This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will need to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure via the CRB.
South Wilts is an 11 – 18 girls’ grammar school that became a new Academy on 1st January 2011. We continue to work with our designated specialisms in Maths, Computing and Science, notably supporting the work of local primary schools.
The school was judged to be outstanding in all categories, by Ofsted in October 2007. South Wilts is a high performing school and in 2014, 86% of grades at GCSE were A* or A grade, with 100% A*-C in English, Science Maths. In English, 88% of students made four or more levels of progress, in Science this was 85% (in at least two sciences) and in Maths this was 89%. Value added is positive at GCSE for 2014. At A Level 78% of the grades awarded were A*-B, with 18% at A*.
We have gained the International Schools Award and have links with an Indian school and a Chinese school, as well as schools in France and Germany. We have been accredited with the Healthy Schools Award, the Challenge Award, the Gold Artsmark, Eco School Status and The Careermark. There are currently 1014 on roll, with 386 in the sixth form. In Years 7 and 8 there are four forms for an entry of 128, while Years 9, 10 and 11 students are in five forms of approximately 25. Year 7 will change to five form entry in September 2015. Entry to the school in Year 7 is by the 11+.
South Wilts is a happy and supportive environment where students and staff care. The school’s motto is “Learning for today, preparing for tomorrow”.
Trust School Status
South Wilts is a member of the South West Academic Trust (SWAT) whose members are Bishop Wordsworths School, Bournemouth School for Girls, Churston Ferrers Grammar, Colyton Grammar, Devonport High School for Boys, Parkstone Grammar, Plymouth High School for Girls, Poole Grammar, Torquay Boys’ Grammar, Torquay Girls’ Grammar and Exeter University. Students meet together at each other’s schools or at Exeter University for Learning Walks and to develop skills of negotiation, delegation and motivation through practical and fun activities. Teaching staff from the Trust meet to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
The Senior Leadership Team currently comprises the Headteacher, two Deputy Heads, two Assistant Heads and the School Business Manager. The subject areas within the school each have a Head of Department. The school day has eight periods of 40 or 35 minutes a day, with breaks both morning and afternoon and an hour for lunch to give time for the many clubs and activities.
The Senior Deputy Head is in overall charge of the pastoral system and is also the SENCO. This role is assisted by a Heads of KS3, KS4, the Director and two Deputy Directors of Sixth Form and two pastoral support administrators. Commendations and detentions, which are rare, are used to uphold the Reward and Sanctions Policy. Consultation evenings are held during the year when parents can discuss their daughter’s progress with subject teachers. All staff are expected to be form tutors and the form tutor is the first point of contact for parents. We also have a part-time School Counsellor and a Careers Advisor. A strong academic mentoring programme operates to help students who are finding work difficult. A team of senior mentors allocates sixth form students to help younger girls who request a mentor. The Head Girl team and Senior Prefects are invaluable in the organisation of the school.
Entry to the school in Year 7 is by 11+ examination, which comprises verbal reasoning, maths and English tests. We admit about the top 20% of the national ability range and girls attend from over sixty different primary schools drawn from a wide area of up to twenty five miles. There is a Late Entry Test procedure for girls wishing to enter South Wilts in Years 8 –10 when spaces are available.
The entry to the sixth form is six A*-C at GCSE with a B in English Language and either a grade B in Maths or Science. We operate a collaborative sixth form, with Bishop Wordsworth’s, the local boys’ grammar school. Over seventy girls join South Wilts in the Sixth Form from other schools. The sixth form, combined with the boys as the Salisbury Grammar Schools Sixth Form, has around 650 students. Some AS and A level subjects taught as shared sets, some subjects on both sites. Other subjects are taught on one site but most major subjects are taught on both sites.
The Old Building was built in 1927 with further building in the 1950s and 1960s. These have been added to in recent years as Specialist School Status has enabled a new Mathematics and Computing block and a Sixth Form Centre to be built. A new Music block, an additional English classroom and a Technology extension was followed by a new Reception area completed in 2008. The Science laboratories were replaced in 2006 and 2009. The construction of a new Learning Resource Centre and two classrooms, as well as a new ICT room, were completed in September 2009. Refurbishment of the Old Building and a dining room extension took place in 2010.
There are approximately 270 machines on the student network. In addition there are 150 desktop machines for staff, along with 20 laptops. The main applications used across the school are the Microsoft Office 2013 suite and Adobe CS6, as well as subject specialist software used in most curriculum areas. The school VLE is Frog and this allows home access to all the school documents. The excellent sports facilities consist of an all weather running track, two hockey pitches, a gym, and netball and tennis courts. There is also a small Theatre and a Drama Studio.
Parents and Governors are particularly supportive and involved in the life of the school. Students do much for local causes through community activities and charity work and last year raised over £4,320. Local businesses are involved with the school in various ways; interviews for Year 11 students, Scientists in School Day, where local scientists give talks and demonstrations to Year 10 students, Industry Days, where Year 9 students solve problems for local businesses, and Languages Day. Science and Maths activities and master classes are held for primary schools.
The school has a strong staff commitment to sustaining extra-curricular activities. Music, drama and sport figure prominently but there are also a wide range of trips and visits, including French and German exchanges and visits, Geography field trips, History trip to World War One battlefields, ski trips, Classics trip to Greece/Rome, History and German trip to Berlin, Geology trip to Tenerife or Italy and many theatre visits. There is wide participation in sports clubs and competitive teams, assisting our most talented students to represent County and Country. There is a Senior Choir (143 students), a Junior Choir (85 students) and A Cappella (35 students), along with a Senior Orchestra (60 students),Training Orchestra (21 students), Wind Band (58 students), Chamber Orchestra (9 students) and Guitar Ensemble (8 students). We have regular concerts for our choirs, bands and orchestras and the A Cappella choir sings in Salisbury Cathedral.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award programme operates from the school, in conjunction with the Salisbury Open Award Centre, with large numbers of students participating. In September 2014 there were 87 Bronze students, 30 Silver students and 18 Gold students.
In 2012 the students directed, produced and ran a whole school production of a Mid Summers Night Dream and the whole school production in 2013 was Animal Farm. Last year’s production was KinderTransport. After school clubs for science, computing and drama supplement the many lunchtime activities such as reading clubs and public speaking.
Staff welfare and development
The school’s most important resource is its staff, both teaching and support and we believe that the measure of a school’s success must be that all staff feel respected and cared for. There are good CPD opportunities for all staff and excellent support for NQTs. We maintain good avenues of communication, keeping staff informed with a weekly briefing and bulletin, and we provide opportunities to contribute to policy making, listening to and using good ideas.
Salisbury is a thriving city most famous for its Cathedral and close to many historic sites such as Stonehenge. It is near the New Forest, with a busy market, up-to-date shopping facilities and a lively Arts scene. It has good rail and road links with London, Southampton, Bath, Bournemouth, Bristol and the West Country.
The school’s prospectus, school policies and detailed examination results are available on the school’s website www.swgs.wilts.sch.uk. Regular newsletters, also on the website, show the range of activities that the school is involved in.