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  • Watford Grammar School for Boys
    Rickmansworth Road
    WD18 7JF
  • Head: Mr I Cooksey
  • T 01923 208900
  • F 01923 208901
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys aged from 11 to 18.
  • Read about the best schools in East Hertfordshire and West Hertfordshire
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Hertfordshire
  • Pupils: 1557; sixth formers: 435
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Open days: See website
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Outstanding 1
      • Personal development, behaviour and welfare Outstanding 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 1
    • 1 Full inspection 13th October 2021
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Impressive results, considering only a quarter of the boys are academically selected. Head says those entering the school with lower attainment levels are pulled up by the cohort – and the admirable value-added scores speak for themselves. Parents say ‘expectations are high’, ‘there’s stretch at both ends’ and ‘you know the school will do everything to make sure they do their best’. Known for music, which parents describe as ‘dazzling’ – ‘and you don’t need to be classically trained, there really is breadth and depth.’ School shares spectacular music centre, the Clarendon Muse, with the Watford School of Music, which has...

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What the school says...

Converted to an academy 2011.

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Cambridge Pre-U - an alternative to A levels, with all exams at the end of the two-year course.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2015, Ian Cooksey MA (Oxon) MA (Lond), previously head at Dr Challoner’s High for four years. Studied biological sciences at Oxford. A state sector stalwart, his teaching career began at top grammar Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames, where he rose from biology teacher to assistant head. Thence to Tomlinscote School, Frimley, as vice principal moving to King’s International School, Camberley, which he took out of special measures.

The last time we met, he had three key targets: to continue the upward trajectory of academic excellence; to get more boys to embrace more extracurricular; and to develop collaboration (‘We’re not an ivory tower and we mustn’t behave like we are’). So has he achieved them? With bells on, it seems. ‘The school was always in a strong position, so it...

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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

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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