Torquay Girls' Grammar School
Torbay, United Kingdom
About Torquay Girls' Grammar School
Torquay Girls' Grammar School is the Sunday Times South West Secondary School of the Year 2019.
TGGS was founded in 1915 and moved into the current main building when it was completed in 1939.
There are currently 935 pupils in the school, 240 of them in the 6th form. There are two major points of entry: 150 places in Y7, where the pupils must take the 11+, and the Sixth Form where we take in about 50 external students. At both points of entry we are heavily oversubscribed.
We take in students from a wide geographical catchment with approximately half coming from Torbay and half from Devon. This can involve up to 80 feeder primary schools.
There is a continual programme of refurbishment and development including over the last 5 years: a new Library, Humanities wing, English, Geography and Art wing, Dining Hall, Sixth Form Centre, and a new Music & Drama block. We have just opened a £2 million Sports Hall and Fitness Suite, new Lecture Theatre and bespoke Exam Hall. We recently completed an outdoor Amphitheatre, an Archive Corridor, and refurbished the Vestibule to celebrate our centenary.
Who works at TGGS?
There are approximately 64 teachers and 46 support staff. The TGGS teachers are gifted individuals who are able to inspire pupils with their enthusiasm and subject knowledge. The support staff are committed professionals whose support allows the teachers to teach.
All are committed to providing a high quality education as well as playing a full and purposeful role in the School’s extensive extra-curricular programme.
All teachers are graduates with PGCE’s and their previous experience is extensive, ranging from Grammar schools to Comprehensives, the independent sector and industry. Many of the teachers are examination markers and several are lecturers at Exeter University. There is a clear framework for professional development and a number of staff are engaged in research.
We have a healthy balance of staff from NQTs to very experienced teachers, as well as a wide spread across the age range; this mix of experience and background provides for a happy, stimulating and rewarding environment.
The support staff numbers have grown from 8 in 1997 to 46, and perform a vital role in supporting the aims of the school.
The role is to nurture the academic and personal development of our students.
The teaching timetable is based on a 50 period fortnight with an average teaching load of 42 periods. The daily routine is from 8.40am to 3.45pm with after-school and lunchtime activities.
What about the Staff Social Activities?
The Staff Room committee exists to provide social activities and support for staff. There are regular end of term socials at a variety of venues around Torquay. The committee provides presents and cards for leavers and in other appropriate situations. There is a regular Friday Club where staff meet at the end of the week for coffee, tea and biscuits. There is a strong House Culture and all new members of staff are assigned to one of our five Houses. You will then be encouraged by your house to take part in the wide variety of house activities including staff vs students sports, fundraising activities, Sponsored Walk and the House Shout. You will have voting rights for Head Girl and Head of House elections. The staff meet for annual celebrations such as Christmas mulled wine, the Carol Service, concerts, plays and productions. We have a regular end of term staff lunch. The new Sports Hall provides a Fitness Suite, with £50,000 of machines, free for staff use. A group of staff recently completed the 3 Peaks Challenge and completed the Perambulation of Dartmoor.
Is it a good place to live?
Torquay’s position makes it convenient for the outstanding natural beauty of both Dartmoor and the South Devon coast. The beaches of the county are some of the best of the country and you can get away from the stresses of life by walking on the rugged moors. The beautiful cathedral city of Exeter is on your doorstep as is the City of Plymouth with its rich maritime history. Both of these have excellent new shopping centres. There is a unanimous feeling among staff that the area is a wonderful place to bring up children.
How well are we doing?
In 2018 at A level 83% of grades were A*/ A or B, and at GCSE 71% were A or A*. This makes us one of the top twenty performing state girls’ schools nationally.
Our 2016 Progress 8 score of 0.83 and ALPS score of 3 means we make outstanding progress when compared with similar schools.
We were inspected by Ofsted in September 2011: they judged us to be outstanding in all 22 key judgements and hence Outstanding overall. Ofsted wrote in the report that “Staff morale is very high.”
95%+ of pupils go on to top universities with some 10+ applying to Oxford or Cambridge each year. The school is extremely fortunate in attracting and retaining staff of the highest quality.
Where are we going?
There is a buzz and vibrancy about our school. Our partnerships are enriching our experience. One example is the formation of SWAT, a Trust with 11 other top performing Grammar schools, which delivers huge benefits to both staff and students. As an Academy we have more control over our affairs and destiny. We have a major focus on our 9 Habits to help our staff and students live a big, long, happy and healthy life.
Can I take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of my daughter – from a parent’s perspective her experience at TGGS has been nothing short of inspirational. We couldn’t have chosen a better school for her.- TGGS Parent
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is exceptional. Students reflect deeply on the experiences of others. They display a keen sense of right and wrong. Their highly developed social skills are evident in the way they carry out their roles and responsibilities.- Ofsted
Thank you for ‘daring me to be wise’, although at times I acted the fool! Thank you for believing in me, when at times I doubted myself. Thank you for enabling me to be myself, even though it was sometimes inappropriate. Most of all, thank you for giving me the confidence to learn!- Former TGGS Student
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks all the wonderful teachers who have played a huge part in helping our daughter reach her full potential. TGGS has, without doubt, given her the best education, and will arm her incredibly well for the future.- TGGS Parent
I would like to say that we, like many parents with girls at TGGS, will be eternally grateful to the school for her amazing education.- TGGS Parent
Our daughter has just finished her first year at TGGS and I wanted to write and say how pleased we are. It’s a shame that all children don’t have such a wonderful experience at school.- TGGS Parent
In lessons, students develop a range of independent learning skills exceptionally well, such as resilience, the ability to negotiate and problem solving. They demonstrate excellent concentration and are rarely off task.- Ofsted