Kingham Hill School


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Christian
  • Roll: 210 (Boys) 126 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 11 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1886

General Information

Kingham Hill School is in the heart of the glorious Cotswold countryside, just 80 minutes from London Paddington, in a 100 acre estate where pupils have a safe place to explore and make their home. With just over 300 pupils Kingham Hill remains small to allow the school to sustain its caring, home-from-home community where every child is nurtured, challenged and inspired to succeed academically and within their personal lives.

“A supportive community of pupils and teachers…in an area of outstanding natural beauty.” Good Schools Guide 2017

Highly qualified, specialist staff offer a broad and challenging curriculum (20+ courses at A level) to ensure every pupil has opportunities to learn, excel and realise their potential.

Creative arts are a strength of the school and there are opportunities for every pupil to find and express their creativity. All Year 7 & 8 joiners are given a musical instrument to learn and music events held throughout the year range from regular concerts to the annual Ceildh!  There are two annual drama productions, recently including Macbeth and Sound of Music.  The Art department offers painting and sculpting as well as photography and art history classes.

“The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils is excellent.” ISI, 2014

Our American Program is unique in that it is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the US Department of Education and we are currently the only British boarding school to offer this.


Top class facilities, including a state of the art Maths and Science building and new award listed library, ensure pupils have the best amenities to enhance their learning. Small class sizes deliver a bespoke learning experience that can be tailored to individual needs to help discover the talent in every child.

The school has a beautiful 100 acre estate with woodlands, fields and sports facilities, as well as the ever popular school farm.The school farm is based in the heart of the school grounds and is a popular place before and after school as well as at lunchtimes, and the pupils get involved in all aspects of animal care. Farm club is available as a co-curricular option for pupils to choose and this gives them further opportunities to be taught more about animal husbandry. At A level pupils can choose to study Animal Management at BTec level.

The school has an extensive range of team and individual sports available, including sailing, swimming, mountain biking and fencing so that every pupil can find something to enjoy and succeed in. Facilities include floodlit astro pitches, tennis courts and a leisure centre with a gym and indoor pool. Professional coaches, including Rugby Union Lifetime award winners, nurture high achievers and deliver excellent support so all pupils can maximise their potential.

There are three day and seven large detached boarding houses; they are family style houses with an average of less than 35 pupils per house, which is almost half the national average. Both full and weekly boarding is available..

Entrance Requirements

An Assessment Day held at the school: pupils take an English, Mathematics and General paper.


Seven categories of scholarship are awarded: Academic, Art, Founders’ (Sixth Form), Music, Organ (Sixth Form), Speech and Drama or Dance, and Sport.

Open Days

2019. All visits are welcome, please contact the school.


2019/2020. Day from £5,965 to £6,795 per term. Weekly boarding from £8,450 to £10,435 per term. Full boarding from £8,720 to £11,450 per term.

Additional Charges: SEND provision is chargeable at variable rate dependent upon the level of support required. Individual 50- minute sessions are charged at £35 per session and group 50-minute sessions are charged at £20.50 per session. The US College Prep Program is £2,250 per term and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) support is £1,450 per term.


ISI Inspection 2014
CReSTeD Inspection 2016
NEASC Inspection 2015

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr N Seward

Contact for enquiries: Miss Helen McRae, Registrar

Kingham Hill School
Chipping Norton

[t]: 01608 658999
[f]: 01608 658658

Location Description

Situated on the borders of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, between Cheltenham and Oxford and with easy access to both M40 and M4. Train link to London takes 80 mins and to Oxford 20mins.

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School News

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Congratulations to our 3rd Form pupil Alice Frampton (pictured) who competed for Kingham Hill School at the Schools Equestrian Games at Swalcliffe, qualifying for the finals in Broadway on

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October 6th.

We wish her every success.

Well done Alice!

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Congratulations to the 1st XV boys rugby team who won a stunning victory away to Rendcomb.

The boys played a superb game and racked up an

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extremely high score, winning the match 50 points to nil. Jamie Quick (Year 11) was one of the players to have his first game for the 1st XV and marked the occasion with a try!

Well done to all the boys who played.

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

With Kingham Hill School being recognised in the Parliamentary Review as an example of outstanding academic and pastoral practice, Headmaster Nick Seward and his wife Hannah attended the Parliamentary

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Review Gala in London last night.

Founded with The Rt Hon David Curry as chief editor to share and promote best practice across the public and private sectors, The Parliamentary Review is a platform for innovative and progressive UK businesses and schools to be heard, address the challenges they face and share their insight. The launch of the 2019/20 edition has become a key fixture in the political calendar.

Success for educators across the nation does not always come easily, and this year’s edition of The Parliamentary Review is indispensable for anyone who seeks to make a name for themselves in education. It highlights significant successes, developments and concerns for school leaders up and down the country.

The co-chairman of The Parliamentary Review, Lord Pickles, has praised the upcoming Review as one of the most comprehensive yet. He commented that as Britain undergoes changes, it is “essential that politicians have a firm understanding of the challenges with which British organisations must contend” and that The Review once again provides a perfect platform for this.

Writing in The Review, Lord Blunkett says “that the education service continues to deliver for individuals, communities and of course for our nation.”

The best practice article for Kingham Hill School can be viewed here:

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

For the fourth year running, Kingham pupils are celebrating record-breaking examination success, with 45% of all grades achieving A* or A.

“Coming first in the Oxfordshire

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league table for Sixth Form academic qualifications last year was a tough act to follow, but I am delighted that our pupils and their teachers have secured record-breaking results yet again,” said Headmaster Nick Seward.

Nearly three quarters of all grades achieved were A* to B, giving students the confidence and courage they need as they embark on their university journeys. The Head of Sixth Form, Helena Berkeley, commented,  “I am so proud of all my Sixth Formers as they head out into the world, fully equipped to flourish. From UCL to Loughborough, Edinburgh to Amsterdam and Exeter to Syracuse, I am certain that the Kingham class of 2019 will be embracing the school’s unofficial motto and working hard, playing hard and serving well in the years to come.”

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

During the summer, Year 13 pupil Ana received the incredible opportunity to compete at the International Space Settlement Design Competition as a member of the

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EU team.

Ana qualified for the globally renowned competition after impressing judges at the national finals of the UK Space Design Competition. Ana was vice-president of the Rockdonnell team and although they did not win, she was invited to join the EU team in Florida.

In its 35th year, the International Space Settlement Design Competition, hosted at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando, saw teams from across the world compete to design a fully functioning space settlement on the Lunar surface. Ana joined teenagers from the UK, India, Romania and America to form a company called Vulture Aviation.

Within each company, members are elected to different positions, including company president and vice-president. Ana was chosen to lead the automation department, this meant she was in charge of all the electrical and electronic engineering and mechatronics of the settlement design.

Teams were given 72 hours to complete their design for the self sustainable settlement, the criteria that had to be considered were structure, operations, human factors, automations design and services, and business development. This then formed the proposals each company gave to the judges, including NASA engineers.

Once all the presentations were made the results were announced. Ana and team Vulture Aviation produced some strong concepts and were awarded second place.

Speaking about her experience at the competition, Anna commented, “My favourite part was meeting Norman Chaffee amongst many other engineers, he talked to us about Apollo 11 Moon landing for which he was an operant. He conducted an amazing lecture about automation control that was academically very useful.

Some other unforgettable moments were of course seeing the giant NASA building where rockets were being assembled. Very emotional part was visiting the Hall of Fame for all the Fallen astronauts who died during their missions and seeing their memorial which always looks into space brought tears into everyone’s eyes.”

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Hot on the heels of last week’s A level success, pupils at Kingham Hill School achieved the School’s best-ever GCSE results, with a 9-4 rate

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of 96%. Especially impressive were results in English, with 85% of pupils achieving A*/A equivalent grades in both Language and Literature.

The Languages department saw an outstanding year of results with pupils receiving a 100% 9-7 pass rate in French and 75% 9-7 in Spanish.

Headmaster Mr Seward said, “Despite media reports of tougher exams and tumbling pass rates, our Year 11 pupils have got their heads down, worked hard, and exceeded expectations. Once again, I’m grateful to the most talented group of teachers I’ve worked with for helping girls and boys here fulfil their ambitions.”

Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Berkeley added, “The pupils have done brilliantly and I hope that their fantastic results give them confidence and reassurance that hard work and dedication brings deserved success. I am thrilled that so many have chosen to progress into our Sixth Form and am excited about what they will continue to achieve.”

Pupil Oliver, who received eight GCSEs and will be returning to study Theology, History and Classical Civilisation, said, “I’m really happy with my results, they were a nice surprise and overall very good.”

Daniel, a budding scientist who received straight 9s in his Science GCSEs commented, “I’m happy with how everything went and am looking forward to coming back to study Biology, Chemistry and Maths.”

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

For the third year in a row, KHS is celebrating record results for its Upper Sixth, with nearly half of all entries graded at A*

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or A, and a 98% pass rate.

Headmaster, Nick Seward said, “Our pupils have risen to the challenge of more rigorous reformed A Levels, and their achievements have been made possible by a phenomenally dedicated and talented cadre of teachers. I’m very proud of the young men and women this school produces. Their academic standards are matched by maturity and common sense, and they deserve their success.”

Head of Sixth Form, Helena Berkeley said, “I am thrilled that our pupils have achieved such brilliant results and particularly delighted that so many have realised their university aspirations. There are too many individual success stories to mention but I am incredibly proud of all our Upper Sixth leavers and hope to see them back on the Hill as alumni.”

Deputy Head (Academic), Tim Bostwick said, “With all-new linear A-levels, schools were taking a step into the unknown this year, but at Kingham we have been delighted with how staff and pupils have risen to this challenge and delivered outstanding results. They can be justifiably proud of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the last two years, and they can now look forward to reaping the rewards of all their hard work and dedication.”

Abbie (Y13) has secured a place at the University of Birmingham to study a joint honours of Mathematics and Music. Abbie performed exceptionally well in Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths, obtaining full marks on two of her A level Mathematics papers. She commented “it’s been a great day for me but also a great day for Kingham.”

Another successful pupil commented “I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have received the grades I did today without Kingham’s support.”


Guests attending the annual dinner for Kingham Hill School’s Octagon Academic Society were treated to a talk by top historian and journalist, Peter Snowdon.

The event

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was held on Tuesday 24th April; pupils from Kingham Hill’s Octagon Society were joined for the drinks reception and three course meal by their parents, staff and head teachers from local schools.

Following coffee and petits fours, Mr Gareth Williams, Head of the Octagon Society, kicked off the evening’s speeches recounting his own experiences of being inspired by learning through being in an academic society. The achievement of those in the society was reflected on, with particular reference to Kingham Hill’s own version of Mastermind, which was held last term.

The highly respected political journalist, Peter Snowdon, author of Cameron at 10 and Blair Unbound, and BBC Radio 4’s Today producer, took centre stage to inspire the pupils with his stories of education and the workplace.
Reflecting on his time in secondary education, Peter spoke avidly about young people using their time at school to follow subjects that they are passionate about, as he did with politics, leading to his successful career in journalism and in the media.

Current pupils listened intently as Peter talked about his daily routines working for the Today Programme and on Nick Robinson’s podcast. Hearing someone talk about their career with such enthusiasm had a big impact on pupils, especially our Head of Octagon, Danika, who used her Vote of Thanks to talk about how it encouraged her to continue to explore her own interest in politics.

Gareth Williams, Head of Languages and Octagon at Kingham Hill School, said of the evening: “What a splendid occasion to celebrate our academic society! Having Peter Snowdon as our Guest of Honour was an absolute treat: he inspired our pupils to take risks and follow the argument where it leads. We’re already looking forward to next year’s dinner”.

On Monday Kingham Hill School’s Music department and pupils were honoured to welcome international opera star Simon Keenlyside CBE for a vocal masterclass.

Mr Keenlyside has

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been performing opera across the globe since the late 1980s and has joined the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera in New York for some of their biggest works. He brought his wealth of knowledge and experience to the masterclass which saw six pupils from Years 7 to 12 singing solo or duet pieces accompanied by Head of Music Dan Chambers.

Kingham Hill pupils sang a variety of operatic arias including ‘La ci darem la mano’, ‘O mio babbino caro’, and ‘Sebben, crudele’. Each singer then had the opportunity to speak with Mr Keenlyside and get expert advice on vocal technique and feedback on their performances.

Mr Mark Glanville, peripatetic vocal teacher at Kingham Hill School, said of having Mr Keenlyside at the school; “Simon is one of the outstanding classical singers of his generation, acclaimed equally as a superlative opera singer who brings the detail of a great theatrical actor to his roles, and as one of the foremost recital singers of our day.

“These qualities make him the ideal person to pass on a vast reservoir of experience and knowledge to the next generation. It was a privilege to have Simon give a masterclass at Kingham Hill.”

With season 2 of The Crown, Netflix’s Golden Globe winning drama released today, Kingham Hill School pupils have been getting excited to see themselves in

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one of the biggest television shows as they make their onscreen debuts.

Last December 82 Kingham Hill boys, aged 11 to 18, joined one of the show’s lead stars, Matt Smith on location at a Cotswold estate to film scenes for episode 9 in the second series of the hit TV show, which has impressed critics across the UK and America.

The pupils’ were transformed from the 21st century into the 1930s and 1960s for their roles as school friends and peers of Princes Phillip and Charles. The budding actors got to experience the working life of professionals when they had their hair styled and costumes fitted by the on-set team, before taking their star turn in front of the bright lights and cameras.

Year 11 pupil, Felix Parkinson, spoke about the experience of filming on a star-studded set: “Working on a film set is quite an experience; it is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The early wake up calls were worth it for the chance of being on the show. I will never forget it and it is certainly something different to have on my CV!”

The casting followed successful auditions from school pupils, held at the Kingham Hill School drama studio in November 2016.

Bonjour! Hola! Salve!

Earlier this month, Kingham Hill School hosted a fun and interactive languages day for a group of 52 primary school children.

The day started

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out with a warm welcome in our beautiful Chapel by Mr Gareth Williams, Head of Languages. Pupils from Bloxham Church of England Primary School, Stow on the Wold Primary School and Wychwood Church of England Primary School were then able to experience taster classes in French, Spanish and Latin.

Engaging and inspiring, the children learned to talk about different modes of transport in French, learned to sing “Old MacDonald had a farm” in Spanish and discovered that Harry Potter spells have Latin roots!

The day was kicked off by a lovely themed lunch where there was a choice of Toulouse sausages or paella, both of which were very tasty!

The day was brought to a close when Mr Williams gathered everyone back in the Chapel to say thank you before the children excitedly departed, biscuit in hand!

Au revoir! Adiós! Vale!

Last week, Kingham Hill School pupils were very excited to welcome Rio 2016 hockey gold medalist Susannah Townsend for a special training session.

Susannah kicked off

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her visit with a whole school assembly which saw pupils reliving team GB’s hockey success in Rio, before learning about how top athletes train, condition and work together to achieve their goals. Susannah shared her own personal experiences about playing hockey on the international stage.

The pupils in the junior and senior hockey teams then had an amazing opportunity to join Susannah on the astroturf, where they were given an insight into some of the drills carried out on a daily basis within the Great Britain hockey team.

Training in small groups, the pupils were coached by Susannah with tips on how they could adapt and improve their own game.

Reflecting on the day and the invaluable experience gained by the pupils, Houseparent and 1st team hockey coach, Tim Martin stated, “It was a real privilege to welcome Susannah to the Hill. Her words in assembly were inspirational to the children and to see her mixing in with the pupils in the masterclass is an experience that won’t be forgotten”.

Susannah commented, “I absolutely loved my time at Kingham Hill. The passion and enthusiasm of the girls was infectious and I enjoyed working on the different drills with them. It is great to see that hockey is played throughout school and I wish the girls well for the season”.

The hockey team are looking forward to putting everything they learned into practise as they continue their excellent start to the season.

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

There were plenty of happy reactions as Kingham Hill School pupils collected their GCSE results. Building on the record A level results of last week

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the GCSE pupils made it a double celebration as they achieved a school record for the second year running.

The school saw 48 per cent of pupils gaining A* to A grades, an increase on last year’s results. A vast majority of pupils were awarded at least one A* to A. Stellar results continued as a school best of 71 per cent A* to B and 91% A* to C grades were achieved. With the new grading system in Mathematics coming into force this year our pupils impressed with 90 per cent gaining 4 or above and a third of entrants achieving an 8 or 9 grade.

A number of subjects saw fantastic results, demonstrating Kingham Hill’s high standard of teaching across the curriculum. Spanish and Latin both saw 100 per cent A* to B grades and 100 per cent of pupils taking English Literature and Language attaining A* to Bs.

Kingham Hill saw a number of brilliant performances from our pupils including Lochie Main who secured 8 A*s and 1 A in his chosen subjects.

The run of wonderful results continued with impressive performances from American pupils Lydia Terry who achieved 7 A*s and 2 As and Ethan Reid who received 3 A*s and 3 As after studying for their GCSEs in only one year. For A level Ethan has the unique opportunity to study the School’s American Program and work towards gaining his High School Diploma alongside three A level qualifications.

The Art department saw 100 per cent A* to C results with one pupil not dropping a single mark for their A* grade.

Headmaster, Nick Seward, commented: “It is a tremendous testament to the quality of teaching at KHS, and the ethos amongst our pupils, that we have achieved record results at both GCSE and A Level for the second year running. This comes against the backdrop of more demanding qualifications nationally; I’m proud to lead a school which is committed to providing a liberal education in a non-selective environment, and which achieves such fantastic success for the girls and boys who make up our community.”

Kingham Hill independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

It was a day of success at Kingham Hill School as Year 13 pupils celebrated receiving their A level results. The School’s Sixth Formers arrived

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both excited and nervous to learn the outcome of their examinations. They were not disappointed as they achieved incredible results – the best the school has seen to date.

The school saw 45 per cent of the grades awarded in the A* to A grade band which is a school record. The excellent results continued for our talented pupils with 70 per cent of grades awarded A* to B and 90 per cent in the A* to C bracket. Academic success was achieved in a wide variety of subjects, demonstrating Kingham Hill’s high standard of teaching across the curriculum, with 75 per cent of pupils attaining A* to A in Mathematics as well as 100 per cent A* to C in both Art and Photography. We also saw 100 per cent A* to A in Further Mathematics for the second year in a row which is a truly fantastic achievement. Results in Chemistry, Biology and Physics were also impressive with 65 per cent A* to B grades awarded.

The amazing efforts of all our pupils has paid off with some wonderful results, individual achievements include; Jacky who received three A* grades in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry and an A in Economics. Huge congratulations to Jacky who will now be going on to study Chemistry at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford.

Lucy Wilkinson exceeded her expectations and secured a place at the University of Bath to study Biology. As an exceptional STEM pupil, Lucy obtained an A* in Biology and two As in Physics and Mathematics, and commented “I am so happy with my results, they were a really lovely surprise”.

Headmaster, Nick Seward, commented: “After record results last year, it’s good see the bar pushed up another notch, especially as A levels become more rigorous linear courses – that is testament to the quality of the teaching staff we have at KHS, and the aspiration and dedication of our pupils. It is a real joy after his prize on Speech Day as the outstanding performer of his year group, to be congratulating Jacky on a well-deserved place at Oxford – the cherry on the cake!”

Kingham Hill School Year 13 pupil Joshua Lima recently celebrated taking the next step in his rugby career after being accepted into the highly regarded

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London Wasps Academy.

Joshua began his training at the Wasps Academy earlier this month following successful trials in Coventry.

All players selected to join have to show a high level of rugby ability and commitment. This was tested during trials through a number of drills and matches that assessed speed, power and ball handling abilities.

During his time at the academy, where former and current England players began their international careers, Joshua will take part in weekly squad training, gym sessions and matches against other academies.

Speaking about being successful in his trials, Josh said, “It has always been my dream to play the sport I love. I hope to become the best player I possibly can be and to learn from the very best.

“The academy gives me an opportunity to develop at a higher level and to learn from the very best, whilst also giving me the tools to improve myself.”

Joshua’s rugby achievement follows fellow Year 13 pupil, Adam Smith’s summer of success after being chosen to play for the Irish Exiles, a rugby organisation that represents Ireland at youth international level.

Playing for the U18 squad’s tour of Ireland, Adam got to play in the team’s winning matches against the renowned Leinster and Ulster rugby clubs.

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