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Talk Education latest review

Talk Education latest review

Canford – ‘A School with Serious Game’

We were delighted to welcome a researcher from leading industry publication Talk Education recently to update their review of Canford.

Following meetings with groups of staff and pupils, the overriding view was that despite the ‘magnificent setting and illustrious history’, a Canford education results in pupils who are ‘friendly, down-to-earth and outward-looking, happy in their own skin and modest about their achievements – even though there would be much to brag about, from ace exam results to stellar performances on the playing field and stage.’

The ‘very excellent’ Headmaster Ben Vessey is described as ‘instilling a real culture of warmth, dynamism and engagement’.  Academic staff are ‘at the top of their game’  yet Canford is ‘no pressure cooker’ with ‘lessons geared firmly towards the individual’ and ‘very interactive, with pupils fully engaged in their learning journey’

Outcomes are excellent, with most pupils heading to Russell Group universities. ‘13 pupils took up Oxbridge offers and the school recently bagged a top flight ranking in the Sunday Times Parent Power report - second in the South West for A-level results.’

‘Creative souls thrive’ with the Drama department putting on 15 productions a year and strong links with the National Youth Theatre.  The Art department has a dedicated courtyard gallery space and most pupils learn two or even three musical instruments.

‘The school really punches above its weight when it comes to sport and there’s a real sport-for-all ethos.’   Girls’ cricket, rugby and football are thriving, and other options include rowing on the Stour, golf on the nine-hole course or playing Real tennis on one of the two original school courts in the country.

‘There’s a real culture of community action: some lend a hand in local care homes, while others lead trips to the beach for pupils at nearby primary schools, help fundraise for orphanages in Argentina, Ghana and India or work on inner city youth projects in Southampton.’

Boarding is ‘the real deal’  with ‘plenty of fun interhouse bake-off competitions, house film and singing nights. On weekends, there’s often a trip to Bournemouth for shopping or ice-skating, but some pupils prefer to stay in school and take advantage of all the fabulous facilities.’  A ‘rock-solid’ tutor system underpins the pastoral care.

In summary,

“It’s no wonder waiting lists are growing – this is a school with serious game.”

To read the full review, please visit

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