Latymer Upper School

Latymer Upper School is a selective independent school, (a public school, in the British sense of the word), located on King Street in Hammersmith, London. It was founded by Edward Latymer in 1624.

Latymer Upper School
Latymer Upper School coat of arms.svg

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W6 9LR
TypeIndependent day school Private school
MottoLatin: Paulatim ergo certe
(Slowly Therefore Surely)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderEdward Latymer
Local authorityHammersmith and Fulham
Department for Education URN100370 Tables
HeadmasterDavid Goodhew
Staff98 full time, 28 music staff
GenderCoeducational (Formerly all-boys)
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Black, blue and white
PublicationThe Latymerian
Former pupilsOld Latymerians
Boat ClubLatymer Upper School Boat Club

It is a coeducational school with over 1,200 pupils. Latymer Upper School has been ranked consistently in the leading schools in the country academically, on the merit of its position in the national GCSE and A level examination performance tables combined with one of the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rates of any secondary school or college, and is one of the top schools for the arts and sport. The Sixth Form of 340 is one of the largest in London and offers forty academic courses as well as extra curricular activities. According to the Good Schools Guide, the school "aims to set new standards for co-education in west London."[1] As of 2016, the school charges fees of £19,260 a year per student.[2]

History and traditionsEdit

Latymer Upper School was founded in 1624 by Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer and puritan, who left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of “eight poore boyes” from Hammersmith. For the next twenty years, local boys were educated in a school erected in Fulham's churchyard, moving in 1648 to another school built in Hammersmith. Later, in 1657, a parochial charity school was set up, which served as the Latymer legacy for the following century until it was rebuilt in 1755. A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School. The site also includes Latymer Prep School, which takes pupils aged 7 to 11.

In the 1950s, the school was a direct grant grammar school, which took large numbers of state school pupils, whose fees were paid by the local authority, solely on the basis of merit. At the same time, it continued to take some fee-paying pupils. The Direct Grant system was abolished from 1975, and the school became fully private.

The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and in 2004 the main school started to become co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7. With that year's entry moving into Year 11, the school became fully co-educational by 2008.

Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's Church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other beneficiaries of the school.

As a member school of the HMC it is a public school.


Pupils come from a wide area of London. 176 pupils are on means-tested bursaries, 70 of whom are on 100 percent bursaries. The Good Schools Guide said "We attract a real mix from city investors, media types and academics living in leafy streets through to families on the White City estate, which is surely better than just those from a privileged bubble mixing with each other".[1] Tatler notes that the school says it is 'fishing in a brighter gene pool,’ and that 'philanthropy is integral to the spirit of the school and Latymer is one of the leaders in providing means-tested bursaries'.[3] In 2019, Tatler dubbed it "a truly remarkable, unpretentious, highly academic school."[4]

Latymer Upper School is one of the highest academically performing schools in the UK historically and to date.[5] Most of the school’s own on-site prep pupils enter the school, whilst around a further 50 percent enter from local state primary schools. Tatler Schools Guide commentated that 'competition for Latymer places is hotter than ever: 1,100 applicants sat the exam last spring; 400 were interviewed for 168 places'.[3] The examined subjects are in English and Maths and there is an interview. There were 33 Oxbridge places in 2017, and an increasing number to US universities such as Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Pennsylvania and Yale, and a range of other top international universities. A few pupils annually transfer to art, music or drama schools, with others training to become medics, economists, engineers and linguists.[6]

GCSE summary: last five years[7]

2019 77.8 92.1 98.2
2018 70.8 90.0 97.5
2017 70.6 91.2 98.5
2016 61.6 86.9 97.7
2015 69.7 92.2 98.8
2014 64.9 89.6 97.4

A level summary: last five years

2019 31.8 70.7 91.2
2018 29.4 66.9 90.6
2017 34.8 74.7 92.2
2016 32.0 75.8 95.2
2015 32.1 73.3 91.7
2014 35.5 77.1 93.8


The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, football, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's two full orchestras and five string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.

There are over 140 clubs and societies at Latymer, including the J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies. There are also clubs for bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. The Drama Society holds several productions each year.[8] Two students in Year 10 won the International Debating Competition in Cambridge at their age level. The final consisted of four other London-based schools that included St Paul's and Westminster.

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer School. There are trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exchanges, work experience in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, Classics trips to Italy and Greece, sports tours and expeditions. Latymer Upper also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.[9]

The school is active in charity work: the annual "Charities' Week" raised £3,000 in 2006. The school branch of Amnesty International is involved in fund- and awareness-raising campaigns. A student-led environmentalist group has led to each classroom being equipped with a recycling bin.[citation needed]

Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled. In addition, the school offers all students a trip every year in 'Activities Week'. Destinations have included Spain, the Ardèche gorge in the south of France.[10]


Latymer Performing Arts Centre, Hammersmith, London

The school's sporting facilities on site include a boathouse with direct access to the Thames, the new Sports Centre and two netball courts. The school's playing fields are about a mile and a half away, on Wood Lane, with a £2m sports pavilion and changing rooms completed in 2004. The £4m Latymer Theatre and Arts Centre opened in 2000 and includes a 300-seat galleried box theatre, music practice rooms, art galleries and studios, plus a cafe and atrium area. In 2009 the £6m Latymer Performing Arts Centre was completed, providing students with drama studios, rehearsal rooms and a 150-seat recital hall[11] In March 2016, the school opened a state of the art Sports Centre which includes a six-lane swimming pool, basketball hoops, badminton markings, cricket nets, a fitness suite, and a rock climbing wall whilst at the same time offering an area for all pupils to take their examinations.[12]

The £8m Science and Library building which includes science labs for the three sciences and a library with seating for over 200 pupils opened in 2010. van Heyningen and Haward Architects were responsible for the design and delivery of these four buildings during a ten-year working relationship with the school.[13] 150 computers are provided for pupil use, networked and with e-mail and internet access, and ICT is taught in one lesson a week in Years 7 to 9. Pupils are permitted to cycle to school, with storage space provided for their bikes. Meals are self-service in the lunch hall, and there is a café in the "atrium".

Coat of armsEdit

The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, paulatim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus due to there being no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. The motto was dropped in 2004 along with the coat of arms, and a new, much simpler, shield (described in the school literature as a "new crest") was adopted.[14]

The original arms continue to be used, with a different motto, by the sister school, The Latymer School.

Old LatymeriansEdit

Film and TheatreEdit


In sportEdit

In politicsEdit

Other fieldsEdit

Notable former staffEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School, London". Good Schools Guide. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  2. ^ School Fees Information
  3. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  4. ^ Mohr, F. B. (11 February 1966). "A Truly Remarkable Fly". Science. 151 (3711): 634–636. Bibcode:1966Sci...151..634M. doi:10.1126/science.151.3711.634-b. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 17813782.
  5. ^ "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  8. ^ Clubs Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  9. ^ Clubs, Activities and Trips Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  10. ^ Activities Week Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  11. ^ New Music Building Building, Latymer Upper School
  12. ^ "New Sports Centre opens - LUS".
  13. ^ "van Heyningen & Haward: Latymer Upper School, West London - Architecture Today". Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  14. ^ Old Latymerian News, October 2004 Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine (PDF document). Accessed 15 December 2006.
  15. ^ a b Sian Griffiths, Education Editor. "Latymer Upper School forces out seven over drugs | News". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  16. ^ "The trickle-down effect has dried up | News". 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About Britain's Hottest Band". 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 December 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Keith Vaz: Who is the Labour MP caught up in male prostitute claims?". The Independent. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°29′31″N 0°14′13″W / 51.492°N 0.237°W / 51.492; -0.237