The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe

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About The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe

Name The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe
Ofsted Inspections
Headmaster Mr Philip Wayne
Address Amersham Road, High Wycombe, HP13 6QT
Phone Number 01494524955
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 1424
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils benefit hugely from the exceptional, co-curricular extra experiences provided. They broaden their horizons, nurture their talents and strengthen their leadership skills.

Many additional activities are led by members of the sixth form. Sixth-form students make a significant contribution to school life and achieve highly in the subjects they study.

Pupils try hard, engaging fully with their learning.

This is because leaders have high expectations of pupils' commitment to the school's values. Pupils relish the topics they study and appreciate their teachers' enthusiasm for their subject. One pupil summed this up by saying, 'Teachers are passionate and kno...w their subject and are not just here for a job.'

Pupils also gain work-related skills through the 'Ethos of Learning' strand that is threaded through the curriculum.

Pupils take a broad range of subjects, most of which are academic. Teachers support pupils well, developing them as individuals and providing them with extra help.

In some but not all subjects, pupils gain profound subject-specific knowledge, skills and understanding over time.

Pupils consistently show high levels of respect for each other, their teachers and those in communities beyond the school. Bullying is very rare.

Pupils feel safe and well cared for.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The headteacher, together with leaders, has improved some aspects of the school. The atmosphere throughout the school is very positive.

Teachers and pupils get on well with each other. Leaders ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported well. Pupils' attendance has risen.

Leaders have introduced firmer approaches to managing pupils' conduct. These have led to improvements in pupils' behaviour. Pupils commented to inspectors that teachers consistently apply new approaches.

Around school, and in class, pupils' behaviour is excellent.

Senior leaders oversee subjects well. They check on how well pupils achieve in examinations.

Senior leaders and subject leaders have worked together to develop the curriculum further. They have introduced some new qualifications. For example, GCSE English Literature has replaced the IGCSE qualification.

Senior leaders do not share a deep understanding of how best to develop a highly ambitious curriculum. As a result, there is some inconsistency. For example, the curriculum in science and history is very well designed.

Pupils apply their subject expertise well when they encounter new, more complex concepts. In some other subjects, however, the curriculum does not enable pupils to fully master important subject-related concepts.

Teaching across the school is generally strong.

It supports pupils very well in preparing for examinations. Teachers provide pupils with opportunities to refine their examinations techniques. While pupils' attainment in most subjects is high, in some subjects teaching does not always enable pupils to gain deep insights into the subject.

This sometimes limits how well pupils apply their knowledge. Senior leaders have put together a programme of training about the curriculum and teaching. It does not focus enough on those aspects that most need developing.

The school has introduced new approaches to reading for pleasure. These include online quizzes and extra reading lessons. Leaders are checking whether the new approaches are working.

They recognise that some need further development. For example, pupils do not always choose books that are challenging enough.

Leaders have strengthened the sixth form.

Students do well in their A-level examinations. They enjoy their studies and supplement their learning in class with extra reading. Students receive visits from experts and take part in academic competitions.

When they join the sixth form, students can discover where their interests lie. Leaders ensure that students receive effective careers advice. The vast majority of students go on to university.

A considerable proportion achieve places at top universities.

Governance is effective. Governors have a detailed overview of pupils' achievement in external examinations.

They check how well pupils are achieving in different subjects and year groups. Governors keep an eye on how many pupils take part in co-curricular activities. Minutes from meetings show that they are not complacent.

Governors have started to ask more probing questions about the quality of the curriculum. Their focus on the curriculum is new and they are developing their capabilities in this area.

Leaders have developed an extensive personal development programme.

It complements the work-related skills that teachers introduce within lessons. The programme focuses on well-being and safety. It enables pupils to understand the dangers of the internet.

It also helps them to see the risks involved in some online games. The school's excellent local community and international links enhance pupils' cultural knowledge. These connections also have a strong spiritual dimension.

They help pupils empathise with others.


The arrangements for safeguarding are highly effective. The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) has strong expertise in all aspects of safeguarding.

She uses her knowledge very well when assessing levels of risk and deciding on appropriate next steps. She keeps a very close watch on the way that the local authority responds to any referrals she makes. Where necessary, she requests that it provides additional support.

Staff training is extensive. It includes those issues that are most relevant to the school. To support staff in remembering key messages, the DSL uses meaningful real-life scenarios.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school provides extensive staff training and development. Senior leaders need to ensure that planned training on the curriculum is carefully thought through and sharply focused. It should include suitable approaches for further developing reading for pleasure.

. Leaders need to develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding of how to design and implement a highly ambitious curriculum. They should use their enhanced understanding to ensure that the excellence found in some areas of the curriculum is consistent across all.

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