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Paston College

Paston College
, ,
NR28 9JL

TypeSixth form college
MottoFrench: De mieux en mieux pour tout;
"Better to better everywhere"
Established1606; 418 years ago (1606)
FounderSir William Paston
PrincipalCorrienne Peasgood
Age16 to 19+
Colour(s)    Burgundy and grey
Former pupilsOld Pastonians

Paston College (previously Paston Sixth Form College) is a sixth form college located in the town of North Walsham, Norfolk. The college has been part of City College Norwich, following a merger of the two colleges, since 1 December 2017.[1]


Sir William Paston's Free School (known as Paston School) was founded on the present site in 1606 by local magistrate and landowner Sir William Paston. An all-boys boarding grammar school, it sent most of its pupils to Gonville College, Cambridge. In 1610, Sir William died and the Trustees created by his will continued to keep the school in operation. The Trustees continue to own two of the college's three sites. In 1766, a new school building on the Grammar School Road was completed. From 1700 until 1984, Paston School had four houses, Tenison (Red), Wharton (Blue), Hoste (White) and Nelson (Yellow). In 1919, North Walsham High School for Girls, a girls grammar school was opened by the Misses Cooke, known locally as "Cookies" to complement the work of Paston. The expansion of local railways led more pupils travelling daily to Paston by railway (known as "train boys"), and by 1946 more than 270 boys were day pupils. Students continued to board until the mid-1950s. The Twentieth Century brought radical changes to education in Britain, with the 1902 and 1944 Education Acts. In 1908, Paston School became a public secondary school under the new Norfolk Local Education Authority. By 1944, the Butler Education Act abolished school fees. In 1953, Paston School became a voluntary aided grammar school and later a voluntary controlled grammar school. Paston Sixth Form College was formed in 1984 when grammar schools, Paston School and North Walsham High School for Girls merged. In 1993, the college was incorporated as an Independent College of Further Education under the 1991 Further and Higher Education Act. In 2017, Paston Sixth Form College merged with City College Norwich and changed its name to Paston College. The college occupies the buildings of its 2 predecessor schools. The two sites include buildings dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, set in extensive lawns in the centre of the town.

Sketch of the original Paston building


Paston College offers A-Levels, GCSEs, Level 2 Programme and the Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma. A-Level courses include; Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, Film Studies, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, Graphic Communication, History, Law, Maths, Media Studies, Philosophy and Religion, Photography, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology and Textiles.[2]

Exam results

In 2017, Paston College's A Level results were 53% A*-B, 80% A*-C, 99% A*-E. At BTEC, students achieved 100% pass rates, with 63% achieving top grades. The majority of students go on to university, including Oxford, Cambridge and other Russel Groups.

GCE Results 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
A*-B (%) 52 57 / 50 50 53
A*-C (%) 75 74 / 75 78 80
A*-E (%) 98 94 / 96 98 99


  • 1604-25:[3] Michael Tylles, MA(Cantab)[Corpus]
  • 1625-40: Thomas Acres, MA(Cantab)[Trinity]
  • 1640-48: Edward Warnes, MA(Cantab)[Corpus]
  • 1648-66: Henry Luce, MA(Cantab)[Queens']
  • 1667-76: Joseph Eldred, BA(Cantab)[Trinity]
  • 1676-01: Robert Harvey, MA(Cantab)[Emmanuel]
  • 1701-03: Nicholas Girling, BA(Cantab)[Christ's]
  • 1703-21: John Montford, MA(Cantab)[Trinity Hall]
  • 1721-47: John Gallant, BA(Cantab)[Corpus]
  • 1747-64: Alexander Campbell, MA(Aberdeen)

[1764-67: school closed for rebuilding]

  • 1767-78: John Price Jones, MA(Oxon)[Jesus]
  • 1778-95: Joseph Hepworth, MA(Cantab)[Queens’]
  • 1796-07: Henry Hunter, BA(Cantab)[Queen's]
  • 1807-25: William Tylney Spurdens, BA(Oxon)[St Edmund Hall]
  • 1825-35: William Rees, BA(Oxon)[Jesus]
  • 1835-43: Samuel Rees, MA(Cantab)[St John's]
  • 1843: George Harrison Wharton Thompson, MA(Oxon)[Magdalen Hall]
  • 1844-73: Thomas Dry, MA(Oxon) [Merton Hall]
  • 1874-78: Frederick Richard Pentreath, MA, DD(Oxon)[Worcester]
  • 1878-04: Henry Whytehead Wimble, MA(Oxon)[Queen's]
  • 1904-22: George Hare [no degree; first non-ordained Master]
  • 1922-46: Major Percival Pickford, MA(Oxon)[Lincoln]
  • 1946-75: Lt Colonel Kenneth Newton Marshall, MA(Cantab)[Magdalene]
  • 1975-81: Kenneth Michael Harre, MA(Oxon)[Exeter](Rev)
  • 1981-90: Peter Brice
  • 1990-96: Molly Whitworth
  • 1996-2012: Peter Mayne, MA(Oxon)[St Edmund Hall], MA(Leic)
  • 2012-17: Kevin Grieve
  • 2017–present: Corrienne Peasgood OBE [no degree]

Coat of arms

Since 1606, the college's coat of arms has been that of the Paston Family, containing a griffin and six fleur-de-lys. The college's motto De mieux en mieux en pour tout ("From good to better everywhere") features on the coat of arms.[4][5]

Old Pastonians

  • Sam Kelly, Britain's Got Talent contestant and musician
  • Colonel James Woodham MC, Royal Anglian Regiment, awarded the Military Cross in peacetime in 2006 for gallantry
  • Charlie Hall, QPM, Chief Constable, Hertfordshire Constabulary

Paston School

North Walsham High School for Girls


  1. ^ "Celebration marks the official merger of two well-known colleges". December 2017.
  2. ^ "Our Courses | Courses | Paston College". Archived from the original on 27 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Paston School".
  4. ^ "Striking griphon sculpture arrives at Paston College". 9 September 2016.
  5. ^ A History of the Paston School - Charles Forder, second edition 1975

52°49′13″N 1°23′10″E / 52.8204°N 1.3861°E / 52.8204; 1.3861

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Paston College
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