The foundation stone of Ellesmere College, formerly known as St. Oswald's School, was laid on St. Oswald's Day, August 5th, 1879, and the school was opened on the same date in 1884.
The founder was Canon Nathaniel Woodard who began a chain of Woodard Foundation Schools, beginning with Lancing College in Sussex. The land upon which the College is situated was provided by Lord Brownlow, whose wife laid the foundation stone.In November 2021 Ellesmere College was awarded the High Performance Learning World Class School Accreditation - one of only 39 schools worldwide to be awarded this accreditation.
High Performance Learning (HPL) is an international movement delivering educational change, working with schools and teachers to provide a flexible learning framework, building cognitive competences and designed to achieve academic and lifetime success.
Ellesmere welcomes students with lots of interests and is not a school for narrow specialists. Alongside a strong academic focus, the College does pride itself on its sports provision and has outstanding sports facilities including; large external grounds for rugby, cricket and football, an on site 9 hole golf course, 4 indoor tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool. The College offers 7 different sports academies-tennis, swimming, shooting, football. cricket, rugby & golf.
For pupils whose first language is not English the school provides a professional and dedicated ‘English as an Additional Language’ (EAL) service for an additional charge. This is fully integrated into the weekly timetable. Upon arrival each pupil is assessed and an appropriate programme of EAL lessons recommended.
The College offers GCSE’s, IGCSE’s, A Levels, IB, BTEC and the International Foundation Programme (IFP) qualifications.
Ellesmere College is a co-educational school with a total of 550 pupils between 7-18 years of age, including approximately 115 international pupils and 220 Boarders.
Ellesmere employs the HPL approach through the whole school system - from Lower School to Sixth Form. It reflects what is already known about advanced thinking skills and learning behaviours, helping pupils to develop skills and attitudes like; confidence, agile thinking, perseverance and a greater awareness and concern for the broader issues in society. This is an holistic approach which aims to ensure pupils are fully prepared for academic, work & personal life challenges.
With many areas of the Boarding life at Ellesmere College being described as 'outstanding' it is no wonder many pupils choose to board here. Ellesmere is progressive in its thinking and offers boarding based on age group (Junior, Middle and the Sixth Form). This allows boarders to grow and learn within larger friendship groups, share more experiences together and form life-long relationships.
Each House is run by an experienced Housemaster or Housemistress and, with the support of a strong pastoral team, offers a safe and friendly environment for the students to call 'home'. Fundamental to this is the relationship forged between the House and the Parent. We believe that an effective working relationship with clear and regular communication allows pupils to feel as though they have a strong, caring team around them.
Each House provides an opportunity for boarders to take on roles of responsibility and learn to become more independent, whilst developing the skills to work together as a team. Through this our pupils develop greater self esteem, which gives them more confidence; this is crucial as they are better prepared and ready for the next phases of their lives.
Day pupils and boarders alike benefit from the team of tutors and a 'house mother', all marshalled by a Housemaster or Housemistress. Each pupil is given a personal tutor whilst in Lower School the role is taken by the form teacher. The emphasis, again, is on the individual. The tutor will oversee the development of the pupil in all aspects of life at Ellesmere and regular communication with parents is very much part of the scheme.
The Housemother's role is to provide pastoral and domestic care to both boarding and day pupils in the respective Saints Houses.
They work alongside the Housemaster/Housemistress and tutors to provide a 'home from home' environment for boys and girls who are often away from home for the first time, dealing with emotional and practical problems that all teenagers face, from homesickness to lost socks (of which there are many!). The role can be very rewarding, building strong relationships with pupils and parents that can last long after they have left the Houses and even the school.
Ellesmere College has been recognised as a Category DU (Dyslexia Unit) by The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils (CReSTeD) which means the school has a designated Learning Support Unit or Centre providing specialist tuition on a small group or individual basis, according to need, which also includes dyspraxia, dyscalculia and other SEN needs. They identified the exceptional levels of work the Support for Learning Department undertakes to ensure teachers are well-informed about individuals with learning needs and that this information is used effectively to create a network of support, including individually-tailored teaching and a wide variety of academic support available outside of lesson time. They also applauded the way the school is "very dedicated to getting the best out of individuals" and remarking how "parents all commented about the improvements in their children's confidence and happiness"