Pangbourne College has a well-developed sense of purpose and a strong ethos which successfully reflects in its principal aims. The result is that its pupils are well-rounded individuals who are caring and confident and demonstrate excellent personal development.
Pangbourne offers a challenging all-round education, embracing academic rigour and a diversity of sport, music and extra-curricular activities, in a small school environment where every child can shine.
Set in 230 acres of Berkshire countryside, to the West of Reading, just minutes from the M4, the College provides a superb quality of life in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Pangbourne College was founded by Sir Thomas Lane Devitt in 1917 as The Nautical College, Pangbourne. The original vision for the College was to prepare boys to be officers in the Merchant Navy. With the First World War raging, Cadets (students at the College) were gazetted as Royal Naval Reserves and wore the uniform of the RNR Officer Cadets. Whilst most went on to join the Merchant Navy, the College was also a training ground for many Royal Navy officers. In 1969, with the merchant fleet shrinking rapidly and many boys by then choosing university as a first step beyond school, it shed much of the nautical training in favour of a more traditional academic focus. At this point the College was re-established as a Charity, like many other independent schools, and was renamed Pangbourne College.
Elements of Pangbourne’s naval heritage still exist today with students wearing Royal Naval uniforms and certain ceremonial traditions, which add colour to the Pangbourne experience, are maintained. Only two or three students leave the College with the intention of a career in the Armed Forces each year, and almost all go to university as their first destination.
Girls were first admitted to the College in 1990 and Pangbourne has been fully co-educational since 1996.
In 2000, HM The Queen Elizabeth II opened the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel – the national memorial to the Falklands War built to commemorate all those who died during the 1982 conflict. Pangbourne offers a nurturing community which aims to develop teamwork, leadership, self-discipline and Service in its students. Running through the heart of everything at the College are the seven Flag Values, which are specifically Kindness, Selflessness, Moral Courage, Initiative, Industry, Resilience and Integrity.
The principal aim behind all of Pangbourne’s activities – whether academic, sporting, musical or extra-curricular – is to develop one or more of these values. Students take pride in being part of the College and are made to feel involved and valued in its close-knit community.
The moral development of pupils is exceptional. They have a very strong moral awareness and commitment to service which comes from the school's naval heritage and the importance attached to the 'flag values'.