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What says..

Impressive results especially given the wide intake, though to focus on this alone would be to miss a big part of the jigsaw. Good teaching has three magic ingredients, believes the school: strong subject knowledge, passion for subject and the relationship between teacher and student. Bulging trophy cabinets suggest they like to win, ‘but sport is more important than that,’ says the school, which claims Olympian values matter most. ‘My child isn’t even very good at rugby and they made a team,’ remarked an incredulous parent...

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What the school says...

At St Columba's we provide a broad, high quality education and have students in the College from a wide variety of religious traditions. We aim for each student to achieve their own best standard. At each phase of education, Prep and Senior, we nurture the key Columban qualities of courage, courtesy and compassion. We strive for academic excellence whilst realising that it is whole person education that best prepares students for the world and workplace of tomorrow. As a school under the trusteeship of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, we recognise that moral and spiritual qualities are equally important in that roundness of character.

St Columba's is known for its strong community values. We work in close partnership with parents to provide the supportive care and challenge for our students which enables them to flourish. Through a Columban education your child will discover much about themselves and also about the contribution they can make to society at large. This quality of compassionate service is borne out in the College motto of Cor ad Cor Loquitur -- heart speaking to heart.

Our community is vibrant and our students are the best evidence of what a Columban education can produce.
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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.



What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2023, Karl Guest, formerly head of Alton School. Born and brought up in south London, he was educated by the De La Salle Brothers. After more than a decade working in schools, including in Australia, he spent seven years as deputy head of Sydenham High School in London before taking up his first headship at Alton School in 2020. Married with two children, one a physiotherapist and the other at university. He enjoys sport, cooking, music and travel.


Mildly selective. For 4+ entry, an hour-long informal assessment; at 7+, maths, English and reasoning assessments, plus a reference and latest report from current school. Both held in January and October.

An additional 40 places become available at 11+ (three applications for every place) and 20 at 13+ (two applicants for every place)....

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Please note: 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

In the Senior School, we are committed to the development of the whole person in keeping with our inclusive and supportive ethos. All students on the SEND register have an individualised programme of support with their IEPs reviewed every half term. We work closely with parents and also outside agencies where relevant so that all students can thrive and make progress as valuable contributors to our community. All lessons throughout the College are differentiated to cater for different levels of need; we pride ourselves on knowing our students and helping them to maximise progress whatever their starting point. This is also done through our extensive pastoral programme and tutor support. Interventions for students with SEND may include one-to-one support sessions with our SENCO, small group or in-lesson support with our team of LSAs, mentoring and ‘buddying’ from older students and opportunities to attend individual subject-based study sessions.

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

Who came from where

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