What it's like
Founded in 1812, and built upon Methodist principles. It first admitted girls to the sixth form in 1979 and is now fully co-educational. The school and its prep school, Bronte House, have fine buildings in spacious grounds in the Aire Valley between Leeds and Bradford. There are excellent all-round facilities, including a sports and performing arts complex, a state of the art music and drama facility, comfortable boarding accommodation (including a new senior boys boarding house). Given its broad intake, academic standards are high and examination results good. It is very strong in music and drama. Sporting facilities are first rate and the standards in sport and games are high (several county and national representatives). It aims to provide a caring community where and each pupil is encouraged to develop individual talents to the full. There is a genuine commitment to local community services and a strong fund-raising spirit. Activities are arranged for boarding pupils, including stays at outdoor centres, paintballing, go-karting and visiting adventure parks.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11-18; 748 pupils, 645 day (410 boys, 235 girls), 103 boarding (58 boys, 45 girls). Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 13 and 16. Own entrance exam used; for sixth form entry, 5 GCSE passes (grade B in sixth form subjects), interview and report. Aptitude in music, art and sport looked for; no religious requirements. 33% of main intake from state schools (plus 12% new entrants to sixth form); 50% from own prep school, Bronte House (enquiries to the Head, tel 0113 250 2811).
Scholarships & bursaries
Up to 20 pa scholarships, value £600-£3000 pa: 10 academic, 8 all-rounder, 2 art and 2 music. Up to 15 bursaries, in cases of financial need, awarded at 11 and 16; plus allowances for children of ministers and of service personnel. Extras include excursions and extra tuition, such as music.
60+% live within 30 miles; 10+% live overseas.
Head & staff
Headmaster: David Humphreys, appointed in 1996. Educated at Southampton University (geography). Previously Deputy Head at Caterham and Head of Department and Housemaster at Wellingborough. Teaching staff: 49 full time, 7 part time. Annual turnover 3%. Average age 43.
GCSE: On average, 110 pupils fifth form: 66% gain at least grade C in 8+ subjects, 21% in 5-7 subjects. A-levels: 83 in upper sixth: 20% pass in 4+ subjects (including general studies), 67% in 3 and 10% in 2 subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 373.
95% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course (20% after a gap year) 2% to Oxbridge. 5% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 26% in science and engineering, 56% in humanities and social sciences, 5% in art and design, 3% in music. Others typically go on to art college, other non-degree courses or straight into careers (industry, army).
GCSE, AS and A-levels. 23 AS/A-level subjects. Sixth form: Most sixth formers either take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level or take 1 vocational A-level. In addition all take AS-level general studies (A-level optional). 30% take science A-levels; 50% arts/humanities; 20% both. Key skills integrated into sixth form courses and monitored by tutors. Special provision: Dyslexia unit - extra tuition and pupils can use laptops. EFL studies. Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to GCSE and A-level. Regular exchanges to France and Germany. ICT: Taught both across the curriculum and as a discrete subject. 100 computers solely for use by pupils all day (in 4 computer suites, computer-aided design studio and library); all networked with email and internet access.
Music: Over 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Some 8 musical groups, including 3 orchestras, concert band, string group, flute choir, brass ensemble. Drama and dance: Both offered. LAMDA, RAD and speech exams may be taken. Majority of pupils are involved in school and house/other productions. Art and design: On average, 30 take GCSE, 10-A level. Graphic design and photography also offered. Typically 3 pa pupils go to art college.
Sports & activities
Sport: Rugby, cricket, netball, rounders compulsory. Optional: athletics, hockey, cross-country, squash, volleyball, rowing, tennis, basketball, aerobics. National representatives in rugby, cricket, squash and swimming; many county players at rugby, several in cricket. Activities: Pupils take Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Up to 15 clubs including photography, chess, technology, choral singing, cycling, art, fencing.
Uniform: School uniform worn; separate sixth form uniform. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy/girl, head of house and house prefects - appointed by the Head. Religion: Methodist. Morning prayers compulsory. Social: Regular exchanges with France, Germany and Spain. Meals self-service. School shop. No alcohol allowed.
School detentions held on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Suspension for serious offences.
Upper sixth have own study bedroom, lower sixth share; others in dormitories of 3-6. Single-sex houses 13-18; plus separate mixed junior house. Qualified nurse(s). Central dining room. 3 weekend exeats each year. Visits to the local town allowed with permission.
Association of former pupils
is run by Heather Garner , OGA Secretary, Old Grovian Association, c/o the school.
Lord Woolley (NFU), Sir Noel Stockdale (Asda), Alan Cuckston (harpsichord player), Steven Burnhill (rugby international), Kenneth Hind MP.