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Latymer Upper School, founded by Edward Latymer in 1624, is a selective independent school in Hammersmithmarker, west Londonmarker, lying between King Street and the Thames. It is a day school for 1,130 pupils – boys and girls aged 11–18; there is also the Latymer Preparatory School for boys and girls between 7–11. The Sixth Form of 340 is one of the largest in London and offers 40 academic courses as well as a range of extra curricular activities. According to the Good Schools Guide, the school "Aims to set new standards for co-education in west London."

Student body

Pupils come from a wide area of London. The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and the main school became fully co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7 for the first time in 2004. With that year's entry moving into in Year 11 it became fully co-educational in 2008. The Good Schools Guide said "This is an urban inner-city school that still has a grammar school feel and parents value the social mix that comes from taking in plenty of state school children at 11."


A group of students caught the attention of the tabloid press in 2007 after they were caught giving out ecstasy at the school prom. They were subsequently expelled.


The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, soccer, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's 2 full orchestras and 5 string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.

Student societies in the school are active and cover a range of interests. In all, there are over 40 clubs and societies at Latymer, including the J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies. There are also clubs for bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. The Drama Society holds several productions each year. Two students in Year 10 won the International Debating Competition in Cambridge at their age level. The final consisted of four other London based schools that included St Pauls and Westminster.

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer Schoolmarker. There are organized trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exchanges, work experience in Parismarker, Berlinmarker and Stockholmmarker, Classics trips to Italymarker and Greecemarker, sports tours and expeditions. Latymer Upper also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The school is active in charity work: the annual "Charities' Week" raised £3,000 in 2006. The school branch of Amnesty International is involved in numerous fund- and awareness-raising campaigns. A student-led environmentalist group has led to each classroom being equipped with a recycling bin.

Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled. In addition, the school offers all students a trip every year in 'Activities Week'. Destinations have included Spainmarker, the Ardechemarker gorge in the south of Francemarker.


The school's sporting facilities on site include a boathouse with direct access to the Thames, a sports hall and an indoor swimming pool. The school also maintains playing fields about a mile and a half away, on Wood Lanemarker, with a sports pavilion and changing rooms.

The £4 million Latymer Arts Centre opened in January 2000 with a 150-seat recital hall, music practice rooms, art galleries and studios, a cafe and atrium area.

150 computers are provided for pupil use, networked and with e-mail and internet access, and ICT is taught in one lesson a week in Years 7 to 9. A new library/old music building, costing £11 million, has been completed, providing students with new drama, art, and music facilities. A new science building, scheduled to open by September 2010, will supply the students of Latymer Upper School with newly equipped science labs for the three sciences, and a new library with seating for over 200 pupils.

Pupils are permitted to cycle to school, with storage space provided for their bikes. Meals are self-service in the lunch hall, and there is a café in the "atrium".

History and traditions

In 1624, a wealthy puritan, Edward Latymer, pledged on his death-bed to educate and feed "eight poore boies" of Hammersmithmarker. For the next twenty years, local boys were educated in a school erected in Fulhammarker's churchyard, moving in 1648 to another school built in Hammersmith. Later, in 1657, a parochial charity school was set up, which served as the Latymer legacy for the following century until it was rebuilt in 1755. A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School. The school now charges fees amounting to £12,465 a year per student.

Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's Church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other beneficiaries of the school.

Coat of arms

The original coat of arms.
The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, pau'latim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus due to there being no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. The motto was dropped a few years ago, along with the coat of arms, and a new, much simpler shield (described in the school literature as a "new crest") was adopted. No approval was obtained from the College of Arms for this new coat of arms, and it is, therefore, unauthorised by the Law of Arms.

The original arms continue to be used, with a different motto, by the sister school, The Latymer Schoolmarker.

Old Latymerians

In film

In music

In sport

In politics

In other fields

See also


  2. Jon Clements, Kids Gave Out Drugs At Top School Prom, The Mirror, 27 April 2007
  3. Clubs Latymer Upper School
  4. Clubs, Activities and Trips Latymer Upper School
  5. Activities Week Latymer Upper School
  6. New Music Building Building, Latymer Upper School
  7. School Fees Information[1]
  8. Old Latymerian News, October 2004 (PDF document). Accessed 15 December 2006.

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