Poole Grammar School

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Poole Grammar School
Motto Finis Opus Coronat
Established 1904
Type Academy grammar school
Head Master Andy Baker
Location Gravel Hill
BH17 9JU
Coordinates: 50°45′16″N 1°58′49″W / 50.7544°N 1.9803°W / 50.7544; -1.9803
DfE URN 136850 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 100 (approx.)
Students 1200 (approx.)
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18

Forest Green & Golden

Former pupils Old Grammarians
Website www.poolegrammar.com

Poole Grammar School (commonly abbreviated to PGS) is a selective, all boys grammar school and academy in the coastal town of Poole in Dorset, on the south coast of England. It is a member of the South West Academic Trust (SWAT) and is also an additional member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.The school is a mathematics and computing school and is sponsored by the Specialist Schools Trust to engage the local and international community with its work. An additional specialism is Cognition.

It is situated in the north of Poole, on the A349 (known locally as Gravel Hill)


The school has 1200 male students from the surrounding area aged 11 to 18. To gain acceptance to the school, students must sit and pass four exams testing mathematics, English Comprehension, verbal, and non-verbal reasoning. [1]

Excellence in the fields of sport or arts is not grounds for special admission, however many of its pupils compete at county, national and international level, or go on to study at film schools, conservatories and art houses.[1]


The school moved to its current site between Broadstone and Canford Heath on the A349 (Gravel Hill) on 11 October 1966. It was originally situated in Seldown, in the centre of Poole, where it was founded in 1904. [1] (The site is now home to the Dolphin Swimming Pool.)[2]

Former teachers[edit]

Parkstone Grammar[edit]

Originally Poole Grammar was the only grammar school in Poole. This quickly filled up so Parkstone Grammar School was opened. At first, both schools took boys and girls, but this was changed by Poole Council who sent boys to Poole Grammar and girls to Parkstone Grammar. This started the separation of boys and girls which is still in effect today.[1] The two grammar schools have very close links as they are only approximately 1,000 metres apart. They share certain activities such as school discos and sixth form Spanish and German lessons.


Poole Grammar has differing uniform policies in the lower and upper school. Lower school students (seven and years eight) are expected to wear a green blazer with the option of a jumper, grey or black trousers and a white shirt, plus a tie without stripes. The upper school students (year nine, years ten and eleven) wear a green jumper with a blazer, unless year eleven, and a tie with stripes. S[3]

Once entering the sixth form, students may wear their own choice of clothing, though this must still include a shirt and tie, smart trousers and either brown or black shoes.[3]

For sport, the boys are required to wear a white T-shirt, the school's green rugby shirt, black shorts and bottle green football socks. When attending science classes the boys are expected to wear a white lab coat.[3]

The prefect system[edit]

Once in the upper sixth form, boys may nominate themselves to become a prefect. Prefect candidates are voted for by the council of teachers and must have an outstanding academic, sporting and behavioural history. The head prefect is the head boy and has two deputies. The prefects have their own lounge which only they are allowed to enter and may decorate as they see fit.

The prefects do not have to wear a special uniform, however they are given a blue version of the school's tie which they are encouraged to wear. Prefects attend parents evenings and represent the school on many routine occasions.

Year eleven prefects, known as "main school leaders" were introduced in 2009. Candidates are elected by the head of year eleven. Main school leaders are awarded a blue enamel badge which identifies them.



Sport is a major part of life at Poole Grammar, which has only had four heads of sport and physical education since the school was founded. The school owns large playing fields adjacent to the main buildings. They are used as football and rugby pitches, with two overlapping cricket fields and as a running track during the summer. Pupils also play sports on the school playground. The two large gyms provide changing facilities, a climbing wall, indoor volleyball courts and a weights and fitness training room. The school boasts 4 astroturf tennis courts installed in 2008 with a further 2 concrete courts on the playground used during the summer term.[1]

The students partake in many sports throughout the year from football to tennis. During the winter term, students participate in rugby during their games lessons. During the spring term the students play football. In the summer term students play a variety of games including cricket, tennis and softball. Most of these sports contain an inter-form tournament towards the end of the term. Pupils competing in cross country running train on Canford Heath during lunch hour. An entire class or even year group may also be taken for a run on the heath as part of regular school training.[1]

Information communication technology and computing[edit]

In years seven and eight, boys learn the basics of word processing, spreadsheet software, web design and simple programming. In year nine they take a GCSE ICT Short Course which incorporates the skills learnt over previous years.

In years ten and eleven all boys take the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) courses in Word and Excel so that they all have a professional computing qualification. A-Level ICT is no longer offered in years 10 and 11; students can take computer science, which focuses on programming, instead. In years 12 and 13 (sixth form), computing is offered as an A Level.

As well as computing, students in years 12 and 13 have the chance to take the Cisco CCNA course. This is taught after school in the autumn and spring terms, by staff members that have previously taken the course, and completed it to a high enough standard to teach the modules. Around 12 students each year are selected to take the course.

Music, art and drama[edit]

Art and drama are taught in a separate wing of the school with two large art studios, three practice rooms and a fully functioning theatre. The school puts on a play once a year in conjunction with Parkstone Grammar School and opens its art studios once a term for viewings.


All students learn French from their first year and choose between German and Spanish from their second year. The school has had success in teaching modern languages with work and cultural exchanges to the continent. A higher than average percentage of pupils leave Poole Grammar to study languages at university level.

Alongside these core languages students also have the opportunity to take other classical and modern languages in their spare time under the supervision of a teacher. Latin, Classical Greek, Italian, Modern Hebrew and Japanese have also been studied at the school. The school uses language labs, video and music technology and art to enhance the students' learning experience.


Students must study geography and history from their first year until their third. After this students may take these subjects for GCSE. Poole Grammar has geography and geology departments housed in a modern extension to the school. School trips include the Jurassic Coast, the Old Town of Poole and Wimborne Minster. The history department has recently been refreshed with younger teachers due to the retirement of older academics, who had served at the school for many years. Simon Powell, the northern machine, is currently and will for the foreseeable future be head of history.

Religion and philosophy[edit]

Through years seven, eight and nine, all pupils learn religion and philosophy and in years ten and eleven they take a GCSE in religious studies. The Religion and Philosophy department has been home to a variety of teachers including Thomas Clough Daffern. The current head of department is James Randall.

Year Seven entry[edit]

The school has accepted pupils from the age of 11 (year seven) since 2013 after a large-scale change to the structure of schooling in Poole. Large-scale construction work west of the main entrance between 2006 and 2009 added the Ashley Thorne Building, a three-storey wing housing 4 new classrooms, a new music department and a fully equipped drama studio which often hosts productions. Other smaller adjustments have been made around the school to help group subject lessons into rooms closer to each other. The location of the new buildings was chosen to prevent the reduction in the size of the school's playing fields, although a new food technology block has been built where the athletics area used to be. A new rubber-surfaced pitch has also been built within this area, as well as new set of long-jumping pits.[1]

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON POOLE GRAMMAR SCHOOL" (PDF). Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "NEWS Work on new park at Poole's Dolphin Swimming Pool due to start". 1 September 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2015.  line feed character in |title= at position 5 (help)
  3. ^ a b c "Dress Code". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

External links[edit]