Bradford Grammar School

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Bradford Grammar School
Bradford Grammar School arms.jpg
Bradford Grammar School
A650 Keighley Road

, ,

Coordinates 53°48′52″N1°46′11″W / 53.81455°N 1.76981°W / 53.81455; -1.76981 Coordinates: 53°48′52″N1°46′11″W / 53.81455°N 1.76981°W / 53.81455; -1.76981
Type Private day school
Grammar school
Motto Latin: hoc age
(Do this)
Established1548;475 years ago (1548)
HeadmasterSimon Hinchliffe
Gender Co-educational
Age6to 18
Colour(s)Blue & Maroon   
Co-education since1999

Bradford Grammar School (BGS) is a co-educational private day school located in Frizinghall, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Entrance is by examination, except for the sixth form, where admission is based on GCSE results. The school gives means-tested bursaries to help with fees. Unlike many independent schools, BGS does not offer scholarships based on academic achievement.



The school was founded in 1548 and granted its Charter by King Charles II in 1662. [1] The Reverend William Hulton Keeling became the headmaster in 1871. He had transformed the grammar school in Northampton, and here he did the same, joining forces with the merchant Jacob Behrens, Bradford Observer editor William Byles and Vincent William Ryan Vicar of Bradford. [2] The school was considered as good as the best public schools in 1895 and Keeling died in 1916 having been given the Freedom of the City. His daughter was Dorothy Keeling ran The Bradford Guild of Help and transformed voluntary work in the UK. [2]

Second World War

The new school building in Frizinghall was actually completed in 1939, however the start of the Second World War prevented the building from being opened as a school. During the war, the main school building was used as a Primary Training Centre, [3] and there is still evidence of this around the building. During this time, many BGS pupils were evacuated to Settle, [4] and returned when the building was released from army occupation and completed. Inside the school there is a large memorial to the former pupils who died in the war.

Frizinghall railway station

Frizinghall railway station closed in 1965 and remained closed for 22 years. During this time, staff and pupils at the school campaigned to get the station reopened. In the end, it was due to the efforts of an English teacher, Robin Sisson, [5] that the station was reopened as a halt.

Until 1975 it was a direct grant grammar school, and when this scheme was abolished it chose to become independent. [6] The school motto is Latin : Hoc Age (just do it). [7]


The school grounds have been used as a helicopter landing ground by the royal family when they are visiting the locality. The most recent landing was by King Charles the third during his first trip to West Yorkshire.[ citation needed ]


Headmaster Simon Hinchliffe is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).


Bradford Grammar School Bradford GS.jpg
Bradford Grammar School

In 2013, the pass rate for both GCSE (Grades A* – C) and A-Levels was 99%.[ citation needed ] 31 courses are offered for A-Levels, and 97% of sixth-form pupils went on to study further education or deferred a year. [8] The standard requirement for entry to the sixth form is nine B grades at GCSE, in 2008 the lower sixth had an average equivalent to ten A grades at GCSE.


Over the past 15 years the school has completed a £14 million buildings development programme.

In 2001 the school built a multi-million pound Sixth Form Centre, funded primarily by Roger Evans and by pupil fundraising. Former pupil David Hockney contributed to the funding of the large theatre, where many school productions are performed, adjacent to the sports hall. The school's computing facilities have been updated regularly in the past few years, and the school now has ten IT suites.[ citation needed ]

Extra-curricular activities


The school's first sport for boys is rugby union, and for girls it is netball or hockey. Other sports at the school include orienteering, squash, tennis, table tennis, cross country, swimming, water polo, cricket, and rowing on the River Aire.

The school has an all-weather pitch used for hockey as well as nine courts used for netball and tennis. The £1m pavilion, built in 2008, contains changing rooms and space for functions. The school has two squash courts (each with their own showers and changing rooms). BGS has four rugby pitches, which in the summer are converted into two cricket grounds. The school has an equipped gym—with eleven rowing machines, two treadmills, two crossfit machines, and weights—which was modernised in 2011. A 25-metre swimming pool is used for swimming and water polo training at lunchtimes and evenings.

Cadet Force

As an alternative or a supplement to extra-curricular sport, the school maintains a volunteer Combined Cadet Force. In the 1980s, this was reduced to just the Army contingent. However, the RAF section has since been reopened, and pupils fly and partake in RAF courses. The school owns its own 25-metre shooting range.


Musical groups and clubs that run for pupils include: Concert Band, Senior Orchestra, Junior Orchestra, junior and senior choirs and chamber choirs, Close Harmony Group, Big Band, Samba Band, String Group, Dixieland Crackerjacks, Junior and Senior brass group, junior and senior saxophone groups, and Soul Band.[ citation needed ]


The interior walls of the school are decorated with artwork by pupils and a number of David Hockney's works are on display in public and private areas of the school. The music suite has several practice rooms and holds concerts throughout the year. A musical is staged every two years. The Hockney Theatre hosts a programme through the year and a full-time technician manages a student production team to service the performances. Curriculum evenings by the lower school drama groups or the A-Level Theatre Studies groups are placed between plays written specifically for pupils, Shakespeare performances, comedies and musicals.


Sir Duncan Nicol CBE, Chief Executive of NHS, 1985 -1993

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