GENERAL INFORMATION 2019-20

 

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 a DBS check.

South Wilts is an 11 – 18 selective girls’ grammar school that became an Academy on 1st January 2011.   We will from September 2020 become coeducational in the sixth form taking boys onto roll.  There are currently 1080 students on roll, with 308 in the sixth form. The entry requirements for the sixth form is 6 GCSEs graded 5 or above with a 5 in English and maths. In Year 7 there are five forms of entry of 160. Entry to the school in Year 7 is by the 11+.

The school was judged to be good overall, with outstanding for behaviour and attirudes, by Ofsted in October 2019.  South Wilts is a high performing school and in 2019, 73% of grades at GCSE were A*/A 7/9 grade, with 51% graded 8 & 9. Value added is positive at GCSE. Unvalidated Progress 8 is 0.54.  At A Level 71% of the grades awarded were A*-B, with 14.8% at A*.  In 2019 62% of students went on to study at a Russell Group university, with 6 going on to study at Cambridge and 5 to Oxford University. 9 students went on to study medicine, along with students studying dentistry and veterinary. 

We have strong links with schools outside the UK. We have longstanding links to schools in France and Germany. Students who study GCSE and A Level languages, have the opportunity to take part in a foreign exchange to these schools. We have been accredited with the Healthy Schools Award, the Challenge Award, the Gold Artsmark, Eco School Status and the Careermark. 

Trust School Status
South Wilts is a member of the South West Academic Trust (SWAT) whose members are Bournemouth School for Girls, Churston Ferrers Grammar, Colyton Grammar School, Devonport High School for Boys, Devonport High School for Girls, Parkstone Grammar School, Plymouth High School for Girls, Poole Grammar School, Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, Torquay Girls’ Grammar School 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.

Organisation
The Senior Leadership Team currently comprises the Headteacher, one Deputy Head, three Assistant Heads and the School Business Manager.  The subject areas within the school each have a Head of Department. All department areas have their own work area, and have allocated departmental support time. 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. For students the school day begins at 8.45am and finishes at 3.45pm.

Pastoral Organisation
The Deputy Head is in overall charge of the pastoral system and oversees the role of the school’s SENDCo. This role is assisted by Heads of Year 7, Years 8&9, Year 10 and Year 11, Director of Sixth Form and a Head of Year 12 and 13. 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, Lay Chaplain 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.

Admission
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 eighty different primary schools drawn from a wide radius 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 grade 5 at GCSE with a 5 in English Language and Maths. Approximately 60 students join South Wilts in the Sixth Form from other schools.

Facilities
The main school block was built in 1927, with further building in the 1950s and 1960s.  There have been more additions in recent years with a new Mathematics and Computing block, Sixth Form Centre, Music block, the Learning Resources Centre and an extension to the DT block with a new food technology room and textiles classroom. 

There are 6 networked computer rooms, along with a suite of computers in the Sixth Form Common room and the Learning Resources Centre. The main applications used across the school are the Microsoft Office 2016 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 school documents. There is a school Wi-Fi system that both staff and students access.

We have outsourced our catering to Innovate who operate a cashless catering sixth. There is also a specialist sixth form café.

The excellent sports facilities consist of an all-weather running track, a gym, and netball and tennis courts.  There is also a small theatre and a drama studio.

Community
Parents and Governors are particularly supportive and involved in the life of the school.  Students do a lot for local causes through community activities and charity work and last year raised over £11,000.  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, maths and computing activities and master classes are held for primary schools.

Extra-curricular activities
The school has a strong staff commitment to sustaining extra-curricular activities.  Many of these activities take place during lunch time (which is an hour long), as many students travel to school by bus or train. Music, drama and sport figure prominently but there is also a wide range of trips and visits, including French and German exchanges, Geography field trips, History trips to World War One battlefields and Washington, Cookery tour to Barcelona, Netball trip to Spain, Geology trip to Iceland and many theatre visits.  There is wide participation in sports clubs and competitive teams, assisting our most talented students to represent County and Country.  Music is strong across the school, there is Senior Choir, a Junior Choir, A Cappella, Senior Orchestra, Jazz Band, Wind Band, Chamber Orchestra and Guitar Ensemble. We have regular concerts for our choirs, bands and orchestras.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award programme operates from the school, with large numbers of students participating at Bronze, Silver and Gold Level. The Drama department is small but busy, with a weekly Drama Club, a new theatre company for years 9-13. We run regular trips and workshops and encourage student-led productions. We have students pursuing the technical and design elements of theatre, as well as acting at GCSE and A level. We have a KS3 drama competition yearly and in 2016 the whole school production was Bugsy Malone. 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 staff and we believe that the measure of a school’s success must be that all staff feel respected and cared for. The Senior Leadership Tam and leaders at all levels are approachable and care about the welfare and wellbeing of all staff.  We also try to ensure that staff have a good work life balance adhering to the advice provided in the workforce reform, such as rarely cover. 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.  Staff voice is strong, led by our staff governors who feed back to the SLT and Governing Body. We maintain excellent relations with the major teaching unions, with all teaching bodies representative on the staff body.

South Wilts is a happy and supportive environment where students and staff care. The school’s motto is “Learning for today, preparing for tomorrow”.

Salisbury
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.

School information
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.

 


Eco Schools
Artsmark
South West academic Trust
ESafety Mark
International School Award
Healthy School