William Ellis School

William Ellis School

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William Ellis School

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William Ellis School is a United Kingdom secondary comprehensive school for boys in Highgate, London.


It is a specialist Language College. The School's motto is 'Rather Use Than Fame'. The school is over-subscribed, usually an indicator of a popular school. It is situated just west of Parliament Hill and north of Gospel Oak railway station. It is next to Parliament Hill School, a girls' school.



The school's founder, William Ellis was a public-spirited businessman. In the mid-nineteenth century, Ellis founded a number of schools and inspired many teachers to promote his educational ideas. Ellis wanted children to be taught "useful" subjects such as science (including 'Social Science'), and to develop the faculty of reason; this was in contrast to the learning by rote of religious tract, ancient languages and history which characterised what was offered by many schools at the time.

Foundation and development (1862-1937)

William Ellis School, the only one of these schools which now remains, was established in 1862 at Gospel Oak, originally being known as the "Gospel Oak Schools" and catering for both girls and boys of a wide age range. In 1889 the Gospel Oak Schools were reconstituted as a boys' secondary school, under the headmastership of Mr EB Cumberland.

Move to current site and grammar school years (1937-1978)

In 1937 the School moved to its present site on the borders of Gospel Oak and Highgate, backing on to......
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