4 of High Wycombe's Grammar Schools Compared

Every parent wants to help ensure their child gets the best start in life. And a large part of that involves choosing the school that’s right for them and that’s going to help them achieve all of the things you know they’re capable of achieving.


You may have already come to the conclusion that a grammar school is the right type of school for them, or you might be at least considering it as an option. But the big question is which grammar school would offer what you’re looking for.


If those are the questions you’re asking and you want to find a grammar school in the High Wycombe area, there are lots of options to consider. We’re going to take a look today at some of the very best of them. So read on and find out more.


What Are the Advantages of Attending a Grammar School?


As a parent, you no doubt want the very best for your child, and that includes their educational outcomes. For as long as grammar schools have been around, they’ve been associated with high levels of educational achievement and strong outcomes for pupils. So it makes sense if you want to get your child into one of them.


In order to gain entry into a good grammar school, the 11 plus exam has to be passed. It’s this that makes getting into these schools so challenging and so competitive. But it’s a barrier that many parents nonetheless see as worth overcoming. A large part of that is because of the social status that comes with succeeding at a good grammar school.


Getting into these schools isn’t about money or privilege though; it’s all about academic capability. That’s why they’re so great for people from working class families, and all kinds of diverse backgrounds, whose families want to help them climb the social ladder and achieve more than the generations before them.


Children studying at grammar schools are all of a similar level and all have to achieve good grades and pass the entry exam to get there. This allows more challenging classes and the pushing of boundaries that might not be possible at other schools with a broader range of academic capabilities.


Grammar schools allow the children who study there to go onto some of the top universities and to enter some of the most desirable jobs and industries in the world. That’s another reason why so many parents are so keen to help their children get into top grammar schools.


With all of that in mind, we’re now going to take a closer look at four of the very best grammar schools in the High Wycombe area. The information you’ll find below will help you decide which of them might be best for your child.


John Hampden Grammar School


John Hampden Grammar School is a boys’ school with a commitment to helping the pupils who enroll there develop into outstanding young men. They encourage their students to be more and to think big, helping to set them up for future studies and the careers they'll eventually enter.


One of the things that makes John Hampden Grammar School stand out from the crowd is the innovative approach to teaching and learning that the school takes. They adopt a forward thinking attitude and have been unafraid to make the most of new technologies and how they can enhance the learning experiences of students.


The school has been around for more than 125 years, and the reputation of the school has never been in doubt. The school has always prided itself on offering an educational experience that expects the best from its students and that teaches them resilience, independence and ambition.


Ofsted


The most recent inspection carried out by Ofsted found John Hampden Grammar School to be excellent. Here are some of the remarks made by the Ofsted inspectors in their report on the school:


“The school achieves this through outstanding leadership and management, with a strong team of senior and middle leaders. They are highly committed to ensuring continuing improvement and development within the school, so that every boy achieves well not only academically, but also through sports, arts and in their personal lives.”


“The school provides an outstanding caring and supportive environment in which students can flourish as both individuals and as part of the community.”


“The school has a good and accurate understanding of the quality of teaching across the school. Teachers have high expectations of their students and the best teaching offers a good level of challenge to stretch the boys to achieve as much as they can. There is a strong focus on enabling students to take responsibility for their learning and to work independently, especially in the sixth form.”


“Students' personal development is outstanding. The school offers a superb range of opportunities for students to take on additional learning opportunities and responsibilities, which help to develop personal and social skills and their ability to work with others, in a harmonious culture of mutual respect. The boys are confident and articulate, behave very well and are courteous in their dealings with others.”


Simple Stats


Here are some of the basic figures and statistics you need to know about John Hampden Grammar School:


  • Number of pupils: 1081
  • Number of boys: 1081
  • Number of girls: 0
  • Age range: 11 - 18 years old
  • Gender: boys
  • School type: Academy converter


Facilities


As you might expect, the facilities on offer at John Hampden Grammar School are among the best in the area. They have fully kitted out science labs and some of the best sporting facilities you can find in High Wycombe. They even rent out some of their facilities to other clubs and organisations to use.


The school is clearly set up to help each and every pupil find real success, and the facilities aid them in doing that each and every day. You can see that real thought and care has gone into creating the right learning environments, as well as maintaining them throughout the school year.


The Results


The GCSE and A Level results of pupils at John Hampden Grammar School remain consistently strong. More than 84% of all A Level results were at grade C and above, with 64.7% coming in at B and above, 30.6% at A or A* and 8.3% achieving A*.


In terms of GCSE outcomes, 80.4% of results were between grades 9 and 6, with nearly 60% falling between 9 and 7, 36.4% achieving grades 9 or 8 and more than 70% of pupils achieving an average of 8 or higher. This goes to show how strong exam performance is at the school.


Destinations


88% of students leaving John Hampden Grammar School at the end of their time there go on to study a degree at university. Of these, 3% enter the elite universities of Oxford and Cambridge, while 45% go to Russell Group Universities and 63% enter top third universities.


For many parents, the motivation for sending their child to a good grammar school is to give them the best possible chance of entering a top university later on. It’s clear that attending John Hampden Grammar School certainly makes that more likely compared to the national and local averages.


Final Say


It’s clear that John Hampden Grammar school has a lot to offer its students, and it’s not hard to see why so many parents are drawn to it and what it has to offer. The approach the school takes makes it ideal for pupils who have high ambitions and who want to attend top universities later on.


The school’s facilities and its track record for achieving impressive exam results can’t be denied, and the overall approach to education is inquisitive and open-minded. The school goes the extra mile to create learning environments in which big questions can be explored and ideas can be debated openly between pupils and teachers alike.


The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe


The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe is a selective day and boarding school for boys. The school is known for its very impressive sixth form, and is one of the best schools out there for helping students reach some of the country’s top universities when they leave.


They place a focus on offering what they call an all-round education. That means they focus on developing a range of skills that go above and beyond the academic. They also pride themselves on offering the very best education to a range of gifted pupils who come to the school regardless of their background.


They combine the traditions that have long been important to the school with the most modern and up to date approaches to learning, creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to individual development. The sports facilities and the focus on sport is another big advantage the school can boast about too.


Ofsted


Ofsted’s most recent inspection of The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe was carried out in 2019 and found the overall effectiveness of the school to be good with outstanding characteristics in many departments. Here are some of the remarks made in the report:


“Pupils benefit hugely from the exceptional, co-curricular extra experiences provided. They broaden their horizons, nurture their talents and strengthen their leadership skills”


“Pupils try hard, engaging fully with their learning. This is because leaders have high expectations of pupils’ commitment to the school’s values. Pupils relish the topics they study and appreciate their teachers’ enthusiasm for their subject.”


“Pupils consistently show high levels of respect for each other, their teachers and those in communities beyond the school. Bullying is very rare. Pupils feel safe and well cared for.”


“Pupils take a broad range of subjects, most of which are academic. Teachers support

pupils well, developing them as individuals and providing them with extra help. In

some but not all subjects, pupils gain profound subject-specific knowledge, skills and

understanding over time.”


“Leaders have strengthened the sixth form. Students do well in their A-level examinations. They enjoy their studies and supplement their learning in class with extra reading. Students receive visits from experts and take part in academic competitions. When they join the sixth form, students can discover where their interests lie. Leaders ensure that students receive effective careers advice. The vast majority of students go on to university. A considerable proportion achieve places at top universities.”


Simple Stats


Here are some of the basic figures and statistics you need to know about The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe:


  • Number of pupils: 1368
  • Number of boys: 1368
  • Number of girls: 0
  • Age range: 11 - 18 years old
  • Gender: boys
  • School type: Academy converter


Facilities


There’s a wide range of very impressive educational facilities on offer at The Royal Grammar School of High Wycombe. The facilities include some very modern classrooms, with a range of technology incorporated seamlessly into the overall learning experience children receive at the school.


The facilities shine most of all in the extracurricular departments though. There are great facilities for musicians and children looking to learn to play an instrument. There are fantastic music and drama facilities for rehearsals and live performances, as well as top of the range sporting facilities as well.


The Results


We’ll now take a closer look at some of the exam results achieved by pupils of the school in recent times. At GCSE level, 72% of all grades were between grades 9 and 7. Many pupils that year also achieved 9 or 10 grade 9s across a range of different subjects.


In terms of A Level results, 75% of students achieved grades between A* and B. And the school achieved an overall A Level pass rate of 100%, meaning not a single pupil failed any of their A Level exams. It’s a huge achievement and goes to show how well prepared they are by their teachers.


Destinations


The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe has some of the most impressive figures around when it comes to the number of pupils heading to the best universities in the country after completing their A Levels. 7% of students leaving the school go on to attend either Oxford or Cambridge Universities.


On top of that, 93% go on to study degrees, with 56% attending Russell Group universities and 67% attending top third higher education institutions. These numbers are highly impressive and go to show how helpful the right grammar school can be in helping children enter the best universities.


Final Say


As you can see from where pupils of The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe usually end up, the school has a lot going for it and there are many reasons why people might choose to send their children there. When it comes to reaching the very best universities in the country, this school offers a clear advantage.


The school’s impressive 100% A Level pass rate is something else that’s impossible to ignore or overlook. There’s simply a lot to like and be impressed by when taking an objective look at what this school has to offer. It’s definitely want that parents in the High Wycombe area should consider.


The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School


The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School is a mixed school committed to co-education, which is one thing that makes it different to a lot of other grammar schools in the area. There are also lots of other things that make the school stand out, such as its commitment to small class sizes.


They strive to create a unique classroom environment where each and every pupil can thrive. They use the Harkness Method in their classrooms, which is about groups sharing and discussing ideas in an open and encouraging environment. It helps children to develop reasoning and discussion skills.


The school has developed a strong reputation and many parents strive to help their children gain entry. It’s a highly selective and competitive school thanks to its unique approach to teaching and the way in which vitla skills are developed in each of their students. The collaborative and communicative approach to learning works wonders for many pupils there.


Ofsted


The most recent report from Ofsted of The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School found it to be good with some outstanding features. Here are some of the remarks made by the Ofstend inspectors in their most recent report on the school, published in 2020:


“Staff want the very best for their pupils. They know pupils very well and make sure that pupils get the right help to be successful. Aspirations and expectations of learning and behaviour are high. Pupils thrive on this and are inspired by the challenges they are given.”


“Pupils achieve well academically. Classrooms are industrious places. Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to their work and each other are excellent.”


“Pupils feel secure. They know that their opinions are valued. They are encouraged to express their views and build on their ideas. Pupils know that any hint of bullying or unacceptable behaviour will be challenged by staff and will not be tolerated.”


“Leaders have a very clear philosophy about how pupils will learn. This underpins the school ethos and curriculum. The curriculum is rich and ambitious. There is a clear focus on providing all pupils, including those with SEND, the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.”


Simple Stats


Here are some of the basic figures and statistics you need to know about The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School:


  • Number of pupils: 61
  • Number of boys: 15
  • Number of girls: 46
  • Age range: 11 - 18 years old
  • Gender: mixed
  • School type: Other independent school


Facilities


The facilities available at The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School are hugely impressive, and you’ll see that for yourself if you take a tour of the school. The sports facilities are very impressive and are among the best you’ll find in this part of the country, or at any school in the country for that matter.


There’s clearly a big focus on offering a well-rounded educational experience to students at the school as well. That can be seen in the way in which the arts facilities have been prioritised. From drama to music and fine arts, the facilities and resources on offer are second to none here.


The Results


Because of the unique approach taken by The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School in terms of how they educate their children, they steer them towards the International Baccalaureate. They take MYP qualifications, which are equivalent to GCSEs.


They then later go on to study A Levels or the school’s Diploma programme. There’s a lot to explore here, and if you’re thinking of sending your child to The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School, it’s definitely a good idea to spend more time researching the qualifications usually pursued there.


Destinations


There’s a range of destinations that pupils head to after leaving The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School. The vast majority of them go on to complete degrees at some of the country’s top higher education institutions. 


It’s also true that a higher than average number of pupils enter Oxford or Cambrdige, as well as the other prestigious Russell Group universities. That’s a good sign for any parents who’s considering sending their child to The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School in an effort to help them reach those top institutions.


Final Say


If you’re looking to send your children to a school that does things a little differently and that strives to help students engage and debate openly, there are few better schools out there than The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School. It strives to help pupils come out of the experience as more well-rounded individuals.


The approach they take might not suit all pupils and it might not appeal to every parent. But if you’re looking for something that’s different to the other schools discussed as part of this guide, The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School might just offer what it is you’re looking for.


Wycombe High School


Wycombe High School strives to create a learning environment in which students are challenged and feel able to push themselves in a safe space. They bring together compassion for one another with an ambition that raises expectations and brings the best out of everyone.


The teachers at Wycombe High School want to encourage their pupils to view learning as a lifelong process, and that involves encouraging them to develop a thirst for knowledge and learning, as well as a love of the learning process. Ambition in any and all pursuits is also encouraged at every turn.


The school also places a big emphasis on collaboration and community. Students are encouraged to work together and learn from one another, not just from their teachers. The school claims to offer a learning experience that produces social, moral and cultural development in their pupils.


Ofsted


Ofsted found Wycombe High School to be outstanding in their most recent inspection of the school. They were impressed with the school from top to bottom, and here are some of the remarks made by inspectors as part of their final report on the school:


“Lesson observations, scrutiny of past and present work and discussions with students and staff indicate that students learn exceptionally well. Students demonstrate great enthusiasm for learning and show a high degree of ownership of their learning.”


“Achievement in English and mathematics is outstanding. Literacy and numeracy are promoted across the curriculum through a wide range of activities and teachers make very good use of opportunities to promote them during lessons through use of key words and technical language, questioning and discussion work and use of data and calculations.”


“Teachers use their excellent subject knowledge and expertise to plan lessons which have clear learning objectives and well-planned activities that engage and enthuse learners, including disabled students and those with special educational needs. Teachers have high expectations and set demanding tasks to which students respond with determination.”


“The school provides a safe and calm atmosphere for learning where all students thrive. Students are polite, courteous and confident. They take responsibility for their behaviour, encouraged by the high expectations and aspirations communicated by staff and the many opportunities students have to lead and manage their own behaviour.”


Simple Stats


Here are some of the basic figures and statistics you need to know about Wycombe High School:


  • Number of pupils: 1304
  • Number of boys: 0
  • Number of girls: 1304
  • Age range: 11 - 18 years old
  • Gender: girls
  • School type: Academy converter


Facilities


The facilities on offer at Wycombe High School are highly impressive and aid the learning of pupils from day to day. They have great sports facilities, ensuring sports clubs and PE lessons offer exactly what pupils require. And on top of that, the school places a heavy emphasis on STEM subjects, boasting some fantastic science labs too.


All in all, it’s clear that Wycombe High School has a lot to offer in terms of its facilities. They make use of the latest technology in their approach to learning and have spacious classrooms that are fit for purpose. Combine that with their outstanding sports facilities, and there’s a lot to like here.


The Results


It’s now time to take a look at some of the GCSE and A Level results achieved by pupils attending Wycombe High School. This is something that parents are understandably interested in learning about. 


97% of all GCSE exam results were graded 9 to 7, with more than half being graded either 9 or 8. An even higher level of attainment was achieved in the STEM subjects, with 56% of GCSE grades in those subjects achieved grades 9 or 8.


In terms of A Levels, 77% of all results were at A* to B grades, 45% of all grades were A* or A, and 14% of all grades were A*.


Destinations


Students leaving Wycombe High School after the age of 18 overwhelmingly studied degrees, with 3% of them going on to study at either Oxford or Cambridge University. That’s three times higher than the national average. 43% went on to study at Russell Group universities as well.


This data shows us that students completing their studies at Wycombe High School are in a very good position to achieve places at top universities. The school is placed well above average in terms of university destinations, both compared to the local authority average and the national average.


Final Say


Wycombe High School has an impressive track record of achieving strong results at both GCSE and A Level. They place a clear focus on STEM subjects, and that’s something that many parents are looking at as a priority these days. If that’s true for you, this grammar school might be your ideal choice.


There are lots of things to like about the school, its educators and the approach to learning that’s taken here. There’s a clear focus on helping pupils become the best versions of themselves they can be, and there’s no doubt that pupils are consistently encouraged to raise the bar and improve themselves.


In Conclusion


As you can no doubt see, each of the four schools discussed here today has a lot to offer their pupils. As a parent looking to send your child to the best possible grammar school, you have a lot to consider. It’s important to remember that each child has a unique set of needs and priorities, so choosing which school is right for them will be up to you. We’re not here to make that decision for you.


What we are here to help you with is giving your child the tools they need to help gain entry to these highly competitive grammar schools. Here at Think Smart Academy, we understand what it takes to get into these schools, and it’s important that parents and children alike don’t underestimate just how challenging that process can be.


We strive to make the process of gaining entry into the kinds of schools discussed above as easy as it possibly can be, both for you as a parent and your child. Our guidance and resources will help you all a great deal, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to start making the most of our services.


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