“The best” educational options for the future differ for everyone. For some children, the traditional, grade-based academic pursuit is how they reach their full potential. Others may shine on the field, stepping out of their comfort zones and challenging themselves, body, mind and all. Then there are the visionaries – budding designers, artists, musicians, CEOs, and more.
Thus, the best schools are the ones that nurture just one type of talent – but many. Not only do they prepare students to succeed in university and beyond, but in sporting and cultural activities.
Here are four UK schools where well-rounded champions are made:
Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate
Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate (QE) is where children can be the best that they can be with the gifts that they have. Here, a diverse mix of students (representing more than 45 countries) achieve outstanding academic results and head to an impressive list of top university destinations. They are happy, thriving and fulfilled.
As the first school in the UK to have achieved the QEGUK Quality Assurance Validation, this means pupils here are studying at an institution committed to the highest standards of performance, where they receive an outstanding example of quality education and care.
These accolades speak for themselves, but what really sets QE apart are its incredible facilities and support. QE is home to an outstanding range of high-quality sports facilities, such as a 25-metre swimming pool, triple court sports hall, 100 station fitness suite, a free weights centre, four-lane synthetic cushioned running track, over 30 acres of grass and 3G artificial pitches, and a number of specialist studios. Performance sports offered here include Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Football, Hockey, Netball, Rugby and Swimming.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) support is provided every step of the way. This ensure QE students gain a strong awareness of grammar and vocabulary to access and make the most of the English-speaking environment around them, achieve their potential in their core subjects, and do well in Cambridge First, Preliminary and IELTS exams. To learn more about the school that is known locally, nationally and internationally as a place that promotes the highest standards in all that it does, click here.
Situated in the picturesque and tranquil countryside of Shropshire, Concord College is home to 605 academically capable and highly ambitious students. Here, they thrive and find happiness.
Its truly international environment hosts a diverse student body representing over 40 nationalities, enabling different cultural contexts and insights to improve the classroom learning experience. Away from the distractions and stresses of a bustling city, bright minds here coexist and exchange ideas in a safe, kind and supportive setting.
In classrooms, Concord’s students follow curricula that are demanding and challenging. Their carefully designed, innovative programmes help students develop multidisciplinary thinking, hence laying a strong foundation for students to employ critical thinking skills to solve complex problems. Teachers closely monitor every student’s academic progress to ensure that they are fully engaged, and to identify if additional support is required for them to excel. Concord’s academic excellence is reflected in their outstanding A Level results where 93.7% of students achieved an A* or A grade, while at GCSE, 94% scored between 7 and 9 (A* or A grades) for the 2021 examinations.
Pair this with exceptional preparation for entrance exams such as the scholastic aptitude test (SAT) and the Oxford/Cambridge thinking skills assessment (TSA), and Concordians have the full set of skills and qualifications to thrive at top universities. To learn more about this caring haven for the academically-minded, click here.
In The Sunday Times Independent Schools Guide, widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the top schools in the country, Brighton College was awarded the prestigious title of School of the Decade by The Sunday Times. It was described as “one of the hottest tickets in independent education.”
In the past 10 years, “Brighton has become the leading co-educational independent school in the country. Under the excellent headship of Richard Cairns for the past 14 years, the school is progressive in outlook and the children are taught kindness and respect for one another,” the editor of the Schools Guide wrote.
Headmaster Richard Cairns credits this award to the college’s wonderfully inspirational teachers and energetic and positive pupils. With passionate teachers, pupils get to develop a life-long love of learning. They also attain 99% A*AB at A Level and 96% 9-7/A*A at GCSE — making it one of the top-performing schools in the country.
At its School of Science and Sport, students get to complement their academic programmes by enjoying sports at its double-height sports hall, rooftop running track, a 25-metre swimming pool and a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning suite. With an arts calendar full of a range of music, dance, art and drama events, there is no shortage of opportunities for pupils to get involved in. This includes the annual musical in November, a carol service, regular music recitals and art exhibitions, and pupil-directed plays.
If you seek a prestigious, vibrant and progressive boarding school for boys aged 13 to 18, head to Eton College. An education here is well-rounded and progressive. Here, boys hone the best habits of independent thought and learning in the pursuit of excellence, which leads to exceptional results in GCSE, A-level and Pre-U examinations.
An ISI inspection in December 2021 states: “The school is highly successful in fulfilling its aim to promote the best habits of independent thought and learning in the pursuit of excellence. This is reflected in exceptional results in GCSE, A-level and Pre-U examinations.”
Beyond the classroom, students take part in a broad co-curriculum programme designed to promote excellence and opportunities to participate. This includes music, sport, drama, the CCF and outdoor education, plus social and environmental action projects. On average, total boys in a boarding House spend 400 hours playing sports weekly. The goal is to build resilience, improve self-discipline, and develop the skills required to work effectively as part of a team.
“School should be fun and happy children are more likely to be successful,” says Simon Henderson, Head Master. “We see it as our responsibility to bring out our boys’ talents, to broaden their interests and to develop their personal qualities. To do this we aim to foster confidence, perseverance, tolerance and integrity; to enhance communication skills; to embrace creativity; to encourage teamwork; and to promote an open-minded and outward-looking mentality so that boys are ready to make a really positive contribution to their wider community.”
*Some of the schools featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International