Sibford School


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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Quaker
  • Roll: 241 (Boys) 170 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 3 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1842

General Information

Sibford School is a 3-18 co-educational day and boarding school set in more than 50 acres of grounds surrounded by glorious Oxfordshire countryside.

Originally established in 1842 as a school for the children of Quaker families, today Sibford welcomes pupils of all faiths and none and is currently home to some 400 pupils.

The Quaker values of the school, which seek to recognise ‘that of God in everyone’, remain at the heart of all we do. We believe passionately in the uniqueness of every pupil and know it is our job to seek out and nurture their gifts and develop their confidence to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

We offer a broad curriculum which reflects our view that while some have a talent for mathematics, science or history, others are gifted in arts, horticulture or sport.


Exceptional Performing & Creative Arts in purpose-built facilities, multi-purpose Sports Centre, squash courts, 25m indoor swimming pool, well-equipped Library and Information Technology Centres, Design Technology Centre, separate Sixth Form Centre, wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, 50 plus-acre campus set in beautiful North Oxfordshire countryside. Three boarding houses (for girls, boys and sixth form).

Entrance Requirements

CAT tests screening is used to ensure we can meet the needs and that the child can operate within a mainstream curriculum. Half day for assessment, usually combined with half day ‘taster’.


On application to our Admissions office. Sibford awards General Academic scholarships as well as subject specific scholarships for Art, Music and Sport. Scholarship assessments for entry in September are held in the preceding January/February although, in certain circumstances, scholarship applications maybe considered at other times throughout the academic year. Bursaries are available to children of both Quaker and non-Quaker families.

Open Days


Whole School Open Mornings: Fri. 4th May, Fri. 5th October and Fri. 16th November, all from 9.45am.

Annual Open Day: Sat. 16th June.

Junior School Open Morning (focusing on Sibford’s provision for pupils aged 3 to 11): Sat. 22nd September, 10.30am-12noon.

Sixth Form Open Evening: Tues. 16th October, 6.30pm-8.30pm.


Junior School Open Mornings (focusing on Sibford’s provision for pupils aged 3 to 11): Fri. 1st February, 9.45am-12noon and Sat. 23rd March, 10.30am-12noon.

Whole School Open Mornings: Fri. 1st March and Fri. 3rd May, from 9.45am.

Annual Open Day: Sat. 15th June.


2018/2019. All per term. Day: Reception-Year 2, £3060. Years 3-6, £3703. Years 7–9, £4818. Years 10-13, £4913.

Weekly Boarders: Years 7-9, £8718, Years 10-13, £8890. Full Boarding: Years 7-9, £9359. Years 10-13, £9548. Flexi Boarding, per night: Years 7 - 13, £61.75


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.

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School News

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.”

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Pupils from Sibford School take on Monty Python classic.

Pupils from Sibford School near Banbury, Oxfordshire, looked on the bright side of life for their 2018 school production … and performed the Monty Python

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hit musical ‘Spamalot’.

A riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, musical monks and ferocious Frenchmen, the Sibford production played to delighted audiences over three nights.

Director and Head of Drama, Neil Madden, said: “The cast worked their socks off, giving up their evenings and weekends to put on a very professional production. I was extremely impressed with how easily the pupils entered the world of Monty Python and it was a joy to witness their confidence soar with each performance. It is humbling to work with such talented children.”

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Sibford School - Hair today and gone tomorrow!

Three Sixth Form students at Sibford School in Oxfordshire have undergone a close shave for charity.

Dan Harbron, Ben Hohorst and Ajay Witherford had

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their heads shaved in aid of the OddBalls Foundation, a charity that raises awareness of Testicular Cancer and aims to make a difference to male health around the world.

Fellow pupils paid to watch as first Dan – followed two days later by Ben and Ajay – went under the razor and saw their locks fall to the ground.

The ‘shaveathons’ were the highlight of a week of charity fundraising in aid of cancer charities … also benefiting from Sibford generosity was Breast Cancer Care.

In addition to sponsoring the boys’ haircuts, pupils decorated t-shirts, painted nails and swapped their uniform for outfits in blue or pink.

Pupils raised a total of £579.96 to be split between the two charities. In addition, a Just Giving page set up by Dan, Ben and Ajay has raised a further £780.20 for OddBalls.

Photo: Ajay Witherford and Ben Hohorst

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Dancing with the Dragon at Sibford School

Junior School pupils at Sibford School have been learning the ancient art of Chinese dragon dancing.

Junior School pupils at Sibford School in Oxfordshire enjoyed

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a taste of the orient when they took part in a Chinese Dragon Dance Workshop. 

All pupils, from Early Years through to Year 6, took part in the event which culminated with a performance to parents. 

For the first half-term of 2018, the pupils have been enjoying a creative curriculum where by all lessons focused on the theme of ‘Journey to the Orient’.

Pupils have taken part in Tai Chi and Yoga lessons; cooked (and eaten) Chicken Chow Mein; looked at the design of Chinese gardens; experimented with brush strokes to create Chinese art; and learnt about the Great Wall of China. 

Junior School Head, Edward Rossiter said: “The children were really motivated by the creative topic based curriculum. They really enjoyed their learning and were engaged and motivated.

“The Dragon Workshop was especially entertaining … the children not only learnt how to make the dragon come to life but they also discovered that dragons are important to Chinese people who think of them as helpful, friendly creatures, linked to good luck, long life and wisdom.”

Photo: Pupils in Years 3 and 4 are pictured with Chinese Dragon Dance expert Manisha Solanki.

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Sibford School pupil filmed for the BAFTA nominated film, Darkest Hour.

When the BAFTA-nominated film, The Darkest Hour, was released in the UK in January 2018, Sibford School pupil, Paige Godman, was finally able to

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share a secret.

The 15-year-old, who has been a pupil at the Oxfordshire school since 2011, had been selected to play a refugee in the movie, which stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. However, her contract kept her from speaking about it until the film had debuted in British Cinemas. 

“It was an amazing experience,” said Paige. “Having been selected at audition, I was invited to go to London for costume fitting, hair and make-up. This was really exciting and made me feel really professional.

“We did the actual filming at an airbase near Bicester. I had to wake up at 5am and start filming at 6am so it was an exhausting day but thoroughly enjoyable, even if it did involve a lot of takes and patience to film our scene.”

Paige, who wants to be a professional actor in the future, is no stranger to the stage. Last year she appeared as Anne Frank in Sibford School’s production of ‘Cabaret’ and next month she stars as the Lady of the Lake when the school presents the Monty Python musical ‘Spamalot’.

Paige as Anne Frank in Sibford School’s special production of Cabaret which also incorporated excerpts from the Diary of Anne Frank and Arbeit Macht Frei.

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Holocaust survivor visits Sibford

Holocaust survivor and Kinder transport child, John Fieldsend, visited Sibford School near Banbury, Oxfordshire,  to speak to pupils about his remarkable life.

The visit took place

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on Friday 26 January, the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

John Fieldsend, now 86, was born to a Czech mother and a German father and was initially raised in Dresden. He recalled the time in 1936 when Hitler visited the town.

“As Jews, we kept out of the way and locked ourselves in our flat but we could still hear Hitler addressing the crowd,” he said. “He was shouting ‘Die Juden’ … his voice is forever locked in my head and I can’t find the off switch.”

From then on life for John and his brother began to change. “Your school, like many others has an anti-bullying policy,” he told pupils. “At my school, we had a bullying policy … if you were Jewish then you got bullied.”

The family escaped Dresden and moved in with John’s maternal grandparents in Opava, but when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia his parent took the decision to send their two boys to England.

“My father sat us down and told us ‘you’re going on a long journey … but we can’t come with you’. As the train was leaving my mother took off her wrist watch and passed it through the window saying, ‘this is for you to remember us’, we never saw them again.”

John enjoyed a happy life with foster parents in Sheffield. “When you’ve been through what I’d been through you tend to block it out until something triggers your memories … for me that trigger took place on Sunday 28 February 1988 when a friend rang me and said, ‘you’re on the television’. The programme, ‘That’s Life’ with Esther Rantzen, was running a story about Sir Nicholas Winton, who set up the Kinder transport, and my identity card was showing on the screen.”

The trigger set John off looking back at his past … and he discovered that his parents, together with many more members of the family, had all perished in concentration camps.

Over the years, he has made a number of visits back to Germany and Czechoslovakia. He was also tracked down by the International Red Cross who gave him a photograph album found in the family home in Opava and also a letter written by his parents in 1942 just days before they were taken to Auschwitz.

He concluded his talk by reading from the letter and told pupils “Despite all that I’ve through this is a wonderful world. I believe it was created by a wonderful God. Our generation is handing this world to you and the reason I have come here this afternoon is to ask that you will do a better job than we did and be inspired to help mend a broken world.”

Sibford Junior School Independent Oxfordshire Girls at Sibford Junior School Mark Centenary of Voting Rights for Women

Girls at Sibford Junior School near Banbury marked the centenary of voting rights for women by posing as Suffragettes.

Edward Rossiter, Head of the

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Junior School, said: “During our morning meeting we spoke about equality and Quaker Values and explained that this week marked the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Representation of the People Act … a piece of legislation that, for the first time ever, enabled some women over the age of 30 to vote and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later.

“The pupils were outraged by the unfairness of the situation and enjoyed dressing up in protest.”

Year 6 pupil Summer said: “I think it was really bad because the women were living in the same world as the men but they weren’t allowed to speak up and have any input into what went on.”

Added Isobel: “The women had to pay taxes and obey the rules but they weren’t allowed to vote. It was very unfair and I’m glad it was changed.”

Sibford School independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Sibford School pupils present and past scored victories at the Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam in September.

Sixteen-year-old Sixth Form student Reuben Trotter took Silver in

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the U20s Age Group Sprint race (750m swim; 20km bike; 5km run).

He also had the second fastest time of all 1,500 competitors across all the age groups making him the fastest British competitor in the Sprint Distance on the day.

Meanwhile, Rosie Weston, who left Sibford School in 2016 and is now at Loughborough University, took the Bronze medal in the female Under 20 category in the Standard Distance race (1,500m swim: 40km bike; 10km run).

Sibford Head Toby Spence said: “We are extremely proud of both Reuben and Rosie. Sibford is becoming increasingly known for its triathlon successes. In the past year alone we have held several triathlon events and an increasing number of pupils have shown interest in this up and coming sport. We hold regular early morning and after school swimming sessions to offer high level coaching and are investing in four Wattbikes to further assist those pupils interested in developing their skills in this area of the sport. In addition, we regularly host elite training camps for the South Central Academy of the British Triathlon Federation.”

Reuben’s Dad Philip said: “Reuben watched the Brownlee brothers competing at the London Olympics back in 2012 and decided he wanted to try it. This season he has been competing in the British Triathlon organised Junior Super Series, and, closer to home, won the Banbury Sprint Triathlon earlier this summer.”

“His success in Rotterdam was particularly impressive as he was one of the youngest competitors and still has two more seasons to improve his position in the U20 category.”



Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Sibford School in Oxfordshire has been awarded the prestigious Gold School Games Mark.

News of the award, which recognises the school’s sporting activities in 2016/17, arrived as pupils

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returned to school for the first day of the new academic year.

Sibford Head, Toby Spence, said: “This is a fabulous start to the new school year and reflects the variety and breadth of sporting opportunities that the school offers.

“In particular, it marks the fact that we continue to engage over 70 per cent of our pupil population … from Years 3 through to Year 13 … in extra-curricular activities or fixtures, either before school, in the lunch time or after school.

“It also reflects the fantastic efforts of our PE department and the support of the wider staff who enable pupils to be out of lessons to attend various events and then help them to catch up on any learning they might have missed.  Sport continues to flourish at Sibford School and I am delighted that the hard work and commitment of our team has been recognised by this accolade”.

The School Games Mark is a government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to recognise schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community.

Schools are assessed against a number of criteria across four areas:

  • Participation – how many young people at the school are being engaged in sporting activity?
  • Competition – how many different sports are being played and how many competitions are being entered?
  • Workforce – how many pupils are involved in leadership activities alongside taking part in competitions?
  • Clubs – how many local links does the school have with clubs or establishments from the area?


Pictured: Some of the PE department at Sibford School: Back ~ Richard Ferley, David Brassett and Simon Chard. Front ~ Tara Louise Cheetham, Allison Warrillow and Claire Ferley. 



Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire Retiring Headteacher Gets Gunged For Charity

Sibford pupils marked the retirement of their Deputy Head by covering her from head to toe in green gunk … but it was all in

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the name of charity!!

Retiring Sibford School Deputy Head and Head of Boarding, Maggie Guy, had an unusual send off after she agreed to be covered from head to toe in green gunk!

As part of the school’s support for Banardo’s, the official charity of the Boarding Schools’ Association, Sibford boarding staff agreed to take part in a ‘Gunge Off’ with pupils making a donation to the charity to select who would be the (un)lucky winner!

And with Maggie just a few days from retirement they couldn’t resist their last opportunity to vote her in top place as the recipient of a bucket full of grim-looking goo!

“It was a memorable way to mark one of my last days at Sibford,” said Maggie. “Although I got completely covered in green slime, pupils were all very good natured. Most importantly, it was all in aid of a very worthy cause.”

In addition to the Gunge Off pupils also paid to come school wearing green casuals and enjoyed green cakes and green milkshakes. More than £570 was raised which, when added to earlier fundraising events, will mean that Sibford pupils have raised more than £1,000 for Banardo’s.

Earlier in the day, Maggie, who joined the school 33 years ago, had taken her very last English lesson with Year 7 pupils who chose to mark the occasion with a party.

“I have truly loved my work both as Deputy Head and Head of Boarding,” said Maggie. “Sibford is a wonderful environment with outstanding pastoral care and a learning environment which helps each individual child achieve their best. I am looking forward to retirement and time to ‘Live Adventurously’ as we say here at Sibford.”

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire

Award-winning radio star and author, Christian O’Connell, visited Sibford School in Oxfordshire to talk about his life, career and his debut kid’s book,

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‘Radio Boy’.

Christian told the children: “You are the most important people on this planet. You are the future. Enjoy the ride.”

Explaining how he had wanted to be a radio DJ since hearing Steve Wright at the age of 13 he said: “I had a light bulb moment and thought ‘whatever he’s doing I want to do something like that’. It took me 13 years and numerous rejection letters telling me give up on the idea, but I hung on to my goal and got there in the end. You have to keep the dream alive.”

Christian began writing children’s books because he “felt like I had a story share.” He told pupils: “Most books begin with a question, and the glory of being a writer is that in a book you can make anything happen and there are no consequences.

Following the talk, which was also attended by pupils from neighbouring primary schools, Christian took part in a book signing session. 

Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Junior pupils at Sibford School near Banbury have entered the world of publishing with the launch of their very own story book.

Mission to Marshmallow Moon has

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been written and illustrated by the children, with a little help from author Lee Sterry who visited the school earlier in the term to conduct two writing workshops.

“The central topic was ‘teamwork’ coupled with space, which tied in with the creative curriculum running in the school,” explained Lee. “All the children, from the three-year-olds through to the 11-year-olds participated. They were involved in discussion groups, character building, story development and the design of more than 200 pieces of artwork which were used to create the illustrations.

“They have done some fantastic work and should be very proud.”

The story tells the tale of the planet JibbyJobby which is under threat from a huge asteroid. Only by working together to create a rocket can the JibbyJobians escape to a new planet, Marshmallow Moon.

Nine-year-old Felix said: “It’s a very good story and I’m really pleased to see my picture of a dragon in the book.”

Samba, also nine, added: “It’s an amazing opportunity to create an actual book and to see it in print.”

Junior School Head, Edward Rossiter said: “We hope that as many parents as possible will buy copies of the book. We will also be giving it pride of place in our school library.”



Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Young choristers from four Quaker schools across the UK joined together to raise more than £880 for an Oxfordshire homeless charity.

The 2017 Friends Schools Joint

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Choir Festival was hosted by Sibford School and took place at St Mary’s Church in Banbury.

Choristers from Sibford were joined by pupils from Ackworth School near Pontefract, Walden School in Saffron Walden and Friends’ School in Lisburn to form a joint choir of more than 100 young voices.

Highlight of the festival was a combined choir performance of Fauré’s Requiem.

Entrance to the festival was free … with charity funds being raised through a retiring collection.

Toby Spence, Head of Sibford School, said: “It was a fantastic evening. The choir sounded brilliant and I am delighted that we were able to raise so much money for the Banbury Young Homelessness Project.”


Sibford independent day and boarding school Oxfordshire

Hat’s the way to do it … children’s author Katherine Woodfine made sure she got a head start when she visited Sibford School in Oxfordshire

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to chat about her latest novel.

Children’s author Katherine Woodfine visited Sibford School in Oxfordshire to talk about the latest book in her best-selling series, The Sinclair’s Mysteries.

Centred on Sinclair’s Department Store in the heart of Edwardian London, the books feature the exploits of daring detectives Sophie and Lil.

Katherine completed a hat trick in February when the third book in the series, The Painted Dragon, was published. And when she arrived at Sibford she brought plenty of Sinclair’s-style hats with her for dressing up and encouraged pupils to do some of their own detective work by unravelling coded messages.

Year 7 pupil, Mila said: “I liked the way that Katherine Woodfine made her visit as interactive as possible and that she brought in props to show us what things looked like in 1909.”

Sibford School Independent Oxfordshire

Sibford School has gone bananas to mark Fairtrade Fortnight 2017 (27 February – 12 March).

Following persuasion from pupils, the school’s

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catering company, Thomas Franks Ltd, has agreed that in future, only Fairtrade bananas will be served on the lunchtime fruit counter.

Sixth form pupil Finn, part of the school’s Fairtrade Group, explained: “We are delighted that the kitchen staff has started providing Fairtrade bananas to students at lunchtimes, paying the premium price for them in name of fair pay for those further down the production line.

“We were able to announce the change to the fruit suppliers during Fair Trade Fortnight when we also held special break time sales selling Fairtrade chocolate bars, jelly beans and chocolate eggs and generally raising awareness of the Fairtrade campaign.”

Mark Higgins, catering manager at Sibford School said: “For a long time now we have been using Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar, but our fruit suppliers have tended to differ depending on who has had the best deal. However, we like to work closely with the pupils at the school and, following their well-researched persuasion, we have agreed to ensure that, from now on, we will only supply Fairtrade bananas.”

Pictured: Finn and Francesca, members of Sibford School’s Fairtrade group, are pictured with Mark Higgins.

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