13-18 boys boarding 16-18 boys and girls boarding and day

From the Headmaster
Charterhouse is one of the great historic schools of England and among the most beautiful. With over 400 years of history, Charterhouse looks forward to a dynamic and progressive future at the forefront of independent education in Britain. We expect that, when they leave us, our boys and girls pass into the best universities, in Britain and abroad. However, our priority is not examination grades but the stimulation of independent enquiry and intellectual curiosity. We try to maintain a balance between academic work and a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities, and we value cultural and sporting achievement equally. We are a school with a strong Christian tradition which expresses itself in regular worship in Chapel, in service to others, and in open discussion. We also welcome pupils of all faiths and none; the atmosphere of the School is one of inclusiveness and community. We hope that pupils will emerge from the School having acquired a wide range of knowledge and experience, a group of life-long friends, and a variety of interests that will remain with them in the years ahead. I hope that this prospectus will give you a flavour of life at Charterhouse and that you will want to visit us. We very much look forward to welcoming you.

John Witheridge

The School was founded in 1611 by Thomas Sutton who made provision for 40 scholars, or ‘Gownboys’, to be housed in fine Tudor buildings on the site of the fourteenth century Carthusian monastery near Smithfield in London. Today the School still awards scholarships to pupils who show exceptional intellectual, artistic, sporting or musical promise. Former pupils include John Wesley, William Thackeray, Robert Baden Powell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Peter May, and the founding members of Genesis. In the nineteenth century, the School’s London site became too cramped and, in 1872, it relocated to its current position above the river Wey in Godalming. The School grew fast and more boarding houses were built, along with new teaching blocks and science labs. The original chapel was replaced after the First World War with Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s Memorial Chapel, built to commemorate nearly 700 Carthusians who had sacrificed their lives. In the 1970s, seven new Houses replaced their Victorian predecessors and, in the 1990s, accommodation was added for the girls. More recent constructions include a refurbished library, new centres for modern languages and social sciences, a health centre, and the conversion of the old sanatorium into a sixth form House.

Academic Excellence
Charterhouse prides itself on a clear-sighted approach to education, and the focus for our highly qualified teaching staff is a combination of academic excellence with sympathetic and imaginative teaching. We believe that education is not about rote-learning; it ought, instead, to be an intellectually invigorating experience that encourages a love of knowledge and study. We try to teach pupils how to think, not what to think, and to provide them with abilities and interests that will sustain them throughout their lives.

Under School
Most boys arrive at Charterhouse from prep schools at the age of thirteen, though some are admitted from other schools in Britain and overseas. They enter the Under School and pass successively through the Fourth Form, Remove and Fifth Form (Years 9 -11). The curriculum follows the normal path to (I)GCSEs, but every effort is made to teach according to pupils’ abilities, and to stretch the ablest well beyond the demands of the syllabus.

Sixth Form

Excellent classroom teaching is only the starting point of a Charterhouse sixth form education. Pupils are encouraged to develop their own interests and approaches in a wealth of academic societies, lectures, competitions and trips, both locally and overseas. All pupils write a research essay on a subject of their own choice during the summer of their first year in the Sixth Form, and the best of these are of undergraduate quality. Careful consideration is given to university choices, with every encouragement provided to those who seek to aim high. Successful applications are made to a notably wide range of courses and universities in the UK and abroad. At Charterhouse we provide sixth form pupils with a choice of two complementary courses of study: the IB Diploma Programme, or a combination of Pre-U and A Level subjects. Both of these challenging courses prepare pupils effectively for university, and help applicants from Charterhouse to stand out in an increasingly competitive field. Pupils do not sit public examinations until the end of their second year of study, and this provides valuable additional teaching time. Charterhouse has had a co-educational Sixth Form for over forty years. Around 70 girls and 35 boys join each year as boarders or day pupils, and become members of the sixth form House or one of the eleven boarding Houses. There is a rigorous selection process which assesses candidates’ academic potential and their other interests and talents.

Pastoral Care

Charterhouse provides both a stimulating and a supportive environment, and is the place where children will spend some of the most important years of their lives. We ensure that our pupils’ time is engaging, inspiring and happy. We hold an induction programme for new pupils, social and cultural outings for sixth formers, and numerous clubs and societies for all ages. Daily life for all pupils at Charterhouse revolves around the twelve Houses. Each Housemaster takes responsibility for the welfare and progress of the pupils in his or her House and is the principal point of contact with their parents. Housemasters and their families live in the Houses, as do the Matrons. Each girl is a member of one of the Houses, which will act as her base during the school day. Girl boarders spend the night in their own very comfortable Halls of Residence, with fine views over the playing fields and surrounding countryside. The pastoral care of our girls is overseen by the Head of Girls, who is a member of the School’s Management Team. A Tutor oversees the academic and social development of each pupil. The Tutor’s role is to nurture and encourage, and to ensure that pupils make the most of their time at school. Tutors can also help to sort out any problems, and take an active interest in their tutees, attending concerts, plays and sporting events in which they participate.

Beyond the Classroom

Learning continues far beyond the Charterhouse campus: the Model United Nations in the Hague; geography field trips to France; history trips to Germany and Flanders; the Science Challenge with the Hill School in Pennsylvania; CCF, Duke of Edinburgh Award and adventure training expeditions all over the world; classics visits to Italy, Greece and North Africa; art trips to New York and Italy; music and sports tours to Europe, South Africa and the Far East, to name but a few.

Carthusians re-enact the murder of Neoptolemus by Orestes at Delphi

Charterhouse’s magnificent Victorian gothic buildings, built from locally quarried Bargate sandstone, are set in over 200 acres of wooded grounds above the pretty town of Godalming. An inspiring place to live and work, with first class facilities for all academic subjects, pupils are also surrounded by beautifully maintained pitches for football, cricket, hockey and lacrosse. Beyond lie tennis, squash, racquets and fives courts, an athletics track and a golf course; the woods fringing the campus are an excellent setting for cross country running, and lead down to local stables where horse riding is an option. With excellent modern buildings for music, art, design technology, drama and indoor sport, a vast range of talents and interests is developed within the School.

Art is a highly regarded and successful subject, and the department is a lively and popular creative hub presided over by the 2009 winner of the prestigious BP Portrait Award, Peter Monkman. ‘Studio’ is well equipped with a gallery space; 3D room; kiln; dark room; IT facilities for digital photography, film and animation; painting studios and print-making facilities. All the staff are respected artists in their own right and the team is regularly supplemented by Artists in Residence who have worked across a variety of disciplines.

Design Technology
The John Derry Technology Centre provides ideal facilities for the Design Technology Department. Pupils can work in a variety of materials, both

traditional, such as timber from the surrounding woods, and modern, such as moulded plastic and Smart materials. They also learn to sketch and develop their designs, and to make use of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture (CAD/CAM) and other developments at the forefront of technology.

Music has a fine tradition at Charterhouse, and Ralph Vaughan Williams was a pupil in the early days in Godalming. About half the pupils have music lessons, and many participate in other musical activities, like the House Music Festival or the Concert Choir. Pupils regularly perform in ten minute recitals during the morning break, and there is a host of choirs and ensembles; Chapel Choir, Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and so on. Music is also a respected academic subject, and pupils are regularly awarded Organ and Choral Scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge Colleges.

The Ben Travers Theatre is the centre of a thriving Theatre Studies Department. Recent productions include ‘Hamlet’, ‘On the Razzle’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’. There is also the annual pupil-run variety show ‘Lack of Talent’. There are frequent trips to theatres in London, Guildford and elsewhere, and every year we host visits to the School from professional actors, writers, poets, story-tellers, comedians and musicians.

The major games are football, hockey and cricket, but there is a wide variety of other sports: swimming and athletics, golf and badminton, rugby and shooting, squash, tennis and fives to name but a few. There are School as well as House matches in most sports. Teachers help with running teams and there are racquets and cricket professionals. The girls also have regular fixtures against other schools in hockey, lacrosse, tennis and netball. As well as demanding excellence in the top teams, we also encourage participation from boys and girls of all abilities.

Into the Future
Charterhouse celebrates over 400 years at the forefront of independent education and we are constantly looking ahead to plan how the School should develop. The future of all pupils is important to us, and we review their development frequently. The individual support we provide includes helping pupils with UCAS applications, preparation for university entrance tests, interview training, and a SAT preparation course for those who wish to continue their studies in the USA. At Charterhouse we develop pupils’ strengths, support them in any areas of difficulty, and introduce them to new interests and experiences. We aim to ensure that, by the time a pupil leaves Charterhouse, he or she is an erudite, confident, cultured and caring individual, well-equipped to cope with the challenges of life at university and beyond.

Most pupils arrive from prep school at the age of thirteen...

...and emerge five years later with the confidence to embrace the future

Photography and design by Roger Smeeton 01483 414816

01483 291501

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