The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Muddy Best Schools Guide

Wychwood School, Oxford

20 Mar 2017

Into the centre of Oxford we go – literally a hop and skip from St Aldates – for the latest Muddy school review.



What? Where?

Wychwood is a small day and boarding school for girls aged 11-18, now in its 120th year, with a teeny tiny 110 pupils. A mere 10 minute walk from the centre of Oxford, it’s based around two super-compact red brick mansions typical of the buildings up the Banbury Road on a 1.25 acre site.

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REVIEW: St Edward’s School, Oxford

12 Mar 2017

Oxford is blessed with a huge number of school options, and here’s another for you. St Edward’s School, nestled in the calmness of Summertown on the Woodstock Road. Fancy a look around?


What? Where?

St Edward’s School (called Teddies by locals) is a co-ed boarding and day school for 680 children (13-18 years), one of the very few city-based boarding schools in the UK.

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Muddy Best Schools: Bloxham School updated

13 Feb 2017

I visited Bloxham School back in February last year, and since then exam results have come in, kids have joined and moved on, facilities have improved and all that jazz. So here is an updated review of the school, along with details of Open Day on Sat 4 March 2017 if any of you are considering it as a possible contender for your kids. Here’s what I thought of it when I went around.

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Muddy Best Schools: Aylesbury Grammar School Sixth Form

25 Jan 2017

It has slowly dawned on me, as my own oldest child heads towards GSCEs *gulp* that he has choices – not just in terms of what subjects to take now (my tip: the ones with the least revision), but where he can head afterwards. In my day, back when mullets were the vogue and Simon Le Bon was plastered across the common room, it was rare to move schools for Sixth Form – it was never offered as an option to me.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide: Ashfold School, Dorton

18 Jan 2017


Ashfold School was the first school to go under the microscope in the Muddy Best Schools Guide, and I revisited the school in December 16 to update this review with the latest facts, figures and insights to keep you in the loop in terms of developments.

What? Where? There’s no denying the beauty of Ashfold School’s setting, in a valley in Dorton, a small village on the Oxon/Bucks border, close to Thame and Princes Risborough and within easy reach (about 20 mins) of Bicester and Oxford.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide

16 Jan 2017

If you’re considering new or next schools for your kids, or thinking of moving into the area, you’ll want to know about Moulsford School. It’s fascinating to see what different schools offer their children. I always look around partly as a journalist and partly as a mother of three (with my kids having experienced state, private and grammar schools) so hopefully what you’ll read has some genuine insight that helps.

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Is your child superhuman?

10 Jan 2017

Nicola Dick-Cleland (above), Head of The Junior School at the prestigious Abbey School in Reading is a trained psychotherapist, so who better to ask about the ever-increasing pressures on children and the gnarly subject of extra-curricular activities than her? Read her thoughts below and please feel free to comment underneath the feature – it’s a fascinating subject and I’d love to know what you think.

  1. Extra curricular shouldn’t be extra

Adults tend to think about school life in two parts – academic and extra-curricular – but if you think about it in terms of developing a child’s breadth of character they’re not separate at all.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide: Kingham Hill School, Oxon

5 Jan 2017

And we’re off! The first school to be reviewed in 2017 and it’s brand new to the blog. Hello Kingham Hill School, where’ve you been all my life?

What? Where?

Kingham Hill School in Kingham near Chipping Norton is an idyllically placed co-educational school with a strong Christian ethos, set in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Just over 300 kids from 11-18 years roam in 100 acres of Victorian and 21st century buildings, playing fields and woodland.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide #19: Akeley Wood School

14 Nov 2016


What? Where? Akeley Wood school is a very attractive three-site fee-paying nursery, junior and senior day school in rural North Bucks, close to Milton Keynes, taking kids from age 1-18 (how convenient is that?!).  A non-selective school, there are 860 kids here (310 at Junior; 550 at Senior), both boys and girls, with class sizes of 20 or fewer in a collective 31 acres of grounds.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide #21: Sunningdale School, Ascot

2 Nov 2016


What? Where? Sunningdale is an absolutely idyllic prep boarding school for boys from 7 – 13 hidden in 25 stonkingly lovely acres near leafy Ascot, just a hippety hop over the Oxfordshire border. It’s a tiny school of just 110 kids, nearly all of whom board, and it’s proudly non-selective. The main building is an attractive red brick Victorian villa and has the feel of a family home for the very good reason that it is!

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Bucks & Oxon Edition