What it's like
Founded in 1865 as a boys' school, it has been co-educational since 1992. It has a most beautiful setting: the elegant, well-appointed buildings are arranged in a horseshoe around the grounds on the eastern slope of the Malvern Hills, with magnificent views over the Severn Valley and the Vale of Evesham. The pretty town of Malvern is just five minutes walk away. The college has first-class facilities of every kind, including a sixth-form recreation centre and an all-weather sports pitch; a sports complex has recently been added (with fitness suite, swimming pool, dance studio, climbing wall and shooting range). The aims of the house system and the tutorial arrangements are to ensure that pupils learn to live in a community and develop their potential. It has a Church of England foundation but all faiths are welcome; all pupils are obliged to attend certain chapel services. In 1992, it was one of the first schools to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma alongside AS and A-levels. Academic standards are high and examination results very good. It is very strong indeed in music and drama. Art is excellent and the college is also very strong in sport and games, with many county representatives and some internationals. The CCF is optional; expedition training (basic camp craft and walking skills) is compulsory in the sixth form. There is a substantial commitment to local community services for the old, disabled and homeless. It has a fine record in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 13−18; 670 pupils, 155 day (90 boys, 65 girls), 515 boarding (277 boys, 238 girls). Entrance: Main entry ages 13 and 16. Common Entrance and own entrance exam used. For sixth-form entry, 6 GCSEs at least grade C including English and maths (at least grade B in sixth-form subjects). No special skills or religious requirements. Large intake from linked prep school, The Downs Malvern .
Scholarships & bursaries
Approx 40 pa scholarships and exhibitions awarded at age 13, value up to 50%: academic, all-rounder, sport, art, drama, technology and music. Also sixth-form scholarships, of no financial value (but means-tested bursaries available in case of need). Variable number of school assisted places for those with a particular talent, good academic standard and genuine financial need. Discount for children of HM Forces.
Head & staff
Headmaster: Antony Clark, in post from 2008. Educated at St Andrew's College, South Africa, and at Rhodes University and Cambridge University (history). Previously Headmaster of Gresham's College, of St Andrew's College (South Africa) and of St Joseph's Marist College (Cape Town).Teaching staff: 77 full time, 62 part time.
GCSE/IGCSE: 92 pupils in Year 11, 93% gaining at least grade C in 8+ subjects, 7% in 5-7 subjects (74% of pupils included English, maths, a science, a humanity and a modern language). A-levels/IB: 166 in upper sixth. 70 took AS/A-levels, 97% passing in 3+ subjects with an average final point score of 373. Of the 96 taking the IB, 99% passed the diploma with an average of 37.8 IB points.
Almost all sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course (about 20% after a gap year) 10% to Oxbridge, 50+% to Russell Group universities and 13% overseas (the majority to the US). 19% take up courses in science & engineering (including medicine), 33% in humanities & social sciences, 7% in law, 35% in economics, business & management, 5% in art, architecture and design.
GCSE/IGCSE, AS/A-levels and IB Diploma. 26 subjects at GCSE/IGCSE, AS/A-level and 28 at IB. Sixth form: 50% of sixth formers take the IB. 50% take AS and A-levels: 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level. Own sixth-form course covers healthy eating, university application, study skills. Vocational: Work experience available. Special provision: Learning support department (1 full-time, 2 part-time teachers); EAL teaching. Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to GCSE, AS/A-level and IB; also Italian at IB; Mandarin and Russian AS/A level and IB on a private-tuition basis. Annual visits to France in Years 9 and 10; regular visits to Germany and Spain. ICT: Taught in Year 9 across the curriculum. Computers for pupil use, all networked and with email and internet access.
Music: Over 35% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental and singing exams can be taken. Some 8 musical groups including orchestras, wind band, jazz band, choirs. Several recent awards to Cambridge and conservatoires. Drama: Drama offered at GCSE and AS/A-level; IB theatre; also LAMDA speech and drama exams may be taken. Large numbers involved in major dramatic productions; annual house drama competitions; upper sixth dramatic society. Participates in national Shakespeare Schools Festival; regular admission to National Youth Theatre and university/performing arts courses. Art and design: On average, 30 take GCSE, 30 A-level/IB. Painting, photography, sculpture and printmaking also offered. Regular prizewinners of NADFAS award.
Sports & activities
PE to Year 11; main sports are rugby, football, cricket, hockey, tennis, athletics for boys; hockey, netball, tennis, athletics for girls; some 20 further options including badminton, canoeing, climbing, fives, lacrosse, polo, sailing, shooting. PE GCSE and A-level available. Also bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award; CCF; community service. Over 100 clubs each term, eg debating, chess, photography, fashion design and outdoor pursuits.
Uniform: School uniform worn; suits in sixth form. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses. Head boy/girl appointed by the Headmaster; head of house and house prefects appointed by housemasters/mistresses; sixth-form and lower school councils elected by school. Religion: Church of England. Some compulsory chapel services. Social: Joint debates, dances, discos, plays, concerts with local schools. Frequent organised trips abroad; exchanges with German, Australian, Canadian and Japanese pupils on individual basis. Pupils allowed to bring own bike to school. Meals formal in houses. School shop. Sixth-form centre with bar.
Consistent; fair but firm. Pupils failing to produce homework once attend early morning sessions to complete outstanding work; any pupil caught smoking cannabis should expect exclusion.
50% have own study bedroom, 50% in dormitories of up to 11. Houses of approximately 60, same as competitive houses. Pupils can provide and cook own food at times. 1 or 2 fixed weekend leave-outs each term plus a week at half-term. Visits to the local town allowed.
Association of former pupils
The Malvernian Society, is run by S Hill, c/o the college.
Bernard Weatherill (former Speaker of the House of Commons); Denholm Elliott (actor); Lord Maclaurin (Tesco, Vodafone and England and Wales Cricket Board); Jeremy Paxman (journalist/broadcaster); C S Lewis (author); Professor Sir Ghillean Prance (Director of Kew Gardens); John Crowther (Chief Executive, Lawn Tennis Association); Mark Pougatch (BBC sports commentator); Najib Razak (Prime Minister of Malaysia).