Colchester High School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Primary & Secondary
Post 16
School Guide Rating

Wellesley Road
+44 (0)1206 573389
2 - 16
Other independent school
View Report
Independent inspection report
5+ GCSEs grade 9-4 (standard pass or above) including English and maths
GCSE Grade 5 (strong pass) or above in both English and maths
GCSE results at grade 9-7

Secondary Data
Explained for parents
Average A level result
Boarding Type
Scholarship Status
Day Fees Per Term

Co-educational nursery

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School Description

Colchester High School gives pupils an all round education. Alongside academic study, we feel that sports, arts and music are extremely important in creating a happy and successful school. Pupils are taught in small classes in a structured and caring environment. Pupils are keen to participate in extra curricular activities, and events are well supported by pupils and parents.

Our prospectus

Colchester High School Reviews

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School Noticeboard

News & events from Colchester High School

Last update: 16 March 2021

At Colchester High School we believe it’s important for children to want to be here. That’s why we regularly invite parents and children to visit our school.

Unfortunately due to the current situation, we are only able to provide socially distanced events and tours after school hours at this time but we hope they will still provide you with a strong understanding of what the school has to offer.

Our next Virtual Open Morning will be held on Thursday 6 May at 10am to provide prospective parents with an opportunity to learn more about our School.

Our Admissions Manager, Mrs Hilton can be called on 01206 217116 or emailed at [email protected] to book an appointment.


If you are unable to attend our Virtual Open Morning, but would like to arrange to see a recording of the Open Morning, please contact Mrs Hilton on 01206 217116 or at [email protected]

Find out more >>



"We celebrate individuals at Colchester High School – giving each of our boys and girls the education they need to make the most of their personal talents and potential."


At Colchester High School we celebrate the individual. Our small class sizes and high-quality teaching are the two key characteristics that the success of our school is built on, allowing us to offer a tailored education to each individual boy and girl in the school.

Working with a small class, a good teacher can get to know each pupil as an individual and identify their strengths and needs. This allows them to know what motivates them and how to best help them progress. Our great teachers are specialists in their subject and this expert teaching in music, French, ICT and PE is accessed by children at every stage of the school, right from nursery.

Our small class sizes and high-quality teaching also allow us to offer strong pastoral care. We know our boys and girls with all of their enthusiasms, fears and dreams. This allows us to support their on a spiritual, moral, social and cultural education in a focused and tailored way, ensuring that they develop the kind of personal qualities our society needs.

Welcome to our Senior School >>

Parents who visit our school always remark on how happy the children are. It’s no coincidence that we place such an emphasis on providing excellent pastoral care.

Good pastoral care is about making children feel at ease so that they can thrive at school. That means making every child feel valued and cared for, which in turn means knowing them well, having good relationships with their families, and offering them the right support.

Read more about our Pastoral Care here.





Students from Colchester High School are celebrating an incredible year of GCSE results, despite this year’s challenging circumstances, with 97% of grades achieved at the Grade 4 or above (national average of 78.8%) and, more pleasingly, 88.6% of grades at Grade 5 or above (national average of 61.5%). 43.5% of grades were 7 or above (national averages of 27.5%). 93.4% of pupils achieved at least 5 Grade 4 and above passes including Mathematics and English. We are particularly delighted that 14 subjects achieved a 100% pass rate.

David Young, Head of Colchester High School, said, “This year has certainly been a challenging and anxious time for our Year 11 pupils and it is such a pleasure to celebrate today with our students such excellent GCSE results.  Colchester High School is proudly non-selective and these results are testimony to the hard work of our pupils combined with the benefit of small classes, excellent teaching and robust assessment throughout our Senior School.  My congratulations go to all of our GCSE students and I wish them every success as they take their next steps into A Levels and beyond.”

Find out more about CHS Senior School >>



Colchester High School is very proud to announce that they have won the highly prestigious ISA Award for Outstanding Sport for a large school! 

Mr Young, Principal said “This is wonderful testimony to the passion and innovation of our PE Department in ensuring that there are sporting opportunities offered to all our pupils through partnership with the community. This award is also for our pupils who embrace all the sports that are offered and proudly represent the School at fixtures both locally and nationally” 

The Independent Schools Association (ISA)  is the registered charity that represents the Heads of 528 of the UK’s best independent schools The ISA Awards are an annual event that celebrates success in their Members’ schools and recognises the breadth of quality and provision in independent education across the country.





Colchester High School & Nursery are proud to announce that our Early Years Department (Nursery to Reception) has been awarded ‘Millie’s Mark.' Awarded by National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) in association with Department for Education and Millie’s Trust, this award is a Quality Mark for nurseries that demonstrates their commitment to going above and beyond the requirements for keeping children safe and minimising risks and accidents.  This has been

Millie’s Mark is named after Millie Thompson, who tragically died as a result of choking in a nursery in 2012. Her parents Dan and Joanne Thompson have campaigned for all staff to have paediatric first aid training and having Millie’s Mark demonstrates that nurseries have met this. In addition, it shows they work hard to keep these crucial skills in the forefront of employees’ minds, so they are competent and can apply paediatric first aid in any situation.

Ms Gracie-Langrick, Headteacher said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded Millie’s Mark.  This is a special achievement and shows how serious our Nursery staff and Reception teachers are about ensuring children are safe when they are in our care.  We are delighted that their efforts have been rewarded and I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard through this process.  Although we are now an official Millie’s Mark awarded Early Years Department, our hard work of continuously developing our quality care and education will not stop. It is crucial that we maintain the criteria to ensure the ongoing safety of our children. We are also so proud of the work of our Early Years Department who were also last year shortlisted for the prestigious Independent Schools Association Early Years Award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision.  Open 51 weeks of the year, our Early Years Department offers a safe and welcoming environment where our children develop, flourish and become happy, confident and independent learners with a curiosity about the world around them.  The perfect place for young children to start their educational journey.”  

Find out more about CHS Nursery or Reception class >>
Meet the Head: Ms Karen Gracie-Langrick

Ms Karen Gracie-Langrick joined Colchester High School as Headteacher of Colchester High School from September 2020.

Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?

There were two teachers who inspired me from a very early age in Junior School to become a teacher.  

My own passion for Roman History and Archaeology was engendered from the age of 7 by an inspirational teacher, Mrs Walker, whose photographs of her travels not only transported me throughout Italy to the Colosseum and Pantheon, but helped to shape my own interests and aspirations.  

The second person was the Head of the same school, Mrs Watt, whose office I found very interesting to visit.  Mrs Watt showed me how good leadership can make a difference in the world

It is a huge privilege to be an educator; in a position to open the minds of young people and empowering them with a love of learning, a thirst for knowledge and the mindfulness for social responsibility which lasts throughout their lives.  

What achievement are you most proud of as Head?

I am so proud of the achievements of the pupils at the school, whether these are academic or in any other area. I always feel so privileged when I see an incredible sporting performance or a wonderful Drama production at school. This is often not just solely the quickest runner or the most accomplished performer – I love seeing pupils who are achieving their best and truly enjoying what they are doing. Knowing that I may have played a small part in that is what gives me the most pride as a Head.

What does a successful school look like to you?

A school where the children are aspirant.  A school that is outward looking but still child centered.  A school that will take the children on a journey to discover their own talents and that inspires them to have high expectations for themselves and what they can achieve.  This requires not just a strong academic education but enrichment opportunities that connect the children also with the community and the world at large.

What is the most important quality you want every child to have when they leave your school? And why?

The most important quality for me is “courage”. The courage for them to speak out when it matters but equally to sit down and listen to others.  Courage to respect, understand, appreciate and value the views of others and themselves. The courage to have high expectations and ambitions for themselves and to be content with who they are. The courage to know what they want to achieve but also to pick themselves up when things are difficult and to be resilient going forward.  The courage to know that they can be a change maker and to strive to do the best they can in the world.

Please give 5 words to describe the ethos of your school.

Aspiring – Our incredibly dedicated teachers instil in our pupils from Nursery onwards a love of learning, confidence in themselves and an aspiration to succeed.  They not only teach an incredibly full and varied curriculum but also help our pupils to see for themselves, thereby becoming confident, ambitious and independent learners. Our excellent educational provision is supported by strong pastoral care where the teachers truly know each child and instils in them a confidence to succeed and the self-believe that they can make a positive difference in the world around them. 

Inclusive – Colchester High School is proudly non-selective.  I believe that a good quality education, which helps all students to succeed, has the power to change the lives of all individuals, who in turn can make a positive difference to the world in which they live. Our welcoming environment and combination of small classes and high-quality teaching allows us to give each child the individual attention they need to flourish whilst our enriching curriculum and expansive enrichment programme allows them to pursue their own particular blend of talents. 

Co-educational - I strongly believe that children should learn in a co-educational environment where they not only learn alongside one another but learn about one another. A good, rounded, education should prepare students, academically, socially and emotionally for the life ahead of them. A life in which men and women work together, socialise together and live together.  Our excellent academic results for both our boys and girls are testimony that teaching in a co-educational environment can work.

Global Citizenship - As a school we strive for every pupil to achieve their very best in terms of academic achievement, but we also firmly believe that education should develop children’s character and to prepare them for the future.  I really enjoy working with our pupils on their character development programme “The Wellesley Award” which encourages them to focus on their personal character development whilst encouraging a strong community spirit and global mind-set.  Our pupils should not only have the skills, resilience and confidence required to face the opportunities and challenges of an ever changing world but the emotional intelligence and sense of social responsibility to help others and build strong community around them. 

Forward – thinking - Today schools need to prepare children for a digital future, both for inside and outside of school. 

Technological innovation and digital literacy have clearly transformed education, enhancing independent research, collaboration, global connectivity and aiding assessment – and in particular supporting the delivery of on-line lessons and distance learning in a Covid-environment.  

This is not about replacing the classroom face-to-face experience – quite the opposite.  It’s about incorporating technology into education so the things that work best face-to-face are prioritised.  For example, we know that learning happens most effectively through the discussion and debate of facts and concepts: it’s the discussion and debate that can be prioritised in the classroom, and the introduction to concepts and facts that can be done online. 

At Colchester High School each one of our pupils from Year 3 are issued with 1-2-1 devices to enhance student learning, develop the pupils as autonomous learners and ensure they are technologically prepared for life beyond school.  


Colchester High School Catchment Area Map

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.

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