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.
Heads of Year and Form Tutors currently remain with their groups for five years.
The current issues arising from the school development plan are:-
- Review management and operation of new site
- Implement curriculum change
- Embed Performance Management. Relate it closely to school development, individual development and Performance Related Pay.
- Implement national agreement on reducing teacher workload.
In June 2005 the school was informed by the Specialist School Trust that Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School had been redesignated as a Technology College with effect from 1st September 2005.
The school was inspected by OFSTED in December 2005 and received a very good report. However, we are not complacent and the school has a number of exciting projects intended to develop learning, improve ICT and enhance the professionalism of staff. These whole school projects offer opportunities for new staff to join in developing initiatives and we hope to benefit from your experience in other establishments.
Our pupils cover the full ability range and come from all walks of life. A small number exhibit some challenging behaviour. However, most are committed to learning and help to make Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School a rewarding place in which to work or study.