What it's like
Founded in 1882 by George W. Sibly, the school is set in a 60 acre semi-rural site. It is now fully co-educational, having first admitted girls in 1971. In the past 125 years the school has undergone several transformations; the most recent additions are a new sports centre, all-weather pitch and refurbished swimming pool. The prep school is on a 27 acre site adjacent to the senior school. It is inter-denominational but welcomes pupils from other religions. Its philosophy is based on the importance of a holistic education where happy and secure pupils are encouraged to show independence of spirit and to value their contribution to the life of the community. A non-selective school but academic achievements are high. It has excellent SEN provision (awarded CReSTeD status) and for gifted and talented pupils (awarded NACE Challenge Award). There is much strength in music, drama, art and design technology. A good range of sports and games, and the school is particularly strong in squash, fencing and rowing. Over 70 extra-curricular activities, including CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 2 -18, 794 pupils, 488 day (298 boys, 190 girls) 306 boarding (200 boys, 106 girls). Junior department 2-11, 374 pupils (228 boys, 146 girls). Senior department 13-18, 420 pupils (270 boys, 150 girls). Entrance: Main entry ages 13 and 16 (into main sixth form or one-year development sixth form). Common Entrance and interview used; for sixth-form entry at least 5 GCSEs at grade C. All skills welcomed; no religious requirements. Small state school entry at 13 (45% to sixth form). 15% of senior intake from own prep department.
Scholarships & bursaries
Scholarships up to 50% of fees, awarded at 10, 11, 13 and 16: academic, sport, art, drama, music, design and technology. Also bursaries available in cases of financial need.
30%+ live within 30 miles; 30%+ live overseas.
Head & staff
Head: Mrs Margie E Burnet Ward, in post from 2005. Educated at Strathallan and St Andrew's University (history). Previously Second Master at the school and Head of Bellerbys School. Also Chair of HMC West Committee. Teaching staff: 55 full-time, 12 part-time. Average age 40.
GCSE: 65 pupils in Year 11, 90% gaining at least grade C in 8+ subjects, 10% in 5-7 subjects. A-levels: 75 in upper sixth, 90% passing in 3+ subjects, 10% in 2 subjects, with an average final point score of 260.
94% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course (41% after a gap year), 5% to Oxbridge.18% take courses in science and engineering, 32% in humanities and social sciences, 11% in art and drama, 23% in business, 10% in vocational subjects eg agriculture, PE, teaching, tourism. Others typically go on to art, drama or music colleges or the armed forces.
GCSE, AS and A-levels, BTEC. 22 subjects at GCSE, 29 at AS/A-level (including theatre studies, media studies, politics, travel & tourism, psychology and Japanese). Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 3-4 subjects at both AS and A-level. 25% take science/maths A-levels; 25% arts/humanities; 50% both. Also one-year development course for students wishing to spend further year preparing for A-levels and for pupils from overseas (comprises EFL plus IT, business skills, management and leadership training). Vocational: Life skills programme in each year group. Work experience available; also certificated study in English/French for business, sport studies, health and safety, etc. Special provision: Individual EFL lessons; support English; specialist dyslexia unit; maths masterclasses. Languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese offered to GCSE, AS and A-level. ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject and across the curriculum (eg digital imaging, design, art, drama, IT, media studies). Pupils take GCSE short course. 100+ computers for pupil use (14 hours a day), all networked and with email and internet access. Network across the campus, with wireless networking for laptops in teaching areas and boarding houses. All classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards.
Music: Over 30% of pupils learn a musical instrument; GCSE, AS and A-level music may be taken. Musical groups include orchestra, string group, concert band, jazz band, choirs and chamber groups. Music tours. Drama and dance: Drama and dance offered; GCSE and A-level theatre studies may be taken. School productions popular, several a year (eg Little Shop of Horrors). Wycliffe Youth Theatre Company tours. Art and design: On average, 20 take GCSE, 16 A-level. Design, pottery, photography, textiles and printmaking also offered.
Sports & activities
Sport: Rugby, hockey, netball, squash, badminton, swimming, soccer, rowing, cricket, fencing, basketball, aerobics, horse riding, polo, kick boxing, karate, tennis, weights, athletics, canoeing, sub-aqua, climbing, cross-country. A-level and BTEC sports studies, National Diploma in sport may be taken. National rowing representatives; regional netball reps; county reps in cricket, athletics, fencing; national rowing regatta successes, national schools squash champions; county champions in netball, rugby 7s and hockey. Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. CCF and community service both optional. Active Wycliffe charitable organisation. Numerous clubs, eg life drawing, business, French film, board games, bridge, music, pottery, rifle shooting, origami and cooking.
Uniform: School uniform worn; smart, dark business suits in sixth form. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head of school and deputy, head of house and house prefects - appointed by the Head on basis of interview by senior staff. Religion: Inter-denominational. Worship encouraged; compulsory daily chapel (certain faiths excused). Resident chaplain. Social: Sixth form centre organised by pupils. Trips abroad for skiing, language, squash; music tours (eg Spain, Czech Republic, USA), drama tours (eg Prague, Ostrov), sports tours (eg Barbados, South Africa). Day pupils in upper sixth allowed to bring own car, bike or motorbike to school (with restrictions and checks). Meals self-service. School shop. No alcohol allowed.
Rigorous self reviews at pupil, department and school level. Effective intervention policies for under-achievers. Detention to upgrade work; fines for smoking; random testing for drugs; expulsion for pushing drugs.
35% have own study bedroom, 35% share, 30% in dormitories of 4-6. Single-sex boarding houses of approx 45; 3 sixth-form halls with ensuite study bedrooms. Medical centre, 24 hour cover by qualified nurses. Pupils can provide and cook own food. Frequent exeats possible. Visits to local town permitted.
Association of former pupils
Old Wycliffian Society, run by Frank Smith, c/o the college.
Jeremy Nicholas and Mike Gwilym (actors); Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon; Mark Pitman and Richard Pitman (jockeys); Matthew Singer (rugby player); Charlie Stayt (BBC reporter & journalist); Alex Gidman (cricketer).