Old Swinford Hospital School OSHSCH, Stourbridge, West Midlands

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Old Swinford Hospital, founded in 1667, is a happy and vibrant state boarding school for boys (11-18) where traditions and values sit comfortably alongside innovation. It is one of 36 state boarding schools in England, meaning school fees are funded by the LEA and pupils only pay boarding fees. Girls are admitted into the sixth form as day pupils. Situated in the Midlands, right in the heart of England. Parents opting to send their children to study at this state boarding school pay only for boarding, not tuition, which is why our fees are significantly lower than boarding schools in the independent sector. There are seven boarding houses, including a junior house for Year 7s and a recently opened Sixth Form house specifically for Year 13s. Trying and appreciating new activities is an important part of this top state boarding school experience and there is an impressive range of sporting, co-curricular and weekend activities available, which pupils are encouraged to take full advantage of.

Number of students

Boarding School:







Day School:








7 days boarding: 

3,900 per term

About the school

Founded by Thomas Foley, an ironmaster, MP and landowner from Great Witley Estate in Worcestershire, Old Swinford Hospital first opened its doors to pupils in the late summer of 1670, just four years after the Great Fire of London.

Entry points at this state boarding school include Year 7 (11 years old), Year 9 (13 years old) and Year 12 (16 years old) and there are sometimes places in other year groups too. They have flexi, termly and weekly boarding options available, with weekly boarders returning home on a Friday evening or Saturday morning and full boarders utilising the array of exciting co-curricular activities available on and off-site over the weekend. 

All Year 7 boys join the same house for their first year, Prospect House. This is a small, modern, homely house which is popular with parents, because shared rooms and rotations enable pupils to get to know one another and make friends. On leaving Prospect House, boarders join one of five houses:  Baxter, Potter, Foley, Dudley and Witley – each with its own identity. Every boarding house provides a warm, safe and friendly community in which pupils, can grow physically, emotionally and academically. All of our boys are provided with work stations, lockable wardrobes or trunks and they may (within reason) personalise their living spaces, allowing them to create a real home-from-home. Whilst the school dining hall provides boarders with three nutritious meals a day, all houses also have their own kitchens equipped with fridges, toasters, microwaves and kettles where boarders can prepare snacks under staff supervision. Pizza nights are a popular event and boarders often cook for one another, having first honed their skills in our Food Technology building.

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Academic life

In Year 7 and 8 pupils at this top state boarding school work from a well-structured and exciting curriculum in which they’ll be able to fully explore and develop their understanding of a range of subjects:

Art, Music Computing, PE and Game,  English, Beliefs and Issues, French, Science, Geography, Second Language (French and German), History, Technology, Mathematics.

In Year 9, and in addition to the subjects listed, they will be able to concentrate their academic efforts and focus more on the subjects they’ll study at GCSE. With so many exciting subject options available, it’s vital that they don’t neglect the basics. That’s why pupils are required to follow a core programme of subjects.  These will include GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), or Combined Science.  Within the Core there are also course in ICT Applications, Physical Education and Beliefs and Issues. In addition pupils will choose three further subjects. They understand that choosing three additional subjects is not necessarily an easy decision, but pupils won’t be expected to make this choice alone. They’ll have the full support of their tutors, housemasters, heads of year and, of course, parents to give them all the advice and guidance they need to ensure the final decision is the right one.  Optional subjects include: Art, Economics, Computing, Business Studies, French, Geography, Drama, German, French, History, Materials, Technology, History, PE, Music, RE, Visual & Graphic, Communication, Spanish.

Most of the students joining this state boarding school at Sixth Form from September 2018 will follow an A level timetable consisting of three subjects in Year 12, with five hours of timetabled lessons for each subject.

All our sixth form students have 7 GCSE passes at Grade C or above or grades 9 – 4 where applicable including English and Maths.  Students must also meet the minimum grade requirement for the subjects that they choose to study.

Given that A level is a considerable step up from GCSE, they encourage A level students to choose a subject in which they achieved a minimum of grade B at GCSE.

The A level subject options :                

Group A ( Art and Design, Biology, BTEC Sport, Chemistry, Computing Science, History, Music, Physics, Psychology), Group B (Biology, Economics, English Language and Literature, Geography, German, Mathematics, Philosophies and Ethics), Group C ( Biology, Business –OCR Cambridge ), Chemistry, Design and Technology, English Literature, Further Mathematics, Geography, Government and Politics, History, Mathematics )

Sport and culture

Basketball, cricket, football, and netball, rugby, athletics , dance, climbing

This state boarding school has an impressive range of modern facilities that we encourage pupils to take full advantage of, with numerous sports pitches, tennis, squash and basketball courts, cricket nets, a gymnasium and two climbing walls to name but a few. Trying and appreciating new sports is an important part of this top UK state boarding school experience.

Music is a huge part of curriculum at this state boarding school in England. With nearly a third of our pupils choosing to play a musical instrument, the school has a real breadth of opportunity for them to rehearse and perform at school, locally, and on tour. The Music department has considerable success, with many students going on to study at universities and conservatoires. Music at this state boarding school still provides an excellent non-career choice for enthusiastic and able musicians by allowing them to develop self-discipline, teamwork, creativity and confidence, all of which will prove immensely valuable in later life.  Musicians at this top state boarding school in UK have had the opportunity to represent the school at concert events in Barcelona and Venice, whilst the student-organised ‘Battle of the Bands’ still proves to be one of the most popular events on the school calendar

Location Description

Closest Airport Birmingham (47km), Manchester (140km)

Heath Lane, Stourbridge West Midlands DY8 1QX DY8 1QX

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