It’s about the boys
Bedford School is an independent boarding and day school for boys aged 7 to 18 years old. On a foundation of outstanding academic results, the school is dedicated to nurturing a wide variety of individual interests and to developing them as far as boys can take them.
They aim, for balanced, outward-looking, forward-thinking, kind and sociable young men who are comfortable in their own skins. In this all-boys environment, boys can develop without inhibition and awkwardness, and feel able and keen to participate to the fullest.
“It is simply easier to become good.” — Ben, day boy, Year 9
A Boarding Community
Boarders lie at the heart of the school’s warm and inclusive community. In the Prep School, Eagle House caters for the youngest boarders (aged 7-13), while six Victorian villas, each with a character of its own, offer Upper School boys a true ‘home from home’.
Day and boarding houses are paired, and participate jointly in house activities and competitions, ranging from singing to water-polo; adding to the camaraderie and sense of community that so many visitors comment on and admire.
All boys are able to take full advantage of the opportunities that this large and thriving boarding school offers. From their earliest years, boys are encouraged to become independent and lifelong learners, who understand the need to work hard, to take risks, be resilient and constantly strive to be the best that they can be. With a curriculum that extends well beyond national requirements, boys enjoy a balanced and varied choice of subjects.
Academic success is demonstrated by a long history of impressive examination results at GCSE, A-level and in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. In 2020, 87% of boys went on to Russell Group and/or Times Top 30 universities, with many more taking up places at leading universities across the world and on degree apprenticeships.
Beyond the classroom, the school’s diverse programme of extracurricular activities includes the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) conducted at Bedford School in conjunction with Bedford Girls’ School, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, fundraising groups, and more than 120 clubs and societies, from astronomy to Young Enterprise. The school’s Community Partnership Programme in the Sixth Form ensures that all boys, wherever in the world they come from, play a meaningful part in the local community while they are at the school.
Boys engage in local partnerships, including nearby primary and secondary schools where they have supported teachers by giving guided reading sessions to younger pupils, and introduced older children to Greek and Latin. More recently, a group of Lower Sixth Form boys set up ‘Bedford School Device Bank’ where they collected old laptops and used their IT skills to recondition them, as part of a local effort to alleviate digital poverty. The partnership programme has helped the boys learn to become responsible citizens and contribute to the community in which they live.
While committed to the benefits of single-sex teaching, the school also works closely with its nearby sister school, Bedford Girls’ School, to provide a wide-ranging programme of co-educational, extracurricular and social activities.
Sport for All
Recognised as an outstanding school for sport, from which many international players have emerged, Bedford School aims to inspire a lifelong interest in sport in all boys, promoting teamwork, wellbeing, fitness and, most of all, enjoyment.
The school’s sporting resources are outstanding. Renowned for immaculate grass pitches set against the vista of an iconic main building, the school’s facilities include a floodlit twin AstroTurf complex, 25 metre indoor swimming pool, 28 tennis courts, four squash courts, four Fives courts, a superbly equipped fitness centre, a climbing wall, a shooting range, and a recently refurbished recreation centre.
The Bedford School Boat Club, which dates back to 1861, is a breeding ground of Olympians and has outstanding facilities within a 10-minute walk of the school grounds on the River Great Ouse.
Additionally, Bedford School delivers an elite golf scholarship programme in partnership with Woburn Golf Club, home to three outstanding championship courses. The school’s brand-new state-of-the-art golf simulator has meant that the boys have not missed out on vital practice while the courses have been shut.
Bedford School has a long-established reputation for excellence in music, drama and art. With its state-of-the-art music school, it has one of the largest music departments in the country and a high proportion of boys learn to play one or more instruments.
Drama and theatre studies thrive in the school’s stunning Quarry Theatre at St Luke’s and first-rate art studios are available to everyone to explore sculpture, printmaking, photography, fine art and design.
Entrance Assessments and Scholarships
Entrance and scholarship examinations are held in January and February each year. The school offers generous academic, art, drama, music, and sport (including golf) scholarships on entry to the school at both 13+ and 16+.
“A rock-solid option for a single sex public school where boys reach their academic potential without undue pressure and kick-start their adult lives with a real love of sport and/or the arts. Boys are among the nicest and most outward looking we’ve met, helped by school’s (and particularly the current dynamic head’s) strong sense of service. Softer skills a real point of differentiation.” — The Good Schools Guide