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Kingham Hill school, A unique and special gem of a school

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I have a special place in my heart for a hidden gem of a school that pupils, parents and staff alike love and carry in their hearts long after they may have left. 

With its unique location and environment Kingham Hill nestles in its own 100 acre estate surrounded by stunning cotswolds farm land and peaceful villages yet only a couple of miles from a quaint little railway station that links it to the outside world. Kingham Hill ,a co-ed, non-selective secondary school with a strong Christian ethos ,  is in its own bubble but this is indeed a feature of the place, everyone knows each other and so the pastoral care is immense. 

With only  just over 350 pupils, the School is deliberately small, with a palpable sense of kindness and honesty within the whole community.The unofficial school motto is ‘work hard, play hard, serve well’, and everyone is encouraged to abide by these words at every opportunity.

 Founded in 1886 by Christian philanthropist Charles Edward Baring Young, Kingham Hill School promotes more than just academic achievement and strives to ensure each individual pupil finds their own inner excellence in every aspect of themselves, pupils emerge from this cocoon splendidly unique and ready to conquer the world equipped to have happy and successful lives. 

High quality education is delivered within top class learning facilities where every pupil has endless opportunities to learn, excel and realise their potential. ‘ ‘Knowledge is power’ and ‘Hillians’ leave as powerful young adults. Coupled with small class sizes, the School provides academic challenge and support for every child. Cited by The Telegraph as a ‘Top Small Independent School’ for highest A-level results, the Department for Education ranks the School in the top 5% nationally for pupil progression from GCSE to A-level. Kingham Hill School was recently selected for the 2019 Parliamentary Review due to its outstanding practice in various industry sectors.

The School celebrates diversity and classes include the US Program, which offers pupils the opportunity to study at a British boarding school whilst completing an American High School diploma. This program is the first of its kind in the UK, and was developed in conjunction with the US Department of State. The whole school celebrate with a thanksgiving dinner and I have experienced those from other cultures sharing their celebrations such as mooncakes, red envelopes at Chinese new year and an orange and coin in a shoe left outside a dorm on St Nicholas eve. 

The beautiful gothic style houses that are dotted around the site house the boarding pupils and are nowhere near as large as in many schools. Whilst grand on the outside the inner is warm and exudes a family sense of belonging and care. House parents ,matrons and tutors are all available so that every pupil has all the care and attention they need. 

Promoting the idea of independent living Sixth Formers are not expected to wear uniform but their own business wear, they have chances to frequent a  Sixth Form bar with the headmaster serving behind the bar.They plan meals,have social events, oversee prep in the boarding houses and set themselves high standards as role models.

Dotted around the beautifully kept grounds are a cricket square, pavilion,tennis courts, floodlit astroturf pitch, an assault course , , dance and drama studio and of course plenty of room for rugby , football and hockey pitches. The headmaster , NIck Seward, also runs a school motorsport team with 10 karts.A combined cadet force  feature heavily in the school and many a lark has been had in the school woods and off site.

The school has zones that celebrate their own areas of expertise. A beautiful well stocked library, complete with a dedicated librarian ,sits at the top of the site next to the beautiful and serene Chapel. Next to that is ‘Veritas’ a dedicated building for  Maths and Science.  Wander down the path and you find the Catering dept. Food really isn’t in the ilk of Tom Brown’s Schooldays! There is a food committee so that pupils and staff can all have input to the dedicated catering team and make suggestions.  The art and DT departments produce many of the beautiful works of art that adorn the school walls . An impressive new Sports Hall features a climbing wall, squash court, changing rooms and viewing platform. 

The school farm is a wonderful place for pupils to meet care and love animals, if children have had to leave pets at home the horses, rabbits,goats ,pigs, sheep guinea pigs and cats are a welcome addition to school life. Many of the house parents have dogs and they are often walked by eager volunteers! 

Of course academic achievement is vitally important and the results speak for themselves, A level results for 2020 saw 56% A*-A and 76% A*-B. and GSCE results included 53% 9-7 (A*-A). 

The Covid lockdown in March was a chance for the school to move to ‘Virtual KHS’ enthusiastically and successfully employed, the school moved to online learning including a virtual sports day, music concerts and the eagerly awaited Speech Day.

Fees per term are £5,965 rising to £6,795 for day pupils and £8,450 – £10,435 for weekly boarding (Sun night to Fri morning). Full boarding starts at £8,450 rising to £11,450. Some scholarships are fully funded, and there are also means-tested places from 50% – 75% fee remission. 

For me the quote by Grenville Kaiser sums up the ethos of the school

Let your intentions be good – embodied in good thoughts, cheerful words, and unselfish deeds – and the world will be to you a bright and happy place in which to work and play and serve.

You can arrange a Covid-safe, private visit anytime by calling 01608 658999.

Kingham Hill School, Kingham, Oxon, OX7 6TH. Tel:01608 658999.

I'm a slightly deranged middle aged widow, living in the Cotswolds with two fabulously funny little dogs. A mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Determined to survive by writing to remember, to forget and to cope with grief. the memory of my husband supporting me, guiding me and probably laughing at me if there is a ‘somewhere’

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London, slice of Charles and Diana’s wedding cake will be auctioned

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A slice of one of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding cakes is up for auction 40 years after the famous wedding.

The slice is obviously frozen and comes from one of the 20 official wedding cakes for the wedding of 21 July 1981 of the heir to the British throne and his young bride. The cake has a marzipan base and a sugar paste emblem, coloured in gold, red, blue and silver, on the top.

The piece of cake was given to Moyra Smith, a member of the Queen Mother’s family at Clarence House. Smith kept it in a floral cake pan with a handmade label on the lid.

The auction is held on  August11th by Dominic Winter Auctioneers and should make around £ 500, so within the reach of many, if anyone has ever dreamed of having a piece of cake from a royal wedding, this is a great occasion.

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Travel

The most beautiful villages and towns in the UK, do you agree?

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Summer is definitely the period when everyone is creating lists, this was created by Fbm Holidays  and are in fact two different lists, one for the towns and one for  villages.

Some of the places chosen are quite predictable, others less so. For example, at the first place in the list of villages we have Castle Combe which is a quite obvious choice, at second place instead is Portmeirion, a village that seems to have been transported from Liguria to Wales but is less known.

The lists don’t include anywhere in Scotland which instead has several rather lovely places.

The prettiest villages in the UK

Castle Combe , Cotswolds, Wiltshire

Portmeirion , Gwynedd

Beaulieu, Hampshire

Altruistic’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Bibury , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Polperro, Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Llanberis, Gwynedd

Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Hathersage, Top Area, Derbyshire

The prettiest towns in the UK

Keswick , Lake Area, Cumbria (pictured above)

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Salcombe , Devon

Cirencester , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Bamburgh , Northumberland

Whitby , North Yorkshire

Rye, East Sussex

Bakewell, Optimal Area, Derbyshire

Aberaeron, Ceredigion

Burford , Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

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Travel

The most beautiful villages and towns in the UK, do you agree?

Published

on

The most beautiful villages and towns in the UK, do you agree? thumbnail

Summer is definitely the period when everyone is creating lists, this was created by Fbm Holidays  and are in fact two different lists, one for the towns and one for  villages.

Some of the places chosen are quite predictable, others less so. For example, at the first place in the list of villages we have Castle Combe which is a quite obvious choice, at second place instead is Portmeirion, a village that seems to have been transported from Liguria to Wales but is less known.

The lists don’t include anywhere in Scotland which instead has several rather lovely places.

The prettiest villages in the UK

Castle Combe , Cotswolds, Wiltshire

Portmeirion , Gwynedd

Beaulieu, Hampshire

Altruistic’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Bibury , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Polperro, Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Llanberis, Gwynedd

Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Hathersage, Top Area, Derbyshire

The prettiest towns in the UK

Keswick , Lake Area, Cumbria (pictured above)

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Salcombe , Devon

Cirencester , Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Bamburgh , Northumberland

Whitby , North Yorkshire

Rye, East Sussex

Bakewell, Optimal Area, Derbyshire

Aberaeron, Ceredigion

Burford , Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

 

 

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