Boarding students cheered in celebration as Steyning Grammar School marks 400 years of education
3rd February 2014

Staff and students at Steyning Grammar School were delighted at the start of the year that marks the 400th anniversary of its foundation, to receive the following endorsement of support from The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby who said:  “I send my best wishes and prayers to you all as you celebrate the milestone of the school’s 400th anniversary.”


Steyning Grammar School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School which has a long tradition of high expectations and an uncompromising ambition for students to flourish and achieve.   It is noted for its Christian ethos which is centred on a common set of values – a caring, kind and accepting community.

Headteacher, Mr Nick Wergan, said: “I don’t think there will be many comprehensive schools that can claim a 400 year pedigree.  We like to think we have a heritage of excellence but are very much a forward looking school.”

This month marks Steyning Grammar School’s landmark anniversary that will see a series of exciting events in 2014.

The ‘400 year’ celebrations were launched in the Parish Church of St. Andrew and St. Cuthman at a candlelit service in which the readings and performances of students were representative of each century since 1614.

Head boy of Boarding Tonye Dokubo, 16, said: “I think it’s a massive privilege. Not many people can say they’re a part of something like that.  We have a whole range of activities planned and we’ve got some of the old boys coming back. It’s a community event, not just a school event.”

Later in 2014 the school will be hosting two further Church services, one on May 25, with the theme of ‘Creation’, which will be dedicated to the production of a handmade  ‘Heritage Quilt’ marking the anniversary.  All sections of the Steyning community have contributed to this project which has been funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The second service, due to take place on July 19, is for the Old Grammarians and will be attended by Bishop Warner.


Headteacher, Mr Nick Wergan, said:  “I am thrilled about the acknowledgement from Lambeth Palace of the worthiness of this milestone.  I should like to express the School’s extreme gratitude to the organisers of the Steyning Festival who have chosen to base their theme for the two week Arts festival, to be held from May 24 to June 8, around the School’s 400th anniversary, working closely with Steyning Grammar School, Steyning Museum and Wilton Park.”

The school will be holding its main ‘Reunion Day’ at the Church Street site for past students and the public on May 24.   Archive material on the school’s 400 year history will be displayed and guided tours of the historic Church Street site will be given.   The Church Street school grounds will be open for those wishing to picnic and enjoy some of the Steyning Festival entertainment taking place within the grounds.

Further details of the celebrations can be found on the school website: and the Steyning Festival website:




About Steyning Grammar School:

A thriving comprehensive day and boarding school for students ages 11-19 set in the beautiful countryside of the South Downs, with close links to Brighton and the South Coast. The school has an intake in Year 7 and 9 and a successful Sixth Form College, offering both A Levels and the International Baccalaureate. An OfSTED ‘good with outstanding features’, students are extremely keen to learn and this is reflected in good examination results.

Steyning Grammar School has had the proud tradition of boarding provision since 1614. It boasts some of the finest and most modern facilities of any state or private boarding school. Following a three day inspection by Ofsted in October 2012, SGS Boarding was once again judged as 'Outstanding'. Very few schools achieve such a judgement and SGS Boarding is the first Outstanding State Boarding School in the country to achieve this grade under the new inspection framework.  The inspection report reinforces the popularity of Steyning Grammar School as demand from the UK, as well as overseas, continues to rise. The education is free to parents and families with just the very modest boarding costs to cover.

Full details can be found on the school’s website

Steyning Grammar School will be celebrating 400 years of excellence during the academic year 2013-2014, visit SGS400 website  for more details or to register your interest in the events.
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