Lancaster is an attractive small historic city with both a University and a College of Higher Education. Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School was founded in 1907. The school is housed in an Edwardian building and situated in a quiet but central part of the city of Lancaster, facing a small park.
Since 1951 several extensions have been added to the school to accommodate the growing number of pupils. Two Georgian houses are used, one for the Sixth Form and the other as an Art and Music centre. There are eight well-equipped Science laboratories including three new ones, which contain the most up-to-date equipment available. There are 3 computer rooms, specialised language teaching facilities, Mathematics and Humanities suites and a purpose-built Technology block.
In the late 1980’s and 1990’s LGGS was a Grant Maintained school for 10 years. It is now a Foundation school.
There are 866 girls in the school, with 300 in the Sixth Form. A-levels are offered in a wide variety of subjects and most girls continue into higher education or undertake professional training. About nine or ten girls gain places at Oxford or Cambridge each year. Most girls stay on into the Sixth Form, where they are joined by students from other local schools. Approximately 112 pupils from over 50 different schools are admitted into Year 7 and are divided into 4 forms. The forms are divided alphabetically and there is no division according to ability. During the first three years pupils follow a common curriculum before choosing GCSE courses. In Years 10 and 11 all pupils study Mathematics, English Language and Literature, a Language, Co-ordinated Science and a Design and Technology subject. In addition they choose three other options. Most girls will take ten GCSE subjects.
Examination results are excellent. In 2000 GCSE pass rate A* - C was 99% with 73% A*/A grades - the 7th best performing state school in the country. At A Level the pass rate was 97% with 67% A/B grades.
The technology department
The department is housed in a relatively new purpose-built block comprising a High Technology room well equipped for CAD/CAM electronics, pneumatics and computer control work, a graphics room with computers and a Roland Cam 1 machine, a fully equipped large workshop, a food/textiles technology area and, due to the expansion of the subject, a new purpose-built multi-media workshop.
As a result of Technology College status, the school has invested heavily in the department, ensuring all areas have the latest equipment available and is continually upgrading and leading the way in all aspects of Technology.
Inside the D&T building:
The Technology curriculum, as in most schools, has been subjected to great changes. All our pupils in Years 7 to 9 follow the National Curriculum Orders for Design and Technology. In Years 10 and 11 all pupils study a GCSE D&T course. The options for September 2001 were:
· Systems and Control Technology (3 groups)
· Product Design (2 groups)
· Food Technology (1 group)
The department is very strong in the Systems and Control Technology area, where 70% of pupils usually gain A* or A grades. We think this is unique, especially for a girls’ school. Our AS and projected A2 numbers are increasing, and post-16 we offer both Product Design and Systems and Control.
The department has a very high profile, both nationally and increasingly internationally. We are a member of BAE Systems’ International Schools Network. We frequently have high-ranking government ministers from Malaysia and South Africa visiting us and in July 2000 were delighted when HRH Prince Edward came to look at the Technology we are doing. The strong link with BAE Systems has allowed our pupils to benefit from extra-curricular activities such as the Engineering Education Scheme, Euro collaborator Project, Aviation Camps, and two Year 10 pupils for the last five years have had a week’s residential course at Cranfield University. Technology Staff have benefited from industrial placements and regular visits to see the latest technology in action. The department is also a TEP Development Centre, and this allows staff and pupils to trial the very latest materials and equipment.
The department consists of four full-time and one part-time teachers and one full-time and two part-time technicians.