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.
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
OC Arthur Cordwell Premiership Rugby debut – A dream come true
Congratulations to OC Arthur Cordwell on his Premiership Rugby debut for Bath Rugby on Saturday 13th March against Newcastle Falcons. Arthur has dreamed of playing for Bath Rugby in the Premiership his entire life and that dream became a reality when he came on in Bath Rugby’s win over Newcastle at Kingston Park, the team secured an impressive 19-38 final score. Arthur described the moment as ‘such a privilege.’
19th March 2021 — Congratulations to OC Arthur Cordwell on his Premiership Rugby debut for Bath Rugby on Saturday 13th March against Newcastle Falcons. Arthur has dreamed of playing for Bath Rugby in the Premiership his entire life and that dream became a reality when he came on in Bath Rugby’s win over Newcastle at Kingston Park, the team secured an impressive 19-38 final score. Arthur described the moment as ‘such a privilege.’
Arthur started his rugby life at Canford in the U14B team and made the step up to A team rugby in Year 10 as an U15 where he never looked back. It took a little while for Bath’s Academy to recognise his talents, but his powerful displays for the 1st XV in his Upper Sixth year both at set piece and in loose meant they couldn’t afford to leave him out of their U18 squad.
After leaving Canford, Arthur gained a place at Bath University to read Physics which he has successfully combined with his training for the University and Bath and has continued to progress to this pinnacle moment, a Premiership debut in Saturday’s win over Newcastle.
Canford’s Director of Rugby, Peter Short commented, “Arthur’s consistency and determination are a powerful message that success in any discipline is not an overnight story. We’re incredibly proud of his contribution to Canford on the rugby field and his continued success on the professional stage.”
In this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDVvaROLLWU&t=4s), Arthur reflects on his and his family's pride of him playing for his boyhood club, the help he has received from the senior players and the club's pathway since leaving Canford.
Director of Sport and Physical Wellbeing and former England rugby player Tony Diprose commented: “We wish Arthur the very best of luck in his rugby career. He is a shining example exhibiting the important values we encourage through a Canford education, a courageous attitude and humble ambition. Any sporting career requires an immense amount of dedication and patience and we applaud Arthur for his determination and spirit in reaching this level.”
Over the weekend of 27th and 28th February, eighteen Fifth Form and Lower Sixth Canfordians joined over 190 pupils from schools in the UK and Europe for the MUN Conference. The two day event was held virtually and was organised by Magdalen College School, Oxford. Pupils from across the country form alliances with other delegates representing particular nations and fight to have their resolutions passed, just as in the real UN. There is a UN Secretary-General and committee chairs and votes are cast to determine outcomes.
16th March 2021 — Over the weekend of 27th and 28th February, eighteen Fifth Form and Lower Sixth Canfordians joined over 190 pupils from schools in the UK and Europe for the MUN Conference. The two day event was held virtually and was organised by Magdalen College School, Oxford. Pupils from across the country form alliances with other delegates representing particular nations and fight to have their resolutions passed, just as in the real UN. There is a UN Secretary-General and committee chairs and votes are cast to determine outcomes.
Model United Nations has been popular at Canford for many years and the school has developed the programme so pupils begin developing valuable research and presentation skills required from Year 9 onwards. Within their Carousel programme, Shells can try their hand at assuming the roles of national ambassadors and representatives, attempting to explore and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. These skills will then be built on during Fourth Form Global Connections so that by the time pupils reach Fifth Form they can then choose to specialise in a Monday activity Global Connections Programme, new in September 2021, which incorporates MUN within its sessions. Regardless of activity choice however, all pupils can become involved in regular evening MUN debates and the lively weekend conferences. There are few better ways of understanding international affairs and global politics than by putting yourself ‘in the shoes of world leaders.’
Canfordians have taken part in Model UN conferences for many years, often with excellent recognition for their efforts in awards at the end of the events, and this year was no exception. Many pupils had never experienced a Model UN conference before, but did extremely well, in their enthusiastic approach acting as delegates from India and the UAE. Seven pupils achieved awards in the form of commendations, including;
Arian Akrami - Commended
Leo Burnet - Highly Commended
Eliana Covell - Best Young Delegate in Committee
Magnus Crawshaw - Commended
Ed Loveridge - Commended
Jack Niu - Highly Commended
Tom Windsor - Commended
Naomi Ings, Head of Global Connections who organised the Canford entry, commented:
"The MUN is a great way for young people to develop their skills in presentation, negotiation, teamwork and diplomacy, all of which will be very useful to them throughout their lives. It was a fascinating two days which opened our eyes to the debate surrounding current global issues and our group of pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thank you to everyone at Magdalen School for such a well organised and enjoyable two day MUN Conference."
Pupils were equally enthused following their MUN conference experience, some of them described their highlights below.
“I loved it all, but my highlight was debating my resolution on neo-slavery, especially when it got passed. Another highlight was receiving best junior delegate on my committee. Even after just doing a few days I feel I can articulate myself so much better.”
“I really enjoyed my first MUN experience. It was really interesting to learn more about the United Nations as a whole and the format in which conferences run. I also enjoyed discussions on each of the topics and learnt a lot of new facts; mostly from what other delegates in my committee were saying and points that were raised.”
For more information about Model United Nations, please visit https://una.org.uk/get-involved/learn-and-teach/model-un-portal
Success for Canford pupils in external academic competitions
As part of a Canford education, we want all our pupils to enrich their learning and broaden their horizons. As part of this aim, each year we encourage and support them to enter external academic competitions, and during the lockdown and periods of remote learning, Canfordians have continued to enjoy taking part in these, achieving significant success.
29th January 2021 — As part of a Canford education, we want all our pupils to enrich their learning and broaden their horizons. As part of this aim, each year we encourage and support them to enter external academic competitions, and during the lockdown and periods of remote learning, Canfordians have continued to enjoy taking part in these, achieving significant success.
While remote learning from his home in China, Fifth Former Jason Zhang entered an international business competition, the ASDAN Business Simulation. He and his team invented a business, constructed a marketing strategy and presented product ideas with the aim of making the highest profit. Jason was delighted to be awarded a prestigious silver trophy and medal in recognition of his excellent efforts. Also a fine pianist, Jason was one of three pianists out of 500 to achieve a gold award for performance in a recent series of online concerts focused on the work of Brahms.
Lower Sixth Former Harry Young entered the John Locke Institute Essay Prize for History https://www.johnlockeinstitute.com/2020-essay-competition with a paper entitled “Is a strong state a prerequisite or an obstacle to economic growth?” He is one of just 35 pupils selected for Very Highly Commended awards from school entries spanning the globe including America, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore as well as the UK. Named in honour of the eminent seventeenth century Oxford philosopher, John Locke, and run in conjunction with Princeton University USA and Oxford University, the competition invites students to explore a wide range of challenging and interesting questions beyond the confines of the school curriculum. All entries are judged by senior academics from Oxford, who choose from essays submitted across seven subjects: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology and Law. The John Locke Institute is an independent educational organisation that works to embolden the best and brightest students to become more academically ambitious and more intellectually adventurous through various programmes - residential courses, revision seminars, essay competitions, and special events. This is a particularly fine achievement in the U18 category with Harry in the Fifth Form when the entry was submitted. Read Harry’s submission on the Canford blog.
All four Canford entrants into this year’s British Physics Olympiad https://www.bpho.org.uk/ have been awarded medals for their efforts in the first round from 1600 entrants across 272 schools. This consisted of a set of short answer and several long answer thematic questions requiring significant problem solving. Fine performances from this Year 13 competition, with Tommy, Qing and Milind taking part in the Lower Sixth.
Tommy Qian: Gold (top 233 entries)
Qing Su: Bronze I
Emily Howat: Bronze II
Milind Khashu: Bronze II
Tom Marriott, Head of Enrichment, commented:
“I am delighted that pupils have continued to challenge themselves during the lockdown periods to develop their wider intellectual learning, and these results in various subjects and disciplines are extremely impressive. They complement the internal enrichment programmes we offer and provide a competitive element benchmarking their standards against pupils from schools both across the country, and globally. They should all feel very proud of their achievements.”
Awareness of our need to do all we can to protect the environment and the planet is a focus among pupils and staff at Canford. We want to become a greener space in which to work and live.
2nd December 2020 — Awareness of our need to do all we can to protect the environment and the planet is a focus among pupils and staff at Canford. We want to become a greener space in which to work and live. The school appoints two Sixth Form ‘pupil leaders’ each year to spearhead initiatives and look for innovative ways to raise the profile of this important area. Last year Tessa successfully gained a Silver Eco-Schools Award for the school - a national award granted to schools if they reduce the impacts on the natural environment. Canford gained this for improvements in food waste, recycling and energy. This year Alice and Edward have taken on the role and hope to build on Tessa’s achievements.
They presented their ideas to pupils and staff at a recent school assembly. Among the proposals were:
- A catering waste review: Food waste to be sent to an anaerobic digester locally, and plastic waste to recycling, separated at the end of each meal, washed and placed in bins.
- Qualification for an Eco Green Award through evaluation and monitoring of Canford’s waste, litter and energy.
- Increase the number of waste bins in each lodge to include one general waste and one recyclable waste bin
- The creation of an ‘eco-code’ which can be displayed around school with the key principles to follow.
- Energy monitoring: At present LED installation has halted due to Covid-19 but across the world we are currently keeping windows open and heating on to ventilate rooms and minimise the risk of infection. We need to monitor our energy use to assess the potential effects of this.
The pupil leaders acknowledged that sometimes people need an incentive to recycle so proposed a house competition, where each house would accumulate points over the school year of how many crates or bags of recycling they fill with points contributing to a whole house cup award.
Speaking about their passion for the projects, Alice and Edward commented:
“It is easy to think that your individual actions will not make any difference, but every little helps and as a school community we really can achieve a great deal. We need a cumulative global response to the environmental threats to our planet, and only by working together can we achieve our goal and hope to safeguard the world for ourselves and for future generations. Through innovation and awareness raising we hope that this year we can inspire pupils and staff to recycle and conserve energy across the school.”
For more information about the Eco-Schools Awards, please visit https://www.eco-schools.org.uk
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.