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Coal Hill School

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Coal Hill Academy
Also called: Coal Hill Secondary School
Type: Academy
Location: Shoreditch / Coal Hill
First seen in: An Unearthly Child
Appearances: see list
Behind the scenes video
Tour of Coal Hill - Class Behind the scenes - BBC Three01:33

Tour of Coal Hill - Class Behind the scenes - BBC Three

Coal Hill Secondary School, later Coal Hill Academy, was an English Academy located in Shoreditch, East London. The Doctor was involved with Coal Hill in several of his incarnations. A number of his companions worked there and his granddaughter, Susan, was enrolled as a pupil.

History Edit

The school was founded circa 1873. (PROSE: Nothing at the End of the Lane)

20th century Edit

1963 Edit

On 1 April 1963, Mr Okehurst and several students were killed by the Cold. (PROSE: Time and Relative)

In November 1963, Coal Hill's headmaster was H. Parson, who at some point came under the mental control of the Imperial Dalek faction attempting to locate the Hand of Omega. (TV: Rememberance of the Daleks)

The deputy headmaster was Roger Kint, "a thin but robust Irishman." Ian and Barbara's classrooms were Class C3 and C4 respectively. (PROSE: Nothing at the End of the Lane)


A bulletin board at the school. (TV: "An Unearthly Child")

On 22 November, (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) history teacher Barbara Wright became intrigued by an unusual pupil in the school, Susan Foreman. She and science teacher Ian Chesterton followed Susan home from Coal Hill after Susan gave the address for herself and her grandfather as 76 Totter's Lane, a junkyard. They discovered that their student and her grandfather, in reality the first incarnation of the Doctor, were time travellers from another world. Barbara, Ian, and Susan subsequently left Coal Hill when the Doctor kidnapped the teachers in his TARDIS, which was in the junkyard, to gensure that they couldn't tell anyone about the ship. The Doctor also took his granddaughter away from 20th century Earth against her wishes. This started off Ian and Barbara's travels in time and space. (TV: "An Unearthly Child")

Shortly afterwards, a janitor of the school went missing. When headmaster Parson met the Seventh Doctor, Parson assumed that the Doctor came to apply for the job of school caretaker. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) Ultimately, the school became the site of what was later dubbed the Shoreditch Incident, (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) a battle between British military forces, scientists and the Seventh Doctor, and Imperial and Renegade Dalek forces that appropriated the school for their base of operations, installing a transmat in the basement. Most of the fighting occurred outside the school and at nearby 76 Totter's Lane, although the Doctor's companion, Ace, found herself in pitched battle with several Daleks inside the school. The Imperial Dalek shuttle eventually landed in the schoolyard, shattering glass. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)

By this time, Rosa's, a café owned by a German Jewish woman named Rosa, was a popular hangout for Coal Hill students. (AUDIO: Hunters of Earth)

1990s Edit

The Eighth Doctor's companion, Samantha Jones, attended Coal Hill School in 1997 before leaving in the TARDIS with him. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

21st century Edit

2013 Edit

Coal Hill School 21st century

A policeman walks past Coal Hill School in 2013. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

The Eleventh Doctor's companion Clara Oswald began teaching at Coal Hill Secondary School circa September 2013. (TV: The Day of the Doctor, The Zygon Invasion, COMIC: Clara Oswald and the School of Death)

On Clara's first day working at Coal Hill, one of her classes got out of hand and she threatened to kick each of the pupils out of the school but one student saw it as nothing more than an empty threat. This taught Clara that threats were useless unless they could be backed up, which helped her when she was captured by the Clockwork Droids of the SS Marie Antoinette. (TV: Deep Breath)

2014 Edit

Clara Walking with Danny

Clara Oswald and Danny Pink in Coal Hill School. (TV: Into the Dalek)

Ex-soldier Danny Pink became a maths teacher at Coal Hill. He also led training sessions with the Coal Hill Cadet Squad which he said was "just a bit of fun". Around the same time, Kathy retired from working at Coal Hill. (TV: Into the Dalek)

The Twelfth Doctor chose Coal Hill as the location to which he would lure a Skovox Blitzer that had come to Earth. He selected it because it was relatively deserted at night. For this purpose, he took the job of school caretaker. (TV: The Caretaker)

A replica of Coal Hill was created on another planet by creatures who hoped to educate themselves prior to an invasion of Earth. The Twelfth Doctor scared them into abandoning the scheme. (COMIC: The Monsters of Coal Hill School)

Clara got Class 2B to create a placard for her that read "FREE THE DOCTOR" on one side, and on the other Class 2A wrote "SAVE DOT COT" as she stated that they "got a leetle bit confused. Dot Cotton. Famous cockney chimney. Doesn't matter." when speaking to the Governor. (PROSE: The Blood Cell)

After Danny Pink was hit and killed by a car, Mr Armitage informed the staff and students of his passing. (TV: Dark Water)

2015 Edit

On the final day of the 2014 school year, Clara had a double lesson with a group of year 10 students that annoyed her. Clara planned to begin marking their GCSEs after school ended, but she went on an adventure with the Twelfth Doctor instead. (PROSE: Deep Time)

After the start of the new school year, (COMIC: The Hyperion Empire) Clara taught a class on Jane Austen. While teaching, she noticed a plane frozen in time outside the window. Urging her students to use their mobile phones to spread the word of it on Twitter and news websites, Clara was later called by UNIT to join them investigating what turned out to be a worldwide phenomenon. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice)

When the Somnosians tried to invade Earth, every teacher and student in Coal Hill fell asleep. The Twelfth Doctor came to the school to visit Clara and set everything back to normal by defeating the Somnosians. (COMIC: Beauty Sleep)

The Twelfth Doctor helped Evie Hubbard, one of Clara's students, with her history project by using his TARDIS to let her meet Winston Churchill. (TV: The Woman Who Lived)

In late September, Clara temporarily left Coal Hill to investigate the death of her friend Christel Dean at Ravenscaur School. (COMIC: Clara Oswald and the School of Death)

In October, Clara hoped to fund an IT suite in Danny's memory with a Halloween Fayre at Coal Hill, but failed to attract enough people. When the pranks caused by Miss Chief made superstitions come true, and Miss Chief's space-time scavenger hunt game after Clara went missing made Miss Chief and the Twelfth Doctor bring extinct animals and historical relics to the school, experts in the paranormal, wildlife and antiques were drawn to the event, and the Danny Pink IT Suite was successfully funded, and opened several months later. (COMIC: Witch Hunt)

2016 Edit

In 2016, the school was renovated and reopened as Coal Hill Academy, sponsored by EverUpwardReach Ltd. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die) The main renovated building was called the Barbara Wright Building, which was completed in Spring 2016, according to a sign near its entrance. (TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)

One night, the Twelfth Doctor took Charlie and Miss Quill away from their war-torn home planet Rhodia and left them outside Coal Hill. Charlie began going to the school as a student and Quill became a science teacher. The Shadow Kin followed Charlie and Quill and created a hole in space-time in Coal Hill School. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die)

A skin-peeling dragon fell through the hole in space-time and bonded itself with Dawson, a coach at Coal Hill. The dragon's mate followed but saw that if it hurt Dawson it would hurt the dragon, so it left. Meanwhile, Dawson experienced a rapid growth in strength. He began killing people to keep the dragon alive. (TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo) By the time of the autumn prom, it was common knowledge among students that people regularly disappeared at Coal Hill.

Two days before the autumn prom, student Kevin Williams stayed at the school after dark and encountered a Shadow Kin. Quill gave him a displacement gun. Kevin shot the Shadow Kin with it, killing both the monster and himself.

The next day, Corakinus, leader of the Shadow Kin, came to school after dark and encountered Quill, Charlie, and April, who had been preparing for the prom. April skimmed it with a displacement gun, causing the two to share one heart.

On the day of the autumn prom, the Shadow Kin attacked the school en masse. One student, Rachel, was killed. The Twelfth Doctor arrived and used his sonic screwdriver to amplify the lights of Coal Hill School. The Shadow Kin were pushed back to where they came from and the prom was saved. The Doctor then talked to the five students who had helped him defeat the Shadow Kin: Charlie, April, Ram Singh, Tanya Adeola and Matteusz. He tasked them with protecting Coal Hill from further alien attacks and tasked Quill with protecting them. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die)

A week later, the Governors sent a robot to Coal Hill to learn about Quill. Ram began finding himself near several of Coach Dawson's killings. The mate of Dawson's dragon returned to Coal Hill School intent on getting her back. It killed and skinned the headteacher, Mr Armitage. When Ram realised that Dawson and his dragon tattoo were responsible for the killings, he and his friends confronted Dawson. The other dragon found Dawson at the same time and, with some encouragement from Ram, grabbed Dawson and took him through the hole in space-time, ending the killing spree. (TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)

Legacy Edit

During her travels with the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, and Susan Foreman, Barbara Wright was attacked by an alien being and forced to live through a warped version of her time at Coal Hill in which she had frequent panic attacks and a slight murderous tendency. (PROSE: Nothing at the End of the Lane)

Ian, Barbara, and 11 - 4

Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and the Eleventh Doctor in a psychic metal copy of Coal Hill School. (COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone)

When Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were kidnapped by Prometheans in 1965, they were trapped in a psychic metal prison that perfectly recreated Coal Hill School on an open evening in 1963. Their memories were altered so that they suspected nothing unusual. The Eleventh Doctor found Ian and Barbara and helped them escape by reminding them of their adventures with him. (COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone)

The Time Museum contained a recreation of one of Coal Hill School's science classrooms in its Ian Chesterton exhibit. (AUDIO: The Time Museum)

School colours Edit

At least two of its school colours were black and emerald green, since these were the colours of Ian Chesterton's official school tie. (TV: "The Centre")

Part of Susan Foreman's official school uniform was "a rather drab grey tunic. There was a little badge embroidered on the apron... The embroidered badge stood out in red and gold: COAL HILL SCHOOL." (PROSE: Nightshade)

By the 2010s, uniform was not required for sixth formers. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die)

Staff and students Edit

Staff Edit

20th century Edit

In 1963, Ian Chesterton taught science, Barbara Wright taught history, (TV: "An Unearthly Child") Joseph Liebermann taught RE, (PROSE: Matrix) Mr Grange taught geography, Mrs Bellweather taught music, Mlle Quelou taught French, and Mr Okehurst taught PE. (PROSE: Time and Relative) Colonel Rook also taught there. (AUDIO: Hunters of Earth) In March and April of that year, Basil James Carker was headmaster. (PROSE: Time and Relative) By November, H. Parson was headmaster (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) and Roger Kint was deputy headmaster. (PROSE: Nothing at the End of the Lane)

21st century Edit

Circa the 2010s, Clara Oswald taught English. Tom was one of her coworkers. W. Coburn was headmaster. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) Some time afterward, Danny Pink began working as a maths teacher there and Kathy was retiring. Sometime between November 2013 and August 2014, Mr. Armitage became Headteacher. (TV: Into the Dalek) Later in the 2010s, the staff included Adrian Davies, Jo, and James H. Atif was working as a caretaker, and John Smith temporarily took the job when Atif was hypnotised into believing he had the flu. (TV: The Caretaker) A man named Jeff Delobel worked as a French teacher. (COMIC: The Monsters of Coal Hill School) Mrs Temple and Mr Perkins were teachers who attended the Coal Hill Halloween Fayre. (COMIC: Witch Hunt) Sometime after the Academisation of the School, Miss Quill became a physics teacher. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die)

Students Edit

20th century Edit

In March 1963, Sadie Lederer was in Year One, Susan Foreman, John Brent, Gillian Roberts, Francis Minto, and Wendy Coburn were in Year Four, and Leslie Culver and Dudley Hatcher were in Year Five. Joe Gibson and Little Titch Critchley also attended. (PROSE: Time and Relative) In the autumn term of that year, Susan Foreman was still attending (TV: "An Unearthly Child") as were Cedric Chivers, Mavis, Brian, Richard (AUDIO: Hunters of Earth) and Debbie. (PROSE: Those Left Behind)

In 1997, Sam Jones, Baz Bailey, Mikey, Pete, and "Monster" attended Coal Hill. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

21st century Edit

In the 2010s, Courtney Woods, (TV: Deep Breath et al.) Gareth Wilkins, and Fleming attended the school. (TV: Into the Dalek) Some time later, Courtney was still attending as well as Noah, Yashe, Kelvin, Tobias, Katie Sharps, Mohammed, Jack, Morgan, and Angelina Christopholou. (TV: The Caretaker) The Coal Hill Year 8 Gifted and Talented Group included Maebh Arden, Samson, Bradley and Ruby. (TV: In the Forest of the Night) Later still, Evie Hubbard was in Year 7. (TV: The Woman Who Lived) Susie White and Archie Jones attended the Coal Hill Halloween Fayre. (COMIC: Witch Hunt) Sometime after the Academisation of the School, Charlie, Ram Singh, April Maclean, Tanya Adeola and Matteusz were in Year 12. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die, TV: The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo)

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