Lower school information

At Ripon Grammar School forms are divided into Lower School and Upper School. Lower School covers Key Stage 3, from first form to third form. There is a head of Year 7, head of Year 8 and head of Year 9 for students in the Lower School.  Our Pastoral Support Officer works closely with all year groups.


Each year group has around 120 students, including both boarders and day pupils.
First Form comprises four forms, 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D.
Second Form comprises four forms, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D.
Third Form comprises five forms, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 3E

In first and second years at Ripon Grammar School, students stay with their form for almost all their lessons, the exception being in maths, modern foreign languages and PE in which setting begins in the Second Form.


The weekly timetable can be found here.

Morning registrations are in form rooms. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays all students attend whole school assembly in the hall. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students have form time which may include year group or lower school assemblies and house activities. Form time discussion and activities have a pastoral theme and cover topics which often feed into the curriculum including current affairs, book study, the environment, careers and the annual school charity week.

Lunchtime. Food is served in the hall for the first 30 minutes of the lunch break with year groups following a weekly rota. We operate a cashless, biometric payment system individualised to each student. For more information on this, please visit our page on ParentPay.

A number of lunch clubs operate during the second half of the lunch break. Please visit our School Life page for more information on extra-curricular activities and clubs and societies.

4.05pm - school buses depart. For more information on bus schedules and routes, please visit Transport in the School Life pages Transition from Primary School to First Form.

NOTE: All pupils should be in school by 08:45 for the morning session and 13:50 for the afternoon session.

We work closely with local primary schools and prior to First Form students joining the school, the Head and Deputy Head of Lower School visit each child at their school, typically 44 different primary schools across the area. This is a valuable opportunity for new students to get to know lower school senior staff and to ask any questions. Staff also discuss any special educational needs requirements with primary school teachers.

The next step for First Form students with a confirmed place is to join their parents at an evening assembly at Ripon Grammar School in the summer term. Families are given additional information then the children join their new forms for games and activities while parents remain in the hall. This is an excellent opportunity for students to get to know each other in their forms with specialist first form tutors. The next morning students return for a taster day where, after registration, they follow a mock timetable for a day.

During the first week of the autumn term, first form students are not set any homework and do not attend whole school assemblies, allowing them extended form time as they settle in.

Second Form

Having completed their first year, Second Form students remain with their form for most lessons, allowing them to get to know another member of the staff team well.

Click here to read Mr Harding's letter to students entering Y9 in September 2023.

Third Form

In the Third Form, a further 15 places are created for new students, resulting in five forms with fewer students. We take the opportunity to create entirely new forms across the year with new form tutors, which allows students to get to know more students and staff; where possible small friendship groups are maintained but the change is a useful way to help our maturing students broaden their network. It also helps to prepare them for KS4, when GCSE options mean they will encounter a number of different mixed classes. A range of integration activities are organised to support bonding, the main one being Building for the Future, a whole year group project in which students work in teams to design, build a model and market a sustainable building, developing their communication skills and giving them careers ideas.

Third Form students will begin GCSE courses in most subjects. GCSE work begins straightaway in chemistry and biology to allow more time to cover the courses. The start of GCSE work in other subjects is staggered as KS3 courses are completed.

The handover of lower school students to the upper school starts in the second half of the summer term. Third Form students become fourth formers after half-term to aid their transition to KS4.

Pastoral Care

The first port of call for any issues students may have is their Form Tutor, who they will get to know well over the course of the year. Any academic issues, including homework or behaviour, are raised by subject teachers or, for more serious matters, Heads of Department. Our Pastoral Support Officer  and our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) can also provide support. If matters are not resolved, they are referred to the lower school leadership team.