What it's like
Two schools, founded in 1911-12, merged in 1994 to form the present school. It is situated in 25 acres of fine wooded parkland in Chislehurst, 12 miles south-east of central London on the borders of Kent. The buildings are well designed and the facilities good - including a full-size sports hall with dance studio and weights room and an outdoor, heated swimming pool. There is very good boarding accommodation with refurbished bedrooms. Founded as a girls' school, it is in the process of becoming co-educational: boys are already admitted to the junior school and, from 2010 into the senior school at age 11 and 16. The school will be fully co-educational by 2014. A Christian atmosphere is fostered; the chapel is central both physically and spiritually. It accepts pupils with a wide ability range and has good GCSE results. A range of sports and games is offered and pupils participate both in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and a Business Enterprise Scheme. There are numerous clubs from computers to fencing, debating to jazz dance.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 3-19; 472 pupils, 50 day boys, 422 girls (377 day, 45 boarding). Senior department 11-19, 270 girls (boys accepted from 2010). Entrance: Main entry ages 3, 5, 11 and 16. Own entrance exam used; for sixth-form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C (grade A in sixth-form subjects). No special skills or religious requirements. 30%-50% of senior intake from state schools (plus few to sixth form).
Scholarships & bursaries
7 pa scholarships, variable value: 2 academic, 1 sports, 1 arts at 11; 3 sixth form scholarships. Some bursaries for service personnel and Methodist ministers.
Many in industry, commerce, HMSO, diplomatic service (both British and others). 80% live within 30 miles; 20+% live overseas.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Catherine James, in post since 1999. Educated at Christ College Liverpool (divinity) and Institute of Education (RE). Previously Deputy Head of St Paul's Abbey Wood and Head of RS at St John Fisher, Chatham. Teaching staff: 42 full-time teaching and house staff. Annual turnover 2%. Average age 35.
GCSE: 58 pupils in Year 11: 73% gained at least grade C in 8+ subjects. A-levels: 22 in upper sixth, all passing in 3+ subjects, with an average final point score of 304.
100% of sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course (none taking a gap year). 22% take courses in science and engineering, 39% in humanities and social sciences, 8% in the arts, 31% in business-related subjects.
GCSE, AS and A-level. 20 GCSE subjects, 18 at AS/A-level. Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level. Key skills is part of enrichment programme (also includes food and wine course, Business Enterprise, general studies). Vocational: Work experience compulsory for Year 11. Special provision: Extra coaching, extra English lessons, EFL. Languages: French (from age 7) and Spanish offered at GCSE, AS and A-level. Annual trips to France. Pupils from France, Germany and Spain boarding in school. ICT: Taught across the curriculum, eg science and geography. 65 computers for pupil use, most networked and with email and internet access.
Music: Up to 25% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Many musical groups including choirs, woodwind group, string ensembles. Drama and dance: Both offered. GCSE drama, A-level performing arts, LAMDA exams may be taken. Majority of pupils are involved in school productions and some in house/other productions. Art and design: On average, 25 take GCSE, 8 A-level. Ceramics A-level and GCSE also offered.
Sports & activities
Sport: Netball, hockey, tennis, athletics, swimming, gym, dance, soccer compulsory. Optional: badminton, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, cricket, rounders, weight training, fencing. County athletics representatives at all age groups. Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Clubs include drama, debating, computing, dance, all sports, music, jazz dance, aerobic.
Uniform: School uniform worn; smart business suits in sixth form. Houses and prefects: 3 competitive houses. Prefects, head girl and head of house elected by the upper sixth and appointed by the Headmistress. School Council. Religion: Methodist. Religious attendance compulsory. Social: Organised trips abroad; outings to theatres, exhibitions, galleries, etc in London. Pupils allowed to bring own car/bike to school. Meals self-service. School second-hand uniform shops. No alcohol allowed.
Houses divided by age group. Qualified nurse. Central dining room. Weekend activities (cultural, leisure and occasionally to Europe).
Association of former pupils
is run by Ms Kerry Albright, c/o the school.