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Cobham Hall School
Cobham, DA12 3BL, UK Gravesend
+44 (0)1474 823371

Welcome from the Headmistress

Our website will give you an insight into what an education at Cobham Hall can offer your daughter.  However, you will not experience the warmth and enthusiasm of our school through words and pictures alone, and I therefore encourage you to come and visit us.

As a school of approximately 200 students, we know each other well, and have time to listen to one another.  This nurtures trust, shared aspirations and self confidence.

We believe that learning and responsibility matter, that everyone is part of a community and that work is exciting!  We know that kindness and sensitivity are essential, and that pride in one's school and a sense of value and belonging go a long way to ensuring happiness.

Childhood, youth and learning should be a joy, and we strive to make this the case for the girls who come to study here.

I extend a warm invitation to you and look forward to welcoming you to Cobham Hall.

Helen Davy

What is special about Cobham Hall

All schools are individual and have their own ethos.   You will be asking what values and expectations does Cobham Hall have that set it apart from the rest.

The Cobham Hall ethos is founded firmly on the ideals of the educationalist Kurt Hahn.  This means that the school teaches individuals to be aware of the past and its importance, alert to the present and their role in the modern community, and to look to the future, aware of the responsibilities that this brings.

At Cobham Hall, each student is encouraged to achieve her best, accepting that every child is different and will experience the excitement and challenge of learning in a different way.  Cobham Hall students are inventive, creative and independent minded, and equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century. 

International and interdenominational, Cobham Hall is a school where there is an enthusiasm to understand the cultures of others, and to benefit from sincere and thoughtful exchange of ideas with members of different beliefs. 

We are a school of approximately 200 students - a community within which girls get to know each other well, but which also reflects our diverse and exciting modern world.  Over half our students are British, and the rest represent nearly 30 different nationalities. 

What the Good Schools Guide says about Cobham Hall

'A gentle school which somehow manages to meet the educational needs of a polyglot community of pupils, provide excellent help for those with specific learning needs, and release potential at all levels of ability.  Stunning house and grounds bring creativity to the whole.'

'The Hall itself is pure magic!'

'School run on democratic lines with each girl expected to take responsibility for themselves.  Lots of work in keeping open atmosphere and making girls self-assertive.'

'New girls supported by Big Sisters.'

'Varied and impressive Art, with kiln, mixed media, photography.  The fusion of cultures makes for some wonderful artwork.'

'Stunning games and fitness centre for aerobics, dance, self defence etc.'

'Cultural Festival a highlight of Spring Term.  Different nationalities cook their local dishes for a feast which is followed by an entertainment.  Cobham Hall ethos of students from all over the world working together, learning from each other and enjoying the experience.'

The History of the School

Cobham Hall was founded in September 1962 by Mrs Bee Mansell, the first parsee woman lawyer to be called to the Bar.  She valued her own education and wished to found a girls' public school with high standards of excellence, which would welcome students from all countries and religious backgrounds.  After her death, a plaque was put up, commemorating Mrs Mansell's 'imagination, vision and foresight'.

The school is a member of Round Square - an affiliation of schools worldwide whose aims are based on the ideals of the educationalist Kurt Hahn and who share the ethos that teaching and learning should encourage self-development, social responsibility and a sense of adventure.

A family home for over 750 years, the magnificent buildings and grounds make a major contribution to the experience of the students.  Our small school, with its close-knit community, maintains the family feel and visitors rarely fail to comment on the warm and friendly atmosphere.


The move from Prep School to secondary education is a big step for the students joining Cobham Hall at 11+ 

Lower School Senior Tutor Miss Lee and Housemistress Miss Spendlove liaise closely with parents, guardians and academic and house staff to ensure that girls are happy and settled.

As Cobham Hall is a small school, staff and students get to know each other well.  Lower School Family Lunches are held regularly for staff and students to help girls develop their conversation skills and their table manners.

Parents can access the Parents' Area on the school website for up to date news on school events, including a termly Newsletter from Miss Lee.

Views from Group 1 on their first term

'I really enjoy my new year group.  We are like a team, we get on so well.'

'I liked the welcome I received when I started here.  I have made lots of friends and I like the school lunches.'

'I really like boarding and making new friends with the older girls, who are always there to help when needed.'

'I enjoy everything (including most of the lessons) and I have made lots of new friends.'  (Boarder)

'I have made lots of friends with all different age groups, particularly in the Inter-House Music Festival and House Lunches.'

'I like everything about Cobham Hall and joining in all the activities.'

Lower School BBQ and Sleepover - Friday 21 September
New girls enjoy a morning at Cobham Hall
Round Square Group 1 Conference at Box Hill School
Share Your World With Us!
Off to see the Queen
International Fashion Show
Group 1 Theatre Trip to see 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Tutor Group News - Group 2S
Lower School Disco Evening
Group 1 talk about their first few weeks at Cobham Hall
Theatre Trip to see 'Kensuke’s Kingdom'
Group 1 Birthday Celebrations


When girls move up to Group 3, or join school at 13+, they find that they enjoy more freedoms, more challenges .. and more responsibilities!

The Middle School Senior Tutor is Mrs Barrett and the Housemistress is Miss Aird, who is resident in Main Hall.

Middle School boarding areas are in Main Hall, and each corridor has its own kitchen where girls can make snacks and drinks.  It is the responsibility of the girls to keep the kitchen clean and tidy.


The Sixth Form Experience


Mr Antony Pinchin MA - Head of Sixth Form
In the Sixth Form you will have the opportunity to make and deepen lifelong friendships and gain in confidence and independence in your studies and in many activities.  You will be working extremely hard towards AS and A Levels alongside girls from many backgrounds, countries and cultures, playing a leading role in school life, making choices about your future career and applying for college courses and perhaps employment.


It is a period of your life in which you will be changing a great deal as a person.  Cobham Hall aims to help you seize the opportunity to try out new activities and to think things through in a new way.  You will not always get things right first time, but this is quite normal in Sixth Form life!  Assess how things are going and change your approach; then assess again and, if necessary, change again.


Cobham Hall is a member of the Round Square - an association of schools throughout the world.  The Round Square philosophy is to educate the whole person.  This means that Cobham offers not just academic opportunities but the chance to participate in a huge range of after-school activities, in service to the community and for your own enjoyment.


Above all, we hope you will enjoy your time in the Sixth Form!

Sixth Form Horizons Programme

On Saturday mornings Sixth Form students follow an exciting Extension Programme which encompasses Philosophy, Cultural Awareness and Personal Development.  These sessions aim to broaden students’ horizons and to set their studies in a broader context.

[read more]

Sixth Form Handbook 2007-2008
Click below to download the Sixth Form Handbook for the academic year 2007-2008.
[download file]

Sixth Form Curriculum

The School tries to offer subject combinations which are suited to university entrance for a wide variety of degree courses.  We try to be as flexible as possible in accommodating student choices, though, as in every school, not all combinations are possible.  Students should have one or two ‘reserve’ subjects in mind.   Our focus is on mainstream academic subjects which are highly valued by University Admissions Tutors.

Girls usually study four AS Levels in their first year.  Many students also take a short course in Critical Thinking leading to a fifth AS qualification.

During the second year, students may then continue four or three of these subjects to full A Level.  Most subjects are first examined in June of the first year in the Sixth Form, though in a few subjects an initial Unit is examined in January.

The curriculum for Groups 6 and 7 also includes Philosophy, Physical Education, Citizenship and General Studies. Community Service is one of many extra-curricular activities.


Subject Choices

The following subjects are currently available for Sixth Form study.
[read more]

How to Study in Sixth Form
Advice on Careers & Courses
Boarding in the Sixth Form
Induction Programme
The Student LeadershipTeam
Community Service
The Guardian Convention


The four Houses at Cobham Hall are named after families who have lived at the Hall during its 750 year history as a family home.

Clifton  ~  Darnley  ~  Lenox  ~  RIchmond

Each House has students from every Year Group and staff members.  A House Captain is elected annually and the House Captains maintain a noticeboard, with lively information on events.

Joining in House activities is part of Cobham Hall life.  There are many Inter-House sports competitions and House Drama and Music Festivals.

Regular House lunches are held at which staff and girls mix together to enjoy discussions ranging from forthcoming House events, to world politics. 

House Points are awarded throughout the year for academic achievement.  A shield is awarded termly to the House gaining the most House Points and a trophy is presented annually to the individual who has gained the most House points during the year.


Clifton House


The Barony of Clifton was one of the titles held by the Dukes of Lennox & Richmond.  Unusually, this title was inherited, in the absence of male heirs, by the female heirs.  When the 6th Duke died, it was his sister, Lady Catherine O’Brien, who inherited the title of Baroness Clifton and the Cobham Hall estate.


The title and estates eventually passed to Lady Theodosia Hyde (the daughter of Catherine’s daughter’s husband by his first wife!)    She married John Bligh, who was created 1st Earl of Darnley in 1715.


The Clifton coat of arms is a black shield with a silver lion and 8 silver cinquefoils.

Darnley House


John Bligh was created 1st Earl of Darnley in 1715.  He had inherited Cobham Hall through his marriage to Lady Theodosia Hyde who, as Baroness Clifton, had inherited the estate.  He chose the name Darnley, as it was one of the oldest titles of the Dukes of Lennox & Richmond who owned the Hall in the 17th Century. 


The Darnley family lived in Cobham Hall until 1957 and the current Earl is Vice Chairman of Governors and Chairman of the Cobham Hall Heritage Trust.


The Darnley coat of arms is a blue shield with a golden griffin and three silver crescents.

Lenox House


Cobham Hall was given to Ludovic, 2nd Duke of Lennox & Richmond in 1615, by his cousin King James I. 


The estate had previously belonged to Henry Brooke, 11th Lord Cobham, whose family had lived at Cobham Hall since the 13th century.  Henry was a supporter of the plot to replace James I on the throne with Lady Arabella Stuart – the King’s cousin.  When the plot failed in 1603, Henry was tried for treason and his lands confiscated.


The West Front, with the vestibule and the original (ungilded) Gilt Hall and its magnificent ceiling, were the work of the 6th Duke of Lennox & Richmond, who died without heir in 1672.


The arms of Lennox & Richmond are very complicated, incorporating the royal Stuart arms.  The Lennox title may be represented by a silver shield with a red cross and 4 silver roses.


No-one is quite sure when Lennox lost an 'n' to give the Lenox spelling used at Cobham.

Richmond House


Cobham Hall was given to Ludovic, 2nd Duke of Lennox & Richmond in 1615, by his cousin King James I. 


The estate had previously belonged to Henry Brooke, 11th Lord Cobham, whose family had lived at Cobham Hall since the 13th century.  Henry was a supporter of the plot to replace James I on the throne with Lady Arabella Stuart – the King’s cousin.  When the plot failed in 1603, Henry was tried for treason and his lands confiscated.


The West Front, with the vestibule and the original (ungilded) Gilt Hall and its magnificent ceiling, were the work of the 6th Duke of Lennox & Richmond, who died without heir in 1672.


The arms of the Dukes of Lennox & Richmond are very complicated, incorporating the royal arms of the Stuart family.  The Richmond arms appear to be a red shield with a gold top and 2 horizontal gold bars.


Why Uniform?


An appropriate dress code ensures that all students feel part of the community and reflect the standards of the school.


At Cobham Hall we try to establish a happy balance between being comfortable and being smart.  Girls in Lower and Middle school wear school uniform, which is designed to be practical for school life.  


On most days, girls may choose whether to wear a skirt or trousers, but on certain occasions, for example Open Days, they are required to wear ‘best uniform’ of blazer, skirt, white shirt and blue v-neck sweater.  Your Housemistress will give you ample warning of when ‘best uniform’ is to be worn.


School coats are an important part of uniform, and must be worn on school trips as well as to and from school.


Girls in Group 5 are permitted to wear their own clothes on certain school occasions.  This should be an outfit which would be considered appropriate for attending a job or university interview - a tailored suit, with either trousers or skirt of appropriate length.


Sixth Form students do not wear uniform, but must conform to the dress code. 

Uniform in Lower and Middle School

Girls in Lower and Middle School wear uniform - which is designed to be comfortable and practical.  Girls have the option of wearing skirt or trousers, but all students are required to wear best uniform of blazer and skirt on special occasions!  Full details of Best Uniform Days can be downloaded from the Parents' Area of the website.

Click below to download the uniform and clothing list for girls in Lower and Middle School.  (You will need a pdf document reader.)

[download file]

Sixth Form Dress Code

Click below to download the Sixth Form Dress Code.  (You will need a pdf document reader.)

[download file]

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