Our boarding school consultants recently visited St Swithun’s, an all-girls boarding and day school located on a hill above the beautiful, small city of Winchester – ancient capital of England – in Hampshire, England. Founded in 1884 and moved to its present site during the 1930s, it is one of the most prestigious girls’ schools in the country, with a reputation for all-round ambition and excellence. St Swithun’s has a prep school for girls aged 4-10, and a senior school for 500 girls, aged 11-18.
The 45-acre campus is located on a hill above Winchester and consists of an array of impressive buildings surrounding the games pitches. Our boarding school consultants found that all buildings felt modern, light, and bright and all facilities are state-of-the-art, with a particularly impressive theatre, 6th form study centre and DT/Art block.
St Swithun’s has a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence. It is academically ambitious for its girls and the pace of learning is challenging. Therefore, the school is selective to ensure that all girls can keep up with the pace of learning. However, whilst it pushes every girl academically, they ensure that all girls are looked after and supported. The school offers a wide range of subjects at both GCSE and A-Level, with a strong focus on STEM subjects. The school has a track record of success in university admissions, with many of its girls going on to study at some of the most prestigious universities in the UK and around the world, with many studying STEM subjects such as Architecture and Engineering.
St Swithun’s has a strong sporting reputation, especially in hockey and lacrosse. Other main sports include cricket, netball, tennis, and swimming. There is a culture of inclusivity so every girl will play in a team if they want to. Girls can do other sports such as football and scuba-diving as part of the extensive extra-curricular programme.
Boarding is a significant part of St Swithun’s life with around 45% of girls boarding either as weekly or full boarders. There are 6 boarding houses, with a separate house for the youngest and oldest girls and 4 houses of mixed year groups. Each house is light and bright, comfortable, and well-furnished. All girls eat in the central dining hall. There is a full programme of activities at weekends which many day girls come in to join.
St Swithun’s has a diverse student body with many international pupils who come from 20 different countries. The school is therefore very inclusive and is particularly caring – it has an award-winning pastoral care system.
Overall, St Swithun’s is a school for high-achieving, highly motivated girls who want to be the best they can be at whatever they want to do. A school of all-round excellence, it asks a lot of its girls, but it also looks after them too. This school will give girls the mindset and confidence to succeed in all areas of life, including those traditionally perceived as being ‘not for girls’.
Find the right school for your child with the help of our boarding school consultants and get in touch with us today.