North London Collegiate School
北伦敦学院中学, Canons, Edgware, Middlesex
Tel: 020 8952 0912 Fax: 020 8951 1391
• GIRLS, 4–18, Day
• Pupils 1009, Upper sixth 109
• Termly fees £2697–£3180
• Enquiries/application to the Headmistress
What it’s like
Founded in 1850 by Miss Frances Buss, the first woman to use the title
‘headmistress’. In 1929 it bought Canons, the former home of the Duke of Chandos,
a magnificent 18th-century house with fine terraces and gardens, which is now
the heart of the school for the sixth form. A modern school was added in the 30
acres of parkland, including a theatre, library, sports hall, indoor swimming
pool and music and drawing schools – its facilities are very good. Strongly
traditional, it is an energetic, purposeful school. Academic standards are very
high and the examination results obtained are outstanding. A very high
proportion of sixth formers goes on to Oxbridge. The International Baccalaureate
is now being offered in the sixth form, alongside traditional AS and A-levels
courses. The school has a strong musical tradition (300 girls learn an
instrument), and many opportunities for drama. A range of sports, games and
extra-curricular activities, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 4–18; 1009 day girls. Senior department
11–18, 754 girls.
Entrance: Main entry ages 4, 7, 11 and 16. London Girls’ Schools’
Consortium entrance exam used; for sixth-form entry, tests and interviews. No
special skills or religious requirements.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras Approx 9 pa scholarships, value up
to 50% fees: 6 academic and 3 music (all at 11). Approx 10 bursaries to each
year group. Parents not expected to buy textbooks.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Bernice McCabe, appointed in 1997. Educated at Clifton
High School and Bristol University (English). Previously Headmistress at
Chelmsford County High and Deputy Head at Heathland School, Hounslow.
Teaching staff: 64 full time, 35 part time. Annual turnover 6%.
GCSE: In 2003, 102 pupils in Year 11, all gained at least grade C in 8+
subjects. Average GCSE score 73 (69 over 5 years).
A-levels: 109 in Year 13: 100% passed in 3+ subjects. Average final point
score achieved by upper sixth formers 435.
University & college entrance All 2003 sixth-form leavers went on to
a degree course (40% after a gap year), 35% to Oxbridge. 25% took courses in
medicine, 6% in science & engineering, 6% in law, 31% in humanities, 18% in
social sciences, 8% in art & design, 8% in vocational subjects eg nursing,
business studies, architecture, education.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels; International Baccalaureate (from
2004). 24 AS-level subjects, 20 A-level.
Sixth form: Currently, most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3
at A-level; general studies is taught but not examined. 30% take science
A-levels; 30% arts and humanities; 40% both. Key skills, optional, integrated
into sixth-form courses.
Vocational: Work experience available.
Special provision: Lift for wheelchair access. Some special needs help
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered at GCSE, AS and A-level;
also Russian at GCSE and A-level, Italian AS-level. Regular exchanges (to
France, Germany, Spain). Membership of Young Europeans.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (2 lessons a week for half a year
in Years 7–9) and across the curriculum eg much research using CDs and internet,
WP, DTP etc. 70 computers for pupil use (9 hours a day), most networked and with
email and internet access.
Music: Over 30% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. Many musical groups including 2 orchestras, concert band, 2
choirs, chamber groups. Recent finalists in National Chamber Music Competition;
4 major concerts in school each year.
Drama & dance: Both offered. 3 major productions a year.
Art & design: On average, 30+ take GCSE, 18 A-level. Design, pottery,
photography also offered. Murals at National Audit Office and at Royal Society.
Sport & activities
Sport: Lacrosse, tennis, netball, swimming, athletics compulsory.
Optional: badminton, trampolining, cross-country. RLSS examinations may be
taken. English Schools cross-country selection.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. Over 15 clubs (many run by sixth form) eg debating, chess, polyglot,
Jewish, science, Young Enterprise, Peace Group, charity, dramatic.
Uniform: School uniform worn except in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Senior student committee elected by sixth form.
Religion: Religious worship of many faiths catered for.
Social: Debates, drama, lectures and symposia with other schools.
Exchanges with schools in France, Germany and Spain, skiing trips, visits to
France, Russia, Italy, Greece, etc. Outdoor education week for year 9 each
summer. Pupils allowed to bring own bike to school. Meals self-service.
Discipline Codes of practice made clear to the student body. Strong
Former pupils Stevie Smith; Stella Gibbons; Marie Stopes; Barbara
Amiel; Susie Orbach; Eleanor Bron; Esther Rantzen; Natasha Walters; Katherine
McMahon; Judith Weir.