Watford Grammar School for Girls

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Watford Grammar School for Girls
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Watford Grammar School for Girls
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Watford Grammar School for Girls
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Watford Grammar School for Girls
Lady's Close

, ,
WD18 0AE

Coordinates 51°39′05″N0°23′46″W / 51.6515°N 0.3962°W / 51.6515; -0.3962 Coordinates: 51°39′05″N0°23′46″W / 51.6515°N 0.3962°W / 51.6515; -0.3962
Type Partially selective academy
MottoSperate parati
("Go forward with preparation")
Established1704 (1704) and 1884
Founder Elizabeth Fuller
Department for Education URN 136289 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Chairman of GovernorsMr Percy McCloskey
HeadmistressMrs Sylvia Tai
Age11to 18
Colour(s)     Navy blue and      yellow

Watford Grammar School for Girls (commonly abbreviated WGGS) is an academy for girls in Watford in Hertfordshire, UK. Despite its name, it is only a partially selective school, with 25% of entrants admitted on academic ability and 10% on musical aptitude. [1]

Watford Town & Borough in England

Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, South East England, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of central London.

Hertfordshire County of England

Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.

In England, a partially selective school is one of a few dozen state-funded secondary schools that select a proportion of their intake by ability or aptitude, permitted as a continuation of arrangements that existed prior to 1997. Though treated together by current legislation, they are of two types: bilateral schools in remnants of the Tripartite System, and former grant-maintained schools that introduced partial selection in the 1990s. While technically classified as comprehensive schools, they occupy a middle ground between grammar schools and true comprehensives, and many of the arguments for and against grammar schools also apply to these schools. Although there are relatively few schools of this type, several of them score very highly in national performance tables, and are among the most over-subscribed schools in the country.


Its GCSE results were the highest achieved by non-grammar state schools in England in 2007. [2]


The Girls' school and its brother school, Watford Grammar School for Boys, descend from a Free School founded as a charity school for boys and girls by Elizabeth Fuller in 1704 and refounded as a secondary school in 1884. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Watford Grammar School for Boys Partially selective academy in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Watford Grammar School for Boys is a partially selective academy for boys in Watford in Hertfordshire, England. The school and its sister school, Watford Grammar School for Girls, descend from a Free School founded as a charity school for boys and girls by Elizabeth Fuller in 1704. Despite its name, the school accepts boys of all abilities, although approximately a third are selected for academic or musical aptitude, and brothers of existing pupils are also guaranteed places. Its results are among the highest achieved by non-grammar state schools in England.

Elizabeth Fuller English school founder

Elizabeth Fuller (1644–1709) founded a Free School for boys and girls in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. She is often called Dame Elizabeth Fuller, as a title of respect. In the Victoria County History of Hertfordshire she is referred to as "Mrs Elizabeth Fuller".

The school has occupied its present site in central Watford since 1907. The name Watford Grammar School for Girls dates from 1903. Although the school ceased to be a tripartite system grammar school in 1975, it retains some features of the grammar school tradition. [7]

The school site is divided in two by a public footpath, with a footbridge spanning the path to connect the two parts. The northern part includes a former private house, Lady's Close now used as the English block. Also in the northern part is the PE block and Fuller Life Gym (with a swimming pool), open to members of the public in non-school hours. A new building, Hyde House, is also situated in the northern part. Except during the First World War, when it was taken over by the Red Cross as an auxiliary hospital, the building served as the school's preparatory department until that department was closed in 1944. Since then it has served as the home of the entry form to the school. [8]

The school today

Watford Girls has been partially selective since 1995, though the proportion of selection has been reduced over this period. The school also gives priority to sisters of current pupils at the school. Prior to 2008 it also gave extra consideration during the selection process to sisters of pupils of Watford Grammar School for Boys. [9] [10] Its admission area reaches out about 5 miles (8 km), including some northern parts of the London boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon. In comparison with the national average, its intake has significantly higher academic attainment, greater ethnic diversity and fewer children receiving free school meals. [11]

London Borough of Harrow London borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Harrow is a London borough in north-west London, England, and forms part of Outer London. It borders four other London boroughs - Barnet to the east, Brent to the south-east, Ealing to the south and Hillingdon to the west - plus the Hertfordshire districts of Three Rivers and Hertsmere to the north. The local authority is Harrow London Borough Council. The London borough was formed in 1965, based on boundaries that had been established in 1934.

London Borough of Hillingdon London borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Hillingdon is a large borough located in Greater London, England which had a population of 273,936 according to the 2011 Census. It was formed from the districts of Hayes and Harlington, Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the county of Middlesex. Today, Hillingdon is home to Heathrow Airport and Brunel University, and is the second largest of the 32 London boroughs by area.

An inspection in 2007 by the Office for Standards in Education rated the school as outstanding in all categories. [11] It has long been near the top of performance tables for comprehensive schools, but when the key measure at GCSE was changed in 2007 to include English and mathematics the school moved to the top position. [2] The then headmistress, Dame Helen Hyde, attributed part of their success to De Bono Thinking Tools, for which the school was one of the first in the United Kingdom to receive accreditation as a national training school. [12] [13]

Unlike other sixth forms in the UK, the upper and lower sixth girls are required to wear school uniform, albeit with a white shirt instead of the yellow one worn by years 7 to 11.

Notable former pupils


(since the founding of the secondary school in 1884) [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. Adams, Richard (23 January 2014). "Watford academy tops GCSE rankings of non-selective state schools". The Guardian . Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  2. 1 2 Paton, Graeme (24 August 2007). "All-girl schools top results league table". Telegraph . Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  3. Samuel Lewis (ed.) (1848). "Watford (St. Mary)". A Topographical Dictionary of England (7th ed.). p. 486. Retrieved 22 March 2008.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. William Page (ed.) (1908). "Watford: Introduction". A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2. pp. 446–451. Retrieved 22 March 2008.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. W.R. Carter (1894). "Mrs. Fuller's Free School". Watford Endowed Schools Journal. 3.
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  7. 1 2 Neil Hart (ed.) (2005). Mrs Fuller's Free School: Three Hundred Years of the Watford Grammar Schools. Rickmansworth: Atlantic Publishing.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. Hart (2005), pp. 79–80, 140.
  9. Judith Judd (20 November 1997). "Education: In a league of their own - or selective on the sly?". The Independent . Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  10. Elizabeth Passmore (26 September 2008). "Determination: Watford Grammar School for Girls". Office of the Schools Adjudicator. Archived from the original on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  11. 1 2 Watford Grammar School for Girls, Ofsted.
  12. Nicola Woolcock (10 January 2008). "Lateral thinking paves the way to GCSE success". The Times . London. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  13. Helen Hyde (July 2004). "Why Thinking Skills? Why De Bono Thinking Tools?". Foundation & Aided Schools National Association Newsletter. Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  14. Joanna Moorhead (24 October 2007). "Girl power comes of age". The Guardian . Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  15. Ralph, Alex (23 March 2019). "Talktalk boss aims to keep it simple as telecoms business returns to roots". The Times. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  16. 1 2 Meikle, James (1 May 2016). "Liz Kendall challenges Priti Patel to EU debate at their old school". Guardian.
  17. https://factmandu.com/sarah-wollaston