Queen Ethelburga’s College Review, Rankings, And More

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of Queen Ethelburga’s College – a prestigious educational institution nestled in the heart of the United Kingdom. In this article, we embark on a journey to uncover the essence of Queen Ethelburga’s College, delving into its academic excellence, campus infrastructure, and notable achievements. As we navigate through the review and rankings of this distinguished establishment, we invite you to join us in discovering the exceptional qualities that make Queen Ethelburga’s College a true beacon of learning and growth.

Queen Ethelburga's College

Table of Contents

Key Features of Queen Ethelburga's College

  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: North Yorkshire
  • Pupils: 1,321; sixth formers: 835 (472 boys; 363 girls)
  • Religion: Inter- / non- denominational
  • Fees: Day £12,300 – £20,850 pa; Boarding £33,450 – £37,800 pa
  • Ranking: 6

Queen Ethelburga's College Results

2023: At A Level, 83.8% A*/A.

2022: 83% (college) and 32% (faculty) 9-7 at GCSE. At A level, 81% (college) and 60% (faculty) A*/A; 96% (college) and 86% (faculty) A*-B.

Queen Ethelburga’s College adopts a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning, tailored to the specific needs of each academic phase across its four distinct areas: Chapter House, King’s Magna, The College, and The Faculty.

At Chapter House (ages three months to Year 5), is a dedicated math and technology graduate, focuses on the four Cs: curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and community. The learning spaces, including kindergarten, nursery, and prep, are thoughtfully designed for active exploration and growth. The curriculum, enriched with specialist rooms, actively engages students in hands-on learning, exemplified by inventive lessons like reception movement activities that develop fine motor skills.

King’s Magna (Years 6-9), emphasises business, enterprise, and financial awareness. The year 6 setup, with a single teacher for English, maths, and science, provides a solid foundation for secondary education. The GCSE-style content is introduced from Year 9, setting students on a clear path to subject specialisation. Year 9 students have a broad array of subjects to choose from, mirroring GCSE choices, preparing them effectively for their academic future.

The College (Years 10-13), offers a conventional GCSE and A level route. Students engage in a comprehensive curriculum, with subject choices aligning closely with their interests. A focus on AS levels in Year 12 bolsters university preparation, while smaller class sizes, modern science facilities, and shared specialist areas provide an optimal learning environment.

The Faculty (Years 10-13), champions vocational education, empowering students with a blend of GCSEs, A levels, and BTECs. Housed in the spacious Genesis building, the Faculty’s unique curriculum, including BTECs in music and enterprise, fosters strong student motivation and success. Personalised mentorship and support help students excel in both academic and vocational pursuits.

Boarding Experience in Queen Ethelburga's College

At Queen Ethelburga’s College, the boarding experience is a cornerstone of its nurturing and inclusive educational environment. A significant proportion of students, around three-quarters, choose to board within the school’s 12 houses, fostering a vibrant and close-knit community.

The boarding houses are designed to cater to students of different age groups, ensuring a comfortable and supportive atmosphere. For juniors, a dedicated house away from the older students creates a sense of belonging and security. These junior houses are equipped with common rooms and a cinema area, where students can unwind and bond in a relaxed setting. Adult support is readily available, and sixth form mentors provide guidance and companionship, making the transition to boarding life smoother for newcomers.

Seniors experience a unique living arrangement, as houses are clustered around a picturesque ‘village green.’ Recently refurbished, these houses offer modern amenities and an inviting atmosphere. Named after Harry Potter actors, the houses span across years 7 to 10, nurturing a familial atmosphere that encourages camaraderie and friendship.

In years 11 and the sixth form, students reside in six houses within the same building. The central hub features an impressive atrium, complete with common rooms on galleries. The dining area and a unique 26-foot-high transformer bumblebee sculpture contribute to a distinctive and vibrant communal space. Year 11 rooms are thoughtfully designed, offering triple occupancy and luxurious amenities, including PlayStation consoles and well-equipped kitchenettes with modern appliances.

The boarding staff, including houseparents and matrons, utilise a sophisticated app to ensure the safety and well-being of all boarders. This technology underscores the school’s commitment to providing a secure and supportive environment.

Starting from Year 11, students enjoy a degree of freedom to venture into nearby cities like York or Harrogate. The school has implemented careful systems to ensure their safe return, and the self-contained nature of the school site minimises the need to leave except for exploratory outings. Notably, there is a privilege of no curfew on phones after Year 10, reflecting the trust and responsibility bestowed upon the older students.

Queen Ethelburga's College Gallery

Extra Curricular Activities in Queen Ethelburga

When it comes to extracurricular activities, Queen Ethelburga’s College goes above and beyond, offering an impressive array of options that cater to a wide range of interests and passions.

The college boasts exceptional facilities, including a remarkable full-scale theatre that would undoubtedly leave many small towns envious. This versatile space serves not only for school shows but is also available for professional rentals. With three productions staged annually, the theatre encourages inclusivity, ensuring that as many students as possible can participate and showcase their talents.

For those inclined towards the performing arts, Queen Ethelburga’s College provides a creative haven with four drama studios and a dance studio. These facilities support the five diverse performing arts courses offered, enabling students to explore and hone their artistic skills. Music enthusiasts are equally well catered for, with dedicated practice rooms and a plethora of bands. The college offers an impressive 150 peripatetic music lessons each week and even boasts a recording studio, fostering a vibrant musical community.

Art and design find a welcoming home at the college, with well-equipped art rooms, a darkroom, textiles facilities, and ceramics workshops. The head of creative arts brings a fashion design background to the table, inspiring students to unleash their creativity. The impressive display of student work stands as a testament to the thriving artistic environment at Queen Ethelburga’s College.

Sports take centre stage at Queen Ethelburga’s College, with facilities that rival those found on university campuses. Sprawling across 34 acres, the floodlit pitches and all-weather fields provide ample space for athletic pursuits. Indoor facilities are equally impressive, featuring a 25-metre pool complete with hot tubs, aqua treadmills, and ice tanks for sports recovery. Additional amenities like sauna and steam rooms contribute to the comprehensive wellness offerings.

The college’s dedication to sports extends to a diverse array of options, including a spinning room, skate park, climbing wall, martial arts room, and fencing studio. A full-size boxing gym adds to the impressive range of opportunities. Professional sports coaches and a team of physiotherapists and massage therapists enhance the athletic experience, providing expert guidance and support.

Admissions Process: Entering Queen Ethelburga's College

Queen Ethelburga’s College maintains a highly selective admissions process, reflecting its commitment to academic excellence and individualised learning pathways. Renowned for its rigorous standards, the college’s admission procedures mirror the selectivity of grammar schools and even surpass that of the majority of sixth forms.

The admissions journey begins early, as all pupils from Year 4 are required to undertake a CAT 4 ability test and engage in an interview. This initial assessment, combined with school reports for current QE students and headteacher’s reports for those transitioning from other institutions, forms a comprehensive evaluation of each applicant’s potential.

International students are subject to a specific assessment process, involving a series of in-person English assessments conducted in their home countries through the school’s appointed agents.

Upon reaching Year 9, students face another round of CAT 4 tests, serving as a pivotal point to determine their GCSE route. The top 40% of students are presented with the option of the College, which offers an academic pathway, or the Faculty, which blends vocational and academic studies. The remaining students are guided towards the Faculty route. While some students initially offered a place in the College may opt for the Faculty route, the transition from Faculty to College is likely to be less flexible.

As students progress to Year 11, approximately 75% of College students continue their educational journey into the sixth form. Here, the prerequisites for enrolment are set: a minimum GCSE grade 7 in any subject for those pursuing A levels in the College, and a grade 6 or equivalent for A level subjects and grade 5 for BTECs in the Faculty. The educational framework allows for College students to transition to Faculty at the age of 16, and Faculty students have the opportunity to pursue A levels alongside their BTEC studies.

SEN Support in Queen Ethelburga's College

Here is a list of special educational needs that the school supports: 

  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia

Queen Ethelburga's College Testimonials and Reviews


I’ve worked here 7 years. I can’t see myself anywhere else. So many positives about working here: lovely staff, great children of all cultures, various perks being a private school and a great work environment.


It was a special place. Rooms were so good and also all the college in general. Big classrooms. I advise you to go there In summer! There are good “college groups” where you can have a lot of fun and meet new people. Hope to have been helpful


A fantastic school with lovely students. Staff work hard to ensure students truly are “the best that they can be with the gifts that they have

Anubhav Sinha

Awesome place for the Kids!!! A very encouraging learning environment along with focused academic program.

Frequently Asked Questions about Queen Ethelburga's College

Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate is a co-educational, independent day and boarding schoolin the North of England.

In 1991, Queen Ethelburga’s School left the Woodard Corporation, became independent, and came to exist in the trust arrangement, renamed Queen Ethelburga’s College. At this time, at the behest of the new owner Brian Martin, it moved from Harrogate to the present campus at Thorpe Underwood.

The Sports Village also incorporates five tennis courts and 14 netball courts; including a full-sized international standard court with ample spectator seating. Cricket facilities include a purpose-built cricket ground with six grass wickets and one artificial wicket.

Queen Ethelburga’s School was founded in 1912. Children from different countries study here.

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