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Beaconsfield High School (Girls)
Wattleton Road, HP9 1RR, UK Beaconsfield
+44 (0)1494 673043

Message from the Head

Ms Castagnoli, head of Beaconsfield High SchoolThe ethos of the School is one of high academic achievement within a supportive learning environment.  Learning is one of the most exciting things we do in life and we want to develop a thirst for it in our students so that firm foundations are laid which will serve them throughout their lives.  Our recent OFSTED inspection (February 2003) found that the School has a “very strong learning culture” and that both staff and students “show intellectual curiosity and rigour”.

The atmosphere is purposeful and friendly although visitors often comment on a buzz of excitement they notice as they go around the school; learning takes place within a reflective atmosphere built on sound relationships. We offer a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum and challenging options exist in the academic, creative and sporting field. Aiming high we expect students to behave with respect, to show concern for others and be willing to accept responsibility. Community spirit is important to us.  We have an "open door" approach and aim to never be too busy to listen.

We believe strongly that academic qualifications must be supported by the development of the whole person and we place emphasis on the value of taking responsibility, both individually and within the community. Ofsted found that “attitudes and behaviour are outstanding”.  Our aim is that each student should discover her own unique talents and that she develops the self confidence to use them for her own benefit and for that of the community in which she lives.

We aim to discover and develop the full potential of each individual

Opportunities for personal development include interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork and learning to care for and respect each other.  The School excels in many fields; public speaking, musical performance, sport, drama, community and charity work to name but a few. The orchestra, with 90 odd musicians, possibly one of the largest you’ll find in a school, regularly takes part in a 10 day European tour. At the current time we have 4 athletes  who compete at national level. To quote Ofsted again,

“The range of opportunites is very good and prepared the students very well for the next stage of education and adult life”

The school is an active and exciting establishment with a commitment to provide the highest standard of education. As a Technology College, we benefit from superb ICT, Design Technology and Science facilities. In September 2003 a new 12 classroom teaching block was commissioned with state of the art ICT facities in every room.

We hope you find your visit to our web site interesting and informative. Please let us have comments.

Penny Castagnoli
Head Teacher

BHS Logo

Welcome to the Website of Beaconsfield High School, in Buckinghamshire. The aim of the site is to provide up-to-date information about the school, to promote and publicise its good practice and to act as a platform for our virtual learning environment. Students, parents, staff and governors can access this area through use of passwords.


We currently have vacancies for a 6th form Administrator and Drama Teacher (to cover maternity leave).

CLICK HERE for more information.

open dayopen day

Open Days

Our Open Evening for prospective Y7 students and their parents will take place on Wednesday 10 October between 1600 and 2000.  The Headteacher will speak at 1700, 1800 and 1900.

We will also have two Open Mornings on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 October between 1130 and 1330.

open dayopen day

Latest News

  • A parent/partnership meeting will take place on Wednesday 3 October at 1930 in the LRC.  All parents are welcome to attend and share their experiences with the Headteacher and Governors.

  • New, re-vamped, exciting, fun Quiz Night to be held in October. CLICK HERE for booking form

  • CLICK HERE to see the new school timetable.
  • Beaconsfield High School wins award with The Good Schools Guide.

The School And Its Aims

from entrance looking towards tower blockBeaconsfield High School is one of the top-performing state schools in the country. Results are consistently high. A thriving 11-18 girls' grammar school of some 1000 students. It is situated in the heart of the historic town of Old Beaconsfield on a pleasant and spacious green field site. Students benefit from the many opportunities which specialist technology college status brings to the school community, including state-of-the-art ICT facilities and links with local and national business and enterprise.

Our aim:

To discover and develop the full potential of each individual

girls strolling in the groundsWe do this through:

Aiming high and encouraging people to reach for their dreams

Providing challenge and opportunity for growth and personal development

Creating a happy and supportive environment in which individuals are valued and nurtured

Teaching our students how to be independent learners

Providing opportunities for leadership and the development of responsible and caring citizens

Supporting and growing from our local community

Each girl benefits from:

A highly committed staff with well-qualified and caring teachers who encourage them to reach their full potential

A strong pastoral system

An emphasis on a learning culture

Extensive use of computer technology in every subject area

An enormous range of enrichment opportunities

girls from the orchestra girls dancingworking in dtplaying basketball


"Beaconsfield High School is a good and caring school which provides a high quality of education"


Our Systems and Care

Each girl is important to us and we give special attention to finding out about and meeting her needs. We have excellent links with local primary schools and girls receive visits and letters before they even arrive. Our Special Needs Coordinator will find out about any particular learning need. Special gifts and talents are also identified at this stage so that girls are given the challenges they need.

discussions with the head

Every girl becomes a member of a tutor group and a house. These are carefully chosen to achieve a good mix of abilities, backgrounds, friendships and personalities. The Form Tutor is a key person; he or she will monitor academic progress and the well-being and happiness of each student as well as teaching them Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship. Close contact is maintained with parents so that we can work together. A Year Head supports the work of the form tutors and has an overall view of the academic and social progress of the year group as a whole. 

drama discussionsThere are five houses of 200 girls drawn from each year group in the school - so each house is like a small school. The vertical integration means there is a sense of belonging to a family and girls are able to mix with and feel comfortable with girls of all ages, thus encouraging their social skills. Drama and Technology Festivals and events such as Sports Day encourage healthy competition.

Making expectations clear is an important part of caring for and developing a responsible individual. Our approach to discipline is positive and is based on the principle of respect - both for oneself and for others.

Us As A Technology College

front view of buildingAs a Technology College we are required to place a particular emphasis on the teaching and learning of Mathematics, the Sciences, Information Technology and Design Technology as well as providing a well balanced curriculum at all key stages. This designation has enabled us to develop an up-to-date and well resourced ICT network throughout the school, with interactive whiteboards in the majority of classrooms, as well as providing additional subject specific facilities in the three key subject areas. This has lead to a steady improvement in our KS3, GCSE and A level results.

We have developed partnerships with five local junior schools and one secondary school. Some of our activities over the course of the year have been Year 6 Gifted and Talented Days in Mathematics, Science and Design Technology which have provided the students with the opportunity to come to BHS to develop their skills and knowledge. In all cases the pupils enjoyed the hands on nature of these days eg Disgusting Digestion in Science, Getting Loopy in Mathematics and Mini Enterprise on the theme of Sports day in Design Technology. We have also worked with staff in the schools on particular aspects of their courses.  For the local community we have run a number of ICT evening classes. These activities and others will continue next year.


Do you need someone to talk to?

Want it to be confidential?

About Issues in your Life such as:

Feeling stressed, Self-harming, Bullying, Eating Disorders, Drugs, Alcohol, School Issues, Relationship, Emotional Issues, Sexual Health Issues, Smoking, Family Issues………………..or any other concerns?

Visit your Drop-In Centre at the back of the Taylor Centre.

 Open every Tuesday at lunch for all year groups.

The community school nurse will be in attendance each week with alternating visits from your Connexions Advisor, Addaction and the Way-In Counsellor.


A special promotion was held Thursday 3 May to introduce the school nurse and counsellors and to promote the work that they do.




Learning Resource Centre

learning resource centre - study area

The Learning Resource Centre is for everyone at Beaconsfield High School to use. It is open from 8.30 am – 4.30pm each day, and is staffed by a full-time Chartered Librarian and a team of parent volunteers. All new Year 7’s and all Year 12 students are given a library induction session, to help develop their independent learning and research skills.

The library provides a vital function in supporting learning, by providing a wide range of resources. We have approximately 12,000 books, a selection of daily newspapers, videos and DVD titles and over 20 journal titles. We also subscribe to some online resources such as Oxford Reference Online and Proquest Learning. Each day we take cuttings from the Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian which we think will be of interest to staff and students alike. Quite often, staff have specifically requested information on a particular subject which is current in the media, to help support their lessons. The cuttings are then filed in subject categories in a filing cabinet near the main entrance of the LRC.

computor area in the learning resource centreThere are 9 computer terminals, all networked and all with Internet access.  We have two very good laser printers, one black and white and an excellent colour one which is always useful for the students doing course work presentation. Recently a new scanner has been added to the hardware in the LRC and is already being used by Year 12 students in the throes of power-point presentations.

Tnews board and photo copier in the learning resource centrehere is a photocopier in the library as well and girls can purchase their own photocopying card.

There are two lunch time clubs which run in the LRC, the Scrabble Club and the Book Club.

Each year we take part in the Carnegie Book Award Shadowing Scheme. This is an Award presented to the best teenage fiction book by a panel of librarians. Schools are invited to enter a team of enthusiastic readers to read the short listed books and put their own reviews on the web site.

We also take part in the Kids Literary Quiz which is a national event with an International prize of a trip to New Zealand!

Book Week usually takes place towards the end of the Summer term. We invite authors to come and talk to the students and so far we have been very fortunate to have such a prestigious list:- Louise Rennison, Philip Pullman, Valerie Bloom, Jamila Gavin, Sherry Ashworth, Tim Bowler, Nick Arnold and Sandi Toksvig, to name just a few.

Finally, we like to promote a quiet and peaceful environment in the LRC so we take a dim view of mobile phones, i-pods, people who eat and people who talk loudly!

“Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark....” (Greer)

Curriculum Enrichment Activities

out sailing during a french language tripThese are some of the activities run at the school. For a schedule of these activities please CLICK HERE (as at 19.09.07)

  • Amnesty
  • Art support
  • Buddy system
  • Christian Union
  • Dance Performance Group
  • Debating Society
  • some dance activities performed during ace weekDesign & Technology
  • Drama
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
  • Games Clubs - chess, scrabble
  • History Workshop
  • ICT
  • Junior Dance Club
  • Languages - Spanish support , French, German support
  • Maths workshop
  • Model United Nations
  • mask making during ACE weekMusic - Chamber Choir, Chamber Orchestra, First Orchestra, Junior Choir, Second Orchestra, Senior Choir, Grade 5 theory
  • League netball
  • PE Squads - U14 netball, U12 netball, U6/Senior netball, U13 netball, U16/15 netball/hockey coaching, gym club, fitness training
  • Photography
  • Prefect Meetings
  • Public speaking
  • Psychology support
  • Reading Club
  • Science Workshop
  • good team working during enterprise activitiesSports - Aerobics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Junior Cricket, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Gym, High Jump, Hockey, Horse Riding, Netball, Rounders, Rowing, Rugby, Tennis
  • Textiles - additional lessons
  • Yoga
  • Young Enterprise
  • World Challenge



Homework Timetables


Written by sixth formers............




We believe that the fundamental purpose of school-based education is to prepare students to lead fulfilled, productive, happy and successful adult lives; we seek to do this by enabling each person to discover and develop their full potential through learning.  Learning is one of the most exciting experiences we can have as human beings and it continues throughout life.  Learning can transform our actions and our lives.  It is so important that we need to teach students how to do it; they need to learn how to learn.

Whilst there is much uncertainty about the future in the new millennium, we know that turbulence and change will be even greater than at present, and that it will be on a global scale.  A career for life is already a thing of the past.  Transferable skills are already as important as an excellent academic education.  In the information rich society of the future it will be vital to have the intellectual, learning and practical skills to access, assess and use information effectively to flourish. 

The need for high self esteem, individual self-confidence and the capability to manage personal change will be just as important; this will be achieved through a well balanced and rounded education, where the needs of the whole person are considered.  If our society is to continue to be successful it will need participative citizens, who consider the needs of others; we believe that it is vitally important to develop our girls as members of a caring and responsible community.

All this will be essential for our students to be able to make the key choices they will face; whether these be in employment in a global economic market, in relationships and as citizens in an increasingly complex multicultural environment.  The school recognises the scale and scope of this challenge for students and staff alike and is committed to providing the inspirational teaching and energising learning environment which will create a sense of achievement, excitement and love of learning and which will give our students the drive and enthusiasm to thrive in the future and to achieve success and fulfilment in work, leisure and personal relationships.


Core Values

The following core values and behaviours underpin the ethos of our school. They apply equally to students, staff and governors:

  • Listening and respecting the views of others
  • Being reflective and wanting to learn from experience
  • Being proactive and having a commitment to plan ahead
  • Being a team player and working collaboratively
  • Caring for others and working for the common good
  • A sense of responsibility - taking ownership of issues
  • Setting high standards and striving for excellence
  • Being a good communicator – thinking of other people’s needs
  • Wanting to share good practice in order to improve
  • Working hard and smart (using ICT to help)
  • Achieving a good work/life balance
  • Recognising the contribution of all
  • Taking pride in what we do

vision pyramid

Professional Development


Beaconsfield High becomes a Professional Development School

In November 2002 we succeeded in our application to become one of 16 Buckinghamshire primary and secondary Professional Development Schools. We will be part of a Buckinghamshire / Teacher Training Agency national initiative aiming to develop the best practice, locally and nationally, in all aspects of professional development.

What are the features of a Professional Development School?

At this stage in the Initiative they have been identified as:

  • Strengths in induction, mentoring, tutoring, peer training and coaching
  • Effective use of reviews and staff portfolios in helping teachers realise their potential through professional development
  • A supportive environment for initial teacher training in collaboration with Higher Education Institutions
  • A willingness to explore innovative ways of increasing capacity for Initial Teacher Training
  • Support for those aspiring to teach, particularly where they come from under-represented communities
  • A commitment to enquiry-based leadership and action-research
  • A commitment to staff continuing to enrich and extend their professional expertise in the belief that this results in improved pupil learning
  • A commitment to working collaboratively with other schools and agencies to achieve the highest standards of professional development

The above characteristics of a Buckinghamshire Professional Development School will be refined, extended and exemplified as the Initiative develops.

Which schools are involved?

Primary schools - Bedgrove Infant, Lent Rise Combined, Waddesdon Village,  The Disraeli, The Downley, Chepping View, Beechview

Special Schools - Prestwood Lodge 

Secondary schools -  Beaconsfield High, Burnham Grammar, Chesham Park Community, Highcrest Community, The Chalfonts Community,  The Grange,  The John Colet, Wycombe High

The National College for School Leadership (NCSL) has offered Research Associate status to two of the Headteachers of the Professional Development Schools. They are Penny Castagnoli from Beaconsfield High and Nigel Cook from Disraeli School.   They will study the most effective means of disseminating the project's outcomes to other schools in the County and nationally. Their findings will inform a seminar at the National College in Nottingham and be published as a research paper.

A survey by the London Institute of Education has identified Buckinghamshire as one of five LEAs in the country providing "pointers to good practice" in professional development. A large working party of Headteachers and Advisers are helping to take forward these initiatives.

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Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)