Torquay Girls' Grammar School

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Torquay Girls' Grammar School
30 Shiphay Lane

, ,

United Kingdom
Coordinates50°28′37″N 3°33′13″W / 50.47703°N 3.55349°W / 50.47703; -3.55349Coordinates: 50°28′37″N 3°33′13″W / 50.47703°N 3.55349°W / 50.47703; -3.55349
TypeGrammar school, Academy
MottoAude Sapere
Dare to be Wise
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Local authorityTorbay
SpecialistHumanities College
Department for Education URN136506 Tables
HeadmasterDr Nicholas Smith MB BS
Age11 to 18
Houses     Beal
Colour(s)Navy and Royal Blue

Torquay Girls' Grammar School is a selective grammar school for girls aged 11–18, in Torquay, Devon, UK. It became one of the first schools to achieve Humanities Specialist School status in September 2004, and is one of the first to offer the AQA Baccalaureate. On 1 February 2011, the school officially gained academy status. It is a member of the South West Academic Trust – a collaboration of seven high-performing grammar schools and Exeter University. The examination results regularly place the school in the top twenty state girls' schools nationally.


The school, which was founded in 1915, settled at its current location in 1939. While the school continues to use its original building, the interiors have been updated and additional buildings have been added, including the Haystacks building (Art, English and Geography) in 1995 and the Roberts building (languages, history, new library/learning resource centre) in 2007. In July 2008, the Cross building was officially opened – the new music and drama block.

The school purchased its own residential study centre in Tregourez, Brittany, in 1990. Pupils in years 7 and 9 stay there during May/June as a form to encourage social interaction and improve their French. This building has since been sold.

The most recent Ofsted inspection was in 2011, with the result being it was found to be 'outstanding in all categories'.

The school motto is 'Aude Sapere', meaning 'dare to be wise'.

Buildings and facilities[edit]

The grounds of the school include:

  • The Main building, commonly called "The Triangle" (Maths, RE, Business studies, Technology, Science, ICT)
  • The Haystacks building (English, Geography, Art)
  • The Roberts building (Languages, specifically French and German, History and a study centre/'Learning Resource Centre')
  • The Cross building (Music and Drama)
  • The Dining Hall (also used for assemblies, performances, meetings etc.)
  • The Sixth form block (Psychology, Media studies, Careers, 6th form common room)
  • Burton Hall (a hall used for Dance and exams and hired out to the community)
  • A Gym building, consisting of a hall used for various purposes.
  • An astroturf area (sand based) used for sport. Can be hired out to the community
  • The Pavilions (changing rooms can be hired out to the community. currently belonging to Torquay Boys' Grammar)
  • Three Netball/Tennis courts
  • Fields, including a large green area between the Girls' school and Boys' school, referred to as 'The Paddock'(Year 8 may go there at lunchtime while year 7 can only go before and after school)

Forms and Houses[edit]

Upon entering the school in year 7, each girl is put into one of five forms and in one of five houses. These forms contain all the girls of that house in that year. This means all girls in e.g. 7B are of Beal house, and in year 7. There are given five such houses and therefore five forms in a year group. Younger sisters are usually put in the same house as older sisters.

The girls stay in these houses. They are taught in these form groups for most subjects in years 7–8,[1] but some other subjects are taught in ability groups (e.g. maths) or in the case of technology, alphabetically, as there is not enough room in the tech rooms for all the form to be taught at the same time.

Each house is named after a past headteacher.

  • Beal (blue)
  • Jackson (green)
  • Robertson (red)
  • Wilkinson (yellow)
  • Cross (white)

Sixth form[edit]

The two Lower Sixth forms used to share the Lower Sixth common room in Shiphay Manor, owned by the Boys' Grammar, while the two Upper Sixths share the Upper Sixth common room in the Sixth Form (formerly 'E') Block of the Boys' Grammar.

Now two new buildings, a new Sixth Form block, and a new music and drama suite, have been finished and the sixth form have lessons in their new block. There are still two common rooms, one in the Girls' school and one in the neighbouring Boys' school.

The Sixth Form have lessons in the purpose-built Sixth-Form block, in the main school (e.g. Chemistry in the science labs) and some lessons are shared with the neighbouring Torquay Boys' Grammar School allowing students to benefit from each school's specialities, when they have facilities that are not offered in the Girls' school (e.g. A-level music).

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Torquay Girls' Grammar School website[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]