Culford School Review: Rankings, Fees And More

Located in the picturesque town of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Culford School stands as a beacon of excellence renowned for its commitment to high academic standards and holistic development. With a rich history spanning generations, Culford has established itself as a leading private day and boarding school, catering to the educational needs of students aged 1 to 18 years.

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Summary Of School

  • Type of school: Co-educational
  • Age range: 1-18
  • Pupils: 750
  • Fees: (Full boarding for international students) £43,305 per annum
  • 2023 A-Level Results: 32% A*-A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 53% 9/7

Culford School Overview

Table of Contents

Originally established as the East Anglian School for Boys, Culford School has a rich history dating back to its inception in 1873 by Congregationalist minister, Dr. John H. L. Christien. The school was born out of a need to provide education to the burgeoning middle class. Spurred by initiatives such as the Woodard Schools and the 1867 Taunton Commission, the school was part of a wave of Methodist educational institutions.

Initially located in Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, it later relocated to Thingoe Hill in 1886, paving the way for the East Anglian School for Girls. In 1935, Culford School found its permanent home in Culford Park, formerly the esteemed residence of the Earls Cornwallis and later the Benyon family. Eventually, the school was acquired by the Methodist Independent Schools Trust, and the school was officially relaunched as Culford School.

In the ISI 2020 inspection, the school was awarded an esteemed rating of “Excellent” for its academic standards, while the Good Schools Guide acknowledges the quality of pupils’ achievements as “good.” This recognition highlight’s the school’s commitment to delivering a robust education that aligns with its core values of offering a challenging, enriching, and enjoyable learning experience.

Culford School Courses / Programmes

Culford School offers a comprehensive range of courses tailored to each stage of a student’s academic journey, from Pre-Prep through to Sixth Form. The Pre-Prep programme is designed for young learners aged 1-7 years, with emphasis placed on nurturing curiosity and foundational skills through engaging and interactive learning experiences. Moving into the Prep School, students aged 7-13 benefit from a well-rounded curriculum that encompasses core subjects alongside opportunities for creative expression, sports, and extracurricular pursuits.

At the Senior School level, catering to students aged 13-16, Culford provides a dynamic and challenging academic programme designed to prepare students for their GCSE examinations and beyond. With a focus on academic rigor and personal development, students are encouraged to explore their interests and talents while laying a solid foundation for future success.

In the Sixth Form, students aged 16-18 are offered a diverse range of A-level courses, providing the flexibility to tailor their studies to their individual interests and career aspirations. Alongside academic pursuits, Sixth Form students are encouraged to engage in leadership opportunities, community service, and enrichment activities to foster well-rounded development and prepare for the transition to higher education or the workforce.

Culford School Application Deadline

The application process can start as early as three years preceding the regular open days. Interested applicants will take a pre-assessment in Year 7 and academic testing in Year 8. Application dates vary so it is recommended to contact us for the latest information.

Culford School Rankings And Results

In the 2023 A Levels examination, 32% of students scored A*-A grades (63% A*-B). Meanwhile, for GCSEs, 54% of grades were 9-7. Culford school did not participate in the A Levels League Table for 2023.

Culford School Fees (2024-2025)

The senior School Fees for the academic year of 2024/2025 are as follows:

Fourth Form – Upper Sixth Per Term Per Annum
Day Fees £8,515 £25,545
Part Boarding (3 nights) £10,930 £32,790
Full Boarding £13,500 £40,500
International Boarding £14,435 £43,305

For the full list of fees, visit their website here.

Culford School Entry Requirements

To gain admission to Culford School at the Senior School level, prospective students undergo a thorough assessment process tailored to ensure suitability and readiness for the school’s rigorous academic environment. The entry requirements encompass both academic aptitude and personal attributes, aiming to identify individuals who demonstrate the potential to thrive and contribute positively to the Culford community.

Academically, applicants are typically required to sit entrance examinations in core subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Science, designed to assess their proficiency and readiness for the curriculum. Additionally, previous school reports and recommendations may be considered to evaluate academic performance and potential.

Beyond academic capabilities, Culford School values characteristics such as curiosity, resilience, and a willingness to engage actively in the school’s diverse opportunities. Personal interviews and assessments may be conducted to gauge applicants’ interpersonal skills, extracurricular interests, and alignment with the school’s ethos and values.

Culford School Reviews

Craig Oulton

“Simply a fantastic school. Can recommend Culford for pastoral care for overseas students. Education level is excellent.”

Muza Hardy - Alumni

“Excellent facilities and setting for playing cricket. Many fond memories on this ground.“

DB - Parent

“The school grounds and sporting facilities are amazing, and for a not overly academically selective school, gets fantastic GCSE / A Level results.”

Culford School Accommodation And Boarding

At Culford School, boarding is not just about providing accommodation; it’s about fostering a supportive and vibrant community where students can thrive both academically and personally. The school’s boarding ethos is centred around providing excellent pastoral care within a safe and caring environment.

Boarders at Culford quickly develop strong bonds with their Housemates and House Parents, creating a close-knit support network that transcends age differences and encourages leadership opportunities. Culford offers a rich array of weekend activities, from karting and bowling to outings in nearby cities like Cambridge or visits to attractions like Harry Potter World.

For Sixth Form boarders, life at Culford resembles that of a campus university. Accommodation ranges from twin to single study bedrooms, with Upper Sixth students enjoying the privacy of individual rooms.

Again, weekend activities are diverse, catering to a wide range of interests, from cultural outings to London to adventurous pursuits like mountain biking. Social spaces are abundant, providing opportunities for relaxation and camaraderie, while meals are enjoyed in the welcoming dining rooms or at the coffee-shop style Sixth Form Centre.

Culford School Extracurricular Activities

At Culford School, extracurricular activities play a vital role in providing students with opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and enjoyment outside the classroom.

The arts are celebrated through specialist programmes in music, drama, art, and dance, supported by dedicated staff and state-of-the-art facilities like the Beech Centre for Music and Performing Arts. From inter-house music competitions to major theatrical productions, students are encouraged to explore their creative talents and express themselves artistically.

In the realm of sports and activities, Culford School offers a wide array of options to cater to diverse interests and abilities. High-performance academies in Tennis and Golf complement the school’s competitive sports offerings, which include rugby, cricket, hockey, netball, athletics, cross-country, and swimming. With extensive parkland and top-notch facilities such as the sports centre, indoor tennis centre, and floodlit astroturf, students have access to top-notch training environments to hone their skills and pursue excellence in their chosen sports.

Beyond traditional sports, Culford provides a plethora of other activities utilising its vast campus and resources. From sailing on the nearby Lackford Lake to participating in chess tournaments or horse riding expeditions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The school’s Activities Programme offers over sixty pursuits, fostering a culture of exploration, teamwork, and personal development.

Moreover, Culford serves as an event hub, working with various external organisations to further enrich the extracurricular experience for students. From hosting elite rugby and hockey training programmes to accommodating international championships and tournaments, Culford’s facilities serve as a dynamic nexus of activity and opportunity for students to engage with the wider community and pursue their passions beyond the classroom.

Culford School Contact Information

  • Official website:
  • Phone call: +44 (0) 1284 728 615
  • Location: Culford school, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TX

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