DISTINGUISHED Oxford institution St Edward’s School has teamed up with our sister paper The Oxford Times to offer a once-in-a-lifetime prize to two passionate teenage pupils.

The private boarding school in Summertown, better known as Teddies, is offering a local girl and boy from state schools a free place as a day pupil in its sixth form, to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

It is a stepping stone to success for families who would otherwise be unable to afford the price of tuition.

Current students studying the two-year programme, which is an alternative to A-Levels, have sung the praises of the IB at Teddies.

IB student Ilana Cope, from Summertown, joined from he Cherwell School nearby.

The keen hockey player said: “I had no idea what I wanted to do, I’m quite an all-rounder so thought it would be the best option.

“You don’t just do lots and lots of essays, you do presentations and have group conversations. What you learn will help later in life.”

For the creativity, activity, service (CAS) requirement of the course, Ilana and her friends raised funds and awareness for Cowley-based refugee charity Sanctuary Hosting.

Jack Verschoyle was among others who helped out at an Oxford charity for his CAS work, spending several of his Sundays working at Oxfam in Broad Street.

Central Oxford resident Jack, who is a day student, said: “It’s equally easy for me to be involved in school life as it is boarders.

Pippa Smith, also 17, joined as a boarder from her home in Spain.

She said: “The IB isn’t just about academic achievement.

“You become a much more open-minded and rounded person and gain so many skills from so many different areas.”

For their CAS project, Pippa’s group visited nearby Fairfield Residential Home, playing music and chatting to residents.

Pippa said there was ‘nothing snobby’ about Teddies and students do not differentiate between those from state and private backgrounds.

Fellow IB pupil Kitty Lloyd, from Warborough in South Oxfordshire, added: “It’s really inclusive here and you really feel a part of it.

“There are so many people from different backgrounds.

“It’s such a good atmosphere and it offers so much to do – you never get bored and you’re not just locked up in the library all day."

Her twin Flora Lloyd, who also studies the IB, added: “It helps you as a person to get to where you want to be."


READERS have until October 15 to apply for one of two free places on the IB programme at St Edward’s. Parents or guardians of applicants will need to submit a 300-word supporting statement on why their daughter or son should win one of the Bursaries along with a fully completed entry form (printed in the Oxford Mail on March 22) and a recent school report.

Applicants must currently be in Year 10 in a state school in Oxfordshire and must live close enough to St Edward’s to make being a day pupil at the School viable.

Day pupils at St Edward’s start School at 8am and finish at either 6.30pm or 9pm depending on their preference and their activities outside the classroom.

Evenings at St Edward’s offer an outstanding range of opportunities, such as talks by visiting speakers, supervised homework sessions, a wide range of clubs and societies (including Medicine Society, Debating Club, Theatre Crew, Classic Cinema, Filmmaking, International Society, Dissection Club – among many others), drama and music rehearsals, sports practice, and the chance to have supper and enjoy leisure time with friends.

Day pupils enjoy equal access to these opportunities alongside their boarding peers; the vast majority of evening activities are free of charge.

All pupils at St Edward’s attend School on Saturdays. Morning lessons are followed by sports fixtures and other commitments in the afternoon.

To be eligible, family income should not exceed around £50,000 net. The free places are designed to extend access to the IB and to St Edward’s for those who could not otherwise afford the opportunity.

The closing date is October 15, 2018. Applicants should register to attend the Sixth Form Open Day on Saturday, September 22 (telephone 01865 319200 or visit www.stedwardsoxford.org/open-days).

At the Open Day, potential Bursary winners will have the chance to meet teachers, pastoral leaders and current pupils, including many who joined St Edward’s from state schools.

They will also tour the School and hear talks by the Headmaster (Warden), the Deputy Head Academic, and the Heads of Higher Education and Careers.

After the Open Day and October 15 closing date, shortlisted candidates will be invited to participate in the Sixth Form entry procedure, which includes entrance examinations and interviews. References will be sought from the candidate’s current school. The two successful candidates will be notified on December 1, 2018, and will begin their IB course in September 2019.

Find out more about St Edward’s at www.stedwardsoxford.org