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Godolphin School
Godolphin School
Godolphin School
Godolphin School
top 200
Godolphin School Salisbury, Wiltshire Visit
school
Godolphin School
Salisbury
430 pupils, ages 11-18
Girls only
Day and Boarding

Godolphin School

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Our view

This might be one of the oldest girls’ boarding schools in the country, but there’s nothing stuck-in-the-past about this Salisbury senior where pupils are instantly recognisable by their signature blue pinny uniforms. It’s refreshingly down-to-earth, parents work hard to send their daughters here and greatly value the opportunities that Godolphin has to offer.

Where?

Winding through the streets of Victorian villas around Milford Hill, overlooking Salisbury, we felt like we were a pleasant distance from the bustle. No sweeping driveway or grand approach here: the first impression of the main school building is of a handsome yet modest red-brick Victorian house. Salisbury dwellers will have to contend with the occasional bottleneck on their drive in but once at the school, there is ample parking and even enough space for the sixth-formers we spotted to begin and end their driving lessons in the spacious car park.

The train station is 20 minutes away on foot and the school has a handful of bus routes from local towns and villages, but is always happy to consider additional pick-ups where demand arises. London is only 90 minutes away by train, making it easily accessible for boarders.

Head

Emma Hattersley has been head here since 2014, arriving from a role as pastoral deputy head at Sherborne Girls. She is stylish, confident, likeable, and a relaxed and articulate public speaker. Her leadership has already seen the school grow in size and academic prowess and although she has plans and ambitions for the school, her focus very much seems to be the here and now and making sure that the girls have everything they need in place to make the best of today.

As a mother and school inspector as well as a headmistress, she has a very broad understanding of both the functional and emotional aspects of education, using it to ensure that her charges end up right at the forefront (as well as an equal part) of the job market, and leave school as flexible, adaptable, open-minded, self-critical and collaborative learners in a rapidly changing world. When asked what makes her most proud, she replied ‘the students’ without hesitation – and judging by the girls we met, we can see why.

Admissions

The main joining points at this proudly all-girls senior are at 11+, 13+ and 16+. Traditional open days have been ditched in favour of Snapshot Mornings (involving a tour with Year 8 or 9 girls and a Q&A with the head) for a more informal and personal experience. Prospective pupils can then come along for a taster day – and although the head suggests that most parents will ‘trust their gut’, there’s absolutely no hard and fast rules about how many times you can come and take a look.

Around 75 per cent of pupils at Godolphin Prep will make their way up the hill to the senior, and there’s no need to sit any tests if they have been in the Godolphin fold for at least two years. Mrs Hattersley fittingly describes Godolphin as ‘softly selective’; children from other schools will need to take formal tests in maths and English, have an interview with the head and provide a reference from their current school. Bursaries are available and there are scholarships for academics, sport, drama, art and music.

Academic and university destinations

There are three classes in Year 7, rising to four or five forms in Year 9 with roughly 18 pupils per class but often with much smaller teaching groups for GCSE and A-level. The 65-minute lessons are interspersed with regular breaks and lunchtime is a generous 70 minutes, meaning that girls have plenty of time to take part in a club or activity or catch up on any admin. Years 7 to 10 work on school-leased Surface Pro laptops.

We were blown away by the science department, which was alive with display boards and colour – and is famous for its annual science week and the ever-popular all-school inter-house quiz.

Career guidance is excellent, with a range of initiatives such as ‘Find Your Future Friday’ and the Bright Futures programme, which brings in inspirational speakers – from a vet to a fashion stylist, a psychologist to a financier – to encourage the children to think about a very wide variety of careers. There’s also a buddy system linking current pupils with career-relevant old girls for a more personal viewpoint.

Results are solid, but it’s the value-added scores that are seriously noteworthy here. There is a huge amount of flexibility, both in study choices and destinations – one of our pupil guides was leaving to study classics at Cambridge and the other to nursing college and then Sandhurst, both fabulously bright, articulate, self-confident and self-aware. In short, Godolphin doesn’t have a standard exit – because there's no such thing as a standard pupil.

Co-curricular

A new director of sport and a flurry of recent wins (U16 district netball champions, U14 netball county champions and Bath Eight’s lacrosse winners) have put Godolphin back on the sporting map. The small suburban campus doesn’t afford a huge amount of pitch space but the soon-to-be resurfaced tennis courts will provide a useful multi-sports pitch and the indoor pool is a superb bonus. Participation is key, but the balance is struck accurately enough for those girls with sporting talents to be able to play for their county or club outside of school hours. 

The head sees art as ‘the flagship department’ and the standard really is knock-your-socks-off brilliant. Mr Egg (Nick Eggleton) is the art dynamo behind this success and his three-stage art rotation gives pupils an opportunity to try their hand at a variety of techniques, as well as being wowed and inspired by the school’s own artist-in-residence.  

Drama too is top drawer, and the purpose-built theatre has retractable tiered seating to offer maximum flexibility. Annual performances alternate between a whole-school production and an upper and a lower school play, but all are extremely impressive – Schools will Rock You being a recent highlight. Pupils told us that there is a culture of getting involved and just giving things a try. 

For extracurricular enrichment, there’s a whole host of clubs and activities that take place either at lunchtime or after school, including CCF, young architects, young silversmiths and a fantastic club set up by sixth-formers called ‘Include’, which aims to provide a safe and welcoming space to meet, chat and ensure that absolutely everyone feels part of a group. The on-site Leiths cookery school is a massive bonus for girls wanting practical skills to supplement their academic studies (BTEC Level 3 in Food Science and Nutrition is also available).

Boarding

There are three boarding houses: Walters for the junior boarders (ages eight to 13), Cooper for Years 9,10 and 11 and School House for the sixth-formers. We hung out in Cooper, home to 60 boarders and a spacious and buzzy environment with girls happily beetling in and out to sign in for lunchtime registration, attend the Friday talk (our visit coincided with ‘careers in the wine trade’) or change for activities and games. All unobtrusively supervised by the Cooper house staff (affectionately known as ‘The Dream Team’) strategically positioned to just keep an eye on everyone or, as we saw, ready to whisk anyone looking worried off for a cup of tea and a reassuring chat.

Pupils can full board, flexi board or day board, and numbers increase as you go higher up the school with around 60 per cent of girls boarding at some point during their time here. Sixth-form boarding takes on a more university-like vibe, with more independence and facilities for pupils to do their own laundry – although amusingly the girls themselves seemed unaware that this was an option.

Weekends offer a change of pace – there’s no Saturday school and so boarders will take part in activities, go into town or catch up on prep before the afternoon sports matches. Despite the flexibility, there remains a significant cohort of boarders here at the weekend – and the recent increase in military families will continue to boost these numbers further.

School community

Godolphin has between 35 and 40 staff with mental-health training, and Mrs Hattersley tells us Godolphin is all about ‘support, strength and love’. She’s a big believer in family time and making sure that girls have enough flex in their schedule to take advantage of it, whether that’s with their boarding families or at home. The school is aware that children might sometimes lose confidence in how to speak to their parents (and vice versa) and so teaching pupils the art of conversation is important, with an annual ‘GO Parent’ conference which includes talks and workshops educating parents on education, social pressures, self-esteem, nutrition and mental health.

And finally...

This school doesn’t attract the kind of parents who want bling – instead, it invests in substance and puts the needs of the children up front. The staff and pupils we met were all absolutely the kind of people you’d want to be stuck in a lift with – fun, friendly, honest, polite and purposeful.

Gallery See All

  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • University destinations

    3% of leavers went on to Oxford or Cambridge university.
    61% of leavers went on to a Russell Group university.
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Information Technology
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Physics
    Religious Studies
    Spanish
    Geology
    Statistics

    A Level

    Ancient Greek
    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    History
    History of Art
    Information Technology
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Psychology
    Religious Studies
    Spanish
    Geology
    Classics
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£7,385
    Year 8 £7,385
    Year 9 £8,205
    Year 10£8,205
    Year 11£8,205
    Year 12£8,205
    Year 13£8,205
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7£10,625
    Year 8 £10,625
    Year 9 £10,625
    Year 10 £12,465
    Year 11£12,465
    Year 12£12,465
    Year 13£12,465




    Bursaries
    Godolphin has a wide variety of scholarships offered for a number of different disciplines and circumstances at 11+, 13+ and 16+. It also offers a means-tested bursary programme that can either supplement existing scholarship awards or stand alone, giving up to 100 per cent fee remission depending on need. Bursaries are either awarded on entry at 13+ and 16+ or as hardship bursaries that are ringfenced to support existing families whose financial situation has changed.

    For more information about the many scholarship and fee-support options available, please go to:

    godolphin.org/admissions/bursaries-scholarships

    godolphin.org/resources/downloads/Scholarship-Booklet.pdf

    Bursary contact:
    Director of Admissions Corinna Florence
    florencec@godolphin.org
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    The school's Learning Support Department supports students who have additional needs around the curriculum. Once a teacher has identified a learning need, Godolphin's Head of Learning Support, Mr Claire Firth, meets with the student and her parents before an assessment by an Educational Psychologist, Specialist Teacher, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist or Vision Therapist.



    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    Following an assessment and once there is a clear diagnosis, the student will receive one-to-one support. If the student needs support but doesn’t have a specific learning need, a member of Godolphin's support staff will work with them to manage their needs. If they have a specific learning difficulty, one of the Dyslexia trained teachers will teach them during school hours and they will remain part of the core curriculum. When possible, they will be taken out of non-core subjects for additional lessons before school starts, at lunch times or after school. All additional lessons are organised by the Learning Support department with agreement from the students, parents and teachers.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    The school's pastoral team support all students. The School Matron and School Chaplain offer support on a day to day basis. Additional support can be provided from the School Counsellor. They have an active programme of events where Wellbeing is at the forefront. Their aim is to support students, parents and staff alike.

    Co-ordinator: Mrs Claire Firth admissions@godolphin.org
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Salisbury
    Journey time to London by train: 90 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Bournemouth (25 miles)


School Updates

  • See Goldophin School in our All-through Schools Guide.

    See Goldophin School in our All-through Schools Guide.
  • See Godolphin School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.

    See Godolphin School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.
  • Students Step-Up to Fashion Project

    Salisbury is not normally associated with luxury fashion, but some young students from Salisbury are challenging this. Godolphin’s art students designed bespoke boots, after being inspired by an art project.
    Students Step-Up to Fashion Project
  • Godolphin releases World Premiere of motet by Master of Queen's Music

    Godolphin releases World Premiere of motet by Master of Queen's Music

Essentials

Address
Milford Hill, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2RA

Contact
admissions@godolphin.org
01722 430500

Website
godolphin.org/senior

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

Snapshot Visit
07 October 2022
Snapshot Visit
14 October 2022
Snapshot Visit
04 November 2022


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