Bedford, United Kingdom
About Bedford School
We are one of the region’s leading boarding and day schools, educating boys from the ages of 7 to 18. Part of The Harpur Trust, Bedford’s leading educational and social welfare charity, we’re a vibrant school with a very strong sense of community, set in a beautiful 50-acre estate in the heart of the town.
There are some 715 pupils in the Upper School aged 13 to 18, with approximately 280 in the Sixth Form. 35% of the boys are boarders in our six boarding houses, each of which is “twinned” with a day house. Our Prep School with 400 boys caters for the 7-13 age range on the same campus, and has its own junior boarding house.
Academic excellence is central to life at Bedford School, and we encourage boys to aspire to the highest possible standards and to exceed their expectations. Our success is demonstrated by a long history of impressive exam results at GCSE, A-Level, and in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. IB and A-Level combined results saw 77% of grades at the equivalent of A* to B in 2018. 86.3% of GCSE results were at A* to B in 2018. The vast majority of our leavers go on to Higher Education, mainly at ‘Russell Group’ and Times Top 30 universities.
The school adopts a selective entry policy without being ruthless and seeks to provide an environment where all boys will thrive academically. It emphasises at continuity of education at 13+ and 16+ so that, although there are academic entry requirements at each point, they are geared to whether boys are suitable to move to the next stage rather than over-formulaic targets. We believe in an all-round education that exposes all boys to a wide range of experiences and opportunities.
We place great emphasis on the value of Sport, Music and the Arts for the camaraderie, teamwork and self-motivation they instil, and encourage boys explore their individual talents. Our extensive programme of extracurricular activities is wide-ranging and offers boys the opportunity to learn new skills and discover new interests outside the classroom. Boarding is at the heart of the school and all full-time members of staff are expected to contribute to the wider life of the school through involvement in the tutoring system and in activities outside the classroom.
The school’s ongoing development programme has included the construction of a new Library (2003), Observatory & Planetarium (2003), a new Music School (2006) and a wonderful new theatre in St Luke’s Church, on the edge of the estate (2015). Other developments have included renovation of the school dining halls and kitchens (2009), fitness suite (2010), staff common room (2011), sports pavilion (2012) and science department (2015).