Canford School

Introduction and location

Canford School is special in every sense. Founded in 1923, great names from the past are given to key buildings, all of which blend in well with the modern buildings scattered around the huge 250 acre expanse.

Located in the village of Canford Magna, and close to the pretty town on Wimborne Minster, the School has excellent access to the New Forest, Bournemouth and other coastal hotspots. London is just two hours away by train.

Boarding and pastoral care

In addition to mixed day houses, there are also seven boarding houses at Canford: Court, Franklin, Monteacute and School for boys; Beaufort, de Lacy and Marriotts for girls. Tennis Court Lodge is a boarding residence for sixth formers. Each house has a married housemaster/mistress, three tutors (one resident in each boarding house) and at least one house matron.

House year groups vary between ten and fifteen and each house numbers sixty to sixty-five. Girls have single and double bedrooms with wash basins, sewing machines and common areas are available to socialise with the boys.

Canford has an excellent health centre.

Academic matters

When it comes to the nitty-gritty of preparing for GCSE and A-level examinations, Canford comes into its own with excellent teaching and preparing students for the rest of their lives.  Considering the breadth of intake, exam results speak volumes about the quality of academic provision. GCSE grades at A*/A grade have tipped 75% in previous years.

Academic facilities, including a stunning library, innovative new IT room, state-of-the-art science laboratories, are among the best in the country.

Education is broadened by visiting authors, scientists, poets and politicians.

Games, options, the arts

The main team games for boys are rugby, hockey and cricket, while girls excel at netball and hockey. Many boys and girls also take to the river for rowing.

Sports facilities are a rare mix of a real tennis court, a carefully-sculpted golf course as well as numerous Astroturf pitches. The huge sports hall contains dance practice rooms, weight-lifting, indoor cricket nets and indoor hockey. The swimming pool is fairly new.

A large number of students play instruments and are encouraged to perform regardless of their ability.

In the impressive Layard Theatre, budding drama enthusiasts show off their skills. The theatre was built for teaching purposes but it also sees School productions performed there.

Overseas entry

The main points for entry to Canford are at 13+ and 16+. There is also the possibility of 14+ entry depending on space and if test results and school report indicate that the applicant is able to embark successfully on a two-year GCSE programme.

In order to cope with the academic and social demands of Canford, pupils must have a reasonable level of spoken and written English on arrival, equivalent to Cambridge FCE (for 13+ or 14+ entry) or IELTS 6.5, with 6.0 minimum in each skill (for 16+ entry). Their level of attainment in written English will be apparent from the entrance tests, and offers for a place will be made taking this into account.


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