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Dr Challoner's Grammar School

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.

Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School.png
Mottoes Latin: Ad Astra Per Aspera
(to the stars through difficulties)
Excellence with Integrity[citation needed]
Established 1624
Type Academy Grammar
Headteacher David Atkinson
Chairman of Governors Mrs Jane Penton-Hauchard
Founder Dr Robert Chaloner
Dr Challoner's Grammar School is located in Buckinghamshire
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School is located in England
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School is located in the United Kingdom
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
Location Chesham Road
51°40′34″N 0°36′35″W / 51.67622°N 0.60982°W / 51.67622; -0.60982Coordinates: 51°40′34″N 0°36′35″W / 51.67622°N 0.60982°W / 51.67622; -0.60982
Local authority Buckinghamshire
DfE URN 136419 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 150
Students 1,326[1]

Boys (Year 7-11)

Co-educational Sixth Form
Ages 11–18
Houses      Foxell
Publication Ad Astra
House Competitions Results Former Pupils
Old Challoners Headmasters

It was founded in 1624 in accordance with the last will and testament of Robert Chaloner (spelt with only one "l"). Chaloner, a Doctor of Divinity, was Rector of Amersham from 1576 to 1584, when he took up office as a Canon of Windsor, Berkshire, a post he held until his death in 1621.



In his will, Robert Challoner left money to establish a grammar school in Amersham. The school was situated in Old Amersham for almost three centuries before moving, with the support of Buckinghamshire County Council, to its present buildings 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 the Dr Challoner's Debating Society has staged numerous collaborative events.

The continued expansion of the grammar school to its present size of over 1,200 boys 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.[2]

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".[3] In January 2011 the school became an Academy.[4]


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. The second table shows which house has won the re-instated house competitions.

House Colour
Year House
2004–2005 Rayner
2005–2006 Pearson
2006–2007 Holman
2007–2008 Holman
2008–2009 Holman
2009–2010 Thorne
2010–2011 Holman
2011–2012 Pearson
2012–2013 Foxell
2013–2014 Holman
2014–2015 Pearson
2015–2016 Pearson
2016–2017 Pearson
2017–2018 Foxell


Dr Challoner's has a strong reputation as one of the country's top performing schools.[5] 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[6] and named the country's best grammar school in 2011.[7] In the 2011 GCSEs, boys achieved a 100% pass rate with 50 of the 183 candidates earning all A*-A grades.[8]

School buildingsEdit

The school accommodation comprises a number of major buildings. The West Court area (Music, History and Religious Studies). 'A' Block (Business Studies and Economics, Graphics and Art). Admin Block (School offices and Information Technology), Loarridge Centre and Language Block. 'Q' Block (English and Library). New Court (English and Geography).

The Tower Block (Mathematics and Modern Languages) and Science Block (Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Electronics). The School Hall and Drama Studio is directly above the canteen. Finally, there is a sports hall with PE classrooms. Work on a new sixth form centre and library in 'Q' Block began in January 2012 and was finished in February 2013. The three storey building houses a new sixth form centre, study room and library.

Notable former pupilsEdit


  • Mr Edward Rayner 1624–1640
  • Dr Angell 1640–1650
  • Mr Humphrey Gardiner 1650–1676
  • Mr John Hughes 1676–1697
  • Mr Crowfoot 1697–1702 (Dudley Penard officiated – 1698)
  • Rev Benjamin Robertshaw, MA 1702–1706
  • Not Known 1706–1790
  • Rev Richard Thorne, BA 1790–1822
  • Rev Henry Foyster 1822–1826
  • Rev Matthew Stalker, BA 1826–1849
  • Rev W.S. Newman, BA 1849–1850
  • Rev Edmund J Luce, BA 1850–1862
  • Rev W. H. Williams, BA 1862–1880
  • Rev Frederick Weller, MA 1881–1883
  • Rev W.J. Foxell 1883–1886
  • Rev Colin J. Creed 1886–1888
  • Rev Lewis H. Pearson, BA 1888–1889
  • Rev E.P. Cooper, BA 1889–1897
  • Mr E.H. Wainwright, BA 1897–1908
  • Mr R.E. Yates, BA 1908–1935
  • Mr J.E. Simpson, BSc 1935–1937
  • Mr T.P. Oakley, BSc (Acting) 1937–1938
  • Mr Neville Harrow, MA 1938–1956
  • Mr R. Simm, BA (Acting) 1941–1945
  • Mr W.C. Porter, BSc 1956–1964
  • Mr D Holman, MA 1965–1972
  • Mr J.A. Loarridge, RD, BA, OBE 1972–1992
  • Mr G.C. Hill, MA 1993–2001
  • Dr Mark A. Fenton, MA, MSc, 2001–16[20]
  • Mr David Atkinson 2016–[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "URN 136419 Dr Challoner's Grammar School". Edubase/DfE. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Full marks for Dr Challoner's". Bucks Free Press. 5 December 2007.
  3. ^ "The Challoner: July 2008" (PDF). Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  4. ^ "Open academies map and schools submitting applications". Department for Education. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Challoner's pupils among country's top performers". Bucks Free Press. 19 September 2003.
  6. ^ "RGS and Dr Challoner's named among the best schools in country". Bucks Free Press. 23 January 2003.
  7. ^ "Dr Challoner's named England's best grammar school". Buckinghamshire Examiner. 17 January 2011. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Triumphant GCSE results for Dr Challoner's Grammar School". Buckinghamshire Examiner. 25 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Famous ex-pupil returns to Amersham school". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  10. ^ Buckley, Will (21 April 2007). "Cycling: Hammond handles his personal hell". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. ^ department, Guardian research (31 May 2007). "Which Tory went where?". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Oral-History:Elizabeth Laverick - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  13. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 2004.
  14. ^ "Tributes pour in as James Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore, dies aged 89". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Dr Challoner's Grammar School". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  16. ^ "AIM25 collection description". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Oakley, Kenneth Page (1911–1981), anthropologist - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-31509. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  18. ^ Petridis, Alexis. "@EddieRobson I was at Challoners' in Amersham - same fucking deal as Aylesbury Grammar, basically. Lived in LIttle Chalfont". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Dominic Raab MP - GOV.UK". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Bucks headteacher to step down after 15 years in the role - Get Bucks". 5 July 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  21. ^ "New head has been announced at a prestigious grammar school - Get Bucks". 25 November 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • F. R. Treadgold, B.A (1973). Dr Challoner and his school. Amersham.
  • F. R. Treadgold, B.A (1974). "Challoner's" 1624–1974: The story of Dr. Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham. Luton: The Leagrave Press Ltd. ISBN 0-85236-051-7.

External linksEdit