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
Chesham Road

, ,

Coordinates51°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
TypeAcademy Grammar
Established1624; 398 years ago (1624)
FounderRobert Chaloner
Local authorityBuckinghamshire
Department for Education URN136419 Tables
Chair of GovernorsShaun Kennedy
HeadteacherDavid Atkinson
GenderBoys (Year 7-11) Co-educational Sixth Form
Age11 to 18
Houses  Foxell

It was founded in 1624 in accordance with the last will and testament of Robert Chaloner. Chaloner, a Doctor of Divinity, was Rector of Amersham from 1576 to his death in 1621. He was also a Canon of St George’s Chapel, Windsor from 1584.


In his will, Robert Chaloner left money to establish a grammar school in Amersham.[2]

"… the like sume of twenty pounds yearly out of the said lands at Wavendon I give unto my wellbeloved friend Mr. William Tothill Esquire and Mr William Pennyman Esquire to erect a free gramar schoole in Amersam in the County of Bucks to be established by Deede of Feofment or otherwise as their wisdome can devise The towne and pish allotinge the Churche house for the schoole house or my successor a tenemt in the occupation of Enoch Wyar now or of late for the dwellinge house of the schoole maister whome I will to be chosen by my exequitrix my successor and Mr. Tothill afterwards by my successor and sixe of the eldest Feoffees and cheefest This I leave as a testimony of my loce to them and theire children. Orders for the school—I desire my successor to pcure from the best ordered schooles"

The original school building

The school was situated in Old Amersham for almost three centuries before moving, with the support of Buckinghamshire County Council, to its present position 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 Dr Challoner's Debating Society has staged numerous collaborative events. Girls were admitted to the boys’ school sixth form in 2016

The continued expansion of the grammar school to its present size of over 1,350 students 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.

Aerial shot of the DCGS Centenary Sports Pitch

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.[3] 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".[4] In January 2011 the school became an Academy.[5]



Since the school founded its robotics team in 2015,[citation needed] Challoner's has competed in national and international competitions. In 2017, the school competed in the Student Robotics competition led by University of Southampton and won two awards.[6] In 2018, a team entered into PiWars, a competition involving Raspberry Pi computers hosted at the University of Cambridge. The competition consisted of autonomous and remote controlled challenges with tasks requiring computer vision. The team came out winning the whole competition and having podium finishes on the majority of the challenges.[7]

Model United NationsEdit

The school has had large amounts of success with its Model United Nations society. Almost entirely student-led, teams have traveled to attend multiple international conferences including HABSMUN and LIMUN. The teams have been successful: at LIMUN 2017 over half of the 16 Year 12 students attending won awards and the Challoner's team won the conference overall.[8] In March 2018 the society competed at SPIMUN (St Petersburg International Model United Nations) where five students won awards.[9] In 2017, the society won the 'We Made a Difference Award' in the 2017 Speaker's Schools Council Awards.

In January 2018, the school hosted its first conference, Challoner's MUN. With over 130 students from 11 schools,[10] the conference was one of the largest student-led activities to have ever been undertaken, having been organized by an executive team of 13 students.[11]


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:

House Colour

The houses compete in a yearly competition, starting when students begin school in September and culminating at Sports Day, usually in late June. The competition is keenly contested, and every student is given an opportunity to take part in over 70 competitions.[12] The range of activities include sports, drama and music to code-breaking. It also offers a leadership opportunity for students in positions such as Captains, Deputy Captains, and mentors.


Dr Challoner's students did well in two subjects nationally in 2003.[13] 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[14] and named the country's best grammar school in 2011.[15] In the 2011 GCSEs, boys achieved a 100% pass rate with 50 of the 183 candidates earning all A*-A grades.[16]

Notable former pupilsEdit

Notable former students include:


  • Edward Rayner 1624–1640
  • ? Angell 1640–1650
  • Humphrey Gardiner 1650–1676
  • John Hughes 1676–1697
  • ? Crowfoot 1697–1702 (Dudley Penard officiated – 1698)
  • Benjamin Robertshaw 1702–1706
  • not known 1706–1790
  • Richard Thorne 1790–1822
  • Henry Foyster 1822–1826
  • Matthew Stalker 1826–1849
  • W. S. Newman 1849–1850
  • Edmund J Luce 1850–1862
  • W. H. Williams 1862–1880
  • Frederick Weller 1881–1883
  • W. J. Foxell 1883–1886
  • Colin J. Creed 1886–1888
  • Lewis H. Pearson 1888–1889
  • E. P. Cooper 1889–1897
  • E. H. Wainwright 1897–1908
  • R. E. Yates 1908–1935
  • J. E. Simpson 1935–1937
  • T. P. Oakley (acting) 1937–1938
  • Neville Harrow 1938–1956
  • R. Simm (acting) 1941–1945
  • W. C. Porter 1956–1964
  • D Holman 1965–1972
  • J. A. Loarridge 1972–1992
  • G. C. Hill 1993–2001
  • Mark A. Fenton 2001–16[31]
  • David Atkinson 2016–[32]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "URN 136419 Dr Challoner's Grammar School". Edubase/DfE. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Ourselves". Alauda (75): 1. September 1960.
  3. ^ "Full marks for Dr Challoner's". Bucks Free Press. 5 December 2007.
  4. ^ "The Challoner: July 2008" (PDF). Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  5. ^ "Open academies map and schools submitting applications". Department for Education. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Two awards in International Robotics Competition". Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  7. ^ "International Annihilation in Robotics Competition". Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  8. ^ "International Glory at LIMUN!". Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  9. ^ "Diplomacy in St Petersburg". Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  10. ^ "Inaugural Challoner's MUN Conference". Dr Challoner's Grammar School.
  11. ^ "Challoner's MUN Executive Team". Challoner's MUN.
  12. ^ "House Competition - Dr Challoner's Grammar School". www.challoners.com. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Challoner's pupils among country's top performers". Bucks Free Press. 19 September 2003.
  14. ^ "RGS and Dr Challoner's named among the best schools in country". Bucks Free Press. 23 January 2003.
  15. ^ "Dr Challoner's named England's best grammar school". Buckinghamshire Examiner. 17 January 2011. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Triumphant GCSE results for Dr Challoner's Grammar School". Buckinghamshire Examiner. 25 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Rainbow Tories: The geek, the fundraiser and the Tanzanian immigrant's". 10 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Famous ex-pupil returns to Amersham school". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Dominic Goodman". Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  20. ^ Buckley, Will (21 April 2007). "Cycling: Hammond handles his personal hell". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  21. ^ department, Guardian research (31 May 2007). "Which Tory went where?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Oral-History:Elizabeth Laverick - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Mee [née Brown; other married name Bartlett], Margaret Ursula". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/60330.
  24. ^ "Tributes pour in as James Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore, dies aged 89". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Dr Challoner's Grammar School". www.challoners.com. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  26. ^ "AIM25 collection description". www.aim25.com. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Oakley, Kenneth Page (1911–1981), anthropologist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31509. Retrieved 20 March 2018. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  28. ^ "Dominic Raab MP - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Profile of Matt Watson". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  30. ^ "Player profile: Sam Westaway". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  31. ^ "Bucks headteacher to step down after 15 years in the role - Get Bucks". 5 July 2015. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  32. ^ "New head has been announced at a prestigious grammar school - Get Bucks". 25 November 2015. Archived from the original on 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