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Friends of Canford Events

The purpose of the Friends of Canford School events is to help our pupil parents and the local community to feel connected to the school, to introduce them to the wonderful facilities and experiences Canford offers, and to raise funds for community and school projects that fall outside those funded directly by the school. 

Over the past eighteen months, although hosting in person events became impossible at times, our committee were about to think outside of the box and deliver a great programme of events. We were able to adapt some of our usual events to online, such as our annual Quiz Night, but we also introduced other events into the calendar; a virtual facial workshop and Canford cRUFFts which engaged many members of the Canford community in our five day event.

We are really looking forward to the return of in person events and look forward to meeting you throughout the year.


Enthusiastic golfers of all ages are invited to enjoy 18 holes of friendly play on Canford’s beautiful golf course.  There is a raffle and a host of enviable prizes to play for - longest drive, nearest the pin and for the team who take the honour of last place. Friends of Canford raises funds from events like the golf day to support local community service projects, environmental projects, and City Reach (a long-term partnership project between Canford pupils and the inner-city community of Northam)which offers a respite, calm, safe and caring environment for children from very diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.



The magnificent trees at Canford School take centre stage for the Friends of Canford annual Arboretum Tour. Master of Trees Andrew Powell shares his wealth of knowledge of the school’s unique and varied collection of trees. Guests are fortified with delicious refreshments served at the medieval John O’Gaunts building and embark on a tour of the grounds encompassing almost a millennium of planting. Starting with the ancient 12th century Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa just beyond the music building to the 21st century planting of the thriving Wollemi Pine Wollemia nobilis, Mr Powell leads guests through the collection to highlight numerous examples of trees ranging from native species to those from the Americas and Asiana, deciduous and evergreen trees, hybrid trees, champion trees, and plantings with heights ranging from over 135 foot to five feet. Various trees have been a central character in events from the days of the owners of the original manor house to the present-day school, and Mr Powell entertains guests with informative and amusing historical stories involving these trees. With the foundations of the Arboretum laid by Lord and Lady Wimborne in the 19th century, and ongoing planting since the start of the school in 1923, we benefit from this work and are fortunate to enjoy the beautiful results. How appropriate that a beautiful tree is at centre of the crest of Canford School! Friends of Canford invite you to join us to enjoy a delightful and informative walking tour of the school’s nationally known collection of trees.



The Friends of Canford (FCS) annual Tennis Tournament is held at the school’s outdoor courts. Often played as mixed doubles, but dependent on the number of participants, the event is played in four games with tallied points for the winning pairs before regrouping for the next round. Open to players of all levels of ability, participants play in games with each other making for a lot of fun and laughter. Join us to enjoy well-deserved Buck’s Fizz, refreshments a wonderful way to meet parents and other members of the Canford community.



Canford School is home to a premier real tennis club, established back in 1879, with over 100 members enjoying its excellent facilities and coaching staff. Friends of Canford School host a fantastic taster session; a chance to try your hand at "the sport of kings", the original racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis is derived. There are more than 50 real tennis courts in the world, and over half of these are in Britain but how lucky are we to boast one of our very own?






The FCS Spring Luncheon traditionally signals the start of the FCS Spring calendar. Guests are welcomed with refreshments and lunch includes a delicious and beautifully presented main course and exquisite dessert from the excellent Canford catering team, accompanied by a guest speaker.




Twelve keen participants can take part in the exacting sport of Rifle Shooting as part of the Friends of Canford ‘Have a Go’ series. Following an instructional talk from Canford master Dan Culley and parent Richard Dyball, three small groups can take their round of shots and a bonus round in competition shoot conditions. Interesting to note that the women are often better shots than the men! Following the exciting review of targets, everyone retires to a relaxing lunch at John O’Gaunts. Canford School is so fortunate to have this excellent facility.






Following a warming cup of mulled wine in Long Gallery, guests assemble for the treat of Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir performing at Canford School under the direction of David Gostick. The Great Hall, resplendent with festive décor is home to an evening of wonderful holiday songs and readings, traditional favourites, choral music including toe-tapping tunes, swinging spirituals and interesting contemporary pieces. A fabulous festive evening.



Annual Quiz Night is another highlight in our events calendar, just the right mix of competition, camaraderie, and complete madness! All served up with a spot of supper.  Super fun for all.



Enjoy a morning of lacrosse supported by the Friends of Canford. Canford sports mistress, Michelle Bray delivers an excellent overview of the sport including the origins and development through to where it is on the sporting map here in the UK and at Canford School. After a roundup of the rules and strategy, head on to the pitch with lacrosse sticks ready. Various techniques and drills are practiced before we split into two teams for a quick friendly match on half the pitch. Novices and experienced players are invited to take part. The event finishes with a light lunch catered from the school and some time to chat before heading off to various Saturday sports fixtures. The Lacrosse morning is a fun way to meet other parents and looks to be a popular continuing feature on the Friends of Canford calendar!