The Independent newspaper salutes QE’s achievements
April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014
Queen Elizabeth’s School is highly praised in a lengthy feature in The Independent, following a visit by the newspaper’s Education Editor, Richard Garner.
The double-page spread by the respected journalist is devoted entirely to the School, highlighting its recent achievements and looking at the reasons for its success.
Headlined Queen Elizabeth's boys' grammar has been doing its own thing since 1573 – with impressive results, the article begins by briefly explaining how the School was established with a charter from Queen Elizabeth I which “clearly states that this should be a free school operating in a meritocratic way, to offer places to young boys from all walks of life.” Headmaster Neil Enright told Mr Garner: “The School is very much still pursuing the tenets of its Tudor charter.”
Notwithstanding the School’s location, described by The Independent as “very leafy, suburban, white, British-dominated territory”, the article points out that 90% of the boys are from ethnic minority groups drawn from a very wide area and that “in terms of the national deprivation index, its intake broadly reflects the average for the country”.
Mr Garner tracks the School’s progression from a struggling comprehensive in the mid-1980s that was rumoured to be at risk of closure through its reversion to academic selection in 1994 to its conversion to Academy status under the new framework introduced by the current Coalition Government. The feature mentions that QE is one of only two schools in the country where 100% of pupils achieved the English Baccalaureate this year.
One section focuses on languages, looking at the introduction of compulsory Latin two years ago and the offer of Mandarin as an enrichment option. “It would be possible in future for a boy to take GCSEs in French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Latin. We expect some will do so,” the Headmaster told The Independent. “We really think there is a lot of merit in the study of languages, full stop.”
Queen Elizabeth's boys' grammar has been doing its own thing since 1573 – with impressive results
The Independent, Thursday 10 April 2014
The article also looks at enrichment facilities, citing the fact that 350 boys are in the School Choir as evidence of the strength of Music at QE. This strength can perhaps be attributed to the fact that it is a boys’ school: “In mixed schools, Music can be seen as a girls’ activity,” one unnamed Music teacher is quoted as saying. Water polo, swimming and games (in particular, the School’s annual Rugby Sevens tournament, which was being held on the day of the journalist’s visit) are all given as examples of purposeful extra-curricular activities which demonstrate that the School is, as Mr Garner puts it, “already ahead of the Government’s exhortation for schools to remain open for up to 10 hours a day”.
The feature ends with further examples of recent achievement by QE, including its membership of Mayor Boris Johnson’s London Schools Gold Club and 37 offers of Oxbridge places made to QE boys this year. “Its Tudor founding fathers would be proud,” Mr Garner concludes.