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Factors to consider when choosing a Senior School

We understand that choosing the right senior school for your child is one of the most important decisions you'll ever take for them.

Here at Bury Grammar School (BGS) we are keen to support you every step of the way as we join you at this key moment in your child’s education.

Over the years, we have had many conversations with parents about their children’s future and we summarise below some of the key questions we know parents are asking themselves as they make that ultimate critical choice of senior school. We hope this might be useful to you.

 
 
Does this school have an ethos I support?
 
At BGS, our ethos is simple: it is all about quality.  Our hallmarks are high academic standards, an all-round education, a positive environment, always having high aspirations and expectations, never giving up on anyone and keeping busy with a full academic and extra-curricular programme. Our focus is on aiming for the best in every area of school life.
 
 
 

Do pupils thrive and make good progress in this school?

 

Resoundingly, yes, they do at BGS.

Our pupils are well-rounded young people who go out into the world confident, capable of meeting life’s challenges and ambitious to make a difference.

One of the most noticeable characteristics of our school is the immensely positive impact each pupil has on another: their enthusiasm for learning and focus on achieving highly are hugely favourable traits which make for happy and purposeful classes.

Academically, the progress our pupils make is astounding. At GCSE in 2023, a third of all grades were 9s and 8s (A** - A*), over 50% of results were at the very top level of 9-7s (A** - A) and almost 90% of grades were 9-5s (A** - B). At A Level, two thirds of grades were at the ‘gold standard’ of A* - B and once again saw a 100% pass rate.

We think this shows just what fabulous teaching, high aspirations, genuine and level-headed pastoral care, and ambition can do!

 
GCSE Results Day 2023

 

Have I had a positive impression of this school when visiting?

We hope you have enjoyed your visits to BGS and been impressed by our pupils and teachers.

We know parents look carefully at our oldest students and ask themselves what this tells them about the impact of a Bury Grammar education. They also consider whether teachers are professional, well-informed, and friendly and whether school leaders have the right priorities for the future.

At BGS, we believe we have a tremendous team.

 

Are the facilities good? Do all pupils get to use them?

Across our 45-acre estate, we have extensive general and specialised teaching facilities - modern and excellently equipped science labs (including the School's pets!), IT suites, drama and music studios, arts centre, modern foreign language suites, a magnificent central library to name but a few!

Our sports facilities include extensive sports halls, 3G pitch, swimming pool, fitness studio, cricket pitch, 20 acres of grass football and rugby pitches and our newly refurbished strength and conditioning suite.

Our senior school facilities are equipped for A Level study, and our Year 7 pupils get to use them regularly.

Most importantly, every pupil gets to use these facilities: the School is the perfect size to make this possible.

Estates Photo

 

Has communication been friendly and helpful during the admissions process for this school?

We hope so at BGS!  We would say that the manner and tone of communications during the application process is indicative of the high professional standards and strong communication which are characteristics of the day-to-day life of Bury Grammar School.

For us, good communication is vital, and we will always seek to communicate positively, honestly, and openly with pupils and parents.

Communications are planned with our parents’ perspective very much in mind; for example, a report on academic achievement and approaches to learning is sent home six times a year...and not on the final day of term (which we know can be extremely frustrating!) but a good week before any holiday, so that you and we have plenty of time to discuss how well you child is doing.

We like to work with parents and provide you with regular information - we see this as an integral part of our role.

 

Pupil studying

Will the logistics around this school work for us?

At BGS, we understand that family daily life can be hectic, and we do our best to help.

Our school coach system allows pupils to travel safely to and from school; we are very happy to arrange for an older pupil to accompany your child or meet them enroute to help them get used to a new journey to school if they are anxious about this.

Our senior school opens at 7:30am and lessons begin at 8:45am.  Last lessons will finish at 3:45pm and after school study runs each day until 5:30pm.  We know busy parents find this helpful.

We are always happy to talk to parents in any way you wish– face to face, via email, on the phone. BGS pupils thrive thanks to the excellent partnership between pupil, home and school.

 

Can I be confident the school will get to know my child as an individual?

Resolutely, yes!!!  There is nowhere to hide at BGS!  We pride ourselves on knowing our pupils and being a community full of familiar faces.

Our teachers are employed because they are so adept at both stretching the most able and offering expert teaching when a topic is challenging.  They love to pass on their subject knowledge and know our pupils extremely well.

The professional pride and care all of us at BGS have for our pupils result in exceptional academic value added, excellent university places, stellar results and happy and fulfilled pupils.

 

Will this investment in my child's future pay off?

We would like to pass on to you what our parents said when we asked them this in 2021.

98% of our parents said the investment in their child’s education at BGS had been worth it.

We of course all invest in many things for our children and many people would say a great education is one of the best things you can provide for them.

 

Is the school financially sound?

BGS is not only known for its academic excellence but also for its strong financial foundation.

Our school's commitment to financial stability is evident in our prudent financial management, which ensures the provision of fantastic facilities, experienced teachers and wonderful educational resource. Careful budgeting and strategic financial planning have allowed us to invest in cutting-edge technology, modern infrastructure, and extracurricular programmes that enhance the overall learning experience for our pupils. This financial soundness not only demonstrates the School's ability to sustain itself but also reflects a long-term commitment to providing a secure and flourishing environment for pupils to thrive academically and personally.

Our school’s financial stability is a testament to our dedication to maintaining high standards and ensuring a well-rounded education. The School is one of the largest independent schools in the UK, over 450 years old and we intend for it to be here for another 450!

 

What experience do the teachers bring?

Our staff care. The teaching faculties at our school are beacons of inspiration. Our teachers bring exceptional expertise, passion for education, and dedication to fostering a nurturing learning environment.

They not only hold advanced degrees in their respective fields but also bring a wealth of practical experience, enriching classroom discussions with real-world insights. Our teachers are also known for their unwavering commitment to the holistic development of each pupil, providing mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

Personalised learning is important to ensure that our pupils not only grasp the core curriculum but also develop critical thinking skills and a genuine love for learning, creating an environment for pupils to reach their full potential and enjoy school.

We run regular training days too, so our teachers never stop learning!

 

What do the first-hand experiences of current pupils and parents at this school tell me?

You will no doubt understand that the leaders of BGS are very proud of our pupils and our School, and you would expect us to speak highly of our community. But don't take our word for it...

We hope you've had the chance to hear first-hand of our pupils', parents’, and teachers’ experiences of life at Bury Grammar School, and please do take a look at what our pupils, parents, and staff say about our school, from a recent survey.

 

Can I picture my child here in this school?

This is probably the key question for any parent. In the end, it's about instinct and what you feel is right for your child and you.

Can you see your child thriving at Bury Grammar School?  Will they be happy here?  Do you believe they will achieve highly within this environment? How will they make the most of all the extra-curricular opportunities on offer? Can you see yourself coming along to BGS to future parents’ evenings and prize givings?

Many generations of pupils and parents have had happy experiences here over the years and we do hope the same will be true for you.

Group Picture

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you'd like to discuss or want to know more.
 
 
All the best,
 
Mrs Jo Anderson, Principal,
Bury Grammar School