A Proven Record in Academic Excellence
Leweston achieves some of the best results in the region and excellent university and higher education outcomes.
In 2019 51% of GCSe results were grade 7 (or A) and above, well over twice the national average and the A Level students achieved the highest percentage of A* grades for three years. Department for Education League Tables published in February placed Leweston at the top of all Dorset schools with a ‘well-above average’ progress score of 0.39. This exceptional result reflects Leweston’s long history of individualised academic teaching and strong performance in value-added.
In past five years Leweston's leavers have gone onto 53 different university destinations, 56% of them Russell Group, however what is most important is to find the right pathway for each student to allow them to make their own impact on the world.
Leweston has occupied a top 10 position for value-added for many years. The value-added measure uses baseline tests to indicate what students are likely to achieve and, through dedicated support and teaching, demonstrates where pupils achieve above expectation. Over 25% of GCSE grades in 2019 were one or more levels above the pupil's personal target.
A Diamond Model School
Leweston is unique in the local area as the only school offering the diamond model of education.
The diamond refers to the ‘shape’ of the educational experience. Boys and girls start their learning together in fully co-educational classes up to Year 8. From Year 9 to Year 11 they are taught separately in Maths and Science, but join together for other subjects, clubs and enrichment activities. Sixth Form is again co-educational in preparation for the world of higher education and work. The diamond model is often described as 'the best of both worlds' enabling pupils to access the academic benefits of single-sex education with the all-round advantages of a co-educational school.
The diamond structure allows pupils to benefit from tailored learning and delivery techniques for boys and girls at an important stage in their development. Rather than increasing gender divisions the diamond model breaks down the stereotyping of subjects as being seen more suited to girls or boys, encouraging girls to be active in science and boys in the humanities and creative arts whilst the same curriculum is taught to both.
A Through-School Educating All Ages
Leweston welcomes pupils ranging in age from three months to eighteen years. The advantages of a through-school, one campus option are many; pupils of all ages can access a range of facilities often unavailable to individual year groups and, whilst the Nursery, Prep and Senior Schools are zoned appropriately, the common spaces such as Chapel, Dining Room and Music School are used by all students. This familiarity with the site, staff and routines allows for secure but gentle transition between the different educational stages, with teachers working together to ensure continuity of pastoral and academic support.
The School can forge longer term relationship with pupils and parents who benefit from the logistical advantage of having the whole family on one site. For any students looking to convert from day to boarding they are doing so in an environment that is already familiar and with House staff who will already be known to them.
A Family-Focused Community School
Leweston recognises the challenges facing busy families providing practical solutions to support them. All students are welcome on site from 8am to 6pm with evening activities and supervised prep sessions for day pupils. For boarders there is a full range of flexible options. With no Saturday school families can spend precious weekend time together but a busy programme is in place for those in School. Buses run across Somerset and Dorset and there is a pick-up at Sherborne Station to meet students using the train. Buses are charged on a per trip basis to provide maximum flexibility and weekly boarders are welcome to use them on Mondays and Fridays.
The School's Catholic tradition has instilled in its ethos the importance of service to others, which is reflected in the buddy scheme in the Prep, peer mentoring in the Senior School, Sixth Form Community Service and the whole School charity programme. Every year the students raise thousands of pounds for charities of their own choice in the UK and abroad. This combined with a House system that links the Prep and Senior Schools, forms strong bonds across the year groups providing pupils with a community of good friends.
A Focus on Outdoor Education
Recognised for its focus on health and well-being Leweston makes the most of its rural location. Our accredited Forest School provides weekly lessons for all Nursery and Prep pupils one one day a term in the Prep is spent on an outdoor curriculum. The thriving Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in the Senior School supports students at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Leweston's outstanding record in Cross-Country is helped, in part, by the availability of a challenging campus course. Over 40 staff and pupils turn up weekly for the Friday lunchtime run.
This passion for the outdoors is increasingly reflected in the students care for the environment. The student-led Environment Committee has taken Leweston from a standing start in 2018 to an Eco-Schools Silver Award, awarded in May 2019 and in 2018 the Prep School was awarded Silver Green Tree Award by the Woodland Trust.
A Flexible, Individualised Approach
We believe that the education of a child is a three-way relationship between academic staff, parents and pupils creating an environment where pupils can learn and grow. Every student is encouraged to try the different opportunities open to them and supported to achieve more than they thought possible. The School has an inclusive approach which encourages everyone into the music, drama and sports programme; every member of Year 6, Year 7 and 8 perform in the choir, any pupil who wants to play a sports match will have the opportunity and all pupils from Year 3 to Year 9 will take part in drama productions.
From Reception to Year 13 class teachers and tutors work closely with their pupils monitoring progress and encouraging self-reflection and development. At GCSE and A Level, as far as possible, the timetable is built around individual choices rather than option blocks.
A Wide-Ranging Enrichment Programme
With an extensive lunch-time, after-school and weekend programme covering creative arts, sports, global citizenship and academic enrichment, options are on offer for all ages. The offer changes every term to incorporate new and seasonal opportunities and pupils are encouraged to contribute ideas for future plans.
The senior academic enrichment programme is open to all pupils who wish to participate, not just Scholars and AGT students. For younger years there is Rhetoric group with the Head's Essay Society in Sixth Form. The regular programme of Leweston Lectures for pupils and parents brings speakers into the school to talk on topics as diverse as black holes, entrepreneurship, the Royal Navy, ethical education and the Large Hadron Collider.
During the Summer Term a whole-school Activities Week provides leadership, team building and communication activities as well as the opportunity to take part in academic trips and have fun.
One of Only Nine Pentathlon Academies in the UK
In September 2016 Leweston was awarded Pentathlon Academy status by Pentathlon GB, making it one of only nine such academies in the country.
Leweston's GB coaches provide the full range of sports in Modern Pentathlon and develops athletes of all abilities from beginner to elite with dedicated training and mentoring progrmmes. The School has produced multiple National and European title holders and GB team members.
NSEA South West Equestrian Champions
Leweston has a thriving equestrian team supported by the School's own Equestrian Manager and is gaining a reputation as a serious competitor in equestrian sport. The School is current NSEA South West Regional Points League Champion, a title which the team has held for the past four years. During the 2018/19 season the team accumulated the highest number of points nationally in the competition.
Pupils compete in showjumping, dressage and JWS and is an NSEA affiliated school hosting its own Inter-Schools RPL and Grass Roots Showjumping Competition. Pupils are also invited to regular training sessions with Emma Fisher, British Eventing Team Coach for Young Riders.
A Beautiful and Inspiring Location
With extensive grounds surrounding a beautiful Georgian Manor House Leweston provides a location which whilst being safe, is close to a town with good transport links to London and South West airports. Within the 46 acre estate sits our swimming pool, a full-sized all weather pitch, a walled garden play area, Enchanted Wood Forest School, tennis courts as well as a wealth of historical features including work by Thomas Mawson and George Sherringham.