Colchester Royal Grammar School

From Academic Kids

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The school gardens
Colcheser Royal Grammar School (CRGS) is a grammar school founded in 1206 AD and granted two Royal Charters by Henry VIII (in 1539) and by Elizabeth I (in 1584).

The school stands firm as one of the United Kingdom's top schools, consistently achieving superb results in national league tables 1 ( The school has around 700 pupils aged 11-18, with girls admitted in the two upper years only. It is situated in a residential area of Colchester, Essex and features beautiful gardens.


The Boarding House

One of CRGS's defining characteristics is its boarding house, which is home to 30 sixth form students predominantly from Essex, the European Union and the Far East.

The school is noted for the large number of overseas students, primarily from Asian countries, who come to the school in its sixth form and stay either at the Boarding House or under the care of host families.

Inspectors' Feedback on the Boarding House

The following comments were made by Ofsted (, the UK schools inspectorate:

  • "The School cares for its students very well and ensures their health and safety. It provides very high levels of support, advice and guidance, which are firmly based on the monitoring of progress. The school consults students and acts on their views."
  • "Pastoral care for boarders is very good. Supervision is very good; it is appropriate to the age and maturity of the boarders. Boarding provides very well for students' personal and academic development, and prepares them well for adult life. Relationships between students, and between students and staff are very good. Boarders have good programme of trips and visits at weekends and a very good social space in the games hut."

Academic Success

As a grammar school, CRGS's main aim is to ensure the academic success of its pupils. The school is consistently placed within the top few state schools in the country for A-level results and achieves similar success at GCSE 1 ( In 2004, it was named as the top state school in the country by the BBC. The headmaster Ken Jenkinson explains this success, saying that "although as a grammar school the academic success of our students is our principal priority, I tend to see the results as the by-product of an ethos where we encourage students to aim high in all that they do and approach challenges with confidence."

The school is officially a specialist science school, and is currently building a new chemistry lab.

The school is one of few remaining in England that still offers teaching in Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek), with the funds for the teaching of Ancient Greek being provided by the Greek government.

The school's success was recognised by Prime Minister Tony Blair who in 1999 invited ( the headmaster of CRGS, among other heads of the country's top schools, to a meeting to discuss improving education in Britain.

However its esteemed position is due partly to its very tough eleven plus entrance exam, which selects only a small percentage of the area's brightest students. The local area utilises the smallest percentage enforced by any eleven plus selection process and in other areas the percentage is much higher, thus making any direct comparison ambiguous.

School Houses

The four school houses, named after past headmasters, are as follows:

  • Dugard's

Colour: Yellow
Motto: Dieu Garde
Named after William Dugard

  • Harsnett's

Colour: Green
Motto: Perge
Named after William Harsnett

  • Parr's

Colour: Blue
Motto: Tout Pret
Named after Samuel Parr.

  • Shaw Jeffrey's (Jays)

Colour: Red
Motto: Dex Aie
Named after Shaw Jeffrey

Awarding of points

There is an annual house competition, in which points are scored by winning at:

  • Quiz
  • Sport
  • Swimming
  • Commendations (awarded for good behaviour and work)
  • House Quiz
  • Song Competition

At the end of the year the house with the most points wins the house trophy.


Subjects studied at the school are:

  • Ancient Greek
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Computing
  • Design and Technology
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • History
  • Latin
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Religious Education


Pupils in the main school wear a distinctive uniform comprising a purple blazer and tie with house badge, as well as a white shirt and black trousers and socks. Students in the Sixth Form do not have to wear the uniform, but instead wear smart clothes, typically a suit.


  • League Tables from the BBC (

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