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Vision, Ethos, Aims

Vision, Ethos, Aims
in About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide outstanding pastoral care and teaching expertise to create in every individual student a unique tapestry of strengths and interests.

Our mission is complemented by the following aims

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Senior and Sixth Form

Our Vision

A world-class girls’ boarding and day school offering a complete education

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to develop resilient, enquiring, optimistic and collaborative women. They will stand on their own two feet and pull others up to stand alongside them.


St Swithun’s is 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 houses a civilised and compassionate community in secure and well-maintained buildings, and thoroughly prepares all its pupils for life beyond its gates.

We are an ‘appropriately academic’ school, celebrating 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.

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.

Our aims are:

  • Academic
    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.
  • Co-curricular
    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.

Preschool, Pre-Prep and Prep

St Swithun’s Prep is a modern and dynamic school for girls aged 4 to 11, with a co-ed Preschool. As a community we aspire to live by the guiding principles of caritas, humilitas, sinceritas. We want to empower each of our pupils to go out into the world and change it for the better, by developing a sense of social responsibility and encouraging each individual to make broad contributions to life at school and beyond. By striving to recognise each child’s individual strengths, and promoting intellectual rigour alongside personal development, we hope to instil in each child a sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

We believe in creating an environment where children love to learn, and learn to meet life’s challenges head on. In short, we want our pupils to defy stereotypes, to be bold and think differently.

Our prep school aims are:

  • To be a happy school with children who aspire to live by our prep school guiding principles of caritas, humilitas, sinceritas.
  • To treat each child as an individual and strive to develop their character as well as their intellect, by offering a broad and inspiring academic curriculum alongside an enriching co-curricular and character development programme.
  • To enable each child to know their individual strengths and so develop self-confidence and self-worth.
  • To prioritise emotional well-being and the development of positive relationships in an environment of mutual respect, empathy and compassion.
  • To be a vibrant and welcoming community for pupils, their families and for staff; and to work as a community to make a positive impact on the lives of those around us.
  • To promote an enduring love of learning.

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