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Around 10 per cent head to Oxbridge each year, and Greek and astronomy are on the curriculum (there’s even an observatory); they’re in the top 100 nationally for the uptake of STEM subjects. Sport is a big deal – pupils can train to become ball girls at Queen’s and CCF is run with the boys from Sutton Grammar. You’ve heard of the stupendously successful Wymondham College, of course – the largest state- maintained boarding school in the country, with its brilliant academic results and ensuite bathrooms galore. No longer is Chesham the poor relation to Dr Challoner’s up the road – pupils are ‘just as bright, but also have a bit of humility about them’, notes an insider. Head James Handscombe is as fizzy as his splashy ties. Head Michael Foley is a very keen sportsman: rugby is a big deal – they won the U15 national final at Twickenham last year – and they have a swanky 3G pitch, a climbing wall and use of TWO swimming pools. But ‘you really don’t need to go private round here,’ a parent assures us, and families typically either bus their children into one of the city’s excellent grammar schools or swallow Knowle’s inflated property prices to get into catchment for this much sought-after non-selective. Admissions: A challenging Eton pre-test, plus interview and previous school reports; Common Entrance at age 13. Academics are impressive but it’s what goes on outside the classroom that caught our attention. A Year 11 one-year GCSE programme launched in 2017, designed for students aged 15 or 16 who are not already in the English academic system. The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent, kings-school.co.uk, Ages: 13-18 (boys only from 13-16; co-ed from 16-18). British Public Schools It features a 350-seat theatre with an orchestra pit, dance and drama studios, and dining facilities. Campus and facilities: Wycombe Abbey is set on 170 acres of conservation-listed grounds. Wycombe Abbey You will often come across these on display at schools across the UK. Says our Cornish spy: ‘Mullion is the school that everyone wants to go to.’ It specialises in performing arts, so drama, dance and music are top-notch (the Easter Hootenanny raises the roof), but they do well on the academic front too, scoring highly in value-added tables and bagging the best GCSE results in Cornwall in 2016. School’s out (of the classroom) forever: The very best global schools. On Monday, 2 March, parents across England find out which secondary school their child has got into for the start of the new academic year in September. It is home to two of the world’s best universities, Oxford University and the University of Cambridge. Happy birthday to Chesham Grammar, which turned 70 last year. But, warns a mother: ‘Passing the entrance exam is just the start of it. Benenden, Cranbrook, Kent, benenden.kent.sch.uk, Registration: By August of the year before entry. Acting head Robert Jones has taught here for 20 years and is doing a grand job. Top Schools / Colleges League Tables. Alongside their preparations for (I)GCSE, boys in that year group have been taking courses to raise political awareness, to introduce them to the principles of economics and develop skills of critical thinking through the analysis of current affairs. Children in local schools have first dibs, then siblings, after which it comes down to distance from home to school gate. Admissions: Candidates will be interviewed in September at the Top Schools Event held in Hong Kong, and then sit the entrance tests in Hong Kong in November. Around 40 per cent of students already go to Russell Group universities, with an average of four per year to Oxbridge and a few to the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester. It’s a case of love at first sight with this large Cotswold school, established in 1440 (‘the same year as Eton,’ they proudly tell us), tucked amidst rolling hills and those pricey honey-stone villages. Harrow’s outgoing Fifth Form in 2019 also achieved the best GCSE results in the school’s history, with 64.5% of grades at 9, 8 or A*. The vertical-tutoring system ‘gives the school a unique feel’, says Ms McNaney. ‘Our experience of Langtree has been overwhelmingly positive,’ one delighted mother tells us. Head Andy Dickenson is a star – ‘welcoming to parents and well respected by pupils’. Its state-of-the-art science wing was opened in 2013 and the new Drama Centre and Samuel Pepys Theatre were completed in 2014. Teddy Wolstenholme, Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Celia Thursfield and Alice Rose. Homes Modern, state-of-the-art facilities include the Sports Centre with a 25m indoor pool, the Performing Arts Centre with theatre and recital hall, dance and fitness studios, and extensive sports pitches. Classes are large, but pupils are self-motivated, and attendance and punctuality are firmly controlled. You can opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy. A Westminster education without the price tag. We have produced league tables by exam results for UK private schools for many years. Schools Guide 2018. Leavers won 16 Oxbridge places last year, but Mr Handscombe won’t be satisfied until results equal Westminster’s. Many private schools are boarding schools. You need to have been regular churchgoers for at least five years, but you also have to Get Involved (‘Volunteer for the flower rota,’ advises a parent). In order to provide you with the best possible experience, this website uses cookies. Rowing has always been dominated by a handful of schools, including Hampton, Eton, Shrewsbury, and Lady Eleanor Holles , Loretto School, Bradfield College and Wellington slug it out with Millfield for top honours in golf, producing numerous outstanding amateur and professional players. One top London prep-school head praises ‘extremely impressive’ head Annmarie McNaney. Head Martin Murphy is going all out to drive through a £30m state-of-the-art rebuild to up the already impressive facilities: a swimming pool and 600-seat theatre are in the offing. Results are consistently impressive, with 97.6% of all GCSE entries graded A*-A. The new BOSS Kidswear collection combines bold colour with classic design for stylish yet practical pieces, In partnership with Outstanding state-school places are like gold dust round St Albans these days, thanks to about half of north London decamping here, and catchment areas are shrinking accordingly. 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