If you want a school with the ‘wow’ factor in abundance, look no further than Christ’s Hospital.
Magnificent sprawling red-brick campus and historic works of art to take your breath away – and if that isn’t enough, the continuing academic success is bound to impress.
It has just been rated ‘excellent’ in every aspect by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate. More than 80 per cent of final year student in 2012/13 received offers from Russell Group universities, ten winning places at Oxford and Cambridge.
Unique fee structure
Founded in 1552, granted a Royal Charter in 1553 and relocated to Horsham in 1902, the facilities and setting can only be described as majestic.
Headmaster John Franklin is clear what makes CH unique: “The most obvious is the Tudor uniform which is worn with great pride by our pupils. However it is not the Tudor uniform or Band Parade, but our charitable mission, which allows us to provide a transformational education for children in need.
“Christ’s Hospital prides itself on the outstanding young men and women who move on each year. Friendly, forthright and entirely unpretentious, our school leavers take with them the confidence and the skills that they will need to achieve success at university and to make a worthwhile contribution to society in later life.”
The leading charitable school in the country, Christ’s Hospital is able to offer an unrivalled number of means-tested bursaries. These bursaries range from 5% remission of fees up to and including 100% remission. Pupils’ fees are assessed according to family income, so it’s a child’s ability and potential to benefit from a Christ’s Hospital education that determines their selection. This unique fee structure enables pupils from all walks of life to fulfil their academic potential and to develop their interests and talents in a caring and stimulating environment.
“Through the diverse mix of pupils and the opportunities you are encouraged to strive for, CH has taught me to become a well-rounded individual.”
One student said: “The most important thing I have learnt at CH is that academic work is not the most important thing. Through the diverse mix of pupils and the opportunities you are encouraged to strive for, CH has taught me to become a well-rounded individual.”
Another added: “I admire the way in which Christ’s Hospital emphasises egalitarian principles and I will strive to encompass this in my life.”
Predominantly a boarding school, accommodation standards are high. Young pupils share rooms of three or four, by the time they sit exams each pupil has their own bedroom with space for private study. Sixth formers live in the ‘Grecian’ houses, light, airy and modern spaces which prepare pupils for a move on to university.
Day pupils enjoy exactly the same routine as boarders, except from sleeping at the school.
Immensely proud of their school’s great history, when given a vote over 90 per cent of pupils opted to keep the traditional and distinctive uniform. It is because of the uniform that CH is sometimes referred to as the Bluecoat School.
Bluecoat Sports is also the name given to the sports centre, used by pupils as well as being open to the public. This is just one of the many ways the school and its surrounding community interact; CH also hosts theatrical and musical events, plus activities and clubs so members of the wider community can enjoy the outstanding facilities, wonderful grounds and learn about its fascinating history.
The stunning dining hall is reminiscent of something from a storybook, with its grand chandeliers and paintings.
Music is a thread that runs right through Christ’s Hospital. Its excellent marching band plays every year at Lords and in the Lord Mayor’s Show, but it also has an accomplished big band, orchestra and jazz band.
The theatre which has seating for over 500 offers an amazing space for drama lessons, as well as performances.
The school hasn’t been afraid to develop; modern facilities have been built in sympathetic style. Those changes are echoed in the challenging and varied curriculum. CH offers A levels alongside the demanding Pre-U qualification in fine arts and in 2011 it launched the globally respected International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
One student says: “A significant sense of purpose and discipline is transferred from CH’s central traditions – marching band, uniform, buildings etc – to both teaching and learning. The teaching style probably isn’t at the cutting edge of the technological revolution in education, although we definitely don’t write on wax tablets. But I don’t feel I need an iPad for a history lesson to know that I am learning from teachers that really care.”
Pupils use a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) with useful extra resources and notes from classes. The nature of the school also allows for more than 30 additional support sessions a week for pupils to extend their learning.
‘A school like no other’ is the line Christ’s Hospital uses to describe itself. Seems a perfect way to sum up such an amazing place.