Bloxham School

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All Saints' School or Bloxham School
Motto Justorum semita lux splendens
Established 1860
Type Independent
Boarding school
Public school
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Paul Sanderson
Chaplain Rev. Michael Price
Chairman Mr N J E Bankes
Founder Rev. Philip Reginald Egerton
Location Bloxham

OX15 4PE
England Coordinates: 52°01′21″N 1°22′24″W / 52.0225°N 1.3733°W / 52.0225; -1.3733
DfE URN 123275 Tables
Students 417
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Black & White          
Former pupils Old Bloxhamists
Affiliation Woodard Corporation
School Hymn For All the Saints
A Shining Light

Bloxham School, also called All Saints' School, is an independent co-educational day and boarding school located in the village of Bloxham, three miles (5 km) from the town of Banbury in Oxfordshire, England. It was founded in 1860 by the Reverend Philip Reginald Egerton and has since become a member of the Woodard Corporation. The current headmaster is Paul Sanderson, who took over from Mark Allbrook in 2013. The school has approximately 420 pupils.[1]

Bloxham is a member of the HMC. The school has been described as 'one of Britain's best smaller public schools.'[2]

Foundation and history[edit]

The original school on the site in the north of the village of Bloxham was founded in 1853, but was unsuccessful and closed a short time after it opened. In 1860, the school was re-founded as All Saints' School by Philip Reginald Egerton, a local curate from Deddington.[3] It was largely funded by Egerton's wealthy wife, Harriet, and had the backing of several notable academics and clergymen including Bishop Wilberforce. Bloxham School was founded as a school of the Oxford Movement, by which Egerton had been heavily influenced. The School initially provided education for middle class boys in the public school tradition, although classics was originally not widely taught. Bloxham's first headmaster to not be a priest was only appointed in 1925.[4]

The school quickly grew, rising to two hundred pupils in twenty years.[3] Despite Egerton's plans for the school to provide for local farmers and tradesmen, a report in 1870 found that most of the boys were from professional, ecclesiastical and military families. The Bloxham School Trust was established in 1884, and in 1897 the school was admitted into the Woodard Corporation. The Reverend Frederick Scobell Boissier, father of Harrow headmaster Arthur Boissier, taught at Bloxham from 1878 to 1898 and was headmaster from 1886. Education at the school was centred on the notions of religious and civic duty.

Like many public schools, Bloxham suffered disproportionately high casualties during the First World War. The school shrunk during the war and subsequent depression, and was only saved by a series of ambitious educational and building reforms led by the school's first lay headmaster, Armitage. During the 1960s the school pioneered a tutoring system in which boys of multiple year groups shared a tutor. This system has since been imitated by many other boarding schools. Girls started to be admitted into the sixth form in small numbers in the early 1970s and the school became fully co-educational in 1998.

Buildings and facilities[edit]

A view over Main Field, with the cricket pavilion to the left and the school chapel in the background.

Bloxham School has grounds which cover approximately 60 acres (240,000 m2) in the village of Bloxham. The main school building, designed by George Edmund Street in neo-gothic style in the 1860s, dominates the school and the north end of the village. It contains two boarding houses, Crake and Wilson, the dining hall, the Headmaster's office, the chapel and a number of classrooms. The school's Great Hall was completed in the 1920s. The Victorian-era Wesley Theatre, a former Methodist chapel, is the school theatre. Wilberforce House was built in late 1960s. Raymond House was opened in 1971 by Margaret Thatcher. Recent building developments include the Raymond Technology Centre, the expansion of the Lower School building and the Vallance Library which was opened by Colin Dexter in April 2006. New squash courts have also been built next to the Dewey Sports Centre, and the art school has been increased in size. The extension to the music school was completed in the summer of 2007, and officially opened by Aled Jones in November 2008.[5]

Bloxham has a Church of England chapel which can accommodate approximately two hundred people. At the east end of the chapel is a large 'Te Deum' window. The chapel also contains a rood screen, windows in memory of Egerton and the Boer Wars and monuments to the school's war dead.

Bloxham School has four large playing fields, three of which are used for cricket in the summer term. It has two AstroTurf all weather pitches, which are used for hockey and tennis, as well as additional hard tennis courts. The Dewey Sports Centre has an indoor sports hall, a well-equipped gym and a climbing wall. Along with the swimming pool, it is available for public use. Bloxham also has Fives courts.

Deer Park is where the bursary is situated, as well as some of the buildings used by the CCF, including the armoury and shooting range.


Like most traditional public schools, houses form the basis of school organisation and are incorporated into the boarding system. There are six boarding houses within the senior school. These are Crake, Egerton, Raymond, Seymour, Wilberforce and Wilson, with Raymond and Wilberforce being the girls' houses. There is also a junior boarding house, Park Close, for the first form (Year 7) and second form (Year 8) weekly boarders, but all junior pupils are members of Exham House. The school operates a house based tutor system, in which pupils of several year groups share a tutor within one house. All houses are made up of both boarders and day pupils, who are called 'dayboarders'. House captains are appointed each year and make up part of the school's prefect body. The two oldest houses are Crake and Wilson, previously called School House, with all the other houses constituted later. The newest boarding house to be built was Seymour, which was finished in 1982. Houses provide a focal point for social and sporting activity, with keen rivalries existing between different houses.

House Colour Gender Housemaster/mistress Named after
Crake Red M Mr. R. A. Devesa A former school chaplain
Egerton Green M Mr. R. J. Thompson The school's founder
Exham Dark blue M/F Mr. G. A. Stindt A former headmaster
Raymond Light blue F Mrs. J. H. White A former pupil and master
Seymour Pink M Mr. D. K. Jordan A former headmaster
Wilberforce Purple F Mrs. C. McCaffrey The Bishop of Oxford
Wilson Yellow M Mr. T. M. Skevington The first boarder and former master



The Headmaster's Lawn in the snow

The founder of Bloxham, Revd. P. R. Egerton, envisaged Bloxham as a school which would take in the sons of local families and turn out young men ‘well educated in the Christian faith.’ Religion still plays a major role in the life of the school and this is focussed on the Chapel of All Saints. Two Eucharistic services are held each week for the pupils in the chapel, and Morning Prayer is held everyday. For larger school occasions such as Founderstide (the founder's day) and Christmas, the school uses Bloxham parish church. The chaplain plays an important part in school life and is helped by a team of chapel prefects. Special arrangements are made for non-Anglicans to attend their own places of worship if required.

Bloxham Project[edit]

The Bloxham Project is an inter-school council started in the 1960s to address the role of religion in schools.[6] It was started by the Chairman of Bloxham School Council and the school chaplain, Donald Dowie. The first Bloxham Conference on Public School Religion took place in 1967 at Bloxham School, and today approximately 120 independent schools take part in the project. It is a full-time organisation which continues to promote Christian educational values in the United Kingdom.[7] The project is currently run from Ripon College Cuddesdon near Oxford, where several of Bloxham's headmasters have been educated.


Sport plays a significant role in Bloxham life, with afternoons on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays being allocated to games' practices and matches for pupils in years 9–13. Every pupil in the school is involved in sport, with the aim being that each pupil will represent the school in at least one team during their time at Bloxham. The major sports are rugby, hockey and cricket for boys, and hockey, netball and tennis for girls. Other sports played at Bloxham include squash, athletics, swimming, golf, riding, polo, target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, fives, sailing, cross-country and badminton.[8]

The school's main sporting rivals include Stowe School, St Edward's School, Oxford, Warwick School, Rugby School and Magdalen College School, Oxford. Bloxham participates annually in the Daily Mail Cup. Bloxham has recently won national titles in shooting, polo and riding, and regional titles in rugby, hockey and sailing.

Societies and pastimes[edit]

The school CCF parade in Bloxham on Armistice Day, 1965

Bloxham has several societies, some of which are pupil-run. Notable school societies include the Scholars Society, the Debating Society and the Common Room Society. The Choral Society, or Chapel Choir, sing twice a week during the school's chapel services.

Besides that Bloxham School also offers a wide range of activities several times a week. The include amongst others a Photography Club, a Wildlife Club and a Model Railway Club. Bloxham School was host of the British Youth Go Tournament in 2011.

Bloxham runs a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) for pupils in third form (Year 9) and above. This was founded in 1910 as the school's Officers' Training Corps.[9] Most terms there is a CCF over-night expedition and a range day. The CCF was formerly affiliated with the Royal Green Jackets and is now affiliated with its successor regiment, The Rifles. Pupils are also given the opportunity to take part in many other activities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, drama, community service, dance, adventure training, horse riding and management and horticulture.[8] Many of these run on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon in time set aside for school activities.

The school has a large music department which offers professional tuition in brass, guitar, keyboard, organ, percussion, singing, strings and woodwind.

The school magazine is called The Bloxhamist and is published at the beginning of every Michaelmas term.

Motto and arms[edit]

The motto of Bloxham School is Justorum Semita Lux Splendens (Latin), which translates as "The path of the just is a shining light". The school arms is a stylised version of the coat-of-arms of the Egerton family.


Bloxham operates a three-term year:

  • The Michaelmas Term, from early September to mid-December
  • The Lent Term, from early January to late March
  • The Summer Term, from late April to late June or early July


The yearly fees for a senior full boarding pupil are £30,585 per year, and £23,670 per year for day pupils.[10] This makes Bloxham the third most expensive school in Oxfordshire.

Notable Old Bloxhamists[edit]




The arts


Bloxham School war dead[edit]

The stone arch at the main entrance to the school was built to the memory of Bloxham pupils who have died in conflict, and the school chapel contains memorials to the school's war dead from multiple conflicts. As with many public schools, Bloxham suffered a dispropotionalty high casualty rate during World War I, in which 76 current and former pupils were killed.[40] The portraits of the school's dead of the First World War are hung near the chapel.


The first five headmasters at Bloxham were ordained Anglican priests, with the first lay headmaster being appointed in 1925. The portraits of former headmasters hang in the school dining hall.

  • Revd. P. R. Egerton (1860–1886)
  • Revd. F. S. Boissier (1886–1898)
  • Revd. G. H. Ward (1899–1914)
  • Revd. A. R. M. Grier (1914–1919)
  • Revd. F. H. George (1919–1925)
  • V. L. Armitage (1925–1940)
  • K. T. Dewey (1940–1952)
  • R. S. Thompson (1952–1965)
  • D. R. G. Seymour (1965–1982)
  • M. W. Vallance (1982–1991)
  • D. K. Exham (1991–2002)
  • M. E. Allbrook (2002–2013)
  • P. Sanderson (2013–present)

Notable masters[edit]


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External links[edit]