Dame Alice Harpur School,达姆爱丽丝中学，达姆爱丽丝学校
Cardington Road, Bedford MK42 0BX
Tel: 01234 340871 Fax: 01234 344125
• GIRLS, 7–18, Day
• Pupils 952, Upper sixth 97
• Termly fees £1981–£2767
• Enquiries to Headmistress’s PA. Application to the Headmistress
What it’s like
Opened in 1882, this is one of the five schools of the Bedford Charity, the
Harpur Trust. The schools share equally in the benefaction of Sir William Harpur
and Dame Alice, his wife, who originally endowed the foundation with land in
Holborn (London) and Bedford. It has a Christian ethos but, while upholding
traditional values and standards, is fundamentally ecumenical. The senior school
has modern buildings, plus agreeable gardens and playing fields, on a riverside
site. It is well equipped with a floodlit all-weather pitch and facilities for
design technology and drama; two listed Georgian houses have been adapted to
provide a sixth-form centre and music centre. The junior school is opposite. The
school offers a broad general education and examination results are very good.
Drama is very strong and the music department is especially flourishing (with
choirs, orchestras, string quartets, a string orchestra, wind band, and other
ensembles). A wide range of sports and games is provided; many teams compete at
county and regional level, and some regularly at national level.
Extra-curricular activities include the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, CCF,
debating, Youth Theatre, chess, field courses and a wide range of outdoor
activities and visits.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 7–18; 952 day girls. Senior school 11–18,
Entrance: Main entry ages 7–9, 11, 13, 16. Own entrance exam for senior
school, heads’ reports and interviews. For sixth-form entry, strong
recommendation from present headteacher and good predicted grades in sixth-form
subjects. 70% of new senior intake from state schools (plus few to sixth form).
Scholarships & bursaries Some bursaries from age 11.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Jill Berry, in post from 2000. Educated at Wath-on-Dearne
Grammar School, South Yorkshire, and at the universities of Manchester (English)
and Liverpool (education). Previously Deputy Head of Nottingham High School for
Teaching staff: 82 full time, 7 part time. Annual turnover less than 5%.
GCSE: In 2003, 115 pupils in Year 11: 100% gained at least grade C in 5+
subjects. Average GCSE score 62.
A-levels: 91 in upper sixth: 6% passed in 4+ subjects; 90% in 3 and 4% in
2 subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 374.
University & college entrance 95% of sixth-form leavers go on to a
degree course, 10% to Oxbridge. 8% take courses in medicine, dentistry &
veterinary science, 30% in science & engineering, 40% in humanities & social
sciences, 10% in art & design, 12% in music and drama. Others typically go on to
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level.
On average 10% take science A-levels; 45% arts/humanities; 45% both.
Vocational: Range of work experience opportunities.
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to GCSE, AS and A-level.
Regular exchanges (France and Germany); many visits; work experience in France.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1 lesson/week in Years 3–9) and
across the curriculum. 200 computers for pupil use (9 hours a day), all
networked and all with email and internet access.
Music: Over a third of pupils learn at least one musical instrument;
instrumental exams can be taken. Some 12 regular musical groups and numerous ad
hoc orchestras, jazz group, flute choir, wind band, choirs etc.
Drama & dance: Drama and dance offered. GCSE dance; GCSE and A-level
drama may be taken; thriving Saturday Youth Theatre. Several girls selected each
year for county Youth Theatre; occasionally national honours.
Art & design: Design, computer-aided design, pottery, textiles,
photography also offered.
Sport & activities
Sport: Hockey, netball, tennis, swimming, athletics etc are core games.
Optional sports include water polo, rowing, squash, badminton, volleyball,
football, trampolining, self-defence, yoga, circuit training. GCSE gymnastic
awards and RLSS exams may be taken. County and regional success in several
sports each year; many representatives at national levels; hockey teams (in and
out-door) regularly achieve national honours.
Activities: Many pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. CCF and community service are popular options. Very active charity
fund-raising; close links with local residences for the elderly and local
special schools. Many clubs including debating, mathematics, physics, chess,
juggling, art, drama, globetrotters, IT, environment, DT, chemistry,
photography, astronomy, as well as sports and range of musical ensembles.
Uniform: School uniform worn throughout.
Houses & prefects: Houses based on social activities and competition.
Head girl and team chosen by senior girls and staff. No prefects (sixth formers
Religion: Attendance at morning assembly expected.
Social: Performances, concerts and plays jointly with Bedford and Bedford
Modern boys’ schools. Many visits and exchanges. Pupils allowed to bring own
bicycle to school; sixth form may bring cars or motorbikes but no parking on
campus. Meals self-service. School shop. No tobacco or alcohol allowed.
Discipline Everyday misdemeanours are dealt with routinely by the
teacher involved at the time, or the form tutor. The rare occurrences of more
serious disciplinary matters are dealt with by senior staff in liaison with