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Coronavirus Updates

Following the Government’s most recent Covid-19 update on Sunday 10th May it is important to note that there are no immediate changes in the education or child care provision made by schools.

Therefore, schools will continue to provide distance learning support for students and child care for Key Workers who have provided 24 hours notice of their intention to use the child care facility. 


As you will be aware, the government has announced the expectation that Secondary schools will begin a phased transition to school based learning during Term 6 for selected Year Groups.


We are working closely with the Local Authorities and the Department For Education to ensure the most effective and safe return to school for students and staff. We will be in contact you shortly to update you on our plans. Please continue to check your mailboxes and this website for updates. Thank you for your continued support.


For any key worker whose child is not currently using our childcare facility, and who subsequently becomes unable to provide childcare at home –  you must give the school 24 hours’ notice that you need to use this provision so that we can provide appropriate staffing. This means emailing or calling 03333 602130 by 9am the day before. For Monday provision, please ensure that you contact the school by 9am on the preceding Friday.  Students arriving without giving 24 hours’ notice may be turned away if we do not have adequate staffing. To access this provision, you must also have downloaded and completed the form that can be found here and you must bring it with you to the school when you arrive.

Years 10 and 12: Please see important Covid-19 update from 21.05.20 here.

Years 7, 8, 9, 11 and 13: Please see important Covid-19 update from 22.05.20 from here.

Please see letter to all parents from Ms Gould here.

For useful learning resources from Medway Libraries, please see here. 

For pastoral support resources, please see here.

For all letters sent home about Coronavirus, please see here.

For information about accessing Microsoft Teams, please see here.

For information about accessing Show My Homework, please see here.

For resources for Year 11 into Year 12 students and those Year 13 students going into Higher Education, please see here.

Admissions 2020/21

We are currently awaiting further advice from the Department for Education about how appeal deadlines may be affected by the current COVID-19 restrictions on schools. In the meantime, we would encourage anyone who still wishes to appeal to do so. Further advice will be provided to all appellants as soon as it is available. All admission appeal forms should be emailed to Please do not bring them into school.

Free School Meals

Following on from the recent government announcement that the free school meal (FSM) e-vouchers, we have registered all students entitled to FSM with the DfE provider who will be distributing the e-vouchers using the email address you have provided to the school. We have not been advised when the first voucher will be sent, but any delay will not affect your entitlement. If you requested a printed voucher, these will follow on once we have received them but are subject to postal delays at present. Any queries, please use the following link:

10th ‘Thinking School’ accreditation for the Thinking Schools Academy Trust

10th ‘Thinking School’ accreditation for the Thinking Schools Academy Trust

Students and staff at Holcombe Grammar School are delighted after the school became one of only around 30 schools in the country to receive “Thinking School” accreditation from the University of Exeter.

The report by the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education, issued as part of the accreditation process, praised staff for “actively seeking out opportunities to continuously drive improvements in learning and teaching”.

The school, in Chatham, is part of the high-performing Thinking Schools Academy Trust, which pioneers an innovative ‘Thinking School’ approach to enhance students’ cognitive capabilities and learning habits. More than half of the schools in the Trust have now received this prestigious accreditation.

In its report, Exeter University highlighted the strong partnership between the School and the Trust, noting that staff at Holcombe Grammar School have “fully embraced” the Thinking School vision and are “committed to creating a positive learning culture”.

This accreditation marks another significant milestone for the school. Prior to joining Thinking Schools, the school, then known as Chatham Grammar School for Boys, was rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted. Since joining the Trust, it has been transformed and is now rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, with inspectors noting how the school’s “vision to develop pupils’ thinking skills was having a positive impact on the quality of learning and teaching.”


The University of Exeter’s report highlights a wide range of other strengths, including:

  • “Holcombe Grammar School recognises the teaching of thinking as fundamental to developing the skills of persistent, open‐minded and independent, lifelong learners”.
  • “The school prides itself on providing a caring, supportive environment, and this is underpinned by the house and pastoral systems, which ensure that every student has a sense of community and belonging”.
  • “The Regional Governing Body and the Academic Advisory Board are fully supportive of the ‘Thinking School’ ideal and recognise the part it plays in the development and achievements of students as skilled, independent and reflective learners, who embrace challenge and aspire to and strive for  personal excellence”.
  • Schools across the Trust work together to “improve the life chances of all their children and young people, underpinned by a common mission to nurture successful children who are confident learners and can think and act independently”.


Mandy Gage, Executive Principal at Holcombe Grammar School, said:

“We are all very proud to have been awarded ‘Thinking School’ accreditation by the University of Exeter, demonstrating our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.


“This achievement shows our continued journey to improve the life chances of all our pupils through a rich, varied, and interesting curriculum. Our accreditation and ‘Good’ Ofsted rating have been extremely important milestones in our development, and we look forward to building on our success over the coming months and years.”

Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:

“Achieving accreditation as a ‘Thinking School’ is a hugely important step for Holcombe Grammar School, showcasing the dedication and hard work of pupils and staff to foster an open, critical learning environment. We have greatly enjoyed working with the school since 2013 and are very excited about continuing our work together as the school goes from strength to strength.


“We are also delighted that more than half of our schools have now achieved this prestigious accreditation. We look forward to continuing to encourage best practice sharing and providing support and expertise to schools across the Trust to help them to do the same.”