What it's like
Founded in 1877, it belongs to the Stamford Endowed Schools which also include Stamford School and Stamford Junior School. They are run separately and each has its own Head but they have a common Principal. They work in close conjunction, sharing many cultural, social and educational activities, including mixed sixth form teaching, a junior school and nursery. Their daily life is interwoven with that of the town. Stamford High School has a fine site in the centre of town. Facilities are very good and boarding accommodation comfortable. The school is non-denominational but there is religious education and assemblies for all pupils. The school's academic aim is to avoid early specialisation and to encourage the best of traditional and modern methods of learning. Academic standards are high and examination results very good. Music and drama are strongly supported (there is a purpose-built performing arts studio). Many girls learn a musical instrument. Drama is part of the curriculum and there are several productions each year. Sports and games are well catered for and include, besides the standard range, karate, shooting, fencing and Olympic gymnastics. There is a wide variety of clubs and societies. Girls are encouraged to take part in community and social services. The school has an outstanding record of success in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and there is a CCF contingent with navy, army and RAF sections.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11-18, 643 girls (589 day, 54 boarding). Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 13 and 16. Own entrance exam used. Musical and sporting ability welcomed; no religious requirements. 50% of intake from state schools, 50% from own junior school.
Scholarships & bursaries
Governors' scholarships, value £250-£1000 pa; most academic but some for music and art. Also some means-tested bursaries (up to full fees). Service family discounts.
Head & staff
Principal (of The Stamford Endowed Schools): Mr Stephen Roberts, appointed 2008. Educated at Mill Hill and Oxford University (physics). Previously Headmaster of Felsted School, Housemaster at Oundle and physics/electronics teacher at Christís Hospital. Head: Mrs Dyl Powell, appointed 2003. Educated at King's Norton Grammar School, and Warwick University (PE and maths). Previously Deputy Head of King's School, Peterborough. Teaching staff: 56 full time, 12 part time. Annual turnover 4%. Average age 44.
GCSE: 80 pupils in Year 11, 99% gaining at least grade C in 8+ subjects (75% including English, maths, a science, a humanity and a modern language). A-levels: 87 in upper sixth, 90% passiing in 3+ subjects, with an average final point score of 296.
95% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course, 5% to Oxbridge. 5% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 32% in science and engineering, 58% in humanities and social sciences, 4% in art and design. Others typically go on to non-degree courses or careers eg banking.
GCSE, AS and A-levels: 22 GCSE subjects offered; 27 at A-level, plus Extended Project Qualification. Sixth form: Most sixth form students take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level; general studies taught but not examined. Mixed teaching with Stamford School allows a wide range of subjects. Languages: French, German, Russian and Spanish offered to GCSE and A-level. Russian and Italian at A-level. Regular exchanges (France, Germany and Spain). ICT: Taught across the curriculum. Computers for pupil use, all networked and with email and internet access.
Music: About 40% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Some 18 musical groups including choral society, orchestras, concert band, chamber singers, chamber groups. Drama and dance: Both offered. LAMDA, RAD, GCSE drama and A-level performing arts exams may be taken. Some pupils are involved in school productions and house/other productions. Art and design: On average, 35 take GCSE, 5 A-level; design, textiles also offered.
Sports & activities
Some 16 sports available including Hockey, tennis, aerobics, golf, self-defence. RLSS and sports leadership exams may be taken; also ski trips, shooting at Bisley annually. Also bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award; large CCF (joint with Stamford School). Over 30 clubs, including band, lifesaving, creative writing, Christian Union, tae kwon do, Young Naturalists, science.
Uniform: School uniform worn throughout. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses (for games and activities). Prefects, head girl, head of house - voted by the sixth form and staff, appointed by the Head. School Council. Religion: Christian. Religious worship compulsory, though exemption allowed on grounds of conscience. Social: Joint activities with Stamford School include historical lectures, science society, joint musical and dramatic performances and dances. Trips abroad include sports tours, ski trips, field trips to Iceland and USA, cultural tours to Norway, Russia, Eastern Europe, classical tours to Greece and Italy; linked school in Bonn, exchange visits to France, Italy and Spain. Pupils allowed to bring own car, bike, motorbike to school. Meals self-service. School shop. No alcohol allowed.
Pupils failing to produce homework once might expect to be admonished and asked to produce it; those caught smoking cannabis on the school premises would be suspended while all factors considered - expulsion likely.
25% have own study bedroom, 25% share (mainly 2); others in dormitories up to 5. Houses of 20-40, divided by age. Sixth form can provide and cook own food. Weekend exeats termly plus unlimited day exeats. Visits to the local town: special shopping expeditions by juniors, ranging to daily visits for upper fifth and sixth form.
Association of former pupils
is run by Jill Hamilton, c/o the school.
Wai-King Cheung (BBC camerawoman); Joanna Parftt (author); Maureen Jones (Methodist Bishop in Africa); Susannah Ivens (wedding dress designer); Kirsty Stewart (RAF pilot, first woman to fly tornado); Anita Ganeri (writer); Lucy Cohu (actress), Sarah Cawood (TV presenter); Daphne Ledward-Hands (botanist; Gardners' Question Time); Maggie Dawn (Christian singer-songwriter), Sue Broom (BBC radio producer); Alexandra Marshall (golfer).