What’s New? Oxbridge Offers and School League Table-toppers

By School House

5 years ago

The government’s comprehensive school league tables are out and Oxbridge offer letters have been opened. Here’s the best of the good news this week.

Oundle School Pupils Conquer Oxbridge

Fifteen pupils are off to Oxbridge in October

Fifteen pupils from Oundle School have received offers this year to study at Oxford and Cambridge. 11 of these are conditional on A-level and Pre-U results, with four former pupils receiving unconditional offers. 

The offers received were for a cross-section of subjects, from English and Classics to Politics, Philosophy and Economics and Chemistry. The full break-down of subjects reflects the wide range of fields in which pupils have developed interests throughout their career at Oundle.

Head, Sarah Kerr-Dineen commented, ‘It is always pleasing to see pupils rewarded for their understanding of and commitment to their chosen fields at Oxford and Cambridge. It is, however, the diversity of their ambition of which I am most proud. This year Oundelians applied for over one hundred different courses at over forty universities both in the UK and abroad and I wish them all success in meeting their offer requirements.’

Tonbridge School Gain Top University Offers

26 Tonbridge boys with Oxbridge offers

Twenty-six boys at Tonbridge School have recently been offered places to study at Oxford or Cambridge. The offers cover a range of subjects including biochemistry, engineering, English, history, mathematics, languages, natural sciences, physics, PPE, theology, religion and philosophy of religion. The total is made up of 14 offers from the University of Cambridge, and 12 offers from Oxford.

The talented Upper Sixth cohort at Tonbridge will be taking up places not only at Oxbridge later this year, but also at many of the UK’s other leading universities, including Imperial College, the London School of Economics, Durham, Bristol, Bath and Exeter.

A proportion of Tonbridge leavers also choose to study abroad and progress to leading universities around the world. Recent destinations have included Harvard, Berkeley, the University of Toronto and Hong Kong University.

The school’s Headmaster, James Priory, congratulated all those who have received university offers. ‘I’m very proud of all our pupils. They have worked extremely hard and are now reaping the rewards with an exciting range of courses and destinations,’ he said. ‘They also continue to make hugely positive contributions to the wider life and leadership of the school. This experience will equip them well to flourish at university.’

Babington House School Top for London Borough

Babington House School is top of the A-level league table for the London Borough of Bromley

The league tables just published on the GOV.UK website, which finds and compares the results of all schools and colleges in England, reveal that the Independent co-educational day school, Babington House School, in Chislehurst has achieved outstanding results at both GSCE and A-level. 

At A-level Babington House School is top of the league table for the London Borough of Bromley with an average grade of A- and a progress score well above average of 0.75. Babington’s A-level results place Babington 48th place in the entire country amongst all types of school.

Babington is third in the Bromley Borough for GCSE results in 2018, behind the super selective Grammar Schools, Newstead Woods and St Olave’s, with 93 per cent of pupils achieving Grade 5 or above in Maths and English GCSEs.

These results demonstrate that being a small school has its advantages. The school strongly believes that it is the people and a strong sense of community that count and with small class sizes, no more than 20 in a class, Babington pupils are reaping the rewards of expert tuition, attention and support. 

The Headmaster, Tim Lello, comments, ‘I am so proud of the achievements of the staff and pupils at Babington, their strong performance at GCSE and A-level comes at a time of major exam reform. Our commitment at Babington to provide an academic and well-rounded education with small class sizes, tailored to the needs of our pupils is really paying off. Parents are happy and our pupils are definitely making the most of the unique learning environment that Babington provides.’

Stonyhurst Top for A-level in Lancashire

Stonyhurst College, Lancashire

In the same GOV.UK league tables, Stonyhurst ranked #1 in Lancashire for ‘value added’ at A-level. Value added is the primary government measure of pupil progress. Stonyhurst’s A-level ‘value added’ score was higher than Sedbergh, Ampleforth, Worth, Downside, Rugby, Giggleswick and Rossall School.

John Browne, Headmaster at Stonyhurst College, comments: ‘We are delighted by this Government audit of the progress our students make while in Higher Line at Stonyhurst. Stonyhurst is the UK’s leading co-educational Catholic boarding and day school and we pride ourselves on our broad intake of pupils. The mark of true educational excellence in school is not raw grades of students, but rather the progress students make individually to be the best that they can be. This is what we focus on here at Stonyhurst – achieving what our school motto demands of us: Quant je puis – as much as I can.’

Cottesmore School win Boarding School of the Year

Cottesmore School in West Sussex

In February, Cottesmore School was awarded ‘Boarding school of the year’ at the TesIndependent School Awards.

Lead judge John Dunston said Cottesmore offered a ‘strong reflection of why boarding, in general, is a good thing’ and highlighted how it ‘encouraged boarders to recognise how they need to contribute to the community and that the world doesn’t just revolve around them’. The school were up against a diverse selection of other boarding schools, which included Cranleigh School, Dover College, Hurstpierpoint College, Rugby School, Sandroyd, Shiplake College and West Buckland School.

Cottesmore School won Boarding School of the Year award in 2019

Founded in 1894 and described by one schools guide as a ‘fabulously old-fashioned country prep,’ the judges said the school epitomises many of the best qualities of British boarding.

New starters are made to feel welcome through a ‘buddy’ system to support their transition into boarding. Long-standing traditions, such as ‘Cottesmore’s got talent’ and the 100 year-old Carson Cup cross-country run, form an integral element of school life. In fact all aspects of life at Cottesmore are underpinned by the school’s unofficial motto: ‘Everyone has a talent.’

The school also prides itself on creating a close-knit community filled with warmth where teachers and pupils get to know each other well. The entire staff are trained in mental health and children are encouraged to express their feelings.

In addition to their award for ‘Boarding school of the year’, Cottesmore were one of the three finalists for the biggest award of the evening ‘Independent School of the year’, which was won by Bolton School. The entire school has marked this accomplishment with celebrations over the weekend, including a fun ‘stay up’ for the children.

St Benedict’s School Beats Rest of West London

St Benedict’s School in Ealing is a Catholic, co-ed school for pupils aged four up to 18

In the government’s latest school league tables, St Benedict’s is in the top 5 per cent of all schools in England, with a ‘well above average’ 16-18 progress score. The value added score shows how much progress students made between the end of their GCSE courses to the end of their A level studies, compared to similar students across England.

St Benedict’s outperformed all independent and state secondary schools in west London.

Our GCSE and A level students have achieved excellent results, and it is wonderful to have official confirmation of the impressive value added achieved at St Benedict’s.

Andrew Johnson, Headmaster at St Benedict’s

St Benedict’s pupils achieved the school’s best ever GCSE results in 2018, and the best A-level results in 5 years. In GCSE, 66 per cent of pupils were awarded grades 9 to 7, and in A level 74 per cent achieved A* to B.

St Francis’ College, Hertfordshire

Shona and Wenjun from St Francis’ College are going to Cambridge University

St Francis’ College is proud to have two year 13 students, Wenjun and Shona, with places at the University of Cambridge for Engineering and Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic studies respectively.  Both students worked hard to achieve this result and the teachers who supported them with their work are extremely happy for them. 

Wenjun, a St Francis’ student and boarder from year 12 (previously she had studied in a school in China) says: ‘I have been attracted to science ever since prep school, and I chose to read Engineering for the chance to put textbook theories into practice. At St. Francis’ I was given many opportunities to explore my interest even further. I joined the engineering club in year 12 and helped to build a Raspberry Pi controlled robot. I also worked with the year ten girls to run some activities for the Science Club, including air-powered rockets, and completed the Advanced STEM Leaders Award with distinction. I was given so much help and advice from my teachers to prepare for the interview at Cambridge. Being away from parents and friends can be a challenge so I am very grateful to my boarding friends and boarding staff for making me feel welcome and at home. Plus, our meals at school are always really tasty!’

Shona, a St Francis’ student from year five, who will go to Cambridge to study Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic in September said: ‘I started at St Francis’ College in year five and have remained all the way through to sixth form. For most of my time here I have been more inclined to study the humanities, particularly history, and so it is no surprise that I applied for Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic; a unique blend of history, literature and language all put into one degree.

‘This is an incredibly niche course that few people study. My subject teachers and Head of Sixth Form dedicated time to learning about the course I was aiming for and how best to write my personal statement and prepare for the admissions test and interviews.’

Shona, St Francis’ student

In addition to my A-level course, the Classics/Latin department allowed me to begin Latin GCSE in year 12. Having the flexibility to begin a subject unconventionally was a great opportunity for me. At the end of year 12 I had decided on my course and started to write my personal statement. My Latin GCSE and the opportunity to take an EPQ (original research project) alongside my A-levels, both helped my personal statement to stand out.
St Francis’ College has some year 12 boarding spaces available for September 2019 andare still accepting applications. To find out more about St. Francis’ Sixth Form application process, please contact Mrs Lisa Cogan, Registrar on [email protected].

READ MORE: What’s the Difference? School Scholarships & Bursaries Explained | Scholarships and Bursaries: News and Deadlines