Rosemary Joyce–Head Teacher

Education has the power to transform the lives of individuals and of society.  The best educational experience creates opportunity—opportunity for young people to carve out their own destiny and opportunity for a head start in life. If education is to be truly transformational, the best educational experience must be available to all young people regardless of their financial means. It is this principle that sits at the core of Tonbridge Grammar School.

Tonbridge Grammar is a state selective school. Established in 1905 with only 19 pupils it has been at the forefront of educational opportunity for girls in West Kent ever since. Now an academy and in its 110th year, the School has established an enviable national reputation. It offers a truly outstanding and innovative educational experience that supports students to both academic success and success in life. An International Baccalaureate World School since 2004, Tonbridge Grammar School has developed a worldwide reputation and is acknowledged as one of the foremost International Baccalaureate schools in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Times recently named Tonbridge Grammar School the State Secondary School of the Year and International Baccalaureate School of the Year. 

Tonbridge Grammar offers a distinctive education. Its choice of the IB over A-levels in the sixth form gives pupils a more-widely grounded education and prepares them well for university and life beyond the school gates. The award is thoroughly deserved and acknowledges the efforts of a talented, dedicated and creative teaching staff working with enthusiastic learners, who go on to make an impact in all walks of life.
— Alastair McCall editor Sunday Times Parent Power

Today, Tonbridge Grammar School offers an outstanding academic educational experience for its more than 1000 students. In the most recent examinations, 88.6% of grades achieved at GCSE or IGCSE were awarded at A* and A. The average International Diploma point score in the Sixth Form was 36.4 and four students were among only .25% of IB students worldwide to achieve the full 45 points in their diploma. Almost 90% of Tonbridge Grammar School leavers went to their first choice university (mostly Russell Group) and 15 to Oxford or Cambridge. In the Sunday Times 100 top performing state secondary schools Tonbridge Grammar School was ranked sixth nationally and first in the South East.

Undoubtedly, their academic experience gives students an edge in the competitive worlds of Higher Education and work, but a truly transformational education cannot be measured in academic outcomes alone. Our aim is to promote and develop intellectual curiosity and a passion for learning throughout life. Through both lessons and a wide range of extracurricular opportunities students are encouraged to develop as critical and creative thinkers with a genuine love of learning and enquiry. Students are given the opportunity to take risks in a supported environment so that they develop resilience – so important a trait in building success and self-reliance in life. Tonbridge Grammar students leave the school having developed and refined the skills, qualities and habits of mind that allow each of them the best opportunity to take their place in the world. Our students are mature, confident, caring and articulate young people with the potential to be successful in life, and the understanding and ability to make a real difference to the lives of others.

The benefits the school offers are not only confined to those students who are part of Tonbridge Grammar School on a daily basis. The commitment to the wider community and leadership through service is exceptionally strong and permeates the School. The Head Teacher, leadership team and staff across a range of subjects are involved in projects that support the improvement in the quality of education for learners in Kent and beyond. This includes working directly to improve the quality of Maths and languages provision in a number of schools in West Kent, and supporting the leadership and management of the local Pupil Referral Units which work with hard to place vulnerable learners who have struggled in mainstream secondary schools. Students in the senior years enrich and support the learning of younger students both at Tonbridge Grammar and in other school and community groups. This includes adults with learning difficulties and adults with profound communication skills.

I love the fact that at Tonbridge Grammar School our students show leadership through service; working alongside others with different backgrounds and different experiences to their own. Experiences that take young people out of the comfort zone and get them to engage in a different way can be the most transformational of all.
— Rosemary Joyce Head Teacher