Vision, ethos and aims


The senior school’s vision is of a girls’ school well-known for its excellent all-round education; its forward-looking teaching methods; its scholarship; and the attitudes of mind it fosters in its students. It will house a civilised and compassionate community in secure and well-maintained buildings, and it will thoroughly prepare all its pupils for life beyond its gates.  It will be regarded by teachers as a desirable school in which to work and develop one’s craft.  

By the time a girl leaves she will be courageous, compassionate, committed and self-confident with a love of learning, a moral compass and a sense of humour.


St Swithun’s is an ‘appropriately academic’ school which means that we celebrate intellectual curiosity and the life of the mind, but not to the exclusion of all else. We expect our pupils to develop individual passions and through them to acquire a range of skills and characteristics.
These characteristics will include a willingness to take risks, to question and to debate, and to persevere in the face of difficulty. In the words of Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” If a girl can immediately excel at everything we ask of her, we as educators must set the bar higher.

We want all girls to learn about life beyond the school gates, to appreciate the rich variety of our world, to develop an understanding of compassion and to value justice. We encourage all pupils to become involved in fundraising and community work. They should appreciate how their decisions and their actions can affect those around them.

St Swithun’s was founded by Anna Bramston, daughter of the Dean of Winchester, and Christian values underpin our approach to education. We provide a civilised and caring environment in which all girls and staff are valued for their individual gifts and encouraged to develop a sense of spirituality and of kindness. We believe that kindness and tolerance are at the heart of any fully functioning community.


The school’s aims are as follows:


To prepare girls for public examinations and higher education in a stimulating and scholarly environment in which the girls develop intellectual curiosity, independence of mind and the ability to take responsibility for their own learning. They are encouraged to achieve their personal best.

School community

To provide a happy, safe and supportive community based on Christian values in which all girls are given the space to develop their spirituality and are encouraged to understand and celebrate difference, and to be kind to others.


To provide a wide range of opportunities beyond the classroom so that girls can discover individual passions and develop a range of characteristics such as resilience, initiative, creativity, perseverance, self-confidence, the ability to work in a team and to honour one’s commitments. To encourage habits to ensure good physical and mental health both at school and in the future such as exercise, healthy eating and the art of relaxation.

Beyond the school gates

To teach the girls compassion, an understanding of the wider world and their role in it, a sense of duty and a desire for justice.

Looking towards the future

To provide high-quality higher education and careers advice and a supportive old girls network.

Keeping in touch

To communicate in a timely and constructive fashion with parents and other members of the St Swithun’s family in order to develop relationships conducive to offering the best possible education.

By the time a girl leaves St Swithun’s she will be well-educated, courageous, compassionate, committed and self-confident with a love of learning, a moral compass and a sense of humour.