Worksop College was the last school to be founded by Canon Nathaniel Woodard before his death in 1891; like Thring and Arnold he was a pioneering Victorian educational reformer. It was left to Henry Meynell to ensure that Woodard’s vision was realised and the College opened in September 1895 with five Masters and 44 boys. A generous gift of land from the Duke of Newcastle’s Clumber estate has been extended over the years to provide the 310 acre estate on which the College stands today.
Success led to rapid expansion and within two years the College consisted of four dorms, Cross, Fleur de Lys, Lion and Crown, which became the foundations of the first four Houses, Mason, Pelham, Mountgarret and Talbot. In the years leading up to the First World War much building took place, the crowning achievement being the creation of St. Cuthbert’s Chapel between 1909 and 1911.
Under the inspired headmastership of Canon Fred Shirley the College underwent significant change in the 1920s and 1930s - many of the buildings around the cloisters were added, two new Houses opened, School House and Shirley, football was replaced with rugby - and the College developed a national reputation.
Rapid growth occurred in post-war years, initially with the acquisition of Ranby House School which allowed the Prep School to move off site and its buildings to be taken over by a seventh House, Portland. Further development saw the adding of many facilities, amongst them the indoor swimming pool, the Churchill Hall, the Chemistry Laboratories and more classrooms. In the 1970s girls were admitted to the College for the first time and by the mid 1980s the College was fully co-educational, the girls housed in Gibbs and Derry which replaced two boys’ Houses, Mountgarret and School House.
Since the centenary celebrations in 1995 constant re-development has seen the addition of a new Music School, two new computer centres, a Sports Hall, two flood-lit astroturfs, an 18 hole golf course, two completely new departments, Modern Languages and Food and Nutrition, and the building of a new girls’ boarding house. The growth in numbers has enabled the re-opening of School House, a third house for girls.
The College is part of the Woodard Corporation which owns some 23 independent schools, amongst them Lancing, Bloxham and Ellesmere, which form a core of a much larger group of schools that includes two Academies, many independent schools, grammar schools, comprehensive schools and schools across the world - all of them linked by the Anglican ethos centred on Nathaniel Woodard’s vision of a Christian education for young people.
In December 2010, Worksop College joined with its sister Woodard Prep School, Ranby House, to become a single, co-educational, independent day and boarding school for 3 to 18 year olds.
Ethos & Aims
The concise Oxford dictionary defines ethos as the ‘characteristic spirit of community, people or system’. To encapsulate something so complex and intangible in words is virtually impossible; much stems from and is deeply intertwined with our Christian foundation, and much can only really be experienced by being here and talking to the people who make up the community.
That said, the aims which guide us, as outlined below, do at least give a flavour of what we are about, even if they cannot, by definition, do justice to the richness, subtlety and warmth of the five hundred and fifty plus people who contribute to school life on a daily basis.
- To ensure that academic pursuits are the priority of every pupil and teacher;
- To assist every pupil to develop a sound personal set of values within the context of an Anglican community that welcomes children from all faiths;
- To educate young people for responsibility, leadership and service;
- To provide breadth of personal development through extra-curricular activities which aim to develop the intellectual, creative, physical, technical, moral, spiritual and aesthetic qualities of each pupil;
- To promote a strong sense of pastoral care, centred on the House communities and based on mutual respect;
- To offer equal opportunities for pupils to develop their particular strengths regardless of ability, gender, race, nationality or creed.
Day & Boarding Options
We endeavour to cater for the challenges parents face when juggling their own commitments with those of their busy teenagers. As such, we offer a range of boarding options alongside the day provision.
Day pupils: The school day runs from 8.30 a.m. to 5.35 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with an earlier finish on Wednesdays, after Games. Saturday morning school runs from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., however weekday evening and Saturday afternoon commitments mean that some day pupils do stay at school beyond the official school day.
Occasional boarding: Available on a pro-rata basis to save pupils and parents a journey at the end of a school trip or late play rehearsal, for example.
Flexi boarding: Regularly boarding up to 2 nights per week.
Weekly boarding: Pupils may leave after Saturday morning school, or their sports’ commitments, whichever is the later.
Full boarding: 7 nights a week. Events are laid on at the weekend, although so busy is the week that many full boarders are perfectly happy to spend Sunday after brunch and the Sunday Service relaxing or socialising with their friends.
Details of fees can be found on the fees, scholarships and bursaries page.
As the calendar will testify, describing a typical day is almost impossible. The only aspect common to the days, weeks and terms at Worksop College is the sense of purpose, industry, kindness and good humour that pervades from dawn until way beyond dusk.
Whether your child is in Year 9, Year 10, Year 11 or the Sixth Form, he or she will belong to a busy community, for educating the whole person is a vital element of a Worksop education. To support the academic focus there is an extensive extracurricular programme which caters for all types of pupils and satisfies students’ interests, even those of which your child might not yet be aware.
Further information on life beyond the classroom.
Prospective parents often ask us about the college timetable and how the school day or week is structured. This page is designed to give you a flavour of a typical week at Worksop College, as well as answer the all-important questions about the timings for the start and end of the day.
Please click on the relevant link below to download a document showing the weekly routine.
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