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  • Poole Grammar School
    Gravel Hill
    BH17 9JU
  • Head: Dr Amanda Smith
  • T 01202 692132
  • F 01202 606500
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys aged from 11 to 18.
  • Read about the best schools in Dorset
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Pupils: 1,199; sixth formers: 300
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Open days: September and July
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Good 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Good 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Good 1
    • 1 Full inspection 23rd January 2018
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Requires improvement on 1st December 2015
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

A mix of long-serving staff and those in the early stages of their careers. One boy told us: ‘The teachers here know their stuff and they really help you. We aren’t just learning. We are learning to apply our skills.’ The school motto is ‘finis opus coronat’ or ‘the end crowns the work’ – very appropriate for these high achieving boys. The arts are an integral part of school life. Impressive music department, with orchestras, bands and concerts galore. Lots of drama productions, often jointly with Parkstone Grammar, including…

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What the school says...

Poole Grammar School is a selective boys' grammar school serving the Borough of Poole and its environs. It is a specialist mathematics, computing and cognition school with an international reputation for developing boys' literacy skills.

Boys take a set of entrance tests consisting of English, maths, verbal & non verbal - reasoning. There are 168 places available and the admissions policy is available on the school web site. At sixth form level 30 places are available for those from outside the school and the minimum entrance requirement is 344 points based on the candidate's best 8 GCSEs with an A*, A or B in the subjects chosen or in a related discipline. The DfE GCSE points are used 58-A*,52-A, 46-B 40-C, 34-D,28-E. An increasing number of courses are taught jointly with Parkstone Grammar School (Girls). Progression onto the second year of the course (A2) is dependent on successful completion and passing of two or more AS levels excluding General Studies.

The school is part of the South West Academic Trust (SWAT) with Bournemouth School for Girls, Torquay Girls' Grammar School, Torquay Boys' Grammar School, South Wilts Girls' Grammar School, Colyton Grammar School, Churston Grammar School and Exeter University which is an exciting developmental group aiming to raise standards across the South West with a focus on teaching gifted and talented individuals who will enrich our society.
...Read more

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School associations

State grammar school

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2020, Dr Amanda Smith, previously at South Wilts Grammar School in Salisbury. She studied neuroscience at Cardiff, then did a PhD in neurophysiology at Leicester, later gaining her PGCE. She worked in schools in Leicester and then Sheffield as a science teacher before moving to South Wilts.


In the past the entrance procedure was complex but the school website gives clear guidance on its admissions policy. ‘Admission is of approximately the top 16 per cent of the intellectual population,’ it says. School admits 180 year 7 pupils a year (six forms of 30 pupils). It’s oversubscribed and very competitive, with an average of two applicants per place. Priority given to looked after children, then boys from Poole who get pupil premium funding, boys who live in the borough of Poole and the sons of...

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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.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The school, though a selective Grammar school, is accutely aware that many very able pupils can hide conditions such as dyslexia through strategies that as time goes on become more difficult to sustain. Hence we are looking to take a more proactive role in early screening of pupils to then give appropriate support for their learning as early as possible. Dyslexia screening now being undertaken on entry and an 'in house' literacy advisor has been appointed to focus on needs in this area. The school has adopted a second specialism in SEN (Cognition and Learning) with a focus on supporting able boys with a wide spectrum of needs. Pupils who come to the school with a statement or who are on the feeder school special needs register are immediately put on our own register and the head of the induction year spends time with the feeder school ascertaining the needs that we will have to cater for when the pupil arrives. We have a Learning support coordinator in place on a 0.6 teaching timetable; a specialist teacher for SEN on the staff for two days per week and 6 LSAs available for indiviudal classroom support or outreach work depending on individual cases. 09-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

Who came from where

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