The Stephen Perse Foundation

Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

About The Stephen Perse Foundation

We are the Stephen Perse Foundation. Extraordinary things happen here every day.

We are a family of schools in Cambridge, Madingley and Saffron Walden educating boys and girls aged 1 to 18+.

Founded in 1881, our history is part of Cambridge’s rich academic past. Today, our vision and learning toolkit are firmly focused on the future, as we prepare young people for life in an ever-changing, global and digital world.

A journey from 1 to 18+

By recognising our pupils as individuals - with unique hopes, talents and ambitions - we unlock their true potential.

We enjoy learning for its own sake. Our teachers ignite curiosity, encourage critical thinking and creativity. By learning to think for themselves our pupils go on to achieve outstanding results. 

But for us, education is not just about grades. It is about strength of character, a sense of social responsibility, learning to innovate, communicate and collaborate. 

Education needs to prepare youngsters for life beyond tests, exams and certificates. Our pupils gain an exceptional skill-set, one that prepares them for life in tomorrow's world. They leave us ready to make their mark and achieve their dreams.

Foundation History

Dr Stephen Perse was a man of vision who, back in the 17th century, believed that education should be a right rather than a privilege, accessible to those with ability rather than dependent on income. 

Dr Perse, a fellow of Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge died in 1615 and his Will included a bequest of land for the establishment of a 'Grammar Free Schoole'.

The land became The Perse School, originally reserved for boys, but in 1881 the Perse School for Girls opened as part of the 19th century movement to educate women. From the Perse School for Girls we have evolved to become the Stephen Perse Foundation. In more recent years we have grown, and we now provide a complete educational pathway for boys and girls from age 3 to 18. 

Our co-educational 6th Form College opened in 2008 and our Pre-Prep welcomed girls and boys to Madingley in 2010 and to our City site in Cambridge in 2012.

In 2013, the Sunday Times named us the IB School of the Year for the second time. We also expanded our family of schools by merging with Dame Bradbury's School in Saffron Walden.

Our Junior School welcomed boys for the first time in September 2014, and our Senior School followed in September 2017, establishing our innovative Diamond model and allowing us to offer boys the same access to our excellent education as girls.  

In 2014, we won the coveted title of Independent School of the Year for "reinventing the school and creating a community of learners fit for the 21st century".

We have a clear vision for the future of education. As an Apple Distinguished School, we are now leading the digital learning revolution, with our pupils using iPads as virtual satchels and unlocking new ways to learn and collaborate. 

Dynamic and inspiring learning spaces are an important piece of our toolkit. We make use of Cambridge as our campus and enjoy first class facilities within our schools.

We have most recently completed a pioneering building project on our Senior School site that is already being enjoyed by students from across the Foundation: a five-storey building with a rooftop sports pitch (the first of its kind in Cambridge), a Sport England standard four-court sports hall, activity space with viewing area, ten classrooms and an additional learning hub. 

Click here read more about the History of the Perse Girls

Our Vision

Put simply, we focus on the future 

Rather than just turning out young people who are highly-skilled at passing exams, we prepare young people to be independent thinkers in an ever-changing world.

It’s a very different kind of education, where great results are a by-product, not our sole focus.

We love to think!

In traditional schools, there’s a straightforward, correct answer to every question – you just need to tick the right box. But what if there are several valid answers?

That’s how real life works and it shapes our curriculum. We encourage young people to think: independently, analytically, logically, creatively, imaginatively.

In short, we teach young people to think for themselves.

A global vision

We also look beyond our Foundation to educate young people, both in our local community and through our global digital outreach, which shares our iTunes U and iBook Textbooks with learners around the world.

Our values

We believe in:

  • Individuality and the unique potential of every child
  • Excellence and creativity in teaching and learning
  • Encouraging personal and social responsibility
  • Transforming learning by creating a dynamic environment
  • Connecting to a world of opportunity, through a global outlook
  • Inspiring confident, independent thinkers

Our toolkit

As you may expect, we offer great facilities and one-to-one attention from brilliant teachers. What makes us different is the way we encourage young people to think: independently, analytically, logically, creatively and imaginatively – in an unusually friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

We deliver our forward-thinking vision for education through our learning toolkit, which includes all the key elements of a Stephen Perse education.

Whether it's our fun Thinking Toolkit in Pre-Prep, positive learning habits in Junior School and Dame Bradbury's, our critical thinking course in Senior School or the Theory of Knowledge in 6th Form – each stage in our learning journey offers a myriad of different ways to think, explore and learn.

To find out more about our learning toolkit, follow this link to our website

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Address: Union Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 1HF, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1223 454700
What people say about us

What’s unmeasured in the league tables is the quiet confidence instilled in the pupils here and how the school balances academic expectation with a happy, nurturing environment.

- M & J Evans, Parents
Positions available at The Stephen Perse Foundation