upper works

Latymer Upper School

Latymer Upper School, founded in 1624 by Edward Latymer, is a selective independent school in Hammersmith, west London, lying between King Street and the Thames. It is a day school for 1,130 pupils - boys and girls aged 11-18 (there is also the Latymer Prep School for boys and girls between 7-11). The Sixth Form of 340 is one of the largest in London and offers 35 academic courses as well as a range of extra curricular activities. According to the Good Schools Guide, the school "Aims to set new standards for co-education in west London.

Student body

Pupils come from a wide area of London. After the Labour Government's abolition of the Assisted Places Scheme for the children of poorer families, the social range has narrowed and the relatively small number of bursary places that are subsidised by the School is not able to compensate for this. In particular, Hammersmith's substantial Polish and Afro-Caribbean communities are significantly under-represented. The Sixth Form has been mixed sex since 1996, and the main school became fully co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7 for the first time in 2004. With that year's entry moving into in Year 11 it became fully co-educational in 2008. The Good Schools Guide said "This is an urban inner-city school that still has a grammar school feel and parents value the social mix that comes from taking in plenty of state school children at 11.


The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, soccer, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's 2 full orchestras and 5 string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.

Student societies in the school are active and cover a range of interests. The J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies have recently played host to a series of distinguished guest speakers, including Professor Jon Stallworthy of Oxford University, Dr. Madsen Pirie, President of the Adam Smith Institute, and the actor/director Alan Rickman, a former pupil. In all, there are over 40 clubs and societies at Latymer, including bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. Drama is also quoted as particularly strong, with several productions each year.

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer School. There are organized trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exhanges, work experience in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, Classics trips to Italy and Greece, sports tours, expeditions to Peru (2002) and Tibet (2004). Latymer Upper is also a strong participant in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The school is active in charity work: the annual "Charities' Week" raised £3,000 in 2006. The school branch of Amnesty International is involved in numerous fund- and awareness-raising campaigns. A student-led environmentalist group has ensured that each classroom is equipped with a recycling bin, and is currently working towards providing a solar panel to power an upcoming building project.

Latymer Upper works closely with the local community, and in particular with the Education Department of the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as other bodies. Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Some sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled.


The school's sporting facilities on site include a boathouse with direct access to the Thames, a sports hall and an indoor swimming pool. The school also maintains playing fields about a mile and a half away, on Wood Lane, with a sports pavilion and changing rooms.

150 computers are provided for pupil use, networked and with e-mail and internet access, and ICT is taught in one lesson a week in Years 7 to 9.

The £4 million Latymer Arts Centre opened in January 2000 with a 300-seat theatre, music study rooms, art galleries and studios and a cafe and atrium area.

Pupils are permitted to cycle to school, with storage space provided for their bikes. Meals are self-service in the lunch hall, and there is a café in the "atrium".

The library/old music building was recently demolished and the new one has now been completed at a cost of £11 million; it provides students with top of the range drama, art, and music facilities.

Currently a new science building is under production which will supply the students of Latymer Upper School with top of the range science labs for the three sciences and a new library which will have seating for over 200 pupils. .

History and traditions

In 1624, a wealthy puritan, Edward Latymer, pledged on his death-bed to educate and feed "eight poore boies" of Hammersmith. For the next twenty years, local boys were educated in a school erected in Fulham's churchyard, moving in 1648 to another school built in Hammersmith. Later, in 1657, a parochial charity school was set up, which served as the Latymer legacy for the following century until it was rebuilt in 1755. A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School. The school now charges fees amounting to £12,465 a year per student.

Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's Church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other beneficiaries of the school.

Latymer featured in the national press in April 2007 when it was revealed that four pupils had been expelled after being caught distributing ecstasy at the school's Sixth Form prom at the Bond Street nightclub, L'Equipe Anglaise.

Coat of arms

The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, paulatim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus due to there being no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. The motto was dropped a few years ago, along with the coat of arms, and a new, much simpler shield (described in the school literature as a "new crest") was adopted. No approval was obtained from the College of Arms for this new coat of arms, and it is, therefore, unauthorised by the Law of Arms.

The original arms continue to be used, with a different motto, by the sister foundation, The Latymer School.

Notable Old Latymerians

In film

In music

In sport

In politics

In other fields

See also


External links

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