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We are a caring school, small enough for your son to be known as an individual yet big enough to offer a wide and varied curriculum, complemented by a fine range of extra-curricular activities.
Our staff are passionate about inspiring boys to love learning by enabling them to become independent. Whilst the school has a long and proud history, we seek to be innovative in our teaching approaches so that we inspire innovation in the boys.
Boys leave us as confident, articulate, considerate and grounded individuals who have the skills to meet the demands of tomorrow’s careers.
Our website and prospectus give just a small flavour of what life at this great school is about, but please come to see us to discover for yourself the purposeful and friendly atmosphere for which we are known.
I invite you to attend one of our open events and you are also most welcome to visit us on a normal school day, when I would be delighted to give you a personal tour.
I look forward to meeting you soon.
MSc (Imperial) BSc (First Class/Hons) (Birmingham), NPQH
Few schools can trace one of their Headmasters, our 4th, one Henry Dunster, to the globally renowned Harvard University. As Harvard’s first president, Dunster used the following phrase to describe himself, “Ego enim Lancastrensis sum”, I am a hard working Lancashire boy. Well, like Dunster, I am a hard working Lancashire lad, born locally with connections to Bury Grammar School Boys stretching back almost 30 years.
I was the first person from my family to go to university and have a love of learning inspired by my time at school and the staff who unlocked my potential. Education transformed my life, and as Headmaster my aim is to inspire that same love of learning in others, creating confident entrepreneurial learners, capable of turning challenges into opportunities, calculated risk takers, who are unafraid of failure, but see it as a natural path to success and personal development.
I am very proud to be the 38th Headmaster of Bury Grammar School Boys, with its fine heritage, stretching back over centuries and I am excited about our future and the opportunities it holds.
Bury Grammar School Boys is proud of its heritage stretching back over five centuries and is excited about the opportunities that the future holds. Our ethos is one of achievement; an ethos shared with pupils and staff alike and is at the core of school life. In all aspects of our work, both in and out of the classroom, we strive to create an environment of respect, equality and inclusion where boys are inspired to become the best they can be; to become emotionally intelligent adults, valuable citizens and lifelong entrepreneurial learners. We do this through a thought-provoking and challenging curriculum complemented by a rich extra and co-curricular programme, delivered by talented and passionate staff and supported by outstanding pastoral care.
When boys leave Bury Grammar School Boys they are still very much considered part of our family. We have a thriving Old Boys’ network who meet regularly, continue to have an active interest in the school and hold in common the values that the school embodies. We aim to send our pupils into the wider world, equipped with the necessary skills and attitudes to fulfil their own potential and always feel welcome to return to share their experiences with their school.
Core values are central beliefs clearly understood and shared by ever member of the school community. We believe in Community, Opportunity, Responsibility, Respect and High Expectations.
BGSB is a diverse community with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Boys should embrace the differences they will encounter at school and be tolerant of those with points of view and beliefs different to their own. Boys are expected to be loyal to their friends, the staff, their house and the wider local community.
BGSB provides a huge range of opportunities for development both in and out of the classroom. Boys should participate actively in all aspects of school and be willing to take risks and broaden their horizons. Within the classroom boys have the right to learn and staff have the right to teach; all boys should take the opportunity to achieve seriously.
Boys should take responsibility for their actions, admit when they are wrong and accept the consequences of their actions. They should take responsibility for their own learning and progress by arriving prepared to all lessons and endeavouring to complete all work to the best of their ability.
Boys should respect staff, each other, the opinions of others, their school and themselves. They should treat others as they wish to be treated and show good manners towards all of the school community. They should show respect for the school facilities and the property of others.
All members of staff have high expectations of the boys in terms of achievement and behaviour. Boys should set themselves the same targets aiming to work hard, look smart, be the best they can be and be proud of what they have achieved.
Bury Grammar School Boys is proud to be an HMC School via its Headmaster.
HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) is a professional Association of Heads of the world’s leading independent schools.
HMC’s schools are individual and distinctive offering parents a rich variety of options when choosing the right education for their child. But, at the heart of every HMC school is a commitment to the benefits of an holistic educational experience: academic excellence coupled with a strong emphasis on pastoral care and exceptional co-curricular opportunities.
What does the HMC logo tell you about a school? Watch our short video to find out.
Opportunities to learn beyond the classroom are enviable in their number and in their diversity, and are testament to our amazing staff whose enthusiasm for their subject extends beyond the classroom, and often also extends to wider activities too. Our staff embody our core values, value that we aim to instil and inspire in your sons, they lead by example.
Whilst most schools produce a termly newsletter, we produce a weekly e-Newsletter sharing our successes and promoting our achievement.
Sign up now, to keep up to date with our News.
An archive of all of the Headmaster’s weekly newsletters can be found here. The e-Newsletters are also available via the School’s Facebook page.
Bury Grammar School was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The exact date of foundation is not known but research indicates that it occurred in around 1570. The earliest known benefactor of the school was the Reverend Henry Bury who left money to the ‘ffree school’ of Bury in his will in 1634. The master at around this time was Henry Dunster, a Cambridge graduate, who later became the first President of Harvard University in America. The school went through a difficult period in the early eighteenth century but was rescued by the actions of an old boy, the Reverend Roger Kay, who re-founded the school on 6th May 1726, the Feast of St. John before the Latin Gate. This was the Founder’s Day of Roger Kay’s Cambridge College, St John’s. Bury Grammar School now celebrates its own Founder’s Day each year on the Friday nearest to 6th May, when a procession headed by the Combined Cadet Force makes its way from school to Bury Parish Church, where a special service is held.
Bury Grammar School was originally housed in buildings in The Wylde behind Bury Parish Church. The old school still exists today as The Blackburn Hall. The Headmaster from 1823-1857, Reverend Henry Crewe Boutflower, is thought to have designed both the school crest, the swan with the key in its mouth, and the school motto ’Sanctas Clavis Fores Aperit (The Key Opens the Sacred Doors). The symbol of the key is believed to be a play on the surname of Roger Kay. The school magazine is called ‘The Clavian’ and former pupils are known as ‘Old Clavians’. The most eminent Old Clavian of the Nineteenth Century was John Holker, who went on to become Sir John Holker QC, Conservative M.P. for Preston, Attorney General and Lord Justice of Appeal.
In 1879, Reverend William Henry Howlett became Headmaster. He would remain in the post for exactly 40 years and oversee a transformation of the school. In 1892 he founded the school Cadet Corps which is still going strong today as the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). It has always been closely connected with local regiment the Lancashire Fusiliers, now the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. A keen footballer in his youth, Mr. Howlett was keen to emphasise the importance of sport and physical exercise as well as academic achievement. In 1905 he introduced the House system in an attempt to encourage boys not to be selfish but to work together for a common end, and to encourage sporting and other competitions in the school. Originally there were three houses: Kay was named after the Reverend Roger Kay. Hulme was named after William Hulme, a wealthy Manchester lawyer and landowner who died in 1691. In his will he set up a charitable trust which, over the centuries has given money to many worthy causes , including local schools such as Bury. Derby was named in honour of the Earl of Derby, who donated the land on which the school stands. A fourth House was named honour of Mr. Howlett after his retirement in 1919.
By the end of the 19th Century the Governors of Bury Grammar school were in negotiations to amalgamate with Bury High School For Girls. With the assistance of the Hulme Trust a new building to house both schools was built on Bridge Road, to accommodate 250 boys and 150 girls. The boys and girls moved into the new building in 1906 and the Roger Kay Hall, symbolically linking the two schools, was opened in March 1907. Mr. Howlett retired in 1919, dying only two years later. At his farewell Founders’ Day speech he paid tribute to the 97 former pupils who had died in the Great War, all of whom had been at the school while he was Headmaster. A further 47 old boys are known to have died in the Second World War.
The two schools grew during the inter-war period and extensions were made to the school buildings and new playing fields were purchased at nearby Buckley Wells following a grand fund-raising bazaar in 1924. Demand for places grew even more at the end of the Second World War when the school became a Direct Grant School under the 1944 Butler Education Act. The 1950s saw the establishment of a Parents’ Association and the beginning of the annual exchange with the Stadt Neusprache Gymnasium in Cologne, the old school of teacher Dr. Arnold Meier. This is believed to be the longest running exchange between a German and British school in the country. Eventually the momentous decision was made to construct an entirely new school on the opposite side of Bridge Road fronting Tenterden Street which would be occupied by the boys, with the girls remaining in the 1906 building. Following a fund raising appeal the new Boys’ School building was opened on 27th September 1966. John Hansford, Headmaster from 1960-69, oversaw the transition to the new school building
In 1976 the school celebrated the 250th anniversary of its re-founding by the Reverend Roger Kay and this was marked by a visit from the Duke of Edinburgh on 19th November. The Headmasterships of John Robson (1969-1990) and Keith Richards (1990-2006) saw the school continuing to thrive, despite momentous changes to the education system such as the ending of Direct Grant status in 1975 and the phasing out of the Assisted Places scheme after 1997. In 1994 the Boys’ Junior School moved to its own building in the converted former Magistrates’ Court on the opposite side of Tenterden Street. In the Twenty-First Century the school has continued to develop and upgrade its facilities with major initiatives such as the Learning Resource Centre, a new Art Block and a joint Sixth Form Centre with the Girls’ School, opened in 2014. In 2013 the Headmaster Reverend Steven Harvey retired after seven years in the post and was succeeded by Mr. Richard Marshall.
The nearest main line stations are Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria, both of which have a direct link to Bury via the Metrolink to Bury Interchange, which in turn is only a five minute walk to the Bury Grammar Schools.
Leave the M60 at Junction 18 and join the M66 (signposted Bury and Burnley). Leave the M66 at Junction 2 and take the second exit at the roundabout to join the A58 Rochdale Road. Following signs for the A58 Bolton, bear left into Angouleme Way, which bypasses the town centre. Bear right at the Town Hall into Jubilee Way (A58). You will see the Grammar Schools on your left. Take the next turning left into Tenterden Street.
Continue down Tenterden Street past Bridge Road and the entrance will be seen after 100 metres on the left.
Take the first turning left into Bridge Road and the entrance will be seen after 100 metres on the left. There is no parking on site for visitors; please use local car parks.