Spalding Grammar School, or as it is fully known The Queen Elizabeth Royal Free Grammar School Spalding, is a selective school on Priory Road in Spalding, Lincolnshire for pupils aged 11 18.
It was founded in 1588 by Royal Charter, applied for by the Revd Mr Johnson, and located within part of Spalding Parish Church, called St Thomas's Chapel, until the 19th century. It was founded on its current site in 1881.
Merger with Moulton Grammar School
In 1939, the school doubled in size, having amalgamated with Moulton Grammar School in Moulton. Sir John Gleed was Chairman of the Governors from 1928-46.
Moulton Grammar School was founded under the will of John Harrox (died 1561) who was steward to Sir John Harrington of Weston. The School opened in 1562 with ten pupils and continued to educate boys from the district until it amalgamated with Spalding. The old school buildings still exist but are now private residences.
A large sports hall was opened by boxer Henry Cooper in November 1993, and in January 2006 new buildings were opened for ICT, sociology, technology, English and drama (with a performing arts studio). The Modern Languages lab was also built at the same time as the new buildings were opened. In late 2009, a new Business Studies block, new staff room and atrium were also built.
It has a school magazine called The Bentleian; copies dating back to July 1922 are in the school library.
Spalding Grammar School
In years seven to eleven, only male pupils are admitted, but the sixth form accepts females as well. Spalding Grammar is a selective school, and its entrants in the lower school are permitted only by taking the county-wide 11+ tests.
The headteacher is Mr Nigel Ryan (MA Cantab). The current number of pupils stands at 919. The sixth form has 320 pupils (with 120 female). There are 68 teaching staff.
In 2006, the school was granted Specialist Status as a Languages and Engineering College. It became the first school in Lincolnshire to gain joint specialist status in these subjects.
Accompanying the specialist status was building work to improve general aspects of the school, and to provide a Language Lab and Engineering Lab for the teaching of the subjects.
Through the Language Status the school has partnered with a High School in Wuxi, China. This new opportunity means the school will be offering both staff and pupils the chance to visit Wuxi on Teaching, Sport and Drama exchanges. Links will also be fostered using technology such as the Language Lab installed at the school, allowing students to be paired with Chinese students and speak to them in real time using VOIP communication in order to practice their respective languages. Mandarin has now been introduced to the curriculum.
The school offers many opportunities to its students, such as a range of Flexydays. It also offers the Year 7 Free Learning Block and the Sixth Form Enrichment Block.
Physical Education Department
The Physical Education Department at Spalding Grammar School prides itself on its commitment and dedication to extra curricular activities. Along with regular Ski Trips, in 2007, 2008 and 2009 the school ran a variety of mainly football-focused trips to the USA, Spain and Holland.
The School has an active music department, with its own Brass Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Concert Band, Early Music Group, saxophone ensemble, String Ensemble and Rhythm and Blues Band.
The dramatic arts
Spalding Grammar School has a long history of dramatic performances. From the annual Speech Day Revue (where Sixth Form Students perform a showcase of songs and sketches about life at Spalding Grammar School) to more recent productions, such as Honk!, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. As of September 2011 the Drama department will no longer be able to offer GCSE's and A-Level's in Drama
The most recent production was William Shakespeare's The Tempest. The production was performed in the round which director and former Head of English, David Wheeler, believes allows a special relationship to develop between actor and audience. The script was condensed to around two thirds of its original length. This allowed modern songs to be added into the play, ranging from Genesis' 'I Can't Dance' to 'In The Navy' (originally by The Village People). The play was met overall positively and Spalding's local paper the Spalding Guardian gave the performance a strongly positive review.
In November 2009 Shakespeare's Hamlet will be directed by David Wheeler. The production will not use the stage, but nor will it be 'in the round'; director David Wheeler said 'We want to keep the audience guessing about how exactly we will stage the play...but it has been very carefully planned.'
The school is located in the south of Lincolnshire in the town of Spalding on Priory Road. The school is obliged to accept pupils from the council district of South Holland - an area of - meaning some pupils travel over to reach the school.
Notable former pupils
Moulton Grammar School
The Grammar School in Moulton was founded under the will of John Harrox (died 1561) who was steward to Sir John Harrington of Weston. The School opened in 1562 with ten pupils and continued to educate boys from the district until it amalgamated with Spalding Grammar School in 1939.