High School for Girls, Gloucester

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The High School for Girls
Established 1883
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher Ewa Sawicka
Location Gloucester
Coordinates: 51°52′22″N 2°14′12″W / 51.872778°N 2.236667°W / 51.872778; -2.236667
DfE URN 136666 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 75
Students 829
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Houses Barwell, Bearland, Hartland, Kyneburga, Mynd
Colours Blue, Red, Green
Website Hsfg.org

The High School for Girls is a girls grammar school with academy status on Denmark Road, Gloucester. It has a mixed sixth form and is one of only three girls' grammar schools in Gloucestershire, and consistently ranks in league tables as one of the best schools in England,[1][2][3] and one of the Top 50 Selective Schools in the UK.[4]


As a grammar school, the school has a selective admissions procedure. Girls must achieve an exceptionally high mark in the 11+ exam for admission to the Lower School, or be expected to do well at GCSE to be admitted to the Sixth Form. Boys and girls from other schools may attend in the Sixth Form, after an interview process and proof of academic prowess after GCSE result publication.

Students attend from all around the county, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Swindon, Cirencester and the Forest of Dean being the most prominent areas.

Exam results[edit]

The school consistently achieves among the best GCSE and A-level results in the country, with 99.2% of girls passing 5 A*-C grades at GCSE in 2010, 70.3% of all grades being A*/A. At A-level, the pass rate was 99.5% with 73.1% of all grades being A/B, and the average points score per candidate was 435.3 using the UCAS tariff.[5] Ninety-eight percent of pupils continue to university, with a substantial proportion attending Top 10 Institutions, several each year to Oxford and Cambridge University. Such academic excellence consequently leads to the school being oversubscribed each year.

School site[edit]

The current site of the school at Denmark Road is not the original; the school relocated to the present location some 26 years after it was first established in Bearland House, closer to the city centre. In January 2009, the school celebrated its 100th anniversary at the site in Denmark Road.


There are five Houses, which girls are allocated to when they join the school. It is possible to indicate a preference for a House if a family member currently attends or has attended the school. These are: Mynd - (blue); Barwell (green); Bearland (red); Hartland (yellow) and Kyneburga (white). The names come from various parts of the schools history, for example an old school headmistress or the site the school used to be located. Kyneburga is the patron saint of Gloucester; Mynd was the first home of the school from 1883 to 1904; Barwell was the first headmistress on the Denmark Road site; Bearland was the home of the school from 1904 to 1908 and Heartland was the first chair of the governors at the school.[6]

The Houses compete in various sports throughout the year, such as dance, tennis, athletics and netball. These competitions are usually split into events for upper and lower years. Sports Day normally occurs at some point after the Easter holidays and sees all years competing to hopefully win the trophy.

There are several other events during the year in which Houses compete which are not sports related, notably House Music, a day set aside for the Houses to compete in a music event, involving a choir incorporating the entire House, and House Drama, another day that promotes theatre throughout the school. The difference between these events is that House Music is compulsory for all students in all Houses, but House Drama is not because, as with most dramatics, auditions are held. House Drama and House Music happen in alternate years. House dance also takes place although participation is also not compulsary.

Links with other schools[edit]

It entertains a strong link with the local boys' grammar, Sir Thomas Rich's School. The two schools provide discos for the younger pupils (Years 7 and 8), and Bennet's and Marchant's school buses are shared due to the schools being within close proximity of each other,[7] and this promotion of communication leads to close friendship between High School girls and 'Tommies' boys. When Student Exchanges take place with other countries, Denmark Road partners with Tommies due to there being a need for both genders to take place in the swap. In the Sixth Form, many girls choose to attend the boys' school, and vice versa, as a result of the differing academic strengths of each school.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Hayley Palmer – Swimmer for the New Zealand national team (2003–2007)

Wallis Day – Actress who has appeared in Hollyoaks and Jekyll and Hyde[citation needed]

Hsfg front.png


  1. ^ "Secondary School League Tables: The Top 50 Grammar Schools at A-level* - Education News - Education". The Independent. 2006-01-19. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived May 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20091011080239/http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/alevels-top-grammar-schools-747332.html. Archived from the original on October 11, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "The Top 50 Selective Schools at A-level - School Tables - Education". The Independent. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 
  5. ^ [2] Archived September 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "House System". High School for Girls. Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  7. ^ [3]