Devonport High School for Girls

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Devonport High School for Girls
Devonport High School for Girls logo.jpg
Motto Sine Labe Decus
Established 1911
Type Grammar School, Academy
Head Teacher Anita Hemsi
Specialism Languages
Location Lyndhurst Road
Peverell, Plymouth
England Coordinates: 50°23′34″N 4°09′06″W / 50.3927°N 4.1518°W / 50.3927; -4.1518
Local authority Plymouth City Council
DfE URN 136588 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 826
Gender Females (and males in sixth form)
Ages 11–18

Devonport High School for Girls is a selective girls' state grammar school with academy status (ages 11–18) in Plymouth, England.


In September 1908 Devonport High School for Girls was recognised as a girls secondary school. It was originally located at Paradise Road, Stoke in Plymouth, and known as Devonport Municipal Secondary School for Girls. It was established approximately 15 years after its sibling Devonport High School for Boys. The school moved to its current location which overlooks the Plymouth Argyle football ground, Home Park, on September 10, 1937, from its original location on Paradise Road. The school was divided into four houses- St.Joan, St.Margaret, St.Monica and St.Ursula. They were then changed to Falcon, Kestrel, Hawk and Eagle. Today the house system still exists but are now named Flete, Kitley, Hartland and Edgecumbe after local houses.

During World War II the girls were evacuated to Tiverton grammar school, whilst the DHSG building was initially used by the fire service who were drafted in from across England to fight fires created by the aerial bombardment. It was also used as a machine shop for the dockyard during this period. The building suffered bomb damage during the war. The tennis and netball courts added in 1952 can now be seen at a lower level than the playing field due to a crater an exploded mine had left.

Honour boards which hang at the back of the main hall were paid for by the money each of the pupils received to mark the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1971 DHSG started to accept girls from all areas of Plymouth and by the 1980s girls were coming from outside of Plymouth. In 2005 DHSG acquired Specialist Language College status bringing with it funding to provide better facilities, not just in building updating and expansion but in technology also. The new Learning Centre constructed in 2005 housed a modern library, new language laboratories and two fully equipped computer rooms.


DHSG is a grammar school, catering for students at the top end of the academic ability range. These students are selected by means of the 11-plus entrance exam, which tests potential students' English comprehension and Mathematical skills.[citation needed]

As of 2013/14 it has some 826 students, of whom around 198 are sixth form students. The school has maintained its Specialist Language College status, and introduced Chinese into the curriculum in Sept 2006. On entering the school students choose to study either French or Spanish. In Year 8 all students can choose a second language to study which includes Chinese, French, German, Latin or Spanish. DHSG has achieved the full International School Award from the British Council in 2005,2009 and 2012.

Devonport High School for Girls has been in the Leading Edge Programme since 2003, as part of the first cohort of schools involved. Belonging to the partnership has facilitated innovation within the school targeting time and resources effectively into the areas identified by us as areas for development.

In the summer of 2013 the school achieved 100% five GCSE grades A*-C including English and Mathematics and the the highest EBacc measure in the local area. The school has qualified for an Educational Outcomes Award by being in the top 20 per cent of schools nationally for progress made by pupils between their key stage 2 results and their GCSE results.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT, the national schools' membership organisation for improvement and collaboration, said: "Devonport High School for Girls should be congratulated for their exceptional achievement. They have proved themselves to be leading the field in improving GCSE outcomes for their students."

"These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team, and show what can be achieved when skilled teachers have high expectations and ambition for every young person. "

Read more at recognition of the progress the students made from KS2 to 4 DHSG was also awarded the SSAT Outcomes Award

Each school year from 7 to 11 is split into four tutor groups. These tutor groups originally formed the school 'houses' known as E, F, H and K.

DHSG is a specialist language school and in 2011 acquired Academy Trust Status.


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