Novemebr 2015 issue

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New facilities in UK Schools

Independent schools in the UK are revamping their facilities in order to attract fresh waves of prospective students from across the globe. Eleanor Healy speaks to some schools that have gone down this route.

With today’s high global demand for an English-medium education, independent schools in the UK are among the most popular choices for middle-class overseas parents, who often seek them out to ensure their child has the best possible chance of obtaining a place at an overseas university.

Bishopstrow College in Wiltshire, whose students have previously gained scholarships to some of the UK’s most prestigious schools, including Harrow and Eton College, is “hoping to attract more students” with its brand new classroom building, which was opened in September 2014. “The facilities were built to ensure that the college is able to offer a world-class learning environment for students and staff and to support growth,” says Mark Jeynes, Director. The new building boasts eight classrooms, a library, a multi-activity room, a science laboratory and an IT suite, “and all of the classrooms and IT suite are fitted with the state-of-the-art Clevertouch interactive monitors,” relates Mark.

The college also has impressive plans for the future, as Mark explains. “The college has secured planning permission for a new boarding house and activity/sports hall,” he says. “These developments will be progressed in the next few years and are planned to support growth and our desire to continue to enhance our proposition.”

Jeremy Dean at Queen Ethelburga’s says, “We have invested over £80 million (US$124 million) on the campus, including a new sports village, new boarding houses and new classrooms.” The school, located in North Yorkshire, welcomes students from 65 different countries from across the world, and prior to its recent renovations already had its own state-of-the-art fitness centre, swimming pool, huge indoor gymnasium, amongst other world-class facilities. “2015 saw the installation of new 3G astroturf pitches and a new state-of-the-art floodlighting project to illuminate the full sports area,” continues Jeremy. “This year, we will complete our Sixth Form Boarding Centre with over 700 beds, all with en-suite and air conditioning.”

Jeremy explains that the school hopes to attract students who are from a sporting or creative background, as well as those with a high level of academic excellence. “Our sports facilities and elite level coaching has led to a number of true international sporting prospectus students, who will go on to compete at the highest level, joining QE to access the excellent sports facilities,” he says.

Loretto School in Midlothian, Scotland, (whose alumni includes: Alistair Darling, former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer; Jim Clark, Formula One World Championship winner; and journalist Andrew Marr), has this year launched the Loretto Golf Academy Indoor Centre. “Loretto has always attracted pupils from across the world – over 20 different countries,” says Jonathan Hewat. “The new Loretto Golf Academy Indoor Centre will be a useful addition to the golf training facilities at Loretto and means that we are able to offer golf to all from age five.” Complete with an indoor driving range, short game facility and indoor teaching studio, the centre will offer golf to all 600 Loretto pupils through physical education lessons, games and activities.

Also boasting its own nine-hole golf course, Moreton Hall School, an all-girls school in Shropshire, is combatting an age-old rift between science and female students. “We built a new science block two years ago, with a university-style bio-medical facility, to encourage more girls to continue with science subjects at A-level and beyond,” says Victoria Eastman, Head of the International Study Centre (ISC). Moreton Hall’s stand-alone ISC, built in 2010, was extended this year in order to offer pre-sessional courses to overseas students preparing for study at UK boarding schools. Victoria adds that the school is also developing facilities for its non-core business outside term-time, which includes a piano course and piano festival. She says, “We plan to build a new theatre in the near future, which will be a much-needed asset to the local community and to our school.”

Indeed, for some schools, these developments are just the beginning. For Queen Ethelburga’s, their recent enhancements are the beginning of a continued investment programme. “We will continue to invest in new facilities to benefit our campus – we have plans to create a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching facility, as well as new sports and recreation facilities,” says Jeremy, adding, “We are seeing a wide range of students applying for the school, both from within the UK and across the world.” ellie@studytravel.network

Course developments
Investing in new facilities gives independent schools in the UK the chance to overhaul and develop their course offerings in order to stay relevant to the demands of international students. Mark Jeynes at Bishopstrow College says that the school is soon to launch some new programmes aimed at the international market. “We are planning to launch a one-year IGCSE/Pre-IB programme and a shorter summer programme (four-to-five weeks) to attract additional students,” he says.

Victoria Eastman at Moreton Hall School says that they are continually developing and refining their courses alongside investment in facilities. “Our summer Biomedical/STEM course is specifically for students who have completed their AS year and who are planning to study these subjects at university. Our links with Keele University Medical School are an important part of this and the new science facility enables us to stretch the most able students who are considering studying courses such as medicine, engineering or maths.”
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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of StudyTravel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.







EF International Language Centers  
ELS Language Centers  
ILSC International Language Schools  
Kings Education  
TLG - The Language Gallery  

Ability English  
Cairns Language Centre  
English Australia  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
Monash College  

CERAN Lingua International  

ELSAC - English Language Schools Association of Cyprus  

ABLS - Accreditation Body for Language Services  
English Language Centre Brighton  
Heart of England Language School  
LAL Language Centres  
Manchester Language School  
New College Group  
Tellus Group  

Ecole de Tersac  
France Langue  
Riviera French Institute  

MEI Ireland  

Intercultural Institute of
Sakura House  

IELS - Institute of English Language Studies  
Magister Academy  

CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

Kilgraston Language and Activities Centre  

Estudio Sampere  

Bridge Education Group  
Summer Study Programs  
Trine University  
University of California San Diego  


HSI - High Schools International  

Braemar College  
Calgary Board of Education  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Catholic School District  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Kootenay Lake School District  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Niagara Catholic District School Board  
Ottawa Carlton District School Board  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Simcoe County District School Board  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Vancouver School Board  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  

Carlsbad International School  

Queen Ethelburga's College  

The King's Hospital  

Menaul School  


Hult International Business School  

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology  

Istanbul Aydin University  

Bridge Education Group  
Summer Study Programs  
Trine University  
University of California San Diego  
University of Virginia  


Campus Living Villages  
Dr. Walter GmbH  

ILAC - International Language Academy of Canada  

Cambridge English  
IALC International  
Quality English  

Irish Host family  

Sakura House  

Feltom Malta  

Idealist Education Consultancy  

ESL Townhouse  


Hult International Business School  

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology  

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