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Not an environment for risk aversion or comfort zones. Learning without fear, to ‘have a go at something and not be judged’, is the mindset. Parents and pupils point to a ‘professional’, ‘no pressure’ and ‘empowering’ approach where the single-sex environment not only ‘avoids academic stereotypes’ but instils a belief ‘they can do anything because of themselves, not just because they’re girls’.A ‘bit of a mecca’ for sport, according to parents and pupils. Girls throw themselves in at all levels, including older ones (not always easy in girls’ schools)…

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What the school says...

Bromley High School has been offering an exceptional education to bright and talented girls since 1883.

A leading GDST and HMC girls’ school with superb facilities spread across a leafy 25-acre site, Bromley High School educates approximately 870 girls from pre-prep to Sixth Form.

The school’s academic results are consistently excellent earning a rare ‘Exceptional’ rating for Learning and Achievement from the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate. Achievement at A-level in 2022 was 33% A*s, 67% A*-A and 91% A*-B. Achievement at GCSE in 2022 was 80.02% A*-A/9-7.

Bromley High girls are resilient and well-rounded young women participating with enthusiasm and commitment in music, drama, art, sport, Duke of Edinburgh and an overabundant range of activities – and where they have interest or talent or enthusiasm, it is nurtured so that they learn to excel.

As the first all girls’ All-Steinway School in the world, the school continually invests in the music department, and offers its own Musician in Residence and specialist music wing. In 2020, the school launched a Steinway Scholarship and Mentoring Scheme offer the winning recipient coaching sessions throughout the year, a masterclass from a Steinway artist at Steinway Hall, private lessons with a Steinway artist and a solo recital at Steinway Hall. In 2021, the school’s first ever Steinway Scholar won a place to read Music at Oxford.

Sport is also exceptional: with 25 acres of top class facilities including a beautiful pool, new fitness suite, sports hall, gym, track and floodlit courts and pitches, providing the perfect environment in which to develop girls’ love of sport. Bromley High School has achieved huge successes in sport at regional and national level. The school’s under 16 team reached the National Hockey finals and were placed 3rd in the country and in 2021, Year 12 pupil Evie Davis won two gold medals with Team GB at the European Swimming Championships.

Pastoral Care is of paramount importance at Bromley High and the school offers an outstanding supportive and caring pastoral system. In 2021, the excellence of the school’s pastoral care was recognised by the Wellbeing Award for Schools.

Bromley High School provides a beautiful and vibrant environment where bright girls flourish.

2022 GCSE Results
Percentage of A*-A/9-7 grades = 80.15%

2022 A level results
Percentage of A* - B grades = 90.80%
Percentage of A*/A grades = 66.26%
...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2022, Emily Codling, previously founder and head of Eden Park High School, steering its first five years as a new free school. Educated at Croydon High School and proud of her GDST roots: ‘A GDST sister is never far away - alumnae can model how to use our voices and be aspirational in our expectations’. Degree in geography from Southampton, followed by short stint as City accountant before recognising her ‘ambition to bring people together’, cue the call to education which led to 15 years at Education for the 21st Century Trust – taking her from a year in the classroom to leadership roles across the trust.

Parents say her background and state sector experience are a ‘perfect fit’ for the ‘solid legacy’ she’s inherited, adding that she’s all about the children (not kowtowing to parents). ‘The school was great before, but she makes it complete.’ Pupils love that ‘she’s trendy and wears trainers!’ and they enjoy her weekly ‘open door’ policy, involving buzzy chit-chat about life with hot chocolate and cookies. They told us she’s ‘big on belonging’, with a strong focus on community - injecting compassion, curiosity and courage as the lynchpins. ‘She helps us see things in different ways.’

In her salmon pink and peacock blue office (trust us, it works), we’re calmly greeted by Brontë, her faithful black Lab (‘Princess Catherine stole my favourite name, Charlotte!’ she laughs). But it’s the empty easel that draws our eye, donated by an alumna, and normally displaying a pupil’s artwork - the current ‘controversial’ piece is out on loan, she explains, her face lighting up as she tells us how she champions the girls to find their ‘voice through the creative arts’. Says her wider vision involves ‘industry’, ‘apprenticeships’ and ‘cutting edge’ education – ‘There’s nothing sleepy about what we do here'.

She is a keen open water swimmer, joined by her husband in an annual charity fundraiser. They have one son, whom she regrets will never benefit from what goes on here (absolutely no plans to admit boys), although thrilled that her daughter does.


Nearly all juniors transition to a guaranteed place in year 7, overseen by newly appointed ‘middle school lead’. High competition for the remaining 60 places (approximately four applicants per place). Assessments in VR, NRV, creative writing and maths, though the school says the whole student’s potential is considered (no practice papers available).

A few join at sixth form, following reference from current school and interview with head. They need at least 7s at GCSE in their chosen A level subjects.


A quarter depart post GCSEs, mostly for co-eds. Nearly all to university, over half to Russell Group. STEM subjects popular (especially engineering, finance, accountancy and economics), plus law, politics, criminology, psychology and – more recently - geography and MFL. A growing interest in US and European universities with two heading overseas in 2023 to the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, and Amherst College, USA. Degree apprenticeships promoted, supported by frequent talks from industry leaders. So too, in past years, art foundation courses pathing the way to prestigious establishments like Central Saint Martins, while musicians head to the likes of the Royal Northern College for Music and The Conservatoire. Two to Oxbridge in 2023, and five medics.

Latest results

In 2023, 73 per cent 9-7 at GCSE, 47 per cent A*/A at A level (80 per cent A*-B). In 2019 (the last pre-pandemic results), 67 per cent 9-7 at GCSE; 52 per cent A*/A at A level.

Teaching and learning

Not an environment for risk aversion or comfort zones. Learning without fear, to ‘have a go at something and not be judged’, is the mindset. Parents and pupils point to a ‘professional’, ‘no pressure’ and ‘empowering’ approach where the single-sex environment not only ‘avoids academic stereotypes’ but instils a belief ‘they can do anything because of themselves, not just because they’re girls’.

Teaching goes ‘above and beyond’, they told us, with teachers ‘on tap’ for students, including over weekends or after school. Clinics for everything, where pupils have the wise view that ‘everyone needs help with something or you’re not learning’. What felt like a flash mob on our visit turned out to be students seeking help with Oxbridge prep, personal statements and the rest ‘keeping on top of homework’. ‘I’m not going to lie, I’m stressed about Oxbridge but I’m giving it a good try,’ remarked one pupil. Study room well used.

Setting in maths from year 7, science from year 9 and English from year 9. At least 10 GCSEs chosen from largely traditional subjects. Pupils see the benefits of compulsory French, German or Spanish (50 per cent uptake for the latter), with school producing a handful of Spanish undergrads each year. Classical civilization gets good numbers, but classical Greek struggles (only one pupil when we visited). Food technology not on curriculum, but students don’t seem to mind as it’s an elective option. Further maths available at GCSE, and popular too.

A levels a hearty brew of traditional and creative (eg dance, drama and theatre studies, music, fine art and photography) where giving four subjects a whirl is standard (option of dropping one later). STEM subjects growing in popularity, especially maths, which gets good results. Around 12 students do an EPQ; all do a Darwinian elective. Girls have a steely focus on next steps, and parents praise the UCAs support as ‘next to none’ and helped by GDST network.

Pupils describe learning as 'a conversation' - not all one-way. In the corridor, we overheard a lovely chat between a pupil and teacher about algebra, ending in a, ‘See you in the clinic!’ So too in drama and music tech, we observed great discussions and pupils being encouraged to do what they could independently. Work displayed immaculately along every corridor – from amusing tips on properties of shapes to Magdeburg hemispheres.

Learning support and SEN

The SEND lead and senior school SENDCo are keen to ‘de-stigmatise hidden differences', aiming for ‘no differentiation but all adaptive teaching’ where a class works to the same goal, but learning is broken down – which both parents and pupils appreciate. The 17 per cent on the SEN register (mainly autism, ADHD and mild dyslexia) receive support, exclusively in the classroom – take note, parents, no one-to-ones or booster groups (only clinics, which are not just for pupils with SEN). Nearly a quarter EAL pupils, only a handful receiving additional support. Recent ‘temperature walk’ identified trigger areas for neurodiverse pupils around the school - staff responded with changing timings of year group breaks and controlling pupil traffic so pupils don’t feel overwhelmed. Pupils have also responded well to the school actively checking in with pupils twice daily at set times to encourage independence. One pupil reported a drop in anxiety as a result. No EHCPs.

The arts and extracurricular

In a ‘Steinway School’ music is serious business. Definitely not viewed ‘one of those fluffy subjects', say parents – a deal-breaker for some, who feel it has the edge on the local competition. But it’s not all for the concert pianists, harpists or opera singers (although there are plenty of those), with a genuine ‘music for all’ culture. Indeed, the music wing, with eight practice rooms and a larger suite, hosts Christmas karaoke through to visiting professionals. One self-confessed ‘non-musical’ pupil shared how music tech was a revelation when creating a Tom and Jerry theme tune - ‘so much fun’. A pupil’s debut single is being promoted. Over two-thirds learn an instrument and there’s a meaningful scholar programme with clear expectations, repertoires monitored and mentoring by ‘musician in residence’. Performance opportunities tailored to showcase strengths, eg ‘Brom Fest’ for homegrown rock bands thrashing out the likes of Nirvana and The Beatles (‘A brilliant festival atmosphere’) and a cabaret night for the large cohort of advanced singers. All the usual orchestras, choirs and ensembles with a recent ‘Music Through Time’ concert including Bizet to Shostakovich. Music tours to Belgium, Paris and LA in recent years.

Drama on curriculum, with growing take up at GCSE and A level. All year groups do adaptations of Grimms Fairy Tales, and there’s a ‘drama fest’ for years 7 and 8. Musical theatre popular, with next hot ticket High School Musical 2, complete with double casting so more pupils can perform. Watch this space for grittier ensemble pieces, with the help of drama scholars. Backstage opportunities are limited – school blames health and safety restrictions - but the large theatre has all the usual bells and whistles, while the new performing studio is the crown jewels.

This is an arty school, with displays in every nook and cranny - from year 10’s ethereal, Chiaroscuro style self-portraits following us down the corridor, to the Places of Sanctuary photographic project in the meeting room. Good to see process valued as much as results, and it’s not just about the most accomplished and ambitious. Year 11s were maturely and articulately chatting about their GCSE final projects. Projects address, eg changing women’s roles through time, fast fashion and propaganda and subversion in art. A level students get their own mezzanine studio, set apart from the four others including ceramic studio and dark room. Large, well-resourced DT workshops attract an industrious crowd.

Pupil-designed posters advertise clubs at every turn, eg stamp making, sign language (standing room only on its first session), Rubik’s cube, and women in STEM. All the usual suspects in sport (plus netball shooting) and music (piano quartet a real niche). Opt-in expected and attendance monitored. Shame drama club only available for year 7s.

Trips include geographers to Iceland (‘the best trip of my life’), annual ski trip to Canada (a ‘must’ for ‘all levels’) and the ‘very cool’ physics and politics trip to CERN in Switzerland. Closer to home, there's the Stock Exchange, an economics and business conference and Butser Farm. And of course, inviting the world in – recently eminent Professor Dame Marilyn Strathem for a Minerva Lecture.

DofE popular at all levels - ‘You always get a bit lost, but it’s how you find your way back that counts,’ reflected pupils on the expeditions. Sixth formers expected to volunteer – many choose the local Marjorie McClure School.


A ‘bit of a mecca’ for sport, according to parents and pupils. Girls throw themselves in at all levels, including older ones (not always easy in girls’ schools). Variety helps - netball, football, hockey and cricket (with six teams fielded up to year 9, then five after that) plus swimming in the 25m indoor pool, gymnastics, badminton, fitness, running club and Mindful Walk the Dog (a no ear pod zone). On any given afternoon, it’s not unusual to have 180+ students flooding the vast sport facilities (including Astro, all-weather courts and athletics track), providing an ‘immense sense of pride’. Pupils appreciate that the keenest (not necessarily the best) eight runners were selected for a recent cross country comp. ‘If you turn up and try, you’re valued.’ We caught the opening of a local derby netball match: Bromley rained goals, but it was the organised team spirit that most impressed. Scholars appreciate support with sport/life balance. ‘Drilling into detail’ has meant introducing an all-day prototype sports bra, cricket blacks, temperature raised in the pool and wearing T-shirts for water aerobics.

Ethos and heritage

The relatively modern building somehow feels at odds with 140-years celebration of pioneering ‘bright minds, bright futures’ for girls, but the original Victorian school in Bromley Town Centre packed its bags and decamped to its 25 acres of parkland in Bickley in 1981. Portraits of previous heads still line the corridors, their legacy a reminder that female leadership and the ability to be agile and courageous is where it’s at.

While the unassuming exterior may not set the aesthetic heart a-fluttering, the self-contained campus is sensibly built around a quad, where each department has its own identity yet flows into the next. Richmal Crompton, author of Just William and teacher here in the 1920s, would approve of her namesake library: well-stocked in every subject, room to breathe and overlooking the vast grounds. Relaxed dining room, where pupils describe food as ‘pretty good’, though some parents say a few ‘old-fashioned’ choices like sandwiches wouldn’t go amiss. Lasagne was the go-to choice on our visit - generous, deep and bubbling. Pupils praise the breakfasts and breaktimes - ‘You can have absolutely anything’. The sixth form common room is ‘our sacred place’, according to pupils, with ‘everything we need’ including a large kitchen area – southern fried chicken is always a hit. We were struck by the large university destinations’ map – inspiration for their futures.

Uniform of grey blazers and burgundy tartan skirts ‘ok’, according to pupils, who approve of the ‘sensible’ option of culottes and sleeveless polos in the summer, plus trousers. Business attire for sixth formers - understated and modest. ‘We figure out what’s appropriate within a few weeks,’ pupils told us.

Pupils are proud and loyal to their houses. ‘It’s hard to keep up with all the competitions,’ we were told, including Christmas karaoke, colour run and debating where a recent motion, ‘Should Photoshop be used on social media?’ kicked off a fierce debate.

Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline

Peers are elevated and celebrated – ‘bakes cakes to die for’, ‘such a talented artist’ and ‘seriously awesome singer’ to hum back a few fanfares. No surprise that the diversity committee’s recent fashion show was ‘emotional’ and gave pupils ‘goosebumps seeing friends make it happen, bringing together their cultures’. So too, the Pride picnic, which was ‘just a really chilled day’, celebrating the newly launched Pride society for older pupils. Inclusivity is a focus here, and viewed as integral to wellbeing - beautifully expressed in the recent planting of the diversity garden. Every pupil gets two tutors, and they have a healthy attitude towards seeking help, eg via school counsellor available three times a week. New wellbeing hub will be a welcome addition, they say.

Discipline largely self-regulated, with no suspensions or exclusions. Pupils reckon ‘bad behaviour doesn’t exist’ and that the ‘small stuff’ gets dealt with quickly by a chat with a tutor or called-out by peers. ‘We’re too busy to break the rules,’ reckoned one. ‘We’re lucky, why would we spoil it?’ another chipped in. Parents concur: ‘We don’t hear about the problems some other schools have.’ Rewards work - merits mean house points and kudos. School council gives pupils the opportunity to raise issues – recently year 9 criticised the ‘unfair lunch timetable’.

Pupils and parents

Pupils are a focused, articulate and supportive bunch – self-effacing yet confident. Mostly local, some as far as rural Kent. But even the journey from south London ‘might as well be from the moon’, report some, thanks to bad traffic – although there is a network of school buses (including train station shuttles). Parents – about a third self-employed, including many professionals - are wooed by the excellent facilities, GDST culture and academic success. Active PA but ‘no pressure’ to get involved (it was hard to find anyone who did!). They trust the school to ‘get on with doing what they’re experts at’ but appreciate being invited in to eg support the curriculum or give careers advice. Ethnic diversity generally reflective of south London and edges of Kent.

Money matters

Some means-tested bursaries, up to 100 per cent. Scholarships (between five and 20 per cent) awarded at 11+ and 16+ in academic, art, drama, sport, public speaking and community engagement.

The last word

If an all-girls education is your bag, this one is packed with opportunities for bright pupils with self-motivation who thrive in a less pressured environment. One to watch for girls breaking the STEM frontier.

Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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