St Bees School and the surrounding village boast a rich and varied history. The school was founded in 1583 by Edmund Grindal, who was born in St Bees and went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury.
St Bees has over 400 years of noble heritage as one of England’s oldest schools — and the new St Bees draws its traditions from these deep roots. Situated on the fringe of the stunning Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site, St Bees offers unrivalled education and boarding for ages 11-18.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1535, there would have been little opportunity for formal education in this area. As a result, the Archbishop petitioned Elizabeth I to establish a school on the basis that:
“Cowpland (now known as Copeland, the area around and including St Bees) is the ignorantest part in religion and most oppressed of covetous landlords of any part of this realm to my knowledge.”
St Bees has a huge range of fantastic facilities, spread over 250 acres of land.
This includes:Indoor swimming pool, Rugby pitches, Cricket pitch, Football pitch, Tennis courts (indoor & outdoor), Sports hall, Badminton court, Squash court, Eton Fives courts, Basketball/netball court, Golf course.
Our after school activities (also known as GCAS, which stands for Global Awareness, Creativity Active, Service) change termly to ensure that new activities can be experienced.
EAL lessons are taught as part of our Pre-A Level course (15-16 year olds) – a one-year IGCSE course intended for international students, as a precursor to A Levels.
However, outside of this year group – all non-native English speakers are tested upon arrival, in accordance with the Bell Foundation EAL Assessment Framework. Each student is then assigned a ‘traffic light’ colour, indicating their English ability. Individual ‘passports’ are created for each student, in a bespoke manner, highlighting the support required by their subject teachers. Dependent on their level, students might have additional EAL classes, regardless of their year group and age, to enhance and support their EAL learning; which then fits seamlessly in to their daily timetable.
St Bees has a total of 100 students, 38 of whom are international. 51 of these students are Boarders, spanning from over 14 different countries and ranging from the ages of 11 to 18.
Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. It is taken in over 140 countries and in more than 4500 schools around the world.
It allows for students not just to study our core subjects of Maths, English Language and Literature, Chinese and Co-ordinated Science, but also to choose from a range of subjects, dependent on interest, future course and university choice and chosen career
Emphasis is placed on provided a warm, safe, healthy, nurturing and peaceful environment for all boarders. Our experienced and well-supported House team is committed to the wellbeing of each boarder. We ensure constant medical, pastoral and safeguarding provision.
St Bees is unique in many ways. We are a small school who specialises on the individual - enabling each and every student to become the person they know they can be. To allow them to reach their dreams through a holistic, global and supportive education.
St Bees School has had boarding students for hundreds of years. Boarding today is focused on pastoral care and providing a holistic education outside of normal school hours.
Being a boarder at St Bees means being part of a big family of students and staff. We study, dine and play together, we look after and support each other and we help each other develop as individuals and as a group.
The curriculum at St Bees School is like no other. We have our very own, bespoke fusion curriculum that all our students follow which builds on a variety of skills as well as academic achievement. Fusion Maths- The pioneering Fusion Maths Curriculum at St Bees School is one of the main selling points of the School. Developed in collaboration with the Mathematics Department at Durham University by taking the best of Eastern and Western teaching and learning techniques, students at St Bees School study Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 content in the first two years of study at the school (Year 7 and Year 8).
Chinese plays a huge role in the Fusion Curriculum. Students learn about Chinese culture as well as taking up Mandarin as a foreign language when they join the school.
This helps students understand the differences and similarities in Eastern and Western cultures and is especially useful for the free flow of education between the original school in the UK and the three schools in China.