Royal Hospital School
皇家医学学校Holbrook, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 2RX
Tel: 01473 326200 Fax: 01473 326213
• CO-ED, 11–18 Boarding, 16–18 Day
• Pupils 680, Upper sixth 80
• Termly fees £5317 (Boarding), £3380 (Day)
• HMC, SHMIS, BSA
• Enquiries/application to the Registrar
What it’s like
Founded in 1712 at Greenwich, it moved in 1933 to its present exceptionally
well-equipped new complex with 200 acres of beautiful grounds overlooking the
River Stour, just south of Ipswich. The school enjoys first-rate facilities and
accommodation in a caring and purposeful environment. Established as a boys’
school, it has been fully co-educational for many years. All pupils board,
except a small number of sixth formers. A large staff allows a staff:pupil ratio
of about 1:9. Examination results are good. Very strong in music and it has high
standards in sports and games (many representatives at county and national
level). Its naval tradition is continued in the large CCF contingent, ceremonial
parades with marching band and an Auxiliary Coastguard; all pupils are taught to
sail. There is a strong community action programme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11–18; 680 pupils (400 boys, 280 girls); all
pupils board except a few sixth formers.
Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 13 and 16. Own exam used. For sixth-form
entry, interview, reference and approx 28 points at GCSE (grade B in sixth-form
subjects). No special skills or religious requirements. State school entry, 60%
intake at 11, 30% at 16. Pupils come from wide range of schools.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras 25 pa scholarships, value up to
£7500 pa: 10 academic, 1 art,
4 music, 1 nautical interest (awarded at 13 or above) and up to 10 for sixth
form. Means-tested bursaries may be available for children and grandchildren of
seafarers. Parents not expected to buy textbooks; maximum extras £150.
Parents Up to 30% live within 40 miles; up to 10% live overseas
(maximum of 5% non-UK nationals).
Head & staff
Headmaster: Howard Blackett, in post from 2004. Educated at St Edward’s
Oxford and at Oxford University. Previously Headmaster of Dover College.
Teaching staff: 72 full time, 5 part time. Annual turnover 4%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 109 pupils in upper fifth: 92% gained at least grade C in
8+ subjects, 5% in 5–7 subjects. Average GCSE score 60 (56 over 5 years).
A-levels: 80 in upper sixth: 19% passed in 4+ subjects; 69% in 3; 13% in
2 subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 345.
University & college entrance 95% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course. 20% in science & engineering, 66% in humanities & social
sciences, 5% in art & design, 9% in other vocational subjects.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels and AVCE. 22 GCSE and AS-level
subjects, 18 A-level (including business studies, politics, computing,
technology, theatre studies, sports studies), 1 Vocational A-level (AVCE).
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level;
in addition, all take AS-level general studies (A-level optional). 24% take
science A-levels; 18% arts/humanities; 58% both. Key skills optional; mixture of
discrete work and integrated into sixth-form courses.
Vocational: Work experience available. AVCE in business studies offered.
Special provision: Special needs teacher.
Languages: French and German offered to GCSE and A-level; also Spanish
and Latin GCSE and AS-level.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1–2 lessons a week) and across
the curriculum. 150 computers for pupil use (13 hours a day), all networked and
with email and internet access. Most pupils take Clait. Growing number of pupils
have own laptops.
Music: 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can
be taken. Some 10 musical groups including choir, chamber choir, orchestra, wind
ensemble, concert band, marching band, brass ensemble, corps of drums, pop
Drama & dance: Both offered. GCSE drama & media studies, A-level theatre
studies and AS-level media, ISTD and RAD exams may be taken. Many pupils are
involved in school productions and the majority in house/other productions.
Recent productions eg Grease, West Side Story, Midsummer Night’s Dream. Annual
inter-house drama and music festivals.
Art & design: On average, 40 take GCSE, 12 A-level. Design, pottery,
textiles, photography, print techniques, art history also offered. Students have
been commissioned to produce work.
Sport & activities
Sport: Soccer, rugby, cricket, netball, hockey, rounders are major
sports. Optional: swimming, squash, badminton, tennis, shooting, athletics,
life-saving, cross-country, basketball, trampolining, gymnastics. All pupils
joining at 11 learn to sail (full-time director of sailing). RLSS and RYA exams
may be taken. National lifesaving championships, national cross-country
trialists; county representatives in cross-country, swimming, rugby (various
Activities: 250+ pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. CCF compulsory for 2 years at age 13, optional thereafter. Community
Service offered. St John’s Ambulance Corps and Auxiliary Coastguard Service
within school. Strong community action programme. Over 60 clubs, eg riding,
model railway, rambling, computing, electronics, photography, drama, gymnastics,
astronomy, music, table tennis, sailing, public-speaking, debating. (Over 75
activities take place weekly.)
Uniform: School uniform worn throughout (provided by school at minimum
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head of school, head of
house and house prefects – appointed by Headmaster. Sixth form committee, house
Religion: All attend daily Chapel services; provision for weekly RC mass.
Facilities for CSFC pupils.
Social: Theatre, debates. Organised trips abroad including skiing,
adventure training, France (battlefields, sailing, etc). Pupils allowed to bring
own bike to school. Meals self-service. School shop. No tobacco allowed; upper
sixth bar, sixth form centre.
Discipline Weekday detention for those who fail to produce work,
Saturday night detentions for misbehaviour. Compulsory cessation classes for
smoking. Drugs or solvent abuse leads to expulsion.
Boarding 20% have own study bedroom, 40% share with one, juniors in
rooms of 4. Houses of approximately 60, same as competitive houses; separate
upper sixth-form house, sixth form centre. Resident qualified nurse. Central
dining room. Pupils can provide and cook own food in a limited way. Exeats at
half-term, others by arrangement. Sixth form allowed visits to local town.
Alumni association is run by Mr A Pope, c/o the school.