What it’s like
Founded in 1885, it stands in a pleasant residential district in one of the
older suburbs, close to the city centre and university. The original buildings,
completed in 1890, are well-designed and surrounded by pleasant gardens and
grounds. Recent developments include a learning resource centre, library, sports
hall, ICT suite and new facilities for art, food technology and humanities. The
senior and junior schools are on the same site and there is a nursery school for
girls aged 2+. It caters for varying degrees of academic ability and lays
considerable stress on a Christian atmosphere and education. Exam results are
good. There are flourishing music, art and drama departments and a range of
sports, games (good district and county representation) and outdoor activities.
Strong commitment to local community schemes.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 2_ –18; 560 day girls. Senior department
11–18, 350 girls.
Entrance: Main entry ages 2–4, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 16. Own entrance exam
used. For sixth-form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C (grade B in sixth-form
subjects). No special skills or religious requirements. State school entry, 40%
main senior intake plus some sixth form. Many senior pupils from own junior
department (tel 0191 281 3347).
Scholarships, bursaries & extras Variable number of awards, value
17%–50% fees: most academic, some music. Parents not expected to buy textbooks.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Lesley Smith, appointed 1996. Educated at Colston’s
Girls’ School, and at Bedford College, London University (medieval & modern
history), and King’s College London (PGCE). Previously Head of St Nicholas’
School, Fleet, Deputy Head and Head of History and Politics at Notting Hill &
Ealing High. Also FRSA, FIMgt.
Teaching staff: 49 full time, 13 part time.
GCSE: In 2003, 56 pupils in upper fifth: 98% gained at least grade C in
5+ subjects. Average GCSE score 59 (over 5 years).
A-levels: 39 in upper sixth. Average final point score achieved by upper
sixth formers 310.
University & college entrance 96% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on to
a degree course (some after a gap year). Pupils go on to a wide range of degree
courses eg medicine, science, humanities & social sciences, art & design, and
other vocational subjects.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 25 GCSE subjects, 17 AS/A-level.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level;
AS-level general studies additional option.
Vocational: Work experience encouraged.
Languages: French and German offered at GCSE, AS and A-level; also
Spanish GCSE. Regular exchanges (France and Germany).
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (2 lessons a week in Key Stage
III) and across the curriculum. Most pupils take Clait or GCSE (also available
at AS/A-level). 90 computers for pupil use (8 hours a day), all networked and
with email and internet access.
Music: Over 30% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. Musical groups including orchestra, madrigal group, chamber
ensembles, recorder group etc.
Drama: GCSE drama, A-level theatre studies and LAMDA exams may be taken.
Some pupils are involved in school and house/other productions.
Art & design: On average, 20 take GCSE, 8 A-level.
Sport & activities
Sport: Netball, tennis, hockey, athletics, swimming, rounders, fitness,
badminton, squash. 30 girls represent county and city in various sports;
national U14 squash champions.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. Community service. Up to 15 clubs, eg music, drama, Christian Union,
debating, computer, chess, first aid, cookery, aerobics, Young Enterprise.
Uniform: School uniform worn, dress code in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Head girl and deputies, appointed
by sixth form and staff. Sixth-form committee and school council.
Religion: Daily assembly. 3 or 4 church services a year.
Social: Summer fair, debates and music with local schools. Trips for
choirs, skiing, art and languages; sports weeks in holidays (riding, canoeing,
orienteering). Pupils allowed to bring own car to school (but no parking in
school grounds). Meals cafeteria-style (deli-bar for sixth form). No tobacco or
Discipline Code of conduct agreed by school council.
Alumnae association is run by Mrs S Timney, c/o the school.