Magdalen College School

Magdalen College School, Oxford, is incredibly old with the first certain evidence of the school’s existence dating to 1480. A strongly traditional school in many ways. It was founded as ‘a school of the university and within the university’ and is focused accordingly. Everyone does three sciences and classics is a given – ‘they take it for granted as a way of training the mind’.

Results here are phenomenal at both GCSE and a level, with an overwhelming 33% of students attaining places at Oxbridge. Creative subjects are often overlooked for the rigours of further Maths and Politics. Magdalen college is certainly a school for the gifted. Although located in a city, the school’s facilities are good. Its own school field, sports hall and gym are supplemented by access to university facilities nearby.

Pastoral care is ‘a speciality,’ says Tim Hands. ‘we have a light touch – we’re disciplined and liberal simultaneously.’ lessons can go from quite chatty to silent concentration when necessary, with students encouraged to challenge their tutors and compete with their peers.