Ellesmere College 艾利思密尔中学,
Shropshire SY12 9AB
Tel: 01691 622321 Fax: 01691 623286
• CO-ED, 8–18 Day, 11–18 Boarding (full & weekly)
• Pupils 482, Upper sixth 46
• Termly fees £2696–£3866 (Day), £4870–£5995 (Boarding), £4775–£4998 (Weekly)
• HMC, Woodard
• Enquiries/application to the Headmaster
What it’s like
Founded by Canon Woodard in 1884 as a boys’ school. Girls were first admitted to
the senior school in 1994 and the change to co-education was complete by 1998.
It has a magnificent site of some 70 acres, in beautiful Shropshire countryside
with views across to the Breidden Hills. Its solid and elegant buildings are
surrounded by lawns, trees and gardens. The day and boarding houses are
self-contained units within the main building, except the sixth-form girls’
house which is close by. Building and improvement continues to accommodate the
rapid rise in pupil numbers and facilities are now first rate. The school takes
a broad range of pupils on entry. It has good examination results and it also
has a reputation for providing dyslexia support in a mainstream environment.
There is a strong musical tradition and it possesses two of the finest organs in
the country. Drama and art are strong. Individual and team sports are taught,
with some county and national representatives. There is much emphasis on outdoor
activities, including mountaineering, sailing and canoeing, for which the
environment is ideal; it also has its own field centre on the edge of Snowdonia.
All students are expected to join the CCF, venture scouts, social services or
the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 8–18, 482 pupils, 280 day (185 boys, 95
girls), 202 boarders (146 boys, 56 girls). Senior department 13–18, 299 pupils
(218 boys, 81 girls).
Entrance: Main entry ages 8, 11, 13 and 16. Common Entrance and own exam
used; for sixth-form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C (including sixth-form
subjects). All talents are relevant and may be considered; no religious
requirements. 50% main intake from state schools (plus 8% intake to sixth form).
Scholarships, bursaries & extras Some scholarships at ages 9, 11, 13
and 16, value 20%–50% of fees: academic, all-rounder, sport, arts eg art, music,
drama. Also bursaries. Parents are not expected to buy textbooks below A-level;
average extras £100 per term.
Head & staff
Headmaster: B J Wignall, in post since 1996. Educated at Preston Grammar
School, Preston College, and at the universities of York, Leeds (philosophy) and
Leicester (PGCE English). Previously Head of English at Denstone College and
English Teacher at Christ’s Hospital and at Oakham.
Teaching staff: 42 full time, 11 part time. Annual turnover 5%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 66 pupils in fifth: 67% gained at least grade C in 8+
subjects, 17% in 5–7, 16% in 1–4 subjects. Average GCSE score 46 (49 over 5
A-levels: 46 in upper sixth, 33% passed in 4+ subjects, 17% in 3, 15% in
2 subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 257.
University & college entrance 95% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (20% after a gap year), 1% to Oxbridge. 10% took courses in
medicine, dentistry & veterinary science, 20% in science & engineering, 10% in
law, 30% in humanities & social sciences, 20% in art & design, 10% in other
vocational subjects. Others typically go straight into work.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 18 GCSE subjects, 22 AS/A-level
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (range 2–6), 3
at A-level; in addition, all take AS-level general studies, A-level optional.
25% take science A-levels; 15% arts/humanities; 60% both. Key skills optional
but taken by many; taught through general studies AS-level plus 2 dedicated
Vocational: Work experience available.
Special provision: Specialist unit for dyslexia.
Languages: French, German and Latin offered to GCSE, AS and A-level.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (2 lessons/week) and across the
curriculum, eg laptop usage is encouraged throughout the school, and some
classes are entirely laptop based. 40 computers for pupil use (13 hours a day),
all networked and some with email and internet access. Many pupils have laptops.
Pioneer in use of video conferencing as a way of delivering A-levels.
Music: Over 30% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. 8 musical groups: concert band, wind ensemble, brass group, choral
society, choir, orchestra, jazz group, clarinet choir. 1 pupil in National Youth
Drama & dance: Both offered. GCSE and A-level drama; ESB and LAMDA exams
may be taken. Dance and drama clubs for all ages. Numerous productions each
term. Technical stage crew for pupils, fully equipped theatre.
Art & design: On average, 30 take GCSE, 20 A-level. Design, pottery,
textiles, 3D studies also offered.
Sport & activities
Sport: Rugby, football, cricket, netball, hockey, tennis, compulsory.
Optional: athletics, squash, badminton, swimming, canoeing, basketball, rounders,
golf, sailing, shooting, gymnastics, cross-country. GCSE and A-level sport
studies may be taken. Recently selected as an England rugby academy as part of
the RFU’s world class performance plan. National representatives in sailing,
shooting, canoeing; regional and county reps in rugby, cricket, netball, hockey,
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. CCF optional, social service group. Wide variety of clubs eg debating,
chess, cookery, fencing.
Uniform: School uniform worn, less rigorous in sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy/girl, head of
house and house prefects, appointed by the Headmaster and
Religion: Attendance at religious worship compulsory.
Social: Organised trips abroad eg to Guyana and Egypt. Pupils may bring
own car, bike etc to school. Meals self-service. School shop. No alcohol or
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once would get an
academic detention; pupils caught smoking cannabis on school premises would be
suspended (return subject to agreement to random drug testing) or expelled,
depending on the circumstances.
Boarding 20% have own study bedrooms; 80% share in 2–4. Single-sex
houses of approx 50. Resident qualified nurse. Pupils allowed to provide and
cook own food. Flexible leave arrangements. Visits to local town allowed from
age 13 upwards, according to age.
Alumni association is run by Mr J Harvey, c/o the school.
Former pupils Bill Beaumont, Andrew Collinge.