Settled in the beautiful Shropshire countryside since 1884, Ellesmere College is an independent 7-18 coeducational day, weekly and full boarding school providing outstanding educational and personal success for all students – whether local, regional or international. At every point of entry to the College, students are offered a broad choice of academic subjects as well as a vast range of co-curricular activities that develop essential life skills such as leadership, initiative, confidence, team building, and above all, a belief in themselves that they can achieve if they try their best – the ethos at the heart of Ellesmere to be ’Life: Ready’.
Recently, Ellesmere College was accredited as a ‘High Performance Learning (HPL) World Class School’– one of only 39 schools worldwide demonstrating a world-class quality of education throughout the school and across all areas – academics, sports, and co-curricular.
Infrastructure & Facilities
Set in peaceful surroundings, Ellesmere pupils receive an exceptional, personalised education enabling them to develop into confident and successful young adults. The campus layout is designed to allow each pupil to have full exposure to a wide variety of new and challenging environments, to take them out of their comfort zone and challenge them to achieve greater things. Moreover, a wide-ranging curriculum and activities programme enables each student with the opportunity to advance in The Arts, Music, Drama, and Sports or to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
The campus also houses a nine-hole golf course, two fitness suites, 4 indoor court tennis barn, an all-weather astro-turf hockey pitch, an indoor swimming pool, 3 shooting ranges, 200-seat performance theatre, a recording studio, and an Arts and Music school. These specially curated and dedicated areas enable all pupils to find places they have a natural affinity with, which is a base for further growth and development.
Distinctive Programmes for Three Different Age Groups
Ellesmere College is split into three sections by age in terms of academic structure. For Lower School (Ages 7 – 13), the programme’s focus is to form independent young people who are confident in their skills and ability to express themselves. In Middle School (Ages 13 – 16), pupils are prepared for GCSE starting in year 9, which allows them to identify and make early choices in their areas of interest. There is also a one-year GCSE/IGCSE course available and this proves very popular among international students and prepares them thoroughly for Sixth Form studies (both IB and A Level) in an English language medium school. In the sixth form (Ages 16 – 18), students can choose from 3 different academic routes, namely A Levels, BTEC, or the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Impressively, 85% of Ellesmere students gain entrance to their first-choice university, including Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group institutions. The College is ranked in the top 20 British schools offering the IB curriculum. It has recently launched the International Foundation Programme (IFP) in association with UoL (University of London) – which is a one-year pre-university preparation course.
A Tailor-Made Programme, Focusing on Individual Performance
All pupils are, in essence, following an individualised learning programme. The options they choose in Middle and Senior School are developed from a long-term understanding by teachers through their own academic tracking and assessment reviews. This helps the teachers to highlight to pupils their individual targets, academic areas of strength and to help shape the next steps with the pupil and parents as a whole and so a detailed approach to decision making.
Timetables are adjusted according to the needs of each pupil, so if an international pupil needs some EAL support, this will be built into the timetable. Likewise, if the pupils need some one-to-one learning support, this too will be built into the individual timetable. Music and sports coaching and lessons are also created and designed to accommodate the working timetable so that every pupil has a timetable and structure unique to their own needs, ambitions, and choices.
A Cut Above the Rest
Ellesmere’s total commitment to developing individuals, enabling them to be successful human beings, is something that genuinely marks it out from the vast majority of other schools. Here, everyone is valued equally. If a student is outstandingly good at something, that does not make them better than anyone else; the College celebrates every child’s progress at every stage.
Moreover, Ellesmere College has successfully implemented the High-Performance Learning approach, unlike most schools across the globe, throughout the whole school system, from Lower School to Sixth Form. HPL reflects what is already known about advanced thinking skills and learning behaviours, helping pupils to develop skills and attitudes like confidence, agile thinking, perseverance and a greater awareness and concern for the society we live in – ensuring they are fully prepared for the path of study, work and life which lie ahead.
Playing an Active Role in the Professional Development of Faculty
At Ellesmere College, all teachers are degree educated; many are from Russell Group Universities throughout the UK, while some are from overseas. Moreover, professional development is a key component within the Ellesmere structure and therefore, each subject department ensures that each member of the team is involved in both in-house and external training programmes throughout each academic year to allow for best practice and sharing of ideas with regular cross-curricular meeting and academic group hubs for information and skill sharing.
Likewise, the College also supports staff for further academic qualifications, with several faculty leaders currently following an MBA course funded and supported by the College. The teaching staff also attend regular training on INSET days to cover whole school themes, and any staff member is allowed to come forward and recommend a course they are keen to attend. This creates a culture where CPD is the norm, and the development of each team member strengthens the whole body of teachers in the community.
Involving Parents in the Learning Journey
From the very young pupils who join the Lower School, Ellesmere College sends weekly newsletters to parents to keep them up-to-date on what has happened and is coming up. The College also hosts informal teatime concerts every half-term, where all pupils can showcase something they have learnt, produced or developed to a supportive and engaging audience; this exposure from an early age gives the pupils the confidence to strive for better and take bigger leaps in their own pursuits, and this is at the heart of a successful education.
Moreover, parents can also track performance through Ellesmere’s regular period grade reviews and have constant dialogue with the personal tutor, so at all stages, parents play a key part and component in their child’s learning process. Likewise, parents can access FROG, where all teachers’ resources are available, and all homework is set. Parents are also invited and encouraged to attend various events throughout the year, motivating the students to strive for excellence and become their best version.
Led by ‘Life: Ready’ Mantra
Through Ellesmere’s pastoral programme, each pupil gets an opportunity to be mentored by an outstanding tutor who helps to recognise, reflect upon, and develop necessary skills and competencies. Pupils, in turn, record their experiences in a ‘reflective’ log book that they can take with them throughout the stages of their time at the College. As part of their timetable, they also spend two afternoons a week exploring sports and leadership opportunities that help develop and support a student’s ‘softer’ skills.
In this way, the structure of each student’s programme not only develops the skills needed to become a potential leader or entrepreneur but also provides pupils with an opportunity to become more self-aware and confident. Therefore, being ‘Life Ready’ is not just a phrase but a philosophy shared by the whole Ellesmere community that shapes today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.
Ellesmere College has always believed that each pupil will follow a unique journey based on their own likes, interests and abilities and these abilities are celebrated at every stage of the process. Hence, success at Ellesmere is defined by judging each student’s own individual strengths, unique skills, abilities, and talents rather than doing so against some arbitrary standard.
Additionally, HPL, playing an integral role, helping to develop the pupils’ creative mindset. As a result, Ellesmere College’s Life Ready philosophy is resonated with alumni who have and continue to create successful career paths for themselves, from sports athletes to doctors to NASA engineers to artists to military roles.
Coveted Awards & Accreditation
Ellesmere College is a WAoS (World Academy of Sport) Athlete Friendly Education Centre (AFEC), which provides greater flexibility to students to balance their studies with demanding training and competition schedules.
In addition, Ellesmere College was the first Independent School to be awarded Artsmark Platinum by the Arts Council of Great Britain for its commitment and delivery of the arts from the traditional to more modern media. The College has also received the Cricketer Top 100 Schools award for the last 5 years in a row, Top 20 Sports school award, LTA Regional Tennis Awards, and Education Business Awards for Music, Sport and Student support.
Dealing with the Pandemic Times
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellesmere College created a new digital learning environment with the message that “every day is a school day”. This was made possible by the efforts taken by the staff, who upskilled themselves in record time and also extended support and advice to others as they manoeuvred through the steepest of learning curves. The College also hosted several webinars from alumni where guest speakers shared their insights and workplace challenges with the pupils. Similarly, pupils took the lead in lessons and delivered mini talks, stories, films, and cartoons on engaging topics to share and help others. In addition to the live lessons from Monday to Friday, there were tutor quizzes, daily individual music performances, not to mention our own version of the Jo Wicks’ daily fitness sessions and weekly sports challenges.
Later on, when the vast majority of pupils had returned by mid-August, the College provided an early arrival opportunity to support pupils and this helped them in settling into a new routine which allowed them the platform to get some initial preparation work started for their new courses and to settle comfortably into the Ellesmere community. In this manner, Ellesmere’s Life Ready philosophy not only taught pupils to deal with and overcome challenging times such as a pandemic but is also preparing them for the world beyond the school gates.
A Roadmap for the Future
Ellesmere College is working closely with several international partners who are keen to explore setting up a partnership with the College to develop an international school across many vital territories. The aim is to establish schools that mirror the same ethos, culture, academic and co-curricular programmes with the focus on individual student success; this is indeed and exciting time and an opportunity to allow pupils the world over the chance to experience an Ellesmere Education for themselves.
Going ahead, there will also be continued investment and enhancements made into the current boarding and classroom facilities to ensure an environment that is first-class and suited to the needs of every pupil. For all who work at Ellesmere, it will be to continually strive to support and care for each pupil across all year groups and all ages.
For More Info: https://www.ellesmere.com/