St Paul's School

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This is about the St Paul's School in London (United Kingdom). For other schools see St Paul's School (disambiguation)

St Paul's School


High Master George Martin Stephen
Established 1509
School type Public
Location Barnes, London
School colours Black and White

St Paul's School is a boys' public school. It was originally located in the City of London and is now located in the London suburb of Barnes. It is one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.


[edit] History

St Paul's School takes its name from St Paul's Cathedral in London. A cathedral school had existed since early times, and certainly from about 1103. By the sixteenth century, however, it had declined, and in 1509 a new St Paul's School was founded by John Colet, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, on a plot of land to the north of the Cathedral. The eldest son of Sir Henry Colet, who was a member of the Mercers' Company and twice Lord Mayor of London, he inherited a substantial fortune, the great part of which he used for the endowment of his School, having no family of his own (his 21 siblings having all died in childhood and he being a celibate priest).

The School provided for the education of 153 children of 'all nacions [sic] and countries indifferently' in good manners and literature. The number 153 has long been associated with the miracle of the draught of fishes recorded in St John's Gospel, and for several generations Foundation Scholars have been given the option of wearing an emblem of a silver fish. St Paul's was the largest school in England at its foundation, and its High Master had a salary (13 shillings and sixpence weekly) which was double that of the contemporary Head Master of Eton College. The scholars were not required to make any payment, although they were required to be literate, and they had to pay for their own wax candles - at that time an expensive commodity.

Colet was the outspoken critic of the powerful and worldly Church of his day, and the friend of Erasmus and Sir Thomas More. Erasmus wrote textbooks for the school and St Paul's was the first English school to teach Greek, reflecting the humanist interests of the founder. Colet distrusted the Church as a managing body for his school, declaring that he "found the least corruption" in married laymen. For this reason, Colet assigned the management of the School and its revenues to the Mercers' Company, the premier livery company in the City of London, with which his father had been associated. The governing body of the school is still strongly associated with nominees of the Mercers' Company. In 1876 the Company were legally established as Trustees of the Colet estate and the management of the School was assigned to a Board of Governors consisting of the Master, Wardens and nine members of the Company, together with three representatives each of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. The Company still forms the major part of the School's governing body, and it continues to administer Colet's trust.

One of St Paul's early headmasters was Richard Mulcaster, famous for writing two influential treatises on education (Positions (1581)[1] and Elementarie (1582)) . His description in Positions of "footeball" as a refereed team sport is the earliest reference to organised modern football. For this description and his enthusiasm for the sport he is considered the father of modern football.

St Paul's has since its foundation been one of the leading British public schools. Between 1861 and 1864, the Clarendon Commission (a Royal Commission) investigated the public school system in England and its report formed the basis of the Public Schools Act 1868. St Paul's was one of only nine schools considered by the Clarendon Commission, and one of only two schools which was not predominantly attended by boarders. (The other day school was Merchant Taylors' and the other boarding schools were Charterhouse, Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Shrewsbury, Westminster and Winchester).

Under the direction of F. W. Walker, who had become the High Master in 1887, the School rapidly expanded, and established itself as one of the foremost teaching schools in the country. Over many years its record of Open Awards at Oxford and Cambridge in all subjects has been equal, or superior, to that of any other school of comparable size.It normally finishes up around the top of the league tables and is one of the greatest schools in the world at the moment.

The school day lasts from 8.35 in the morning to 4.15 in the afternoon and consists of 8 periods, including a one hour, forty-five minute lunch break during which pupils usually partake in sporting or extra-curricular activities such as rugby, rowing or debating. Pupils of all ages are not allowed to leave the school premises without permission at any time during the school day.

[edit] Buildings

The original school, which stood in St Paul's Churchyard, was destroyed with the Cathedral in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The school was twice rebuilt, in 1670, and again in Cheapside in 1822; but towards the end of the 19th century, it was decided that the school should move out of the City of London.

In 1884 a new building designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse rose to dominate the countryside of Hammersmith. The terracotta for the Hammersmith school was made by the famous Gibbs and Canning Limited of Tamworth. At this time the street numbering was changed locally and so the school address, whether by accident or design, became 153 Hammersmith Road.

In September 1939, the School was evacuated to Crowthorne in Berkshire, where, under the then high Master, W. F. Oakeshott, it became solely a boarding school for the period of the war. In the meantime, the London buildings became the H.Q. of XXI Army Group under the command of General, later Field-Marshal, Bernard Montgomery, himself an Old Pauline. There the military side of the invasion of Europe was planned, including the D-Day landings. The map that he used is still present in the modern day site of the school in the Montgomery Room.

The School recovered its buildings in September 1945, and resumed life essentially as a day school (although it retains a small number of boarders to this day). By 1961 it had become evident that the old school buildings were unsuited to modern educational needs. By good fortune, the opportunity then came to rebuild the School on a 45 acre (182,000 m²) riverside site at Barnes and the present and fifth School buildings were opened in September 1968. This site also includes St Paul's Preparatory School, or Colet Court, whose pupils account for roughly one half of the senior school's intake each year. The Waterhouse building on Hammersmith Road was demolished (amid protests) - apart from the gates and the peripheral walls, the High Master's House, and a toolhut - and flats were built on the site.

The 1968 buildings were built using a modular system, partly because much of the site was formed reservoir land which was still settling, and are now in need of replacement; the only existing buildings likely to remain are the Music department and the Rackets Court. Plans to redevelop the site are now well advanced; a masterplan has been developed with the architectural consultants Patel Taylor, and Nicholas Hare Architects LLP have been appointed to produce detailed designs for the first set of new buildings.

[edit] Associated schools

By the end of the nineteenth century the funds of the Dean Colet Foundation had increased to such an extent that the Trustees decided to build a school for girls, and in 1904, St Paul's Girls' School was opened in Brook Green, Hammersmith. During the past 100 years the School has earned a reputation which today places it foremost among girls' schools in the country.

In 1881, a boys' preparatory school was founded which later became Colet Court. Colet Court is now on the same site as the main school and most of its pupils are expected to pass into St Paul's School when they reach the age of 13. It therefore serves as a junior school for the main establishment.

[edit] Present day

The Boys' School numbered 846 boys in 2005, the 496th year of its foundation. Approaching its 500th anniversary an ambitious total rebuilding of the School at its present site is planned, to be completed over a 25-year period. This is called the "Masterplan" of St Paul's School and the details can be viewed here.

The school still maintains a limited boarding facility for the use of some forty boys. There are strong boarding house traditions including the annual bonfire and two hours of compulsory study known as "prep" every evening. Newer traditions include the sponsored all night five-a-side football tournament, a "charity sponging" event and the 4-2-1 football league tournament.

The school has a strong sports department. The school were runners-up in the rugby U15 Daily Mail Cup in 2005 and the Boat Club has twice won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.

Many former pupils keep in touch with each other through the Old Pauline Club. Various sporting clubs are affiliated to the Old Pauline Club, such as the Old Pauline Football Club (OPFC), the Old Pauline Association Football Club (OPAFC), the Old Pauline Cricket Club (OPCC), the Old Pauline Association Club (OPAC) and the Old Pauline Harvey Chess Society (OPHCS), who participate in many national tournaments with moderate success. There are also various websites set up by Old Paulines themselves. Links to the OPC, OPFC, OPAFC, OPCC, and student websites are provided at the bottom of this page.

In 2005, St Paul's obtained (for the second year running) the best overall placing in the GCSE exam league tables published nationally, and was also the leading boys school in the A level results tables. 60% of its leavers went to Oxford and Cambridge, which was also the highest proportion achieved by any boys' school in the country.

[edit] School coat of arms

Like many ancient educational foundations, St Paul's School traditionally used the arms of its founder, John Colet. His arms were Sable on a chevron Argent between three Hinds trippant Argent three Annulets Sable, and they were originally used by his great-grandfather, Richard Colet. As Dean of St Paul's, he was entitled to impale them with the arms of the Deanery, and the school has often used them in this form also. In 2002, the school obtained its own grant of arms from the College of Arms consisting of the arms of Dean Colet surrounded by a gold bordure, upon which the crossed swords of the Dean of St Paul's are repeated.

[edit] Notable alumni

Famous former pupils, known as Old Paulines, include:

[edit] 16th century

[edit] 17th century

[edit] 18th century

[edit] 19th century

[edit] 20th century

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Old Pauline websites

Student websites

St Paul's School

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