Ipswich High School, Suffolk

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Ipswich High School


Coordinates52°00′11″N 1°11′43″E / 52.00292°N 1.19532°E / 52.00292; 1.19532Coordinates: 52°00′11″N 1°11′43″E / 52.00292°N 1.19532°E / 52.00292; 1.19532
TypeIndependent day school
MottoLive for today, learn for tomorrow.
FounderSophie Youngman
Local authoritySuffolk
Department for Education URN124888 Tables
A HeadMr Mark Howe
AgeReception to 18
Colour(s)   Cherry red and dark grey

Ipswich High School is a co-educational independent school at Woolverstone Hall near Ipswich, England. Formerly an exclusive school for girls, it was converted to co-education in 2018 following acquisition by the China-oriented[2] investment banker London & Oxford Group.


Ipswich High School was opened as a school for girls in the Assembly Rooms in Northgate Street, Ipswich, on 30 April 1878 with 43 pupils. The first headmistress, Miss Sophie Youngman, held the position for 21 years and the school flourished and expanded under her leadership. She was succeeded by Miss Kennett and, in 1905, the Council of the Trust purchased a large private house and grounds in Westerfield Road, Ipswich. The move provided a more modern classroom standard, science laboratories and a playing field.

Another house, Woodview House, was purchased in 1913. Owing to the continued expansion of the school and the demands of the modern curriculum, the decision was taken in 1992 to rehouse the school at Woolverstone Hall, a Grade 1 listed building set in 80 acres (320,000 m2) of parkland on the banks of the River Orwell, the former premises of Woolverstone Hall School for boys (1951 to 1990).

Transition to the co-educational Diamond School model was commenced in 2018, with induction of the first boys scheduled for the new school year beginning in September. The change from a single-sex to co-educational system received mixed responses from parents and alumnae.[3] As of 2020 the school serves a wide area of Suffolk and north Essex, taking girls and boys aged 5–18 years and providing both primary, secondary school and sixth form education, where pupils take traditional A Levels in subjects such as Latin, History and Mathematics.


Following acquisition of the school by London and Oxford Group (LOG) in 2017, the principal and the chair of governors remained in their positions,[1] reporting to the ownership subsidiary Ipswich Education Limited (IEL). Members of the Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Local Governors are identified on the school's official website.

On 11th March 2022 Mr Mark Howe resigned from his position as head.[4]


Facilities include an AstroTurf playing field, indoor swimming pool, large theatre and sports hall. Extensive formal gardens remain from the historic estate. The grounds extend to the River Orwell, which is viewable from classrooms. In addition to the heritage Hall, there are buildings for the Senior Department and Junior Department. Students dine in the Orangery, situated in the main building, which also houses two libraries and the Sixth Form Centre. The Art Department is located adjacent to the stables and Junior School.


The school offers numerous subjects before GCSE, which include five different languages; along with ICT, the humanities, the arts, and the sciences. English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics (as Combined Science) must be taken at GCSE. At GCSE, pupils can study three optional subjects (excluding English Literature, English Language, Maths and Combined Science). At A Level, pupils can study three or four subjects with an 'enrichment course' (Astronomy, Cooking, Sports Leaders or Critical Thinking), with the option of taking an EPQ at A2. Pupils can study English Literature, Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Physical Education, Three-Dimensional Design, Fine Art, Economics, Music, Philosophy, Geography, Dance, Drama & Theatre Studies, Religion, Philosophy & Ethics, History, Latin, French, German, Spanish, Computer Science, Classical Civilization, Economics and Business Studies at A Level.

Academically, the school has featured in the top 100 Independent Schools list for many years. The school achieved the top GCSE results in Suffolk for 2017[5] and 57% of Sixth Form students accepted places to attend Russel Group Universities in 2017.[citation needed]

In 2017 70.4% of all GCSE grades were A* - A (2017)[5] and 38.5% of all A Level grades were graded A* - A (2017).[5] To receive entry into the Senior School, the pupils must take three exams similar to the 11+ and then must maintain their academic expectations throughout the school, especially at GCSE level. Sixth Form students are admitted on the basis of their GCSE results. Academic support is available for pupils and tutors work closely to monitor their achievements.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stott, Matt. "Ipswich High School for Girls changes name to Ipswich High School and will accept boys from 2018". East Anglian Daily Times, 11–12 September 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017
  2. ^ London & Oxford Group at linkedin.com, retrieved 21 November 2019
  3. ^ Stott, Matt. "'Heartbroken' parents react to Ipswich High School losing all-girls status and admitting boys". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  4. ^ Our Staff and Governance at official website. Retrieved 16 August 2020
  5. ^ a b c "Ipswich High School". GOV.UK: Find and compare schools in England. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  6. ^ Kelly, Liam (27 May 2018). "How I made it: Jade Holland Cooper, founder of Holland Cooper". Retrieved 19 August 2018 – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  7. ^ "Frances Hardinge's Twisted City – The Town Crier's House – 2016". www.franceshardinge.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Vote now for the Alumna of the Year 2016". gdst.net. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  9. ^ Russell, Steve (28 October 2018). "We intend to fall off the perch while working, says 'Bear Hunt' illustrator Helen Oxenbury at 80". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  10. ^ Russell, Steven (15 April 2008). "How they're ruining my lovely Felixstowe". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 21 February 2021.

External links[edit]