Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys

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Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys
TWGSB Crest.png
St John's Road

, ,

Coordinates 51°09′N 0°16′E / 51.15°N 0.26°E / 51.15; 0.26Coordinates: 51°09′N 0°16′E / 51.15°N 0.26°E / 51.15; 0.26
Type Grammar school
Motto Faber est quisque suæ fortunæ
("Every man is the maker of his own fortune")
Established 1956
Local authority Kent
Department for Education URN 118790 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Chair of Governors Dr Philip Drew
Headteacher Amanda Simpson
Gender Boys only from years 7–11. Boys and girls in the Sixth form
Age 11 to 18
Enrolment 1,194
Houses 6
Colour(s) Maroon and gold
Publication Eclectics

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.

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 to gain a place.

Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys has a mixed sixth form. A minimum of 48 points across all GCSE's and a 5 in English Language and Maths is required and although priority for places is given to TWGSB students, the school welcomes applications from both boys and girls from other schools.

Headteacher, John Harrison retired in December 2016 after 10 years at the helm. Simon Marsh became acting headteacher and was followed as headteacher by the appointment of Amanda Simpson.[2]

Academic standards

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.[3]

TWGSB became a Humanities College in September 2007.[3] 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."[4]

School identity

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,[5] as well as their own "3G" pitch. The 3G Pitch is listed on the IRB website as a Regulation 22 Compliant Pitch. Also, the 3G Pitch has been tested and now appears on The FA Register r, therefore it can be used for match play in all competitions outside the National League System.

Extracurricular activities

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.[6]

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

See also


  1. ^ a b A head for new heights, The Guardian, 2 May 2006.
  2. ^ Desk, The News. "Historic appointment at boys' grammar school – Times of Tunbridge Wells". timesoftunbridgewells.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/8864045/school-profile/
  4. ^ "Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys – Inspection report", Ofsted, 21 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Sports Centres" Archived 20 October 2011 at the UK Government Web Archive, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, accessed 4 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Clubs & Societies", Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, accessed 4 March 2009.
  7. ^ Jonathan Sale (10 November 2005). "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Oliver Chris, actor". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  8. ^ "List of former Kent Schools' F.A. players". Kent Schools' F.A. Official Website. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Nicholas Brown – Parliamentary candidates". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.

External links

  • Official website
  • Alumni
  • Ofsted site
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