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Queen Elizabeth`s Grammar School (Controlled)
The Green Road, DE6 1EP, UK Ashbourne
+44 (0)1335 343685

About Us

Current School Site

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School is an 11-18 Comprehensive school in the picturesque town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

The school is on one main site with Sixth Form lessons taught in a separate block approximately 400m away. Much of the building is new and followed a move in January and February 2003 as a result of a major rebuilding programme.

Pupils are admitted at age 11 from a large number of primary schools, spread from Hartington in the north to Sudbury in the south. Primary schools vary in size from those with just 2 teachers to a much larger town school. Induction is therefore a key priority and the Head of Year 7 works hard to produce a social and academic mix in the forms.

In Year 7 all classes are mixed ability with special needs students receiving extra support. As an Enhanced Resource school we have a large proportion of pupils with Special Needs. Approximately 6% of the school population have a Statement of Educational Need.

Setting is introduced gradually. Maths set from the second term of Year 7, other subjects introduce setting in Year 8 or Year 9.

At Key Stage 4 all pupils currently study English, Maths, Double Science and a technology subject. Additional option blocks supplemented by advice and interviews, ensure that all receive a balanced curriculum. Accreditation at Key Stage 4 is usually GCSE but some Certificate of Achievement courses are available for students who would not achieve a GCSE

Full use is made of the regulations concerning disapplication to ensure that all pupils make the most of their time at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and extended work experience and college placements are used when appropriate.

Approximately 50% of our pupils stay on into the Sixth Form studying a range of AS, A2 and VCE courses. We are particularly proud of the performance of our students at Sixth Form level where we regularly feature amongst the highest achieving schools in the Country. Most Sixth Formers progress to higher education. Sixth form students play an important role in the life of the school by assisting staff in lessons and helping with sports coaching. A number also undertake tasks in the community with the elderly or disabled.

The management of the school is based on departments and Year Groups. Heads of Department and Heads of Year meet on a regular cycle to discuss whole school academic and pastoral issues. That work is then co-ordinated by the leadership team of Head, Deputy Head, Assistant Head Pastoral and Assistant Head Admin, Assistant Head Teaching and Learning and Staff Development, Director of Sixth Form Studies, Assistant Head Technology College and the Business Manager. There are 7 Advanced Skills Teachers in the school with responsibilities for ICT, Business Studies, Behavioural Sciences, Art, Expressive Art and Special Needs. One AST now operates as an Assistant Head. These staff have been valuable in implementing new initiatives and all are involved in outreach work with other schools.


Year 7

When pupils enter the school in Year 7, they join a Form Group. They have a Form Tutor who keeps a watchful eye on their academic and social development under the leadership of the Head of Year. Each form is carefully composed after close consultation with Primary School teachers to reflect the full range of ability, provide a balance of girls and boys and offer pupils, if possible, the opportunity to remain with some friends from their previous school.

All pupils study:

  • Mathematics
  • English (which usually includes Drama)
  • Science
  • French
  • Technology
  • Physical Education and Games
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies (unless parent/guardians wish otherwise)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Information Technology
  • Personal, Social and Health Education/Citizenship

They are taught these subjects in 'mixed ability' Form Groups - the exception being Maths (where some ability setting takes place), P.E./Games (where boys and girls are usually taught separately) and Technology (where they work in smaller groups of about twenty).

Year 8

The curriculum in Year 8 is the same as for Year 7 except that in addition all pupils study Expressive Arts and some will study German. They are placed in sets for English, French, Mathematics and Science, with pupils of similar ability in that subject, but continue all their other subjects in mixed ability groups.

Year 9

In this year, pupils continue the Year 8 curriculum but are now placed in setted groups for all their subjects.

The Personal and Social Education Programme now includes Careers guidance and assists pupils in making subject choices for Years 10 and 11.

Years 10 and 11

In these two years pupils take courses leading to GCSE and other examinations. They all study a core curriculum which consists of: -

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
  • IT
  • RE
  • PE
  • Personal, Social and Health Education/Citizenship

In addition they choose to study 3 "optional subjects" or 1 optional subject and a vocational subject.

Optional Subjects currently on offer are: -

  • Art
  • Expressive Arts
  • Business Studies
  • French
  • German
  • History
  • IT
  • Geography
  • Music
  • PE
  • Spanish/Literacy

Vocational Subjects currently on offer are:

  • Child Care
  • Construction
  • Diploma in Digital Application (DiDA)

6th Form (Years 12 and 13)

The Sixth Form is for pupils who wish to return to school and continue their education after completing Year 11. Though many of our Sixth Formers proceed into Higher Education, a growing number use the Sixth Form to improve their basic qualifications, extend their interests and investigate their own aptitudes and abilities further before committing themselves to a particular vocational path. Sixth Form pupils are expected to have full timetables, aimed largely at public examinations, and to work seriously while on the school roll. This often means 15-20 hours per week of study out of school plus an average of 4 hours Private Study per week in school. All Sixth Form pupils have certain privileges and with these go certain responsibilities.

Subjects available in the Sixth Form depend upon demand, timetable constraints, staff and accommodation resources.

Currently, Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS) and A2 courses are offered in a wide variety of subjects and Vocational A levels are offered in Art & Design and Information Technology. Students are expected to study 4 AS subjects in year 12 or 2 AS subjects and 1 Vocational A level. Successful completion of these courses leads to a choice of 3 or 4 A2 level subjects being studied in year 13.

All A level students are entered for the AS and A2 examinations in General Studies. In addition they undertake community service.

A full explanation of all Post-16 courses is available in the current Sixth Form Prospectus.

Entry qualification for A level courses is 5 GCSEs at C grade or above although it is recommended that pupils gain a grade B or above in the subjects that they wish to study.

Sixth Formers choose their courses after discussion with the Director of Sixth Form Studies. While every effort is made to meet individual wishes, the school reserves the right to ensure that Sixth Formers are on suitable courses which will enable them to progress smoothly to Higher Education or employment.

Our Sixth Form is outstandingly successful. The results at 'A' level are amongst the very best in the country. In addition, we have built up valuable contacts with providers in Higher Education and our students are welcomed on to degree courses throughout Great Britain.


The school has a long tradition of out of class activities. They are organised to develop our pupils’ skills and abilities, provide an opportunity for all to excel, develop personal qualities and assist in emphasising the school as a vibrant community, rather than simply a place where children go for lessons.

School teams compete regularly and with great success in all of the major sports. Many of our players regularly represent the County.

Performing Arts are now a part of the curriculum for Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and post-16. Within that area the school excels in Dance with pupils regularly taking part in festivals. The school has also been the venue for a major project by the English National Ballet. You can view our weekly timetable of performing arts here.

Music contributes greatly to Performing Arts. In addition there are a variety of instrumental groups who rehearse weekly at lunchtime or after school.

A wide variety of other interests are catered for, e.g. Workshops are run in CDT and Modern Languages; I.T. and Library facilities are fully available for private study. There is no compulsion and many of our pupils travel long distances yet the scope and success of extra curricular activity dwarfs many schools. It is a tribute to the care of the staff and the enthusiasm of the pupils.

primary schools in Ashbourne, secondary schools in Ashbourne, schools in Ashbourne

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