North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020

Mr Fry’s collection

Few teachers can claim to have had the impact on so many young lives as our former colleague and dear friend Mr Fry, teacher of physics and astronomy, who continued to teach until his sudden death aged 77.

Soon after joining Leeds Grammar School he introduced GCSE astronomy, which students studied in addition to their core curriculum. Currently more than 20 students give up their own time for astronomy lessons and associated study.

Mr Fry’s impact extends beyond GSAL. In 1981 Sir Patrick Moore nominated him as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and in 1993/4 he was made a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the first time the institute had formally recognised a school teacher in this way. In 2017 Mr Fry received the Royal Astronomical Society’s Service to Astronomy Award, donating the prize money to the school library for the purchase of astronomy books for all age groups, saying with characteristic modesty that the award was entirely thanks to his pupils.

His tremendous legacy includes inspiring numerous students to pursue a career in science and the impact of his teaching led to more than a dozen former students dedicating their doctoral theses to him. Mr Fry would help anyone who needed it and the aim of this archive is to inspire and enthuse all those with an interest in astronomy. As someone who completely eschewed technology Mr Fry would be very amused that creating a freely available digital archive of his work would be the best way to encourage future astronomers.

Enter the collection

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being.”

Derek Fry quoting Goethe in a Friday morning Clarell House assembly

Or, if you prefer to chat with someone please call our admissions team on 0113 229 1552