Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom
About Hymers College
General Information. The Reverend John Hymers, Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and Rector of Brandesburton, a village 10 miles north of Hull, left money in his will for a school to be built “for the training of intelligence in whatever social rank of life it may be found among the vast and varied population of the town and port of Hull”. Hymers College opened in 1893 as a school for boys. Although the school has remained true to its Founder’s intentions, the catchment area now stretches from Scarborough to Grimsby and Scunthorpe, and the school has been fully co-educational since 1989. The school is an independent day school and the Headmaster is a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Hymers College is recognised as one of the leading schools in the northeast for its academic, sporting and musical achievements. Pupils and ex-pupils, parents and staff often highlight the all-round education, the friendly and relaxed atmosphere within an ordered framework, and the relationships between staff and pupils that are found at Hymers. The Governors vision for the school in the 21st Century is that it will maintain an emphasis on excellence in all that it does, will provide a broad education that will enable our pupils to become well-rounded and balanced people, will continue to offer outstanding value for money to parents, will contain as wide a social base as fee-remission funds will permit, and will incorporate new ideas and facilities when appropriate. They are committed to a process of continuous improvement in services and facilities, funded by healthy annual financial surpluses and in recent times by several substantial legacies and benefactions. Priorities are reviewed regularly.
Pupils. Hymers College consists of a Junior School of 170 pupils aged 8-11 and a Senior School of 760 pupils, with 184 in the Sixth Form. The Junior School has an entry of about 66 into Year 4, divided into three classes, which are then topped up to classes of 26 with a small intake into Year 5. All applicants take entrance examinations. At 11+, nearly all Junior School pupils move into the Senior School along with another 35 from outside to create four forms of 27. Approximately 12-15 new pupils come into the school in Year 12. The boy/girl ratio in the School as a whole is 50/50. Hymers College has always sought to take a wide social cross-section of pupils. With the loss of the Assisted Places scheme, the Governors decided to fund a Fee Remission scheme from annual fee income which allows children whose parents are unable to pay the school fees to attend – at present around 11% do so. One of the great strengths of Hymers is the excellent relations that exist between the pupils and their teachers. This was something highlighted by the school’s ISI Inspection in 2013 which said, “unaffected, straightforward and trusting relationships between pupils and with their teachers are manifest in every area of daily life, and a major strength of the school”.
Location and Facilities. The school stands in over 45 acres of beautiful grounds, a mile from the centre of Hull. The original building still forms the core of the school but many buildings have been added including a theatre, additional science laboratories and Sixth Form Common Room. The purchase of additional land allowed us to expand our games pitches, build new tennis courts and a flood-lit all-weather pitch. A large multi-purpose sports hall provides indoor sporting facilities. Further development included a magnificent replacement Junior School in 2003 and a Sports Centre with a 25 metre swimming pool in 2004. In September 2014 a new Music Block was opened providing facilities including a recital hall, rehearsal and music technology rooms plus a recording studio. A new Learning Resource Centre was completed in 2016 and was awarded the School Library Association’s Innovation Award in 2017. Over the past two summers the school has refurbished a total of 6 Science laboratories (4 in Physics and 2 in Chemistry). There are three computer rooms in the Senior School and one in the Junior School which support further computer facilities in the Learning Resource Centre. The Modern Languages Department has a state-of-the-art computerised language laboratory.
Junior School. The Junior School is housed in a beautiful, fully-equipped, purpose built building on the same site as the Senior School. Opened in 2003, the new building has been a wonderful success, mainly because the views of the teachers were sought during the design stage and played a major part in the planning process. The school houses Years 4, 5 and 6. There are two points of entry to the Junior School, the majority starting in Year 4, with a smaller intake at Year 5. Competition for places is fierce. Most of the pupils in the Junior School will go on to Year 7 in the Senior School but not all. All Junior School pupils have to sit the same entrance examination as external candidates for the Senior School. There are currently three classes in Years 4 and 5 and four classes in Year 6. The school has outstanding facilities including a Music room, Computer suite, Art room and laboratories for Design Technology and Science. The academic curriculum is taught by subject specialists and is planned in close co-operation with the Senior School Heads of Department. The PE and games curriculum is delivered by the teachers of the Junior School as well as PE specialists from the Senior School. About three-quarters of the pupils learn a musical instrument and the Junior School has its own orchestra and smaller instrumental groups. Most children sing in choirs and there are several concerts each year. There is also a major Drama production each year.
Academic. Hymers College is very proud of its academic standing. Results consistently show we are one of the highest achieving schools in the North East. The School is consistently ranked in the top 100 independent schools in the country. The A level and GCSE results place Hymers College as one of the top co-educational schools in the country. This year, 43% of students taking A Levels gained a Grade A or better. A total of 70% achieved A or B grades. A handful of students gain places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities each year. At GCSE, 27% of the grades were at the new grade of 9, and 66% at A*/A and above a 7. This was combined with a pass rate of over 100%. Of 792 pupils nationally who gained a clean sweep of 9’s, six of them were at Hymers. We do not take Key Stage 2 and 3 SATs.
Extra-curricular. These are an important part of school life at Hymers. Pupils are encouraged to engage in the wide range of extra-curricular activities that is offered and high standards are achieved. Large numbers of pupils sing in choirs (at present several pupils are members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain) and play in orchestras, and Hymers is renowned for its music. The Junior School’s Year 6 Choir finished second in the 2013 Songs of Praise Competition featured on BBC 1. Drama is facilitated by the excellent Judi Dench Theatre. Sport is also strong: the main school sports are rugby (football in the Junior School), cricket, tennis and athletics for boys, and hockey, netball and tennis for girls. Other sports are also available including swimming, fencing, badminton and dance. In recent years a good number of schoolboy rugby and schoolgirl hockey international players have been produced, and several fencers have also represented Great Britain. The school has also had tennis, athletics, hockey and netball teams reach National Finals in recent years. In 2014 the School Sport Magazine ranked Hymers as the 26th best school for sport in the country. In 2017 the school was selected as one of the top 100 cricket schools in The Cricketer magazine. There is a flourishing voluntary Army Cadet Force (ACF) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award is strong at all levels. Young Enterprise in very popular and successful with Year 12 students. In recent years pupils have reached national finals in a variety of activities including spelling, chemistry, badminton, singing, cryptography and debating. Hymers is the only independent school in the coutry that is a training provider for the National Citizen Service (NCS). Over 60 Hymers pupils were joined by 150 students from the city to volunteer over 6000 hours on local community projects.
Pastoral and Spiritual. The religious tradition of the school is Christian, but children of all faiths or none are welcome. The pastoral system is based on form teachers and Heads of Year, and much emphasis is placed on ensuring that pupils are happy and fulfilled.
Staff. The teachers are well qualified, experienced and enthusiastic. There is a good age-range. Many teachers contribute towards the extra-curricular activities programme.
Governors. There are 22 governors who represent a wide cross-section of the business, legal and academic interests in the area. Some are parents or ex-parents and some are Old Hymerians. The main work of the Board is carried out by committees and working parties, most of which meet termly and all of which the Head attends. Members of the Senior Management Team attend the Governors’ Academic Committee meetings. The Governors are very committed and fully appreciate the ethos of the School and the demands of running a school.
The area. Kingston-upon-Hull is a pleasant city with many open spaces and parks. The surrounding towns and villages are popular commuter areas and are situated within easy reach of beautiful countryside. The University of Hull, with which we have good connections, is situated within two miles of Hymers College. House prices in the area are low compared to the national average. There is a good transport network, which makes travel to all parts of the country easy. There are many excellent sporting and cultural activities in the area in which many members of staff are involved. The city of Hull has very much benefitted from being the UK’s City of Culture in 2017. The school played a major part in the city’s celebrations hosting a number of major events such as Radio Four’s Any Questions, a T20 warm-up match for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and a major outdoor classical concert.
Further details . The school received its best ever inspection report in March 2013 and this can be found on either the ISI website or the school’s website. The school underwent a Compliance Inspection in October 2017 and the report can be also found on the school’s website. The school was also inspected by The Good Schools’ Guide in 2013 and received a similarly excellent report available on the school’s website. Further details about Hymers College may be found in “The Independent Schools’ Year Book” and on the school’s website www.hymerscollege.co.uk