Gryphon School

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The Gryphon School
150px
The Gryphon School logo.
Established 1992
Type Academy
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Steve Hillier
Location Bristol Road
Sherborne
Dorset
DT9 4EQ
England
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DfE URN 138471 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1,654 as of January 2012
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Website www.gryphon.dorset.sch.uk

The Gryphon School is a Church of England secondary school with academy status for 11- to 18-year-olds in Sherborne, Dorset, England. Established in September 1992, student numbers have grown steadily from 850 to over 1,650 as of January 2012. The sixth form has around 400 students and teaches a variety of A-levels. In September 2005, the school achieved Business and Enterprise Specialist School.[1]

History

The Gryphon School was created from an amalgamation of three schools: Lord Digby's Girls School, Foster's Grammar School for Boys and St Aldhelm's Secondary Modern School. This merger is not forgotten and many students understand how their school was formed through a miniature history lesson provided in physical education lessons. This miniature history lesson ties in with the school's sporting competitiveness and the names of the three merged schools and the new school name "The Gryphon School" still exist as sporting houses. students are assigned a house as to which they are a part of during inter-house events such as rugby, football and hockey in addition to the more known "sports day".

The only remaining aspect of St Aldham's School which stood on the school's site prior to 1992 is the now out of use swimming pool which remained open until the end of the 2005-06 educational year where students participated in an inter-house swimming gala as part of sports day. The rumour for closure of the pool created by students is of a rat infestation however this bears no resemblance to the true reason which is that of any outside swimming pool, very expensive to maintain. The Gryphon School now have used the Oxley Sports Centre swimming pool in the past, as a substitute for its closure.


The school converted to academy status in August 2012.

Years

Year 7 students go on a variety of trips including a residential to Carey Camp. In previous years students have gone to Chichester during Year Seven and Carey Camp in year 8 but as of 2008-09 Year Sevens go to Carey Camp. In Year Eight students take the same subjects as in the previous Year but at the end of Year Seven are given the choice of two additional modern foreign languages: Spanish or German.

In year 8, students choose whether in year 9 they would like to do Double Design and Technology with a language, which may be French, Spanish or German.

During the Spring Term Year Nine students have a series of information assemblies and tasters for GCSE subjects that they have not already studied in Key Stage 3 (KS3), they then choose what courses they would like to sit for GCSE and can choose the extended or reduced core routes.

Extended core subjects include English Language, English Literature, Science, Additional Science, Maths, Full Course RE, Citizenship (1/2 a GCSE, if students are on site on a Monday), and five additional options choices.

Reduced Core subjects included English Language, Science, Mathematics, Short Course RE (1/2 a GCSE), ICT (OCR) Nationals, And 2 In school additional options choices, a vocational choice on a Monday and a separate one on a Tuesday or a vocational activity on both Monday and Tuesday.

During years 10 and 11 students follow the choices they made in Year Nine and follow a series of exams.

Exam results

Exam 2007 2008 2009
GCSE1 55% 61.09% 53%
A Level2 - 51.39%

1-A table showing the percentage of Gryphon School students who got 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths at GCSE level.
2-A table showing A and B grade results as a percentage of entries for Sixth Formers.

Sixth form college

The Gryphon School has a sixth form college which consists of years 12 and 13. The sixth form students have the opportunity to take AS and A2 level courses in a wide variety of subjects. As not being part of the "compulsory" education students make use of many perks such as a dedicated common room in the centre of the school, adjacent to the Gryphon Café and close to the Learning Resource Centre with its own Sixth Form only provision, notably an alternative mezzanine for Sixth Formers. Other perks include access to the school canteen over students enrolled on a compulsory basis.

Sixth form students can also gain "Student Transport Cards" from Somerset County Council to reduce the cost of the "Yeovil Bus".

Transport

Many students travel from far villages and towns or out of catchment; The Gryphon School caters private AM and PM bus services provided by local tour and coach hire operators (South West Tours, Bakers, Vale Coaches etc.). If a service is destined within Dorset students are eligible for free transport as provided by Dorset County Council "School Transport" scheme.[2] By school invitation in 2002, First Group, the local bus service operator were allocated a bay in the bus park and allowed access twice a day to offer students in both Sherborne and Yeovil a service into the school.

Amongst the council funded services is the school operated and privately hired Damory Coaches "857 Stoford/Yeovil - Sherborne" service. This service makes use of Damory Coaches Double Decker buses which are commissioned for educational use by the school during morning and after school periods. Unlike other buses, which are subsidised by Dorset County Council tax payers; the 857 service, known amongst school students as the "Yeovil Bus" is heavily subsidised in excess of over £20,000 per school per year by the School Bursary. The amount subsidised is still not enough to cover the large bill to provide such a service and consequently students' parents or guardians end up paying over £500 a year, per student to cover the cost of their individual placement. With the bus (a Scania ELC Olympus) seating 100 people this brings the total bill per year to roughly £70,000. Following the end of 2008-09 school calendar the demand for school bus allocations for Yeovil has increased and consequently the school has made use of both of their new 17-seater mini-buses covering the demand.

The 857 Damory Coaches service took over from the previous First Group double decker 657 service which ran the same route and again was provided by the school. The reason for the change in provider occurred following the First's lack of respect for timeliness and safety.

Another double decker the "668 King Stag/Hazelbury Bryan/Sturminster Newton/Stalbridge" is run by Damory Coaches again this route is heavily subsided by the school and still costs £65 a month, per person.

From September 2011, all school bus services with the exception of the invited First 57 service, on which students must pay, are to be operated by Damory Coaches.

Leisure centre

The Gryphon Leisure Centre has shared the same site as the school since 1994 and is run by West Dorset District Council. The PE facilities are used by the leisure centre in the evening and at weekends, an AstroTurf was added to the outdoor facilities.

It is a busy facility and the largest in the of its kind in the area, the centre has a main sports hall, two competition standard squash courts, an aerobics/dance studio and a fully air conditioned fitness suite. Outdoor facilities include six tennis courts or five netball courts, an outdoor swimming pool (which has not been used for over five years due to cost and deterioration) plus a floodlit astroturf pitch.

References

  1. "About the School". The Gryphon School.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. See http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=2224

External links