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The Thomas Hardye School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Thomas Hardye School
The Thomas Hardye School.jpg
The Thomas Hardye School central building, known as "The Spine"
Queen's Avenue

, ,

Coordinates50°42′30″N 2°27′13″W / 50.70838°N 2.45372°W / 50.70838; -2.45372
MottoScientia et Veritas
Sister schoolThe Doon School
Department for Education URN137163 Tables
HeadteacherNick Rutherford
Age13 to 18
HousesStratford, Henning, Napier and Trenchard
Former nameHardye's School

The Thomas Hardye School is a secondary academy school in Dorchester, Dorset, England. It is also part of the DASP group.


Grammar school

The school is named after a distant collateral ancestor of the author Thomas Hardy and Admiral Thomas Hardy; Thomas Hardye of Melcombe Regis and Frampton. Hardye was a property owner who endowed the Dorchester ‘free’ school in 1579, ten years after its completion by the town.[1] His monument is on the south wall of St. Peter's Church. The Tudor grammar school offered free education to boys of the town and neighbourhood and flourished under the Puritan regime of Revd. John White. It survived the doldrums of the 18th century, though at times having very few scholars, and struggled through the first half of the 19th century. The Charity Commission eventually closed it whilst it was rebuilt, reopening in 1883.[1] It was known as Dorchester Grammar School until approximately 1952, when the name Hardye's School was adopted as a reminder of the 16th century founder and links to the Hardye family.

Though he had as a child attended Isaac Last's rival establishment in Durngate Street, Thomas Hardy, the author, laid one of the foundation stones for the school's new building on the out-of-town Fordington site in 1927 – parents attached great importance to health as an aspect of education at the time. The land had previously belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall, and the new building was formally opened in 1928 by the Duke of Cornwall, the then Prince of Wales, and remained the 'Hardye's' site until 1992. The Memorial Gates, dedicated in 1957, escaped demolition and were moved to the new Thomas Hardye School. Dorchester Grammar School for Girls was opened in around 1930, and Dorchester Modern School some time after the 1944 Education Act. These schools formed the basis of the Thomas Hardye School.


In 1980, Dorchester’s secondary schools changed from the grammar school system (with three schools: separate boys’ and girls’ grammar schools and a mixed secondary modern) to comprehensive. Dorchester Grammar School for Girls combined with the female half of Dorchester Secondary Modern to form Castlefield School, based on the site of the Dorchester Secondary Modern School, while the boys of the Secondary Modern moved to the site of Hardye’s School. The boys’ school had boarding facilities until 1982. The current school is a merger of the former Hardye's School (boys) and Castlefield School (girls) in 1990. The school moved to The Castlefield School site in 1992. The Hardye’s School site was subsequently sold in 1995 and developed into housing.

On Friday 12 December 2008, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the school to officially open the newly constructed library and sports hall.


On 1 August 2011, the Thomas Hardye School officially gained academy status under the UK Government scheme.[2]


  • Robert Cheke (1595- )
  • Gabriel Reeves
  • Samuel Crumwelholme, MA (1657)
  • Henry Dolling, LLB (1657- )
  • Conyers Place, MA
  • Rev. William Thornton
  • John Jacob, LLB
  • Rev. Edward Cozens, MA
  • Rev. Dr Edward Lee
  • Rev. John Henchman
  • Rev. John Hubbock, MA (1749- )
  • Rev. John Watson
  • Rev. John Cutler
  • Rev. Henry John Richman, BCL
  • Rev. Evan Davies, AB (1814- )
  • Ralph Hill 1927-55
  • Anthony Hamilton 1955-74
  • W M Thomas 1974-82
  • P Close 1982-88
  • Malin 1988-91
  • A N Moore 1991-92
  • Iain Melvin 1988-2010 (new site)
  • Michael Foley 2011-2021
  • Nick Rutherford 2021-


The school provides government funded education for children from Year 9 to Year 11, and takes them through GCSE and BTEC courses. It also has an integrated sixth form which sees many of its pupils later attending some of the UK's top universities every year.[3] This takes pupils through A-Levels and AVCEs. Many additional courses including International Baccalaureate are also available, with many pupils finding that the courses are becoming more popular among their prospective universities with some offers being recently lowered.

Until the end of 2010, the school's headteacher was Dr. Iain Melvin O.B.E, who had served for 22 years.[4] The current headteacher is Michael Foley who started at the school in September 2011.[5]

The school is situated on the western edge of Dorchester, next to the new Dorchester Sports Centre

Sixth form

The school has the largest integrated sixth form in the United Kingdom which shares teachers, resources and facilities with the 'lower school'.[6]

From 2008 to 2015 it offered the International Baccalaureate (IB).[citation needed]

The school has a partnership with local land-based college Kingston Maurward, offering practical alternatives to traditional A-levels.[citation needed]

Extracurricular activities


The school currently has a CCF (Combined Cadet Force) that has been running for the last 100 years. The CCF has an Army contingent as well as an RAF section. They train regularly and compete on a national level. The Army contingent is cap-badged the Rifles and was formerly Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. The school inevitably produces many future officers. Also attached is a Drum Corps that performs annually at the Remembrance day parade, and regularly at other events such as school music performances and many other external events.

Olympic athletes

Aaron Cook (who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics in taekwondo, losing in the bronze medal bout in the -80 kg class[7]) also attended the school for years 9-10 but never completed his full education in order to concentrate fully on his Olympic dreams and preparations. He held gold titles for European Junior Championships, World Junior Championships and European Championships.[8]

Model United Nations

The Sixth Form's Model United Nations club regularly attend BISMUN (Bath) and BGSMUN (Bristol), as well as hosting its own in the summer. It has also sent delegates to MUNs abroad.

Debating club

The school has also enjoyed much success with its Debating Society too, with students getting into the National Finals of the Oxford Union Debating Competition (one of the most prestigious in the country).[9]

Performing arts

Thomas Hardye's has a very successful music department, with its flagship orchestra (THS Orchestra) having performed in some of the UK and Europe's most prestigious venues. It has a variety of opportunities from Chapel Choir to Jazz Club. The school hosts termly concerts as well as its weekly 'Friday Live' performances. The music department works closely with dance and drama to put on shows across the continent (in recent years they have visited Austria, Italy and Slovenia with performances from all their groups.


UNESCO status

In 2010, the school was awarded the UNESCO school status (one of just 54 in the UK) for the "global outlook of students" at the Hardye's. UNESCO aims to promote quality education as well as international perspectives in schools and such values as human rights, mutual respect and cultural diversity. The Thomas Hardye School has also been declared a 'World School' by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).[10] Much of this recognition is thanks to a pupil who gained the title of UK Young Scientist of the Year.[11]

BBC World Olympic Dreams

After Sports Voice submitted an entry into the BBC scheme (which sees a UK school twinned with a former school of a London 2012 Olympic athlete), the Thomas Hardye School was twinned with the Doon School, in the northern Indian city of Dehradun.[12] The all-boys private school is one of India's oldest education institutions and was the school of India's first individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra. The schools communicate regularly and are represented by a member of staff and pupil who arrange projects to exchange culture and prepare for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.[13][14]

Along with all the schools in Dorchester, Thomas Hardye has been part of the DASP Olympic Torch Relay in celebration of the Olympics.[15][16]


The school has annual (often biennial) educational/recreational trips to Florida, New York & Washington, D.C., Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, Russia and Germany. Other trips include; India, Kenya, Indonesia, China, Italy and Slovenia as well as frequent trips to UK-wide destinations for competitions and educational enrichment. The school's Music Department have performed in some of Europe's most prestigious destinations and its chapel choir have sung in the likes of Bath Abbey, Salisbury Cathedral and performed with King's College, London[17] choir.

Partner schools

The school is twinned/associated with:


All departments have IT rooms. The school has a theatre and a library with over 30,000 books. There are two swimming pools, with a new swimming pool and leisure complex completed in February 2012.[25] Externally, the school has extensive playing fields.

Notable former pupils

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Origins of The Thomas Hardye School". The Thomas Hardye School. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  2. ^ Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester officially gains academy status
  3. ^ Ten Thomas Hardye School students have been offered places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities
  4. ^ Dr Iain Melvin says farewell to Thomas Hardye School
  5. ^ "News - The Thomas Hardye School". 1 September 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  6. ^ The Tatler guide to the best state secondary schools
  7. ^ Middleton, Claire (22 August 2008). "Great Britain's Aaron Cook reduced to tears as taekwondo gold slips away". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  8. ^ "Aaron Cook - European Taekwondo Champion 2012 trains with Mick Clegg". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  9. ^ "News - The Thomas Hardye School". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  10. ^ UN status for Thomas Hardye School (31 March 2010)
  11. ^ Bright spark from Dorchester wins UK Young Scientist of the Year (17 March 2010)
  12. ^ a b "Schools Spotlight on Team Abhinav Bindra". BBC News. 8 April 2011.
  13. ^ Thomas Hardye School in India Olympic Competition (BBC News - Video)
  14. ^ "Olympic Dreams Success for the Thomas Hardye School"
  15. ^ "News - The Thomas Hardye School". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Dorchester Area Schools Partnership". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  17. ^ "News - the Thomas Hardye School".
  18. ^ "News - The Thomas Hardye School". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  19. ^ "News Bytes - The Thomas Hardye School". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Thomas Hardye School [@thomashardye] (5 February 2013). "Our partner school..." (Tweet) – via Twitter./photo/1
  24. ^ "News - The Thomas Hardye School". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Work Starts On Huge New Leisure Complex - Heart Dorset News". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  26. ^ "Bill Baker". The Daily Telegraph. London. 16 November 2000.
  27. ^ Joanna Davis (19 August 2010). "Renowned conductor from Dorchester held in USA over £58,000 child support bill". Bournemouth Daily Echo. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  28. ^ "Gloucester Diocese |". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  29. ^ Simon Winchester (24 March 2010). "Simon Winchester from HarperCollins Publishers". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  30. ^ "News - The Thomas Hardye School". Retrieved 10 February 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 August 2021, at 11:32
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