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Our aim is to provide pupils with a long-lasting love of learning. We achieve this through a variety of means, depending on the age group and ability level of each individual. Alongside inspirational curriculum teaching, we offer a challenging and exciting academic enrichment programme across all year groups where pupils are encouraged to think beyond the normal demands of subject material.

The journey starts when pupils enter the school in the Shell year (Year 9). Arriving from many different schools into an unfamiliar environment, it is through engaging with the familiar world of the classroom that many pupils first find their feet – and will experience the excitement of learning, whether in the context of a specific subject, or through one of the many cross-curricular projects they undertake. Our Shell curriculum is designed to encourage habits of concentration, of aiming for the best and of taking risks in order to achieve something special; the work they do in this vital year enables our pupils to make the most of the curriculum opportunities they have through their GCSE choices in Years 10 and 11 – the Fourth and Fifth forms.

The GCSE curriculum allows our pupils to see a wide panorama of further intellectual opportunities, which they will strive towards during their Sixth Form years and beyond. 

“The Shell Curriculum is designed to form the habits that will shape skills and develop the literacy, and form a love of learning to last them through their lives.”

Ed Johnson - Head of Lower School

Best co-educational independent school in the South West for 2022 A Level performance.Sunday Times parent power report 2023


Average class size for GCSE


Academic groups and societies


Library resources


External speakers at the Festival of Ideas 2022

Explore 13+ learning opportunities

Shell (Year 9) Curriculum Guide

Foster and develop the Canford Cross-curricular Competencies.

Shell Curriculum Guide

GCSE/IGCSE Course Guide

A course guide for pupils entering the Fourth Form in September 2023.

GCSE/IGCSE Course Guide

Latest Examination Results

View our latest GCSE and A Level exam results.

Latest Results

“Pupils have excellent attitudes towards learning, to their subject lessons and their wide variety of cross-curricular activities”

Independent Schools Inspectorate 

The Canford Blog

Latest educational and intellectual comment from the Headmaster, senior staff and pupils at Canford School.

Latest blog posts

Learning and Resources

The new library offers over 300 linear metres of open book shelving and a multimedia area providing multiple online resources.

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Support for Learning

Teachers meet regularly to share good practice across departments and develop awareness of differing needs.

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Academic news