Torquay Girls Grammar School

Name Torquay Girls Grammar School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 13 September 2011
Address 30 Shiphay Lane, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 7DY
Phone Number 01803613215
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 953 (100% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.0
Academy Sponsor Torquay Girls' Grammar School
Local Authority Torbay
Percentage Free School Meals 4.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 5.4%
Persisitent Absence 6.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 13.6%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

Torquay Girls Grammar School converted to academy status in February 2011. Its specialist status in the humanities was also re-designated in 2008. The specialist subjects are geography, history and religious education. The school is of average size for a secondary school. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is well below that found in most schools. The number of students from minority ethnic groups is about average, as is the number of students who speak English as an additional language. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs, is well below average. Most students join the school at age 11 years and continue into the sixth form. The school collaborates with the local boys’ grammar school to extend the curriculum offer for sixth form students at both schools.

Main findings

This is an outstanding school. It is not complacent and continues to improve. The headteacher, ably supported by the senior leadership team and other leaders and managers, is successful in inspiring the school community to raise attainment further and to equip the students with extensive skills to support their transition into higher education. A parent wrote about the work of the school, ‘I have seen my daughter grow into a well-educated, well-balanced, fine young lady, realising her potential.’ Attainment at GCSE and A level is high and rising. The rapidly improving trend in attainment is due to rigorous and extensive monitoring of students’ progress and of the quality of teaching and learning. Searching self-evaluation informs exceptionally well-focused school and subject development plans. Actions taken by the school are managed thoroughly. As a result, leaders and managers at all levels are taking effective steps to improve the quality of teaching still further. Consequently, outcomes in achievement and personal well-being are high, including for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Challenging targets, including for the specialist subjects, are met and exceeded. Given the track record of improvement and delegated outstanding leadership and management, the school demonstrates outstanding capacity for sustained improvement. Teaching is outstanding overall, mainly because of teachers’ inspiring subject knowledge and their development of students’ independent learning skills. However, the use of targets and assessment information is good and not outstanding. This is because not all teachers use assessment information to match lessons closely enough to the needs of each student to ensure all students make rapid progress. Students are not clear about what they need to do precisely to improve their work across all subjects. The school has been innovative in identifying 16 key skills for success, based on interviews with former students with successful careers. The skills are applied across the outstanding curriculum and sixth formers are involved in a ‘teaching students’ initiative, thus reinforcing positive role models. Excellent attention is given to all aspects of care, guidance and support. Consequently, attendance is high and behaviour is outstanding, as are all other outcomes. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is exemplary and permeates the whole curriculum.