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St Peter's School is one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdommarker, founded in the Englishmarker City of Yorkmarker by St Paulinus of York in 627.

An early headmaster Alcuin (Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus), went on to be Chancellor to the Emperor Charlemagne, and founded several of the earliest schools in mainland Europe. It is the third oldest school in the world.

St Peter's is a co-educational independent boarding and day school located just a few minutes from York City Centre, on the banks of the River Ouse. The school is close to the city centre but offers excellent facilities including extensive playing fields situated immediately adjacent to the school buildings.

St Peter’s School offers a continuity of education from the Clifton Pre-preparatory School (ages 3-8), to the Junior School, St Olave’s School (ages 8-13) and through to St Peter’s School (ages 13-18) where there is a successful Sixth Form.

St. Peter's School


A wide range of activities are available at the school in order to encourage enjoyment of physical activity. These include Rugby, Football, Hockey, Netball, Tennis, Cricket, Rowing, Athletics, Basketball, Badminton, Cross-Country, Climbing, Fencing, Squash, Swimming, Weight training, Trampolining, Waterpolo and Aerobics

The School has excellent sports facilities including 2 sports centres, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, extensive playing fields, boathouse and tennis courts. The School employs professional coaches in all sports. For 27 years, cricket was coached by Keith Mohan.

St. Peter's has a particular strength in rugby and is seen as one of the top rugby schools in the North of England. In 2002 the school's U15 rugby team won the national Daily Mail Cup competition and the U18 team were narrowly beaten in 2005 in the final against Exeter College, Exetermarker.

The largest sporting rival of St. Peter's is Ampleforth Collegemarker over whom the school has enjoyed great success in recent years.

The school is also an up and coming rowing school with improvements made every year. The boat club is ever increasing, as is the number of regattas and races entered.

Extra curricular activities

Many activities outside the normal timetabled classes are indicated in the departmental descriptions of curriculum by subject areas but additional extra curricular activities offered to senior school pupils include: Art, Chess, Cultural Visits & Holidays, Field Trips, Climbing Wall, Combined Cadet Force, Community Service, Computing, Debating Society, Design, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, Literary Society, Mountaineering, Plays, Politics, Reading, Poetry, Rowing, Sixth Form Concert and Revues, and Tennis Club.

Music is an integral part of extra curricular life at St. Peter's and there are many opportunities for pupils to get involved in the following: Barbershop Quartets, Brass Group, Chamber Choir, Chamber Groups, Chapel Choir, Choral Society, Close Harmony Group, School Choir, String, Orchestras, String Quartets, Swing Band/Traditional Jazz, Symphony Orchestra, Senior Wind Band, Woodwind, Quartet/Quintet.

Also, a musical is performed every two years, with the help of the Drama Department of St. Peter's School, York. The latest musical performed was "My Fair Lady" (in 2008). Adding to that, concerts are often held, at least one per term, at the School's Chapel and Memorial Hall, sometimes (e.g. Verdi's Requiem) even in York Minster. Moreover, a music trip is held every year, where different selected music groups go, visit and perform music at various countries ! Some of the previous trips were to : Budapest, Italy, Prague, USA.

"St Peter’s prides itself in offering pupils opportunities to excel in Sport and a wide range of extra curricular activities in addition to a strong academic ethos" Richard Smyth.

St. Peters also has an exchange programme with Selborne and Claredon Colleges in East London, South Africa.


The current Headmaster is Richard Smyth, who replaced Andrew Trotman in September 2004.

The houses at St Peter's

The school has ten day and boarding houses:

Girls' boarding houses:
  • Dronfield
  • The Rise

Boys' boarding houses:
  • Linton
  • The Manor

Day houses:
  • Clifton
  • The Grove
  • Queens
  • Temple
  • School
  • Hope

The house system is a long standing tradition throughout the school's history. As the houses are physical, located in various buildings and parts of building throughout the school campus, a strong sense of community is developed, bringing pupils of all ages together to compete in inter-house competitions. An example of the inter-house competitions is the strongly-contested house rugby competition.

Each house has its own associated colour that is the basis of house sports kits and House Colours. "House Colours" are an award that is given in the form of a tie (formerly a badge for female students as they did not wear ties when they were first admitted) to pupils who provide an outstanding contribution to house activities.


St Peter’s and Junior School St Olave’s, under headmaster Andy Falconer, have received an overall quality rating of 'Outstanding' in their 2007 Ofsted Boarding Inspection.

The Outstanding Ofsted definition is - "this aspect of provision is of exceptionally high quality’. St Peter’s / St Olave’s provide an outstanding quality of care for boarding pupils. Boarders’ health and well being are actively safeguarded and promoted by the school. Relationships between boarders and staff are excellent and boarders have a highly positive experience of school life."

To see the full report visit\\ey\\SC\\SC_SC015837_17112007.pdf

Friends of St Peter's

Membership of this association is open to all staff, parents and guardians, past and present, former “Friends” and Old Peterites. The committee consists of representatives from the Houses and four members of staff, elections take place in the Summer term. The Headmaster is the President.

The Friends run a variety of social and fund-raising events for the benefit of members and the school.

York Minster

York Minstermarker has a long connection with the school as the founder was an Archbishop of York. At the end of each academic year a Commemoration and Prizegiving service is held in the Minster and a Carol Service is also held there at Christmas.

The school choir often sings in the Minster and in the 2006/2007 year they participated in Verdi's Requiem which brought together the wider York community.

Famous alumni


  • "A history of St. Peter's school", Published in the year of St Pete's 1350th anniversary. Hamilton, D.M. (ed), 1977

See also

External links

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