Staff and students at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate (QE) are celebrating as the new school year has started on a high following a successful summer of results. The Collegiate as a whole was shortlisted for three awards in the Independent Schools of the Year 2021, and our outgoing Head Boy awarded the national Lexden Prize 2021 by the Independent Schools Association, for the ‘Most Remarkable Sixth Form Student.’

Known locally, nationally and internationally as a place that promotes the highest standards in all that it does, the Collegiate’s exam results consistently rank it amongst the top ten boarding schools in the UK. In 2021, students in the academically-focused College achieved 85% percent A*/A at A Level (96 per cent A*/B). The Faculty, which offers a wider range of academic, creative and vocational courses, achieved 77% percent A*/A (92 percent A*/B). The percentage of D*/D for BTECs in The Faculty was 75%.    

Set in more than 220 acres of beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in a secure rural location, and under 2.5 hours from the capital by train, QE welcomes girls and boys aged from 3 months and supports them through its four schools – Chapter House (3 months to Year 5), King’s Magna (Year 6 to 9), The College and The Faculty (both Year 10 to 13).  This unique model made up of the four smaller schools is designed to maintain a nurturing family atmosphere and sense of individuality, with each school having their own Heads and staff teams.

Within this model QE has its Middle School King’s Magna supporting the transition between the Collegiate’s primary education at Chapter House and the demands of GCSEs. This supportive, vibrant and caring school environment ensures students can grow and mature into their teenage years with confidence. Visitors often comment that there is a ‘palpable sense of respect’ between students and staff, and amongst students themselves.

Dan Machin, Acting Principal of QE, shares the positive impact this has on the educational journey:  ‘Our King’s Magna students set the example for the rest of the Collegiate to follow with their capacity to excel in times of change, and their determination to make the best of their interests, skills and talents. We expect a great deal and they rise to the challenge, whether that be developing their independence, their motivation, their personal and social skills, or their achievements.

No longer the Chapter House age class-based children, not yet the public exam, career and skills-developing senior school students; our King’s Magna students develop the foundations for future success with their academic studies, their broad range of activities and interests, and above all else their infectious enthusiasm in all that they take on.

We have developed our own curriculum which is relevant, challenging and engaging for our learners. Our innovative, modern programmes of study foster curiosity and equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to move seamlessly to our College or Faculty at the end of Year 9.’

At QE, it is understood that the key to academic excellence is the consistency in quality of teaching; therefore, this will always be the focus for the Collegiate. Through the outstanding academic, pastoral and enrichment programmes, there is continual development of the personal qualities of students, such as leadership, resilience, critical thinking and responsibility.

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Over the past two years, QE has adapted quickly to the changing situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure that its teaching and learning provision, recognised as ‘Excellent’ in the most recent inspection, continues to be of the highest standard. Teaching staff across the whole Collegiate are all equipped with the technology and training to ensure a seamless transition to both remote and blended learning if necessary. All students at QE receive a Microsoft Office subscription as part of their educational offering and it is through the use of Teams that they are closely supported at any time they find themselves away from the classroom.

Speaking at the start of term, Mr Machin said ‘The compassion, support and determination shown by our staff and students during the last year has made our school community even stronger, and, along with the benefits we have gained from developing our use of technology, this gives us great optimism that 2022/22 will be a fantastic year for all.’

The academic results speak for themselves, but what really sets QE apart is the wraparound pastoral support for students and the incredible facilities and accommodation that they benefit from as part of campus life.  QE’s innovative THRIVE@QE programme offers each and every student the opportunity to access a huge range of activities to support their positive mental health and wellbeing, and this provision has successfully been delivered online, as well as in person.

This holistic approach to developing the whole student, both inside and outside the classroom throughout their time at QE, ensures students are prepared for success and are equipped to be the best that they can with the gifts that they have.

Find out more about joining us at QE and book a place on our next Open Day on Saturday 2 October. Visit

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