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  • The Gryphon School
    Bristol Road
    DT9 4EQ
  • Head: Mrs Nicki Edwards
  • T 01935 813122
  • F 01935 816992
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Dorset
  • Pupils: 1,575; sixth formers: 360
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Good 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Good 2
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good 2
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Good 2
    • 1 Short inspection 15th November 2017
    • 2 Full inspection 30th January 2014

    Short inspection reports only give an overall grade; you have to read the report itself to gauge whether the detailed grading from the earlier full inspection still stands.

  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 4th November 2010
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Super much sought-after school at the very centre of its community and taking on the Sherborne independents. Not yet  30 years old, the school feels agreeably traditional in terms of its expectations, aspirations and values, reflected in its naming after an ancient and noble mythical beast. The gryphon appears on the uniform navy blue sweatshirt and all published material.School an undoubted presence in the local sporting scene – ‘nakedly competitive,’ said one sixth former, grimly 

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What the school says...

We are at the heart of our community, providing an outstanding education for young people in Sherborne as well as North and West Dorset and South Somerset. The Gryphon is an Outstanding Church of England School (SIAMS) with an Outstanding Sixth Form (Ofsted).

Our special culture and ethos focus on high achievement both personally and academically. We strive to be outstanding in all respects - this includes continually improving the opportunities for the students, facilities and ways of learning. Our excellent facilities include a large Learning Resource Centre, Sixth Form Common Room, study areas and a large café, as well as a state-of-the-art digital learning system. We also offer an amazing range of extra curricular activities, clubs and trips, from Duke of Edinburgh awards, to skiing, to choir and trips abroad.

Our pastoral care is second to none. Each year group has a team of people who are always available to solve problems and give encouragement and help. . At The Gryphon we want students to fulfil their potential and more, to be prepared for life after school and to receive the standard of support and care expected of a high performing school.

Nicki Edwards
...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since June 2017, Nicki Edwards, previously deputy head since 2002. A graduate of Imperial College (biology), she went on to complete her PGCE at Oxford. Ofsted has praised Mrs Edwards in their latest inspection (November 2017), saying she has ‘brought renewed focus and energy to the school’s drive to ensure the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is as strong as it can be’.

She is a mother of twins, both Gryphon alumni and living in London, one of whom is a teacher and the other works in finance. Active in the local community, as church warden of Milborne Port Church and Bishops’ Advisor, she also enjoys travelling, reading and when time allows, needlepoint.

Former headteacher Steve Hillier has taken on the role of executive head...

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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 SEN and dyslexia centre is outstanding and draws pupils over the borders from Dorchester, Gillingham, Shaftesbury, Blandford. We serve a total of 230 (23 dyslexic, 53 statemented) with help for mild Asperger's too. Says an LEA official, 'the Gryphon School has created an ethos over the past ten years which is based upon inclusive practice. All teaching and support staff are actively engaged in designing, creating and delivering a curriculum appropriate to meeting the needs of all pupils. The school has developed highly effective tracking and monitoring systems and analyses data in a very systematic way to inform future planning and pupil progress. This ensures that the additional resources provided for pupils with SEN have very positive outcomes.' Says the school, 'we provide special needs right up to A level. A student with Asperger's who had been rejected by mainstream schools in his area and basically written off came here and we got him through 6 GCSE levels. Our dyslexia base is full simply because of the excellent provision. We never take more than 4 in each year group. We offer special needs right up to A level so children with severe learning difficulties are not excluded from acquiring good A levels.' The school has 100% access for students in wheelchairs.

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

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

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