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Berkhamsted Schools Group

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Berkhamsted Schools Group

Address: Overton House, 133 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2DJ
Founded: 1541
Number of Pupils: 2001
Ages: 3-18
Fees: £530-£11,870
Head Teacher: Richard Backhouse (Principal), Karen O’Connor (Day Nursery and Pre-Prep), Jamie Hornshaw (Prep), Liz Richardson (Berkhamsted Girls), Mary-Clare Startin (Berkhamsted Boys), Martin Walker (Berkhamsted Sixth)
Religious Affiliation: Church of England
Entrance Procedure: A meeting with the Headteacher for Nursery entry and an informal assessment day for Year 2 entry. School Entrance Assessments and an interview for entry to the Prep.
The Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) Common Pre-Test and an interview with the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or Senior Head of House for 11+ entry to Berkhamsted Girls or Berkhamsted Boys and various tests for 13+.
For Berkhamsted Sixth, 43 points are required across the candidate’s best 8 GCSE subjects with a minimum requirement of a Grade 6 in the subjects they wish to study. All students who have taken GCSE/iGCSE will require a minimum of Grade 4 in GCSE Maths and English Language for entry to the school. In addition to this, there are specific admission requirements relating to certain courses.
Contact: Lauren Thomas, Admissions; 01442 358001
Email: [email protected]
School Visits: Prospective parents and their children are warmly invited to visit Berkhamsted for a tour of the school or to join us for our upcoming On-Site Open Events, starting from Saturday 18 Sept, to meet the Headteachers and staff, and to see how Berkhamsted develops remarkable people.

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All pupils are supported and encouraged to reach their full potential, with appropriate teaching environments for each age group and a structure that offers the best of both co-educational and single-sex tuition. Up to eleven subjects may be taken for GCSE. In Sixth Form, courses are offered in 28 subjects, alongside an Enrichment Programme with the option to complete an Extended Project Qualification. Pupils are prepared for university entrance, including Oxbridge. Careers guidance and personal tutoring are offered throughout.

Games & The Arts

Key sports for Girls are Lacrosse, Netball and Tennis, and for Boys, Rugby, Football and Cricket. Athletics, Badminton, Cross-Country, Equestrian, Eton Fives, Golf, Hockey, Judo, Rowing, Shooting, Squash and Swimming are also pursued with team games and regional and national squads.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards, CCF, community service, work experience and Young Enterprise are all offered, alongside a wide range of clubs, societies, or courses. Regular school theatre productions, orchestral and choral concerts achieve high standards of performance. The Girls and Boys School come together for a range of these activities.

Pastoral Care

The main social and pastoral units are within the Houses, from the Head of House and House Tutors, providing continuity of support and advice, whilst monitoring each individual pupil’s progress. The Deputy Heads, alongside the Pupil Wellbeing and Personal Development team, support teaching staff across the whole school in implementing a proactive strategy that focuses primarily on keeping pupils well and looking for early signs of potential issues. There is a Medical Centre with qualified staff. The School Medical Officer has special responsibility for boarders. Qualified Counsellors are available to all pupils for confidential counselling. The School also has a full-time Chaplain.

University Places

In 2020, leavers secured themselves places at some of the world’s leading Universities with 7 students going on to Oxbridge. The top 4 University destinations were Birmingham, Nottingham, Durham, and Exeter.

Head Teacher’s Philosophy

Outstanding Characteristics

  • A family of Schools with a long history and proud traditions, yet with a firm eye on current best educational practice and offering leading-edge teaching technology
  • Excellent academic standards without being academic hothouses
  • Extensive co-curricular programme
  • House system placing academic progress and pastoral care at the centre of each child’s education
  • Offering a ‘Diamond model’ of teaching, with co-educational and single-sex tuition for boys and girls providing the best of both worlds in one family of Schools
  • The Berkhamsted family of Schools has all the advantages of access to large school resources with a small school sense of community and individual care
  • Wrap Around Care and the option of flexible, weekly, or full boarding, coach routes and holiday camps on offer during the school holidays
  • Within easy reach of London by road or public transport


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