Townley Grammar School

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Townley Grammar School
Townley Grammar School.png
Established 1937
Type Grammar School;
Headteacher Desmond Deehan (2009-present)
Location Townley Road,
Greater London
51°27′01″N 0°08′23″E / 51.4502°N 0.1398°E / 51.4502; 0.1398Coordinates: 51°27′01″N 0°08′23″E / 51.4502°N 0.1398°E / 51.4502; 0.1398
DfE number 303/4001
DfE URN 137769 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students c. 1,400
Gender Girls, boys in sixth form
Ages 11–18
Houses Demeter, Aphrodite, Persephone, Hestia, Athene, Hera, Artemis

Townley Grammar School, normally referred to locally as Townley is a grammar school with academy status for girls on Townley Road, Bexleyheath, in the London Borough of Bexley, England. It was previously known as Bexley Technical High School for Girls, and then Townley Grammar School For Girls to present day. The school consists of Years 7-11, single sex (girls), and a female and male sixth form.


The Sixth Form returns excellent exam results; in excess of 98% of students enter higher education at 18, and the school regularly appears in the Sunday Times Good Schools Guide.

In 2008 the school had 4 students going onto courses of study (including Medicine) at Oxbridge, the highest number for a state school in Bexley.[1]

At GCSE, students perform well, consistently achieving a 100% pass rate.[2] In order to be admitted to the school, students must pass the eleven-plus test in order to gain entry to year 7.


Girls are mainly taught in their tutor groups for the first two years (Years 7 and 8). These form groups are further divided for practical subjects, such as Home Economics, Music, Design Technology, I.C.T and Art.

In Years 8, 9, 10 and 11, pupils are grouped into streams according to their learning rate in certain subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Modern Language.

In Year 7, girls now do two languages, French and German or Spanish and German in their tutor groups. From 2017 though, year 7 students started to learn Latin as another language beside Spanish and German or French and German.


The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum.

In Year 7, two languages are offered from French/Italian or German/Spanish. French, Spanish and German are offered in the Sixth Form as well as Russian, but sadly Italian has been cut due to lack of government funding.

The school was awarded Specialist Status for the performing and visual arts in September 2004. The school converted to academy status in 2012, but continues to specialise in performing and visual arts as well as maths and computing.

All girls take eleven GCSEs. However, certain exceptional students can be entered early for subjects such as Art, Mathematics or Modern Foreign Languages if they have a special aptitude for the subject.

Mandarin is also part of the extracurricular programme.

Townley has a large mixed sixth form; students choose from some thirty five Advanced Level (AS and A2) courses. The opportunity exists both to follow up subjects taken at GCSE and to select new courses such as Government and Politics, Fine Art, Economics and Classical Civilisation.

Homework is set every evening during term time.


The school is constructed on a 17-acre (69,000 m2) site and has sporting facilities. A new building was completed in 2006 which provides a theatre, recording studio, a large Sports Hall, five additional science laboratories, and a further ICT suite.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Ofsted observed that the School's extra-curricular activities covered “an impressively wide range” and demonstrated "high standards of achievement". Clubs and societies include a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme group, DT Clubs, Drama Clubs, Dance Clubs, Environment group, Christian Union, Science Societies, a Computer Club, a Young Enterprise Group, a Debating Society, a Food Club, a Textiles Club, and a Homework Club. There are school teams for netball, cricket, hockey, swimming, athletics, tennis, rounders, volleyball and football. The UK's under-17 weightlifting champion used to attend Townley.

The School has a long tradition for excellence in the Arts and was recently awarded the Gold Arts Mark. The school has three choirs, two orchestras, a concert band, string and woodwind ensembles. Performances are given at termly concerts, musical productions and formal school assemblies.

Full-scale music, drama and dance productions have included Scarlatti's Stabat Mater, Benjamin Britten's Missa Brevis, Holst's Ave Maria, Dido and Aeneas, Vivaldi's Gloria, Oklahoma!, Sweet Charity, The Visit, Cabaret, 42nd Street, Rainbow's Ending, The Boy Friend, Cats, The Sound of Music, Bugsy Malone, Tales Untold, Jesus Christ Superstar Variations, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oliver! and most recently Hairspray as well as more informal performance evenings.

The annual Art Exhibitions show off work done by examination candidates in Years 11, 12 and 13.

There are field trips, visits to industrial organisations, to the theatre, to conferences, museums, art galleries and universities. Townley works with Rose Bruford College, Trinity College of Music, Laban, The Royal Ballet and Tate Modern.

Trips abroad organised by the school have included visits to Normandy, San Francisco, Paris, Florence, Venice, Verona, Germany, Spain and India. Regular exchanges take place with The Shri Ram School in Delhi, India and the Franz Stock Gymnasium in Arnsberg, Germany. Adventure holidays for the lower school take place in the UK. The school has developed an innovative trip to Silicon Valley, San Francisco.

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Baroness Valerie Amos (1954-), Labour politician and diplomat, British High Commissioner to Australia. Member of Tony Blair's cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She was also the school's first black Deputy Head Girl.[3][4]
  • Zoe Smith, Olympic weightlifter, Commonwealth champion, finished at Townley in 2012[3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Bumper Year for A Level Results", [The News Shopper], 2008-08-16. Retrieved on 2009-03-11.
  2. ^ "More Pupils Making GCSE Grade", The News Shopper, 2006-08-29. Retrieved on 2009-03-11.
  3. ^ a b "Townley alumni". Townley Grammar School. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Ali, Aftab (29 June 2015). "UK gains its first-ever female black university leader". The Independent. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 

External links[edit]