Founded in 1884, St Swithun’s is an independent day and boarding school for girls set in an attractive 45 acre campus overlooking the Hampshire Downs, yet only an hour from London by train. Well-known for its excellent all-round education, forward-looking teaching methods and the attitudes of mind it fosters in its students, the School seeks to combine traits such as courage, compassion, commitment and self-confidence with a love of learning, a moral compass and a sense of humour.
11 to 18
Senior school: 16 / Sixth Form: 8
Girls: Lacrosse, Netball, Tennis, Athletics, Swimming, Cricket
Southampton (20km), Heathrow (80km)
St Swithun’s is unashamedly academic, though not to the exclusion of all else, and getting the balance of academic and extra-curricular pursuits right for each girl is a priority. The flexible curriculum is focused on individual choice and offers 25 subjects at A Level. Form tutors oversee academic work and the girls’ routines, ensuring they make good use of their time. In 2018, half of all A Level candidates achieved at least one A*, and 46% of girls achieved AAA or higher.
Housemasters/mistresses of the 6 boarding houses live on site and share the care of the girls with form tutors, ensuring that the girls have a balance of study, relaxation and challenge. Boarders have their own rooms from Year 8 and there is a separate day and boarding house for sixth formers. The 40+ weekday activities are considered as important as academic lessons, whilst on-site weekend activities have more of a family feel and a range of inter-house competitions fosters house allegiance.
St Swithun’s aspires to excellence in sport and celebrates success, but the value of sport in teaching self discipline, teamwork, communication, leadership, respect and how to deal with success and failure means that identifying at least one sport to suit each girl is a priority. Facilities include 12 tennis and 7 netball courts, a sports hall with a fitness suite and an indoor swimming pool, whilst the sports on offer include gymnastics, polo, fencing, martial arts, croquet and golf.
The Art & Technology Centre hosts disciplines ranging from Sculpture to Textiles, History of Art, Ceramics and Photography. Technology students and enthusiasts are taught CAD and CAM skills whilst Product Design is taught to A Level. 60% of girls take instrumental and/or singing lessons across a range of 25 instruments, performing in almost 30 ensembles, whilst the purpose-built Performing Arts Centre boasts a 580 seat auditorium with concert hall acoustics, and a studio theatre.