Founded in 1923, Canford stands in a magnificent 250-acre park, close to both Wimborne Minster and Bournemouth. The River Stour forms a boundary and there are splendid formal gardens and playing fields. The oldest part of the buildings is a fine medieval hall (known as John of Gaunt’s Kitchen); part of the present building is Georgian, the rest was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1847. There have been many modern additions to provide excellent facilities, including an art and design centre, music school, sports centre and theatre. The school became fully co-educational in 1995, having taken girls in the sixth form since the sixties. A very favourable staff:pupil ratio of about 1:8. Examination results are very good and academic performance is strong. Emphasis is placed on individual development both within and outside the classroom. Religious education is an important part of the curriculum. Many services (C of E) are held in the Norman church of Canford Magna in the school grounds. Music, art and drama are particularly strong. Games and sports are an important part of school life, with many teams competing at county and regional level and some at national level; facilities include a 9-hole golf course in the grounds and one of the few real tennis (or royal tennis) courts in the country. An unusually wide variety of extra-curricular activities include a flourishing CCF contingent, and pupils take part in local and international community services. Considerable enterprise has been shown in overseas expeditions to many parts of the globe.