Founded in 1539, in an age when few boys and no girls received a formal education, John and Joan Cooke’s new school was to be at the centre of a revolution in education in the City of Gloucester.
Our vision for the future of The Crypt School aims to complete John and Joan Cooke’s founding vision – and that vision is of a fully co-educational school, a school that educates both boys and girls together. As an outstanding school, with excellent academic results and a wonderfully supportive pastoral welfare system, both boys and girls will be able to benefit from a truly world class education. This ambition also means that the School must be outward looking. It must be a school which works in partnership with other local primary schools, admitting from those and other schools, bright and able girls and boys, who will together develop and grow as they proceed through our outstanding school. As part of our vision for the future, we plan to create a primary school on our site, giving access to local girls and boys from the Podsmead and Tuffley area to our teaching, facilities and aspirational ethos. We strongly believe that this vison of a co-educational selective school, working in partnership with its local primary schools, and educating local children on our own site, will be truly transformative to the life chances of local children, as well as other children from the City and region.
By 2023, the School will be fully co-educational. It will be a school where boys and girls work and collaborate together in classrooms, in science laboratories, in our design studios and in recreational and enrichment activities. They will grow and develop in an aspirational and nurturing environment, with the ambition that they will together achieve highly and progress to become successful, caring and considerate role models in their future lives. With our partnerships with industry, our own primary school and primary partners, local boys and girls will be able to access the highest quality of education available. Girls and boys will be educated to respect one another, to help support the work of younger pupils, to excel in science, technology and Maths, as well as in subjects such as modern foreign languages, the humanities and creative subjects such as art and design. There will be no barriers to what they can achieve. Improving achievement is at the centre of our School’s ethos. Welcoming girls into our school will improve the educational experience for both our boys and girls, academically and socially. Becoming a fully co-educational school, is entirely in keeping with the School’s innovative and proactive focus on providing the very best teaching and learning in a caring and supportive environment.
Building upon our experience of teaching girls in our outstanding co-educational Sixth Form, the Governors and staff already possess the skills and experience to successfully make the transition to a fully co-educational school. The girls who join us in Year 12, do so from many schools and colleges in the local area, and quickly settle in and thrive; indeed, they are often the firmest and most vocal advocates of our approach to learning and to their personal development and welfare. The girls join a school which can offer them the highest quality of teaching and learning, a structured and disciplined learning environment, within which all students make excellent progress and the availability of a wide range of enrichment and leadership opportunities. The girls also relish being part of a school with such a long and distinguished history.
In 1539 Dame Joan Cooke drew up a deed between the Mayor and Burgesses of Gloucester and the Bailiffs and Citizens of Worcester to set up the school she and her husband had envisaged in 1528 to “stablish and ordeyn a continuall frescole of gramer for the erudicion of children and scolers.”
Today John and Joan Cooke would indeed be thrilled that their school has both preserved their vision and greatly built upon it for the benefit of the children of the City and its surrounding region. The School’s founders and other benefactors, wished their school to be a vehicle, not only of educational attainment, but of social inclusion and mobility too. As a fully co-educational school, The Crypt School will be able to continue to grow and flourish. We will be able to develop the legacy of our founders who, nearly 500 years ago, were determined that children from the City should have access to an education which would rival that of any other City in the Kingdom.
It is with that founding vision firmly in mind, that the Governors of The Crypt School and Department for Education have agreed for the School to become fully co-education from September 2018. In doing so, we will both preserve and strengthen Joan Cooke’s legacy for current and future generations of boys and girls of the City of Gloucester and its surrounding region.