Barnard Castle School

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  • Full Boarding Fees


  • Qualifications

    GCSE, IGCSEs, A Level and BTEC

  • Language

    English as an additional language

  • Boarding

    Full Boarding

  • Dietary Requirements

    Vegetarian, vegan, halal & kosher

  • Key information

    Barnard Castle School has a total of 692 pupils of which 27 are international students and there are 144 boarders in the senior school. Boarders can join the school aged 7 and upwards.

    Details of EAL provision:
    International students are supported with a formalised EAL provision, with lessons helping to speed up the learning process offering a linguistic framework that enables students to participate fully in all aspects of school life – curricular and co-curricular, as well as social.
    The dedicated EAL department is led by Mrs. Nicholson, who teaches all EAL pupils in the Prep School and Senior School. Overseas pupils in Years 7-11, who require special assistance with their English Language work, attend class lessons during their normal school day. Class sizes are small (4-7) to maximise the amount of individual attention received by each student.

    All overseas students are tested on entry to ascertain levels of linguistic competency and ensure provision is targeted at the appropriate levels. Typically, this is likely to be one to two-and-a-half hours per week of specialist teaching, in addition to the normal curriculum.
    Testing is carried out, based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Each student is assessed at the start of the year and at the end of each term to monitor their progress. In using the European Language Passport, students are able to track their progress and also use it in their home country as a recognised proof of their ability.

    Furthermore, students are offered the opportunity to achieve Cambridge University English Proficiency Certificates, as well as being able to take recognised qualifications in a variety of subjects. The examinations students may take, and for which they receive tuition, include:

    · Cambridge ESOL Exams – Levels PET, FCE, CAE

    · IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

    · iGCE English as a Second Language


    The school is located in the County Durham market town of Barnard Castle.
    Barnard Castle School is half an hour away from Teesside International Airport, an hour away from Newcastle International, one and a half hours’ away from Leeds Bradford and just a two and a half hours’ drive from Liverpool and Manchester.

    A Day in the life of…

    A typical School day at ‘Barney’, for which the School is affectionately known, begins at 7am for our boarders, as they wake up and prepare themselves for breakfast in the Dining Hall. Pupils are offered a wide-ranging breakfast selection, consisting of hot and cold options. Registration with Tutors takes place at 8.40am, once pupils are dressed and ready for the School day, followed by Chapel every weekday except Wednesdays when all pupils have House meetings.

    The School day begins at 9.10am (on a Saturday the school day runs from 9.00am-12.00pm) and lunch is served from 1pm, which consists of various hot and cold options, a full salad/pasta bar and dessert. Co-curricular activities and competitive sporting fixtures take place in the afternoons, with fixtures throughout the week and on Saturdays over the course of the term.

    At 4pm, pupils have a selection of more than 100 activities to choose from ranging from CCF and sport to student-led activities. For pupils in Year 7 and 8, they participate in Barney’s bespoke ‘Mind, Body and Soul’ programme.

    From 5pm to 6.15pm, our boarders have the opportunity to relax and eat their evening meals – again, a wide selection of foods are provided. This time can also be used for making a snack, changing, unwinding in the common room, taking a shower after sport, instrumental or singing practice in the music rooms, watching TV or using the computers. Pupils usually phone family members during this time too.

    Prep time takes place from 6.15pm to 8pm, with junior pupils supervised in the Library, Intermediate years have space in their rooms in which to work and Sixth Formers are able to take advantage of the Sixth Form Centre, which is supervised by a member of the senior management team each evening.

    After Prep, pupils enjoy relaxation time in the Houses, where they can unwind from the day, watch TV, read, play pool or exercise using the School’s gym as well as enjoy each other’s company.

    The School day finishes at 9.30pm, depending on age group, when students ready themselves for bed before another busy, enriching day at Barney awaits in the morning.

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