Our School, Our History
Students and staff have been engaged in a project using school archives, including log books and old school photographs from which students discovered some fascinating facts about their school and its place in history.
With sponsorship from the Intermediate and Grammar Schools Association, Smith Signs Limited and the Parent Teacher Association, all of the school photographs have now been digitised. The first stage of the display was unvelied at the end of 2017, and phase two is now underway.
In addition, a selection of the school photos going back over the years are now available to purchase from Bentley Photographic. You can view them by clicking here.
History of the Schools
The history of the Grammar School for Boys and the Grammar School for Girls has much in common.
The Boys’ School opened with fifty students at Granville House on 5th April 1883. The first Headmaster, Mr W Sharp, served for thirty years and established fine traditions. The school outgrew these premises and in 1894 the hundred and twenty students moved to Brock Road.
On 8th May 1895, the Girls’ Secondary School was opened at Granville House with twenty three students. In 1902 it was renamed the Intermediate School and steadily grew under the very real leadship of Miss F A Foster who, likewise, was Headmistress for thirty years. By 1918 numbers had reached one hundred and fifty seven and part was housed in what is now the British Legion Hall in Victoria Road. In 1923 the girls moved to Vauvert prior to Rosaire Avenue in 1928 when numbers were two hundred and fifty.
Both schools were fortunate to have had such quality of early leadership.
From 1922-48 Mr F Fulford was Headmaster of the Boys’ School. He introduced a house system, trips abroad and encouraged Athletics and Games, Drama and Eisteddfod participation. "H.M.S. Pinafore" was performed with the Girls’ School in 1930.
Numbers grew to two hundred and thirty eight in 1922 with nine staff and by now there was a shortage of classrooms. Some were leased at Vauvert until 1928 and then at the Girls’ Intermediate until the new wing with additional classrooms was added at Brock Road in 1936.
The curriculum at the Girls’ School gradually broadened. In 1922 ten O’I’s were Headmistresses of Guernsey Infant/Junior Schools. Hockey was introduced in 1925 and 1929 Hockey and Netball teams competed for the first time in inter-insular contests with Guernsey Ladies’ College and Jersey College for Girls. Sports Day was held with the Boys’ School until 1936. The choir began in 1917 and the house system in 1927.
Miss Foster was succeeded by Miss E Troughton and then Miss N Roughton who, like Mr Fulford, saw the school through the evacuation of the war years. Under her the school moved to Rochdale and, in spite of the fact that teaching accommodation was difficult, the School Certificate results were excellent and several girls stayed on to do Sixth Form work before entering Further and Higher Education.
The Boys’ School was the guest of Hulme Grammar School, Oldham from 1940-1945. Guernsey owes much to that staff and the people of Oldham in addition to Mr Fulford and his staff for the considerable responsiblity of being 'in loco parentis' to two hundred boys. Mr Fulford’s leadership is remembered with lasting affection.
While these schools were in exile, an occupation school opened in April 1941, consisting of boys and girls under the Headship of Mr P Girard, B.Sc. The School undertook a modified curriculum in trying conditions. Full days were worked on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and half day on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Many of the one hundred and fifty seven on register rejoined their own schools in September 1945. In 1950 the Intermediate Schools were given permission to retain students to the age of eighteen and to discontinue transfer to Colleges. This meant the Sixth Form began to emerge with a steady flow entering Colleges of Further Education and Universities. Both Schools were called Grammar Schools in 1955. The Rev. W.C. Hill, B.Sc. 1948-67 and Miss E R Stewart, M.A. 1952-65, saw these changes in their respective schools.
The final chapter of merger covers the Headships of Mr J D Parnaby, M.A., 1967-83 and Miss G Thorn, M.A., 1965-82. Both schools merged at Sixth Form level in January 1972. In February 1977 the States approved, in principle, the amalgamation of the two schools and finally resolved to build a new one in January 1982.
Mr A C Bisson, B.A., M.A. (Ed.) succeeded Miss G Thorn after a short interim period in September 1982 and also took over from Mr J D Parnaby the following year.
The two schools ceased to be separate intitutions in August 1983 and moved to the new school in July 1985.
HEADTEACHERS - Girls
- Miss F A Foster, 1895 – 1925
- Miss E P Troughton, B.A., 1925 - 1935
- Miss N H Roughton, B.A., 1935 – 1951
- Miss E R Stewart, M.A., 1952 – 1965
- Miss G A Thorn, M. A., 1965 – 1982
- Mr A C Bisson, M.A. 1983 – 1985
- Mr P Girard, B.Sc., 1941 – 1945
HEADTEACHERS – Boys
- Mr W Sharp, B.Sc., 1883 – 1913
- Mr V C Allen, B.A., 1913 – 1919
- Mr W Stringer, B.Sc., 1919 – 1922
- Mr R E Fulford, B.Sc., 1922 – 1948
- Rev. W C Hill, B.Sc., 1948 – 1967
- Mr J D Parnaby, M.A. 1967 – 1983
- Mr A C Bisson, M.A. 1983 – 1985
HEADTEACHERS – Guernsey Grammar School
Mr A C Bisson, M.A. 1985 – 1996
Mr D Balls, B.A. (Hons) 1996 – 2006
Mr J Smith B.Sc. (Hons) – 2006 - 2011
Mrs C Watson MA (Ed) - 2012 -2015
Mrs E A Coffey BA Hons and NLE (National Leader of Education) - 2015 - Present