Background Information on Poole Grammar School
Poole Grammar School is currently a Group 7 selective school serving the Borough of Poole and its environs of boys from Year 7 to 13. The school expanded to 1200 in 2013 as a result of reorganisation in the Borough of Poole which led to the admittance of a Year 7. Close links are maintained with Parkstone Grammar School for Girls, the two schools being some half-mile apart. Although a grammar school existed in the town for a while some three hundred years ago, the present Poole Grammar School dates from 1904 when it opened as Poole Secondary School. For a time the school was co- educational but separated in the late 1930s when Poole Grammar School catered only for boys and Parkstone Grammar for Girls. The school became a Foundation School on 1st September 1999 and then became a Trust school on 1st April 2008, becoming part of the South West Academic Trust (SWAT); an association of Grammar schools in the South West with Exeter University. The strength of the Trust is in the provision of CPD and the sharing of experience for staff across schools of a similar nature, coupled with the backing of a major University. On July 1st 2011 the school converted to academy status as a stand-alone Academy Trust.
The school was originally situated in the centre of Poole and outgrew its site in the 1960s, moving into new buildings on its present site in 1966, on what was then a heathland area on the Poole/Wimborne road. In spite of significant housing development since then, the school enjoys a pleasant position, bordered on one side by a belt of trees and very close to protected woods and heath. In recent years there have been various extensions to the facilities to meet growing curriculum needs. In addition to internal modifications, a new technology block was completed in 1993, a new wing for mathematics was added in 2002, the science department was refurbished in 2005/06 and a new science/ICT study centre, funded through the Wolfson Foundation, was created in 2007. Sports facilities have also been improved, with a full size fitness room (2003), Astroturf championship standard tennis courts (2007), a large three-bay cricket practice net facility and a climbing wall (2005). The addition of Year 7 has given the school the opportunity to expand its provision further through a £4.5 million development (2010-11) which provides additional classroom provision for Year 7, along with improved music facilities and performance space. Additionally new art and technology areas have been created with a multi use games area (MUGA) coupled with the remodelling of some existing classroom areas and the staff and administration areas of the school. The school has an ambitious buildings development plan to bring all facilities up to the highest standards for effective teaching and learning.
The school has seven networked PC computer suites. All school PCs are connected to the Internet via a broadband connection. PCs/laptop trolleys are also dispersed round the school providing a ‘learn anytime, anywhere’ environment with a VLE available to students and staff from home. The school was designated a specialist Maths and Computing School in 2003 and was redesignated in 2007. As a High Performing Specialist School (HPSS) the school adopted a second specialism in Cognition and Learning with an emphasis on Gifted and Talented pupils and the development of innovative boy- focussed pedagogy. As a HPSS the school was also designated a Leading Edge specialist school (2011); supporting other schools locally, nationally and internationally. The school is a major provider of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) through the Wessex GTP partnership,and is also a strategic partner within the SIGMA Teaching School. This reflects the outward supportive educational ethos of the school coupled with the highest commitment to professional development for its entire staff, teaching and support. The school has been awarded a range of ‘marks’ to reward its commitment in many areas of the school’s life; for example, Princes Teaching Institute feathers, Healthy Schools Award, ICT Mark, Investors in Careers, Sports Mark and Food for Life Gold.
The school admits six forms of 30 pupils – 180 pupils per year. However, through the parent appeals process this can rise. The school is oversubscribed with approximately two applicants per place. Admission is of approximately the top 16% of the intellectual population, academically being within the top quartile of Grammar Schools nationally. There is a further entry at 16+ and the large Sixth Form is currently about 300 strong.
To enable the best possible Sixth form offer, many sixth form courses are run in conjunction with Parkstone Grammar School for Girls which results in some subjects being taught jointly.
There is an excellent tradition of academic, sporting, drama and musical success at all levels. The school is renowned for its wide range of extra-curricular activities, particularly on the games field and through the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Staff members make an outstanding contribution to the extra- curricular programme run by the school.
There is a very supportive Parent Staff Association (PSA) and the Old Grammarians (OGs) provide a network of links across the world. There is an academic staff of approximately 70. The number of Support Staff covering finance, front office, library, reprographics and technical roles, including laboratory, workshops and ICT, continues to expand as we develop the staffing provision to maximise student achievement and give all staff the optimum working environment to teach and promote their development.
Poole is close to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast and the New Forest National Park which makes for an inspirational environment close at hand. Accommodation comes in a variety of forms from the urban Poole / Bournemouth conurbation to village living in the Dorset/Purbeck hinterland. Transport and traffic across the conurbation can be difficult at peak times and choice of accommodation needs to be carefully researched. Below is a list of Estate Agents and Letting Agents which may be of help.
|Austin & Wyatt||www.austinwyatt.co.uk||01202 687432|
|Fox & Sons||www.sequencehome.co.uk||01202 672736|
|Palmer Snell||www.palmersnell.co.uk||01202 367140|
Visits to the school are encouraged so that you can gain a firsthand impression of the school prior to application. Contact Mrs J. Notley, Head’s PA: 01202 692132 or firstname.lastname@example.org and further details of the school can be found on the school website. www.poolegrammar.com
Dr A J Smith