Pangbourne College

Pangbourne offers a learning environment where pupils develop confidence, self-awareness, creativity and independent thought.

Education at Pangbourne ensures that each child can maximise their potential in a supportive environment which promotes both learning potential and wellbeing to develop the whole individual. Pupils are inspired and challenged to do the very best they can and experience a variety of engaging lessons, memorable trips, and learning tools which bring each and every subject to life.

Our curriculum is designed to be as broad as possible, and challenge is provided by the schemes of work, effective differentiation by teachers, and by opportunities such as the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the High Potential Achievers (HPA) programme. Pupils are supported by their teachers and through academic clinics and, for those who need it, a well-qualified Learning Support department.

We aim to help each pupil to take ownership of their studies and to exceed the grades predicted for them following baseline tests carried out at the start of each Key Stage.

We are proud of the results they achieve in public examinations. In addition, we offer a diversity of sports and outdoor activities, performing arts, musical and creative opportunities in a small school environment.


Established in 1917, Pangbourne College is a small, independent boarding and day school with a unique history and a bright future.

Sir Thomas Lane Devitt founded Pangbourne College as ‘The Nautical College, Pangbourne’ with a vision to train boys to become Merchant Navy officers. Whilst this was the primary purpose of the school, he and his son Sir Philip Devitt were also committed to providing a well-rounded education for the boys to enable them to pursue other career options.

In 1969, the College adopted the name it has today and shifted its focus to academic progress. The captain superintendent was replaced with a civilian headmaster to reflect this, and in 1996 the College became co-educational.

With our links to the Navy, some ceremonial traditions still survive. Pupils wear the Naval Number 2 uniform as their day-to-day uniform, and rooms within the College still bear distinctly naval names (e.g. ‘Mess Hall’ for the dining hall).

A tradition of parading and the ceremonial still exists as a weekly practice, plus six ‘College Sundays’ per year. The aim being to provide pupils with the chance to learn teamwork, leadership, performance, confidence, time management and community spirit.

The College underwent a full inspection by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) in November 2019 and was judged ‘excellent’, the highest possible grading. Inspectors noted the quality of educational and other achievements, and the high quality of pupils’ personal development.

The bulk of our leavers go to university, with many going to Russell Group universities and the remainder into other universities, foundation courses, apprenticeships and work. We have a strong tradition of getting most (at least 75%) of our Sixth Form leavers into their firm choice higher education institution.