Atlantic College (UWC Atlantic College)

School:
Atlantic College (UWC Atlantic College)
School Type:
Address:
Atlantic College, St Donat’s Castle, Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan CF61 1WF
Postcode:
CF61 1WF
Region:
Wales
Telephone:
01446 799000
Gender:
Co-ed
Pupils:
350, Upper sixth 175
Fees:
£23,500
Enquiries:
the Principal
Description:

Founded in 1962 (a co-founder was educationalist Kurt Hahn), it was the founding college of the UWC movement, of which there are now thirteen schools and colleges across five continents. It is an international, residential, sixth-form college in a unique setting: a single-campus site of 65 hectares including its own seafront, rural areas and a 12th century castle. The heart of the college is the historic St Donat’s Castle, which is central to the activities of staff and students, and there are also modern, well-equipped buildings including classrooms, laboratories, IT suites and an arts centre. It has a truly diverse student body, with representatives of a wide range of countries, socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds studying and living together. It was the first school in the world to move away from the national curriculum in favour of the International Baccalaureate, which the college helped to develop (and continues to do so). The educational programme includes the college’s own Mission Initiative, involving a range of services and activities which encourage a sense of adventure and social responsibility. Its mission is to ‘make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.’ The academic year is divided into two semesters: early September to early December; and mid-January to end of May. A well-qualified staff (who represent many different countries and cultures) provide an excellent all-round pre-university education and there is a very favourable staff:pupil ratio of about 1:9. Standards are high and examination results very good. Community service has pride of place: students choose from rescue services (lifeboats or lifeguards), community support services (social service, extramural centre), environmental services (estate service, marine environment monitoring), cultural and aesthetic services (media and communications, arts centre). There is also a wide range of student-led activities ranging from arts and sports to global and international concerns. The rigid hull inflatable, now used extensively by the RNLI, was initially designed and tested at the college, which is an official RNLI station.

School Head:
Principal: John Walmsley, in post from 2012. Educated at Withernsea High School, East Yorkshire, and universities of Leeds (geology) and Lancaster (education). Previously Headmaster of Sidcot, Assistant Head of Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School (Canterbury), Head of ICT at Budmouth School (Weymouth), Haysfield School (Bath), Greengates School (Mexico City) and Head of Geology and ICT at Churchill School (Somerset). Teaching staff: 35 full time, 4 part time.
Results:
170 pupils in upper sixth, gaining an average of 35 IB points.
Furtherhigher:
96% of sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course. 17% go on to Oxbridge or to Ivy League colleges in the US (with offers of financial aid).
Arts:
Music: Up to 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Musical groups include choirs, orchestra, jazz, pop groups. Drama: Theatre arts offered. Majority of pupils are involved in school productions and house/other productions. Art and design: Design, pottery, textiles, photography, sculpture also offered.
Sport:
Sport: No compulsory sports but physical activity is compulsory. Options include rugby, soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, sailing, surfing, canoeing, climbing. RLSS exams may be taken. Activities: Community service compulsory: students choose from rescue services (lifeboats or lifeguards), community support services (social service, extramural centre), environmental services (estate service, marine environment monitoring), cultural and aesthetic services (media and communications, arts centre). Student-led activities range from arts and sports to global and international concerns. 80+ clubs and activities, eg Amnesty, global concerns, environmental issues, photography, video, community arts centre, sub-aqua, chess.
Boarding:
All share bedrooms with 3 others, of different nationality. 7 houses of 48 each, boys and girls on separate corridors. 2 resident qualified nurses; three weekly doctor’s clinics. Pupils may provide and cook own food. Visits to the local town allowed at any time convenient.
Formerpupils:
Baroness (Eluned) Morgan (Professor of European Studies, Cardiff University), Fernando Alonso (engineer; Head of Airbus Test Flight Division), Saba Douglas-Hamilton (conservationist and TV presenter), Louise Leakey (palaeontologist), Felicitas von Lovenberg (German journalist), Julie Payette (Canadian astronaut), Ashraf Johaardien (playwright, performer and arts manager).