The Academic Life of St Edward’s


ver the last five years, the academic life of St Edward’s has been transformed with modern approaches and new programmes. At the heart of the School’s academic ethos are several key principles: that anything is possible, and that all pupils can and must engage fully in their own learning, and the learning of their peers.

At the upper end, 90% of our top pupils gain the highest grades in their Sixth Form exams and take up places at the world’s best universities – a record which exceeds the outcomes of many highly selective schools. You can read a summary of results from 2018 here.

Innovative teaching delivers energy and vitality to the classroom. Collaborative working is the lifeblood of the St Edward’s curriculum, opening pupils’ eyes to the fact that not everyone sees the world in the same way, and preparing our young people for higher education and the workplace beyond. The new Quad Development will see this academic commitment taking physical form which you can read more about here.

Sixth Formers find themselves in the rare position of being able to choose between A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a stimulating choice that enables our pupils to work to their strengths. St Edward’s is one of the few schools to have made a success of offering both A Levels and the IB alongside each other.

An overview:

  • Pupils prepare for GCSEs and IGCSEs in the Lower School, and choose the IB Diploma or A Level with the Extended Project Qualification in the Sixth Form.
  • Our youngest pupils, the Shells (Year 9), also complete the Shell Curriculum, which teaches the skills required for successful study – research, reflection, communication, collaboration and organisation, among others. In the Fourth Form, pupils undertake an independent research project.
  • In the Sixth Form, alongside their coursework, A Level pupils study our Taught Skills Course covering critical thinking, presentation and précis-writing.
  • Being in Oxford offers pupils unparalleled opportunities to benefit from the rich academic life of the University.
  • Some 80% of pupils go on to the best universities in the UK and overseas. Read a summary of pupils’ results and destinations 2018 here.
The structure of the lessons with that level of interaction has made a huge difference. I enjoy the lessons with a discursive emphasis.
Millie, Lower Sixth
You can’t get away from text books completely, and there will still inevitably be some of that in prep, but the ethos of the classrooms seems different here.
Patrick, Shells
There is no sitting and hiding at the back of the class, we’re all involved all of the time. It makes lessons interesting, invigorating even.
Octavia, Upper Sixth

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