Bishopstrow College was established in 2006 by Ian and Fran Henson (both now retired), welcoming its first cohort of 40 students in July, August, September and October 2006. Some of these students spent as little as two weeks at the College, whilst others enrolled for up to a year. More than 10 different nationalities were represented included Azerbaijan, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey. Many of these students had enrolled at Bishopstrow to prepare for onward progression to boarding schools in the UK, including Abingdon, Aldenham School, Bloxham School, Bromsgrove School, Gordonstoun, Leighton Park School, Papplewick, Sunningdale School and Windelesham School; others were already enrolled at a boarding school and attended Bishopstrow for a short period during their school holidays.
The extra-curricular programme includes a range of daily sports and morning and evening clubs and activities, designed to foster team spirit and the confidence to integrate with others when students move on from Bishopstrow.
As well as their onsite activities, they organise a stimulating and varied programme of fully-supervised trips at weekends. These allow students to discover places of cultural, geographical and historical interest and to sample the great outdoors through walking and other physical pursuits.
Sightseeing, cultural visits and even shopping provide contexts within which speaking and listening skills are put to the test. They are also great fun and provide memories to last a lifetime.
Trips and excursions may include London museums and art galleries, outdoor activity centres, trips to the beach and coastal walks. Local attractions include Stonehenge and Longleat and visits to neighbouring towns and cities, such as Bath, Bristol, Salisbury and Oxford.
Bishopstrow is the UK’s only independent International Study Centre, entirely dedicated to helping international students prepare for entry into the UK’s leading boarding schools. Students are therefore free to choose where they continue their education.
Each term the College welcomes up to 90 boys and girls (all boarders) from around the world and a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. From the moment students arrive at Bishopstrow, they are fully immersed and integrated into British life and culture. Throughout their stay, which lasts at least one term and up to a year, (or 5 weeks on the Academic Summer Programme) they receive intensive preparation for entry into their chosen school. Students planning to return home to continue their studies make real progress with their English. Bishopstrow also offers a 1 Year IGCSE Programme providing international students with access to Sixth Form to some of best British boarding schools.
The College's key study options are; English Language preparation, Academic pathway programmes, Boarding preparation, 1 Year IGCSE Programme & a 5 week Academic Summer Programme.
Small class sizes, with a maximum of 8 students for English classes and 12 students for other academic subjects, allowing very high levels of individual teacher time.
A diverse international community, with the student body made up of more than 20 nationalities.
An Individual Learning Plan for every student, updated regularly, detailing progress and areas for improvement in English, other academic subjects, sport and boarding.
A variety of programmes focusing on intensive English language tuition and immersion in the National Curriculum, including Mathematics, Science, Geography and History.
Each week, there are 30 hours of academic tuition (6 hours in the classroom daily) and 7.5 hours of supervised prep.
Excellent track record of placing students into leading boarding schools in the UK.
Teaching Partnerships with more than 100 leading boarding schools in the UK.
Boarding students live in one of the four boarding houses – Barrow House, Mandalay, Riverside and Aldhelms – with separate houses for boys and girls.
Junior and Middle College students live in Barrow House at the heart of the main campus, in shared rooms of between two and eight students.
Senior Girls have a suite of rooms in the top floor of Barrow House and the other boarding houses are also allocated to Senior College students. Mandalay and Riverside are located across the road from the main campus. Mandalay can accommodate up to 10 students and staff, whilst Riverside can accommodate up to 12 students and staff. Both houses benefit from extensive gardens overlooking the River Wylye and are a short walk from Barrow House and The Henson Building (classroom block).
Aldhelms is located a short distance from the College and can accommodate 16 students and staff.
Senior College students live in shared rooms of two, three or four, with access to kitchen and sitting room facilities. There are between 10 and 40 students per house.
Being a small school, students and staff have the opportunity to get to know each other really well. This contributes to the happiness, development and success of students. Visitors often remark on the unique atmosphere they encounter at Bishopstrow and the relaxed, informal relationships they witness between staff and students.
They are a vary caring and supportive community, with the safety and well-being of students of paramount importance. Their teachers and tutors support students in class, offering them advice and help when it is needed. Outside the classroom, their trained residential boarding staff ensure the welfare of students from arrival at the College to their final departure. They maintain a high ratio of boarding staff to students, thereby ensuring a high level of supervision of students during the school week and throughout weekends.