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Quincentennial Review

As the School celebrated its quincentenary, 500 years after the foundation of the School in 1509, over thirty events took place during the course of the academic year to mark this auspicious event.

The programme was designed both to engage the whole RGS community by staging events that reflected the full range of school life and also to set up legacies for future generations.

A particular highlight of the year was when the School was honoured to welcome the Princess Royal to the RGS. The Headmaster accompanied Her Royal Highness on a tour which included listening to a string quartet, observing lessons in Art, Latin and Physical Education and visiting a display of archive material detailing the School’s history and focusing on its royal connections. At the end of the tour, the whole School gathered on the front lawn to witness the Princess Royal unveiling a plaque to commemorate her quincentennial visit.

Other notable events included the Commemoration Service at Guildford Cathedral; the exquisite concert at St John’s, Smith Square which involved musicians including the Big Band, Jazz Band and the Parents’ Choir; the Bursary Ball at Guildford Cathedral; the quincentennial hockey festival; the flood-lit rugby fixture against St Paul’s School at Imber Court; the inter-house debating competition held at the House of Lords; a comedy night involving three Old Guildfordians; a King’s Lecture by explorer and Old Guildfordian Dr Ed Coats; an ambitious drama production of Nicholas Nickleby; and the inaugural Leavers’ Ball. The School’s 500th anniversary celebrations culminated with a 500th finale at Bradstone Brook which staged a charity cricket match between the Headmaster’s Select XI and Old England. The Old England team included many famous names from English cricket’s glorious past: John Lever, Derek Randall, Martin Bicknell, John Snow and Peter Such, to name but a few.

Extract from the Headmaster's Quincentennial Address

"Pupils overwhelmingly enjoy being at the school"
ISI Report 2014