What it's like
Founded in 1863 by a group of Wolverhampton businessmen to provide a school for the sons of non-conformists. It is now inter-denominational and, since 1982, co-educational. A purpose-built pre-prep department and lower school building are on the same site, so continuous education is now offered from 2-18. It has a most agreeable site in the old village of Tettenhall in 33 acres of attractive grounds three miles from Wolverhampton. The original building contains the boys' boarding house, dining hall, chapel and library. Playing fields are on site. A broad general education is provided and examination results are good. Music, art and drama are well supported and of a high standard. A good range of sports and games is available and there are many county and regional representatives and members of sports academies. Numerous clubs and societies for extra-curricular activities. Pupils also participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 2-18, 464 pupils, 399 day (236 boys, 163 girls), 65 boarding (38 boys, 27 girls). Senior department 11-18, 260 pupils (161 boys, 99 girls). Entrance: Main entry age 2, 7, 11, 13 and 16. Common Entrance used at 13 for prep school applicants; own assessments and interviews for others. For sixth form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C (including sixth form subjects).
Scholarships & bursaries
6% of school income allocated to scholarships and bursaries, value 10%-50% of fees: academic, all-rounder, sport, art, drama, music (awarded at 11, 13 and 16). Means-tested bursaries for children of clergy and service personnel.
Head & staff
Headmaster: Dr P C Bodkin, in post since 1994. Educated at Bradfield and St Andrews University. Previously Senior Housemaster at Bradfield. Teaching staff: 48 full time, 5 part time. Annual turnover 2%. Average age 40.
GCSE: 47 pupils in Year 11: 62% gained at least grade C in 8+ subjects; 34% in 5-7 subjects. A-levels: 35 in upper sixth: 52% passed in 4+ subjects; 45% in 3 subjects - achhieving an average final point score of 283.
97% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course. 7% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 22% in science and engineering, 71% in humanities and social sciences. Others go directly into career-related training.
GCSE, AS and A-levels. 18-20 examination subjects. Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (good mix), 3 at A-level; general studies is not taken. 23% took science A-levels; 42% arts/humanities; 19% both. Key skills integrated into sixth-form courses. Vocational: Work experience available. Special provision: EFL department, CReSTeD status for learning support eg dyslexia. Languages: French (compulsory from age 7), German and Spanish (offered from age 11) at GCSE and A-level. Exchanges to Germany. ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject and across the curriculum, eg projects, topic work, displays. 120 computers for pupil use (10 hours a day), all networked with email and internet access. Pupils allowed laptops.
Music: A third of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Some 6 musical groups including chamber choir. Numerous successes at regional level, occasionally at national. Drama and dance: GCSE and A-level drama and theatre studies may be taken. Some pupils are involved in school productions (eg High School Musical); many in house/other productions. Also involvement in professional productions at the local theatre. Art and design: On average, 18 take GCSE, 6 A-level. Design, pottery, sculpture, textiles, photography, graphics also offered.
Sports & activities
Sport: Wide range including rugby, football, hockey, netball, tennis, swimming, cricket, squash, athletics - guided choice at all levels. Numerous county and regional players in rugby, hockey, cricket, squash, athletics. Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Clubs include pottery, photography, computing, electronics, drama, modern languages, karate, chess.
Uniform: School uniform worn, some concessions in sixth form. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy/girl, head of house and prefects appointed by the Headmaster. Religion: Inter-denominational. Attendance at religious worship compulsory. Social: Pupils allowed to bring own bike to school. Meals self-service. School shop.
Minor offences usually result in a reprimand; detention used, and more serious offences (bullying, stealing, illegal drugs) result in suspension or expulsion.
25% have own study bedrooms, 30% share with one or more, 40% in dormitories of up to 4. 2 single-sex houses. 24-hour medical cover. Pupils may cook own food. Unlimited exeats (but school open every weekend in term time). Visits to local town allowed, sparingly, at house staff's discretion.
Lord Justice Anthony Hughes, William Bidlake (arts & crafts architect), Professor Sir Arthur Harden (Nobel prize for chemistry); Peter Radford (athlete); Charlotte Craddock (hockey player); Professor Peter Aston (professor of music).