Queen Mary's Grammar School

Queen Mary's Grammar School (QMGS) is a selective boys' grammar school with academy status located on Sutton Road, Walsall, England, about a mile from the town centre and one of the oldest schools in the country. The sixth form is coeducational.

Queen Mary's Grammar School
QMGS full size logo
Sutton Road

, ,

Coordinates52°34′39″N 1°57′59″W / 52.5775°N 1.9665°W / 52.5775; -1.9665Coordinates: 52°34′39″N 1°57′59″W / 52.5775°N 1.9665°W / 52.5775; -1.9665
TypeGrammar school
MottoQuas dederis solas semper habebis opes
(What thou hast given alone shall be eternal riches unto thee (Epigrams of Martial, XLII))
Established1554; 466 years ago (1554)
Local authorityWalsall Borough Council
Department for Education URN136773 Tables
HeadmasterR.J. Langton
GenderBoys (mixed sixth form)
Age11 to 18
PublicationThe QM Observer


Admittance to the school is by entrance exam taken at the age of 10/11. Since September 2019, 180 pupils enter the school in September each year, increased gradually from 96 in September 2012. The school has grown from 718 in 2011 to 1,090 in 2019, as a consequence of this sustained expansion.

There is separate admission into the Sixth Form based on academic performance at GCSE. As of 2019, there are over 400 students on roll in the Sixth Form. At this stage of the school, girls are also admitted.



It was founded in 1554 by George and Nicolas Hawe, two leading townsmen, with Queen Mary I as its royal patron and benefactor.[1] At this time it had about sixty pupils, all boys, and taught Classics almost exclusively.

New sitesEdit

It has grown significantly since its foundation and moved three times. Originally housed in an old town guild-hall near St Matthew’s Church, it moved to Park Street in 1811, into new buildings in Lichfield Street in 1850 (a site now used by Queen Mary's High School) and finally to a purpose-built school on the Mayfield site in 1965.[2]

Academic performanceEdit

Queen Mary's performs very well in exams across the board, with consistent success in the sixth form.[3] In 2007, the school became a specialist Language College. The extra funds from this have, amongst other things, facilitated the building of a new wing of the school buildings. The school recently completed work on a new sports hall to support the current gym and swimming facilities. The Science Block was also updated, with new Biology labs being built. A new sixth form block has been constructed and it opened late September 2012. The School is rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.


The school's badge is based on the Heraldic badge of Queen Mary and reflects her parentage, being formed from half a Tudor rose (a symbol of Henry VIII) impaled with a sheaf of arrows (a symbol of Catherine of Aragon). The badge was modified slightly during the 2006/2007 school year. A fully red rose was changed to an accurate red and white Tudor rose, which is usually shown with a red outer rose and a white inner one. However the school's Tudor rose, based on early school records, has a white outer rose and a red inner one,[1] which the College of Arms accepts as equally valid. Despite the update, there are still some subtle differences between the current badge and Queen Mary's.[4]


A host of extracurricular activities are available for pupils, including plays and drama, sports teams, quiz teams, many subject-related societies, and a Combined Cadet Force contingent, comprising both Army and RAF sections. The school has a close relationship with its sister school, Queen Mary's High School. This relationship is nurtured through pupils regularly collaborating in stage plays held at the boys' school, and yearly musical concerts at Walsall Town Hall.

Many trips are run throughout the year, many of them international. Pupils in recent years have had the opportunity to travel to places such as France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, China, Morocco, Iceland, Malaysia, Singapore, Wales, and the USA.

In sport, the school's Under 18 and Under 16 hockey teams both won the Staffordshire Cup for their respective age groups in the same season.

QMGS also hosted the national finals of Junior Schools' Challenge quiz on 24 June 2007, with a team from the school winning the Plate Final. In 2008, the school hosted and reached the national final, losing in the final. In 2012, they hosted a semi-final against Hereford Cathedral School, losing by only one question (610-600).

The school is the only school in the country to have won the UKMT Junior Maths Team Competition twice, doing so in successive years. The competition attracts over 1000 schools every year.

The school has a plaque in St George's Church, Ypres, to honour the ex-pupils of the school who died in the Ypres Salient and the Somme during World War One. The plaque was paid for by the QM Club and was formally unveiled during a Year 9 Battlefields trip. QMGS was the last school ever to be allowed to have a plaque.

Every year, Year 7 students and the senior prefects visit Westminster Abbey, London to commemorate their founder on the Friday closest to 6 July.

Project HorizonEdit

Project Horizon is the school's near space programme, founded in 2012, which runs annual missions. Founded by Mr Adam Coghlan, it has now been taken over by Mr Mario Sepede. A small payload carrying cameras and tracking hardware is lifted by a high-altitude balloon filled with helium gas into the stratosphere until the balloon bursts, allowing the payload to descend back to the ground. Film footage and still images of the payload's journey are recorded throughout the entire flight, capturing views of Earth from the stratosphere.

The project has received national media attention, including appearances on the BBC and ITV. In addition to this, Tim Peake, an ESA astronaut, has tweeted his support for the Project.

Notable former pupilsEdit

The late John Anderson, former Second Master, received the MBE for services to the CCF. Former history master and former Labour councillor for Pelsall, the late Tom Perrett, was awarded the MBE in January 2007. Dave Pomeroy, a former mathematics teacher, received an OBE from the Queen. Late PE teacher George ('Sam') Crudace was awarded the British Empire Medal.

The school has produced a number of pupils who went on to be councillors for the Borough including: John Murray, Michael Flower, Bill Withnall and Imran Azam.

Notable former pupils include:


  1. ^ a b Anderson, J.S. (2004) "Queen Mary's 1954-2004". Queen Mary's Club
  2. ^ Fink, D.P.J. (1954) "Queen Mary's Grammar School 1554-1954". Queen Mary's Club
  3. ^ At GCSE, the school last year boasted a 67% A*/A pass rate. Queen Mary's Grammar School[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ James Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry

External linksEdit