Jumptonavigation Jumptosearch Coordinates:52°18′3.94″N0°41′7.61″E/52.3010944°N0.6854472°E/52.3010944;0.6854472CulfordSchool..">
Independent day and boarding
|Motto||Viriliter Agite Estote Fortes|
(Quit Ye Like Men, Be Strong)
|Department for Education URN||124886 Tables|
|Chairman of Governors||AVM Steven Abbott CBE|
|Headmaster||J F Johnson-Munday|
|Age||1 to 18|
|Former pupils||Old Culfordians|
Culford School is a coeducational independent day and boarding school for pupils age 1-18 in the village of Culford, four miles north of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England. The headmaster is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Prep School is a member of the IAPS.
The school was founded as the East Anglian School for Boys, incorporating an institution founded in 1873 by Congregationalist minister, Dr John H. L. Christien. It was one of a group of Methodist schools established in response to the growth of the middle class, the launching of the Woodard Schools and the 1867 Taunton Commission, which fuelled an expansion of secondary education in general and of non-conformist boarding schools in particular. The original school was in Northgate Street in Bury St Edmunds, but in 1886 it moved to Thingoe Hill in the town (a site later occupied by the East Anglian School for Girls).
In 1935 the school moved to Culford Park, former home of the 7th Earl Cadogan, and thereafter became known as Culford School. It is at the centre of East Anglia, c.90 minutes from London, 60 from Norwich, 40 from Ipswich, and c.30 minutes from Cambridge.
The school sits in 480 acres (1.9 km2) of Repton parkland with grazing, formal gardens, lake, and the 16th-18th Century Culford Hall. Originally the Hall became dormitories and classrooms; the laundry the sanatorium; the forge the art and woodwork studios (now the Pringle Centre for Design Technology); and the stables the Junior Department (now the Preparatory School).
The first new building to be added was Cadogan House, for junior boys, in 1938. The Leigh Memorial Swimming Pool was built in the same year. The Skinner and Hastings buildings were added in the 1960s, followed during the 1970s-1990s by an auditorium, pre-prep school, medical centre and biology laboratories. Purpose-built boarding houses and the Ashby Dining Hall (named after the then Chairman of the Governors) were constructed in 1972.
1972 was the year in which Culford amalgamated with its sister school, the East Anglian School for Girls (EASG), becoming one of the first fully co-educational HMC schools. New Houses were formed as follows:
|Edwards House||Senior Boys (boarding and day pupils) (named after G. S. Edwards, French & hockey master, Deputy Headmaster 1923-1962)|
|Cornwallis House||Senior Boys (boarding and day pupils) (named after the Marquess Cornwallis, of Culford Hall)|
|Jocelyn House||Senior Girls (boarding and day pupils) (name transferred from EASG)|
|Storey House||Sixth Form Co-educational House - closed 2003 (named after Dr C. Storey, Headmaster 1951-1971)|
|Robson House||Senior Day Boys - formed 1993 – closed 2012 (named after D. Robson, Headmaster 1971-1992)|
|Fitzgerald House||Originally Junior Girls - Senior Day Girls since 2003, now Senior Girls (boarding and day pupils) (name transferred from EASG)|
|Cadogan House||Junior School - later Prep School – Boys; Girls since 1996 (boarding pupils only) (named after Earl Cadogan)|
Culford is a selective school accepting pupils from a broad ability range. More than half of the senior pupils are boarders. Three schools are housed within the Park:
The ten thousand volume Library was previously located in an oak panelled room overlooking Culford Hall’s south front, completed for the visit of King Edward VII in December 1904. A landmark library in a separate modern building was formally opened on 8 September 2015, and its previous location is now the Senior Common Room (staffroom). The Centenary Hall, containing a Studio Theatre opened in 2006 by HRH the Duke of Gloucester (twenty five years after his first visit for the school's centenary), is also within the main building.
The Culford Foundation has raised funds for a new Pre-Prep nursery and dining hall; an astro-turf; the William Miller Science Centre (built in 2002 following a £1m donation by an Old Culfordian); and the restoration of Culford Hall. The Foundation also maintains the Old Culfordians Association.
A November 2008 inspection report by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) states that the school is “outstanding” at the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils; in the quality of its pastoral care and boarding provision; and in its community links and its governance and management. The quality of the educational experience provided, and pupils’ learning and achievements, are “good, with many outstanding features;” and teaching is “good, and in a high proportion of lessons it is outstanding”. A parallel Ofsted report rated boarding provision as outstanding; and the Nursery, for children aged 3–4, was rated outstanding in every area by Ofsted inspectors in June 2008.
The ISI and the Good Schools Guide state that the school performs well given the range of pupils’ abilities (corresponding to the top 60 per cent of the national range). Recent results include 53% of A-Level grades at A* or A in 2011; and 61% of GCSE grades at A* or A in 2009. Generally c.10 per cent of the Upper Sixth go to Oxbridge. Culford has been amongst those schools commenting on the narrowness of league tables, but it appears in the same range as rivals in the east of England.
A Sixth Form Enrichment Programme offers Open University degree modules and pupils also compete in competitions such as the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge. Like many independent schools, Culford teaches the IGCSE and in 2010, all of the pupils who took IGCSE mathematics a year early achieved A* or A grades. The Good Schools Guide claims that Culford has one of the six best maths departments in the country.
In 2015, Culford launched a £2.2 million landmark library building which was unveiled by Old Culfordian and benefactor Professor Harry Watson.
The arts are co-ordinated by a Head of Art; Directors of Music and Drama; Heads of Strings, Wind and Brass; regular peripatetic music staff; and sometime Artists and Dramatists in Residence. Lamda qualifications are offered as are dance lessons. Culford has around twelve musical groups including two orchestras, a Choral Society, Chamber Choir, Wind Band, Jazz Band and Rock Society. Over half of the pupils learn an instrument. Boys from the Prep School may become choristers at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Inter-house music competitions and termly concerts are held: recent concerts include Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Britten’s Noye's Fludde at the church in Orford where it was performed originally.
String and Wind Days are held for preparatory schools and the Suffolk Youth Orchestra is a regular visitor. Two major dramatic productions are staged each year, one musical and one stage play. Smaller productions are staged more regularly, including during House drama competitions. The Studio Theatre, the 400-seat Centenary Hall, and the Regency Theatre Royal are used as venues.
2009 saw the restoration of the west wing of Culford Hall to create the Beech Centre for Music and Performing Arts (part-funded by Old Culfordian David Beech).
Culford offers high performance academies in Tennis and Golf alongside the major competitive sports of rugby, cricket, hockey, netball, athletics, cross-country and swimming. Regional honours are achieved whilst European and England players and champions in hockey, tennis, horse riding, karate, polo and rugby are on the school roll. Pupils compete in events such as the National Schools Rugby Sevens, and the Inter-Schools Hunter Trials.
Numbered amongst current Old Culfordians are an Olympic horserider, a British modern pentathlon champion, a Welsh hockey international, and club rugby and cricket players for Richmond and Middlesex respectively. Previous generations of Old Culfordians have included several hockey players for England and one for Scotland, a captain of the Welsh team, and a Great British hockey Olympian; as well as an England badminton player. The school has also produced numerous Oxford and Cambridge Blues.
In addition to the major sports, Culford offers a wide range of other sports and activities utilising its 480 acres (1.9 km2) of parkland and extensive facilities.
A further lake at Lackford is used for Sailing, and nearby Thetford Forest is used for outdoor pursuits. Golf is played at a course in neighbouring Flempton. 1962 saw the school become one of the 16 founder members of The Public Schools Old Boys Golf Association, and it competes regularly in the Grafton Morrish Trophy.
The school is linked to the LTA High Performance Centre in Cambridge, and 14 coaches offer a tennis scheme encompassing a junior Academy programme. The school also provides cricket coaching from former Italy international, Andrew Northcote. Culford play an MCC side annually. An Activities Programme offers over sixty pursuits including climbing, clay pigeon shooting, chess, critical thinking, Cub Scouts, debating, Duke of Edinburgh's Award, expeditions, fencing, horse riding, sub aqua and Young Enterprise. In addition, external organisations using Culford's facilities contribute to provision for pupils:
The CCF's Army section is associated with the Army Air Corps and the First Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment. Weekly training activities include shooting, expeditions, combat manoeuvres, ambush and continuity drills, signals training, orienteering, climbing, kayaking, first aid and lifesaving. The CCF also play an important role in the School’s annual Act of Remembrance on Armistice Day.
The CCF Contingent was inspected in 2007 by General Sir John McColl, an Old Culfordian, Colonel of the Royal Anglians and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. 2009’s inspection was carried out by Air Vice Marshal Richard Garwood, parent of a Culfordian and Chief of Staff (Operations) at Headquarters Air Command; and 2011’s by General the Lord Dannatt.
The current CCF is the successor to several individual service cadet forces, established during the world wars and at other stages, as well as to Culford’s Air Scouts troop which, in 1939, was amongst the first five nationally and which became the largest in eastern England prior to dwindling in the 1960s.
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The name of the ‘Fifth Dinner Club’ (FDC) is derived from its foundation by five members of the Fifth Form - G G Hawes, R H Tuffs, Gaubert, Downs and Marley - to subvert the prefects. However the Fifth Formers eventually became prefects themselves and only prefects have been admitted ever since. It remains separate from the school, and is in no way owned by it. The club is associated with a motto, abbreviated to D.V.P.M. It is also associated with Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub on London’s Fleet Street, where members first dined in the 1930s and which they visit to this day. Other associations include Gentlemen's clubs such as the East India Club which is located at 16 St James's Square London. Admission to the East India is only possible if members have attended public school. The FDC recently celebrated a reunion for members past and present, with over 100 old boys and current members enjoying a dinner in Suffolk with countless stories and plenty of wine. This event was also attended by the current Headmaster and some members of the Common Room.
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