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Sport has a strong reputation here, but non-sporty types need not fear, say parents. ‘Everyone has to take part in sport because it keeps you fit and healthy, but there’s no ethos of "You will enjoy sport, no matter what!"’ There’s a real buzz here, with a purposeful, dynamic and friendly vibe, where students are hungry to learn but don’t take themselves too seriously. ‘Unashamedly a selective school, but not ...

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What the school says...

St Albans is a day school for academically able boys aged 11-18 and girls aged 16-18. Founded in 948, its atmosphere and ethos derive from its long tradition and its geographical position near the historic centre of St Albans, in close proximity to the Abbey and overlooking the remains of Roman Verulamium.

Whilst maintaining very high standards of academic achievement, it offers wide opportunities for development in other fields: the School's sporting record is exceptional and Drama and Music are strengths, with a distinguished tradition in choral music. Emphasis is laid on the use of individual talents in the service of the community, through the Duke of Edinburgh's Scheme and such activities as Community Service; the Partnership Scheme with local primary schools and the flourishing CCF.
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What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Ancient History at an English Independent School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking General Studies at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)
  • Best performance by Boys taking Critical Thinking at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)

Sports

Shooting

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headteacher

Since 2014, Jonathan Gillespie, previously head of Lancing College for eight years. Read modern and medieval languages and did a PGCE at Cambridge; taught at Highgate School and Fettes College before joining Lancing.
Doesn’t teach pupils on timetabled basis (‘the demands of a head mean I couldn’t give it my all’), but gets stuck into Oxbridge trial interviews, assemblies, giving out weekly commendations etc. A more consultative leader than his predecessor (brought in the first parental questionnaire the school has ever seen), but believes in ‘evolution not revolution’ in terms of making changes. Pupils describe him as ‘approachable’ and not somebody they want ‘to let down.’
We found him amiable, chatty and excitable, but also traditional and authoritative. Keen sports coach, especially hockey (he umpires at national level), and has been...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

All our pupils are capable of coping with a rigorous academic education carried on at a rapid pace. A pupil with serious dyslexia or dyspraxia would struggle to cope. However, we recognise that even the ablest can experience specific difficulties that could prevent them achieving their fullest potential, and may therefore benefit from some learning support. All new entrants are screened for previously undetected dyslexia and monitoring continues throughout a pupil's career. Where a problem is suspected, a diagnostic assessment is offered, following which, an assessment by an independent Educational Psychologist may be recommended. Sometimes, an able pupil will have developed coping strategies which obscure a problem that comes to light only in later years as the demands of the work become more complex, and staff are trained to spot such emergent difficulties. Various levels of support are available, including one-to-one tuition with a specialist teacher who is freelance but spends all her time at the school. 09-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia
Dyslexia
Dyspraxia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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