Headington School

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Headington School
Headington School front.jpg


TypeIndependent day and boarding school
MottoΑγωνίζου τον καλόν αγώνα της πίστεως
(1 Timothy: 6:12. English: Fight the good fight of Faith)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Local authorityOxfordshire
HeadmistressCaroline Jordan
Age3 to 18
SongFight the Good Fight
Former pupilsHeadingtonians

Headington School is an independent girls' school in Headington, Oxford, England, founded by a group of evangelical Christians in 1915. The Good Schools Guide called Headington "A delightful school, [which] nurtures and entertains its pupils while at the same time achieving excellent academic results... fun and stimulating to be at."[1]


Headington School was founded in 1915 by a group of evangelical Christians to provide "a sound education for girls to fit them for the demands and opportunities likely to arise after the war". It started at Headington Lodge on Osler Road with just ten boarding and eight-day girls. As the school rapidly expanded after the war, more buildings were bought and added to the school.

In 1920, Davenport House, one of the current boarding houses, (on the corner of London Road and Pullens Lane) was taken over by the school. The house had a two-acre garden and another 19 acres of farmland attached stretching as far east as the White Horse pub. The main school then moved to its current building, built in the neo-Georgian style, in 1930. Chiang Yee, "The Silent Traveller", describes it as having an "atmosphere of spacious dignity". In 1942 it was registered as an educational charity, in recognition of the benefits that it provides to its pupils and the wider community.[2]

Headington Prep[edit]

The preparatory school is located on a separate site across the junction where Headington Road and Headley Way meet. The premises which house the prep school were originally known as Brookside. They were taken over by the school in 1916. Built in 1886, they were first occupied by Thomas Arnall, Oxford's Head Postmaster. The school renamed them Napier House when they moved out of the original Headington house with that name.[2] Since the prep school moved in, the facilities have been extended but the main house is still in use. Its pupils uses some facilities of the senior school, such as the swimming pool, playing field, all-weather surface and theatre.

Both the prep and senior schools share the same governing body. Until the 2007–08 school year it admitted boys up to age 7. It is a member of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools.

School Fees[edit]

Fees at Headington School include:[3]

  • All necessary educational materials (unless otherwise specified)
  • School lunches
  • Morning snacks
Fees per term Day Half-Weekly Boarding Weekly Boarding Full Boarding
Sixth Form Current Pupils £6090 £8282 £10475 £12210
Sixth Form Direct Entrants £6635 £9090 £11545 £13395
Upper 3 – Upper 5 £6090 £8282 £10475 £12210


The school has embarked on a series of building projects in the past fifteen years, beginning with the Art Department, the professional-standard Theatre at Headington (2002), Napier Boarding House (2003), a large Dining Hall (2005), and most recently the new Music School, which opened in 2009.[4] These complement the original neo-Georgian senior school building constructed in the 1930s.

There are 23 acres of grounds and playing fields, tennis courts, swimming pool and a floodlit Astroturf pitch.[5] The school also owns the Headington School Oxford Boat Club[6] and is one of the few schools in the country to offer equestrian facilities.[7]


There are ten competitive houses named after landmarks in Oxfordshire or notable historical figures associated with Oxford. Each House is led by a member of staff and a Sixth Form prefect.

The newest houses to join are Cranmer and Evenlode

Year groups[edit]

Headington uses its own nomenclature for the year groups.

Preparatory School

Name Year
Nursery Nursery
Pre-Kindergarten Reception
Kindergarten Year 1
Transition Year 2
Form 1 Year 3
Lower 2 Year 4
Upper 2 Year 5
Lower 3 Year 6

Senior School

Division Name Year
Lower School Upper 3 Year 7
Lower 4 Year 8
Middle School Upper 4 Year 9
Lower 5 Year 10
Upper 5 Year 11
Sixth Form Lower 6 Year 12
Upper 6 Year 13


Headington offers both full-time, part-time or flex-boarding to girls aged 9 and above. Approximately one third of its pupils are boarders.[8] They are grouped by years and reside in four boarding houses.

  • Davenport: U2 (Year 5) to U4 (Year 9)
  • Hillstow: U4 to U6 (Year 13)
  • Napier: L5 (Year 10) to U6
  • Celia Marsh: L6 & U6 (Sixth Form)
  • MacGregor: L6 & U6 – attached to Celia Marsh House


Headington is one of the higher achieving independent schools in Oxfordshire.[9][10]

The International Baccalaureate has been offered alongside A Levels since September 2009.[11]

In 2018 Headington School achieved an average IBDP points score of 38.5 per student out of a maximum score of 45 points, making them the 7th best IB school in the UK and the 12th best IB school in the World as per the league tables published by Education Advisers Ltd.[citation needed]

Headington School ceased to offer the International Baccalaureate from September 2020.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Headington offers over 50 different extracurricular activities ranging from sport to the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Headington's Combined Cadet Force is one of only four all girls contingents in the country.[5]

Sports teams and athletes regularly take part in competitions at county or national level.[7][12][13][14]

The rowing team (Headington School Oxford Boat Club) is one of the county's most successful school teams. It won the girls eights category at the National Schools Regatta in 2001[15] and completed the rare "Women's triple" in 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2016 by winning the National Schools, Schools Head and Henley.[16] It has also performed well in the South of England Indoor Rowing Championships, winning five overall classes in 2008[17] and finishing runners-up in 2010.[18] Two of its members were chosen to represent Great Britain at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore and claimed a gold medal in the girls' pair category.[19]

At the 2016 olympic games, former pupil Katie Greves won the silver medal in the women's eight, in what was her third appearance at the Olympic Games.

The Robotics Team won the 2014 Student Robotics Competition. Headington School was the first all-girls team to enter the competition in 2013, and the first all-girls winner in 2014. In 2013 they won the Rookie prize and First Moves, and came 2nd and 16th in the league with their two teams. In 2014 they came 4th in the league and proceeded to pass through all the knockout rounds to win. In 2015 they came 1st in the league and 5th overall, thus making headington the highest placed all girl and majority girl team for the third year running.

The girls provide strong competition in the Oxford Music Festival. In 2013 seven Headington girls won their category and the sixth form vocal ensemble The Eleven received the top choral prize.[20]

Notable former pupils[edit]

For a fuller list, see Category:People educated at Headington School

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Profile Archived 16 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine on Good Schools Guide
  2. ^ a b "School History". Headington School. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Headington School Review: Rankings, Results, Fees, And More". Britannia StudyLink Malaysia: UK Study Expert. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b "Breadth and balance at Headington School". Oxford Mail. 11 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Headington School BC". British Rowing.
  7. ^ a b Sport Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Boarding
  9. ^ "Full GCSE round-up". Oxford Mail. 25 August 2006.
  10. ^ "Students across county celebrate outstanding GCSE results". Oxford Journal. 2 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012.
  11. ^ "International Baccalaureate". Headington School Oxford. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  12. ^ "BADMINTON: Colts set strong pace". Oxford Mail. 20 December 2007.
  13. ^ "SCHOOL SPORT: Headington are happy with third". Oxford Mail. 6 February 2009.
  14. ^ "ATHLETICS: Inspired Beth in England call-up". Oxford Mail. 26 March 2010.
  15. ^ "Headington and Radley rule the waves". Oxford Mail. 2 June 2001.
  16. ^ "ROWING: Headington complete top treble". Oxford Mail. 25 June 2009.
  17. ^ "ROWING: Headington pull together". Oxford Mail. 7 February 2008.
  18. ^ "ROWING: headington and Hinksey in the frame". Oxford Mail. 11 February 2010.
  19. ^ "Headington girls on top of their game". Oxford Mail. 26 August 2010.
  20. ^ "Schools Guide 2013: Headington School". Tatler. 2013.
  21. ^ "Princess Cirilla of Cintra on Netflix's The Witcher: Who is the actress Freya Allan?". monstersandcritics.com. 2019.
  22. ^ "Elinor Lyon childrens author". The Times. London. 14 June 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′27″N 1°13′17.4″W / 51.75750°N 1.221500°W / 51.75750; -1.221500