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What says..

Pupils’ days begin bright and early with pre-breakfast practice, and continue with instrumental tuition and rehearsals interspersed throughout the day, with supervised practice for the younger pupils. Blessed with music rooms containing two grand pianos apiece and genuinely inspirational music teachers, most of whom also have professorships or senior teaching posts at top music academies and colleges. Never have we been so reassured by the sight of a boot rack laden with well-worn football boots. Despite the all-pervading musical focus...

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What the school says...

This is Britain's oldest specialist school for promising young musicians, founded in the belief that special talent needs the support of a school where music is in the centre rather than at the edges. Pupils are able to focus on their musical studies alongside an academic programme of GCSEs and A-levels. Most pupils go on to Music College in the UK or overseas, but a small number take up places at university to study a range of subjects. ...Read more

What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Girls taking Music Technology at an English Independent School (GCE A level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking Music at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)
  • Excellent performance by Boys taking Music at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)
  • Best performance by Boys taking Music Technology at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking Music Technology at an English Independent School (GCE AS level)
  • Best performance by Girls taking Music at an English Independent School (GCSE)
  • Excellent performance by Boys taking Music at an English Independent School (GCSE)

2016 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Girls taking Music at an English Independent School (GCSE Full Course)

Other features

Music and dance scheme - government funding and grants available to help with fees at selected independent music and dance schools.

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

Head

Since September 2018, Paul Bambrough, previously vice principal at the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire, where he also, inter alia, taught in the vocal and operatic studies department and contributed to the orchestra conducting course. Whilst director of music at the Sixth Form College Farnborough, he created the largest A level music department in the country of 500+ students. He has sung at most of the UK’s foremost concert halls and cathedrals, is a harpsichordist, organist and pianist and has worked as a repetiteur with some of the world’s finest singers. Away from music he enjoys the countryside, architecture and maintains a (largely) enthusiastic fitness routine.

Academic matters

Not an obvious place for the academic scholar who also happens to be a musical prodigy, but then again this is not a place pretending to be a one stop...

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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.

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