Tudor Hall School, Banbury
|Motto||Habeo ut dem
(Latin: "I have in order that I may give")
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Chairman of the Governors||Mr John Gloag|
|Founder||Rev. T.W. and Mrs. Todd|
|Former pupils||Old Tudorians|
|School Hymn||To Be a Pilgrim|
Tudor Hall School is an independent day and boarding school for girls in Oxfordshire, situated between Bloxham and Banbury. Originally founded in South London by an Anglican priest and his wife, it moved to several different places before the purchase of its current premises after the Second World War.
Tudor Hall was founded in 1850 by Anglican priest Reverend Todd and his wife in Forest Hill, London. By the 1900s, the school had expanded and was in need of more space. In 1908, it moved to Chislehurst, which was in the county of Kent at that time. In between the wars, the school went through difficult times and had to be closed down for a term. Former pupil Nesta Inglis, older daughter of banker and MCC amateur cricketer Alfred Inglis, took over as headmistress and re-opened the school. At the outbreak of World War II the school was moved to Burnt Norton, near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, to escape the air raids. However, the school had outgrown the property during the war. Ms Inglis came across some land outside Banbury, Oxfordshire and the purchase was made in February 1944. The school then made its final move in January 1946 to its current location.
The aim of pastoral care at Tudor Hall is to create grounded and happy young women with the self-esteem needed to thrive in the modern world by promoting team work, communication, and celebrating the individual's achievements. The team consists of staff, parents and the girl herself.
Girls are supported by all staff; particular responsibility lies with the tutors and house staff whose job it is to monitor the well being of the specific girls in their care. Support is also provided by the medical team, Chaplain, heads of vertical houses and the senior staff who know all the girls individually. This provides the safety net which gives girls the confidence to take risks, try new things and develop skills they did not know they had.
Girls are an equally respected part of the team, and are encouraged to take responsibility and initiative through representative bodies, evaluations and conversation. Pupil participation is vital to develop self-confidence and, in a small school, it is possible to find opportunities for each girl to shine.
Parents play a vital role in the team and there is regular communication both formally and informally.
Tudor Hall offers a full boarding programme. Over two thirds of pupils are boarders. New boarders are usually assigned an older girl to assist them with adjustment into boarding life. There are full-time residential staff who live on-campus.
In order to provide a high standard of education and develop all girls as individuals, Tudor Hall offers a broad curriculum taught by subject specialists throughout the school. Girls are prepared for GCSEs and IGCSEs at KS4, and AS and A levels in the sixth form as these qualifications allow girls flexibility of choice as well as high academic standards.
In the Is-IIIs (KS3) girls follow a common curriculum designed to allow them to experience the full range of KS4 and enrichment subjects the school has to offer so that they can make informed decisions about their further studies.
The school recommends that most girls take 9 GCSEs so that they can gain the best grades needed for university entrance whilst participating fully in a wide range of extra-curricular activities to a high standard. Most girls take 4 AS levels and 3 or 4 A levels depending on their chosen destination after school. Many girls take a GCSE in dance or another foreign language while studying for their A Levels too.
Every girl is give guidance concerning careers research and applications to universities or other educational establishments such as art schools. All teachers work closely with girls to ensure they are receiving regular feedback on their progress and can achieve to the best of their abilities.
The Sixth Form are encouraged to ‘work hard and play hard’. There is an abundance of activities that exist outside the classroom, with truly something for everyone.
Young Enterprise companies make healthy profits every year.
The opportunities to travel are extensive. As part of our ‘Tudor in 3 Continents programme’, strong links have been established with charitable organisations in India, Bolivia and South Africa, with our girls making a telling contribution, either during their visits there or through fund raising activities at home. Travel scholarships are awarded yearly, with recent recipients travelling to Kenya help in an HIV clinic, to Turkey to find out more about their ancient civilisations and around Europe to retrace the footsteps of Lord Byron.
At times, life in the Sixth Form will be challenging. Whenever a girl encounters a problem, it is important that she feels she can rise to the challenge it presents and overcome it on her own terms. The tutors are there to help and support in this. Boarders can also discuss any issues they may have with a member of the house staff. The pastoral team are committed to promoting self-awareness by helping each girl to develop her emotional intelligence and resilience.
Privileges and Responsibilities
As befits their heightened status within school, girls in the Sixth Form have more freedom than girls lower down the school. However, with privileges come responsibilities and duties. Sixth form girls, through the strength of the prefect team, play a vital role within school and beyond, as role models and as leaders. They are looked up to by the younger members of our community and are expected to set the right example at all times. There are occasions when the Sixth Form are required to take on ambassadorial roles.
Academically, the hard work starts from day one. Students design their own programme of study, selecting the subjects that they want to pursue from the 27 AS and A2 subjects that are on offer. The school recommends 4 AS subjects in the Lower Sixth which are then reduced to 3 subjects at A2 in the Upper Sixth. However, the curriculum is flexible enough to allow the number of subjects taken to reflect the ability of each individual girl. Each programme of study can then be supplemented by choosing from a range of extra subjects, such as ab initio Russian and Mandarin. Subject teachers are there to support our girls through their studies by inspiring them with their infectious enthusiasm for their subject and helping them to develop further their skills as independent learners.
The pastoral team encourages girls to consider university entrance early in their sixth form career. Each girl is assigned a tutor, who will guide her through her UCAS application, giving constructive feedback on personal statements and writing references which illustrate each girl’s positive attributes to the admissions officers. The Oxbridge programme starts in earnest as well, with tutorials, lectures and practice interviews forming the core of the preparation given to those girls interested in pursuing an application to Oxford and Cambridge. We are very proud of the range of courses and universities that our girls attend, with the excellent grades our girls achieve, enabling virtually all of our girls to go to their university of first choice.
The Sports programme at Tudor Hall is a vital part of the girls' development. It is purposeful and varied, developing confidence and encouraging interaction. The aim is for students to develop a lifelong love of sport and physical activity.
All girls are encouraged to strive for personal excellence, and as they progress through the school they have a growing range of options to suit their interests and needs. As well as having teams representing the school in hockey, netball, lacrosse, tennis, rounders, athletics, cross country, swimming and skiing, there are numerous additional extra curricular activities.
At present these include: fencing, badminton, tag rugby, squash, fitness, shooting, karate, basketball, volleyball, football and dance. Tudor girls are involved in a range of sports at county, regional and national level.
The school's facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, astroturf with floodlights, sports hall, squash court, fitness room and thirteen netball courts.
Many of the school's PE and Sports teachers are personally involved at regional or national level. There is a constant investment in keeping staff up-to-date, and there are excellent links with clubs in the community.
A full range of activities takes place in the breaks during the school day. Musical opportunities are many and varied and range from larger choirs and orchestras to small instrumental ensembles and vocal groups. Girls may play a number of team sports, take up aerobics and receive individual or group coaching in athletics, tennis and dance. Creative opportunities are fantastic with specialist clubs in ceramics and photography as well as textiles and art. There are many opportunities for performing drama as well as writing for the stage. There are curriculum-based clubs to enhance skills, increase understanding and have fun. Girls can learn how to make German biscuits, design a bird table or grow vegetables to name just a few.
At weekends each boarding house provides activities to make sure the girls are enjoying themselves participating in imaginative and worthwhile ways. Trips to the local ice rink, the theatre and cinema will feature as well as more adventurous activities like sailing and go karting. In house the girls might learn massage, paint murals or play a range of games.
Tudor Hall has an adventurous programme of outdoor activities. As well as the fact that most girls do the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, all girls take a progressive programme of residential and non-residential outdoor activities which range from map reading and shelter building to rafting, caving and abseiling.
The Modern Foreign Languages department provides opportunities for students to learn more about languages and related cultures through varied, age-appropriate activities outside the classroom. These include:
- MFL cookery club: each session targets a different year group and language so that opportunities are provided for all to prepare the cuisine of the country concerned.
- French games club
- GCSE revision/ oral clubs Business Conference
- Grammar clinics
- One-off sessions e.g. German Christmas decoration workshops, the German Christmas Party
- Foreign plays
- Business Meets Languages conference with local schools
- Lectures e.g. Peter Millar (journalist) speaking about his life as a foreign correspondent in the former East Berlin
- Sixth form German social with Radley College
There is also a range of exciting trips each year:
- IIs' French trip to Chateau Brutel
- IIIs'/ IVs' Spanish trip to Andalusia
- German trips to Salzburg / Vienna for all Germanists
- A German exchange for all Germanists
- Sixth form German trips to Berlin and Leipzig.
- LVI Spanish trip to Madrid
- LVI French trip to Paris for the Future in Europe conference
- UVI intense language and cultural course in Aix-en-Provence
In the Is-IIIs each year group has a dance club where girls learn contemporary and street dance. There is also the prestigious Reaction Dance group which girls are invited to join from all year groups. They perform at major dance events. There are two school dance performances a year, one at the end of the autumn term and one on summer show day. Small groups of dancers meet throughout the week so that girls of all ages and abilities can enjoy and improve their dance with the help of the two specialist dance teachers.
There are a wealth of opportunities for students keen to get involved in drama. Each year there is a school play which alternates between a whole school musical and a senior play with boys from another local school. There is also a IIIs' play and a junior production every year as well as various performances by the Well-Made Players, a group of gifted and talented drama students.
There is a junior drama club and a "Tudor Techies" club for all year groups which gives girls the opportunity to develop technical skills.
GCSE Drama students take part in the annual Shakespeare Schools' Festival and girls are encouraged to audition for the National Youth Theatre.
There are numerous trips to the theatre available for all year groups but the highlight for many is the House Drama Competition which involves all year groups working together to produce a colourful and original play with the whole school watching.
Tudor Hall has a tradition of encouraging all students to be involved in the arts. In terms of self-expression, self-awareness, attainment and interpersonal skills, music is central to Tudor Hall’s holistic ideals. Music provides the life and body for the health and vitality of the whole community. Concerts are staged in our Music School, Ballroom and Main Hall, along with performances by ‘houses’ and theatrical productions. The emphasis is on team work, personal development and quality.
Most of the girls at Tudor Hall are actively involved in music making of many kinds. Whether learning an instrument, studying music formally in the curriculum or performing music in one of the ensembles and choirs, all students are actively encouraged and supported in the development to develop their technical skill, musical knowledge and more fundamentally in discovering a love of music for life.
Music at Tudor Hall takes place in a purpose-built music building, housing 13 practice rooms, music technology suite and classrooms. There is a performance lecture theatre at its centre which provides a chamber concert space for regular concerts. The building was opened in 1986 by Sir Geraint Evans, and provides many possibilities for our music-making to thrive at Tudor Hall.
Upon entry each girl is assigned to a house, each of which is named after one of the Royal Houses that ruled over England.
Unlike many schools, Tudor Hall uses an unusual nomenclature for its year groups.
- Todd/Ones - Year 7
- Twos - Year 8
- Threes - Year 9
- Fours - Year 10
- Fives - Year 11
- Inglis - Year 12
- Ashtons - Year 13