Dr Challoner's Grammar School

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Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School.png
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Chesham Road

, ,

Coordinates 51°40′34″N0°36′35″W / 51.67622°N 0.60982°W / 51.67622; -0.60982 Coordinates: 51°40′34″N0°36′35″W / 51.67622°N 0.60982°W / 51.67622; -0.60982
Type Academy Grammar
Established1624;397 years ago (1624)
Founder Robert Chaloner
Local authorityBuckinghamshire
Specialists Science
Department for Education URN 136419 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Chair of GovernorsShaun Kennedy
HeadteacherDavid Atkinson
GenderBoys (Year 7-11) Co-educational Sixth Form
Age11to 18
Enrolment1,326 [1]
Houses  Foxell
Website http://www.challoners.com

Dr Challoner's Grammar School (also known as DCGS, Challoner's Boys or simply Challoner's) is a selective grammar school for boys, with a co-educational Sixth Form, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England. It was given academy status in January 2011.


It was founded in 1624 in accordance with the last will and testament of Robert Chaloner. Chaloner, a Doctor of Divinity, was Rector of Amersham from 1576 to his death in 1621. He was also a Canon of St George’s Chapel, Windsor from 1584.


In his will, Robert Chaloner left money to establish a grammar school in Amersham. [2]

"… the like sume of twenty pounds yearly out of the said lands at Wavendon I give unto my wellbeloved friend Mr. William Tothill Esquire and Mr William Pennyman Esquire to erect a free gramar schoole in Amersam in the County of Bucks to be established by Deede of Feofment or otherwise as their wisdome can devise The towne and pish allotinge the Churche house for the schoole house or my successor a tenemt in the occupation of Enoch Wyar now or of late for the dwellinge house of the schoole maister whome I will to be chosen by my exequitrix my successor and Mr. Tothill afterwards by my successor and sixe of the eldest Feoffees and cheefest This I leave as a testimony of my loce to them and theire children. Orders for the school—I desire my successor to pcure from the best ordered schooles"

The original school building Dr Challoners Grammar School.jpg
The original school building

The school was situated in Old Amersham for almost three centuries before moving, with the support of Buckinghamshire County Council, to its present position in Amersham-on-the Hill in 1905. At this time, the school embraced the principle of co-education for the first time which, according to the school’s first prospectus in 1906, was "practically universal in America". Each year the boys at Challoner's celebrate Founder's Day where they attend St Mary's Church in Old Amersham where Robert Chaloner was rector.

By 1937, Challoner's was incorporated into the state system of education and by the early 1950s, the school had about 350 boys and girls on roll. However, plans for expansion to 550 pupils were overtaken by rapid population growth in the area and the decision was made to establish a separate school for girls in Little Chalfont: Dr. Challoner's High School, which opened in 1962. The two schools continue to maintain relatively close links, collaborating especially in music and drama productions, whilst Dr Challoner's Debating Society has staged numerous collaborative events. Girls were admitted to the boys’ school sixth form in 2016.

The continued expansion of the grammar school to its present size of over 1,350 students saw major building projects in the 1950s, 1980s, and 1990s, followed by the construction of a large astroturf pitch and improvements to the sports fields. Another floor has been added on top of the old library and the new library was reopened in early 2013.

In 2002, Challoner's became one of the first Science Colleges in the United Kingdom. The school started a second special focus as a Language College in April 2007. In 2005, the school celebrated the 100th anniversary of the move to the current site on Chesham Road, also building the Centenary Sports Pitch. The school was commended by the 2007 Ofsted inspection team and rated outstanding in all 51 criteria. [3]

On 1 September 2008, the school officially changed its status from a Voluntary Controlled school to a Foundation school, on the basis that "the additional autonomy which foundation status offers will enabled the school to provide an even better standard of education in the future". [4] In January 2011 the school became an Academy. [5]



Since the school founded its robotics team in 2015,[ citation needed ] Challoner's has competed in national and international competitions. In 2017, the school competed in the Student Robotics competition led by University of Southampton and won two awards. [6] In 2018, a team entered into PiWars, a competition involving Raspberry Pi computers hosted at the University of Cambridge. The competition consisted of autonomous and remote controlled challenges with tasks requiring computer vision. The team came out winning the whole competition and having podium finishes on the majority of the challenges. [7]

Model United Nations

The school has had large amounts of success with its Model United Nations society. Almost entirely student-led, teams have traveled to attend multiple international conferences including HABSMUN and LIMUN. The teams have been successful: at LIMUN 2017 over half of the 16 Year 12 students attending won awards and the Challoner's team won the conference overall. [8] In March 2018 the society competed at SPIMUN (St Petersburg International Model United Nations) where five students won awards. [9] In 2017, the society won the 'We Made a Difference Award' in the 2017 Speaker's Schools Council Awards.

In January 2018, the school hosted its first conference, Challoner's MUN. With over 130 students from 11 schools, [10] the conference was one of the largest student-led activities to have ever been undertaken, having been organized by an executive team of 13 students. [11]


The house system was re-established in 2004. An earlier house system with four houses named for those listed in the original school song as "Buckinghamshire's four mighty men"—Challoner  , Hampden  , Milton   and Penn  —was abandoned in 1976. The chorus of that song appears below.[ citation needed ]

England of shires has a good two score
Each of them brags of her mighty men
Bucks she can boast of her famous four
Challoner, Hampden, Milton and Penn

There are currently six houses, each named after a previous headmaster:



Dr Challoner's students did well in two subjects nationally in 2003. [12] It was one of two schools named by the Department of Education (the other being Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe) as the best performing schools nationwide in the 2003 GCSEs [13] and named the country's best grammar school in 2011. [14] In the 2011 GCSEs, boys achieved a 100% pass rate with 50 of the 183 candidates earning all A*-A grades. [15]

Notable former pupils

Notable former students include:


See also

Related Research Articles

Buckinghamshire County of England

Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England that borders Greater London to the south-east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north-east and Hertfordshire to the east.

Amersham Human settlement in England

Amersham is a market town and civil parish within the Unitary Authority of Buckinghamshire, England, in the Chiltern Hills, 27 miles (43 km) northwest of central London, 15 miles (24 km) from Aylesbury and 9 miles (14 km) from High Wycombe. Amersham is part of the London commuter belt.

Little Chalfont Human settlement in England

Little Chalfont is a village and civil parish in south-east Buckinghamshire, England. It is one of a group of villages known collectively as The Chalfonts, which also comprises Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter. Little Chalfont is located around 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Amersham and 21.9 miles (35.2 km) northwest of Charing Cross, central London.

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Bellingdon is a village in the civil parish of Chartridge, in Buckinghamshire, England. The name deriving from the Anglo Saxon Bellingdenu or Bella's Valley, and is recorded as Belenden in the 15th century. It is arranged along a ridge, typical of the Chiltern Hills to the north of Chesham.

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Further reading