Bradfield College: Reading, Berkshire,UK

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Bradfield College is a British co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils, located in the small village of Bradfield in the English county of Berkshire. The school, which admits pupils between the ages of 13–18, has been fully co-educational since September 2005. All first years pupils (Fourth Formers) enter a first year boarding house (Faulkner’s) and then, from the second year (known as the Shell), they move to their main boarding houses for the remaining four years. Bradfield College is a traditional boarding school with excellent facilities.

Number of students

Boarding School:







Day School:








7 days boarding: 

12,105 per term

About the school

The first pupil arrived at the College in February 1850. By August of that year there were six boys. By 1853 there were more than sixty boys at the College and over the next five decades, the numbers grew to around 400. The introduction of girls into the Sixth Form in 1989 and the subsequent transition to full co-education in 2004 led to a period of considerable and sustained growth. Today there are around 770 pupils comprising 480 boys and 290 girls. The College plans for this number to reach and then restrict numbers to 800 through extensions to a couple of the boarding houses.

Building by building the College has taken over the village. For example, the Old Mill now houses the Art Department with many buildings in the village now involved in College life in some way. More teaching blocks and a Music School followed, and all of the Boarding Houses previously based in Quad moved to new premises. The College expanded further and further up the hill with 11 state-of-the-art boarding houses and the addition of Faulkner’s, a Year 9 house where pupils joining in Year 9 spend their first year at Bradfield.

Supported by the Bradfield Foundation, the College has undertaken an increasing number of developments in recent years to add to the rich portfolio of outstanding facilities. These include the Sports Complex (1994), the Garrett Library (1996), a 9-hole Golf Course (1998), indoor Tennis Centre (2000), the School of Music (2004), the Big School Studio Theatre (2008), and the Blackburn Science Centre (2010).

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Academic life

Bradfield’s curriculum in the Lower School is designed to give pupils a wide experience of subjects and skills they may wish to pursue in future years. In the first year at this top UK Boarding school all the pupils in the year group are taught History, Geography and Religious Studies in three parallel Divisions. Here, one or two teachers will guide the pupils through a course designed specifically for them, covering historical, philosophical, political and economic concerns. All pupils are encouraged to study ancient and modern languages, either ab initio or continuing the study begun in previous schools. The majority of the Bradfield intake will follow at least two of these languages on to GCSE and many will continue their study in the Sixth Form. All pupils take GCSE courses in the core subjects, English, Mathematics and Science, and most take an additional four of their own choice. The Bradfield Sixth Form  Boarding School aims to provide an outstanding all-round education so as to prepare young people for success in a fast-changing world. The introduction of the International Baccalaureate reflects this. The IB Diploma is an international examination of high academic standing throughout the world. The IB is recognised by all UK universities and is, of course, highly regarded internationally. IB Diploma holders gain admission to all selective universities throughout the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, LSE, all Medical Schools, Harvard, Yale and Stanford. Since its founding, the IB Diploma has become a symbol of academic integrity and intellectual versatility. It is for this reason that Bradfield offers its pupils the opportunity to follow the Diploma course as an alternative to an AS/A Level course. This Top UK boarding school offers a wide selection of AS and A Level courses which seek to cater for pupils of wide aspirations and abilities, and a flexible approach to timetabling enables each pupil to have a free choice of subjects. As with the Junior School, the study of mathematics, the sciences and languages, classical and modern, are popular. Bradfield also has a strong reputation for the study of English and History as well as a number of creative disciplines, including Art, Design and Technology and Photography. Most pupils at this Top UK boarding school follow four AS Level courses in the Lower Sixth, which many continue through to full A Level in the second, Upper Sixth year.

Sport and culture

With over 30 sports available, this top UK boarding school  is able to foster a real ethos of participation. The traditional sports for boys are football, hockey and cricket and for girls they are hockey and netball.Alongside the major sports, Bradfield offers everything from tennis, badminton to swimming, clay shooting to fencing, equestrian to lacrosse and water polo.

This boarding school can boast some impressive sports facilities, including a double sized sports hall, a 25 metre indoor pool, fitness suite, two floodlit astroturf hockey pitches, a superb 9-hole golf course, 10 football pitches and one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the South of England.Tennis provision is particularly impressive. We have our own tennis centre with three indoor courts as well as two outdoor hard courts. Six new outdoor clay tennis courts opened in Spring 2017.This top UK boarding school boasts  also excellent drama facilities, which include an intimate Black Box studio, the Old Gym that can transform into an impressive 400 seat auditorium and, of course, ‘Greeker’, the College’s very own 700 seat outdoor Greek Theatre.

The Music Department’s aim is to cater for a wide variety of musical tastes and aspirations. Individual lessons are given for singing and on standard orchestral and keyboard instruments, percussion (pitched and kit), electric guitar and bass. Instrumentalists are encouraged to join the College bands, orchestras, rock and/or jazz groups. Choral activity is an important part of the College’s music. On entry to this top UK boarding school, all new pupils are voice tested. 

Drama is a very popular co-curricular option and there are many opportunities to get involved in drama at this boarding school in Berkshire. 

In Year 9 (Faulkner’s), all pupils have a weekly drama lesson and there is the option to continue the subject at GCSE, A-Level, International Baccalaureate and as part of the Extended Project Qualification. Pupils are also able to study for their LAMDA qualification whilst at the College and many complete the qualification to the Medal stages.

Each term the College produces a large scale production that, through open audition, is available to all pupils regardless of year directed by members of the Drama Department.

Summer School in UK for international students

Age: 8-17

Lessons / Week: 15

Dates: 03. Jul to 31. Aug

Price / Week: approx. £1450


Young Learners:

Junior (8-13)

Senior (14-17)

Location Description

 The 200 acres of grounds are located in the countryside but only 1hour from central London.

Reading, Berkshire RG7 6AU

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