Canford is one of the country’s leading co-educational boarding schools. Set in over 250 acres of fine parkland on the banks of the River Stour, the school combines academic excellence with a broad and balanced curriculum. “Outstanding collections of As and A*s at GCSE, ditto at A level. Strong, as ever, on team games. Music stunning. High quality facilities put the school almost in a class by itself.” Good Schools Guide
About the school
Canford aims for its pupils to develop the qualities to live life to the full and to contribute richly to society. The environment is structured and yet allows them to grow as individuals through exposure to a very wide range of opportunities. Pupils are helped to develop a long-lasting love of learning and the first class examination results achieved in recent years are testament to this. Examination results match some of the most well-known independent schools in the country. All pupils who want to go to University – currently over 95% - do, with 92 Oxbridge places and over 100 to Medical Schools in the past decade. Yet while academic work may be the ladder to universities and careers, it is equally a source of much pleasure and personal growth, regardless of ability. Breadth of opportunity is at the heart of a Canford education. Creativity and self-discovery are fostered through a range of extra-curricular activities. The list is extensive – whether your interest is in bee keeping, drama, fencing, CCF, sculpture or canoeing, the opportunities are there to be explored. Canford is run as a seven day a week boarding school. There is no weekly boarding. 70% of pupils board, with day pupils benefitting from the provision a boarding school offers. On average nearly 70% of boarders stay in at weekends, but they can go home for a proportion, not all, of Saturday nights each term if they wish to. Canford's recent Ofsted Inspection rated the school as Outstanding in all areas, with no recommendations for improvement.
Canford is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted for an award in the Performing Arts category of the Independent School Parent magazine’s Independent School of the Year 2021 awards for the high quality of its Music provision.
5th July 2021 — Dr Helen Wright, Chair of Independent Schools of the Year 2021 said: “The aim of the awards has always been to highlight the excellence of the student experience in independent schools. On the evidence of the submissions, the independent school sector in Britain is demonstrating resilience and agility, while continuing to deliver a first-class educational experience to its pupils despite having to live with ever-changing levels of restrictions. It has been wonderful to learn about transformative and innovative projects and programmes that are underway from Aberdeen to Truro, and we have so enjoyed reading your stories. “
Director of Music, Christopher Sparkhall said:
“The pupils have worked incredibly hard this year to keep their music-making going, despite the numerous difficulties and problems. Shortlisting for this award is a wonderful affirmation of their enthusiasm and commitment at the end of a challenging year.”
Independent Schools of the Year finalists will be revealed on 7 September, and judges will then meet again to reach a decision on the winner of each category. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October, which we hope can take the form of a physical event again this year.
To watch and listen to the latest recordings please visit the dedicated Canford Music YouTube channel: Canford School Music - YouTube
In what has been a challenging year for sport we are delighted that a number of Canfordians have been excelling and have been selected to represent their sport at the highest levels. At the end of such a trying year it feels right to recognise just a few of those achievements.
5th July 2021 — This summer new Lower Sixth joiner Rhys Allen has worked incredibly hard to gain the ranking of No 1 U20 Discus thrower in the country. This form saw him represent GB Juniors in their international match at Loughborough in May and will see him aim to become English Schools Champion shortly in July.
Cricket continues to go from strength to strength at Canford for both boys and girls with a number of players now part of county pathways over the year. Amongst some talented players and an unbeaten season for the Boys 1st XI the standout performer has been Upper Sixth pupil Tom Prest. This summer he has made his full county T20 debut for Hampshire and amazingly scored an incredible 303 in only his second 2nd XI County Championship appearance for the county.
Canford’s Hockey strength has been shown by the England U18 call ups for both Molly Fairbairn and Will Whitmore. Although having had a really disjointed year both of them have showed huge dedication and resilience to keep performing at such a high level.
Rugby has probably been the sport hit hardest by COVID at school level and therefore it is a huge tribute to 1st XV Captain Freddie Charles that he has continued to be a mainstay of the Bath Academy U18 side. He will look to follow in the footsteps of some other OC’s who are starting to make their mark on Premiership rugby post their University degrees.
Away from some of the more traditional team games Robbie Hemmings has swum his way into the England National Junior Swimming Squad despite the challenges of a lack of pool time during lockdown and Abby Childerley has been part of the GB Junior Sailing Squad whilst here at Canford.
Tony Diprose, Director of Sport, commented:
“We celebrate sporting achievement whatever your level at Canford, but to be selected for national and top club level sides deserves particular mention. One of our core school values is humble ambition, and all these pupils have demonstrated this through a quiet determination to succeed and readiness to always look to improve. To achieve selection for a national side or top club requires a huge amount of hard work and dedication in training and we are very proud of their success. I look forward to watching their various sporting careers develop and wish them all the very best of luck in their forthcoming matches.”
Canford School to launch a new Sleep Programme in September 2021. Canford's Joint Head of Wellbeing, Melissa Clinton said "We want to ensure we enrich our pupils' wellbeing with the knowledge and understanding on the science and importance of sleep."
29th June 2021 — Canford’s Joint Head of Wellbeing, Melissa Clinton, was delighted to be involved in the inaugural Wellbeing Hub from Teen Tips Pastoral Leaders’ Event on Thursday 24th June, where she discussed the new Canford Sleep Programme due to be launched at the school through Houses in September 2021 and generously donated to The Wellbeing Hub for member schools to also access.
Sleep is a vital area of health that is often overlooked by many. The Japanese government has said that sleep problems/insomnia is the most serious social refractory disease of the 21st Century. Research shows increased evidence for a non-pharmacological approach, with a focus on addressing the behavioural and cognitive approach through education.
Melissa and the Health Centre team are now aware that many issues discussed with staff and counsellors are often linked to sleep health. In carrying out some research as part of Canford’s holistic approach to wellbeing, it has become evident that better sleep health education is vital, hence The Canford Sleep Programme was developed. Good sleep health assists better diet, improved productivity, improved concentration, improved emotional control, all extremely relevant and helpful for the Canford adolescent pupils in our care.
We want to ensure we enrich our pupils’ wellbeing with the knowledge and understanding on the science and importance of sleep, so that they will feel empowered to make better choices around sleep health and hygiene. This in turn will support their mental, physical and emotional health, whilst helping them feel more productive and energised in all aspects of life. These are vital life skills that they can carry through with them in future years.”
Alicia Drummond, Founder of Teen Tips, was so impressed by The Sleep Programme she asked Melissa to share her insight at The Wellbeing Hub from Teen Tips Pastoral Leaders’ Conference in a bid to help more pupils and communities support this area of pupil wellbeing. Alicia said:
“Canford are the only school known to us who are providing such valuable education on sleep and we are so grateful for their generosity in sharing the resources to benefit the wider Wellbeing Hub community of schools.”
The Sleep Programme aims to provide a holistic approach, empowering through education, from transition to the school to include a pre-medical sleep history questionnaire and base line testing along with suggestions to help families prepare for their child’s move to a new environment. Each house will have a dedicated member of teaching staff and Matron trained as a ‘Sleep Champion’ who will take the lead role in the in-house education programme. This ensures an avenue of support is provided to pupils in this area of wellbeing. The sessions are fun, interactive and made relevant to the pupils. Every year group will take part in the programme which also means they can revisit the information and therefore build a stronger understanding as they go through the school. Pupils will receive termly sleep index forms and there will be the opportunity to check and advise on changes in scores. The Sleep Programme will cover core areas such as:
· Why sleep matters
· Science of sleep
· Why sleep issues occur
· Practical strategies/ways to improve sleep
The hope is that this approach will encourage an open dialogue with pupils and in turn help them to make the right choices on sleep health and to understand why policies such as ‘no technology before bedtime’ is in place.
We would like to thank The Sleep Charity who have been an incredibly helpful source of information, providing tools such as the Teen Sleep Index to give us objective markers in sleep health, and training for our staff.
In a recent blog post - www.canford.com/blog, our Joint Head of Wellbeing, Melissa Clinton, suggests some of her ‘Top Tips for Better Sleep Health in Teenagers.’
Commended entry in Cambridge University Newnham Essay Prize
We are delighted to announce that one of our current Lower Sixth pupils, Alice Hazell, was recently Commended for her essay entry in the Newnham Archaeology Essay Prize.
29th June 2021 — We are delighted to announce that one of our current Lower Sixth pupils, Alice Hazell, was recently Commended for her essay entry in the Newnham Archaeology Essay Prize. Alice received a very complimentary email from Newnham College with her result, in which the college wrote “You should be very proud of this achievement as the field of entries was very strong. We wish you all the best with your future endeavours, including university applications.”
The competition’s aim is to encourage female students currently in Year 12 at a UK school to write on a subject which interests them. Entry categories are offered in Archaeology, Biological Sciences, Classics, Computer Science, Engineering, History, Mathematics, Medicine, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, as well as the annual ‘Woolf Essay Prize’ with questions inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.
All essays must reference sources (including websites consulted) and provide a bibliography.
Alice entered the Archaeology category, new for 2021, as Archaeology is such a broad subject spanning both the arts and humanities and the sciences, this prize was perfect for pupils studying a range of subjects – from History, English and Sociology to Biology and Chemistry. Newnham College welcomed entries from students studying any combination of subjects.
Entrants were invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out below:
1) Why study the material record of historic periods? What can archaeology tell us that written sources cannot?
2) How are biological techniques reshaping our views of the Neanderthals?
3) How and why was writing invented?
Alice ‘s essay was in response to the first question: Why study the material record of historic periods? What can archaeology tell us that written sources cannot?
Tom Marriott, Head of Enrichment, commented:
”Entering external academic competitions forms part of our extensive enrichment programme. Researching and constructing an essay of this type requires the development of strong analytical and written skills, and I am delighted for Alice that she has received such praise from Cambridge University.”
Alice was thrilled with her success:
”I found the title of this essay really compelling and worked hard to do it justice so for my essay to be commended was a wonderful outcome. I really enjoyed researching and writing this paper on a subject I am fascinated by, so to gain such recognition was the icing on the cake.”
Read Alice’s commended essay on the Canford Blog - www.canford.com/blog
Having very fortunately managed to run last year’s Annual Parade hours before the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Parade sadly could not take place as usual. Our senior cadets however have been terrific throughout this year and managed to run a programme covering 70% of the normal level of activities albeit without a field day thus far.
26th March 2021 — Having very fortunately managed to run last year’s Annual Parade hours before the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Parade sadly could not take place as usual. Our senior cadets however have been terrific throughout this year and managed to run a programme covering 70% of the normal level of activities albeit without a field day thus far.
Monday 22nd March was their last day in uniform before turning their attention to their A Level assessments scheduled for next term, and Lieutenant General Sir Gary Coward KBE CB, a school governor, was invited to present the prizes and offer his thanks and appreciation on behalf of the School and the CCF staff for their four years of superb work and commitment.
Lieutenant Colonel Dan Culley, Director of Outdoor Activities and Challenges at Canford, commented:
“This group has been outstanding in many respects performing well at Pringle, excelling on Ten Tors, winning the RIFLES Cup and so much more. Selecting the prize winners was hard and credit must go in particular to WO Matt Butterfield, WO2s Sam Smith, Joe Cox, Will Toosey and WO1 Ben Parkin for their leadership, commitment and effort throughout. WO1 Ben Parkin was awarded the Benner Award for Leadership, whilst WO2 Joe Cox received the Clive Mayer Memorial Trophy for Services to the CCF.”
The theme of this year’s Careers Convention, held on Friday 19th March, was ‘Start building your dream career today.’ Canford’s annual Careers Convention is now in its 17th year but up until now, the event has taken place on the school site, with large numbers of OCs and parents within various industries giving their valuable time to help Lower Sixth pupils learn more about career paths they may be interested in pursuing in the future. This year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event moved online, but with the additional benefit of allowing all Sixth Form pupils to be involved in this valuable opportunity, particularly as the current Upper Sixth had missed their event in March 2020 as a result of the lockdown.
26th March 2021 — The theme of this year’s Careers Convention, held on Friday 19th March, was ‘Start building your dream career today.’ Canford’s annual Careers Convention is now in its 17th year but up until now, the event has taken place on the school site, with large numbers of OCs and parents within various industries giving their valuable time to help Lower Sixth pupils learn more about career paths they may be interested in pursuing in the future. This year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event moved online, but with the additional benefit of allowing all Sixth Form pupils to be involved in this valuable opportunity, particularly as the current Upper Sixth had missed their event in March 2020 as a result of the lockdown.
The morning session led by current parent and business owner of The Change Man, life and career change mentor, Simon Phillips, covered many useful and thought-provoking tips, most importantly, the positives of networking and using your contacts successfully. Simon used a variety of slides and videos, as well as the poll function, chat and breakout rooms on Zoom to encourage involvement from pupils and get them ready for their afternoon networking sessions.
All current Sixth Form and 140 OCs and parent volunteers joined the afternoon session for a series of panel and 1:1 sessions. Despite some technical challenges of co-ordinating 420 attendees for 560 networking sessions in 168 break out rooms, overall the sessions ran very smoothly online, and as always, pupils were enthused to talk to those who have experienced the career paths they are interested to follow. One volunteer said: “The pupils I spoke to were very respectful, engaged and certainly had good and probing questions lined up.” Some of our pupils talk about their Careers Convention highlights in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX6t9ISwyG4&t=48s
Michael Doherty, Head of Careers, commented:
"There are an increasing number of different higher education and career options open to our pupils when they leave Canford, and we are extremely fortunate that we are able to draw on experiences of so many former pupils and parents. This event is such a valuable experience for our Sixth Form and an important part of our preparation for life beyond Canford. The opportunity to put into practice interpersonal and networking skills to gain insight into potential career directions will stand them in good stead in the future. The digital world will also play an increasingly prominent role in the world of work. Many first points of contact with future employers and interviews are likely to be online, so being able to make a positive impression through the experience of virtual panels and 1:1 sessions is a vital skill to develop.”
Rowena Gaston, Development Director, commented:
"What a day! This was a very challenging event to put together but worth all of our hard work. We felt it was even more important this year to allow Canfordians to be able to practice networking, talk with industry professionals and find out about the industries that interest them. Our 140 volunteers made up of Old Canfordians and parents were amazing. I am always delighted to see how much time and energy they give to the day and they really enjoyed talking to our pupils. Many said that the pupils were a credit to Canford and that they feel inspired by these young people who will join them in the world of work in a few years. One volunteer quoted ‘I’ve been to a number of Careers Conventions at Canford and this was the best ever."
For more information about careers support at Canford, please visit https://www.canford.com/prospective-parents/sixth-form/universities-careers
At 13+ entry, pre-assessment in Year 6 or Year 7 leading to a conditional place in Year 9 subject to either Common Entrance in Year 8 or for those pupils not at schools which offer Common Entrance, the Canford Entrance Test. Around 30 places are offered each year for Sixth Form entry, where pre-assessment takes place at the school in the Autumn of Year 11. Please visit www.canford.com/admissions for more information.