Woldingham School

Type of school: Girls Senior school with a junior department or a prep school

Nearest international airport: Gatwick (20km)

Age Range: 11-18

Number of pupils: 540

Number of boarders: 310

Fees per term: Boarding: £9,470-£10,315
Day: £5,925-£6,455


Woldingham School is a school with history, founded in 1842 by the Society of the Sacred Heart, with a legacy of Sacred Heart principles and values. These values refer to educating girls considering: respect for oneself   and others, social awareness, a sense of community, and self-realisation, through the Catholic faith.

Woldingham School holds in trust the Society’s mission of education, and is committed to living these values. We accept applications from girls of all faiths. We believe in educating girls considering good, Christian values whilst equipping them to face an ever-challenging world, prepared, enthusiastic and willing. Prepared – to face all number of obstacles assertively and without fear; enthusiastic – to play their part; willing – to make a difference, and aware of the world they live in.

Woldingham girls are identifiable by their strength of character. A Woldingham girl will be the one trying out that ‘thing’ no one else dared to try, or studying determinedly to achieve her next academic goal or get onto her chosen career path, whether that be in microbiology, corporate finance or the fine arts. Woldingham’s results are testament to its ability to take an average pupil and encourage her up to ‘above average’ or ‘top of the class’ – the ‘Bs’ get transformed into ‘As’ and the ‘As’ into ‘A*s’ and then, on to Oxbridge! Alumnae include Vivien Leigh, Lady Vanessa Musgrave, Caroline Wyatt, Louise Mensch and Carey Mulligan. No matter where your daughter’s strengths lie, we will help her to identify them and nurture these talents throughout her academic life and beyond. We want to create an atmosphere that allows each of our girls to experiment and try new activities, safe in the knowledge that we are not judging their level, but merely encouraging them to grow as learners, as individuals and as women.

Absolute tranquillity in the Surrey countryside, 35 minutes from the heart of London
The School is set in an impressive 700-acre estate within the Surrey Downs, close to the M25 and with its own train station providing a 35-minute connection to central London. Gatwick and Heathrow Airports are 20 and 45 minutes away respectively and junction 6 on the M25 is only seven minutes’ drive from the School.

Academic achievement, focusing on value-added
The School encourages its pupils to be inquisitive and to seek out life’s opportunities. 99% of Woldingham girls go on to higher education, 6% to Oxford and Cambridge. The School’s Oxbridge Preparation Programme assists students in every area of preparation.

In 2012, 79% of GCSE grades were A* or A. At A-level, 55.7% of grades were A* and A, 83% of girls achieving A*, A and B grades. Also in 2012, the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) placed Woldingham School in its top band, ‘excellent’, which is equivalent to Ofsted’s ‘outstanding’, in all areas of activity.

The report states, ‘The quality of the pupils’ achievements and learning is excellent. The school fully meets its aims for pupils to meet challenges and achieve excellence in whatever they choose to do, according to their ability. Throughout the school, the pupils achieve outstanding success in their learning.’ The School counters the trend in uptake of science, economics and mathematics, and girls also achieve outstanding results in humanities and languages. Most importantly, we have created an educational structure to support the ‘Gifted and Talented’ by offering adequate support to both the ‘academic’ and the ‘talented but not necessarily academic’ child.

International connection
Woldingham School is part of the International Network of Sacred Heart Schools. The Network provides a means for mutual support and development among the schools through sharing of intellectual, spiritual and other resources in furthering the mission of Sacred Heart education.

Member schools have numerous opportunities for collaboration. Faculty, staff, administrators and trustees participate in Network workshops and seminars. Girls benefit from summer programmes, international exchange programmes, group workshops and opportunities to use shared technology resources. The truly international character of Sacred Heart education helps to foster an important global awareness in our girls.

Facilities to encourage excellence
Woldingham School boasts outstanding performance and expressive arts facilities. The School’s Millennium Centre includes a 600-seat auditorium with orchestra pit, industry-standard sound and lighting control rooms, scenery construction dock, wardrobe room for costume and prop construction and a professional studio theatre. In addition, the Centre hosts a recital room, a Mac suite, keyboard studio, string and woodwind rooms, numerous practice rooms and an exceptional eight-track digital recording studio.
The purpose-built Art Department comprises two large 2-D studios, facilities for printmaking and a superb 3-D area equipped with a range of power tools and two kilns. Design technology is taught in a fully equipped workshop and studio, using state-of-the-art computer-controlled machinery. The Sports Centre includes a sports hall, two squash courts, fitness studio and a dance/gymnastics studio. In addition, there are extensive outdoor playing areas, an indoor tennis dome, an indoor swimming pool and an all-weather pitch.
A major refurbishment during the summer of 2011 saw a further four classrooms built at Marden House, as well as a new dining and kitchen facility for girls and staff.

Pastoral care is a key strength of our school
Time and again parents make reference to the support systems in place that ensure their girls are nurtured and encouraged. We dedicate much time to creating an environment where the girls have space to grow, under the watchful eye of a community of committed and experienced residential staff.

Boarding accommodation is impressive. Shanley House, the Upper Sixth centre, is a modern block with individual en-suite accommodation. Berwick House is the Lower Sixth centre and provides single room accommodation. All girls from Year 10 have single study-bedrooms in Main House. Marden House is the welcoming junior house where girls spend their first two years. The School accommodates over 500 girls within the 11–18 age range, over 300 of whom are boarders. We offer full boarding, but girls may leave school after Saturday morning extracurricular activities and return to school on Monday morning, if they so wish. Almost half of the boarders choose to stay at the School throughout term time, leaving only during the holiday periods. This ensures a vibrant and busy boarding community throughout the academic year. This, coupled with a residential community of over 40 staff living within the School grounds, ensures that Woldingham School provides a stable and caring atmosphere for all girls.