Gifted and Talented

Challenge at South Wilts
The vision for our able students at South Wilts is clear and explicit in our school aims – we strive to challenge all our students to achieve 'high academic standards and cultural achievement within a caring environment'. In our unique context as a grammar school we acknowledge that in another school, all our students might be identified as Gifted and Talented. We therefore have a clear focus on providing 'Challenge for All'.

Learning opportunities inside the classroom
Fundamental to our effective provision for students is to focus on delivering challenging and differentiated lessons during the normal school timetable. Lessons are planned to develop high level thinking skills, independent learning and creativity. We are committed to developing a flexible and differentiated curriculum. This includes introducing challenge through breadth (enriching learning through additional material beyond the core curriculum), depth (extending learning by asking students to delve deeper into a certain topic) and pace.

Learning opportunities outside the classroom
We offer a regular, varied and on-going programme of enrichment activities taking place outside timetabled lessons as a key component of our provision for able, gifted and talented students, all of which are open to all pupils. These opportunities range from our popular Science Club to the English Speaking Union, not to mention the huge range of musical groups and concerts including regular performances at Salisbury Cathedral, various high quality drama productions, and local and national competitions. Similarly, our students have many opportunities to attend trips that aim to motivate, inspire and reward achievements. For example, our talented sports students compete at local, regional and national level at venues including Crystal Palace. Various competitions are also run during the year, one being the 'Citizenship Mock Trial' in which a group of our year 8 and year 9 students compete against other Wiltshire schools to conduct a trial at the Salisbury Court House, and Modern Foreign Languages Spelling Bee competitions. South Wilts also maximised opportunities to host guest speakers and educationalists such as the year 10 Science Day. 

South Wilts has developed close links with local universities and outside agencies so that our students benefit from a range of opportunities beyond the school, such as a French and German exchanges and Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. We also take our able, gifted and talented students in Year 12 to visit Oxford and Cambridge Universities to provide an experience of a top university and set high aspirations. As well as this, local professional employees are welcomed to the school to give the benefit of their knowledge in a variety of careers through our Enterprise Day in year 9, Citizenship Day for 6th Form and mock interviews. 

Students have excelled in their A-Level examinations this year with 71% of all A-Levels graded at A*, A or B grades. 43% of all the grades were graded A* or A, with 14.7% at A* and a pass rate of 99.6% A*-E. 

169 girls sat A-Level examinations this year, with 35 students gaining 3 or more A-Levels at grade A or A*.  50 students gained 3 A*/A grades including Level 3 Core Maths and the EPQ, 26 students achieved 4 or more A*/A grades including Level 3 Core Maths and the EPQ, with two students gaining 5 A*/A grades.

78 students took the EPQ and 82% of all grades awarded were A*-B.
Our students are to be congratulated for achieving a strong set of GCSE results and their success is a credit to their hard work and determination to do well.

The number of students achieving the very highest grades is yet again outstanding. 132 students took a total of 1338 GCSE qualifications. 50.7 % of the grades awarded were grades 8-9 and 25% of all grades were awarded the top grade 9. 73% of all grades awarded were grade 7-9 with 91.2% of all graded 6-9.

100% achieved a grade 4 or higher in English and maths. 100% of the passes in English were graded 5 or above and 99% in maths

South West Academic Trust
At South Wilts we believe that it is vital that all students achieve their full potential and our definition of ability recognises academic, practical, creative, musical, physical, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. As a member of the South West Academic Trust we collaborate with 11 similar schools across the region to share and further develop innovative practice that challenges our able students in our unique context. This group of selective schools in the South West, alongside Exeter University, are committed to developing innovation in challenging our able students. We run subject networks in all subject areas at least once a year and hold a Gifted and Talented network to share good practice across these high attaining schools. We have run students' events including a 'Challenge day' for year 9 students to investigate Oxbridge interview problems, also a Student Conference in July to unpick the key elements of challenge within a grammar school. We also run public speaking competitions and debating competitions in and across the 11 grammar schools to challenge our most able. More recently our SWAT challenge ambassadors attended a ‘Challenge Day’ event at Parkstone Grammar School, they took park in an array of challenging activities (e.g. an escape room) and had an inspirational talk from a record breaking explorer and adventurer.

We focus on 'Challenge for All' because we believe that all learners are entitled to an education that meets their needs. Furthermore, national research has shown that focusing on challenging more able students leads to an overall raising of standards in schools.

St. Joseph’s Catholic school

South Wilts Grammar School and St. Joseph’s are pleased to announce our working collaborative partnership. We are both committed to ensuring that our students reach their full potential by following the key principles of our learning cultures.

We both encourage all students to take responsibility for their learning, which is a central component of their development as individuals and members of our communities, to be resilient in the face of adversity, encourage students to embrace academic risk-taking and be open to new challenges. Our new partnership will allow both schools to share their expertise and knowledge in a wide ranging number of subjects and discipline areas and it will also provide an array of enrichment opportunities for our students.

 We are both delighted with the prospect of this partnership and look forward to working together.


As part of our working partnership we have developed a mentoring programme called ROCstars. ROCstars stands for Revision of Champions and represents a group of SWGS sixth form students who provide extra support to others based on their own attainment at GCSE. As each member of the ROCstar team has successfully completed their GCSE exams, they are in an excellent position to offer support, guidance, tips and first-hand experience to others in their own GCSE preparations.