Shropshire SY11 2TL
Tel: 01691 655711 Fax: 01691 671194
• CO-ED, 2_–18, Day & Boarding
• Pupils 436, Upper sixth 30
• Termly fees £2790–£3310 (Day), £5570 (Boarding)
• Enquiries/application to the Director of Recruitment
What it’s like
Founded in 1407 and one of the oldest continuous foundations in England. The
agreeable, well-designed, red-brick buildings occupy pleasant grounds and
playing fields on the edge of the market town of Oswestry, overlooking the
Shropshire Plain. The pre-prep school, Bellan House, is self-contained but
nearby. Facilities are very good. A good all-round education is provided in a
supportive family atmosphere (every effort is made to accommodate families’
needs) and examination results are good. The music department is thriving, and
drama and art are also lively. Sport and games are encouraged and high standards
are attained (many county representatives annually). A large number of clubs and
societies cater for most needs. The CCF is vigorous and the school has an
impressive record in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and in leadership
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 2_–18; 436 pupils, 346 day (202 boys, 144
girls), 90 boarding (60 boys, 30 girls). Senior department 13–18, 220 pupils
(125 boys, 95 girls).
Entrance: Main entry ages 9, 11, 13 and 16. Entry by interview and report
from previous school; for sixth-form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C, including
sixth-form subjects. No religious requirements.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras Scholarships and exhibitions
available, value 10%–50% fees, awarded at 9, 11, 13and 16. Some bursaries, based
on financial need; fee concessions for children of teachers and servicemen.
Parents expected to buy textbooks.
Head & staff
Headmaster: Paul Stockdale, in post from 2001. Educated at Carlisle
Grammar School and at the universities of Hull (zoology), Bangor (PGCE) and
Birmingham (educational management). Previously Head of Ballard School, New
Milton, and Deputy Head of Kirkham Grammar School. Member of the Institute of
Teaching staff: 38 full time, 9 part time. Annual turnover 5%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 48 pupils in Year 11: 54% gained at least grade C in 8+
subjects; 14% in 5–7 subjects. Average GCSE score 46 (47 over 5 years).
A-levels: 30 in upper sixth: 62% passed in 3 subjects; 25% in 2; and 10%
in 1 subject. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 262.
University & college entrance 95% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (2% after a gap year). 10% took courses in medicine,
dentistry & veterinary science, 15% in science & engineering, 25% in humanities
& social sciences, 17% in art & design, 34% in vocational subjects eg drama,
music, business and finance, leisure management. Others typically go on to
non-degree courses (eg art, drama, catering, agriculture) or into careers (eg
armed services, banking, retailing).
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 14 AS/14 A-level subjects.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4–5 subjects at AS-level, 3 at
A-level; some take supplementary GCSEs; general studies not taken. 20% take
maths and science A-levels; 20% arts/humanities; 60% both. Key skills:
communication and ICT.
Special provision: EAL teaching and help for dyslexic pupils (on
withdrawal from classes basis) in Learning Support Unit, usually three times a
Languages: French and German offered to GCSE, AS and A-level; also
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject and across the curriculum. 52+
computers for pupil use (8 hours a day), most networked, all with email and
Music: Over 30% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. Musical groups include orchestras, choirs, pop group. Pupils in
Drama: Majority of pupils are involved in school productions.
Art & design: On average, 35 take GCSE, 10 A-level. Pupils regularly
accepted for art college and to read architecture.
Sport & activities
Sport: Rugby, soccer, cricket for boys; hockey, netball for girls;
athletics, cross-country, swimming, badminton, tennis for boys and girls. BAGA,
ASA exams may be taken. Regular county representation (cricket, swimming,
athletics, hockey, football).
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. Active social service and charitable works. Clubs include computer,
chess, climbing, aerobics, drama, art, metal modelling, kayaking, motor
Uniform: School uniform worn except in the sixth form (smart business
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy and girl, heads
of house and house prefects – appointed after consultation.
Religion: Non-denominational. Compulsory chapel. Boarders must attend
unless attending own (eg Roman Catholic) church.
Social: Trips abroad. Pupils allowed to bring own bike to school. Meals
self-service. School shop. No tobacco allowed.
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once might expect a
reminder, then work detention for persistent failure. Any pupil caught supplying
drugs would expect to be expelled.
Boarding 5% have own study bedroom; 50% share (1 or 2); 35% in
dormitories of 3–8. Single-sex houses of approximately 50; separate sixth-form
houses for boys and girls. Resident qualified medical staff. Central dining
room. Pupils can provide and cook own snacks. 3 or 4 overnight exeats each term.
Visits to local town allowed.
Alumni association is run by Stephen Hodge, c/o the school.