Uppingham is one of few places that can declare itself a truly full boarding school. Of the School’s roll of 795, all but a handful are full boarders. Uppingham simply doesn’t experience any tension between the disparate needs of large numbers of boarders and day pupils. The School’s 785 boarders benefit from a singular focus and an economy of scale that enables a remarkable depth and diversity of curricular and extra-curricular opportunity. Our day pupils similarly benefit from all the School has to offer. Renowned for music and strength in the performing arts, there is also a strong sporting tradition, now enhanced by the outstanding new Sports Centre opened by Lord Coe in 2011.
Pupils pull together, respecting and enjoying each other’s achievements and supporting each other enthusiastically in their varied activities. The sense of all-round expectation genuinely means that at Uppingham, it’s as cool to carry a cello as a cricket bag. Uppingham is unabashedly a “singing school” and Chapel services provide an exhilarating way for pupils and staff to start most days and generate an unmatchable esprit de corps. The Chapel’s pulpit is not the sole preserve of the Chaplain and the School regularly enjoys morning assemblies from a diversity of staff, visiting speakers and well-motivated school orators!
The entire school gathers once a week for congregational practice, and twice a term for Commendation Assemblies to celebrate the School’s values and individual achievements. The house environment is where individual identities are fostered and Uppingham boarding houses are smaller than those in many schools. Boys’ houses are typically 50 strong whilst girls’ houses have a maximum of 60, reflecting the 10 or 12 pupils per year group in each. This affords a high degree of pastoral care in each house.
House dining is another vitally important feature of life at Uppingham. At meal times, house staff have the chance to catch up with their charges each day whilst the pupils themselves benefit from contact with the constantly changing rotation of staff, and guests, who dine with them at lunch each day, a feature that strengthens the feeling of community, sharing and social engagement. With all of the academic staff involved as tutors in houses, the needs and demands of boarders are appreciated and understood by them all. There is a common culture and a superb team of people around each house. Confidence is nurtured, academic curiosity is encouraged and challenges are given. This leads to higher expectations and, ultimately, greater achievement.