Wilmslow High School

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Wilmslow High School
Established 1960
Type Community school
Headteacher Mrs G Bremner
Chair Mr D Bennett
Location Holly Road
England England Coordinates: 53°19′20″N 2°13′45″W / 53.3221°N 2.2293°W / 53.3221; -2.2293
Local authority Cheshire East
DfE URN 111443 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1946
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses Norcliffe, Bollin, Thorngrove, Harefield
Former name Wilmslow County Grammar School
Website Wilmslow High School

Wilmslow High School, an 11–18 comprehensive, is the only secondary school in the town of Wilmslow, Cheshire. It is situated just west of the A34 roundabout next to the railway line, south-east of the town centre.


Grammar school[edit]

It began life as the co-educational Wilmslow County Grammar School in September 1960 with 900 pupils. The new county grammar school was opened by Sir James Mountford, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool on 24 March 1961. A girls' grammar school was built on 14 acres (57,000 m2) of the former Colshaw Hall Farm, and situated on Dean Row Road. It opened in 1965 and had 750 girls. The school on Holly Road became a boys' school.


The school changed name to Harefield County High School when it became a sixth form-entry comprehensive in 1978, gradually becoming comprehensive year by year. In the mid-1980s it became Wilmslow County High School, then Wilmslow High School in 1991. (http://www.wilmslow.org.uk/wilmslow/schools/schools.html) The school was designated as a specialist Sports College in September 2003.[1]

Other former schools in Wilmslow included Wilmslow County Secondary School for Girls on Wycliffe Avenue in Wilmslow. When the Wycliffe Avenue Secondary Modern School closed the girls moved to Thorngrove County High School, which was until that point the Hough Secondary Modern School for Boys, having previously opened in 1965 on Thorngrove Road – the land now occupied by the A34 bypass. The girls' grammar school became Dean Row High School and later all schools closed, leaving Wilmslow with one high school on the site of the original boys' grammar school.


The school’s curriculum offers a wide range of programmes that meet National Curriculum requirements. Students progressing through the school are able increasingly to tailor programmes to meet their particular learning needs with a wide range of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) programmes, Business & Technology Education Council programmes (BTEC), and General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (AS/A2) programmes. Alternative accredited programmes are also available.

Non-academic work[edit]

The school places particular emphasis on personal, health, social and citizenship education and operates a system that links curricular activity, tutorial activity and three "Personal, Health, Social & Citizenship Education" (PHSCE) Days. All Year 10 students have a one-week work experience placement, with further course-related work experience in Year 12.[2]

Gill Bremner is the head teacher.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school’s curriculum is enriched by a wide range of visits and fieldwork activity and is supplemented by extracurricular activities that offer the opportunity for students to develop and follow their interests and talents in music, drama, sport and other activities. The school operates the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, and a bi-annual ‘World Challenge’ expedition is available to older students, which for the last three years has been run through Camps International. In 2011 some of the Sixth Form students are going to Kenya with the company to carry out various charity work and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Competitive sport is a feature of the school’s extracurricular programme "Sports Xtra".

The school encourages all students to become involved with charity work, locally and on a national and international scale. Charity projects include a Christmas fun day organised by the Sixth Form for the lower school, the 50p Shop, a weekly tuckshop selling confectionery in aid of charity, and many cake sales and other small scale fund raising events organised by individual form groups to support the annual house charities.

Academic performance[edit]

Students at Wilmslow High achieve well-above average results at GCSE and at A level. In 2011 70% of Year 11 students achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and mathematics and 23% of Year 13 students achieved 3 A or A* grades or equivalent.[3] Students often secure places to study at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.[4]


It works in partnership with the twelve primary schools in Wilmslow, Handforth and Alderley Edge, from where the majority of its students come. The school has 300 places available in each year and a Sixth Form that has the capacity to provide programmes for some 500 students. In 2011 3.4% of students have statements of special educational need, the proportion of students on roll with SEN statement or on School Action Plus was 7.8% and 6% of students were entitled to free school meals.2011 DFE Performance Tables[5]

Students wishing to enter the sixth form must obtain a minimum of five GCSEs with grades A* – C (or equivalent) with at least a 'C' grade in English Language at GCSE.[6]

Learning support[edit]

The school’s Learning Support team caters for students who have learning difficulties. Provision includes a fully integrated 8-place unit for children who have impaired hearing. The school is leading a Local Education Authority (LEA) project relating to provision for autistic students and a member of staff based at the school has responsibility for supporting such students.

Community Links[edit]

The school’s Parent-Teacher Association (now known as "Parents Xtra") organises a wide range of social, educational and fund-raising activities.[7]

The school is a centre for adult education and has developed strong links with the local community and major local employers: the Wilmslow High Partnership was established in 1997. Community involvement and links are also manifest in student placements, musical concerts, the annual Arts Festival that includes all of the local primary schools, and wide-ranging activity in support of local charities. The school acts as the host for the annual Wilmslow Show: a major community event.

Ofsted Report[edit]

Wilmslow High School was inspected by Ofsted in November 2013 under their new evaluation framework and judged to be "good" overall, with the following features being specifically highlighted for praise:

  • The drive, passion and determination of the headteacher and her team continue to have a very positive impact on the school’s work. Leaders have the expertise and dedication to ensure that the necessary improvements in performance will be tackled effectively. The headteacher has the full support of governors who hold the school rigorously to account.
  • While students’ achievement is good overall, the most able make outstanding progress.
  • Students’ behaviour and safety are outstanding. They are proud of their school and show high levels of respect for staff and each other.
  • The vast majority of teaching is good with much that is outstanding. Teachers are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Almost all lessons include interesting activities and experiences that particularly challenge the most-able students.
  • The sixth form is good and highly successful helping students move on to higher education, training or employment. Sixth form students make an excellent contribution to supporting younger students, for example, with reading.
  • There is a rich variety of extra-curricular activities, most notably sport, but other activities such as music and drama and residential trips and visits. These enhance the memorable experiences of students and are frequently a catalyst to their success in other parts of the curriculum.
  • The school and the headteacher make a significant contribution to school improvement in the locality and collaborate with other schools to share good practice.[8]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Wilmslow County Grammar School for Boys[edit]

Wycliffe Avenue School[edit]


External links[edit]

News items[edit]