Type of School : Co-educational
Age range : 7-18
Number of students : 400 (aged 13-18), 245 (aged 7-13)
Number of boarders : 160 (aged 13-18), 60 (aged 7-13)
Set in 480 acres of beautiful Suffolk parkland, with an 18th century mansion at its centre, Culford is near the cathedral town of Bury St Edmunds (10 minutes) and Cambridge (30 minutes), with easy access to Stansted (45 min), Luton (1 hour), and all London Airports (2 hours).
Combining the warmth and individual attention of a small community with the wider educational opportunities of a larger school, Culford offers exceptional academic, sporting and extra-curricular facilities. Students are encouraged to try new activities as well as to develop their skills and interests. It is not uncommon to see an athletes perform in lead role for the spring musical, or an award-winning artist competing in the sporting arena. The activities outside the classroom are numerous and varied with first class provision in the major games is coupled with specific high performance programmes in football, tennis, golf, and swimming. Other popular activities include: The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Community Service work (in Malawi, India, and locally), outdoor adventure activities, the Equestrian Programme, Combined Cadets Forces (CCF), musical groups ranging from jazz and rock to classical groups, to chorale and orchestral groups, and many more. Good Schools Guide says: ““Pupils and parents alike rate the school highly, and one has the feeling of a quietly self-confident, happy establishment;” and “A well rounded, thoroughly reliable school, in a wonderful setting.”
Our superb facilities support include: a 25m indoor swimming pool, 6 indoor and 6 outdoor tennis courts, on-site indoor and outdoor golf practice equipment and areas, artificial turf pitches, a wing for music practice, lessons and digital music production, two theatres to support an active drama programme, and a £2.2 million landmark Library.
At Culford, we know that independent thinking and enquiry, reflection, tenacity and confidence are essential for learning and help lead to success. Our teachers promote these skills and qualities, which is evident in the excellent level of achievement by our students. Each pupil’s learning is unique, which is why daily meetings with tutors to set goals and to review individual progress is an essential component of the Culford academic programme. In addition, the annual Scholars’ Programme challenges and engages students who have a drive and aptitude for high-level academic study. This programme supplements scholars’ normal academic studies with guest speakers, Oxbridge-style tutorials, debates and holiday reading.
The new library, opened in 2015, is a centre for research and study. The Sixth Form have exclusive use of the library’s mezzanine floor with coffee facilities, quiet study areas, and WI-FI. The 80-seat library lecture theatre has hosted several talks as part of the Scholars' Programme
The school is renowned for its outstanding pastoral care and its focus on the individual needs of each child. Everything we do is informed by our firm belief that learning should be challenging, enriching and fun. We see education as a transformational process that guides pupils towards academic success, clear moral values, and the development of leadership and a readiness for the world of adulthood.
Pastoral care is rated by Ofsted as “Outstanding”. Boarding students live in a “House,” where they enjoy all the amenities of their home away from home. Housemasters and Housemistresses oversee the well-being of pupils in the house, take a strong interest in the personal development of their charges, and keep in close touch with parents. Each House also has a Matron and a Resident Assistant to the Housemaster or Housemistress.
Sport and Culture:
In addition to first class facilities, highly qualified coaches and individualised strength and conditioning across the major games of rugby, hockey, netball and cricket, Culford offers pupils the opportunity to combine an excellent academic education with top-level coaching through Culford’s high performance programmes in: tennis, swimming, golf and cricket. These bespoke programmes allow pupils to practice their sport during the day and to follow an academic programmed tailored to their needs.
Drama plays an important role in the life of Culford School; beginning in the Fourth Form, productions give all pupils the opportunity to be involved, whether on the stage or behind the scenes on lighting and sound. Performances take place in a 400-seat auditorium and in a professionally equipped studio theatre. Culford drama teachers are highly experienced professionals, and the school is proud to offer LAMDA courses and exams.
The music department offers individual music lessons are taught on all orchestral instruments together with piano, organ, singing, drum-kit, acoustic and electric guitar. Students have the opportunity to join a wide range of musical ensembles, including; Orchestra, Wind Band, Jazz Band, Choirs, String Quartets and many more. More than thirty concerts and performance opportunities are presented throughout the year ranging from informal tea-time recitals to full scale concerts in Centenary Hall and the annual Carol Service in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral.