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Bedales School: a parents’ guide to entry in Years 7 and 9

School guide
Bedales School: a parents' guide to entry in Years 7 & 9

Contents

Bedales School is a co-educational day and boarding school for children aged 3–18 located on a 120-acre site in Petersfield, Hampshire. It consists of three schools – Dunnannie (nursery and pre-prep up to Year 3), Dunhurst (prep for Years 4–8) and Bedales Senior School (Years 9–13).

Bedales has provided a progressive liberal education since it was founded by John Badley in 1893. His vision was to create a school focused on each individual child’s welfare and happiness – an approach which was profoundly different to the authoritarian regimes of public schools at the time. Pupils at Bedales are given the confidence and space to play with ideas. There’s no school uniform, and staff and pupils address each other by first names.

After becoming dissatisfied with GCSEs, Bedales introduced its own qualification programme – Bedales Assessed Courses (BACs) – which are externally moderated and recognised by universities and employers. Pupils choose up to five BACs from 14 choices which include ancient civilisations, dance, digital game design, global awareness and outdoor work, which they study alongside core IGCSE (International GCSE) subjects in English literature, maths, science, and foreign languages.

Beyond academic subjects, pupils take part in a unique programme of enrichment and co-curricular events. Activities include ‘Jaw’ – a weekly after-school chapel event where pupils reflect on philosophical, spiritual, religious and moral ideas and views – and ‘Civics’, where pupils have the opportunity to hear views and opinions from highly regarded personalities across a range of industries and professions. All pupils have free time on Wednesday afternoons to use as they wish, while termly community days see pupils and staff work together on a range of projects.

Key information for Bedales School

  • Head: Mr Will Goldsmith (Senior School), Mr Colin Baty (Prep)

  • Address: Bedales School, Church Road, Steep, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 2DG

  • County: Hampshire

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01730 711733

  • Age range and gender: boys and girls aged 3–18

  • Number of pupils: 487

  • Open day date for 11+: 4th March 2023

  • Open day date for 13+: 26th November 2022 and 4th February 2023

  • Overview of selection procedure for 11+: residential visit of one to three days, including written and online assessments and a one-to-one meeting

  • Overview of selection procedure for 13+: residential visit of three days, including written and online assessments, interviews, and co-curricular activities

  • Assessment date for 11+: Early January of Year 6 (Thursday 5th–Friday 6th January 2023 for 2023 applicants)

  • Assessment date for 13+: Early January of Year 6 (Wednesday 4th–Friday 6th January 2023 for 2024 applicants)

Bedales School fees and financial assistance

The current termly fees at Dunhurst (Bedales Prep) range from £6,245 for day pupils to £9,195 for boarders (fees are dependent on the child's year group). The termly fees at Bedales Senior (Year 9 and above) are £10,515 for day pupils and £13,380 for boarders. Fees cover the cost of tuition and pastoral care, food and accommodation (where applicable), laundry, use of the facilities, travel for most sports and games, and personal accident insurance. Find out more details about other charges on Bedales’ website.

Bedales is able to offer means-tested financial assistance, known as bursaries, to pupils who are likely to thrive at the school but whose parents would not otherwise be able to afford the full fees. Bursaries range from part fee contributions to full 100% bursaries, with further support for additional costs if needed. If you would like to discuss suitability for a bursary to Dunhurst or Bedales Senior School, contact the admissions team.

Scholarships are also available for 11+ and 13+ candidates:

  • Academic scholarships: 11+ and 13+. Pupils have access to an annual research fund of up to £500.

  • Art scholarships: 13+ only. Pupils have access to an annual grant of up to £500.

  • Music exhibitions: 11+ and 13+. Pupils are entitled to one free lesson per week.

  • Music scholarships: 11+ and 13+. Pupils are entitled to two free lessons per week and an annual grant of up to £500.

Bedales School term dates

The term dates at Bedales School for 2022–23 are:

  • Autumn term: 1st September – 14th December 2022

  • Half term: 13th–30th October 2022

  • Spring term: 8th January – 31st March 2023

  • Half term: 10th–19th February 2023

  • Summer term: 23rd April – 5th July 2023

  • Half term: 25th May – 4th June 2023

Admissions process for Bedales School

If you are considering either the prep or senior school at Bedales, it’s best to attend an open day or arrange a visit first to make sure it’s the right school for your child. The admissions process for 11+ entry to Dunhurst and 13+ entry to Bedales Senior School differs slightly.

For both entry points, Bedales looks to admit pupils who are able and willing to contribute to life at the school, who will take initiative and responsibility for themselves, who are likely to get on well with other pupils and with staff, and who will make the most of the range of activities and opportunities available. They should be able to access the curriculum, be willing to cooperate with teachers and work hard, and should be capable of making satisfactory academic progress.

Preference may be given to applicants who have a sibling already learning at the school, and places may be reserved for applicants who come from families who cannot afford any or all of the fees, have a valuable talent (e.g. academic, music or art), or who wish to board.

11+ entry to Dunhurst (Bedales Prep)

To start your application process for 11+ entry to Dunhurst, you will need to fill in the registration form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £200.

Once your form and fee have been received, your child will be invited to a residential experience at Dunhurst, taking place over one to three days in early January when they are in Year 6. Your child will have a one-to-one meeting with a member of staff so that they can understand how your child learns. Your child will also take three tests:

  • English: a written paper set by Bedales teachers. Children will be assessed on their writing and reading comprehension skills.

  • Maths: a written paper set by Bedales teachers. Pupils will be tested on their knowledge and application of the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum, which includes questions on number, measurement, geometry, algebra, and statistics.

  • Ability test: an online test, similar to the CAT4. Pupils will be tested on verbal, non-verbal, spatial and quantitative reasoning.

Academic scholarships are automatically awarded to 11+ candidates on the basis of their performance during the residential visit. If your child is applying for a music scholarship, they will have a scholarship assessment in late January of Year 6.

13+ entry to Bedales Senior School

To start your application process for 11+ entry to Dunhurst, you will need to fill in the registration form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £200.

Once your form and fee have been received, your child will be invited to a residential experience at Bedales Senior School, taking place over three days in January when they are in Year 7. They will have interviews with staff and will have an opportunity to show their skills in co-curricular activities such as art, drama, sport and outdoor work.

The 13+ exam is similar to the 11+ exam:

  • English: a written paper set by Bedales teachers. Children will be assessed on their writing and reading comprehension skills.

  • Maths: a written paper set by Bedales teachers. Pupils will be tested on their knowledge and application of the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum, which includes questions on number, measurement, geometry, algebra, and statistics. They may also see questions from the early Key Stage 3 curriculum.

  • Ability test: an online test, similar to the CAT4. Pupils will be tested on verbal, non-verbal, spatial and quantitative reasoning.

Academic scholarships are automatically awarded to 13+ candidates on the basis of their performance during the residential visit. If your child is applying for an art or music scholarship, they will have scholarship assessments in late January (Monday 23rd January 2023 for 2024 entry).

How to help your child prepare for the selection process at Bedales School

Build foundational knowledge

Both the 11+ and 13+ admissions processes for Bedales School include academic tests on a huge range of Key Stage 2 content and beyond, with questions in English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

Atom Nucleus is an award-winning online learning and exam preparation platform which can help your child consolidate everything they need to know. They’ll get access to over 90,000 interactive teacher-created questions and learning resources spanning all the subjects tested in the exam.

English learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Preparation is key

Familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential to help your child build exam confidence.

An exam preparation subscription with Atom Nucleus enables your child to access quality, unlimited practice material with full score breakdowns to help your child feel confident by the time the exam day comes around.

Your child can take mock tests that replicate typical 11+ and 13+ exams for English and maths, and a replica of the CAT4 exam to prepare them for the Bedales online ability test. Your child can take these tests as many times as they like without repeatedly seeing the same questions, while automatic marking means that you’ll see their results instantly, including their performance compared to peers and suggested areas for improvement.

An example CAT4 mock test on Atom Nucleus

Access to immediate support

When working through challenging topics, your child will need immediate clarity with any misconceptions so that they feel truly secure in every topic. Atom Nucleus includes video tutorials, help sheets and examples with every question to help your child build confidence and competence across all the areas assessed.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Engage with their progress

Celebrate your child’s improvement in areas of challenge together. An accurate and ongoing assessment of their areas of strength and development is helpful.

As an Atom subscriber, you’ll have a parent dashboard which offers data-driven insights into your child’s progress. You can use this effectively to help your child set targets, see a detailed breakdown of their progress by subtopic and set custom practices to target those they find most challenging.

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Get started with Atom Learning

It’s our mission to help your child feel prepared and confident before the exam day. Begin your free 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to help your child succeed.

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We know how crucial this time is, so our team is on hand to support you and your family every step of the way. You can book a call with one of our Education Experts to ask any questions you might have about 11+ or 13+ entry to Bedales School:

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