Tonbridge Grammar School
|Motto||Courage and Honour|
|DfE URN||136417 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
(Coeducational sixth form)
Pantone 349 C,|
Pantone 1807 C, and
Pantone 117 C
Tonbridge Grammar School is a state grammar school in Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom. The school was established in 1905 at the Technical Institute in Avebury Avenue Tonbridge, having only 19 enrolled students. Today, the school is situated in the South of Tonbridge, where there are approximately 1050 students ranging from 11 to 18 years.
Previously known as Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls, but with the introduction of boys in the sixth form in 2002, the school changed its name. Tonbridge Grammar School has served 14 years as an International Baccalaureate World School, and of 2014 was announced as best International Baccalaureate state school in the United Kingdom for the sixth consecutive year.
Early years: 1905-1913
Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls opened on 24 January 1905 in the Technical Institute in Avebury Avenue Tonbridge with just 19 girls as pupils on the top floor of Tonbridge Library. The headmistress and only teacher was Miss Taylor who introduced the school motto, Courage and Honour. The school moved to its current site in Deakin Leas in 1913, after Tonbridge Library became too small to accommodate the growing numbers.
Middle years: 1919-1974
The Education Act of 1944 made the County School into the County Grammar School for Girls for pupils who passed the new Eleven Plus exam. Later, in 1957, the school hall, science block, gymnasium, Head teacher’s office and school office were added. In 1963, the school swimming pool was opened and later in 1967, the library wing and music blocks were built.
In 1974, the Hillview annexe was built, and was later named after former head mistress Miss Mitchener; The Mitchener Hall.
In the year 2000, the Matthews Centre, more commonly known as the "Tech block" was dedicated to the memory of Gary Matthews, Vice Chair of Governors 1993 to 1999. In 2007 and 2008 an ambitious fundraising campaign financed a brand new school building that replaced many temporary buildings on the campus and that financed the redevelopment the original School on the Hilltop. The Hands Building opened in late 2009.
2015 saw the addition of a new Sixth Form block in the place of the swimming pool and changing facilities, with the increased intake of pupils in the Sixth Form. It brought additional facilities and a modern design which earned it its name, the IBarn.
The school has achieved high results in both International Baccalaureate and GCSE exams, ranking usually within the top state schools in the county. The local boys equivalent school, The Judd School similarly achieves good A-Level and GCSE results, making the pair the most high-achieving schools in south-west Kent. TGS has the Maths & Computing Specialist Status and Languages Specialist Status, as well as being a Leading Edge School. TGS also has local rivalry with fellow girl's grammar, Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School (TWGGS). The two schools compete officially and unofficially in sports and academic achievements alike.
As of 2012, the school has been running exclusively International Baccalaureate Diploma curriculum for Sixth Form students. Tonbridge Grammar School has been the top International Baccalaureate state school in the UK 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2014 the Sunday Times named Tonbridge Grammar School, State Secondary School of the Year and International Baccalaureate (IB) School of the Year.
Structure of Year Groups 7
Year 7 has a total of 180 students. It is split into the six houses (as is the rest of the school), these are then divided into A1, A2, F1, F2, C1, C2, M1, M2, D1, D2, T1 and T2 (this applies to Year 8s but does not apply to the rest of the school). Each of these groups have 15 Year 8s and 15 Year 7s (30 total) and are called 'Learning Communities', though they are not the group of students you actually have lessons with. For lessons Year 7 are split into things called 'z' groups (eg 7z, 7z4). There are 6 'z' groups in each year each containing 30 students. They are split like this: 7z1, 7z2 & 7z3- 5 students from F1, F2, T1, T2, A1 & A2- 7z4, 7z5 & 7z6- 5 students from C1, C2, M1, M2, D1, & D2.
Notable former pupils
- Sharon Grant (née Lawrence), Chairman of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health since 2003, and former wife of the Labour MP Bernie Grant
- Victoria Hislop, author
- Angie Sage, author, Septimus Heap series
- Margaret Sharp, Baroness Sharp of Guildford (née Hailstone), former SDP politician
- Rebecca Stephens, MBE, first British woman to climb Everest and the Seven Summits.
- Lynn Wallis OBE Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance since 1994.
- Andrea Leadsom, Member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire since 2010, Minister of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change since 2015, formerly Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
- "School History". Tonbridge Grammar School. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "IB World Schools". IBO. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Tonbridge Grammar School comes out top in two of the Sunday Times school awards". The Courier. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
- "History of Tonbridge Grammar School". Tonbridge Grammar School. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Climber to retell stories". Kent and Sussex Courier. Local World. This is Kent. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Lynn Wallis receives an OBE". Royal Academy of Dance. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of the RAD, was appointed an OBE for services to dance
- Smith, Lydia. "Andrea Leadsom". Andrea Leadsom Conservatives. Politics Web. Retrieved 25 August 2015.