Bishop Wordsworth's School

Bishop Wordsworth's School

Infobox UK school
name = Bishop Wordsworth's School

size =
latitude = 51.064722
longitude = -01.7975
dms = indeed
motto = "Veritas in Caritate"
Truth in Caring/Charity
motto_pl =
established = 1889
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Voluntary aided grammar
religion = Anglican
president =
head_label = Headmaster
head = Dr S D Smallwood (Cantab.)
r_head_label = Chaplain
r_head = Rev J A Bersweden
chair_label = Chairman of the Governing Body
chair = Mr N A Beer
founder = Rt Rev John Wordsworth
founder_pl =
specialist = Language College and Science College
street = The Close
city = Salisbury
county = Wiltshire
country = ENG
postcode = SP1 2EB
ofsted = 126508
staff =
enrollment = 836
gender = Boys
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 16/18
houses = Jewell, Martival, Osmund, Poore
colours =
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =
website_name =

Bishop Wordsworth's School is a Church of England boys' day grammar school located in the centre of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. In 2007 there were 858 pupils aged between 11 and 18.

The full name of the school is Bishop Wordsworth's Church of England Grammar School for Boys, abbreviated as BWS or as Bishop's, while the pupils are known informally as "Bishop's Boys". The school's motto is "Veritas in Caritate", or "Truth Through Caring", and originates from the epitaph of Bishop Wordsworth's father.

In the OFSTED inspection of 2001, the committee reported that "This is a highly effective school. Outstanding leadership creates a climate in which students are very keen to learn. Challenging lessons for all students lead to very high standards."

The school was inspected once again in December 2006 and received the highest grade 1 (outstanding) rating in almost every category.


The foundations of the school came in June 1889, when the bishop of Salisbury, John Wordsworth, announced to his friend Canon Woodall, "I should like to see Salisbury a great educational centre. I should like to found a school which shall be equal to the greatest and best of our public schools." His initial desire that working class boys were not to be admitted caused much controversy. Fees were initially set at £1.10.0d, and boarding fees were £9 per term; however, the fees were raised to £2 in 1894 to meet the unexpected costs of the school. The first year was taught in the Bishop's palace of Salisbury Cathedral itself. Bishop Wordsworth personally donated £3000, which was used to purchase a portion of land in the cathedral close and build the original school buildings. After Bishop Wordsworth's death, the school was renamed to Bishop Wordsworth's School, having been previously known as "The Bishop's School".

In 1905 the school became a grammar school, consisting of the current Chapel Block, and Bishopgate. Until 1928 the school admitted girls, but with the founding of a girls' grammar school (South Wilts Grammar School) in 1927, the school became boys only.

In 1931 a hall, science laboratories and a library were built. By the 1930s, the school had achieved a reputation for pioneering educational work, and in 1936 became a public school, but in 1948 the Governors accepted voluntary controlled status. Boarding at the school in the Bishopgate buildings ended in the 1950s, and the buildings were used for teaching thereafter. During the Second World War, pupils from the Priory School in Portsmouth moved to BWS to avoid the bombing of the city.

The school now educates boys aged 11 to 18, with some joint classes in the sixth form with South Wilts Grammar School. In 2002, a major re-development of the school's buildings began. Since then a new classroom block and drama studio has been followed by a sports hall, new science labs, new languages facilities, a new art school and new technology block.Also a new staff room has been built. [ [ George and Harding project details - Bishop's Wordsworth School, March 2002] accessed August 2007]

Since 2000 there has been considerable expansion of the sixth form curriculum, with around 15 subjects being part of an extensive collaboration with the girls' grammar school in Salisbury. In 2004 the school became a specialist Language College, and this has led to broadening of the curriculum and further opportunities for overseas trips. In 2008 the school will add a science specialism.


Entry to the school is by examination (the '11+') at the age of 10 or 11 for entry into the boys' seventh year of education. There are also limited 12+ and 13+ entrances, similarly by examination. Sixth Form admission is administered by the head of Sixth Form, and is graded on GCSE results, a personal statement, and recommendation from former head of school.


There are four Houses, these are named after previous Bishops of the cathedral: Jewell (1560-1571), Martival sometimes Mortival (1315-1330), Poore (1240-1270) and Osmund (1078-1099). The houses take their crests from the heraldry of the Bishops. All boys are attached to a house when they join the school. Throughout the year there are inter-house competitions including the music festival, sport events and drama. Throughout the year each house is awarded points according to their achievements in the house competitions. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is rewarded with the house cup. The winners of the cup so far have been:

2004-05: Martival
2005-06: Jewell
2006-07: Jewell
2007-08: Poore

=Senior Prefects= The prefect system in the school is effective but slightly complex. All members of the sixth form are prefects and expected to perform duties. A smaller group of between 20 and 30 boys fill the presigious roles of Senior Prefects, selected by a ballot of staff and peers. Within this group are the Head Boy, Deputy Head Boy, and the Cathedral Prefect. These positions are subject to an application (upon receiving an invitation to apply), and a subsequent interview if the application is accepted. Furthermore, there are five Patrol Leaders and Heads of each House. These senior prefects are responsible for the day to day running of the prefect system, and also for assisting at school functions such as Founders Day and Speech Day (Prize giving), as well as monthly services, held at Salisbury Cathedral. The positions of office are held from the start of Term 5 (after the Easter holidays), until the end of the subsequent Term 4, with the announcement of positions, and presentations of ties traditionally being made by the Headmaster in the last assembly of term before the Easter holiday. Originally known as the Senior Pupil, the Head Boy enjoys one privilege most prominently: the opportunity to get married in the Cathedral. It has also been said that the he may graze a goat on the school lawn, a privilege which Head Boy Robbie Bond exercised on the 21st July 2008. One criticism is that a large percentage of the senior prefects are rugby players, and a non-rugby playing Head Boy hadn't been seen for a long time before 2006-2007 when Dicken Chaplin became the first non-rugby playing pupil to fill the position since Dominic Moret was awarded the role in 1998. In balance however it must be noted that a large proportion of the school population plays rugby anyway; even if they do despise every minute of it.


The school has a strong sporting tradition, particularly in rugby, but also in athletics and more recently has excelled in football, basketball and cross country. There are regular sport fixtures, and the Rugby teams regularly compete in the Daily Mail Cup and the Wiltshire schools cup, the Sixth Form football team in the national English Schools' Football Association (ESFA) Cup whilst Cross Country teams from the school regularly compete at a national level.

The school has a strong choir, with entrance by audition. The choir regularly sings in Salisbury Cathedral, other cathedrals, colleges and at many other functions. The choir practice four times a week in term time, and in the spring there is a biennial trip to France.

There is a major annual school play, now held in the sports hall, usually either just before or just after Christmas. The plays have been directed for many years by John Cox, and have included (in recent years) West Side Story, Oliver!, Henry IV Part 1 and A Winter's Tale. These, as with many other sixth form activities, involve collaboration with South Wilts Girls Grammar School.

Notable staff

Sir William Golding, author of the novel "Lord of the Flies" and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, was a schoolmaster teaching Philosophy and English in 1939 and then English from 1945 to 1962. A plaque was placed at the school to commemorate this in March 2005. []

Headmaster Frederick Crossfield Happold, who studied as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge was awarded an honorary LLD from the University of Melbourne for his pioneering work and publications on education. He wrote a number of books after his time as Headmaster at the school on the subject of religion:
*"This modern age: An introduction to the understanding of our own times"
*"Mysticism: a study and an anthology"
*"Religious faith and twentieth-century man"
*"The journey inwards: A simple introduction to the practice of contemplative meditation by normal people".

Headmaster Happold was also noted for the foundation of the "Company of Honour and Service". Father Kenelm Foster O.P. wrote " [the Company is] a sort of modernist Grail (for Boys) or Solidarity which Dr Happold founded in 1935 at Bishop Wordsworth's School, Salisbury. This is his nucleus, his 'order', his new aristocracy, which is to permeate England: a little cohort of leaders, of seers, of doers." (Cited in Happold, 1964, pp. 33).

Most recently, former Headmaster Clive Barnett HMI - who left the school in 2002 - has become patron of the charity EdUKaid, a role he shares with the Glenys Kinnock MEP. The UK based charity, with whom Barnett has worked since taking up his new role at Ofsted, "aims to enable the children of the developing world to gain dignity and future prosperity for themselves and their communities by providing education" [ [ African Children's Education Charity based in the UK | EdUKaid ] ] .


1890-1935 Reuben Bracher Esq.

1935-1960 Dr. Frederick Crossfield Happold D.S.O. (Cantab.)

1960-1963 Dr. Sabben-Clare

1963-1974 Mr. RCR Blackledge (Oxon.)

1974-1992, Mr. Glyn Evans

1992-2002, Mr. Clive Barnett (Oxon.)

2002-Present, Dr. Stuart Smallwood (Cantab.)

Notable alumni

The "Old Wordsworthian" AGM and lunch is traditionally held after the Cathedral service and Founder's Day celebrations in July. Notable alumni include:

* Lieutenant Colonel Tom Adlam, Victoria Cross recipient [ [ Tom Edwin Adlam VC on the History of the Victoria Cross website] accessed August 2007]
* Major Anthony Robert Klitz, artist
* Brigadier Andrew McLaughlin
* Chris Moon MBE

* David Egerton, England XV rugby international player [ Bishop's Wordsworth School: Famous Wordsworthians] accessed August 2007]
* Richard Hill, England XV rugby international player/captain/winner RWC 2003 (flanker) [ [ Richard Hill profile on the school website] accessed August 2007]
* Richard Hill, England XV rugby international player/captain (scrum half) [ [ London Entertainment Guide from The Evening Standard | This is London ] ]

* Marcus Olsen England under-21s XV rugby international
* Christopher Jackson, Scotland U18 rugby international player (scrum half) [ [ Christopher Jackson Facebook profile] ]
* John Shaw, England XI hockey captain and Olympian
* Barnaby Sollars, circumnavigating yachtsman

* Lord of Redlynch, Colin Sharman, Chairman of KPMG International [ [ Curriculum vitae of Lord Sharman of Redlynch (Colin Sharman) in the ABN AMRO Annual Report 2002] accessed August 2007]
* Dr. David Atterton, industrialist and central banker [ [] ]

* Sir Ken Macdonald, Director of Public Prosecutions of England and Wales. [cite web|url=|title=Director of Public Prosecutions: Sir Ken Macdonald QC|work=CPS website|publisher=CPS (Crown Copyright)|accessdate=2007-10-12] and head of the Crown Prosecution Service [ [ New Years Honours For Local People (from Salisbury Journal) ] ]
* Mervyn Alexander, Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton
* Sir Cecil Chubb, Last private owner of Stonehenge [ [ Stonehenge ] ]
* Prof. Andrew Copp, leading neurobiologist [ [ Prof Andrew Copp ] ]
* Leander Deeny - writer/ actor [ ]
* Ralph Fiennes, actor [ [ Down to a Fiennes art - ] ]
* Prof Andrew Hattersley, Professor of Molecular Medicine, Peninsula Medical School [ ]
* David Oakes - actor [ ]
* Otto Plaschkes, movie producer [ [,,1415372,00.html Otto Plaschkes | Obituaries | Guardian Unlimited ] ]
* Nigel Shore, principal oboist with the Komische Oper Berlin [ [ Nigel Shore Biography. Listen to Classical Music by Nigel Shore ] ]
* Andy Sheppard, jazz musician
* Andrew Harvey, BBC Newsreader


* Happold, Frederick Crossfield, "Bishop Wordsworth's School 1890 – 1950". Privately printed for Bishop Wordsworth's School, 1950, 124pp.
* Happold, Frederick Crossfield, "Religious Faith and Twentieth-Century Man". Pelican Original, 1964.
* 'Roman Britain in 1954: I. Sites Explored: II. Inscriptions', "The Journal of Roman Studies", Vol. 45, Parts 1 and 2. (1955), pp. 121-149.

External links

* [ BWS Website]
* [ Statistics on BWS from the BBC]
* [ Information on the school from Salisbury Cathedral]
* [ Bishop Wordsworth's School Choir website]
* [ William Golding at BWS]

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