Loughborough Grammar School

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Grammar School Crest

Loughborough Grammar School (commonly LGS) founded in 1495 by Thomas Burton, is an independent school for boys in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. The school has approximately 849 day boys and 74 boarders. It is one of four schools known as the Loughborough Schools Foundation, along with Loughborough High School, Fairfield Preparatory School and Loughborough Amherst School. The Schools Foundation are separate independent schools in their own right but share a board of governors. In line with the charitable intent of its founders, Loughborough Grammar School and Loughborough High School offer a number of means-tested bursaries, called School Assisted Places (SAPs), which cover up to 100% of fees.



LGS was founded after Thomas Burton, a prosperous wool merchant from Loughborough, left money for priests to pray for his soul upon his death in 1495; these priests went on to found the school that would become LGS.

Loughborough is one of England's oldest schools, pre-dating similar institutions such as Harrow, Westminster and Stowe by a number of centuries. Alongside Winchester College, Harrow School, Monmouth School, Eton College, Dulwich College and Radley College, it is one of a small number of independent boarding schools in Britain that remain for boys only. Notable old boys include: Sir Thomas Abney who founded the Bank of England; Charles McCurdy who played a central role in the reforming Liberal Party of the early 20th century; Rev. George Davys who educated the young Queen Victoria and the flying ace Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson who destroyed more Luftwaffe aircraft than any other British pilot. Former masters include the former government minister Lord Elton and author Colin Dexter.

The school was founded in the Parish Church in the centre of Loughborough in 1495, but was moved by the trustees of the Burton Charity to its present location in 1852. A purpose-built site on Burton Walks became its permanent home, initially consisting of the main school building, lodgings and a gatehouse at the Leicester Road entrance. These buildings were Grade II Listed in the 1980s. [1]

The school celebrated its quincentenary in 1995, when it was visited by HM Queen Elizabeth II. During her visit the Queen opened the new English block, the "Queen's Building", which includes a state of the art drama studio.


The main quadrangle and Big School Loughborough Grammar School - geograph.org.uk - 42813.jpg
The main quadrangle and Big School

LGS is based on a multi-acre campus on the south side of Loughborough town centre; it occupies a site adjacent to Loughborough High School and Fairfield Preparatory School, laid out along Burton Walks. Loughborough Amherst School (formerly Our Lady's Convent School) is situated on Gray Street, about 5 minutes' walk away from the main campus. The core of the LGS campus is the quadrangle, on the eastern side of Burton Walks. Dating from 1850, Big School, consisting of the Victorian Gothic tower, original gymnasium and hall are at the head of the quadrangle, nowadays accommodating the History department, Chapel and Sixth Form common room, and are the oldest buildings on the current site. The quadrangle is completed by School House (the senior boarding house, which was built as the Headmaster's residence), the Queen's Building (1995, English and Drama), the Barrow Building (c. 1910, Classics and Modern Languages), the Cope Building (2000, Modern Languages) on the north side and the Library and old laboratory buildings (now housing Computing and Religion and Philosophy) on the south side. Big School and School House are both grade II listed, as is the gatehouse [2]

On the western side of Burton Walks are located the Ireland Building (Physics), the Norman Walter Building (Chemistry), Murray Building (Biology), Pullinger Building (Mathematics) as well as the Hodson Hall, where most school functions and assemblies are held, the Burton Hall, primarily a dining hall, and the Art and Design department, Sports Hall, swimming pool and the Combined Cadet Force's buildings. A number of houses on this side of the Walks are now owned by the School, including Buckland House, the administrative hub of the School, containing the Headmaster and Deputy Headmasters' offices as well as the general office. Other houses include Red House, formerly used for music lessons but now largely occupied by the Business Studies, Economics and Politics departments as well as reprographics; Friesland House containing Network Services, and one more houses the Bursary. Both the Headmaster of the Grammar School and the Headmistress of the High School traditionally reside in properties on the Walks.

The astroturf tennis and hockey pitches are not strictly part of the Grammar School, but are shared with the High School, although a new hockey pitch purely for the Grammar School was opened in January 2019. The Music School (2006), is also another of these shared buildings, it includes a recital hall as well as practice rooms and recording facilities.

In addition to the main campus, the School owns a 70-acre (280,000 m2) site at the nearby village of Quorn, consisting of sports facilities, including rugby, football, cricket pitches and athletics.

The Burton Chapel is located in Loughborough's Parish Church, school services are held in both this chapel and a second chapel located in the School's quadrangle.

There is a public right of way along Burton Walks connecting the council estate of Shelthorpe with Loughborough town centre. [3]


Candidates sit an entrance examination to gain admission to the school, in January of Year 6, so as to enter Year 7 at the age of 11. However, the middle school system that still prevails in North West Leicestershire led the School to introduce a smaller Year 6 intake for pupils leaving their primary schools after Year 5, as happens in a middle school system. There is also a 13+ exam, for those wishing to enter at Year 9, and 16+ entrance based on GCSE performance for boys wishing to enter at Sixth Form level.

In keeping with many other Independent Schools, the choice of subjects at the school tends to be more traditional. The most popular subjects at A Level are Mathematics, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geography. Subjects such as Business Studies, Psychology and Physical Education have been introduced at A Level in recent years.

Extracurricular activities


The department works with that of the High School producing quality productions for boys and girls. They usually perform a large scale musical production, middle school production for the Shakespeare Schools project and a lower school play each year.

Combined Cadet Force

Loughborough Grammar School runs a large Combined Cadet Force (CCF), comprising Royal Navy, Army and RAF sections. About 240 pupils (including a cohort from the High School) are members of the CCF. Major events include the annual Remembrance Parade in Loughborough in November, and the Annual Review in May. In 2003, Lt Col George Beazley was awarded the MBE in recognition of his work with the CCF. [4] The CCF used to occupy a number of old Nissen-style huts, but these have been replaced with a purpose-built Cadet Force building, part sponsored by the MOD. This was opened in 2005. The Royal Naval section of the CCF is affiliated to the Type 45 Daring Class destroyer HMS Diamond, whilst the Army section is affiliated to the Royal Anglian Regiment and the RAF Section to RAF Cosford. [5] The first Senior Cadet to be awarded the 'Priestly Sword' was Andy Halliwell in 2013 in recognition of his leadership.


The quality of musical performance at the Loughborough Schools Foundation rivals that of the best schools nationally. Music scholarships are available at 11+, 13+ and 16+ and may be backed up by means-tested bursaries. The construction of a new Music School by the then Endowed Schools in 2006 enabled a greater level of cooperation than had previously been possible, and the wealth of resources available enable the music department to run over fifty musical ensembles each week. [6] There are about 100 performances per year, ranging from the annual orchestra and choral concert in the De Montfort Hall, Leicester, to jazz, brass and chamber music ensembles. The various choirs sing regular evensongs at cathedrals across the country and there is an annual tour, usually to a European destination. The Loughborough Schools Music Big Band and Symphonic Wind Band have competed nationally at the English Concert Band Festival, and these bands also tour abroad regularly. Additionally, Symphonic Wind Band and many of the other ensembles on offer enter the Music For Youth competition annually and regually compete against world class bands.


The major sports at the School are rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, athletics, football and cross country. The School competes in national competitions in these sports, and has a full structure of teams from U12 to U18 level. The senior cross-country team was victorious in February 2017 in the 46th annual relay race [7] at King Henry VIII School, Coventry. The senior rugby, cricket and hockey teams have all toured abroad in recent years, including separate hockey and cricket tours to South Africa, as well as a recent rugby tour to Australia and The Far East. Other sports include swimming, basketball, badminton, fencing, football, golf, sailing, table tennis, karting and bridge. Loughborough Dynamo F.C. was formed in 1955 by a group of pupils who no longer wished to play rugby.


The school runs an active Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, a Scout Troop and biennial adventurous expeditions, which have visited areas such as the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the Himalayas and Greenland. A number of clubs and societies run regularly, including the Senior Debating Society and a school newspaper made by students, entitled VOX. The school engages in regular charity fund-raising events, including non-uniform days and concerts. An example of this is in February 2018, a raffle event at a concert raised money for the Symphonic Wind Band tour to Ireland in the next summer. [8]

House system

The school operates a house system; every boy is placed in one of four houses: Abney (Green, after Sir Thomas Abney), Yates (Yellow, after William Yates), Pulteney (Purple, after Richard Pulteney) and Davys (Sky blue, after George Davys) and boys below the Upper Sixth have a small line in one of these colours on their school tie, between larger stripes for the school's red and navy colours. The houses are named after alumni. The house system provides internal competition in a number of sporting disciplines as well as quiz, chess, bridge and music competitions, with a points system (40 for winning an event down to 10 for finishing fourth) calculating the eventual winner of the Stamper Cup. The Eagle trophy is awarded to the house that wins the most points in non-sporting house competitions.


The names of the earliest headmasters are not known, and the dates of a few of the early headmasters remain unclear.

Old Loughburians

Old boys of Loughborough Grammar School are called "Old Loughburians". They form an old boys' association, namely the Old Loughburians Association (commonly OLA).

Notable Old Loughburians include:


Notable masters at the school include:

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Further reading