Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys

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Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys
TWGSB Crest.png
Motto Faber est quisque suæ fortunæ
("Every man is the maker of his own fortune")
Established 1956
Type Grammar school
Headmaster John Harrison
Chair of Governors Beverly Lawrence
Location St John's Road
Tunbridge Wells
Coordinates: 51°09′N 0°16′E / 51.15°N 0.26°E / 51.15; 0.26
Local authority Kent
DfE number 886/4045
DfE URN 118790 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,194
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses 6
Colours Maroon and Gold
Publication Eclectics
Website www.twgsb.org.uk

Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, also known as Tunbridge Wells Boys' Grammar School, TWGSB or "Tech", is a community grammar school located in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.

Originally founded as a technical school in 1956, TWGSB became a grammar school in 1982. It is a state school, and one of the largest of the remaining grammar schools in England.[1]

The school has over 1,200 pupils ranging from 11 to 18 years of age, and more than 100 staff members. Entrance is selective, with pupils falling within the top thirty per cent band of ability upon entrance.[1] Prospective students are required to take the 11-plus in order to gain a place.

The current headmaster, John Harrison, started in September 2006 proceeding Derek Barnard.[1]

Academic standards[edit]

The school offers a broad range of subjects right through to A2-level. Seventy five to eighty five per cent of pupils remain at the school and study A-levels after taking GCSEs.[2]

In recent years, the school has begun to form links with the neighbouring grammar schools in Tunbridge Wells. In the Sixth Form, students from The Skinners' School and Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School are able to attend lessons in a subject at the school should timetable clashes occur at their own school. The same happens in reverse with respect of TWGSB's students.

TWGSB became a Humanities College in September 2007.[2] This meant that the school received additional funding from central government for three different areas:

  • A one-off amount to support a Capital Project.
  • Additional recurring funding based on the number of pupils to support in school developments.
  • Additional recurring funding based on the number of pupils to support community developments.

Following their inspection on 30 April – 1 May 2008, Ofsted rated the school's overall effectiveness as Good, Grade 2 on a four-point scale. The effectiveness of the sixth form was also rated as Good. In their report Ofsted said "This is a good and improving school; it is well led and provides students with good standards of education, guidance and care. ... Students make good progress from their starting points to achieve high standards. ... Teaching is good overall and sometimes outstanding. ... but there is more work to do in developing a common approach so that best practice is shared in a systematic way. ... an effective and hard-working senior leadership team ... There is variation in the quality of leadership at some levels; this is evident in the unevenness of students' performance across subjects, particularly at Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form."[3]

PEACE Programme[edit]

PEACE stands for Programme for Educational and Cultural Exchange. TWGSB has thus built links with a school in India, Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir school in Kerala, and offers three-week student exchanges between the schools.[4] As of 2013 this programme has been discontinued, with Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School (the neighbouring school they originally did the programme with) opting to continue it with The Judd School in Tonbridge instead.[5]

School identity[edit]

The school's Latin motto, "Faber est quisque suæ fortunæ", means "Every man is the maker of his own fortune". The school has a strict uniform policy, which involves the use of a "uniform and conduct card". Students are required to have this card with them at all times. However this is mainly prevalent in the lower years, from Year 9 onwards rarely being used by teachers or students. Every time the student violates the code of conduct, the card is signed by a member of staff (or sixth form). In theory failure to produce the card results in an immediate after-school detention, but this very rarely happens, with teachers tending to be lenient if the student is not a repeat offender. The official school hymn, Jerusalem, was traditionally sung on the afternoons of the individual year group award ceremonies but this practice has been rarely observed since 2006 (when John Harrison became headteacher).

A house system was established from September 2007:

  • Red: Kestrels
  • Orange: Ospreys
  • Yellow: Hawks
  • Green: Merlins
  • Blue: Eagles
  • Purple: Falcons

These houses compete throughout the year in sport and academic competitions, especially on Sports Day. House points are usually awarded to the winning House in these events and are also given out for good work within classes. The Houses compete for the House Cup (awarded to the House with the highest number of House Points) and the Sports Cup (awarded to the House who wins Sports Day).

The school makes use of a prefect system, whereby responsibilities are given to the upper school to keep the school's rules of conduct in effect.


The school has the following main buildings:

  • The Main Building
  • The "Barnard" Centre (or Music & Drama and History & Religion and Philosophy Block)
  • The "Bates" Complex (or Mathematics & English Block)
  • The Art & Design Building
  • The Sixth-Form Block
  • The "New Block", or "Blue Block" (Business Studies, Economics, Psychology & Physical Education)
  • The "New" Hall
  • The "Temporary Block" (used as extra cross-curricular teaching rooms)

The school also has cricket, rugby, football and softball pitches, and use of the adjacent Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre,[6] as well as their own "3G" pitch.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school has a wide range of clubs and societies (including sporting, acting and music related activities). In addition there is a school orchestra (and Jazz Band). They publish the Eclectics Magazine annually. The school runs teams in several sports.[7]

The school also has two student councils: The School Council and The Sixth Form Council. The School council consists mainly of lower school students who meet once a term to organise trips and discuss their views on the school. The Sixth Form Council consists of Year 12 and 13 students. The main aims of the Sixth Form Council are organising social events for the Sixth Form and for the school as a whole.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c A head for new heights, The Guardian, 2 May 2006.
  2. ^ a b http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/8864045/school-profile/
  3. ^ "Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys - Inspection report", Ofsted, 21 May 2008.
  4. ^ "Out of School Education", Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, accessed 4 March 2009.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Sports Centres", Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, accessed 4 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Clubs & Societies", Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, accessed 4 March 2009.
  8. ^ Jonathan Sale (10 November 2005). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Oliver Chris, actor". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "List of former Kent Schools' F.A. players". Kent Schools' F.A. Official Website. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Nicholas Brown - Parliamentary candidates". Ukpolitics.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 

External links[edit]