Bedford School, De Parys Avenue, Bedford MK40 2TU
1113, Upper sixth 140
£3201-£4938 (Day), £5375-£7883 (Boarding), £5124-£7623 (Weekly)
Founded in 1552, Bedford School lies in 50 acres of peaceful and extensive grounds in the centre of Bedford. It has good, modern facilities, including a state-of-the-art music school, purpose-built library, large sports hall, indoor pool, observatory and planetarium. It provides continuous education for boys from 7, with a mix of full boarders, weekly boarders and local day boys. Strong academically, with very good examination results; the International Baccalaureate is offered as an alternative to A-levels. It aims to encourage boys to develop their talents, discover new interests and prepare for the world beyond school. It is strong in sport, music and drama. There is also an extensive range of extra-curricular activities on offer, including CCF, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, community service unit and outdoor pursuits. It enjoys strong local support.
Head Master: John S Moule, in post from September 2008. Educated at a comprehensive school, sixth-form college and Oxford University (history). Previously Vice Master at the school, Housemaster and Head of History at Stowe and taught history and politics at Dean Close. Teaching staff: 126 full time, 15 part time.
GCSE: 126 in fifth form; 99% gain at least grade C in 5+ subjects. A-levels: 140 in upper sixth, gaining an average final point score of 395. Pupils taking the IB gained an average of 35 IB points.
99% of sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course (several after a gap year), 6% to Oxbridge. 33% take courses in sciences (including medicine), 5% in engineering, 17% in business and administration, 13% in social sciences, 16% in languages and humanities, 8% in arts and education and 8% go on to study in Europe.
Music: 65% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Musical groups including 3 orchestras, dance, school bands, chamber groups. Drama: Drama offered at GCSE, AS and A-level. Many pupils are involved in school productions and majority in house/other productions. Art and Design: On average, 40 take GCSE, 13 A-level. Design, pottery, photography also offered. Regular exhibitions of students’ work and of outside artists.
Sport: Rugby, hockey, cricket and rowing are main sports. Also athletics, badminton, basketball, canoeing, clay-pigeon shooting, croquet, cross-country, fives, fencing, shooting, soccer, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis, sub-aqua, volleyball, water polo, weight training, golf, mountaineering. Regional and occasionally national champions Indoor hockey (U16, U18); national and county representatives at various sports. Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. CCF and community service both optional for 4 years at age 14. Wide range of alternative activities for sixth form. 50+ clubs eg computing, charities, bridge, all academic activities, mountaineering, wine appreciation, music, photography, printing, public speaking, Young Enterprise, all sports.
Most upper sixth have own study bedroom. Senior pupils in houses of 30-50, parallel to day houses. Pastoral support offered by house parents, assistant housemaster, non-resident tutors and matrons. Central dining halls. Additional cooking facilities for boys in boarding houses. Flexible weekend leave, including 2 full-weekend exeats per term plus half term. Visits to local town allowed.
is run by The Old Bedfordians Club, 2 Burnaby Road, Bedford MK40 2TT. Tel. 01234 362262
Lord (Paddy) Ashdown (former Liberal Democrat leader); Lord Naseby (Conservative politician); Alastair Cook (cricketer); Andy Gomarsall (rugby player); John Fowles (author); Simon Murray (cricketer); Al Murray (comedian).