Bedstone College is a traditional British boarding school for boys and girls eight to 18, with day students from the age of four. Deliberately small, we’re not academically selective but focus on bringing out the best in each child. With strong pastoral care and small class sizes, students usually exceed their expectations – in the classroom and beyond. In 2015, we were the top ranked school in Shropshire and Herefordshire (from 78 schools) for A*-C GCSE passes in the EBacc subjects. In our 2013 A Level results, Bedstone’s international cohort achieved 100% pass rate with 50% gaining the top grades A*- A. In 2014, 56.1% of all students taking A Levels achieved A* – B.
Far from the distractions and troubles of city life, the college is set in the beautiful countryside of south Shropshire. Despite the idyllic rural setting, we are only an hour and a half from Birmingham and three hours from London Heathrow. Bedstone has a strong sporting and extracurricular life where students discover new talents and pursuits and have plenty to keep them challenged and happy, whether playing basketball or tennis, using the heated pool, fully-equipped gym or dance studio. With no exeat weekends and activities several times a week, we are perfect for international boarders.
Bedstone has a small community of overseas students and is always delighted to consider applications for stays of one term or longer. Many young people join us initially for a term or two, and stay for several years which is testament to the care and education they receive. We currently attract students from 16 different countries worldwide, with no one nation dominating. This guarantees that students are fully immersed in a British boarding school environment where English is most definitely the lingua franca. We strictly control the number coming from one specific region to avoid cliques based on a common language or background developing. Unless parents or agents specifically request otherwise, those from the same first language will not be boarding in the same dormitory.
Most students applying from outside the UK come via an educational agency. The main reason is to help families through the admissions process, assist with paperwork, legalities and translation and – outside the EU – visa application. We do not recommend one agent over another and are happy to work with new agencies, however we have a list of agents we have worked with, please get in touch if you would like contact details for these agents.
How to Apply
In the first instance, please contact the marketing and admissions team – Graeme and Anne – by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0044 1547 530961. The admissions office is open throughout the year and there is no cut-off date for applications. If applying from outside the EU/EEA (European Economic Area) you should allow three months before your start time as visa applications can take this long to process.
Bedstone College is not a selective school. You therefore do not need to sit entrance exams, unless applying for a scholarship. We will test your English language level to ensure we can cater to your needs and see what level of EAL support you are likely to need. This is not a pass or fail test, but rather a gauge of each student’s baseline level. We will also need to see:
your latest school reports
a copy of your passport information page
your name, address and date of birth
some details about you – what year of entry you are looking for, your hobbies, motivation for studying abroad, subjects you wish to study (or favourites/least favourites) and a little about your family. If this can be a handwritten statement created solely by you and without the use of a computer – it also helps us gauge your English level
any learning support or medical issues
any other supporting documentation that would be useful to us – testimonials, certificates, educational psychologists and/or medical reports.
Once these are received, we will check whether we have a place available. We may ask for more information and a Skype interview if there is further detail needed to assess your application. Skype is also useful if you are based a long way from the UK and would like to discuss matters with the Headmaster, Head of Admissions, Houseparents or Director of Studies. It is a chance to ask us your full list of questions. We always recommend a visit to get the real feel of a school, or your shortlist of schools. We offer a free taster for a couple of days, to truly understand the ethos and atmosphere of Bedstone College. We may be able to make the offer without a visit and interview, however.
EAL (English as an Additional Language) Support
We expect a reasonable level of English but also offer significant EAL support. Those joining us for A Levels typically have the equivalent of IELTS level 5.0 or above. In the lower years we offer a great deal of extra language support to our international students. We have a full induction programme, with concentrated English at first, to ensure a smooth transition to life at Bedstone. We realise it can be quite a culture shock at first and so spend several days with new international boarders, before the other students arrive, getting used to the campus, food and rules – and getting over jetlag!
Every young person looking to enter Bedstone College from outside of the EU will need a visa, unless they have a British or EU passport. For those aged eight to 17 this is called a Tier 4 (Child) student visa. For more information, visit the government pages here. Bedstone’s admissions team are here to help and, upon receipt of the appropriate acceptance and registration forms and fees, issue the CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) that you will need to produce when applying for your visa. Bedstone College is a Tier 4 sponsor – ie, has been approved by the UK authorities to teach those who come to the UK to study from outside the EEA (European Economic Area).