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School History

Coleraine Grammar School – Past, Present and Future

Coleraine Grammar School – Past, Present and Future

Coleraine Grammar School is proud to trace its collective history of some 300 years from two renowned founding schools: Coleraine Academical Institution and Coleraine High School.

Coleraine Inst opened its doors in 1860, with two masters and fourteen boys.The school motto was three Greek words: “Heos Hemera Estin” in English letters and translated, “Work while it is day”, which encouraged the boys in the school to seize the many opportunities available to them and to strive for success in all areas of their school life.

Coleraine Inst enjoyed a remarkable continuity of leadership, and Dr David Carruthers was only the ninth Headmaster in the 150 years of the school’s existence. In 1973 Dr George Humphreys was invited into membership of the Headmasters’ Conference, and Coleraine Grammar School now continues to enjoy the distinction of being an H.M.C. school.

From the front of the former boarding department, which was fully refurbished in 2003 and houses spacious classrooms and the Inst museum, 70 acres of fields stretch down with access to the River Bann. This area includes rugby and football pitches, tennis courts, an athletics track, a games hall with multigym and the school boathouse, which was fully refurbished in 2013.

Since the closure of the boarding department in 1999, facilities continued to thrive and expand, and during the past two decades the entire suite of science labs has been refurbished, a Technology Centre and a Home Economics Centre opened, the School Library totally reconstructed and three new computer suites installed. In addition to the full range of general and specialist classrooms, there is a Sixth Form Centre with a dedicated study area.

Coleraine High School, founded in 1874 by the Misses Long, was at the forefront of the movement to provide girls with a good education in the 19th Century.With its motto ‘Virtute et Labore’ (by strength of character and diligence) setting the ethos, the school went on to enjoy a proud and successful history of over 140 years.In 1953, the school moved to a site at Spring Gardens on the Lodge Road and over the next two decades an extensive building programme followed. The school had a Boarding Department until 1997.

Each of the nine headmistresses brought their own style of leadership to the school and ensured its reputation grew in the local community and beyond.Academic excellence was at the core of the High School together with a wide-ranging extra-curricular programme complementing the work in the classroom.The girls succeeded in a wide range of sports activities, public speaking competitions and impressed in the traditional music events such as the Carol Service, the Spring Concert and school musicals.

In September 2015, the ‘second oldest girls’ school in N. Ireland’ came together with Coleraine Academical Institution to form Coleraine Grammar School and the values, vision and ethos of both founding schools form the core of the ‘new’ school.

Our new Coleraine Grammar School currently operates on the existing two sites, however, over the next few years, the Education Authority plans to locate all the pupils and staff onto an expanded site on the Castlerock Road.