Mill Hill School
London NW7 1QS
Tel: 020 8959 1176 Fax: 020 8201 0663
• CO-ED, 13–18, Day & Boarding
• Pupils 610, Upper sixth 120
• Termly fees £4195 (Day), £6580 (Boarding)
• Enquiries/application to the Admissions Office (tel 020 8959 1221)
What it’s like
Founded in 1807 by a group of non-conformist Christian ministers and City
merchants. In 1827 it moved to the buildings which form the central part of the
main school. Palatial, neo-classical and magnificently designed, they lie in 120
acres of wooded parkland in the green belt 10 miles from the centre of London.
There has been much development in recent years and facilities and accommodation
are very good, including most recently a new indoor swimming pool and studio
theatre. The junior school (Belmont) is a few hundred metres away and together
with the pre-prep school (Grimsdell) allows for continuous education from 3–18.
Now completely co-educational; girls were admitted aged 13 in 1997 after 20
years in the sixth form. A well-run school with long-established high standards,
it regards hard work, self-criticism, enthusiasm and loyalty as paramount
virtues. There is a major initiative which places much of the curriculum in a
European context. Examination results are good. It is strong in music, art and
drama (a new theatre centre). A very broad range of games and sports is
provided, and standards are high (regular England players in hockey, cricket and
rugby; close links with Saracens rugby club). There is substantial commitment to
local community schemes and a highly regarded CCF contingent.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras Up to 30 pa scholarships including
academic, art, music, drama and sports awards. 10 bursaries. Parents not
expected to buy textbooks.
Parents 70% live within 30 miles; 15+% live overseas.
Head & staff
Headmaster: William R Winfield, appointed 1996. Educated at William Ellis
School, Highgate, at the Royal Academy of Music and Cambridge University (modern
and medieval languages). Previously Deputy Headmaster, Director of Studies and
Head of Modern Languages at the school. Publications: Vocational French; CILT
languages articles; various articles in journals. Member of HMC and Modern
Languages working parties; A-level examiner.
Teaching staff: 60 full time, 15 part time. Annual turnover 4%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 107 pupils in fifth form: 70% gained at least grade C in
7+ subjects (mean of 8 per pupil). Average GCSE score 52 (50 over 5 years).
A-levels: 100 in upper sixth: 26% passed in 4+ subjects; 61% in 3; 11% in
2; and 2% in 1 subject. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth
University & college entrance 96+% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course, 2% to Oxbridge. 7% took courses in medicine, dentistry or
veterinary science, 28% in maths, science or engineering, 7% in law, 22% in
humanities & social sciences, 36% in business and finance. Others typically go
on to non-degree courses, art or music colleges or into careers.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 18 GCSE subjects, 20 AS/A-level.
General studies not taken.
Vocational: Work experience available in UK and Europe.
Special provision: Extra English and EFL for pupils with overseas
Languages: French, Spanish and German offered at GCSE and A-level; also
Spanish and German AS-level. Regular exchanges (France, Germany and Spain).
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1 lesson a week in Year 9) and
across the curriculum, eg most course work on WP, project work, research using
internet. 100+ computers for pupil use (10 hours a day), all networked and with
email and internet access.
Music: Up to 25% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. Some 10 musical groups including choirs, orchestras, jazz, wind
band, chamber ensembles. Facilities have been extended and improved recently
(includes hard-disk recording studio).
Drama: GCSE drama and A-level theatre studies may be taken. Majority of
pupils are involved in school and house/other productions.
Art & design: On average, 30 take GCSE, 20 AS and 10 A-level. Range of
media used. Regular visits to Paris and New York.
Sport & activities
Sport: Rugby, hockey, netball, cricket, athletics, cross-country
compulsory. Optional: badminton, basketball, fives, golf, karate, shooting,
scuba, squash, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and many others. England
cricket, hockey and rugby players. All major teams tour to eg Barbados, South
Africa. County cricket champions in recent years at U15 and U19 level.
Activities: Pupils take bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. CCF
for 2 years at age 14, community service optional for 4. Up to 30 clubs, eg
computing, debating, pop/rock groups, video filming.
Uniform: School uniform worn, modified in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy/girl, head of
house and house prefects – appointed by the Headmaster and housemasters, after
upper sixth vote. School Council.
Religion: Chapel (non-denominational) compulsory for all about once a
Social: Exchanges with France, Germany and Spain; involves about 100
pupils a year; sports tours to eg South Africa, Barbados. Pupils allowed to
bring own car/bike to school. Meals self-service. School shop. No tobacco
allowed; alcohol on occasion for sixth form only.
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once will receive a
warning; twice results in an academic detention. Any pupils involved with
alcohol or drugs must expect to be expelled.
Boarding All upper sixth have own study bedroom, most lower sixth and
fifth form share with one other; juniors in study bedrooms for 2–6 boys. Houses
of 30–85, most co-ed. Resident SRN; attached counsellor; doctor visits. Central
dining room. Pupils can provide and cook own snacks in evenings. Weekly boarding
allowed. Visits to local town allowed with permission. Extensive programme
provided at weekends for boarders.
Alumni association is run from the school.
Former pupils Dennis Thatcher; Francis Crick (Nobel prize – structure
of DNA); Simon Jenkins; Richard Dimbleby; Lord Salmon of Sandwich; Sir Michael
Bishop; Nigel Wray; Timothy Mo; Catherine Whitehorn; Keith Murray.