Bryanston School


Type of school : Co-educational

Age range : 13-18

Number of students : 673

Number of boarders : 600

School information


Set in a beautiful 400-acre site in rural Dorset, Bryanston offers superb facilities, including purpose-built centres for science, technology, music and art, a professional theatre, sports complex, riding stables, sports centre and 56 acres of playing fields and 40 tennis courts. Academic standards are high and levels of achievement reflect considerable 'added value'. Sporting performance is impressive and the school enjoys a strong reputation for the arts, science, classics and design & technology.

International pupils are warmly welcome at the school and we have pupils from a wide range of countries including China, Thailand, Russia, Turkey, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, United States.

The school prides itself on the positive relationships between pupils and staff and the pupils regard their the staff as their allies. In Pupil Voice the pupils report on being happy, feeling safe, having lots of friends, and finding the school fun yet challenging.



One-to-one attention both from the academic tutor and individual subject teachers, coupled with Bryanston’s innovations in academic monitoring deliver impressive results and good added value scores at GCSE and A level. The school now offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme alongside A levels in the Sixth Form and averages 36 points (see website for more details) 

A broad academic curriculum in year 9 allows each child to find their academic strengths and interests. In years 10 & 11 pupils follow IGCSE and GCSE course in 9-11 subjects; English, Maths, Science, and a Modern Foreign Language are compulsory. Pupils supplement this with choices from History, Geography, Art, Music, DT, PE, Drama, RS, Latin, Ancient Greek  or Business Studies Pupils select either to study the IB Diploma Programme in the Sixth form where they study 6 subjects or an A level programme where they study a 3 subject programme plus academic enrichment courses (see website for details of the courses available)



Individual academic attention is matched by outstanding pastoral care. In addition to their houseparent, every pupil has access to an extensive network of support which includes a house team of teachers, matrons, medical centre staff (24 hours), chaplain, school counsellor, independent listeners and, vitally, friends and family. While relatively few in number, our international pupils are fully integrated into school life and, as a seven-day-a-week boarding school, we provide a varied and stimulating weekend programme.

There are separate boarding houses for boys and girls. All Year 9 boys go into one of two junior houses where they find their feet among their peer group and settle into the school. At the end of Year 9, boys will express a preference for the friends they would like to have with them in a senior house, to which they are promoted for their remaining four years; this will be considered together with other factors. Girls are in the same house throughout their time at Bryanston, the two systems being designed in the light of experience. 

Each house is in the care of a housemaster or housemistress (known at Bryanston as a ‘hsm’) who takes a close interest in every pupil’s general progress and welfare. Together with the tutor, the hsm is at the heart of the pastoral care and together they nurture the interests of each child. All hsms are supported in the house by a matron, live-in residents and a house team made up of teaching staff who help to supervise prep and bedtimes. The pupils also have access to the school chaplain, who is resident on the site, the nurses in the Medical Centre and a school counsellor. 


As a seven-day-a-week boarding school, it is Bryanston policy to make the weekends full and interesting. There are three types of weekends:

Whole school weekends, where all pupils are expected to remain in school and contribute to the organised events;

Two exeat weekends in the Autumn Term, where all pupils are expected to leave the school from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening;

Open weekends, where pupils can choose to stay at school or go home after lessons and commitments, eg sporting, on Saturday and return Sunday evening.

The school’s Weekend Co-ordinator works with a committee of pupil representatives to create a programme of weekend recreational activities designed to entertain, challenge and offer some new experiences.



Sport is important at Bryanston and success is achieved at the highest levels. The important thing, however, is that all pupils take part and many who may not previously have thought of themselves as games players are able to represent the school in a wide variety of sports. In this way, sport enhances the individual's sense of belonging, achievement and self-confidence. Pupils normally play a major sport on at least three afternoons a week. Choice will depend on the school term, but the range includes athletics, cricket, cross-country, rugby, hockey, netball, rowing, squash and tennis. In addition, pupils can participate in archery, badminton, basketball, fencing, Eton fives, kayaking, lacrosse, riding, sailing, shooting, soccer, squash and swimming.



Enjoys an exceptional reputation at Bryanston and with good reason. Embraced by a large number of pupils, it has a unique standing at the very heart of the school, academically, socially and spiritually. Eight full-time staff and 43 visiting music teachers of a very high calibre, covering a broad range of musical styles, oversee each pupil’s musical development. There is a considerable emphasis on performing and in this way music touches the life of the whole school community. A vast number and broad range of musical opportunities are open to all pupils with around 700 individual music lessons taught weekly. Inclusion as well as excellence is a core value and to achieve this every pupil plays a musical instrument in their first year.Pupils participate in a very large number of musical groups, including six different choirs, a large symphony orchestra, a specialist string chamber orchestra, a concert band and a stunning 20-piece dance band. There are also numerous chamber groups and pop/rock bands.



At Bryanston is flourishing and 15-20 productions a year provide plenty of opportunities for pupils to perform, design and direct. The school’s purpose-built theatre, The Coade Hall, has an auditorium seating 650, a fly tower, a large stage, an orchestra pit and a sophisticated system of stage lighting and sound. In addition, a large Greek theatre provides a beautiful setting for outdoor productions.There is a strong focus on pupil-directed drama, and this encourages independence, creativity and initiative. Pupils who join the stage crew learn how to handle the equipment and design, light and costume a production, and others help with front of house, marketing and box office. The Coade Hall provides a venue for professional touring companies and outside groups, and pupils attend productions at other theatres. Workshops, lectures and master classes add breadth to the dramatic experiences.


It is one of the great strengths of Bryanston. There is in no sense a ‘school style’ and pupils involved range from beginners and enthusiastic amateurs to the most accomplished practitioners. Within the department, housed in the purpose-build Don Potter Art School, there are specialist areas and teachers for drawing and painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, print-making and textiles.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

More than 70 extra-curricular activities are offered each year. Pupils in the first two years are required to attend two per week; older pupils take part voluntarily.  There are regular school trips in term time and the holidays. Pupils are encouraged to follow the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and there are many opportunities for service to the local and international communities.