||This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
|Motto||Inopiam Ingenio Pensant|
|Type||Independent Day School|
|Chairman of Governors||Sir John Allison|
|Gender||Boys until 1992
Coeducational from 1992
|Houses||Feilden, Gascoigne, Harcourt, Queen Anne, Swift, Vanbrugh and Lower House|
|Colours||Navy Blue and Yellow|
|Former Pupils||The Cokethorpe Society|
|Setting||Rural (150 acres)|
Cokethorpe School is an independent school near Witney, founded in 1957 by Francis Brown. It is a member of HMC, IAPS and The Society of Heads (formerly known as SHMIS). The school has approximately 660 pupils, ranging in age from four to eighteen. The Junior School and the Senior School are located on the same site.
At the heart of the school is an early 18th century Grade II* listed Queen Anne style country house. The school is set in 150 acres (0.61 km2) of parkland and there is also a chapel in the grounds. The tower of the chapel was virtually destroyed in a fire in 1994 but it has since been demolished and rebuilt. The beautiful grounds have a number of rugby/football pitches along with the recently built astro pitches. An expertly carved 'giant' peacock stands at the central crossroads within the school grounds, a symbol of the school.
The school has an outstanding recent sporting tradition with students playing national age group rugby (England U16 & U18) and also England women's hockey. The school also has numerous representatives in both regional and Oxfordshire rugby, football, cricket, hockey, athletics and tennis. In addition the school has developed a reputation as a premier kayaking school as well as nurturing equestrian talents.
The school operates a house system, with houses called Harcourt, Gascoigne, Swift, Queen Anne, Vanbrugh and Feilden. The houses compete in sport such as house rugby and football for boys, hockey and netball for girls, and in field and track events at the annual school sports day. There are also competitions in the arts, such as house music, drama, photography and art.
The country house was used by Simon Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt. When Major Percy Henry Guy Feilden and his wife, Dorothy Louisa Brand, moved there in 1908, they undertook extensive renovations. He died on 25 March 1944, and was buried there. His son, Major-General Randle Guy Feilden, who was later knighted, was his successor. In 1957, it was let with part of the grounds to Francis Brown, who opened the school as a secondary boys' boarding school with 14 pupils. In about 1960, Yarnton Manor was used as a dormitory of the school. In 1963, a charitable trust was formed, and in 1966, the school buildings and grounds were sold to the school trustees. In 1985, the roof of the north west wing was studied while the building was being repaired. In 1986, work was started on the construction of further buildings. The school started admitting girls in 1992, and opened a junior school in 1994. The boarding facility was closed in 2003.
The school has developed a strong reputation in recent years with its improving exam results and outstanding sporting achievements. This has led to the school being oversubscribed bucking the trend of many of its local competitors who have seen numbers fall.
Notable former pupils
- Baggs, A P; Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn, S C Townley (1996). "Ducklington Manors". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13: Bampton Hundred (Part One). British History Online. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Cokethorpe School, Oxfordshire". Venues. Remotegoat. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Jenkins, Stephanie (3 January 2012). "People of Headington: Katharine Feilden". Headington, Oxford. Stephanie Jenkins. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Jeffery, Zoe. "Percy Henry Guy Feilden (b. - 1944)". Records. Geni. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- Baggs, A P; W J Blair, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn, S C Townley (1990). "Yarnton: Manor and other estates". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12: Wootton Hundred (South) including Woodstock. British History Online. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Steane, John (1986). "Cokethorpe Park (PRN 11202 SP 37100620)" (pdf). The Newsletter of the Council for British Archaeology Regional Group 9 (Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire) Number 16. The Council for British Archaeology. Retrieved 3 February 2012.