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Malvern College Malvern, Worcestershire Visit
school
Malvern College
Malvern
663 pupils, ages 13-18
Mixed
Day and Boarding

Malvern College

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Our view

A true English public school in a splendid setting, Malvern College was one of the earliest adopters of the IB and, with its proper global outlook, pupils flock here from around the world for a slice of this very British, very wholesome education. No longer a hidden gem, the relatively new head Keith Metcalfe is keen to ensure that Malvern is out there – why be hidden when you are as sparkly as this?

Where?

A truly breathtaking location on the edge of the Malvern Hills, with million-dollar views across the Worcestershire countryside. The campus, large though it is, nestles unobtrusively into its setting, and the steep inclines ensure a pretty high base level of fitness for even the most sport-shy pupils. The stunning chapel is at the heart of the campus (and of the school itself – all pupils gather here thrice weekly), and boarding houses are dotted down the hill, with lots of pitches and lawns at the bottom.

It sits in the middle of Malvern, a former Victorian spa resort filled with lovely little independent shops and cafés. It’s very easily accessible by car and the train station is a 15-minute walk away, linking to Worcester and Ledbury as well as connecting to Birmingham and London.

Head

Keith Metcalfe arrived in April 2019 following 19 years at Harrow, which culminated in the position of senior deputy head. He wanted to move to another school that he ‘believed in’ where he’d want his children to go (he is a father of three), and he has hit the jackpot with Malvern.

Mr Metcalfe is an accomplished public speaker with a quiet enthusiasm about him. His role keeps him incredibly busy, but he has managed to ring-fence a slot teaching geography to the first year. That said, he’s keen to get stuck in when he can. A regular on the cross-country course, he recently even refereed a Saturday rugby fixture.

Admissions

Entrance at 13+ is via CE or the school’s own exam, and the school accepts around 90 pupils into the FY (Year 9). Around half come from the two ‘Malvern family’ preps, The Downs and Abberley Hall, but children at these schools are held to exactly the same standards (all-rounders are valued here) and, once in, they are distributed evenly between the houses to ensure they don’t dominate.

The sixth form sees the next big influx, based on subject-specific tests and minimum GCSE standards, which swells the ranks to about 175 in the lower sixth. The majority of incoming sixth-formers are international students attracted by the IB, with an increasing number of Europeans among that cohort.

Parents are advised to get in touch two to three years before entry and book in for an open day or visit (tours are led by Malvern parents, who give a useful perspective). Scholarships and bursaries are available, although the monetary value of scholarships has been reduced and may be means-tested in the future.

Academics and university destinations

Malvern may not be overly selective at entrance, but bright sparks do terrifically well here. Facilities are excellent and technology is intrinsic and meaningful. Most subject teachers offer regular clinics to help pupils stay on top of the game, and in-house tutors keep a constant eye on both effort and attainment grades.

Older students are taught in university-style seminars, and the state-of-the-art Lewis Lecture Theatre evokes a university environment – which, we are told, is deliberate. There are societies and lectures (many given by the students themselves) that broaden the mind and challenge thinking, and life skills are also part of the curriculum, with pupils delving into key issues such as first aid, e-safety, consent, homophobia and drugs.

By offering both A-levels and the IB, Malvern is the best of both worlds (there’s a roughly 50/50 split), and sixth-formers have 26 subjects to choose from, including music technology, psychology and computer science. Results are solid and almost everyone secures a place at their first-choice university; typically, 10 per cent head to elite universities – otherwise, it’s Russell Groups, and a growing number are now looking overseas.

Co-curricular

Sport is massive at Malvern and facilities are top-notch. The sports complex is no longer new but it’s still very snazzy (and open to the public), complete with a pool, two huge indoor halls, gyms, a café and a climbing wall in the foyer. Add in beautifully manicured cricket pitches, squash, rackets, fives and tennis courts, two full-size Astros and more grass pitches than you could shake a stick at, and there is more than enough to keep sporty types content.

Coaching is done by specialist staff, many with very impressive playing and national coaching credentials, and elite athletes have an additional pathway in place to further support their development. The eight-mile annual ‘Ledder’ cross-country race for the top three years is a fantastic tradition, maximising on the local hilly terrain, and staff and pupils alike either take part or cheer the exhausted runners on.

Drama is equally phenomenal – the recently refurbished Rogers Theatre is fantastic, and the volume and standard of performances is astounding. Cast, rehearsed and dazzlingly staged in just one term, High School Musical was the latest treat for delighted audiences; other recent highlights have included The Comedy of Errors, Holes and Sister Act. Some parents told us that they often book seats for performances their own children aren’t even in – they’re that good.

Musically, Malvern now has All-Steinway School status thanks to a ‘significant’ donation that funded the purchase of 28 Steinway pianos. The music school is next in line for a multimillion-pound refurb.

Creative subjects are first-rate: our junior spies were mesmerised by the sight of a 3D printer in action in the D&T workshop, and there’s a wide variety in the art department, with specialist studios for ceramics, painting and drawing, printmaking, textiles, graphic design and photography. It’s hard not to notice the enormous canvases painted by students hanging all over the school – immensely professional and impressive.

Lessons finish at 4pm on weekdays, making time for two hours of co-curricular activities. Pupils make full use of the Malvern Hills, heading out on runs, mountain biking or, in winter, snow-kayaking – a new one for us. In fact, the whole outdoor pursuits (OP) programme is excellent, and keen pupils frequently head out to local bike parks, white-water centres, climbing walls and rock faces.

Online learning was particularly creative from this department, with pupils sent climbing rigs to practise with at home (on terra firma only) and getting together virtually to watch OP-related films. Outdoor education is important, and all first years spend time at a farmhouse deep in the Brecon Beacons (no electricity or hot water) for a bonding trip: good character-building stuff.

Boarding

Just over three-quarters of pupils are boarders, and almost all of them are at school on Saturday night. There are 11 houses; as you head down the hill, girls are on the right, boys on the left, and a rolling refurbishment of each one is under way. Prospective pupils are asked to nominate at least three houses and, although each has its own merits, they also have their own characters, colours and traditions – of which their members are fiercely proud.

Day pupils are fully integrated; each has their own bed and study space as they are often in school until after ‘Hall’ (prep) at 9pm. They also have the option to board on an ad hoc basis, and the majority do so at some point.

For the first three years, pupils sleep in dorms upstairs and work downstairs; in the sixth form, everyone gets their own study bedroom. All meals are eaten in house – pupils tell us that standards vary, but the school is on the case. Snacks and fruit are always available, and the boys’ houses in particular munch through a genuinely staggering amount of supplementary toast on a daily basis.

House competitions are high quality, varied and hotly contested, with everyone strongly encouraged to get stuck in or pitch up and support. Pastoral care is fully deployed in houses: peer mentors get proper counselling training and pupils belong to tutor groups within their house, with problems solved quickly and effectively, we’re told.

Pupils can pop into Malvern in their free time, and sixth-formers get to hang out in ‘The Longy’, their appropriately studenty and much-loved common room, where sixth-formers are allowed a maximum of three drinks each weekend, with a heavily policed half-hour pause between each one.

In the summer, the more open-air ethos results in a programme of pizza van one week, burger van and outdoor ‘unplugged’ concert the next – so popular that it is set to continue.

School community

With so many pupils boarding and a third from overseas, it’s perhaps no great surprise that there isn’t a strong parental presence here. Some will attend sports matches or events where their child is involved but wider proactive parental invitations are infrequent.

Judging by the hordes of delightful, down-to-earth pupils with big grins on their faces, you get the impression this is a very happy environment. One of Malvern’s many strengths (and where some schools fall short) is enforcing discipline, and it is run as a nicely tight ship.

And finally...

Resilience and robustness come in handy here – this is not a place for slouches. It’s a busy, hearty place best suited to teens willing to take full advantage of the countless opportunities. Boarding is full on, fun and familial, and pastoral care is, by all accounts, second to none.

Gallery See All

Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
Malvern College gallery image
  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    IB results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Ancient Greek
    Art & Design
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Italian
    Latin
    Mandarin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Religious Studies
    Russian
    Spanish
    Ancient Greek
    Life Skills and Ethics

    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
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    Government and Politics
    History
    Italian
    Latin
    Mandarin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Philosophy
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Politics
    Psychology
    Religious Studies
    Russian
    Spanish
    Music Tech

    IB

    Higher
    Ancient Greek
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Design and Technology
    Economics
    English Literature
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Italian
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Spanish
    Visual Arts
    English Lang & Lit
    German Lang & Lit
    Sports Science
    Standard
    Ancient Greek
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Economics
    English Literature
    Environmental Systems and Societies
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Italian
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Spanish
    Visual Arts
    Eng Lang & Lit
    German Lang & Lit
    Sports Science
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8-
    Year 9£8,984
    Year 10£8,984
    Year 11£8,984
    Year 12£9,028
    Year 13£9,028
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8-
    Year 9£13,318
    Year 10£13,318
    Year 11£13,318
    Year 12£13,384
    Year 13£13,384




    Bursaries
    Malvern College offers means tested bursarial support in co-operation with the Malvernian Society, who provide several awards and assisted places alongside the College. All bursaries are reviewed termly by the Bursary Committee and are subject to a full financial history. For more information as well as a link to the School’s Bursary policy, please see their website:

    malverncollege.org.uk/start-your-journey/scholarships-bursaries.html



    Bursary contact:
    Director of Finance Mrs Kate Collyer
    kate.collyer@malverncollege.org.uk
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    The Learning Enhancement department caters for a range of special educational needs including Dyslexia, Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Asperger's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder (Hyperactivity) and hearing and sight difficulties.

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    Interventions are provided for health and/or physical needs when and if requested. There is no set programme or provision made. We work closely with the school counsellors and respond accordingly as the need arises.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    Each pupil has a Housem – their Housemistress or Housemaster who oversees the individual’s progress through the College and who will help prepare the pupil for life beyond school. The Deputy Housem also works closely with pupils. In the House, there are also Assistants and Tutors who are always there for support. In addition to the House team, there are academic tutors, class teachers and staff in academic departments who are all available to help. Our onsite Medical Centre is also another aspect of support, as are our school counsellors.

    Co-ordinator: Frances Rix frances.rix@malverncollege.org.uk
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School bus service to/from London

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Great Malvern
    Journey time to London by train: 154 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Birmingham (47 miles)


  • Parents tell us

    ‘We chose the school due its proximity to home and the fact that one of my daughters was already there. The greatest strengths are the art department and the pastoral care.

    The admissions process was very easy. We believe that the housemasters and mistresses are the most important figures in a senior school.

    They are pretty good at sending out regular communications and, as a parent, you can always contact a staff member if you need to either through the house master/mistress or directly. They are always extremely helpful.

    The pastoral care is excellent and the school knows every child well. There is a thriving school community and you can get as involved in it as you want to. The Old Malvernian Society in particular is very active and organises many events.

    Malvern has definitely lived up to our expectations – my only advice is that it is very laidback, so if you have a child who needs help to focus and needs occupying 24/7, it might not be the right school for them.’

School Updates

  • WATCH: Malvern College Boarding

  • WATCH: Welcome to Malvern College

  • WATCH: Malvern College Academic Overview

  • Hear a pupil talk about their experience of Malvern College

  • Talk Education's senior boarding focus - Malvern College

Essentials

Address
College Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3DF

Contact
generaloffice@malverncollege.org.uk
01684 581500

Website
malverncollege.org.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


Open Days

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



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