St Swithun’s School was founded in 1884 by a daughter of the Dean of Winchester. It’s non-selective until sixth form (when entry requirements are ‘rigorous’), but has a justified reputation for producing bright girls and a tenacious grip of the top of the league tables.
Major efforts are made to stimulate brains through an eclectic programme of lectures, plus dynamic headmistress Jane Gandee’s enthusiasm for Radio 4 and the compulsory weekly Stretch programme (activities such as chess, music or music composition). Girls must also surely benefit by osmosis from the academic atmosphere that pervades the city through the cathedral and the renowned boys’ public school, with which there is co-operation for dramatic productions.
- 500+ girls aged 11–18, day and boarding (plus prep school)