senior schools

School for start-ups - meet the Oxford High students running a company, launching a product (oh, and studying for A Levels)

Kate Whittington , HR Director for Oxford High's Young Enterprise company, Quartz, shares her experiences with us and explains why Young Enterprise and their product Domi-Know is such a bright idea. 

What is Young Enterprise?

Young Enterprise state that they are ‘the UK’s leading charity that empowers young people to harness their personal and business skills’, and I think everyone in  my company would agree.

Young Enterprise programmes are run throughout the UK in many different schools. We took part in the Company Programme (for ages 15-19), which is a year-long process, but there are also shorter workshops and programmes aimed at children as young as 11.

Young Enterprise runs nationwide competitions, which are an opportunity both to compete and to learn from other companies. We have progressed through the City and County rounds, and will compete in the Regional Finals in mid-June.

Last year’s UK winners were Enlighten Hope, from St. Patrick’s College in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, with a set of storybooks which help children and parents to ‘cope in a hopeful way with their child undergoing chemotherapy of radiotherapy’. Previous winning schools have included St Helen’s (London), Southborough High School (South-West London), Tiffin Girls’ School (Kingston, London), St Paul’s School (West London) and Balcarras School (Gloucestershire).

What transferrable skills have we gained?

Whether it’s developing simple skills such as writing minutes or crafting professional emails, or understanding shares, pitching and cash flow, there’s no-one who hasn’t discovered something new.

We’ve learnt how to write company reports and financial statements, how to present to CEOs and halls full of people, and most importantly, how to effectively work in a large team.

A shared passion for our product and a drive to get as far as we can have been the most important tools we could have asked for.

Young Enterprise alumni are twice as likely to start up their own company compared to their peers, and the experience has certainly had a similar effect on many of us. A lot of us had never considered entrepreneurship as a career option before, but it’s now an area which a lot of company members are really interested in.

Seeing the difficulties and the rewards of starting up your own business has inspired us to consider entrepreneurship as an exciting potential career, and several of us are talking about continuing with our product after the official year is through.                

Who are we? Our company and product

We formed our company, Quartz, last September, and are based at Oxford High School. There are sixteen of us (aged between 16-17), with two Managing Directors taking the lead in our weekly meetings. We’ve all adopted different roles, from Company Secretary to Marketing Director, and they’ve each turned out to be of equal importance.

It’s certainly been a learning curve, with a few moments of low morale when we were rejected by companies, and many moments of stress as we hurried to meet deadlines.

Our product is a language-learning game called ‘Domi-Know’, which aims to teach children between the ages of 5-11 basic vocabulary in four different languages. The game is based on dominoes, with players matching foreign language words with corresponding pictures.

Domi-Know takes a wooden 3D cuboid format, an aspect which makes the game more interesting for children to play, and coincidentally should enhance cognitive skills in later life.

We’re hugely excited to now be selling Domi-Know (retail price £25) whilst negotiating deals with manufacturers at home and abroad.

You can buy the game by emailing


Good Luck to Quartz, at the regional finals, from Jessica and Claire at School Hunters, we will be rooting for you!

Time to get your skates on and visit the UK's highest performing state sixth forms - it's not too late to think of a switch

image credit: Unsplash

image credit: Unsplash

The nights are drawing in but it's time to head out..

November is a big month for Sixth Form Open evenings, so we present you with our helpful round-up of the big hitting state schools, those who achieve most highly at A Level and IB and when to see them. There's no time to waste!

We're very open to the opportunity that switching schools at sixth form presents. Of course it's not right for every child and many want to complete their education alongside their long-standing friends, but for others, it could be the chance to up their game, finding that a school that was not an option at 11+ is now a real opportunity. Exciting stuff. 

Over the next few weeks we'll be thinking ahead about sixth form switching. If your child has only just started senior school, then when do you need to start thinking about it ideally (you'll see some schools open evenings for 2017 were earlier in the year), what are the options, why do it and what are the experiences of those who do? 

Don't forget we're here to help. Contact us below, or join us @schoolhuntersuk for insider tips, bright ideas and deadline reminders to help you help your child to a happy education. 


King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, Chelmsford, Essex Wednesday 30 November, 5pm

Colyton Grammar School, Colyton, Devon November 2016, date tbc, 7-9pm

Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs, Kent Thursday 1 December 2016

Reading School, Reading, Berkshire Thursday 1 December 2016,6.30-8pm

Heckmondwike Grammar School, Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire Tuesday 10 January 2017, 6.50pm

The Blue Coat School, Liverpool Thursday 21 January 2017

Pate's Grammar School, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Tuesday 24 January 2017, 5pm

Wirral Grammar School for Boys, Wirral, Merseyside Wednesday 25 January 2017 at 6.30pm

Sir Thomas Rich's School, Gloucester Tuesday 31 January 2017

Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Wirral, Merseyside Sixth form choices evening January 2017, contact school for information.

High School for Girls, Gloucester January 2017

The Blue Coat CofE School, Oldham, Greater Manchester Open evening has passed, applications by Friday 27 January 2017.

King Edward VI Handsworth School, Birmingham Contact the school for more info and prior to January application deadline.

Lancaster Girls' Grammar School, Lancaster Open evening has passed, contact school to view prior to February application deadline.

St Michael's Catholic Grammar School, London Application forms should be received by 28 February 2017.

Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham, Cheshire Open day already passed, contact the school for further information.

Chelmsford County High School for Girls, Chelmsford, Essex Open day already passed, contact the school for further information.

Tonbridge Grammar School, Tonbridge, Kent Open evening already passed, contact the school for further information.

The Becket School, West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire Open evening has passed, contact the school for further information.

Loreto Grammar School, Altrincham, Cheshire Open evening has passed, contact the school for further information.

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, Birmingham Open evening has passed, contact the school for further information.

Wolverhampton Girls' High School, Wolverhampton, West Midlands Open evening passed. Contact school to visit or see website for application form.

Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet, Barnet, Hertfordshire Tours are all booked, contact the school for more information.

The King's (The Cathedral) School, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire Open evening has passed. Contact school for more information.

Colchester Royal Grammar School, Colchester, Essex Opening evening has passed, contact the school for more information.

Colchester County High School for Girls, Colchester, Essex Open evening has already passed, contact school for more information.

Southend High School for Girls, Southend-on-Sea, Essex Open evening has already passed, contact school for more information.

There's plenty of sparkle, ooh and ah to come - we round up November school open days

image credit: Unsplash

image credit: Unsplash

Remember, remember...

Whether you're looking for co-ed or single sex schools, in London or the surrounding counties, the good news is there is still time to see many schools in action before the year is out. Here we provide a helpful round-up of those offering plenty of whizz, bang and pop (head to the science labs!). 

As you'll see, this is a shorter list than our round-ups for September and October. It would be as well to think now about booking any must-see schools you are curious about which are not listed here. Watch this space for our Book Now for 2017 list. Desperate to be done by Christmas?  Then do contact registrars to see if they can arrange a personal tour and time with the Head, sometimes, anything is possible, it may be more hit and miss as to what you see, but it can also be more relaxed and dare we say 'real' to drop in on an ordinary day. 

Do check websites to ensure there are spaces remaining and let us know what you think - we can compare notes @schoolhuntersuk

And if you don't know where to start with a short-list of UK schools with a good chance of being the best possible fit for your child or family, then please do get in touch. Here are just a few of the recent comments we've received from parents about our service: 


Bancroft's School, Essex

Saturday 19th November 2016, 10am

Reigate Grammar School

Thursday 17th November 2016, 9.15am

Caterham School, Surrey

Contact the school about visitor mornings: Wednesday 9th November, 2016

City of London Freemen's School, Surrey

Friday 11th November, 2016, 9.15am


Guildford High School for Girls:

Wednesday 9th November 2016, 10am Thursday 1st December 2016, 10am

St Mary's School, Ascot, Surrey

Saturday 19th November 2016

South Hampstead High School, London:

Wednesday 9th November 2016, 2.30pm Thursday 27th November 2016, 9.30am


St Paul’s School, London:

Saturday 5th November 2016 - email to ensure a place

Dulwich College, London:

Wednesday 16th November 2016, 11am

St Albans School, Hertfordshire*:

Saturday 19th November 2016

Reed’s School, Cobham*:

12th November 2016, 10am

  • = co-ed sixth form




15 IB schools to kick-start your short-list and when to visit - it's sooner than you think

Autumn inspiration. Image credit (Unsplash)

Autumn inspiration. Image credit (Unsplash)

To IB or not to IB? 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) first appeared in UK schools in 1971 and is now offered by 130 schools. Whether you are committed to the idea of IB for your child, simply curious to find out whether he or she might be missing out with A Levels - is it really a passport to joining the global elite as some say - or confused, there's no better way to find out than visiting an IB school. And the time is now. Places for the most popular Autumn open days were disappearing almost faster than we could type today! We hope this handy list might get you started. 

Do let us know how you get on and share your findings @schoolhuntersuk. 

Ardingly College, Haywards Heath: Senior School and sixth form: Saturday 8th October 2016 Sixth form: Saturday 24th November 2016

Charterhouse, Surrey: Open mornings for sixth form girls, otherwise afternoon visits instead. Email: for more details

Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Gloucestershire: Friday 2nd December 2016, book now for 2017

King’s College School, Wimbledon: Thursday 6th October 2016, 6pm

King Edward’s School, Birmingham: 16+ information evening: Tuesday 18th October 2016

Haileybury, Hertfordshire: Wednesday 16th November 2016. Book now, October dates are full.

Headington School, Oxford: Open day has passed

Hurstpierpoint College, West Sussex: Sixth form: Saturday 8th October 2016 Year 7: Tuesday 11th October 2016

Marymount International School, Kingston: Open day has passed

Sevenoaks School, Kent: Saturday 26th November 2016, 9.30am

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School, Buckinghamshire: Thursday 13th October 2016 Monday 17th to Thursday 20th October 2016

The Stephen Perse Foundation, Cambridge: Sixth form open evening: Tuesday 18th October 2016, 6.30pm

Wellington College, Berkshire: All Autumn dates full, book now for January 2017

Westminster Academy, London: Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Whitgift School, Croydon: Saturday 24th October 2016, 9am Tuesday 11th October 2016, 4pm