Canford independent co-educational boarding and day school


The school was founded in 1923 and is located in 300 acres of ground on the banks of theRiver Stour. There are approximately 630 pupils at Canford, organised into houses and ranging in age from 13 to 18. Currently,(2014) 5% of students in the school are foreign nationals.

Canford has eight boarding houses (Beaufort, Marriotts, Court, Franklin, Monteacute, de Lacy, School House and Tennis Court Lodge) and three day houses (Lancaster, Salisbury and Wimborne). Each house has a married housemaster/mistress, three tutors  and at least one house matron. House year groups vary between 10–15 pupils and each community numbers 60–65.

The main points for entry to Canford are at 13+ and 16+. There is also the possibility of 14+ entry if space is available and if test results and school report indicate that the applicant is able to embark successfully on a two-year GCSE programme.

Currently, around 5% of pupils are British ex-patriots and about the same number are foreign nationals.

As a full boarding school, Canford is committed to ensuring that pupils have a lively and stimulating programme of activities available to them during weekends.  The school term is a mix of ’A’ weekends, where all boarders must stay in, traditional exeats and weekends where pupils may go home after Saturday school obligations, returning on Sunday evening.   On average, over 60% of boarders choose to stay in school for these weekends.

There is plenty on offer on both Saturday evenings and Sundays, combining organised school activities with house based events.  The sports centre and swimming pool are open to the pupils every Sunday between 11am and 3pm and there is usually a free minibus service to Tower Park

In the first year the curriculum is very broad. All pupils follow the same basic programme, which comprises all the subjects offered at GCSE as well as our own course in ICT and computing, comprising elements of Microsoft Office and basic coding. There is one choice in the curriculum, between German and Spanish, made by pupils after a short taster course in the two languages.

The full range of academic subjects is:

English Biology
Maths Art
French Design Technology
German or Spanish Music
Latin and Classical Civilisation Physical Education
History Drama
Geography ICT
Physics Philosophy and Religion
Chemistry PSME


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