CHATHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR BOYS
Chatham Grammar School for Boys is situated on the southern side of Chatham by the A230 Maidstone Road. It occupies an attractive half-timbered black and white building, formerly a manor house owned by George Winch, a one time Mayor of Chatham, and part of his estate known as Holcombe. Six modern teaching blocks house the Main Hall and Gym, Library, Music Suite and Performing Arts Block, Science Laboratories, Technology Suite, Modern Language Block, Humanities Block and a Mathematics Suite as well as other classrooms. A number of other buildings, including the old coach house, complete the classroom accommodation. The LEA has invested significantly in the new building provision at Holcombe and is looking favourably at future development. The School is well provided with computing facilities and is likely to receive additional investment in the near future. The Medway Towns has received significant funding for Information Communication Technology. The School is on the Internet and has Broadband, a radio network and video-conferencing facilities. Sixth form accommodation has been refurbished and the Sixth Form has access to its own facilities.
The school's history is believed to date from 1817, but its formal history began in 1913 with the establishment of Chatham Junior Technical School to train young men aged 13 - 16 for careers as artificers in the Roya1 Navy and in the Royal Dockyard School (later College) as engineers. The School evolved to become a centre of academic excellence as Chatham Grammar School for Boys, initially offering O and A Levels and today offering GCSE and A Levels as well as an Advanced Level Vocational Courses. We are a Language College, have Sportsmark and Community Mark Status as well as having Training School Status, building on our strengths and the high profile we have within our local community.
The School occupied its present site in the 1920's. Today the site is shared with a High School, Chatham South School and has pioneered; collectively the control of the grounds and cleaning, formerly operating as Direct Labour Organisations. There are grass pitches for rugby, soccer, and cricket on site. These sports, together with hockey, are also played at the school's off-site facilities on grounds that have now been redeveloped in conjunction with the Old Boys Club providing two floodlit Astroturf surfaces, new Clubhouse, changing rooms and many other facilities. The School achieved Sports Mark Gold five years ago.
In recent years the school has officially increased its role to 146 children each year. It is a boy's l 1 - 18 selective school with a co-educational sixth form. The current roll is over 1050 having increased from 459 in 1990. Selection is an established LEA procedure which currently tests in Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and English during the last year at Primary School. The School is substantially oversubscribed and has been for a number of years.
We aim to create a stimulating environment in which the individual is the central focus for all teaching and learning. This central purpose is to help all students to reach their potential academically, culturally, aesthetically and physically. To that end an enormous amount of time is invested by staff, governors and parents: All are valued for the contribution that they make and the school is a pleasant and positive place in which to learn and work. The school places great emphasis on the crucial link between the home, student and staff and much time is invested in liaison and the passage of information.
The Governing Body ensures that more funds are available for staff support than are provided by Government funding. Following a successful Ofsted in 1996 when the School was deemed to be a "Good School", we gained Investor in People Status in May 1997 renewed in 2000, 2003 and 2006. December 2006 saw a further successful Ofsted inspection. The Senior Management of the School may be approached about any matters of concern or interest and there is a Staff Room Committee. New entrants to the profession in September are invited to attend a two-week induction programme in the Summer Term preceding the commencement of their contract at the School, for which remuneration is provided. Our Training School status reflects the excellence of provision in support of our colleagues and others in the local community. A professional development group meet each term to review and evaluate training programmes for teaching and non-teaching colleagues. All teaching staff have a portfolio of professional developments. Staff engage in a number of external professional development activities, eg, MA's, Leading from the Middle, research programmes for DFES and TDA to name but a few.
The pastoral structure of the school is based on three sections: Lower School (Years 7 and 8), Middle School (Years 9 and 10), and the Sixth Form (Years 11, 12 and 13). An Assistant Headteacher leads a team of Senior Academic Leaders, Academic Leaders and Form Tutors supported by the three Deputy Heads. Form Tutors have a crucial role in the academic and pastoral welfare of their forms. The organisation of the School is under regular review in order to meet the demands of the curriculum and our children in the future. Hence the current positions on offer. A system of non-teaching Pastoral Support Managers, along with the SENCO and Careers and Vocational Support Manager, provide support and guidance across the school.
The academic organisation of faculty areas is based on subject departments and Heads of Department have substantial autonomy. All students are expected to follow 9 or 10 GCSE subjects in Years 9 and 10. Entry to our Sixth Form is conditional on gaining a specified number of GCSEs. A large number of students transfer into the school from our local feeder High and Grammar Schools.
A regular programme of Staff Meetings, Pastoral Management Meetings and Teaching and Learning Meetings exist. Each member of staff receives an academic year calendar on which all-important dates are placed at the beginning of the school year.
The school has moved forward with an increased sense of purpose in the last eight years and the school improvement plan has identified priorities, which have involved all staff. Many of these short-term objectives have been achieved.
The accelerated curriculum is now into Year 10 with the first cohort completing their GCSEs in June. SATs performance was commendable and progress is good at GCSE. The challenge presented by accelerating the curriculum is not to compress the curriculum but to accelerate the pupils' learning. At post-16 the curriculum is being expanded to incorporate A Levels in Film Studies and and Environmental Science.
GOVERNORS, PARENTS AND THE COMMUNITY
The Governors take an active interest in the school and are extremely supportive. There is a flourishing Parent Teacher Association, (The Holcombe Association) which has raised substantial funds and also promotes social activities for parents and students. A regular newsletter is issued and many students are involved with community activities.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Considerable time is devoted by staff in maintaining and delivering a comprehensive programme of extra curricular activities. A full sporting, musical and drama programme exists both after school hours and at weekends. Many school journeys are undertaken. High levels of attendance, punctuality and regular homework are features of the day-to-day life of the school. The school expects and achieves the highest standards of work, behaviour and appearance.