St Peter's School, York

St Peter's School, York

Infobox Secondary school
name = St Peter's School
native_name =
logo =
motto = "Super Antiquas Vias"
established = AD 627
address =St Peters CliftonYork, YO30 6AB01904 527300
city =York
state =North Yorkshire
country =England
campus =
type =Independent school
affiliation =
affiliations =
headmaster = Richard Smyth
founder = St Paulinus of York
chairman = JD Pike
head =
faculty =
students =
grades =
district =
oversight =
accreditation =
moto =
colors =
colours = Brown/Blue/White
newspaper =
yearbook =
free_label_1 = Ages
free_1 = 3 to 18
website = [ St Peter's School, York]
footnotes =
picture =
picturesize = 200px

St Peter's School is one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom, founded in the English City of York by St Paulinus of York in 627. An early headmaster Alcuin (Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus), went on to be Chancellor to the Emperor Charlemagne, and founded several of the earliest schools in mainland Europe. It is the third oldest independent school in England.

St Peter's is a co-educational independent boarding and day school located just a few minutes from York City Centre, on the banks of the River Ouse. The school is close to the city centre but offers excellent facilities including extensive playing fields situated immediately adjacent to the school buildings.

St Peter’s School offers a continuity of education from the Pre-prep, Clifton Pre-preparatory School (ages 3-8), to the Junior School, St Olave’s School (ages 8-13) and through to St Peter’s School (ages 13-18) where there is a successful Sixth Form.

Academic Results

A Level Pupils at St Peter’s School York are flying high with 81% of entries achieving A - B grades and 56% Grade A in 2006 - over two and half times last years national average.

Over a third of pupils gained 3 or more Grade As in 2006. 74% of those taking Maths also achieved Grade As.

‘Our pupils recognise the need for consistent hard work to achieve these grades and they have all done exceptionally well ’, said Headmaster Richard Smyth

St Peter’s continues to focus on traditional A levels believing this allows pupils to study subjects in depth. St Peter’s is particularly strong in the Sciences, with buoyant numbers continuing to choose scientific subjects at University.

‘A levels are still the best solution' says Headmaster Richard Smyth ‘The new A/AS system offers pupils much greater flexibility than it used to so pupils can mix Sciences, Humanities and Arts and keep their options open until later. This allows pupils to study a mix of subjects they enjoy and that inevitably will give better results’. 'We are a traditional school with an excellent record in Science subjects which are so vitally important to the future of the UK, and to ensuring we have future professionals able to contribute to the world. It is testament to our pupils’ whole outlook on life that they are opting for what are often seen as difficult and demanding courses’.


A wide range of activities are available at the school in order to encourage enjoyment of physical activity. These include Rugby Football, Hockey, Netball, Tennis, Cricket, Rowing, Athletics, Basketball, Badminton, Cross-Country, Climbing, Fencing, Squash, Swimming, Weight training, Trampolining and Aerobics

The School has excellent sports facilities including 2 sports centres, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, extensive playing fields, boathouse and tennis courts. The School employs professional coaches in all sports.

St. Peter's has a particular strength in rugby and is seen as one of the top rugby schools in the North of England. In 2002 the school's U15 rugby team won the national Daily Mail Cup competition and the U18 team were narrowly beaten in 2005 in the final against Exeter College, Exeter.

The largest sporting rivals of St. Peter's are Ampleforth College and Pocklington School over whom the school has enjoyed great success in recent years.

The school is also an up and coming rowing school with improvements made every year. The boat club is ever increasing, as is the number of regattas and races entered.

Extra Curricular Activities

Many activities outside the normal timetabled classes are indicated in the departmental descriptions of curriculum by subject areas but additional extra curricular activities offered to senior school pupils include: Art, Chess, Cultural Visits & Holidays, Field Trips, Climbing Wall, Combined Cadet Force, Community Service, Computing, Debating Society, Design, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, Electronics, Literary Society, Mountaineering, Plays, Politics, Reading, Poetry, Rowing, Science Society, Sixth Form Concert and Revues, and Tennis Club.

Music is an integral part of extra curricular life at St. Peter's and there are many opportunities for pupils to get involved in the following: Barbershop Quartets, Brass Group, Chamber Choir, Chamber Groups, Chapel Choir, Choral Society, Close Harmony Group, Pop Music, School Choir, String, Orchestras, String Quartets, Swing Band/Traditional Jazz, Symphony Orchestra, Senior Wind Band, Woodwind, Quartet/Quintet.

Also, a musical is performed every two years, with the help of the Drama Department of St. Peter's School, York. The latest musical performed was "Kiss Me, Kate". Adding to that, concerts are often held, at least one per term, at the School's Chapel and Memorial Hall, sometimes even in York Minster. Moreover, a music trip is held every year, where different selected music groups go, visit and perform music at various countries ! Some of the previous trips were to : Budapest, Italy, Prague, USA.

‘St Peter’s prides itself in offering pupils opportunities to excel in Sport and a wide range of extra curricular activities in addition to a strong academic ethos' Richard Smyth.

St. Peters also has an exchange programme with Selborne College in East London, South Africa.


The current Headmaster is Richard Smyth, who replaced Andrew Trotman in September 2004.

The Houses at St Peter's

The school has 10 day and boarding houses:

Girls Boarding Houses:
* Dronfield
* The Rise

Boys Boarding Houses:
* Linton
* The Manor

Day Houses:
* Clifton
* Grove
* Queens
* Temple
* School
* Hope

The house system is a long standing tradition throughout the school's history. As the houses are physical, located in various buildings and parts of building throughout the school campus, a strong sense of community is developed, bringing pupils of all ages together to compete in inter-house competitions.

House colours, in the form of a tie, are awarded to pupils who provide an outstanding contribution to house activities


St Peter’s and Junior School St Olave’s have received an overall quality rating of 'Outstanding' in their 2007 Ofsted Boarding Inspection.

The Outstanding Ofsted definition is - "this aspect of provision is of exceptionally high quality’. St Peter’s / St Olave’s provide an outstanding quality of care for boarding pupils. Boarders’ health and well being are actively safeguarded and promoted by the school. Relationships between boarders and staff are excellent and boarders have a highly positive experience of school life."

To see the full report visit\ey\SC\SC_SC015837_17112007.pdf

Notable Old Peterites

Alumni of the school are known as Old Peterites.

*John Barry, composer of film themes including various James Bond themes
*Laurence Eusden, Poet
* Guy Fawkes, and some of the other Gunpowder Plot conspirators
* Harry Gration Broadcaster
* John Healey, politician and currently Financial Secretary to the Treasury
* Justin Hill, Author
* Robert William Bilton Hornby, local antiquarian, priest and Lord of the Heworth Manor
* C. Northcote Parkinson, author
* Frank Pick
* Sir John Rodgers, 1st Baronet, politician
* James Thompson (racing driver) British Touring Car Champion 2002, 2004
* Peter Wilkinson Entrepreneur - Creator of Freeserve
* Greg Wise, actor
* Norman Yardley, England cricket captain.

OP Club

The 'Old Peterite' Club was established in December 1886, with broadly similar objectives to those which exist today. These are to provide a forum through which Old Peterites can keep in touch, to arrange O.P. sports teams, to enable O.P.s to assist the School and to give additional publicity to the School.

The Club encourages O.P.s of all ages to meet at Regional Dinners (Newcastle, Manchester, West Riding, East Riding, Peterborough and London). The major event is linked to the School Commemoration Service and Prize Giving - this weekend comprises the A.G.M. of the Club, the Annual Dinner at the School, and sometimes sporting events against the School.

News of Old Peterites and of the School is disseminated each year in the Club magazine, "The Old Peterite News".

Friends of St Peter's

Membership of this association is open to all staff, parents and guardians, past and present, former “Friends” and Old Peterites. The committee consists of representatives from the Houses and four members of staff, elections take place in the Summer term. The Headmaster is the President.

The Friends run a variety of social and fund-raising events for the benefit of members and the school.

York Minster

York Minster has a long connection with the school as the founder was an Archbishop of York. At the end of each academic year a Commemoration and Prizegiving service is held in the Minster and a Carol Service is also held there at Christmas.

The school choir often sings in the Minster and in the 2006/2007 year they participated in Verdi's Requiem which brought together the wider York community.

ee also

*List of the oldest schools in the world

External links

* [ St Peter's website]
* [ St Olave's website]
* [ Clifton Pre-prep website]
* [ Old Peterite Club]

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