What it’s like
Founded in 1893, it has a splendid site at the foot of the Malvern Hills in the
town. Six school houses are scattered near the main buildings. It is extremely
well equipped and has excellent sports facilities including a floodlit
all-weather games pitch. There is a high standard of teaching, and academic
standards and examination results are excellent. There is a long tradition of
academic excellence in science. There is an exceptional music programme and over
70% of girls learn an instrument. Games and sports are well catered for (holding
a Sportsmark Gold Award) and standards are high: girls regularly reach county,
district and national levels. A plentiful range of extra-curricular activities
and considerable emphasis on outdoor pursuits. Full use is made of Malvern’s
cultural and festival events. Worship and prayer in the Anglican tradition are
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11–18; 360 girls (72 day, 288 boarding).
Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 12, 13 and 16. Common Entrance and own
entrance/scholarship exam used; for sixth-form entry, normally 7 GCSEs at grade
C (often grade A in sixth-form subjects). No special skills or religious
requirements but majority are C of E. Feeder schools include The Elms, Abberley
Hall, Kitebrook, Kensington Prep, Moor Park.
Scholarships & bursaries Scholarships, value up to 50% fees, are
awarded at 11, 12 or 13 and 16 entry for academic excellence, and also for art,
music and sport. Croftdown endowment fund provides for some additional awards
and bursaries at discretion of Head.
Parents 15+% live within 30 miles; 25% live overseas.
Head & staff
Head: Mrs Philippa M C Leggate, in post since 1997. Educated at Royal
School, Bath, and at universities of York (history), Bristol (PGCE) and Bath (MEd).
Previously Head of Overseas School of Colombo (Sri Lanka) and of
American-British Academy (Oman), IB Regional Director for Africa and Middle
East, Deputy Head of Bahrain School and taught history at Churchill
Comprehensive. Also Member of ECIS; Vice Chair IB Heads Standing Committee and
Executive Committee; Member of Accreditation Teams for Middle States Commission
(USA) and ECIS.
Teaching staff: 50 full time, 20 part time. Annual turnover 5%.
GCSE: In 2003, 51 pupils in upper fifth, 100% gained at least grade C in
8+ subjects. Average GCSE score 63 (over 5 years).
A-levels: 82 in upper sixth. Average final point score achieved by upper
sixth formers 384
University & college entrance 99% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (30% after a gap year), 6% to Oxbridge. Approximately 30%
study science subjects; others take eg medicine, law, engineering, languages,
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 24 AS-level subjects, 21 A-level.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (5 if includes
further maths), 3–4 at A-level. General studies AS/A-level not offered but all
take general course, Learning for Life: contemporary issues, nature of learning
and skills preparation for university.
Vocational: Work experience arranged after GCSE.
Special provision: for dyslexic pupils.
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to GCSE, AS and A-level;
other languages offered extra-curricular. Regular visits to France, Germany and
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1 lesson a week in Years 7–9) and
across the curriculum. 115 computers for pupil use (14 hours a day), including
in the houses; 60 networked and with email and internet access. Many older
pupils have their own laptops.
Music: 70% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can
be taken. Numerous musical ensembles plus two orchestras, gospel choir, 2
choirs, 2 jazz bands. Regular CD recordings. Senior choir competes in
Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year and sings evensong at cathedrals nationally. Girls
in national orchestras and National Youth Choir.
Drama & dance: Both offered. All pupils are involved in house/other
Art & design: On average, 20 take GCSE, 7 AS-level, 5 A-level. Graphics,
fine art, ceramics, design, jewellery and textiles also offered; plus facilities
for metalwork, plastics, wood. Girls regularly accepted to art schools.
Sport & activities
Sport: Gym, dance, hockey, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, athletics are
compulsory to age 14; basketball, lifesaving, squash, netball, volleyball,
aerobics, badminton and rounders optional. Riding and outdoor pursuits including
sailing, rowing. Indoor rock-climbing and abseiling. Some in Midland and
international lacrosse teams; district and county hockey, netball, swimming,
athletics, tennis, cross country and lacrosse players.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Annual week of community service (all sixth formers); help monthly with disabled
children; 11–12-year olds host weekly coffee mornings for the elderly; on-going
project with primary school in the Gambia; support for wide range of local and
national charities, raising £6000 each year. Over 30 clubs, eg debating, riding.
Young Enterprise, CDT, music, natural history, art, judo and sporting.
Uniform: School uniform worn, dress code in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Prefects, head girl, head of house and house prefects
– appointed by Head after consultation with staff and pupils.
Religion: Worship encouraged; members of other faiths welcomed.
Social: Debating and regular social events with local schools. Organised
trips abroad. Meals all in houses. School shop sells books and second-hand
uniform. No tobacco or alcohol allowed.
Discipline Clear policies on discipline and sanctions. Each girl is
given a house handbook which includes guidelines on conduct expected. A
sixth-form council (composed of girls and staff) deals with offences in the
sixth form, middle school council.
Boarding All upper sixth, some others, in single study bedroom (may
share if they wish); 85% share with 1–3 others. Houses of about 60, plus
separate houses for 11–12 year olds and 2 for sixth form. Health centre with
resident qualified nurse. Sixth form can provide and cook own food. 2 long
exeats a term; pupils may go home on most weekends. Visits to local town
Alumni association is run by the Old Girls’ Secretary, Mrs H
Sommerville, c/o college.