Fort Pitt Grammar School
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Sculpture outside Fort Pitt Grammar School
|Location||Fort Pitt Hill
|Gender||Girls, mixed 6th form|
|Academy Trust||FPTA Academies|
Fort Pitt Grammar School is a selective girls' grammar school with academy status in Chatham, Kent. Built on Fort Pitt Hill, the site of an old Palmerston Fort, it is situated next to the Rochester campus of the University for the Creative Arts,
The present Fort Pitt site has served as a school since 1926, when it was established as Medway Girls Technical School. In 1984 it reopened as a girls’ grammar school, a status it holds to this day.
Fort Pitt’s history stretches back further in time than the site’s present use as a school. A military hospital during the Crimean War, Fort Pitt was also Florence Nightingale’s first teaching hospital, and Queen Victoria visited three times over the course of her reign. The site and school continue to be of national historical significance. The school’s “West Wing” is a listed building, with some of the old hospital ward numbers still visible on its walls. It houses a small display of period artefacts, which is open to students and members of the public.
Today Fort Pitt is one of six selective schools located in Medway Local Authority. Accredited by the Prince’s Trust Teaching Institute, it is a Leading Edge school, a National Support School, and an Initial Teacher Training institution. At its last Ofsted inspection (May 2009), Fort Pitt was awarded ‘Outstanding’ status. It took up academy status in November 2010 and subsequently sponsored two schools as the Fort Pitt Grammar School Academy Trust. In September 2015, the Trust merged with The Thomas Aveling School to form FPTA Academies (Fort Pitt Thomas Aveling Academies).
Fort Pitt’s four houses are all named after famous and inspirational women. They are:
Meaden (house colour pink; named after Deborah Meaden, a successful British business woman and BBC ‘Dragon’)
Ryder (house colour red; named after Sue Ryder, a British volunteer and charitable entrepreneur)
Somerville (house colour white; named after Mary Somerville, a Scottish science writer and polymath)
Westwood (house colour blue; named afterVivienne Westwood, a famous British fashion designer)
The houses all compete in a wide range of events, including house arts competitions, sports day, charity events, inter-house quizzes and various academic events.
In addition to the house system, the school community is divided into forty ‘vertical’ tutor groups (ten for each house) comprising students from Years 7-13. There are four form of entry in Years 7-11, and a co-ed sixth form has capacity for 240 students. The school offers an accelerated curriculum in KS3 (Years 7 & 8) and an extended curriculum in KS4 (Years 9-11).
Notable former pupils
Medway Technical School for Girls
- Zandra Rhodes CBE