The school was founded in 1480 by William Waynflete, who believed in education as a facilitator of social mobility, and wanted to found a school of an entirely new kind: a school that would be at the heart of that new and exciting proposition, the university. Quickly, MCS became one of the country's leading schools, and remains just that, retaining its remarkable relationship with Oxford University.
Today MCS is a friendly, inclusive and highly distinctive school of about 800 pupils, boys aged 7 to 18 and girls in the sixth form. The school is hugely fortunate in its facilities and environment. It remains small enough to develop every young person’s character and talents, yet large enough to provide a very wide range of subjects and activities. The school encourages a respect for learning, and academic results are excellent, but at the same time it develops in every pupil a close interest in a remarkably broad number of extra-curricular interests. There are a number of professional coaches for sports; several orchestras, choirs and ensembles; superb art facilities. The school has a partnership with the Oxford Playhouse and students have appeared on the main stage at the Playhouse as well as at the smaller Burton Taylor Studio. Many pupils are also involved in other productions in school. There are numerous other activities available to suit the pupils’ many interests. The school prides itself on its pastoral care; staff know each pupil well, provide excellent care and guidance, and monitor each child’s personal and academic progress. Sixth formers benefit from the unique Waynflete Studies Programme of research and extended project, and the majority of the sixth form go on to their first choice of university destination, with about 90% in 2012 going to Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities.
Magdalen College School Celebrates Partnerships Review
Magdalen College School is celebrating the launch of its second Community Engagement Review, showcasing partnerships with over 140 local organisations
20th September 2019 — Magdalen College School has published its second annual Community Engagement Review, outlining its partnerships work with local communities. Over 140 organisations are in partnership with MCS each year, comprising: schools, hospitals, care homes, hospices, local businesses, museums, university colleges and charities.
Over 7300 Oxfordshire children took part in MCS partnerships activities in 2018-19, including:
• Community Service Organisation: Over 140 sixth form pupils took part in weekly community service across Oxford. Hundreds of Primary School children were supported in developing literacy and numeracy skills.
• Biosciences Summer School: MCS partnered with Oxford Brookes University to deliver a three-day event for 16 – 17 year olds. MCS arranged funding to support the project, which allowed over 40 young people to gain invaluable laboratory experience
• University Interview Practice: MCS provided mock interviews to local secondary school pupils. 100% of participants reported feeling more prepared to make their application
• Primary School’s Shakespeare Matinee: MCS invited over 470 pupils from Primary Schools around Oxford to attend the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Oxford Playhouse. Over half the children had never seen a Shakespeare play before
• Maths Challenge Afternoon: MCS hosted this annual event for Primary School children featuring puzzles designed to stimulate pupils’ problem solving abilities. Over 100 Oxfordshire Primary School pupils attended
• Oxford Festival of the Arts: now in its eleventh year, MCS welcomes hundreds of pupils from Oxfordshire Primary Schools to attend events as part of this fortnight of cultural events across the city, with events including a puppetry workshop attended by 100 pupils and an immersive opera – The Orfeo Experience -, attended by 85 pupils
The school is committed to its significant and strong partnerships with the wider Oxfordshire community, and believes in fostering a sense of communal responsibility in pupils; in 2018-19 pupils contributed over 7500 volunteer hours to local organisations.
In addition to this, MCS awards Bursaries to pupils whose families would not otherwise be able to pay the fees. Bursary awards of up to 100% of the fees are available, ensuring the brightest pupils in Oxfordshire can benefit from an MCS education no matter their circumstances.
Master Helen Pike said, “It is a privilege to be educated at Magdalen College School, and one we are glad to share. There are many benefits of this. Our local community gains access to activities, expertise and facilities. Our pupils learn how to plan, to mentor and to work independently. By helping and supporting others to grow and learn, they grow and learn themselves.”
Deputy Head (Education Development), Dr Scott Crawford said, “The great strength of our community engagement programme is its flexibility. We continually seek collaborations across the city and region, and we welcome suggestions of new partnerships. This work underpins our fourth school aim to equip our pupils to make a positive and lasting contribution to their communities, both now and in the future.”
The Community Engagement Review is available to read here: www.mcsoxford.org/parnterships
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About Magdalen College School
Founded in 1480 by William of Waynflete, the school is based in the centre of Oxford, on the banks of the River Cherwell and within the heart of the University. It is part of the foundation of Magdalen College with which it still retains close links, and the school provides 16 boy choristers for the renowned College Choir. In terms of academic results and university entry, MCS is year-on-year one of the most consistently high performing schools in the country. The school was recently named the Southeast Independent Secondary School of the Year 2019 by The Sunday Times. MCS is dedicated to fostering partnerships with the local community, hosting a wide range of projects and events annually to ensure pupils make a positive and lasting contribution to their communities, now and in the future.
‘Remarkable' Magdalen College School enjoys outstanding ISI inspection
Magdalen College School, Oxford, is very pleased to announce outstanding feedback from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) following an inspection in March 2017.
7th May 2017 — Magdalen College School, Oxford, is very pleased to announce outstanding feedback from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) following an inspection in March 2017.
Subsequent to the two-day inspection on 15th and 16th March, the ISI praised the “remarkable school” with its “incredibly rich opportunities”, where “pupils’ achievements are exceptional”.
The ISI noted not only the “exceptional GCSE and A-Level results” of its students and the “passion and high levels of expertise” of its teachers, but it also highlighted that “pupils’ achievements in music, art, drama, sports and a whole range of other extra-curricular activities are exceptional” within a “dynamic, vibrant and stimulating community”.
The Junior School was lauded as a “vibrant and active community which develops pupils’ personal skills and qualities to the very highest level”, while the school’s co-ed Sixth Form was similarly praised: “pupils display remarkable balance and equanimity”, achieving the “highest academic standards” whilst also being involved in “an exceptionally broad range of activities”.
MCS received high acclaim for its commitment to collaboration and community, and for the broad and fruitful links it fosters within Oxford and beyond, with the report highlighting the school’s pioneering outreach programme: “pupils make an exceptionally positive contribution to the lives of others within the school, to the local community and to wider society.”
The Master Helen Pike was delighted with the highly positive outcome of the school’s first inspection since 2011. She says: “The Inspectors found it “quite staggering” that MCS pupils combine the highest academic achievement with such a range of other pursuits and contributions to their community. I could not be more proud of these well-rounded and grounded individuals, and of the staff who support them.”
Magdalen College School Sixth Former Omar Noia-Rodriguez embarked on a humanitarian project to help improve the education and lives of displaced and disadvantaged children in Sudan.
9th March 2017 — Omar tells us more:
In November, I made contact with one of the poorest schools in Khartoum and started a fundraising campaign. I raised £1500. I ended up taking 85 kg worth of stationery from the UK.
Once in Khartoum, I bought further educational materials, 864 bars of soap, 9 kg of sweets, 432 packets of biscuits and several footballs. I personally took the donations and spent two days in the school learning about the school, meeting the three nuns that run the school and hearing the stories and ordeals that the 420 primary school children have experienced. Many are orphans and all are deeply traumatised by the atrocities that they have witnessed whilst trying to flee South Sudan, a state torn up by civil war. Several have varying illnesses and suffer from malnutrition. Most of the children live in slums, whilst some are forced to live on the streets.
I agreed with the nuns that the rest of the money should be used to equip the school with text books for all the year groups. I have found the experience extremely rewarding, therefore, I have decided to carry on with the fundraising.
National final awaits Magdalen College School Economists
A team of Magdalen College School Sixth Formers has won the South East England area final of the annual Target Two Point Zero Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge.
23rd February 2016 — A team of Magdalen College School Sixth Formers has won the South East England area final of the annual Target Two Point Zero Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge.
The MCS students made a successful policy recommendation to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, arguing that a cut to the interest rate to 0.25% would be beneficial for the country’s economy. See the report in The Times here.
Their successful proposal will see them now go on to the national final in March, in which they will be competing against the final five schools (from 271 entrants) and presenting in front of members of the Monetary Policy Committee and a Business Editor of The Times newspaper.
The presenting team included Alex Mash, Lito Michaelidou, Will Stallibrass and Laxmi Aurora.
They were ably supported by Emy Brunner, Maarten Elgar, Ana Larasati, Anastasia Zinovyeva, Ally Bibby and Jemma Kernan.
Former MCS pupils will lead teams in Varsity Match
Recent pupils of Magdalen College School will captain both Oxford and Cambridge teams in the forthcoming Varsity Hockey matches.
9th February 2016 — Recent pupils of Magdalen College School will captain both Oxford and Cambridge teams in the forthcoming Varsity Hockey matches.
In the high profile games to be played at Southgate Hockey Centre on Sunday 6th March, Joe Foster will lead the Oxford Mens Blues 1st XI, while Charlotte Burrows will skipper the Cambridge Ladies Blues 1st XI. Both left MCS in 2013.
Jonny Attwood (2011) and William Fullwood (2012) will also feature, playing for the Oxford Mens and Cambridge Mens 2nd XI’s respectively.