Prior's Field School
帕莱尔菲尔德中学, 帕莱尔菲尔德学校 Godalming,
Surrey GU7 2RH
Tel: 01483 810551 Fax: 01483 810180
• GIRLS, 11–18, Day & Boarding (full & weekly)
• Pupils 310, Upper sixth 32
• Termly fees £3595 (Day), £5695 (Boarding)
• Enquiries/application to the Registrar
What it’s like
Founded in 1902 by Mrs Julia Huxley, mother of Julian and Aldous, it retains
links with the Huxley family which has been a guiding influence since the
foundation. The main buildings, which include a Voysey house, are in a
delightful and peaceful rural site of 25 acres (including formal gardens) in the
green belt outside Guildford. Apart from the sixth-form house, music school and
new sports hall, the whole school is under one roof. A small school, it has a
congenial family atmosphere and enjoys comfortable refurbished accommodation and
good modern facilities. The staff:pupil ratio is about 1:9. Academic standards
and examination results are good. Music and drama are strong. All girls play
sport on a regular basis. There is a wide range of co-curricular activities,
including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and Young Enterprise.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11–18; 310 girls (184 day, 126 boarding).
Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 13 and 16. Own exam plus interview; for
sixth-form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C. Small number of state school
entrants at 11 and 16. Many pupils from St Hilary’s, Longacre, Halstead,
Flexlands, Rydes Hill, Edgeborough and St Ives schools.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras 5–8 pa scholarships, value 10%–50%
fees: 2 academic plus others for art, drama and music awarded at 11; also
sixth-form scholarships. Special discounts for service daughters, sisters and
old girls. Parents not expected to buy textbooks, except for some examination
Parents 60+% live within 30 miles; 10+% live overseas.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Jenny Dwyer, in post from 1999. Educated at Homerton
College (education and maths). Previously Deputy Head at Queen Anne’s (Caversham)
and Housemistress at Benenden.
Teaching staff: 33 full time, 12 part time. Annual turnover 5%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 45 pupils in Year 11: 80% gain at least grade C in 8+
subjects, 14% in 5–7 subjects. Average GCSE score 58 (55 over 5 years).
A-levels: 32 in upper sixth: 76% passed in 4+ subjects; 19% in 3; 5% in 2
subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 302.
University & college entrance 94% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course, some after a gap year. 31% took courses in science &
engineering, 50% in humanities, 19% in art & design. Others go on to eg drama
college and non-degree courses.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 23 AS/A-level subjects.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level.
On average, 9% take science A-levels; 45% arts/humanities; 46% both. ICT
compulsory, taught partly in discrete units, partly through sixth-form courses.
Vocational: Work experience available. Also touch typing in first year.
Special provision: Specialist teachers for dyslexic pupils and for EFL
(one-to-one or in small groups).
Languages: French and Spanish offered at GCSE, AS and A-level. German,
Italian and Russian lessons by arrangement. Regular exchanges.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (approx 1 hour/week in Years 7–11)
and across the curriculum, eg maths data collecting, spreadsheets etc. Most
pupils take Clait, IBT 2 or OCR text processing. 36 computers for pupil use (15
hours a day), all networked and with email and internet access. Computers
available in boarding houses; some pupils have their own laptops.
Music: Over 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
may be taken. 10 musical groups including 3 choirs, 2 orchestras, 2 flute
groups, strings, chamber orchestra, jazz group and ensembles. Solo singing
entrants and chamber choirs often won at Woking and Godalming Festivals.
Drama & dance: GCSE and A-level drama, LAMDA exams may be taken. Dance
may form part of PE course. Majority of pupils are involved in school
productions and all in house productions. More than 50% distinctions and honours
Art & design: On average, 25 take GCSE, 10 A-level. Design, pottery,
textiles, photography, history of art, sculpture also offered.
Sport & activities
Sport: Hockey, netball, badminton, volleyball, tennis, gymnastics,
swimming, dance, basketball, athletics, rounders compulsory. Optional: squash,
trampolining, table tennis, golf, football, fencing, aerobics, riding. RLSS
exams may be taken. County hockey, tennis, cross country and athletics
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. Over 30 clubs, eg lacemaking, computers, gymnastics, chess, photography.
Uniform: School uniform worn except in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects and head girl – appointed
by the Headmistress after ballot of sixth form and staff. School Council.
Social: Skiing holidays, activity camps and exchange with school in
France. Sixth form allowed to bring own car to school. Meals self-service
(includes special diets and vegetarian). School shop. No tobacco or alcohol
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once might expect to do
it in their own time by the following day; those caught smoking cannabis on the
premises expect expulsion.
Boarding En-suite study bedrooms for ages 14+, others share with 2–4.
Houses of 40+, divided by age group (new sixth-form house). Resident qualified
nurse. Central dining room. Sixth form can provide own food (own kitchen).
Flexible weekend arrangements. Visits to Godalming and Guildford allowed (by
arrangement for sixth form; at weekends for main school).
Alumni association is run by Mrs Margaret Elliott, c/o the school.
Former pupils Enid Bagnold; Baroness Warnock; Jill Bennett and
Victoria Hamilton (actresses).