Site and Facilities.
The school moved to its present site in 1882 and the original school building, School House, survives. The site now comprises over 50 acres of buildings and playing fields, which enable all teaching, games and activities to take place on the one site. In the last decade there has been a very substantial building programme. This programme originally involved the extension of the Science Department and Design and Technology Centre, the laying of an Astroturf pitch and three squash courts, and the substantial redevelopment of School House. In 2002 a new hall/theatre, the Bushell Hall, was built, which can accommodate a theatre audience of 600 and an assembly for 1000. At the same time, the old hall was transformed into a library and IT rooms. In 2003, a new pavilion, the Alan Lee Pavilion, was completed. In September 2005 a new teaching area, the George Hill Building, was unveiled to provide 16 new classrooms and an extensive social space. The Junior School, which has grown considerably in recent years, has been extended and entirely refurbished. A new music school was unveiled in September 2009 – The David Turnbull Music School. In September 2015 a new four-floor, state-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre, the Cooper Building opened. It was designed to transform the Sixth Form teaching and learning and incorporating the latest multimedia technology. Throughout the school there are excellent IT facilities for staff and pupils.
In the Junior School particular emphasis is placed on establishing high standards in core subjects and key skills that permeate the children’s learning across the curriculum. The Junior School has specialist teaching rooms for Art, Design and Technology, ICT, Music and Science and benefits from the additional facilities it shares with the Senior School on the same 55-acre campus.
In 2016 we recorded another great year of A Level results with 85 per cent of all grade achieved at A* to B grades and over a third of pupils gaining three A* or A grades or more. We were named the Top Independent School in 2015 for A and AS Levels in the West Midlands by the Birmingham Post. At GCSE, a record breaking 79% per cent of pupils were awarded A* to A grades in 2016 and 70 pupils achieved an incredible 8 or more A* to A grades.
Games are an integral part of the school curriculum and all pupils in the school are involved. PE is compulsory until Year 11 and all pupils in the school have a games afternoon. The school has a very strong tradition in the major team games for both boys and girls, but also offers a very wide range of other options. The principal team games are rugby, cricket, hockey (for both boys and girls) and netball. The Junior School pupils play football in addition to these sports. The school also has teams in tennis, athletics, swimming, clay-pigeon shooting, cross-country, badminton, basketball and fencing to name but a few.
Music and Drama.
The school has a very strong tradition in music and drama, which has been enhanced since the building of the Bushell Hall and the David Turnbull Music School. Over a third of all pupils learn a musical instrument. There are many opportunities for pupils to perform at concerts, both formal and informal, throughout the year. A busy programme of masterclasses is given by visiting professional musicians. There is also an excellent Chapel Choir that performs during the school week and at the chapel services each Sunday. Each term the choir sings Evensong in a cathedral (including an annual visit to St Paul’s in London) and performs on BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service. In 2015 the school joined the Steinway Initiative, purchasing three new Steinway grand pianos. There are several theatre productions and concerts every year for students in the Junior School to participate in.