St Aidan's Church of England High School

St Aidan's Church of England High School is a mixed Church of England secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. It currently houses over 2500 students of both lower school and sixth form age. The school's Chamber Choir won the 2006 Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition. The next time the school competed, in the 2010 Songs of Praise, the choir was awarded second place.

St Aidan's Church of England High School
Oatlands Drive

, ,

Coordinates53.984800°N 1.522800°W / 53.984800; -1.522800
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established18 June 1966
Department for Education URN137139 Tables
Chair of GovernorsClaire Kelley
Head TeacherChris Burt
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Blue & Yellow
GradesA-Level - 61% A-B[1] GCSE - 93% A*-C[2]

The school was labelled as "outstanding"[3] by an Ofsted report in October 2006. It is ranked 475th in the country[4] for its GCSE results in 2006 by The Times.


The former Bishop of Ripon, the Right Reverend John Moorman, laid its foundation stone on 18 June 1966. It opened in September 1966 to provide Church of England education for Harrogate's fast-growing population.[5] Since then, it has grown in pupil numbers.

Building work

The school building has grown. The most notable is perhaps the Constance Green Hall. It was built adjacent to the ancient Bede House, formerly Wheatlands Academy, a building converted for the school's use, and opened in 1997. More recently, a fully re-furbished Learning resources centre, with approximately 15000 resources and 42 computer workstations[6] opened in May 2006 with a "Beatles Night", featuring the tribute group the Plastic Beatles, Ned and His Angry Stoats, Mexican fire-eaters and a transgender Cilla Black tribute act.

Other building work included completely refurbishing the sixth form cafe area and the old chapel and replacing the bottom tennis courts near the music block with classrooms and a new chapel. The barn was replaced by new tennis courts and there were plans for Eton Fives courts and a Koi pond, but these were never realised.[7] In September 2007, the lecture theatre was replaced by a Dance studio for pupils studying Dance.


The school was made one of the first Beacon Schools in 1998. It was also awarded Specialist College Science Status.[8] It won the International Schools Award from the British Council in 2006. The school also received specialist Languages College Status, and followed this up with a series of Languages Days for both students of both primary and secondary level.


There are over 20 ensembles run by staff and students with the senior ensembles winning various national competitions. The Chamber Choir has appeared in the BBC Songs of Praise School Choirs Competition several times, winning in 2006. The Symphonic Band and Swing Band have won their classes at the National Festival of Music for Youth twice each and the Symphonic Band have also gained a Silver Award in the National Concert Band Championships in 2009 held in Cardiff.

Sixth form

The school forms part of an associated sixth form with St John Fisher Catholic High School.

Notable faculty

Dennis Richards, headteacher 1988-2011,[9] was awarded an OBE in 2007 for services to education.[10] He also won the Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2007 Teaching Awards.[11] On 31 December 2011 it was announced that the former Deputy Head of St Aidan's Mr Steve Hatcher had been awarded an MBE for services to education in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.[12]


Jonathan Webb was a pupil at this school between 2001-2008 and an integral part of the football team's success in the North Yorkshire School Football circuit and at National level. He now plays for Loughborough University FC after a brief professional career at Leeds United and Newcastle Blue Star. Caroline Lambert, a pupil between 2003 and 2010 is a regular member of England Great Britain fell running teams and World u23 mountain running trophy winner. Lucy Buxton (2004-2011) is an England junior basketball player and George Mills (2010–present) is the current English Schools' 800m champion and England representative at the junior commonwealth games.


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