Prospectus - The Purcell School

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Prospectus - The Purcell School
Prospectus - The Purcell School
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Prospectus - The Purcell School
Nurturing Talent                                       CONTENTS

Making Music                                           5
                                                           A Brief Background

Enriching Lives                                        8
                                                           At Home
                                                           Music Overview
                                                       14  Strings
                                                       17  Keyboard
                                                       18  Brass, Percussion, Harp and Voice
                                                       21  Woodwind
                                                       22  Jazz
                                                       25  Composition
                                                       26  The Core Music Programme
                                                       28  Academic Music
                                                       31  Music Technology
                                                       32  Academic Study
                                                       37  Pastoral Care
                                                       38  Life After The Purcell School
                                                       41  Applications
                                                       44  Fees and Financial Assistance
                                                       46  How to Find Us

                                                       ‘I am blown away by the commitment, skill and
                                                       infectious energy of the remarkable young musicians
Photography supplied courtesy of Chloe Alice Haynes,
Aimee-Deborah Peters, Mydas Digital Photography
                                                       at The Purcell School.’
and Innermedia.                                        Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE, President Patron

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Prospectus - The Purcell School
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Prospectus - The Purcell School
Nurturing the Next Generation
of Musicians
‘Pupils will flourish in the specialised environment
of The Purcell School.’
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Patron

The Purcell School is Britain’s oldest specialist   The School affords ideal opportunities for          ‘The School is a vibrant place
music school. Situated on the outskirts             practising, performing and developing
of London in Bushey, Hertfordshire, the             musicianship, while also providing a balanced
                                                                                                        where creativity and discipline go
co-educational boarding and day school is           academic education which helps to prepare           hand in hand, providing specialist
home to around 180 musically gifted young           our students for life-long careers as musicians.    training for musicians of the
people, all of whom are passionate about            The high quality of teaching and outstanding
fulfilling their talent.                            pastoral support is further complemented by
                                                                                                        future, alongside an excellent
                                                    a nurturing environment in which students           general education.’
We aim to provide young musicians of                can form stimulating and mutually supportive        Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE, President Patron
remarkable ability and promise, from                relationships with similarly gifted young people.
all backgrounds, with the best possible
teaching and environment in which to fulfil
their potential. We deliver the very highest
world-class musical instruction and hold the
UNESCO Mozart Gold Medal in recognition of
the School’s unique contribution to music,
education and international culture.

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Prospectus - The Purcell School
This image: Students of The Purcell School, Harrow
  Image top right: Rosemary Rapaport
  Image bottom right: Irene Forster

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Prospectus - The Purcell School
A Brief Background
A History of
The Purcell School
Rosemary Rapaport and Irene Forster founded      The School has been in Bushey ever since       ‘The School has developed
the School in 1962 at Conway Hall in central     and, over 50 years later, is considered a
London under the original name of the Central    national treasure. It offers an exceptional
                                                                                                from very modest beginnings
Tutorial School for Young Musicians. The         music education, in a creative and nurturing   into a sizeable school, which
School later moved to Morley College, then to    environment, for students from around the      is justifiably proud of its place
Hampstead, and on to a large Victorian house     United Kingdom and all over the world.
in Harrow on the Hill. As it continued to grow
                                                                                                in the provision of specialist
and develop, the School changed its name in                                                     education for some of our most
1973 to The Purcell School, after the English                                                   talented musical children.’
composer Henry Purcell, and in 1997 relocated                                                   HRH The Prince of Wales, Royal Patron
to the site of the former Royal Caledonian
School campus in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

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Prospectus - The Purcell School
At Home
      Being on the edge of London, the School takes     The School’s seventeen acres of Hertfordshire    ‘For children who possess that
      advantage of all that the capital has to offer,   greenery have also made significant
      while also enjoying the semi-rural environment.   developments to the campus possible.
                                                                                                         desire to learn music, to perform,
                                                        In 2007, for example, a new boarding house       and have the commitment to
      The close proximity to London, as a global        and a state-of-the-art Music Centre were         practice, the School provides
      centre for music, is of enormous benefit to       opened. These additions create a fascinating
      the School and students. The immediacy of         and harmonious blend of solid Edwardian
                                                                                                         an environment where budding
      the capital provides access to the eminent        and sensitive postmodern architecture.           musicians can thrive.’
      international musicians who comprise              Built for specialist use, the facilities have    Purcell Parent
      the instrumental teaching faculty, affords        enriched the musical lives of our students and
      outstanding performance opportunities at          teaching staff alike.
      many of London’s principal cultural venues,
      and stimulates successful applications to
      the country’s foremost music colleges and

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Prospectus - The Purcell School
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Prospectus - The Purcell School
Music Overview
      A Programme of Musical Excellence
      The Purcell School aims to provide a stimulating   Students musical lives are cared for by their      ‘The School’s supportive family
      and challenging musical environment, at            Head of Department who, in collaboration with
      the heart of which is an individually tailored     the student and instrumental teacher, will craft
                                                                                                            atmosphere allows pupils to
      programme for every student.                       a bespoke programme of study to best suit the      immerse themselves in their
                                                         individual’s needs and afford the flexibility to   musical studies alongside
      We strive to ensure that the balance of musical    enable daily practice. Disciplines of Academic
      studies and the weighting of musical and           Music, including aural, theory, harmony,
                                                                                                            other talented young musicians,
      academic work are balanced to suit each            composition, music history and analysis,           and to get closer to the heart
      individual boy and girl.                           support and broaden students' instrumental         of their music.’
                                                         studies, and are a key part of the School’s        Vladimir Ashkenazy, Patron
      There are six Instrumental Music departments       holistic approach to a musical education.
      within the School, each led by an experienced
      Head of Department:                                Our expert specialist teachers, many of whom
                                                         also teach at the London conservatoires,
      1. Strings                                         have considerable experience working with
      2. Keyboard                                        motivated young musicians and will develop
      3. Brass, Percussion, Harp & Voice                 individual practice goals and strategies for
      4. Woodwind                                        students. We also provide practice supervisors,
      5. Composition                                     themselves graduate musicians, to support
      6. Jazz                                            efficient and effective practice.

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6                  57                        3
                                                                   ‘The combination of characteristics
                                                                   of the School is a winning one: respect
                                                                   for the individual, high educational
  Instrumental      Instrumental Teachers   Practice Supervisors   standards, the stressing of practice
Music Departments                                                  discipline, and the chance to make
                                                                   chamber music and orchestral
                                                                   performance to the highest standards.’
                                                                   Nicholas Daniel, Oboist and Alumnus

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Music Overview

      Regular masterclasses, recitals, courses and      Our Music Centre provides excellent                ‘I don’t think that I would have
      collaborative projects with celebrated visiting   facilities. A state-of-the-art recording studio,
      musicians further enhance our students’           recital hall, computerised composition
                                                                                                           developed musically as much as
      instrumental studies and offer invaluable         classrooms, and a suite of dedicated teaching      I have, had I not come to this
      exposure to the wider music world.                and practice rooms offer ideal surroundings in     School. The excellent tuition and
                                                        which our students learn and flourish.
      They benefit from an enriched musical
                                                                                                           performance opportunities make
      programme that includes chamber music,            Each department maintains close links with         for an incredibly focused and
      orchestral playing, choirs, jazz and piano        music colleges and conservatoires around the       musical environment.’
      recitals. Performance opportunities are           country; all have excellent records of entry and   Purcell Student
      frequent and varied, and can range from daily     of securing scholarships. Accolades from the
      lunchtime concerts in School to formal recitals   music world are fittingly similar, and students
      at London’s leading performing venues. There      are regularly the recipients of prestigious and
      are, for example, numerous opportunities          fiercely competitive awards.
      to audition for the chance to play with the
      School’s orchestras and give solo recitals at
      prestigious venues such as the Royal Festival,
      Cadogan, Wigmore and Milton Court Halls.

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                                                     ‘Purcell is a truly unique environment, full of
                                                     once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, a mix of vibrant
                                                     characters from all over the globe and a mutual
Music lessons every year   Performances every year   appreciation of music.’ Purcell Student

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      Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass and Guitar

      Our thriving Strings department nurtures          Furthermore, students can attend the School’s       Recent Masterclass Musicians
      string players as they work towards acquiring     Chamber Music Academy which benefits                Atar Arad | Remus Azoitei | Sandy Baillie
      a solid technical foundation and, as well as      from the immense experience of members              Marius Bedeschi | Zakhar Bron
      developing their skills as soloists, become       of Chilingirian, Endellion, and Elias Quartets,     Luis Cabrera | Robert Cohen
      accustomed to working as part of a group.         to name but a few. String masterclasses take        Graham Devine | The Elias Quartet
                                                        place regularly with outstanding visiting artists   Natalia Gutman | Alina Ibragimova
      Chamber music and orchestral playing are key      such as Zakhar Bron, Natalia Gutman and             Guy Johnston | Louise Lansdown
      to the musical education of our string players.   Craig Ogden.                                        Natalia Lomeiko | Craig Ogden
      The School runs a Junior String Orchestra,                                                            Gabriele Ragghianti | Declan Zapala
      a Chamber Orchestra and a Symphony                Over and above the usual School orchestral
      Orchestra in support of this, and all students    and concerto opportunities, selected string
      in Year 9 and above are given the opportunity     ensembles will perform in our annual
      to play chamber music in weekly coaching          Chamber Music Concert, and senior string
      sessions.                                         players can audition to perform a short recital
                                                        in one of our solo instrumentalists’ concerts.

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87 3 10
        Piano Fleet         Fazioli   Steinway
                                                                     1 7 31
                                                                     Shigeru   Kawai   Yamaha
                                                                      Kawai                                    Electronic

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Piano, Organ and Harpsicord

First study pianists comprise approximately a         domestic performance tours when possible.         Recent Masterclass Musicians
quarter of the School’s student body, making          Notable destinations have been Italy, to          Bernard d’Ascoli | Dmitri Alexeev
the Keyboard department a dynamic and                 perform at the Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile,    Vladimir Ashkenazy | Paul Badura-Skoda
inspiring place in which to study.                    and Scotland, to play at and collaborate with     Federico Colli | Philip Fowke
                                                      the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as part of    Martin Jones | Angela Hewitt
In addition to providing expert individual tuition,   their International Piano Festival.               Vanessa Latarche | Dominique Merlet
the department runs weekly faculty classes to                                                           Hamish Milne | Ronan O’Hora
allow pianists the opportunity to come together,      The faculty has a strong international outlook,   Vladimir Ovchinnikov | Andras Schiff
share ideas and learn from each other. Student        designed to prepare students for life as          Nina Svetlanova | Fou T’song
progression is further enhanced by regular            professional musicians, which has, for example,   Nataliya Trull | Uta Weyand
masterclasses given by internationally renowned       seen Alim Beisembayev become the first winner
pianists, and an annual piano course which            of the Van Cliburn Junior Competition while
culminates in a concert involving all Middle and      a student at the School and triumph as an
Upper School pianists.                                alumnus in the 2017 Jaques Samuel Pianos
                                                      Intercollegiate Piano Competition.
There are many standout performance                   Alexander Ullman, a Purcell alumnus, won
occasions for pianists. Auditions are held each       the 11th International Franz Liszt Piano
year to secure the chance to perform a piano          Competition, and Martin James Bartlett, then
recital in a prominent London venue, and the          a student at the School, was the winner of the
department undertakes international and               2014 BBC Young Musician of the Year.

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Brass, Percussion, Harp and Voice
      Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn,
      Timpani and Percussion, Harp and Voice

      The Brass, Percussion, Harp and Voice             family-group ensembles which provide            Recent Masterclass Musicians
      department provides exciting opportunities        additional performance opportunities, and for   Henry Baldwin | Alison Balsom
      for learning and performing, with a world-class   first and second study voice pupils there are   Adrian Bending | Nigel Black
      team of instrumental teachers who are leaders     chamber choirs and many solo performance        Phil Cobb | Oliver Cox | Mark David
      in solo, chamber and orchestral performance.      opportunities.                                  Tim Evans-Jones | Byron Fulcher
                                                                                                        Owen Gunnell | Patrick King
      Each student’s journey is individual, and         Many of our students are members of the         Arthur Lipner | Kevin Price
      the department offers rich and diverse            National Youth Orchestra (NYO) and National     David Pyatt | Rex Richardson
      programmes for these instruments which            Children’s Orchestra (NCO), and attend Junior   Marisa Robles | Adrian Spillett
      develop students both as solo players and as      conservatoire departments on a Saturday.
      flexible ensemble members – a combination
      of qualities that will be essential for their
      future success.

      Players from this department form a
      vital part of the Chamber and Symphony
      Orchestras, as well as chamber groups and
      the Contemporary Ensemble. In addition
      to mixed chamber music there are several

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Flute, Oboe, Recorder, Bassoon, Clarinet and Saxophone

The Woodwind department at The Purcell           Frequent visits and recitals from leading         Recent Masterclass Musicians
School is staffed by an outstanding team         musicians further enhance the department’s        Sarah Burnett | Nicholas Daniel
drawn from Britain’s finest woodwind players,    dedication to encouraging students to             Kate Hill | Chi-Yu Mo | Naomi Sullivan
several of whom also are professors at leading   challenge their own playing and explore new
conservatoires and all of whom share a clear     performance styles.
focus to help prepare students for a career in
and around music performance.                    The department holds an annual Woodwind
                                                 Day, which is open to young woodwind players
With chamber music at the heart of the           of Grade 6 standard and above. Coached
Woodwind department, students play a key         by members of the faculty, the workshops,
role in the School’s orchestras and baroque      ensemble playing and performance classes
ensembles, as well as regularly performing       provide a valuable insight for prospective
in family groupings. They also play a vital      students into this enthusiastic, supportive and
role in the contemporary ensembles and           vibrant department.
often collaborate with players from other
departments on new projects. This diverse
range of performance opportunities allows
students to gain experience as soloists,
chamber musicians and orchestral players.

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      Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Piano, Guitar,
      Drum Kit and Voice

      Jazz is an established and flourishing           play in some of London’s most renowned Jazz      Recent Masterclass Musicians
      department. Renowned within and outside the      venues, including Pizza Express Dean Street      Laurence Cottle | Geoff Gascoyne
      School, it comprises an inspirational team of    and the 606 Club.                                Gareth Lockrane | Gerard Presencer
      experienced teachers and performers who are                                                       Orphy Robinson | Stan Sulzman
      uniquely placed to oversee the development       The department is a great gateway into           Clark Tracey | Troyka
      of creative musicians.                           studying jazz at conservatoire level, and
                                                       students from the Jazz department regularly
      Ensemble provision is an important part of the   achieve considerable success. In 2016, for
      Jazz programme. As well as the School’s senior   example, first study jazz trumpeter Alexandra
      and junior improvisation groups, students        Ridout won the prestigious BBC Young
      can participate in ad hoc ensemble-based         Musician Jazz Award, and jazz students are
      groupings and become part of The Purcell         often sought after as members of the National
      School’s celebrated Big Band. The Big Band       Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) and the National
      gives non-jazz specialists a chance to perform   Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC). Recent graduates
      alongside first study jazz players, and has      of the department include the multiple
      provided students with the opportunity to        Grammy Award winning jazz pianist
      work with eminent jazz players such as Steve     Jacob Collier, Kit Downes, Jake Labazzi
      Waterman, Troyka and Stan Sulzman. Jazz          and Seth Tackaberry.
      students will also be given the opportunity to

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The Purcell School is able to offer exceptional     and performances in collaboration with            Recent Masterclass
opportunities for young composers who               professional organisations such as the Saatchi    Composers
will thrive in the stimulating and creative         Gallery, UK Beijing Arts Association and the      Joaquim Badia Arumi | Lloyd Coleman
environment of the Composition department.          UK’s music conservatoires. Senior students are    Philip Dutton | Shiva Feshareki
                                                    afforded the opportunity to submit an original    Graham Fitkin | Karin Henricksen
First study composers receive up to two             composition for performance in the School’s       Joy Hill | David Horne | Emily Howard
hours of individual tuition in composition          annual Symphony Orchestra Concert.                James Hoyle | Haris Kittos
per week, alongside an agreed programme                                                               William Mival | Music Off Canvas
of instrumental study appropriate to their          As a core component of the Academic Music         Roxanna Panufnik | Polo Piatti
individual needs. Regular seminars, workshops,      curriculum, students from Years 6 to 10 receive   Matt Rogers | Robert Saxton
group discussions and meetings with young           regular class tuition in composition. Composers   Lucie Treacher | Judith Weir
and celebrated composers enable students to         are taught the technique of developing ideas in   Dr Cheng Yu
learn more about new music, the contemporary        a coherent way and are exposed to a variety of
scene and how to create opportunities for their     methods and styles.
work to be heard and appreciated.
                                                    Celebrated alumni of the Composition
Composition students are encouraged to              department include Oliver Knussen,
submit their work for consideration in national     Dru Masters, Simon Bainbridge, Jacob Collier,
festivals and competitions, and to participate in   Mica Levi and Alissa Firsova.
a wide range of composers’ projects, concerts

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The Core Music Programme
      An Education with Music at its Heart
      In addition to instrumental teaching, The           rich musical awareness. Similarly, we aim to     ‘To be surrounded by so many
      Purcell School provides a general musical           provide them with all the tools necessary for
      literacy coupled with the practical experience of   success in the highly volatile and competitive
                                                                                                           people who share the same interest
      the great musical masterworks appropriate to        world of music. We ensure that they are          as you is a wonderful feeling,
      each student’s specialist study.                    able to promote themselves in the wider          and it has helped my playing and
                                                          world and online, that they possess a sound
      Analysis, aural training, music theory and          understanding and experience of organising
                                                                                                           musicality to improve massively.’
                                                                                                           Purcell Student
      history of music are integral parts of the          musical events, and have a comprehensive
      School’s curriculum, and it is through the          awareness of the range of roles available
      teaching of these subjects and skills that our      to them.
      students are able to develop a broad and

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Academic Music

      The goal of the Academic Music department           In the Sixth Form, students work towards         ‘Purcell enables me to be immersed
      is to assist students in becoming informed,         the Cambridge Pre-U qualifications in Music
      imaginative and enquiring musicians. It aims        and have lessons in analysis, music history,
                                                                                                           in a musically rich environment
      to provide a wide range of musical skills and to    harmony, composition and aural. They are         alongside like-minded people who
      enable students to use these skills creatively.     coached in preparation for Music College entry   share a mutual passion.’
                                                          tests, and Upper Sixth students who intend to    Purcell Student
      In addition to aural and composition classes, all   go to university are given a series of lessons
      Year 6 to 9 students study a series of set works    to prepare them for entrance examinations
      which form the basis of creative and analytical     and interviews. Each year a number of
      projects designed to expand their general           pupils go on to read Music at university,
      musical knowledge and inform their practical        including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and
      instrumental studies. Students are entered for      King’s College, London.
      IGCSE at the end of Year 10. In Year 11 students
      undertake an intense harmony course and an          The School was awarded the ISM Gold
      in-depth study of larger scale works. They also     Certificate in Music for GCSE attainment, and
      work on various creative projects, including        were confirmed as ranking top in the UK’s
      training in workshop leadership, culminating        Academic Music results.
      in outreach performances in local schools.
      In addition, they undertake an introductory
      course in Music Technology.

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Dmitri Alexeev

                 No.1 100%
                   ISM Ranked School       A* or A GSCE Music
                 for IGCSE Music in 2016        ISM 2017

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                                                 Apple Mac
                                                             AV Recording
                                                                            PA Systems
                                      Studios    Computer        Links                   Recording   Recording
                                                   Suites                                  Unit       Systems

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Music Technology

The Music Technology department generates            involving the use of technology are taught           ‘Purcell is a truly
and fosters creativity in students using the         lower down the School, and all students have
latest recording and computer technology.            access to the computer rooms throughout the
                                                                                                          unique environment, full of
                                                     day for their individual work.                       once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,
With six AV links allowing the recording of our
best pianos direct to the studios and all concerts   Composition for film is a growing feature of the     a mix of vibrant characters from
in the School being captured direct to the two       department’s work. Performances of new music         all over the globe and a mutual
automated recording systems, music technology        for silent film, composed and conducted by           appreciation of music.’
touches on many areas of music making.               students, are a regular feature in the concerts
                                                                                                          Phelan Burgoyne, Drummer, Composer
                                                     diary. It is the School’s two annual Sound Image     and Alumnus
The course covers all aspects of creative studio
                                                     Movement concerts, however, which enable
work including stereo ambient recording,
                                                     students to use technology most creatively and
multi-track recording, electro-acoustic music,
                                                     across multiple genres. These concerts, and the
arranging, studio engineering, producing and
                                                     facilities of the department, were the main outlet
composing for film. Students have access to
                                                     for the work of several notable alumni, including
cutting edge technology and are equipped
                                                     Jacob Collier and Mica Levi, as well as many
with essential knowledge for future work in the
                                                     other students who have gone on to study on
studio-music environment.
                                                     electronic music courses at the Guildhall and the
The subject is taught at AS and A Level              Royal Scottish Academy of Music. Many alumni
following the Edexcel syllabus and students          are working as producers, film composers, and
are encouraged to work well beyond the briefs        sound engineers in the industry.
and limits set by the board. Special courses

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Academic Study
      An Inspiring Academic Programme
      The Purcell School believes that world-class        The key to the success of our curriculum is      ‘At The Purcell School a career
      musicianship is best nurtured when young            balance. Depending on a student’s age and
      performers and composers are possessed              instrumental commitments, between 25%
                                                                                                           in music is not taken for granted
      of a broad cultural awareness, cultivated by        and 50% of curricular time is spent on musical   and a broad range of academic
      an excellent general education. Students are        activities.                                      subjects is included ... without
      encouraged to regard their academic studies as
      an essential complement to their performing
                                                                                                           diminishing the musical priority.’
                                                                                                           Sir Thomas Armstrong, Founding Patron
      skills: the curriculum aims to nurture a rich
      cultural hinterland for each young person, such
      that their musicality is deepened as a result.

      Running alongside the music programme, our
      academic curriculum allows students to fulfil
      their musical potential without limiting their
      choices. Although most of our students are
      aiming for a career in music and will progress to
      a conservatoire or university to read music, this
      path is never taken for granted.

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      Please note that the curriculum and its
      delivery are under constant review and may
      change from year to year.

      For recent exam results, please see the
      supporting cards at the rear of the prospectus.                                                           Teacher to student ratio

      Year 6                                               Year 9                                             Sixth Form
      Year 6 teaching focusses on the development          In Year 9, students follow a full range of         To enter the Sixth Form, students are
      of good social and moral attitudes, on the           academic courses while musical commitments         expected to have five or more GCSE or
      enjoyment of learning and on the acquisition of      continue to increase. German is added for all as   IGCSE passes at grade C or above, or the
      skills and knowledge. The dedicated Year 6 class     a second foreign language.                         equivalent for overseas students. Some
      teacher covers English, Mathematics, Science,                                                           subjects require a minimum GCSE grade
      Humanities and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health        Years 10 and 11                                    to continue the subject in the Sixth Form,
      and Economic Education). Musical activities,         Students are advised to take seven or a            as outlined in the Sixth Form Options
      Art and PE (Physical Education) are taught by        maximum of eight GCSE or IGCSE subjects. All       booklet. Sixth Formers are advised to take
      specialist staff. There is one supervised practice   students take IGCSE Music at the end of Year 10.   three subjects – Pre-U Music and two A
      session during each School day.                      Other GCSEs and IGCSEs are taken at the end of     Level subjects – over the course of Lower
                                                           Year 11. All students take Mathematics, English    Sixth and Upper Sixth. Very exceptionally,
      Years 7 and 8                                        Language and Science (Biology, Chemistry and       a student may take four subjects but only
      Students have lessons in Music, English,             Physics, with most students gaining a Double       after discussion with the Deputy Head or
      Mathematics, Science, French, History, Art,          Award). Optional subjects include English          Head of Sixth Form. For overseas students
      Drama, Games and PSHE. For overseas students         Literature, French, German, Additional Science,    EAL can replace one A Level option. In
      EAL (English as an Additional Language) lessons      History, Art and Drama. All students have one      addition to the compulsory Cambridge
      may be substituted for, perhaps, a foreign           session each week of Physical Education.           Pre-U Music, A Level subjects on offer are:
      language, Art or History. Practice sessions          Examination boards vary from subject to            Art, Biology, Chemistry, English Literature,
      during the school day are supervised.                subject, and are chosen according to which         French, German, History, Mathematics,
                                                           specification suits our students best.             Music Technology, Physics, Theatre Studies,
                                                                                                              and Pre-U Philosophy and Theology.

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        Students are Boarders*
                                               4 15
                                              Boarding             Boarding &
                                               Houses             Pastoral Staff           Nurse    Physiotherapist              Counsellor

    ‘All the facilities are on site all the              ‘We’ve all got the same                    ‘Pupils are supported by excellent
    time ... at home I had to practise                   interests – we’re interested in            pastoral care.’
    in my kitchen!’                                      music – so instantly everyone              Independent School Inspectorate, 2014

    Purcell Student                                      has something in common.’
                                                         Purcell Student
                                                                                                                                   *Statistic from 2017/18

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Pastoral Care
A Home from Home
The Purcell School is an informal and                 for the independence they will have in Further       ‘My daughter has blossomed in
welcoming place, with a strong sense of               Education.
community and determination to provide
                                                                                                           an environment that has nurtured
students with the best possible environment for       The boarding houses are run by a dedicated           her, both musically and personally.
both work and home life.                              team of warm and caring boarding and pastoral        It has been amazing to watch her
                                                      staff, who are responsible for each student’s
The School offers flexible solutions to meet the      welfare and wellbeing. Weekend activities,
                                                                                                           develop ... to say she is happy at
needs of different families in terms of full or       evening events and social gatherings are             school is an understatement.’
weekly boarding, and, whether attending as a          regularly organised, and students are able           Purcell Parent
boarding or day student, all students are assigned    to travel into London to attend the junior
to one of the School’s four boarding houses for       departments of the capital’s music colleges and
pastoral support and to provide a social base.        conservatoires or enjoy concerts and events. All
                                                      boarding first study Sixth Form pianists have the
Boarders                                              use of an upright piano in their study bedrooms.
With approximately 79% of students boarding,
the School feels like a home from home, and           Day Students
the boarders lead very full lives. As travel time     Day students at The Purcell School are able to
is reduced there is more time to practise, to         take full advantage of the boarding school day
ensure academic work is completed to a high           and reap the many benefits from all that is on
standard, to be involved in a breadth of musical      offer. As they progress through the School, they
and co-curricular activities, and to build lifelong   will often stay late in the evening to participate
friendships. Boarding also prepares students          in events.

                                                                                                                            The Purcell School Prospectus / 37
Life After The Purcell School

      Having received an outstanding musical and         We are very proud of our former students,         Alumni Include
      strong academic education, most students           many of whom have enjoyed national and            Martin James Bartlett | Alim Beisembayev
      go on to be successful in their chosen fields.     international success. They can be found in       Julian Bliss | Daisy Chute | Robert Cohen
      We take great care in nurturing and offering       the major orchestras of the UK and across the     Jacob Collier | Nicholas Daniel
      guidance to ensure our leavers make informed       world, as well as in leading ensembles. Recent    Anne Denholm | Julius Drake
      choices about their futures and find the right     notable alumni include BBC Young Musician         Catrin Finch | Teo Gheorgiu
      place to continue their studies. In the main       of the Year 2014 pianist Martin James Bartlett,   Janice Graham | Kerem Hasan
      they graduate to study music at one of the         Royal Harpist Anne Denholm, twice Grammy          Oliver Knussen | Min-Jin Kym
      top London music colleges, often having been       Award winning Jazz pianist Jacob Collier and      Jack Liebeck | Mica Levi
      offered scholarships.                              Oscar and BAFTA nominated film composer           Lara Melda | Joseph Phibbs
                                                         Mica Levi, to name but a few!                     Alexandra Ridout | Karim Said
      Destinations of leavers also include the                                                             Joo Yeon Sir | Yevgeny Sudbin
      UK’s top universities, including Oxford and                                                          Alexander Ullman
      Cambridge. These routes are usually taken to
      study Music, but each year a handful will follow
      other interests such as Physics, Aeronautical
      Engineering and History.

38 / The Purcell School Prospectus
‘All pupils achieve their ambition of securing
a place at a prestigious music college or
university in the UK or abroad.’
Independent School Inspectorate, 2014

                                        The Purcell School Prospectus / 39
40 / The Purcell School Prospectus

The Purcell School welcomes applications         Application Form                                 Online Applications
from all talented young musicians between        All candidates must complete the School’s        Applications can also be received directly
the ages of 10 and 18.                           application form. This can be found in           through the active entry form on the
We consider musical ability and promise to       the prospectus and on our website as a           website or by emailing the completed
be more significant than grade attainment,       downloadable PDF and an active entry form.       application form to the Registrar. To submit
and are looking for evidence of musical skill,   Applications can be received by post, email      an application online, the £35 registration
desire, commitment and potential. However,       or online.                                       fee must be paid through the website and
pupils do require five or more GCSE or IGCSE                                                      the applicant’s written recommendation
passes at grade C or above, or the equivalent    Postal Applications                              attached. We require overseas applicants
for overseas pupils, in order to enter the       The application form must be returned to         to provide YouTube footage or Sound Cloud
Sixth Form.                                      the Registrar with a £35 application fee and a   recordings of a recent performance for
                                                 written recommendation from the applicant’s      consideration.
How to Apply                                     instrumental teacher(s). We ask that any
To be considered for a place at The Purcell      overseas candidates include evidence of a
School, you must first apply for an audition.    recent performance, be this in the form of a
The audition process takes part in two stages    DVD, YouTube link or similar.
                                                                                                  Please direct any queries about the application
– the preliminary and main auditions.            Please make all cheques payable to               process to the School Registrar, on
                                                 ‘The Purcell School’.                  

                                                                                                                             The Purcell School Prospectus / 41
Preliminary Audition                              In order to best determine a suitable             Important Dates
      The preliminary audition is similar to the        academic programme, candidates will sit a         The closing date for applications for
      main audition except that the candidate will      Reasoning Test in English and be interviewed      candidates who meet the eligibility criteria for
      play to the appropriate Head of Department        by a senior member of staff. The Head of EAL      support under the Department for Education
      only. This is to assess the level of candidate    will assess candidates for whom English is not    Music and Dance Scheme is the last day of The
      musicianship, musicality, technique, and          their first language.                             Purcell School Easter holiday.
      potential. It is a less pressurised environment   Following the main audition, candidates           Auditions for candidates who do not meet the
      than a main audition and often helps to           and their parents will be given a tour of the     eligibility criteria for support under the Music
      settle nerves.                                    School, which for boarders will include a visit   and Dance Scheme finish in March.
                                                        to a boarding house, and will meet with the
      Main Audition                                     Head and Bursar.                                  Please note that boarding places in particular
      For a main audition, candidates will be asked                                                       have often been filled by the end of March, and
                                                        An audition fee of £50, payable to ‘The Purcell
      to prepare and play two pieces on their first                                                       candidates are therefore encouraged to apply
                                                        School’ by cheque or online, must be made
      instrument and one piece on their second                                                            as early as possible in the School year.
                                                        and received by the relevant audition date to
      instrument (if relevant). The pieces are of       guarantee an audition.                            Applications are considered in the order they
      the applicant’s own choice. Sight-reading                                                           are received.
      and aural tests will be set. Candidates will be   Offer
      interviewed by an audition panel, which will      Following a successful audition, the candidate
      include the relevant Head of Department, and      will either be offered a place (normally within
      will sit a Theory of Music paper.                 two weeks of the audition) or placed on a
                                                        waiting list and informed if and when a place
                                                        becomes available.

42 / The Purcell School Prospectus
The Purcell School Prospectus / 43
Fees and Financial Assistance

      The Music and Dance Scheme                           School Bursaries
      The School’s key priority is to ensure that every    Students who are not eligible for the Music and
      young musician can attend The Purcell School         Dance Scheme may apply for assistance from
      based on their musical ability and not their         The Purcell School’s Bursary fund. Funding
      ability to pay. Means-tested funding from the        is based on need and parents are required
      Department for Education is therefore essential.     to declare their financial circumstances
      For example, in 2016/17, 63% of students             for consideration by the School’s Bursary
      received support from the Government’s Music         Committee.
      and Dance Scheme and, as a direct result, 49
      students paid less than £1,000 per year in fees.

      To be eligible for a place on the Music and
      Dance Scheme, students must have been
      resident in the UK for at least two years. Special
      rules apply to European students.

      Additional information can be found at

44 / The Purcell School Prospectus
The Purcell School Prospectus / 45
How to Find Us

      The Purcell School is situated on the outskirts of   The Purcell School
      London in the town of Bushey, Hertfordshire.         Aldenham Road
      We are a 30-minute walk or a five-minute drive       Hertfordshire
      from Bushey railway station, which has a fast        WD23 2TS
      (19-minute) connection to the capital. The M1
      and M25 are minutes from the School, giving          Tel: 01923 331100
      easy access to the rest of the UK. Heathrow          Fax: 01923 331166
      and Luton airports are 30 minutes away by car,
      while Gatwick and Stansted are closer to an
      hour’s journey.

      There is ample car parking on site.

46 / The Purcell School Prospectus
Aldenham Road, Bushey, Hertfordshire WD23 2TS
            Tel: 01923 331100 Fax: 01923 331166

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