The Portsmouth Grammar School: Come and see why an education here could help your child achieve their dreams

Pupils at The Portsmouth Grammar School are anything but ‘another brick in the wall’ – individual passions and aspirations are fostered and encouraged, with academic achievement as the bedrock of it all.

David Wickes, headteacher uses the analogy of a dry stone wall, individuals who come together as a whole.

“We talk about them not as bricks but as living stones, sure they are shaped, but all of them are different, they are all unique, but we are at our strongest when we come together,” he says.

Pastoral care, he says, underpins everything that happens at the school, with support and encouragement at every step. And it’s clearly a strategy that works, with impressive results.

Nine out of 10 pupils going on to study at their chosen university and around 10 sixth formers per year being offered places at Oxbridge – in total 71 per cent go on to Russell Group Universities -  there is no wonder the school is proud about its pupils’ academic achievements.

The school has pupils from aged two to 18, which offers a fantastic opportunity for staff to see pupils grow and develop, to help them achieve their full potential, and to get to know each and every child as an individual.

Part of the ethos is looking to the future, and working towards where its pupils want to be at the age of 25 – not at 16 or 18 – and that might mean they go on to further education, or follow other former pupils into high-level graduate apprenticeships with renowned companies, become great sportspeople, renowned musicians, or take to the stage or screen.

A broad curriculum and wide spectrum of co-curricular activities mean pupils can thrive, wherever their passions lie, whether it is on the track or field, from the stage or screen, in the forces or in high finance.

At the last school reunion, which takes place when pupils reach 25, Mr Wickes said 110 out of a possible 120 pupils wanted to come back and catch up with former classmates and teachers to share their successes and their stories.

Beyond the classroom

“If there isn’t a club or society that ignites your passion then we encourage you to start one,” Mr Wickes tells pupils.

Whatever age a child joins the school – and they can join at any stage, including at Sixth Form – they will find a host of activities on offer outside the classroom, from camping to cricket, singing and dancing, astronomy and enterprise.

Former pupils include Olympians, which is not surprising when you learn that it is in the top 10 schools for sport in the country. 

As well as sports, drama, music and outdoor studies there are clubs for all manner of interests such as the medics club for prospective doctors and veterinarians, finance and enterprise clubs, societies for debaters, philosophers and politicians, novelists or photographers, which provide opportunities which are not only enjoyable but challenging and help encourage personal growth.

Outside school hours pupils could take part in Combined Cadet Force training with the Navy, Army and Airforce, which all help develop leadership, resourcefulness, self-discipline and teamwork.

Outdoor club teaches some survival basics with bushcraft and navigation, tent building and campsite cooking skills among the activities.

Visit the school

“Come and visit this wonderful school and meet the pupils who will show you round and tell you just how much they love being here,” says Mr Wickes.

Open mornings are offered all year round for the nursery and primary school and the next one is on Wednesday, March 20. The next senior and sixth form open afternoon is on Thursday, March 21.

To find out more about these events, book a place to visit, or check out other open event dates in April, May and June visit the school’s website here.

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