Headington School: Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK

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Headington is now known as a prestigious independent school, for girls aged 11 to 18. Currently, there are over 1000 pupils attending the school, many living within the five boarding houses within the grounds. Over the years Headington has always developed and expanded to give the best opportunities for our girls. 

Headington School is not an ‘academic hothouse’, though – we encourage girls to try out, take up and pursue a wide range of extra-curricular activities and are interested in developing the whole child.  Girls get fantastic results but they do so in a rounded, supportive and inspiring environment where they have fun and make friends.

Number of students

Boarding School:







Day School:








7 days boarding: 

About the school

Headington School has a rich history, established in 1915 founded by a group of evangelical Christians to provide "a sound education for girls to fit them for the demands and opportunities likely to arise after the war". The School began at Headington Lodge on Osler Road with just ten boarding and eight-day girls.
1917 – Brookside (renamed Napier House in 1931 , now the Preparatory School)
1920 – Hillstow (London Road ), Davenport House and 21 acres of land purchased
1930 – Official opening of the main school by HRH Princess Marry
1962 – the second Hillstow ( now Celia Marsh ), Latimer House and house for Headmistress built
1963 – HRH the Princess Royal returned to open Latimer House and Hillstow
1973 – Hillstow (current ) built
1985 – East Wing/science block added to original building
1989 – west wing/new library, information center added
1993 – 2017 (Sport Hall, Swimming Pool; Art School; Theatre; Napier Boarding House; Dining Hall, All weather sport pitches; Music School; Diamond Jubilee Building; Dance and Fitness Center, New Library, New Science Labs. )   


The iconic, 1930s facade of this best UK boarding schools for girls is the gateway to a very modern school with up to date, innovative facilities, catering for the demands of a first-class 21st century education. This top independent boarding school benefits from outstanding facilities, catering for a wide range of interests and talents. Whether your interests lie on the stage or on the sports pitch, you will be able to take advantage of fantastic equipment and a learning environment which is second to none.
Sport Hall, Swimming Pool; Art School; Theatre, All weather sport pitches; Music School;  Dance and Fitness Center, Library, New Science Labs.

There are five boarding houses at Headington, providing accommodation for more than 200 girls aged from 11-18. Younger girls live in Davenport, a rambling Victorian house with a family atmosphere. Most of the Sixth Form live in Celia Marsh and MacGregor in the Sixth Form Centre, with some opting to stay in Hillstow and Napier, where girls live from Lower 5. Boarding at Headington is fun and friendly and girls benefit hugely from the facilities, support and friendships they form in the boarding houses.

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Academic life


In the Lower School, which is made up of the first two years of Senior School, known at Headington as Upper Three (Year 7) and Lower Four (Year 8), your daughter will be able to explore and develop her abilities in a very wide range of subjects. Subjects taught in Lower School are as follows: Art, Art Textiles, Biology, Chemistry,Computing, Dance, Drama, English, Food and Nutrition, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Mathematics, Music, PE, Physics, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Personal, Social and Health Education, Spanish.

In Upper Four (Year 9) girls move to Middle School and are encouraged to take increased responsibility for their own learning, having a greater input in the choices of subjects they study. Before the end of the year, they will make their GCSE subject choices. Teaching for GCSE courses in subjects such as Maths and Science begins at the start of Upper Four but girls will not start the GCSE syllabus in the bulk of their subjects until the beginning of Lower Five.


This top girls only boarding school offers a combination of International GCSEs and GCSEs. Each girl will take the core subjects. They can choose an additional two subjects from a wide range on offer, including additional Humanities or Langauges.


Core Upper Four Subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computing, English, Food and Nutrition, Geography, History, Latin, Maths, PE, Physics, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies


Creative And Language Choices: Art., Art Textiles, Dance, Drama, MusicModern Languages: French, German, Spanish


Girls all take PE and Personal, Social and Health Education, in Lower Five (Year 10). They may also choose to take Astronomy GCSE as an additional option outside normal classroom time. A small number of girls take Dual Science instead of separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs.

Headington Sixth Form Boarding school

  • Academic excellence  – There is a strong academic focus in the Sixth Form and girls consistently achieve top results at both A Level and IB
  • Choice – IB or A Level, any combination of subjects offered, around 30 different options on offer through the two different qualifications. Choice continues outside the classroom with a huge range of activities on offer, many for sixth formers only.
  • Careers and university support – comprehensive programme of tailored support, including programmes for Architecture, Law, Medicine and Oxbridge entry, along with individualised careers guidance
  • Personalised experience  – timetables are built around girls choices, with small class sizes, lots of individual attention and personalised learning and support

Leadership opportunities – sixth formers set up and run their own clubs and activities
This top Sixth form boarding school offers a very wide range of subjects to choose from and provide expert support in selecting the right options to support  chosen career path.


A Level options: Art and Design ( Fine Art), Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classical Greek, Computing, Drama and Theatre Studies, Economics, English Literature, Fashion Textiles  ( Textile Design ), French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, Latin, Law, Mathematics, Music, Music Technology ,Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish  

Once you join the Sixth Form at Headington, a whole world of new and exciting opportunities is opened up to you. Many of activities are exclusive to the Sixth Form 

Activities on offer are updated regularly but could include:
Musical ensembles and choirs, Student robotics, Gym, Spinning, Rowing, Dance, Sports teams and clubs, Amnesty Group, Eureka Science, Eco committee, Duke of Edinburgh, Combined Cadet Force, Law Society, Literary Society, Psychology Society, Book Club, Debating, Young Enterprise, Hot Spot journalism, Waterpolo, Theatre Tech Club, Step and Tone, Yoga, Coder Dojo, Rock Climbing, Film Club, Philosophy Café, Cheerleading, Football, Creative Writing Club

You can supplement your studies by taking an Extended Project Qualification in a subject which interests you – an excellent preparation for the rigours of university. Alongside this, in Lower Sixth you will take two eight-week Elective programmes with a vast array of new challenges to choose from. All sixth formers continue to do weekly PE or Sport sessions as part of our commitment to ensure all girls have the opportunity to continue with a sport they love.

Electives Programme, introduced in 2016, gives every girl taking A Levels the chance to take two eight-week courses in a subject which interests them. It could be something that supplements your exam subjects or leads towards a university course, it could be something you chose to drop at Sixth Form or it could be something completely different. Some activities are more teacher-led, others encourage girls to have much more control over their learning. 

The subjects on offer change on a yearly basis. In 2017-2018 we are offering Electives in:

  • 19th Century Painting – The Birth of Modernity
  • 3D CAD with SolidWorks
  • Cooking for University Life
  • Cooking for Health and Nutrition
  • Dance
  • Drawing for Design
  • European Philosophers
  • Global Health and the Epidemiology of Diseases
  • Global Perspectives
  • Holocaust Landscapes
  • Introduction to a Language for Beginners – Arabic
  • Introduction to a Language for Beginners – Italian
  • Politics and Political Issues in the UK
  • Practical Chemistry – The Experimentation Hub
  • Russia and Russian Thinkers
  • STEM

Through the Lens – Practical Analogue Photography


Sport and culture

This top girls only boarding school offers performance training and strength coaching for  athletes along with a wide range of different sports clubs and teams for girls of all ages and abilities.   Not every girl will enjoy team sports so make sure there are lots of different opportunities for healthy physical activity, from Cheerleading to Equestrian, from Fencing to Rock Climbing. 

Gym, Spinning, Rowing, Sports teams and clubs, Step and Tone, Yoga, Rock Climbing, Cheerleading, Football, Hockey, Netball, Swimming, Cross Country

Indoor swimming pool, tennis courts and sports pitches

Outside the classroom is a whole world of experience, with a wealth of teams, clubs, societies, lectures, trips and enrichment opportunities to choose from. What girls learn in lessons is only a fraction of what goes on at this top British boarding school for girls. There is a huge amount of choice for all age groups in the areas of Academic Enrichment, the Arts ( Photograpy, ,  Design),  Media, Sport, Dance,  Music, Languages, Leadership and Adventure. The selection changes all the time, with new clubs and societies being created and new opportunities on offer. This top boarding school for girls gives opportunity to be involved in high-quality productions with impressive production values (getting up on the stage in front of an audience, the logistics of putting on a show, or the elaborate and challenging art of costume making). With 21 different ensembles, 18 different instruments taught, regular concerts in and out of school and more than 450 music lessons taking place each week in our Music School. Dance is very popular at Headington. With a wide range of disciplines, from Ballet to Street Dance, with the occasion to train for competitions and performances on a professional stage,  there is something for everyone – from those who are just getting started to those who are experienced dancers and are eager to pursue their passion.

Location Description

Headington is set in the heart of Oxford, just a mile from the city centre and benefits from excellent transport links.

Two school-run minibus routes serving the surrounding towns and villages

Ten private routes, shared with other local schools, serving the local surrounding towns and villages

Seven local bus routes

Two regular bus routes to London

A direct link from Oxford Railway Station via the Park & Ride bus


Headington School, Headington Rd, Oxford OX3 7TD

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