Katharine Lady Berkeley's School

Katharine Lady Berkeley's School is a state comprehensive school near Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England, for ages 11 to 18. It was founded by Lady Berkeley for the use of six scholars in 1384 which makes it one of the oldest surviving schools in England, and the oldest state school in the country.

The old school buildings in School Lane, Wotton-under-Edge, were erected in 1726 with additions later. Shortly after the school had become co-educational, Church Mill was bought in 1908. After the First World War, Carlton House was rented from the Post Office.

In January 1963 the school vacated the premises in Wotton and moved into a new building for 350 pupils in the Kingswood Road. The erection of the first phase of extensions to the Kingswood Road buildings began in March 1972.The extensions were completed for the start of the Autumn Term 1973, when Katharine Lady Berkeley's re-opened as a comprehensive school for 830 pupils. Wotton Secondary School closed at the end of August 1973.

The second phase of extensions was completed in September 1975.

In 1989 HRH the Duke of Gloucester opened the Renishaw Centre, an IT room costing £60,000 and since then the School has installed three more computer rooms. Renishaw Company renewed the equipment in the Renishaw Centre, with the former hardware being transferred to the Special Needs Department.

In 1992 Grant Maintained (GM) status was attained, with the object of providing for the structural improvement of the buildings and a wish to be able to make independent decisions to suit the school's future. In 1996, the school achieved designation as a Language College which attracts additional funding from central government This has enabled the school to offer a languages curriculum covering seven modern languages and Latin.

In 1994 accommodation was added to allow for the increase in numbers, from 1010 in 1984 to 1170 in 1994 and then to 1340 in 1998. Further new buildings were completed in September 1997 to provide six more classrooms and the Language Centre costing £220,000 was opened in September 1996. In autumn 1999, work began on further new buildings to provide a new two storey teaching block which includes 11 classrooms, three ICT suites and a new library. In addition to this a three laboratory extension was added to the Science Centre.

In 2003 a major new extension was added to the Music block and a small network of computers installed. One of the rooms in the Humanities block was converted into a cross-curricular computer suite. The Business Studies ICT suite was upgraded into a full computer suite.

In 2004 a new single-story block was added between the existing Science and Music blocks. This accommodates a new ICT suite, four new classrooms and two small meeting/seminar rooms.

In 2005 the reception area was refurbished with new office accommodation added. Since then the Music block has been extended and two further classrooms have been converted to ICT suites.

In 2007 the school gained a second DfES specialism, that of training school. The school population has stabilised at around 1500 pupils. On the 16th January 2008 the school had an OFSTED inspection and received 'Good' overall, with an 'Outstanding' for the Sixth Form. The full report can be viewed by visiting the OFSTED website.

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