The Judd School

The Judd School

Infobox school
name = The Judd School

size =
latitude = 51.188
longitude = 0.2645
dms =
motto = "Deus Dat Incrementum"
(God Gives Growth)
motto_pl =
established = 1888
c_approx =
type = Voluntary aided grammar school
head_label = Headmaster
head = Robert Masters, BSc
founder = The Skinners' Company
founder_pl =
specialist = Specialist College for Music with English and Science with Mathematics
street = Brook Street
city = Tonbridge
county = Kent
postcode = TN9 2PN
country = England, UK
LEA = Kent
ofsted = 118843
staff = c. 65
enrollment = 935 [ The Judd School Prospectus] ]
gender = Boys (11-16)
Co-educational (16-18)
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
colours = color box|navy Navy and color box|maroon Maroon
publication = "The Juddian"
website =
website_name =

The Judd School is a voluntary aided grammar school in the town of Tonbridge in Kent, England. It was the town's first grammar school, and remains one of the leading state schools in the United Kingdom. [ [ DfES School Performance Tables] ] There are around 920 students in the school aged 11 to 18 - all boys bar around 60 girls in the sixth form. The school was designated as one of the first six Specialist Music Colleges in September 2004. The current headmaster is Robert Masters, who has occupied the post since September 2004.

Judd strives for academic success, with prospective first-year students having to take the "eleven plus" examination in order to gain a seat. The school targets 100% pass rates at both GCSE and A-level, and Judd is consistently ranked among the top state schools in the country. League tables published by the BBC based on 2007 A-level results rank Judd as the best boys' state school in Kent, and the third best school overall including the independent sector (and notably ahead of Tonbridge School). [ [ BBC News - 2008 League Tables for Secondary Schools in Kent] ] In recent years Judd students have received a number of commendations from the Exam Boards following national top ten or top five scores in GCSE and A Level subjects. The vast majority of Judd students go on to higher education following the completion of their A-levels at the end of Year 13.


The death of Sir Andrew Judde left the control of Tonbridge School, which he founded in 1553, in the hands of the Worshipful Company of Skinners, a London Livery Company. Their remit, of maintaining a school in Judde's home town where bright young boys would be able to receive a free education, was achieved until Tonbridge School became independent and began charging fees.

By the late nineteenth century, the town of Tonbridge was fast experiencing competition from its growing neighbour, Tunbridge Wells. Having lost their free boys' school, the townspeople of Tonbridge were further outraged in 1887 when the Skinners' Company founded The Skinners' School school in Tunbridge Wells. In response to the uproar, the company founded "Sir Andrew Judde's Commercial School" in East Street the following year, and the town regained its free boys' school. The school quickly grew and moved to its present site in 1896.

To this day it has maintained its close links with The Skinners' Company – every July the Company comes to the school for the Visitation of the Governors and Prizegiving. The school's recent building ambitions have been greatly helped by funding from the Skinners. The Skinners' School remains Judd's sister school, and the Judd-Skinners match is the most important match for both schools during both rugby and cricket seasons.

The 1990s saw former headmaster Keith Starling preside over an unprecedented period of expansion and development for the school, beginning with the construction of the £2.1 million "Cohen Building" in 1992. The next decade saw new construction projects appear regularly, including (amongst others) the Music Centre (1998), the Library Building (2001) and the new Sports Hall (2003).

Taking over the position of headmaster in 2004, Robert Masters oversaw the school's transition to Music Specialist status. He also organised the building of the school's own all-weather pitch which was completed in December 2006, and has helped to increase the available playground space for the school's growing student population. Masters has also implemented a change in the format of the school day, replacing the traditional school day of eight forty minute periods with a new system of two-week timetables and six fifty-minute periods per day, from the start of the new academic year 2007-2008.

The official school hymn, Jerusalem, is traditionally sung on the afternoon of Prizegiving. The school's motto, which reflects that of its forerunner Tonbridge School, is ""Deus Dat Incrementum", Latin for "God Gives Growth".

School structure

Judd currently has 918 pupils on roll (as of September 2007) from Years 7 to 13, with 69 teachers. Each Year Group has its own dedicated Head of Year, in addition to an overall Head of Sixth Form and departmental heads.

The school re-introduced the house system in 2008, with students and staff are divided among four houses named after prominent alumni of the school, with members of each house wearing ties featuring their house colour.

* Duke - after Neville Duke, a World War II fighter pilot and quondam holder of the world air speed record
* Hodge - after Donald Hodge, a First World War combatant
* Lewin - after Terence Lewin, former Chief of the Defence Staff and Admiral of the Fleet
* Powell - after Professor Cecil Frank Powell, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1950

Lower school

The school has an annual intake of around 125 boys at the beginning of Year 7, who are divided into four forms - W, X, Y and Z. Historically, Years 7-11 (then known as first to fifth forms) were divided into four houses - Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta - but the house system was ceased in the late 1980s by former Headmaster Keith Starling. With the re-introduction of the houses, the W-X-Y-Z form groups remain the same in Year 7 and 8, but become vertical forms in years 9-11, with boys of the same house spread of these three year groups in each form.

Inter-form events, in the lower school include A-team and B-team rugby and cricket, cross-country, basketball, athletics (at the annual Sports Day) and swimming. However, none of these events have rewards for the winning form. This shall be rectified in the year 2008-2009 with the introduction of House Points.

Sixth Form

The sixth form at Judd was historically grouped into "Arts" and "Sciences". However, its size has grown tremendously over time and now stands at over 300 students. There is a net intake of around 40 students at the beginning of Year 12 (with places offered principally based on GCSE results), with around 30 girls and 10 boys joining around 110 who have stayed on at The Judd. The 150 boys and girls in each year are divided into eight forms, two for each house. They are labelled as follows: 12-L1, 12-L2... with different letters for each house (L for Lewin, P for Powell, H for Hodge and D for Duke). From the academic year 2007-2008, sixth formers can if they wishFact|date=June 2007 study a fifth academic subject for AS-level examinations instead of General Studies at the end of Year 12, continuing through with four of these to full A-levels in Year 13.

The Sixth Form has its own Common Room, with a cafeteria shared with staff. Historically, the end of the Year 12 would see around forty students appointed as Prefects to help the staff with tasks such as controlling the lunch queue and patrolling the school outside lesson-time. Prefects were issued with a blue tie (or badge for females) to indicate their status, and were headed by a group of "Senior Prefects" consisting of a Head Prefect, two Deputy Head Prefects, and a number of Senior Prefects. However, since 2006-2007, all sixth formers are now treated as Prefects, with a cadre of six Senior Prefects. With the introduction of the House system, this system will be changed again, to have the Head Prefect, deputies, and four House Captains. Only those appointed as Blue Ties (through an application process) will be involved in duties.

In common with many schools, the last day of study before A-Levels brings a great deal of celebration for Year 13s, commonly known as "Muck-Up Day". Various items of fancy dress or old school uniform are worn, and some practical jokes are played. Recent examples include placing hundreds of rubber ducks around the school and grounds (2005), clingfilming a hut (2002), chaining a room shut from the inside (2002), planting a tree in the centre of the rugby pitch (2006), and raising a German flag up the school's flag pole (2006). Amongst other pranks, 2007 saw the Headmaster's front door repainted from blue to pink, the construction of a golf course (known as the "Masters' Masters") on the school fields and a group of students spending the night camped on the rugby pitch, school benches placed on the roofs and a tree being planted in the centre of the athletics track/rugby field, and four students abseiling three storeys down the Cohen building to place a plaque titled "leavers 2007". Naturally the class of 08 attempted to go one better, with the release of live chickens around the school, as well the hiring of a Bouncy Castle, which was put on the Lawton's Garden.

Buildings and property

The school has the following main buildings:
* The Main School Building – opened 1896 and subsequently extended
* Lawtons – a neighbouring house inherited and converted by the school
* The (Old) Gymnasium – opened 1958
* The RE Building (a.k.a. the "God Block"), previously the English Block and, before that, the Art Block – opened 1973
* The Cohen Building – opened 1993
* The Music Centre – opened 1995
* The Library Building – opened 2002
* The Sports Hall – opened 2003

The school grounds have sufficient space for two rugby pitches and training grids in the winter months, or a 200m running track, athletic field events and a cricket ground (with nets for summer. It has additional sports grounds at its 'Yeomans' fields, approximately one mile from the school, which include two full-size rugby pitches in winter and two artificial cricket pitches in the summer . There are also three concrete tennis courts, an air rifle range (used by the school's Combined Cadet Force) and an open-air swimming pool.

A new three-storey building, devoted to Mathematics and Geography, is currently in the process of being built on the site of the final hut. After the project's completion; The Mathematics Corridor will house the Economics, Politics and Business Studies department, and Lawtons will, potentially, become a flat. The Geography rooms, currently adjacent to the Sixth Form Common Room, will become part of a Sixth Form Wing. Construction of this new multi-million pound building known within school as the Maths-Geography Block (MGB) has now begun as of the summer holidays 2008.

An all-weather astroturf pitch on part of the school fields was opened in December 2006.

Extra-curricular activities


The school's main traditional team sports are rugby union (in the winter months) and cricket (in the summer), in which it competes against other schools in south-east England. The Judd-Skinners matches, occurring in October for rugby and May for cricket, are traditionally seen as the most important fixtures of the seasons, although the annual rugby match against local rivals Tonbridge School is also a significant encounter. The school's U18 and U15 sides take part in the annual Daily Mail Cup, while cricket teams take part in the Kent Cup at all age groups. The Easter holidays see an annual tour alternating between rugby tours to Australia (since 2007, previously North America) and cricket tours to Barbados. 2005's North America tour saw the school win each of four matches by over 50 points, conceding fewer than 10 points across the whole tour.

Judd's cross-country team competes at a national level in all three levels (senior, intermediate and junior), and is one of the top schools in the country at present. The cross-country team has an annual training camp in Lanzarote, and won the Knole run in 2004 and 2007. It has been in the top 3 every year since 2002 against a field of famous private schools.

The Judd School swimming team was placed fourth out of every school in the country in the 2008 National School competition in Ponds Forge swimming pool in Sheffield. They were the fastest state school by six places at the competition. They are also consistently first in the county championships in both medley and freestyle relays. Four students from the school are in the top three in their individual events at the country championships every year.

Athletics is also a key part of Judd's sporting success, with boys from every year group representing Kent at a national level. It is generally expected that the Judd teams will be contenders at English Schools Athletic Association national finals at all three levels. 2008 saw Judd become the first Kent school to win Junior Boys' competition over Southend High School for Boys at the Costello Stadium in Hull. In the same event, the intermediates secured second place - their third top four finish in consecutive years. [cite web| url=| title=Judd crowned Champion School of English Athletics| publisher=The Judd School Sports Department| accessdate=2008-09-19]

Keeping its traditional roots intact, Judd does not play football at an inter-school level. However, the school competes in other sports such as basketball, tennis and hockey. Swimming, badminton and yoga are also included in the sporting choice for sixth-form students as well as volleyball and "Rec(-reational) football" in the summer. The annual "Football Fiesta" also caters for Judd's footballers, with student and staff teams competing in a charity tournament.


Judd has always boasted a strong music department, and the construction of "The Music Block" in 1995 began the school's recent emphasis on the enhancement of musical opportunities. Students with any musical talents are catered for in one of the school music groups, ranging from "Junior Orchestra" to "Judd Big Band" to "Senior Chamber Choir". Student bands have performed in year assemblies, further promoting music within the school. Richard Walshaw has been the school's director of music since the 1990s.

In recent years, senior students have engaged in short tours to Europe during the spring half-term break. The first such tour was to Normandy in 2001. Subsequent tours to Paris (2003), western Germany (2005) and Mechelen, Belgium (2007) followed.

In September 2004, the school was designated one of the first six specialist "Music Colleges" in the country, enabling even greater investment in Music Technology. The Music department now employs six members of staff, with specialist Music Technology Labs created in the neighbouring "Lawtons" building, which was formerly dedicated solely to the serious business of Government and Politics, and Economics. A student member has also been included in the specialist status with the creation of the role of Senior Prefect with Responsibilities for Music. From Years 7 to 9, every boy receives 2 music lessons per week, with the option to continue music for GCSE and even A-level.

The school regularly has a "Judd Band Showcase", where bands created by students have the opportunity to play in front of a carefully-vetted audience of friends and peers. All proceeds raised by these events go back to the music department thereby giving students the facilities needed to develop their skills.


Judd has a strong tradition of promoting the theatrical side of its students; with both a school play and a sixth form play being performed every year. Recent School plays have included "Romeo and Juliet", "All My Sons", and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead", all under the direction of the Head of Drama, while past Sixth Form plays have included "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" and "What the Butler Saw" both directed by Matt Armstrong, "Chicken Soup with Barley", directed by Thomas Probert with Myfanwy Hill as 'Sarah', "The Importance of Being Earnest", directed by Jason Lower with Richard Cartwright as Algernon, and most recently "Loot", directed by Andy MacNamee with Tom Bender in the leading role. In November 2007, a joint Drama-Music department production of Oh What a Lovely War was performed. Most recently, the Judd Sixth Form reformed links with Tonbridge School, using the E M Forster theatre to stage Alan Ayckbourn's "Relatively Speaking". Directed by Gus Miller, with Jack Holden as 'Greg', Cassie McKenzie as 'Ginny', John Cotrell as 'Philip' and Georgia Rajah as 'Sheila', "Relatively Speaking" showed the true breadth of talent across the Judd Sixth Form.

Notable Old Juddians

The school has a strong record of producing academic and sporting success and its alumni include :

* Professor Cecil Frank Powell, MA, Ph.D (Cantab.), FRS - Nobel Prize for Physics winner in 1950

* Squadron Leader Neville Duke, DSO, OBE, DFC, AFC - World War II fighter pilot and quondam holder of the world air speed record (727.63 mph in 1953)

* Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader, KCB, OBE, FRAeS - RAF Air Command Commander-in-Chief

* The Rt. Hon Baron Terence Lewin, KG, GCB, LVO, DSC - former Chief of the Defence Staff and Admiral of the Fleet

* Humphrey Burton, CBE - Television Executive, former head of BBC Music

* Rev. Ronald Ralph Williams, DD - former Bishop of Leicester

* Bernard Hailstone - Royal Portrait Painter, who also painted Lord Mountbatten, Winston Churchill and Laurence Olivier

* Dave Heather - pioneering television director, who first brought opera to the small screen as head of the Glyndebourne telecasts

* Donald Hodge - World War One combatant, fought in many battles including Passchendale , showing great initiative and bravery throughout

* Guy Hands - financier and CEO of Terra Firma Capital Partners

* David Fulton - Captain of Kent County Cricket Club from 2002-2005


* William J.D. Bryant - 1888-1908
* John Evans (MA, Cantab.) - 1908-1928
* Cecil Lloyd Morgan (MA, Oxon.) - 1928-1946
* Francis Hillier Taylor (MA, Cantab.) - 1946-1970
* Dennis Rendall (MA, Oxon.) - 1970-1986
* Keith Starling (MA, Cantab.) - 1986-2004
* Robert Masters (BSc, Reading) - 2004-present

See also

*The National Schools 7's
*The Skinners' School
*Tonbridge School


External links

* [ The Judd School website]
* [ The Judd School] on Ofsted

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