staff, Mr. S. Burnage and Mrs. J. Stockdale, with the school's various instrumental teachers. The school has a junior, senior and swing band, a school orchestra, a string ensemble and chamber-sized brass groups, including a large brass group, a senior brass group, a horn group (and this year, a senior horn group) and a Year 9 brass group (of 5 students, who performed without a conductor). Music has a long history at QEHS, with the Anglican choral composer W. Stanley Vann being head of Music during the 1930s.

The school runs basic music education for years 7 - 9 and students may then elect to take GCSE in Music in Years 10 and 11. Students can then, according to their GCSE results, take it to AS in Year 12 and then convert to A2 in Year 13. Results for Music at A-Level and GCSE tend to be high.

The music department has recently taken over a former common room (room 57) to be used as extra practice space, in addition to teaching rooms 53 and 54. Furthermore, a "music technology" course has been mooted for future introduction, although plans have presently been shelved.

Drama is also strong at QEHS- recent productions have included "West Side Story" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" amongst others.

The present Head of Arts Faculty (comprising Art, Music and Drama) is Mrs M Muir.

Languages at the school

Similarly to music, students chose their own preferences with language. All students in year 7 take 3 periods of French, German and Spanish. At the end of year 7, students must drop one of these subjects. They then continue through to year 9 with the chosen two. They must then take a GCSE in either French, German or Spanish and were until 2006 given the choice to take Latin at GCSE, providing the student has taken it into year 9. Students may take either French or German at A-Level, but the school doesn't offer Latin A-Level owing to a lack of resources, though Classical Civilisation can be taken as an A-Level, which includes sections of what would be taught on the Latin A-Level course.

With the school announcing a specialism in Languages at the same time as the Latin teacher is due to retire, Latin has been phased out of the curriculum in favour of Spanish. The introduction of Spanish, whilst popular, caused some problems after the main teacher of this language left the school in 2008.

The present Head of Languages is Mrs S.L. Pearson.

Mathematics at the school

The Maths department is one of the strongest faculties within the school. A large 7-room wing of the school is dedicated to the department, together with an office for faculty staff. From year 8 to year 11, students are set by ability into one of four groups, with year 7 students being set in one of 2 groups from 2007. At A-level, the subject stands as one of the most popular, with a number of the most able students electing to study Further Maths. A selection of top-set students take part in the UK Maths Challenge every year. The department as a whole comprises 8 full time members of staff and 3 part time teachers. [http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/documents/Library/Prospectus%5CProspectus%202006.pdf] . From 2007, the most able students will be given the option of taking the GCSE earlier than normal (in year 10) and commencing A-level study earlier.

The current Head of Mathematics is Mrs M Spence, supported by Mrs JA Hopkinson (2nd in department).

cience at the school

The school is equipped with a large number of specialist rooms which are currently dispersed around the site (although in the long term, it is hoped to consolidate the accommodation in a new build block). Biology is centred in Lower School, with rooms 1, 2, 3 and 7 being set aside for its use. Chemistry is more spread out, with room 8 in the lower school as well as 40 and 41 in Middle School, and 52 in the Upper School. The Physics department occupies rooms 31, 51 and 61. The dispersal of labs can cause some organisational and logistical difficulties (for example with storage and movement of equipment), which the creation of a new block would solve. However, rooming sometimes varies in accordance with timetabling necessities (for example some Physics lessons taught in Chemistry rooms), and rooms frequently overlap. Additionally, a few A level lessons sometimes occur in regular classrooms.

All students study the three separate disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in form groups in years 7 and 8, before being set for year 9. For GCSE students can chose between three courses - Single Award, Double Award and Triple Award, depending on their personal preferences together with their year 9 SATS results. A level courses in Biology and Chemistry are some of the most popular in the school - Physics is slightly less so, but remains oversubscribed.

The current Head of Science is Mr P.B. James, who is also Head of Physics. He is supported by the Head of Biology, Mrs G.E. Frost, the Head of Chemistry, Mr G.P. Cooke, and the Senior Technician Mr P.G. Oldfield, who oversees a team of five lab technicians.

Technology at the school

The school has a modern technology suite situated in the middle school, opened by Prince Charles the Prince of Wales in 1999. It comprises two woodwork rooms (33 & 34), and one room each for Electronics (32), Graphics (35) and Food Technology (36). Additionally, four fixed computer rooms (27, 28, 29 and 37) are used both for teaching of ICT and Computing, and for use by other faculties by prior arrangement. All students study Technology and ICT up until Year 9, where they must opt to take at least one technology course for GCSE. The A levels offered in Computing and CDT remain popular. The current Head of Technology is Mr W. Shaw, whilst the Head of IT department is Mr. D. Fogg.

The IT support department maintains all computer equipment elsewhere in the school, with a support team of 3 technicians. Two of the main ICT teaching rooms were refurbished in Summer 2008 with new computers, and a new "extended learning centre" is currently being created in the former private study area of room 75.

port and other extracurricular activities

QEHS has a thriving sporting calendar, with football, rugby, cricket and athletics being the main boys sports, and hockey, netball, tennis and athletics being the main girls sports. From Year 10, these choices can also include squash, badminton and golf amongst others.

Sporting facilities are considered to be very good at QEHS, with four cricket pitches, two hockey pitches, two rugby pitches and three football pitches available. They are maintained by a full time groundsman. Several long-jump pits and tennis courts are also on site. The school has the use of the local public swimming baths and squash courts on the Avenue in Gainsborough.

Inter-school matches are played against other grammar schools in Lincolnshire, and a few public schools and secondary modern schools. In recent years cricket has proved particularly successful at QEHS, with several sides proving victorious in local competitions such as the year 10 cricket side of 2006 under former staff member Mr. Price, who won the under 15's county championship. Several Elizabethans have also been active at county level, including Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

Pupils are encouraged to serve the community, and several do volunteer work in the local area. Many Sixth-Formers have taken part in Young Enterprise and this has proved another area in which the school has succeeded. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme has similarly thrived.

QEHS has built up an excellent reputation locally for debating, with teams winning several competitions locally and nationally, including the Youth Speaks Competition.

The Head of PE is currently Mr S. F. Curry.

chool buildings

As the school in its current state derived from an amalgamation of three former institutions, the main school buildings can be divided into three parts. Each part of school differs slightly in both architectural design and function. The original buildings have been extensively refurbished and or updated in some areas, and broadly left alone in others. Some areas are completely new build, either integrated with the older buildings (e.g. technology) or separate (e.g. humanities). The designations "Lower", "Middle" and "Upper" school broadly denote the forms which are based in these areas, however this is set to change with the introduction of a house-based tutorial system in 2008.

College House

A large Victorian house was previously in use in the school as part of the old girl's school. It is, however currently un-occupied and used for storage by caretakers. It sees occasional use for art exhibitions as well as bi-annual language oral examinations (due to its location in a quiet part of the campus, in an area that can be sectioned off for long periods of time easily). It is connected to the main buildings by a passageway (normally locked) accessible near room 9. A scheme was mooted as part of the specialism bid for College House to be turned into a music centre, however this was dropped due to lack of funds and the difficulty in converting the building in line with modern building regulations.

Due to the infrequent use of the College House, several ghost stories have sprung up surrounding several art students and the caretakers, who often use the house for storage. The most famous of these stories is that six art students went one day to move a statue or bust to another room of the house in order to use the statue room to display the students' artwork. The next day, the extremely heavy statue (which had taken all seven of them to lift it) was found on the staircase, laid on its side. There are also rumours of floating lights and extreme, sudden cold in certain rooms.

The future of College House as of 2008 looks bleak - the site is mooted for a new Science block, which would occupy the space on which it now stands.

Lower School

The "Lower School" buildings are the northmost on the school site, and originated from the former "Girl's High School".

Today, the buildings are used to accommodate a number of humanities departments, as well as departmental teaching rooms for science - in the main Biology but also some Chemistry. The building's main hall, "Lower School Hall" is used for sporting activities, occasional internal examinations, as well as house and, ironically, "Middle School" (Years 10 & 11) assemblies. Additionally, there are two science preparation labs, Head of Year offices and the school's Finance Office. Two changing/shower rooms exist but are these days used only very rarely and may be converted to other use in time. The building has been added to by a mixture of portable and permanent classrooms, some of which have been demolished and replaced recently.

The school's numbering scheme commences in Lower School, starting at room 1, a biology laboratory, and moving through to room 18, one of number of recently constructed portable classrooms.

Middle School

The "Middle School" buildings are the central buildings of the school site, and originated from the former Gainsborough Technical College.

Today, the buildings are used to accommodate a number of departments, including English, Technology and Information Technology. A small hall in this area is fitted out as a performing Arts Studio, used for drama lessons and productions as well as occasional assemblies and presentations. The Science department headquarters are located near room 31, a Physics lab, and upstairs there are two Chemistry classrooms, a prep lab, and offices for the Head of Chemistry and the Property Manager. This was also home to the old boardroom which, as of September 2007, will be used as the Headteacher's office. A new boardroom has been created in the area of the central buildings used as a staffroom. The main school office is situated in this area, together with offices for other key support staff.

Upper School

The "Upper School" buildings are the southernmost on the school site, and originated from the former "Boy's Grammar School".

Today, the buildings are used to accommodate a number of departments. Mathematics occupies most of the southern corridor, with 7 dedicated teaching rooms and a staff office. The Science department has two Physics and one Chemistry lab, as well as the central technician's office. Music is spread near the corridor towards "Middle School", and two large classrooms as well as several smaller practice rooms are available for their use. A room formerly utilised as an overspill common room has been converted for use as another music practice room. The Art department is located near Music, and encompasses a converted gym with two large Art rooms, and smaller rooms for storage and for use as offices. The building also includes the library (which itself has a sixth form private study area, careers room and offices), the main ("hot") canteen, and the school shop. Several smaller rooms are used mainly for sixth form teaching of various subjects, including maths and humanities, but also smaller classes lower down the school, such as set 4 maths groups.

The building contains two large halls used for assemblies and examinations. One, known as the "Sports Hall", is, as its name implies, the main sports hall of the school and is also used to accommodate "Lower School" (Years 7-9) assemblies and GCSE exams. Another, "Upper School Hall" is used for Upper School (Years 10-13) assemblies, as well as A-level exams. Upper School Hall is fitted with a modern sound and projection system for audio-visual presentation, and as such is often the location for computer-based presentations or drama events.


Near the end of the Maths corridor in Upper School, there is a large outside block known as the "languages block", as it was, until 2008, primarily used for teaching foreign languages. It comprises four brick-built classrooms and two more temporary Portakabin buildings. Offices for faculty staff, language assistants and a Head of Year are situated in the building. The block is currently being refurbrished as part of a plan which will see it being used by the English department from 2008, with additional office and meeting space.

Other outbuildings include the Cricket Pavilion, which was erected during the early 1990s by the late Mr John Tiffen, but which has of late fallen into disuse and been the subject of several break-ins by local vandals. A workshop is situated nearby in a Portakabin building, and forms the base for the Property Department.

ixth-Form Centre

The School's "Sixth Form" has its own dedicated building, situated at the south of the school campus. It features a large main common room, two smaller rooms (one of which is the Councillor Mrs Jean Bassett Room), and a large room with computing facilities for study (known as room 80). Outside the building is a car park for the use of sixth-form students and teaching staff. [http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/documents/Library/Prospectus%5CProspectus%202006.pdf]

As of September 2007, teachers Mr Simon Hopkinson (Head of Sixth Form), Mr Nigel Dawson (Assistant Head of Sixth Form) and Mr Shane Worrall (Assistant Head of 14-19 Curriculum and Line Manager for the Sixth Form), as well as Mrs Anya Brown (6th form administrative assistant), have offices in this centre also.

The majority of sixth form lessons still take place in regular classrooms elsewhere in the school, however several rooms (notably 57, 67, 68, 75, 80, 81, 82) are set aside exclusively for sixth form teaching and other uses.

The QEHS "Sixth Form" is quite successful; its AS and A2 performance scores 396.5 (the national average is 277.6) (From [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/education/05/school_tables/secondary_schools/html/925_4065.stm BBC League Tables] ).Many pupils go on to Russell Group Universities for further study, including a small number each year who successfully attain undergraduate places at Oxbridge Colleges.

For the future

Mr. Smart, the incumbent Headteacher, has entered the school for application of specialist status in Music and Languages. It became effective in 2008. [http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk/documents/Library/School%20Newsletters%5CQEHS%20Grapevine%20Newsletter%20Published%20February%202007.pdf]

Not all members of the student body and their parents were happy with this decision. It has since been agreed among PTA members and staff that Music and Languages would be a good move for specialism for the school. This decision caused particular anger among the Sports department, and the resulting protest involved a number of students protesting on the schools' field. Many students involved in the protest cared or knew little of why they were protesting but took the opportunity to leave lessons. Whether or not the protest was supported or encouraged by members of the sports department remains unresolved. Head teacher David Smart referred to the protest as "ridiculous".

A visible sign of the changes to the school has been the installation of 6 two-way LCD display screens at various locations around the school. This replaced the previous system of such announcements being broadcast in assemblies, and is administered by the ICT Department, supported by the school's office staff. Notices are still read out daily in registration, and the screens act as a summary of these notices.

The cold canteen in middle school will be refurbished to serve as a classroom, to cope with an expansion in requirements for space. The area or "garden" beside the hot canteen will be turned into a cold canteen with outdoor seating facilities.

tudent Voice

Another of Mr. David Smart's contributions to the school is "increased importance of students' views." A new school council was started shortly after Mr. Smart started his period as Head. It was aimed towards allowing students to have a say in how (not if) the school was to change. Unfortunately, some students feel their views were ignored.

Notable Old Elizabethans

*Michael Belton- astronomer and Gerard P. Kuiper Prize holder
*Sir Halford Mackinder- British geographer, diplomat, Fabian, Liberal MP and founder of the LSE
*James Bowling Mozley- Anglican clergyman and theologian and Oxford Movement chronicler
*Thomas Mozley- Anglican clergyman and Anglo-Catholic theologian
*Edward Rainbowe- 17th century Anglican bishop of Carlisle and Puritan writer
*John Robinson- Puritan theologian and pastor to the Pilgrim Fathers
*Robert Smith- mathematician and mc music theorist
*John Smyth- Puritan pastor and founder of the Baptist movement
*Luke Cragg - International athlete (England)- http://www.englandathletics.org/teams/england-team-for-home-international/

ee also

* Grammar School (general)
* Grammar schools in the United Kingdom
* Eleven plus
* Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

External links

* [http://www.qehs.lincs.sch.uk Queen Elizabeth's High School - Official Website]
* [http://www.ratemyteachers.co.uk/schools/england/gainsborough/queen_elizabeth%2527s_high_school Rate My Teachers]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=dn21+2st&ll=53.399298,-0.772648&spn=0.072055,0.215607&om=1 QEHS on google maps]
* [http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=53.411102~-0.77702&style=a&lvl=17&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=7686282 QEHS on Microsoft Virtual Earth] (higher resolution than Google Maps)

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