St. Clare's, Oxford
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|Type||Coeducational Independent day and boarding school
|Principal||Paula Holloway BSc (London) PGCE (Sussex) MSc (Oxon) DipPM (LSE)|
|Vice-Principal||Tom Walsh MA Higher DipEd (Dublin)|
|Chair of Governors||Richard Dick MA (Cantab), Managing Director|
|Founder||Anne Dreydel and Pamela Morris|
|Location||139 Banbury Road
|DfE URN||133430 Tables|
St Clare's is a non-selective, coeducational independent, international day and boarding college in North Oxford, England offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme, English language courses, Liberal arts courses, IB teacher training workshops and University Foundation Course.
Throughout the year, courses for adults include the University Foundation Course, English language courses, advanced English with academic subjects and Liberal Arts courses for Gap Year students from US universities. In the summer months, adults, teenagers and younger students can study English language courses on three separate sites.
The school was founded in 1953 by Anne Dreydel OBE and Pamela Morris, and grew out of a scheme to establish links between British and European students after the Second World War. Second World War. Its mission is to advance international education and understanding.
The original name was The Oxford English Centre for Foreign Students, which later became St. Clare's Hall, and then St. Clare's, Oxford.
Since 1953 the College grew quickly to encompass a wide range of nationalities and programmes, both at university and pre-university level and in English Language. In the mid-50s, students came mostly from around a dozen Western European countries, as well as the UK. Over 40 different nationalities are represented in its current IB student body alone, and the College is particularly well-renowned for its broad range of taught languages.
St. Clare's, Oxford is unique. It offers students from all over the world the opportunity to pursue a first class education in Oxford, one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in Europe. As well as longer courses of study, shorter summer courses also became a central feature of the College in the early days.
Links with universities in the USA date back to the 1960s. Formal agreements by which American university students could gain credit towards their US degrees by studying abroad at St. Clare's started up in the 1970s. Such courses gradually replaced the University of London external degrees that had previously been taught.
In 1977 the College introduced the International Baccalaureate Diploma for pre-university students - only the 41st school in the world to do so. There are only 13 other institutions in the world who have taught the IB longer than St. Clare's. "A" levels were gradually phased out as the IB became established, and the College is now the longest established IB school in England (source ISA). There are currently over 3,700 IB world schools.
The College campus has grown with the increase in student numbers. As a registered charity, profits are re-invested in the College to facilitate rapid expansion and development. From its original base on 141 Banbury Road, the College expanded to allow more teaching space and a wider range of subject choices. Early homestay arrangements were largely replaced with residential accommodation, as new houses in the area were acquired and refurbished. In 1999, the College bought the Oxford Academy site in Bardwell Road, which became the Adult Courses Bardwell Road Centre.
In 2008, a very large residence next to the main campus buildings was purchased. Completed in 2010 at a cost of £1.3 million, the house holds 24 students in addition to a warden family, and features many energy efficient measures – rain water is harvested, the house has been super-insulated and the lights are motion-sensitive so that electricity is not wasted. In 2008 planning permission was awarded for an art studio and student accommodation in the grounds of one of the existing buildings.
In August 2014, a £3.4 million building was completed housing 3 state of the art science laboratories and 3 additional classrooms.
St. Clare’s is located in the North Oxford Conservation Area on two sites - the Banbury Road Campus (No. 139, between Lathbury Road and Moreton Road) and the Bardwell Road Centre (No. 18). It occupies 27 Victorian and Edwardian houses to which purpose-built facilities have been added. At the Banbury Road Campus these include a library building, a careers and higher education information centre, four science laboratories, art and music studios, dining room and café. Adult students are based at the Bardwell Road Centre which is made up of classrooms, common room, dining room, activities office, secluded gardens and student bedrooms.
Students live in college houses close to the central campus, under the care of residential staff. Adult students are also able to choose to live with local hosts in Oxford.
International Baccalaureate Diploma
St. Clare's is a co-educational day and residential sixth form college. Having offered the International Baccalaureate Diploma for over 35 years, St Clare's is the 41st school in the world to run IB, and is the longest-established provider of the International Baccalaureate Diploma in England. Over 40 different nationalities are represented of which about 15% are from Britain.
St Clare's also provides a Pre-IB course which is an excellent preparation for the full IB Diploma. The college also runs a highly successful IB Institute providing summer introductory courses for students about to start the IB worldwide. It is also authorized to run IB workshops for both new and experienced teachers in cooperation with the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).
In May 2014, 121 students took the International Baccalaureate Diploma resulting in an average points score of 36; the average worldwide points score for all schools and colleges is less than 30 points. Four students attained the maximum score of 45 points equivalent to 2 A* and 2 A level grades.
Referring to the International Baccalaureate Diploma programmes, in the most recent Ofsted inspection, the College was awarded "Outstanding", the highest rating, for the quality of its boarding, something that fewer than 10% of boarding schools achieve in the UK.
Published in January 2014, the Department for Education  ranked St. Clare’s the no.1 school in Oxfordshire for the fourth year in a row; 8th position for all state and independent schools in England.
English Language courses
A range of adult English Language courses and university and pre-university levels courses are run throughout the academic year from September to June. Courses run from 4 weeks to 12 months; 21 hours per week, as well as one-to-one tuition. Courses include, English for Everyday Use; IELTS and Cambridge examination preparation; and Combined English, where students mix classes with private lessons.
Students with advanced level English are able to study a programme combining English language classes with university level academic classes taken alongside American students taking their Gap Year as part of their US degree.
University Foundation Course
Students wishing to apply to UK universities study the University Foundation Course, an in-depth preparation for university entrance, from September to June for 35 weeks.
In spring 2013, the college was awarded "exceeds expectation" by the Independent Schools Inspectorate Educational Oversight for Private Further Education Colleges in its Inspection Report.
Graduates of the school's University Foundation Course have gone on to study at various UK universities as well as institutions in the US and Europe. These include Utrecht University, University of Barcelona, University of Edinburgh, Oxford Brookes University, University of Madrid, School of Oriental and African Studies, Maastricht University, Royal Holloway, University of London, Moscow State University, Goldsmiths, University of London and Queen Mary, University of London.
Shorter English Language courses from 2 and 3 weeks up to 6 week courses are offered during the summer from June to August. These short holiday courses combine English classes, with an extensive activities and excursions programme. Students live in college accommodation or with local hosts. The College is able to offer courses for three age groups on three separate sites. Age ranges are adults age 18+, teenagers age 15-17 and juniors age 10-15.
Scholarships applications for studying the IB Diploma programme are considered in February each year. Students must attend a Scholarship Day where they sit tests, have interviews with teachers and the Principal and parent financial information is reviewed. The College does not offer Scholarships for any other course.
Notable former pupils
- St. Clare's, Oxford, Registered Charity no. 294085 at the Charity Commission
- The Daily Telegraph. 28 July 2007.
- "IB World Schools and the IB". International Baccalaureate Organisation. 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Contact us". St Clare's, Oxford. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Social Care Report 2010". Ofsted. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- St Clare's, Oxford website
- Ofsted Social Care Report 2010
- Profile on the ISC website
- Profile on the English UK website
- ISI Inspection Reports
- Independent Schools Inspectorate Educational Oversight of Private Further Education Colleges Inspection Report