Ackworth School, Ackworth, Pontefract West Yorkshire WF7 7LT
518, Upper sixth 46
Σ2506−Σ4034 (Day), Σ7199 (Boarding), Σ9346 (International Boarding)
Founded in 1779 in the village of Ackworth (3 miles from Pontefract). It has an estate of some 250 acres, including a magnificent Grade I listed Georgian block, spacious gardens and playing fields. There are many modern facilities and new buildings including a sports hall, music centre and theatre. Through a school council and a sixth-form council, the pupils can make their views felt and there are strong bonds with the local community. It is a Quaker foundation and the Quaker Christian ethos, with its emphasis on quiet reflection and the search for God within oneself and within others, lies at the heart of the school. It was founded as a co-educational school; a family atmosphere prevails and this is much encouraged. Examination results are very good and almost all sixth formers go on to degree courses. A wide range of clubs and activities is offered and high standards are achieved in sport. Music and drama are particular strengths. There is very active involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Head: Kathryn Bell, in post from 2009. Educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Girl’s School and Exeter University (biology and geography; education). Previously Second Deputy and Head of Science at Ardingly and taught at Burgess Hill. Also member of the Institute of Biology, of the ASE and ASCL, Freeman both of City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. Teaching staff: 37 full time, 8 part time, 14 music staff.
GCSE: On average, 60 pupils in fifth; 70% gain at least grade C in 8+ subjects (including English, maths, a science, a humanity and a modern language). A-levels: 41 in upper sixth, almost all passing in 3+ subjects, with an average final point score of 459.
90% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course (5% after a gap year). Typically, pupils go on to courses in science, engineering, maths, finance, social sciences, art, music, or vocational subjects eg physiotherapy, architecture, primary education. Others go on to employment, some overseas.
Music: Up to 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Numerous musical groups including orchestra, choir, chamber choir, brass and concert bands, jazz and pop groups. Drama: Many pupils involved in school productions and house/other productions. Art and design: On average, 20 take GCSE, 5 A-level. Design, pottery, textiles, fabric printing, photography also offered.
Football, hockey, netball, cricket, cross-country, rounders, swimming compulsory; additional options include badminton, squash, basketball. Number of county representatives in various sports. Also bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (includes community service). Some 50 clubs, eg aeromodelling, aerobics, Amnesty, gymnastics, canoeing, fencing, tae-kwan-do, riding for the disabled etc.
Sixth formers in small bedrooms (some ensuite) and also have single/double studies. Single-sex houses, divided by age group. Pupils can provide and cook own snacks. Weekend leave by arrangement with house staff. Visits to the local town allowed.
is run by Keith Daniel, General Secretary, Ackworth Old Scholars Association, c/o the school.
Richard Denby (former President, The Law Society); Basil Bunting (poet); John Bright (19th century politician); James Willstrop (World Champion squash player); Fiona Wood (Australian of the Year, 2005); numerous academics.