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Penistone Grammar School
Established 1392
Type Comprehensive (former Grammar)
Religion Non-denominational
Headteacher Jo Higgins BA (Hons)
Founder John Clarel
Specialism Business and Enterprise College
Location Huddersfield Road
South Yorkshire
S36 7BX
LEA Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Ofsted number 106653
Students c. 1,600
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11 to 18
Colours red and black
Website [ Penistone Grammar School]
Coordinates: 53°31′58″N 1°38′10″W / 53.5327°N 1.6361°W / 53.5327; -1.6361

Penistone Grammar School is a comprehensive school and former grammar school in Penistone, in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1392 and its most notable alumnus is Nicholas Saunderson, the probable inventor of Bayes theorem, in the sixteenth century[1]. The school has undergone many expansions, and now houses nearly 1,600 pupils from age 11 to 18. The school motto and song were until recently "Disce Aut Discede" (learn or leave), but since a 2003 rebranding this has been changed to "Learning and Achieving Together". The school colours are red and black, and its coat of arms is the six footless martlets of the Clarel family. Penistone is pronounced "penn-i-stun", from "pen" meaning "hill" and "tun" meaning "settlement".



The school was founded as a grammar school in 1392, when it is recorded that a gift of land was made by John Clarel, Lord of the Manor at Penistone, for the purpose of a school. Later, the school was situated in the town centre on a site opposite St. John the Baptist Church and across the road from the old Cloth Hall. However in 1892 the school moved from its town centre site to a position about half a mile north-west of the town centre. The school remains on this site.

The school was originally an all boys grammar school. Girls were admitted for the first time in 1907. In the late twentieth century the school ceased to be a grammar school, becoming one of the first neighbourhood comprehensive schools in the country. It became fully comprehensive in 1969, with partial selection (for more distant pupils) for a few years prior to that. The comprehensive school initially retained its Grammar school name and traditions such as the house system and speech night. These traditions have been slowly scaled back in recent years, and the standard of uniform has been downgraded from blazers to sweaters.

Present day

In September 2003 the school obtained specialist status to become a Business and Enterprise College. It is the only maintained school in the Local Education Authority of Barnsley to have a Sixth Form (See below for more details). The school has also received an Artsmark Silver award.[2] In addition the school has recently been re-certified as an investor in people.

Penistone Grammar School also incorporates a sixth form centre, Netherfields, in separate buildings to the main school. The current heads of the sixth form are Mr Steve Reid (Head of Sixth Form) and Mr Howard Heeley(assistant head of 14 - 19 education). During the summer of 2006 a video was commissioned of the sixth form in the attempt to attract potential students. This video can be viewed on the Sixth Form Website. The sixth form currently has around 250 students in attendance. Penistone Grammar School is the only maintained school in the Local Education Authority of Barnsley to have a sixth form and so this gives the school an advantage over many of its surrounding rival schools, when it comes to 16 - 18 education.

The new £35 million state of the art school will open summer 2011. Building of the new school started in July 2009, the plan is for the school to be more accessible to the community. The new building will have a range of flexible learning spaces to enable teachers to deliver learning in new, innovative ways. The school plans to introduce a new Vertical Tutoring System where pupils of different ages are spread around to help each other improve test scores and homework. The system has received both positive and negative reviews but it will go on forward for September 2009. The outcome of a meeting of the governing body held on Tuesday 28 April to discuss the name of the Advanced Learning Centre being built in Penistone as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme was to keep the existing name.[3]

As well as a complete rebuilding of the school, other changes are also being looked in to such as the structure within the school, the possibility of a vertical school system of tutor groups within school (vertical tutoring), rather than the present year structure, variable times at school within the day, extending learning opportunities within the wider community and increases opportunities of learning away from school and increased use of technology. This fits into the Barnsley LA plan for Advanced Learning Centres (ALCs) to replace their existing secondary schools.

Notable alumni

Senior staff

Mrs Glynis Gower retired as Headteacher in July 2007 and was replaced by Ms Jo Higgins BA (Hons).

Ms Jo Higgins, BA (Hons)

Senior Deputy Head
Mr G Baddock, BEd (Hons), M.A.

Deputy Head
Mr P Crook, BEd (Hons)

Assistant Heads
Mr K A Neill, BEd, Cert Ed
Mr F G Lambert, BEd, Dip GC, Cert Ed
Mrs J Johnson, BA (Hons), Cert Ed
Mr H Heeley, BEd (Hons), Cert Ed

Business Manager
Mrs C Jagger, Dip. I.A.M. Cert SBM

Guidance Team
Miss H Demetriou, BA (Hons), PGCE Student Learning Leader Y7
Mr M D Baker, GMus, FNSCM, Student Learning Leader Y8
Ms J Wakeman, Cert Ed Student Learning Leader Y9
Mr A Gibbins, BA (Hons), PGCE Student Learning Leader Y10
Ms D Tomlin, BA (Hons) , PGCE Student Learning Leader Y11
Mr S R Reid, Cert Ed , Head of Sixth Form

Parental and pupil has taken place on these issues.


  1. ^ Stephen M. Stigler (1983), "Who Discovered Bayes' Theorem?" The American Statistician 37(4):290–296.
  2. ^
  3. ^ [1] Penistone Grammar School Website

External links



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