Sibford School


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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Quaker
  • Roll: 238 (Boys) 190 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 3 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1842

General Information

Sibford School in Oxfordshire is a family-orientated independent co-educational school located in 50 acres of glorious Cotswold countryside, between Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford.

We welcome day pupils from the age of 3 to 18 and boarders (full, weekly and occasional) from age 11 upwards. As a mainstream, non-selective school, we attract parents and pupils who wish to focus upon values-driven education.

Sibford values holistic education where the happiness and well-being of pupils is paramount. We encourage pupils to ‘live adventurously’, foster resilience and look for the unique talents in each individual.


Our outstanding facilities include a state-of-the-art climbing wall, 25m swimming pool, designated art, music and Sixth form centre. Three boarding houses (for girls, boys and sixth form).

The Schools beautiful location and extensive grounds provides the perfect setting to embed outdoor education across the curriculum, giving an unrivalled learning environment where pupils can benefit from the freedom to explore and engage with natural world.

Entrance Requirements

All children interested in attending Sibford are invited to spend two ‘taster’ days at the school. These taster days will include some assessment to gauge the students’3 academic abilities and give them a better insight into what life at Sibford is like.


We offer a limited number of bursaries which are made available to both Quaker and Non-Quaker families. Bursaries may be awarded in the form of a discount on day fees (but not on any extra charges).

Bursaries are not dependent on particular academic or creative achievement. They are, however, subject to annual testing of parental means and may be varied upwards or downwards depending on parental circumstances.

The following scholarships are available:

Senior School. On entry to Sibford School in Year 7, Year 9 and Year 10.

Sixth Form. On entry to Sibford School in Year 12.

Scholarship assessments for entry in the September are held in the preceding January/February although, in certain circumstances, scholarship applications may be considered at other times throughout the academic year.

There are three categories of scholarship:

Academic: where a student shows exceptional academic ability and potential.

Talent: Art, Drama, Music, Sport (including climbing, triathlon and equestrian).

All Rounder: where a student demonstrates significant intellectual potential as well as providing evidence of exceptional talent in a particular discipline.

Sibford School offers the opportunity for prospective students to apply for scholarships on the basis of evidence of exceptional recent achievement, exceptional performance in the scholarship assessment and an interview/trial/audition.

Open Days

Our Open Days offer an ideal opportunity to see Sibford School in action; meet staff and students; take a look at our facilities and find out more about our admissions process.

2019. Whole School Open Morning: Fri. 15th November.

2020. Junior School Open Morning: Fri. 31st January

Whole School Open Mornings: Fri, 13th March and Fri. 1st May.

Annual Open Day: Sat.13th June.

If you would like to attend any of our Open Events and are able to let us know in advance, please contact Elspeth Dyer, admissions officer via email: or via phone: 01295 781 203.


2019/2020. All per term.

Day: Reception – Year 2, £3175. Years 3 – 6, £3842. Years 7 – 9, £4999. Years 10 – 13, £5097.

Full Boarding: Years 7 – 9, £9710. Years 10 – 13, £9906. Flexi Boarding, per night: Years 7 - 13, £65.

For new weekly boarding fees, please view:


ISI Inspection 2015

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Toby Spence

Contact for enquiries: Elspeth Dyer, Admissions Officer

Sibford School
Sibford Ferris
OX15 5QL

[t]: 01295 781200
[f]: 01295 781204

Location Description

Sibford School is set in more than 50 acres of grounds within the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside but within easy reach of the M40 junction 11 and Banbury rail station.

To send an email to the school please fill in your details below and add a short message. If you are requesting a prospectus to be sent to you please include your postal address.

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School News

Sibford School independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Sibford pupils were keen to help out Sky News with their coverage of a new report warning about the dangers facing children who

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do little or no physical education.

The report, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, an influential research organisation, says regular exercise in childhood can help boost academic performance, curb anti-social behaviour and determine patterns of physical health and wealth in adulthood. But it warns that the lack of a national policy to ensure children become more active is a form of mass child neglect.

Sibford School, where all pupils follow a physical education programme that aims to promote health and physical development, was selected by the Sky News team as an example of good practice … and year 7 pupils were filmed out on the sports field during their morning lesson.

To see the report click here

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

A former Sibford School student will be running the London Marathon in April in memory of her late boyfriend, and fellow Sibford Sixth

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Former, Angus Oakey.

Angus died in March 2016 from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia while still a pupil at the school.

Emily Stewart, who was known as Millie while at Sibford, will be marking the third anniversary of his passing by running in aid of CLIC Sargent.

“Angus was a phenomenal young man who brought happiness and laughter to everyone he met,” said Emily. “CLIC Sargent was one of the charities that supported him when he was sick.

“Day to day life doesn’t stop when you have cancer but CLIC Sargent provides support for the fear and confusion a diagnosis brings. They offer financial support to families, provide personal care at home and help young people plan for the future so that they can think beyond cancer, helping them thrive not just survive. And, if the unthinkable does happen, they help young people and their families prepare for death and deal with grief. Put simply they help families cope.

“This is a superb charity that doesn’t get enough recognition for the outstanding work they do and I am hoping to raise as much money as possible by running the London Marathon in the charity’s name.”

Emily left Sibford in the summer of 2016 to begin an Integrated Masters in Pharmacology at the University of Bath. She is treasurer of the University of Bath Triathlon Club and has completed two 70.3 Ironman competitions. She also volunteers for Bath Marrow, a charity that collects DNA from the public to find matches for people in need of bone marrow.

Currently Emily is spending her university placement year in Germany where she is working for a pharmaceutical company developing cell based models for lung regeneration in chronic lung diseases.

Emily’s Just Giving page can be found at:

Photo: Completing the final stretch of the Weymouth 70.3 ironman. 

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

A group of students from Sibford School travelled to Oxford recently to join the Youth Strike 4 Climate protest.

Organised by the UK Student Climate Network,

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the march was one of many taking place across the country in protest against the lack of government action being taken to combat climate crisis.

Student Ethan said: “We chanted ‘What do we want, climate action. When do we want it, now’, because the current Government isn’t listening to what needs to happen in the world today.

“It’s our future and we feel it is really important that we take a stand on this issue. Today was brilliant. There were thousands of us walking through the streets of Oxford and everyone was taking notice of us.”

Photo: The Sibford students in the garden at the Oxford Quaker Meeting House where they gathered before heading off to join the protest.

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

A group of four Sixth Form students from Sibford School near Banbury in Oxfordshire have been spending their lessons standing waist deep in water in

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a bid to improve the biodiversity of the school’s wildlife sanctuary.

As part of their BTEC Countryside Management course, the students have carried out an investigative project on the school pond … and as a result have cleared both the banks and the water of overgrown vegetation and invasive species.

Student Charlotte Kirk said: “We assessed and surveyed the pond in early January to identify the biodiversity present. It was evident that the pond was in a healthy condition as even at this time of year we found a range of species including dragonfly larvae, daphnia, water boatman and leeches.

“However it was clear that if these and other species were to flourish urgent work was required.”

At the back end of January therefore the students went into the pond with waders to remove invasive species such as bogbean and reed mace. They also cleared the banks of overgrowing weeds and scrub.

“Cleaning the pond was a challenge as it was partially frozen!” said Charlotte. “But despite the cold we managed to get all the work completed and hopefully these improvements will allow a greater variety of species to flourish in the future.”

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Sibford Sixth Form student Reuben Trotter has been selected to join the British Triathlon ENG (England Next Generation) Development Squad.

Reuben is already a member

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of the South Central Triathlon Academy which regularly trains at Sibford School in Oxfordshire.

His selection is based upon his race performances in 2018, including his selection to race at the European Elite Junior race in Holten in June.

Triathlon Coach Scott Murray said: “As part of the ENG Development Squad, Reuben will be invited to training camps led by Rick Velati, the England Head Coach who has led the England triathlon team at the last two Commonwealth Games.

“At the camps Reuben will be training alongside the ENG Performance athletes as well as the other ENG Development athletes. The Camps will be supported by Academy Coaches and English Institute of Sport staff, such as physiotherapist and nutritionists, and Reuben will be able to access these support services.”

Reuben is the second South Central Academy athlete to make the ENG squad, following on from Katie Rodda who got invited to the squad last year and who has retained her place in it for 2019.

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Pupils at Sibford Quaker School near Banbury have planted remembrance saplings to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.

Every year since 1984, Year 7 students have

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been invited to make their mark on the Sibford landscape by planting trees or hedgerow plants.

But this year’s planting was especially significant as the school decided to coincide it with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

The event was organised by Sibford Sixth Form students who are studying Countryside Management. Prior to the planting they read the Laurence Binyon poem ‘For the Fallen’ following which the pupils held a short silence before picking up their spades to start planting.

Countryside Management teacher, Hannah Copping, said: “Planting living species is a poignant way to remember those who have died and we therefore wanted to dedicate this year’s planting to all who lost their lives in World War 1 and other conflicts since.

“It is great to be able walk around the campus and to see the trees and hedgerows that have been planted over the past 30 plus years and I hope that this tradition will continue at Sibford School for many more years to come.”

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Overseas students at Sibford School in Oxfordshire enjoyed a quintessential English tradition when they made, baked, served and ate a typical afternoon tea.

Out came the

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bone china cups and saucers; the tea pot was warmed; and there was a tasty offering of dainty finger sandwiches, cupcakes and scones … complete with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The students even discovered the contrasting traditions of Devon and Cornwall … discussing whether they preferred their jam on top of the cream or below.

Student Emily, whose home is in Markkleeberg, said:  “It was a great lesson and really enjoyable.  We learnt all about the different types of food that make up a typical English afternoon tea. I am now looking forward to making some scones for my brother next time I  go back home to Germany.”

Pictured enjoying a cuppa are overseas students: Annie, Emily, Lily and Rita.

Sibford School independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Staff and pupils at Sibford School in Oxfordshire launched a week of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice by welcoming Linda

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Palfreeman, author of the book ‘Friends in Flanders’.

Linda spoke to pupils about the work undertaken by the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU) during the First World War.

“Most Quakers were of the opinion that any war was directly opposed to their beliefs and to the ‘law of love’,” she explained. “However many of the younger men in particular were anxious to carry out work in the war zones. They wanted to share the dangers and the deprivations being suffered by their countrymen who were risking their lives at the front and they believed that one way of being able to do this was by creating an ambulance unit.”

Linda went on to outline some of the work undertaken by the FAU, particularly in Ypres where the men worked tirelessly to try to alleviate the suffering of the townsfolk and where they faced the added challenge of a typhoid epidemic.

“In collaboration with the British Army, the FAU undertook three systematic measures to deal with the situation in and around Ypres,” she told pupils. “It was to identify all civilian typhoid sufferers and transport them to hospitals; to purify the water supply; and to open inoculation centres.”

The FAU’s actions were greatly appreciated by the people of Ypres as a letter subsequently published in the Quaker magazine ‘The Friend’ reveals: “Neither ourselves nor our poor will ever forget your generosity towards us,’ it reads. ‘We shall always keep a very happy memory of the English Ambulance … its only object had been to spread benefits around us and to distribute true comfort during these mournful days.’

Anna Jo Mathers, Assistant Head, Learning and Teaching, at Sibford School said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome Linda. Not only did she inspire our pupils but she also stayed on to give a second talk at which we were joined by parents and members of the public.”

Other events taking part during the week included two performances of the play ‘The Accrington Pals’.

Photo: A scene from The Accrington Pals.

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Inventor, scientist and entrepreneur, Dr John Taylor, visited Sibford School in Oxfordshire to give an inspirational talk to pupils in Years 5 –

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John, who holds many hundreds of patents for domestic appliances, thermostats and electrical equipment, is probably most famous for inventing the thermostat controls for the cordless kettle. It’s been calculated that over two billion of his bi-metal blades – used in thermostats to switch off kettles – have been produced since their invention in the 1970s. He also holds four Queen’s Awards, three for Export and one for Innovation.

But, as he told pupils, it could have been a very different story when, as a young lad, his parents struggled to find a school who would have him after he failed the 11 plus, 13 plus and common entrance exam.

“I’m dyslexic,” explained the 81-year-old. “which meant I had to overcome a number of difficulties. However, I view that as a blessing as it prepares you to think around the difficulties you will go on to face in life.”

Having struggled to get into school, John went on to gain a place at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge and after graduating joined his father’s company making thermostats.

“I found I could invent,” he told pupils. “My first job was to invent a control for an electric cooling fan for the new Jaguar E type and since then I’ve filed over 400 patents.

I’ve had a lot of fun over the years. I can go almost anywhere in the world and see an electric kettle knowing that inside it is one of my inventions.

“I never have regrets. My advice is to make a decision based on the information available at the time. Never go back and think ‘what if’, always go forwards.  Many people walk around seeing … but I walk around looking. If you notice things you can do something about them. My challenge to you is to invent something, change the world and most importantly … have fun.”

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Winning start to the term for Sibford riders

Sibford School equestrian teams got off to an impressive start at the beginning of the school year when they competed in the NSEA and Unaffiliated

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ODE at Swalcliffe Park Equestrian.

Riders competed in three categories … dressage, show jumping (over 80cm, 90cm or 100cm jumps) and cross country.

Sibford’s  80cm team and the 90cm team both came first overall in the team competitions, qualifying for the National Championships in October.

The school also achieved the top two places in the 80cm competition with Emma finishing first and Maizey taking second placing.

More than 400 riders took part in the event which took place on Sunday 9 September and was sponsored by Sibford School. 

Photo: The 80cm winning team.

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Sibford pupils celebrate increase in top grades

Sibford pupils were celebrating impressive GCSE results today … with a strong showing of top Grade 9s, 8s and 7s alongside A* and A grades

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as the 9 – 1 grading scale, introduced last year, replaced the old A* – G grades in even more subjects.

83% of pupils gained five or more grades at 9 – 4 (or A* – C) compared to 77.8 % in 2017. Meanwhile 24% gained grades 9 – 7 (A* – A).

Special mention goes to Jacob Robinson who received 12 GCSEs at 9-7/A*; Shae Wallis who received 11 GSCEs at 9-7/A*- A plus one grade B and one grade C; and Jess Katz who received 9 GCSEs at 9-7/A, one grade 6, one grade 5 and one C.

Congratulations also go to Eloise Upton who, despite missing many school days due to a non nurological functional disorder, gained three GCSEs at grade 7, three at grade 6, two at grade 5 and one at B.

Overall, top tier grades were received in a total of 22 subjects.

Sibford Head Toby Spence said: “I am very pleased with the improvement in GCSE grades this year, and especially pleased to see that the range of top grades spans such a wide variety of subjects. We are delighted that the majority of pupils in our non-selective school have exceeded expectations in what the government expect to be more challenging ‘reformed’ GCSEs, which some high flying schools have chosen not to tackle. My congratulations to all students and my thanks to staff and parents for their hard work, dedication and support!”

Last year, the 9-1 grading system was introduced for English language, English literature and Maths. This year, it has been extended to a total of 22 subjects which, in the case of Sibford pupils, means that only those studying Business, Further Maths, Media, Statistics and General Studies received the old A – G grades.


GSCE Results Table:

No of pupils: 54

No of entries: 531

% of pupils with 5 or more grades 9 – 4 (A* – C): 83%

% of grades 9 – 7 (A* – A): 24%

% of pupils with grades 1 – 9: 99.9%

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Success for Sibford Students

A student at Sibford School who has over-come significant adversities was celebrating today after gaining two As and a B at A Level and being

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accepted by her first choice of university.

Imogen Roberts, who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, received A Grades in Physics and Maths and a B in Drama. She now plans to spend a gap year, initially in Fiji where she hopes to work for a charitable NGO, before moving on to Australia, where, along with fellow Sibford student Julia Beaumont, she has won a competition to attend the renowned European Bartending School in Sydney.

In September 2019, she will then take up her place at the University of York to study Theatre.

“I’m really delighted albeit it surprised with my results,” said Imogen. “It’s great to know that I will be going to York in 2019 and I am now really looking forward to enjoying my gap year.”

Overall nearly a third of Sibford students gained A* and A Grades in their A Levels and BTEC exams.

Alex Connolly, Will Edmonds and Emily Gibb all gained three straight A Grades at A Level, and there was impressive success for Sibford’s international students … Edward Lui gained A*s in Maths and Further Maths, an A in Physics and a B in Chemistry and Shin Zou gained A*s in Art and Maths and a C in Design.

Tom Mahon gained Distinction* (the equivalent of an A* at A Level) in his BTEC Countryside Management Diploma and a Distinction (the equivalent of an A Grade at A Level) in his IT BTEC; Alex George, Oliver Keers and James McCullough all gained Distinction* in their IT BTEC; and Arran Day gained Distinction* in his Media BTEC.

Sibford Head Toby Spence said: “This has been another fine year for our Sixth Form students after a record breaking set of results last year. We are delighted for the achievements of so many students who are moving on to a diverse range of exciting destinations including Russell Group universities, prestigious drama colleges and art schools, film studios and gap years. I congratulate the students for their resilience and hard work as well as the fabulous support and guidance of the dedicated teaching staff at Sibford School.”

Exam Statistics 2018: Results from A Levels and BTECS:

  • Number of students entered: 33
  • Number of entries: 99
  • % A * and A: 30%
  • % A*, A and B: 52%
  • % A* to E: 97%

(BTEC results explained: Distinction* is the equivalent of an A* Grade at A Level, Distinction is the equivalent of an A Grade, Merit is the equivalent of a C Grade and Pass is the equivalent of an E Grade)

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Sibford School Climbing Mount Everest … One Step at a Time

Pupils and friends of Sibford School near Banbury took on a race to the summit of Mount Everest.

For one week, at the start

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of PE lessons, pupils took part in a one minute step activity as part of their warm ups.

And on Saturday 16 June, at the school’s annual Open Day, they successfully completed the 58,070 steps required to cover 8,848 metres … the height of Mount Everest.

The sponsored Everest Challenge is one of a number of events that have been undertaken by the school to help fund a new climbing wall.

Sibford Head Toby Spence said: “We are very excited about the climbing wall which will be coming to Sibford in September 2018. We are very fortunate that our parent association is jointly funding this exciting venture alongside school funds.

“However, the Everest Challenge was a chance for the whole school community to get involved with the fund raising. Successfully completing 58,070 steps in just a week was no mean feat. We entered Saturday with 1,936 steps still to complete but, thanks to support from parents, friends and even old scholars, we were able to reach the summit of Everest during our Open Day celebrations.”

Pictured: Pupils complete the final steps in style.

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Sibford School sponsors talk by Terry Waite

Sibford School Head Toby Spence is pictured with humanitarian, author and Quaker, Terry Waite.

The pair met at ChipLitFest 2018 in Chipping Norton where

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Terry was speaking at the opening event and promoting his latest book ‘Solitude’.

A sell-out audience listened as the former envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke about his five years as a hostage in Beirut and about his work with Hostage UK, an international organisation that supports the families of those taken captive in global hotspots.

Sibford School is a regular supporter of ChipLitFest and was pleased to sponsor the talk by Terry Waite. Other speakers taking part in the four-day festival included Richard Osman, Reggie Yates, Liza Tarbuck and Jeremy Vine.

Students at Sibford School are celebrating after achieving a 100 per cent success rate in their acting and public speaking exams. 

A total of

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23 pupils, from Year 5 up to Year 13, entered into LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art) exams at the end of January, with 56% passing with distinctions and the rest achieving merits.

Sibford Head Toby Spence said: “This is an incredible achievement, especially as some of the older students were also juggling the exams with their rehearsals for our school production of ‘Spamalot’. Congratulations to all involved.”

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