High School for Girls, Gloucester

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High School for Girls
Denmark Road

Coordinates51°52′22″N 2°14′12″W / 51.872778°N 2.236667°W / 51.872778; -2.236667Coordinates: 51°52′22″N 2°14′12″W / 51.872778°N 2.236667°W / 51.872778; -2.236667
TypeGrammar school;
MottoNon Nobis Domine
Department for Education URN136666 Tables
Head teacherClaire Giblin
GenderGirls Year 7-11, Girls and Boys Sixth Form
Age11 to 18
HousesBarwell, Bearland, Hartland, Kyneburga, Mynd
Colour(s)Green, Red, Yellow, White, Blue

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. It 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 standard in the 11+ exam for admission to the main school, or be expected to do well at GCSE to be admitted to the Sixth Form. Boys and girls from other schools may attend the High School Sixth Form if they meet the entrance criteria.

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

Exam results[edit]

The school consistently achieves amongst the best GCSE and A Level results in the country, with 99.2% of girls passing 5 A*-C grades at GCSE in 2016, 71.2% of all grades being A*/A. At A Level, the pass rate was 99.6% with 76.8% of all grades being A*/B and A*-C 93.2%. 98% percent of students continue to university.

School site[edit]

The School was originally established in Mynd House, closer to the City Centre but relocated to Denmark Road in 1909. In January 2009, the school celebrated its 100th anniversary at the site in Denmark Road.


There are five Houses, which girls are allocated when they join the school. These are: Mynd (blue); Barwell (green); Bearland (red); Hartland (yellow) and Kyneburga (white). The names come from various parts of the school's history, for example a former school headmistress or the site of where 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 Hartland was the first chair of the governors at the school.[5] From September 2016 each form in Year 7 will form a House.

The Houses compete in various sports throughout the year, such as athletics, dance, tennis and netball. These competitions are usually split into events for upper and lower years. Sports Day normally occurs at some point in the Summer 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 compulsory. In 2016-17 several other events have been added during the academic year such as Chess, Biology Challenge and Languages to name but a few.

Links with other schools[edit]

The High School for Girls has a good link with the local boys' grammar, Sir Thomas Rich's School. The two schools provide discos for the younger students (Years 7 and 8), and Bennett's and Marchant's school buses are shared due to the schools being within close proximity of each other,[6] This leads to close friendships between High School girls and 'Tommies' boys. When student exchanges take place with other countries, students from both schools take part in the exchanges.

Notable former students[edit]

  • Monica Sims OBE - Head of Children's Programmes BBC Television, Controller of BBC Radio 4. Director of Children's Film Foundation. Writer of report - Women in BBC Management.
  • Joanna Carr - Head of Current Affairs at the BBC, Formerly editor of PM, iPM and Broadcasting House on Radio 4.[7]
  • Dr Rachel James MD, BSc, FRCP - Consultant Cardiologist - Sussex Cardia Centre.
  • Sir Robin Day - British political broadcaster and commentator.
  • Lowri Amies - Actor and playwright - 'Words, Words, Words'.[8]
  • Denise Riley - English poet and philosopher, Lecturer at University of East Anglia
  • Susan Sallis - bestselling author of contemporary romance, teenage fiction and family sagas, all dealing with love.[9]
  • Hayley Palmer - Swimmer for the New Zealand national team (2003–2007)


  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. ^ "A-levels: Top grammar schools - Education News, Education - The Independent". Archived from the original on October 11, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "The Top 50 Selective Schools at A-level - School Tables - Education". The Independent. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2015-02-17.
  5. ^ "House System". High School for Girls. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/joanna-carr-named-bbc-head-of-current-affairs/5103566.article
  8. ^ http://www.lowriamies.com/
  9. ^ http://www.webbiography.com/biographies/susan-sallis