Woldingham School Review: Rankings, Fees And More

woldingham school review

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Table of Contents

Summary Of School

  • Type of school: girls’ school
  • Age range: 11-18
  • Pupils: 615
  • Boarders: 40%
  • Fees: £12,465-£13,570/term
  • 2020 A-Level Results: 72% A*/A
  • 2020 GCSE Results: 80% 9/7

Woldingham School Overview

Woldingham School is one of the UK’s leading and oldest girls’ schools. Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the school in 1842 as the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Initially a full boarding school, Woldingham has now extended to accommodate more than 600 pupils with multiple boarding and day options. Woldingham School is part of the global Sacred Heart Network with members in over 30 countries. 

The school aims to nurture confident, compassionate and courageous young women. Besides focusing on excellent academic results, the students are also equipped with valuable life skills and kind hearts to navigate their careers and life choices in the future.

Most Woldingham School leavers continue their academic journey at prestigious institutions locally and overseas. 89% of leavers gained a place at their preferred or second choice university. Around 75% of the pupils enter programmes at Oxbridge or Russell Group universities including Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester and UCL. There have been a total of 26 Oxbridge offers for the girls over the last 5 years. Some popular overseas destinations for Woldingham girls are Princeton, NYU and Cornell in the USA.

Woldingham School Courses / Programs

Woldingham School offers A-Levels and GCSE.

Sixth Form pupils have 27 A-Levels subjects to choose from, ranging from economics and politics to media studies. History of Art is also a unique choice offered here that most other local Sixth Form schools do not offer.  

Most pupils here take three A-Levels and an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification).

Woldingham School Deadline

Woldingham School is a selective school. Assessments are held early in the autumn term and offers of a place are made in December. 

Interested pupils can enter at the key ages of 11+ (Year 7), 13+ (Year 9) and 16+ (Sixth Form). Occasionally there are entries available at age 12+ (Year 8) and 14+ (Year 10). Future pupils can also apply as soon as they’re 11+ years old and defer their entry until they are 13+ years old. 

Registration for the 2021 intake is now closed. However interested parents can contact us to discuss other options.

Detailed deadlines for each year group are below:

11+ 2020 entry and 13+ deferred entry 2024

    • Online registration form submitted and registration fee paid by 4 October 2021.
    • Scholarship forms completed and returned to the Registrar by 11 October 2021.
    • Assessment day at Woldingham School 1 November 2021.
    • Co-curricular scholarship auditions week commencing 17 January 2022.
    • Decision letters posted by 10 December 2021.
    • Decision letters for scholarship posted by 7 February 2022.
    • Acceptance form received and deposit paid by 7 March 2022.

13+ 2020 entry

    • Online registration form submitted and registration fee paid by 4 October 2021.
    • Scholarship forms completed and returned to the Registrar by 11 October 2021.
    • Assessment day at Woldingham School 14 November 2021.
    • Co-curricular scholarship auditions week commencing 17 January 2022.
    • Decision letters posted by 27 December 2021.
    • Decision letters for scholarship posted by 7 February 2022.

Sixth Form 2020 entry

    • Online registration form submitted and registration fee paid by 4 October 2021.
    • Scholarship forms completed and returned to the Registrar by 11 October 2021.
    • Assessment day at Woldingham School 16 November 2021.
    • Co-curricular scholarship auditions 18 November 2021.
    • Decision letters posted by 10 December 2021.

Woldingham School Ranking

In 2019, nearly half of all A-Level grades were A*-A. One-fifth of the total pupils achieved an A* and a quarter of them achieved straight A*-A grades. At GCSE 45% of grades were 9-8. 

In 2020, following a change from OFQUAL and the UK government, pupils received Centre Assessed Grades. More than one-third of them achieved an A* in A-Level, 72% of them were at A*-A. At GCSE, 80% of grades were 9-7 and 62% were 9-8.

Woldingham School Fees

Tuition for the academic year 2021 – 2022 

 

Full boarding /term
(7 nights per week)

Weekly boarding /term
(5 nights per week)

Day tuition only /term

Year 7 and 8

£12,465

£10,950

£7,570

Year 9 to Upper Sixth

£13,570

£11,950

£8,250

Woldingham School also offers Flexi-boarding at £64/night for a maximum of two nights per week.

Sixth Form Entry

Direct entry into the Sixth Form will incur an extra premium of £500/term for boarders and £250/term for day students.

Acceptance Deposit

This fee is payable as soon as the parents accept the offer of a place at Woldingham School

Boarders (full and weekly): £2,000

Day: £1,000.

Additional Overseas Acceptance Deposit

This deposit is applicable for overseas students:

Boarders: £11,000.

Sibling Deposit

There is a sibling deposit of £500.

Additional charges

There may be extra charges incurred for: 

  • School uniform
  • Extra-curricular activities or educational trips and visits
  • Instrument tuition/hire
  • Day student transport
  • Guardians (mandatory for overseas students)
  • Examination fees
  • Any equipment supplied and certain course materials
  • Photographs and other items ordered by the parents or the student.

All extra-curricular activities that exceed £50 will require parental agreement.

Woldingham Parents and Staff Association

A mandatory termly charge of £5/term is included in each school bill to support the Woldingham Parents and Staff Association (WPSA).

Old Girls’ Association

Woldingham School has an association for school alumni called the Woldingham Sacred Heart Alumnae (Old Girls’ Association). The membership fee is  £150/term for one year only (which makes up a total of £450) to be charged when the student enters the school. This sum will be added to the termly bills of the first year at school unless instructed differently by the Financial Controller.

Woldingham School Entry Requirements

Entrance assessments take place in November the year before the student is due to join. The Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB) online tests are taken at the applicant’s current school or at Woldingham. A school report will be requested from the applicant’s current school before the assessment date.

  • For 11+/13+ deferred applicants – Online ISEB test in English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
  • For 12+ applicants – English and maths written tests and an interview. 
  • For 13+ & 14+ applicants – English, maths and science written tests and an interview.
  • For 16+ applicants – A general (critical thinking) Sixth Form entrance assessment and tests in two subjects to be studied at A-Level.

At Sixth Form, applicants are expected to achieve at least 8 GCSEs at an average of Grade 5.5 across all subjects taken. Grade 7 GCSE/IGCSE or better is normally required to take mathematics, sciences or languages at the A-Level. For humanities subjects, Grade 6 or better at GCSE/IGCSE is normally required. 

International pupils

For international pupils, only a small number of one-year short stay (September through to July) pupils are accepted into Years 7, 8 and 9. The applicants are required to sit for the same entrance assessments as UK applicants.

The UKiset (UK Independent schools entry test) is used to support the admission process for international applicants. This test can be taken at one of the local accredited centres. Applicants also have the option of the Oxford online English placement test.

International applicants with parents who live abroad must have an official guardian to act in loco parentis. The guardian must be an English-speaking British resident who is older than 25 years old, and live within one-hour commute time from the school. Non-relative or non-close friend of the family must be AEGIS accredited. The school cannot be involved with the selection or appointment of guardians but can connect parents with related organisations that provide guardianship services.

Woldingham School Reviews

Year 10 Parent
5/5

“Guidance, support, care, thought and consideration from her peers and teachers – Woldingham really excels”.

Good Schools Guide
5/5

“Delightful school with pupils to match, benefiting from first-class leadership.”

Year 11 Pupil
5/5

“I’d describe it as a community-driven school; it really loves to bring people together – different types of people, different communities and different cultures”.

Rachel Vinton
5/5

“As I was a full boarder, the school had a significant impact on my personal development. I look back fondly on my years at Woldingham which have been integral in shaping me into the person I am today.”

Philippa Winstanley
5/5

“I learned at Woldingham to dream big. I certainly took that with me, and feel as excited about my future as I was on entering Woldingham aged 11”.

Woldingham School Accommodation

Woldingham School provides excellent boarding facilities. Marden House hosts Years 7 and 8 pupils in shared rooms of up to four pupils. Boarders in Year 9 share bedrooms while Years 10 and 11 enjoy their own individual study bedroom in the Main House. Sixth Formers have two dedicated purpose-built Houses with study bedrooms called the Berwick House for the Lower Sixth pupils and Shanley House for the Upper Sixth pupils.

The boarding houses offer Wi-Fi, comfortable common rooms, televisions and games. The girls share meals in the school dining room and have snacks such as fruits and toast in the evenings.

Aside from the boarding facilities, the girls can enjoy the two wellness rooms and a coffee bar in Main House. Girls in Marden House can hang out at the outdoor playground close to the hockey pitches and netball courts. Main House boarders can use the school facilities such as  a small kitchen to make their own snacks and hot drinks. And Sixth Formers have the freedom to explore what Woldingham has to offer. 

There is a wide range of activities for the weekends such as trips, music and drama rehearsals and many house and school events. There are cultural trips, active trips and even family trips to suit all kinds of interests. Some of the latest examples are indoor skiing in Hemel Hempstead, Borough Market in London and a visit to the Natural History and Science Museums in Kensington and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Highlights of houses and school events are House Festival, House Drama, Bonfire Night, Foundation Day and Sports Day. Sixth Form boarders are free to visit local towns individually or take driving lessons. 

As one of the top 100 independent schools in the country, Woldingham School has outlined development plans to improve the quality of their campus. Future additional facilities include an outdoor education and adventure centre, a new library and Sixth Form Centre, a new swimming pool complex, a sports pavilion, a cookery school and vineyard. Construction of the outdoor education and adventure centre will start during the 2021-22 academic year, with the other projects to follow within the next five years.

Woldingham School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

At Woldingham School, each pupil is cared for by both the teaching and supporting staff.  There are a dedicated Head of Year, housemistress and assistant housemistress for each year group. The school believes in keeping the pupils busy with both school and extracurricular activities for a  well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. On top of that, they also offer an on-site Health centre and Wellness rooms to take care of their students physically and mentally. 

The Health centre is fully equipped for surgery and staffed 24/7 during terms with qualified nurses and a school doctor. Appointments with a dentist, orthodontic or optometrist can be arranged with local practices via the school. The wellness rooms can be used as a quiet space for contemplation. 

Woldingham School also offers its own THRIVE programme to take care of its pupils’ emotional wellbeing while developing a growth mindset, resilience and self-worth in each girl. The skills they can learn range from study skills starting from Year 7, to ways to handle social media, build self-esteem and create a positive body image. All are necessary skills to become a successful student and a confident adult.

Extracurricular Activities

Woldingham School offers over 80 clubs spanning across the weeks and the weekends. Some intellectually stimulating clubs for the girls include the Cultural Society for in-depth conversations with Nobel Laureates or the Greenwell Society for politics enthusiasts. The active Careers department here also hosts various seminars, speakers, business partnerships, networking, workplace visits, external programmes and research opportunities for interested students. An example of that is the Classroom to Boardroom – a real-world business challenge organised in partnership with Entrepreneurs in Action.

Other extra-curricular activities that the pupils here can participate in are EPQs, the Thinking Big Lecture series, Café Scientifique, STEM Society and REthink. 

Music and Drama

Woldingham School invested in a Performing Arts Centre called the Millennium Centre with an acoustically designed Dineen Auditorium with 600 seats. Everything the girls need to best prepare for their performances is here from recital and rehearsal rooms, a studio theatre, wardrobe room, dressing rooms and a  fantastic foyer area. 

The music department has an excellent Recital Room, iMAC computer suite, a state-of-the-art 24-track digital recording studio, keyboard studio, string and woodwind studios and numerous practice rooms – all to accommodate the huge range of co-curricular musical activities here. Pupils of all standards are welcomed and there are plenty of opportunities for smaller musical ensembles, choirs and recitals.

Theatre production here is exceptional. Drama lessons are a part of the curriculum for all girls in Years 7-9. Many choose Drama for GCSE and continue so through to A-Level. Drama-related choices at the university level are also popular and there are many successful Woldingham alumnae in the acting field. The girls are encouraged to take part in all aspects of theatre productions from scripting, devising work to front and backstage works.

The school puts on three major drama productions and three major concerts a year. In recent years several students have been selected for the National Youth Theatre and National Youth Music Theatre. Carey Mulligan is a notable former pupil from their drama club.

Sports

Woldingham School has a sports centre with a large sports hall, two squash courts, a fitness studio and a dance/gymnastics studio to best serve the physical well-being of their pupils. An extensive outdoor courts and pitches, an indoor tennis dome, an indoor swimming pool and an all-weather pitch are other components of their sports facilities.

All girls participate in PE lessons which include netball, hockey, cricket, tennis and athletics. While netball and hockey are the stars of the autumn and spring terms, the other sports are well favoured in the warmer seasons. The girls can also compete in swimming and cross country as well as a huge range of other sports clubs and activities to choose from.

Creative arts

Art pupils can express their artistic nature in the purpose-built art studio with choices from Art, cookery, crochet, DT workshop, knitting, craft, and life drawing. Each Upper Sixth pupil can have their own ‘nest’. There are many fascinating projects in progress including one from a student developing her own religion and another who is building a ‘city to the lost creativity of children’ in wax. All students can find their own loving home for creation here.

Woldingham School Contact Information

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