Type of School: Co-educational
Total number of students: 760
Total number of full boarding: 185
Location: East Sussex, an hour and a half by train from London, 45 minutes from Gatwick Airport and an hour and a half from Heathrow airport.
Bede’s has experienced five consecutive years of academic improvements with A level grades at 80% A*-B for the last 2 years with 53% of all grades at A*-A. The academic curriculum at Bede’s is broad, offering GCSE, A level and Pre-U, vocational BTECs and a one year Pre-Sixth GCSE programme with EAL included as a core component. We also offer strong UCAS support (as well as specialist support for students applying for universities overseas) alongside careers guidance.
Our EAL department ensures that all overseas pupils for whom English is not their first language, develop the necessary language skills to be able to thrive in their chosen subject and to prepare them for life at university and beyond. All pupils will study for exams including ESOL, IGCSE or IELTS or Cambridge Advanced Certificate.
Bede’s is located within a small rural community close to the towns of Eastbourne and Hailsham. Our local community is an important part of school life and our pupils regularly volunteer at the local primary school and spend time with local elderly residents as part of our weekly “Knit and Natter”activity which sees pupils learning to knit whilst providing valued company for the elderly. All our pupils are involved in charity work as part of School and House fundraising efforts; this is a highly valued part of School life.
Our borders live within stunning, purpose built boarding houses. All Bede’s current boarding houses have a range of 3-5 person rooms for First Year pupils, 2-4 for Fifth Form and 1-3 for Sixth Form pupils. A new boys house will open in 2020 offering single and double accommodation.
Each pupil has a dedicated personal tutor who is overseen by the Housemaster or Housemistress and each house also has a Matron to help with laundry and general care of the children. We also have an onsite Medical Centre which offers regular sessions with our School Doctor as well as highly trained nursing support. We are well known locally for the high levels of pastoral care we provide to our pupils.
Sport and Culture:
Three times a week in the afternoons pupils participate in Activities. Bede’s pupils can pick from a wide array of over 100 clubs and activities. Co-curricular choices are important, particularly for our older pupils for whom the programme offers the chance to develop specialisms and enrich their CVs.
Some examples of options are Animal Management, Target Rifle Shooting, Jewellery Making, Debating, UK Space Design Competition (which enabled two pupils to go to NASA last year), Ceramics, Car Restoration and Go-Karting. We are also home to the UK’s oldest residential ballet school, the Legat School of Dance which allows pupils aspiring to a career in the performing arts to receive dance training alongside a traditional academic programme. Additionally we are the only school in the country with a zoo and Animal Management is our most popular non-sporting Activity (as well as an academic subject at Sixth Form).
The Sporting programme is extensive and Bede’s is considered to be one of the top 15 schools for sport in the country. Our Football Programme is particularly large and we regularly run 12 teams across the School and compete in the Hudl Independent Schools League which includes the top 8 footballing schools in the UK. Other Academy sports include hockey, cricket and tennis. The School has its own golf course and also offers shooting, badminton and basketball.
For boarders, the Weekend Programme starts after school on Friday with evening activities, including bowling, cinema trips, meals out and movie night. Each Saturday morning, Bede’s academic departments open for an array of academic enrichment sessions as well as leisure options include paddle boarding on the local river or mountain biking in the countryside. Most Sundays there are a series of optional trips to various locations and events around the South East of England including London and Brighton.
In terms of academic levels required for admissions, Bede’s remains broad in its intake. At Year 9, pupils are invited to a Bede’s Experience Day when they will participate in group activities, undertake an interview and cognitive test before participating in an activity of their choice in the afternoon. At Year 10 and 12, overseas pupils are required to undertake a UKISET test ahead of interview (either in person or via Skype). School reports and references are required for entry at all levels. Pupils applying for a Sixth Form place will additionally meet with pupil (via Skype or in person) and can discuss the entry requirements for their desired programme of study and advise on options as required.