Hello from Oxfordshire!
At von Bülow Education we very regularly get pupils asking for boarding schools that are close to London.
That's why a couple of weeks ago we headed to Epsom College. Epsom is located within the infamous M25 motorway that surrounds London, a good 20 minutes from the outskirts of the city.
So, really the perfect choice for a London-fan, surely?
Read on to find out what we think.
No doubt, an impressive-looking school.
We visited Epsom under perfect conditions - crystal blue sky and glorious sunshine. The Ist Boys Team was practicing cricket; pupils were lounging on the lawns. The picture-perfect boarding school scene to fall in love with.
Epsom is clearly at its very best in this weather. The immaculately kept lawns and playing fields surrounded by gorgeous red-brick buildings make for the perfect backdrop to study and live in.
A true 'Harry Potter School' as we would say!
Lots to offer, too!
Epsom College offers everything you could possibly want from a top boarding school.
The academics are solid: in 2017 53% of pupils scored an A* or A in their A-Levels. given that, compared to other London-based boarding schools like Harrow and Eton, Epsom is not massively selective, this is a very good result!
The school's theatre.
Sports is strong here, with the classic English ones such as rugby, hockey and cricket especially noteworthy. But Epsom's strength is both in depth and breadth: sports enthusiasts can choose from a wealth of opportunities ranging from golf and fencing to equestrian and climbing.
We were very taken by Epsom's art department. A beautiful, bright space with ample room for budding artists to spread out.
The entrance to the arts department.
Clay figurines from Epsom's pottery department.
An endearing deer (sorry...)
Lots of space and a lovely vibe!
We really liked the vibrant D&T department of the school, with the usual hive of activity, futuristic tools (3D printers, various kinds of industrial sized saws, work-benches etc) and many amazing projects from different kinds of furniture to innovative solutions to everyday domestic challenges including a bottle-opener for left-handers!
Furniture designs from the D&T department
Some electronic wizardry in the D&T department...
Too many flexi boarders, though...
Epsom College has many things to offer. It does however have a significant achilles heel: its numbers of full boarders is decreasing and its numbers of flexi boarders increasing. Due to the school's proximity to London and the current trend of British families keeping their kids at home more, Epson's flexi boarder numbers have shot up in the last two years.
The consequence is that international pupils are left to their own devices more on week-ends as the school empties out.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and the location especially is unbeatable if closeness to London is important. However, the decrease of full boarders is a concern.