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Badminton School
Badminton School
Badminton School
Badminton School
top 200
Badminton School Bristol Visit
school
Badminton School
Bristol
380 pupils, ages 11-18
Girls only
Day and Boarding

Badminton School

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Our View

A smart, unfussy, forward-looking school that is both quintessentially British and wonderfully diverse with a phenomenal global, outward-looking view on the world, Badminton offers a compelling all-through education for girls. Its small size allows strong relationships to be forged and a real culture of tolerance and respect to be fostered. This is a hugely democratic sort of place, where girls are encouraged to be proactive in and outside school – and it has an air of intellectual rigour to boot.

Where?

Westbury-on-Trym is a well-heeled Bristol suburb, within strolling distance from the open spaces of the Downs but with all the excitement and diversity of Bristol just down the road. The site isn’t huge but has all the trimmings, just cleverly and conveniently tessellated rather than spread out over rolling acres. The main house is warm, honey-coloured Victorian stone, with attractive bay windows – think large family house rather than stately mansion.

Head

New head Jessica Miles arrived at Badminton in April 2023. Previously head of Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, and before that head of Queen Margaret’s School in York, she has masses of experience working in girls' schools – and is passionate about the merits of an all-girls' education.

She started her career teaching Spanish and says that nowadays her role ranges from ‘teacher to mentor to mental health specialist to counsellor and everything besides’. She tells us she never planned to be a head – ‘it has been serendipitous at each phase’ – and, indeed she was headhunted for the Badminton headship. She loves the school: its all-in-it-together community programme working with other independent and state schools and higher education establishments; its diverse mix of pupils, day and boarding – ‘Bristol is a hugely diverse city,’ she says, ‘and parents choose Badminton because of the diversity and global outlook’ – and, of course, its formidable academic reputation. Though she sees this as a challenge: ‘We need people to recognise that Badminton is not just about academics; there are pockets of excellence throughout the school and I want to build on them.’ Character education and developing the careers programme (she plans to start with the question, ‘what are employees looking for?’) are both in her sights. She also loves the school’s quirkiness – instead of prize-giving, for example, there is an annual Celebrating Badminton Day. She brings her own quirkiness too, with a Basket of Brilliance in her office filled with goodies. Pupils regularly swing by her office to ‘check if she is OK’ in the hope of getting a treat, she says wryly.

Mrs Miles is joined in Bristol by her husband Paul, a former PE teacher and director of sport who now runs a company that makes cricket bats as well as doing a bit of supply teaching, and their youngest son Freddie, who’s in Year 7 at Clifton Prep; their eldest Charlie is in the sixth form at Monmouth Boys.

Admissions

Plenty of pupils come up to the senior school in Year 7 from Badminton’s on-site junior school, while many more arrive from local junior schools. There’s another key entry point in Year 9 for girls from local preps. The registration deadline is nicely flexible but it’s worth getting in the queue up to a year before entry as it’s a popular place, but not off-puttingly over-subscribed. Prospective pupils sit exams in English and maths, plus an online cognitive-abilities test and an all-important interview with the head or a senior member of staff. Places in the sixth form are much more competitive, and pupils need to pass an exam in two A-level subjects, plus a reasoning test. There tends to be around 20 to 25 leavers after Year 11, mostly to co-ed schools, but there’s also a similar number of new starters. 

Some 80 per cent of boarders are international pupils with growing interest from Thailand, South Korea and South America. Short-term stays are possible, with a dedicated short stay coordinator facilitating pupils from France, Spain and Germany.

Academic and university destinations

Girls are unashamedly academic and motivated, happy to ask questions and work collaboratively – and we quickly clocked the warm relationships between pupils and staff. There’s a feast of subjects to dip into: girls can take GCSEs and A-levels in Mandarin, computer science, psychology, dance and even nutrition, and add EPQs, thinking-skills programmes and Dragons’ Den-style business and enterprise competitions, with the chance to pitch to potential investors.

Class sizes are tiny (usually just three or four in the sixth form), guaranteeing masses of personal attention. Sixth form teaching is akin to a university style, with seminars and tutorials. The new Casson library refit is now complete - a bright and airy two storey building housing 16,000 books, funky seating booths for independent and group study and window seats overlooking the front lawn where girls can sit together or curl up with a good book.

Results are super, and sixth-formers get weekly higher-education sessions to help them with their applications and interviews. Pupils go to universities all over the country with 88 per cent of last year’s leavers bagging their first choice university and several heading to Oxbridge.

Co-curricular

Unlike at many other Bristol schools, the girls here are fortunate enough to have all their sports facilities on site, so they can make the most of their free time after school and at weekends. The gleaming new sports centre, opened in 2018 by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, is something of which the school is justifiably proud. In addition to the all-singing, all-dancing sports-hall area, it’s got a state-of-the-art spin studio, a gym (unusually airy, with a fab view) and fencing piste. Lots of alternatives for anyone less keen on team sport too, including Zumba, self-defence and judo. This is an area Mrs Miles is keen to expand on. This isn’t an overtly sporty school, (although they do fare well against other girls’ schools), but they view sport as part of a well-balanced lifestyle, do plenty of it and give all girls the opportunity to represent the school. One of our guides commented on the great sense of sportsmanship – ‘Badminton girls are really helpful and encouraging.’ The offering feels hugely diverse, inclusive and delightfully gung-ho for an all-girls environment.

Drama is stellar – Oscar nominated Rosamund Pike is an OB and the school stages two bumper school plays each year, plus masses of smaller ones for everyone to get their teeth into. The creative arts block is very impressive, oozing with fabulously creative works of art in every medium you could think of. Music too is done to a very high standard. The impressive music school has a recording studio, slick technology suite and every instrument under the sun (including African drums), and the girls stage several performances at the well-known St George’s Concert Hall in Bristol.

Extracurricular life is busy, with masses of clubs to pick from. Trampolining and Segway are the current favourites; there are also Leith’s short courses in food and wine, sign language club and hot potato club where the girls discuss and share ideas about burning issues of the day. Pupils are encouraged to set up their own clubs and get involved in fundraising.

Badminton is a very outward-facing school, with pupils always whizzing off into Bristol and further afield to attend lectures at the university or volunteer in the community. Girls drive much of the decision-making: head girls are voted in via a pupil panel; a bunch of Year 10s set up the school magazine from scratch; and others lobbied the school to buy a horse box – now brilliantly used to sell food and hot drinks at school events.

Boarding

Roughly half of pupils are boarders, the majority of whom are at the top end of the school. Lots of flexibility – girls can choose either full, weekly or occasional boarding, and day pupils often book in for the odd night so they can spend more time hanging out with their friends.

Boarders are based in one of three houses: Bartlett for Years 5 to 8, Sanderson for Years 9 to 11 and the smart Sixth-Form Centre for Years 12 to 13, done up in splashes of hot pink, teal, yellow and lime. This recent renovation was thanks to the girls, who teamed up with an interior designer to choose the colour scheme and present the head with detailed costings for the renovation – she was so impressed that she immediately gave their plans the nod. It was lovely to see these sixth form girls striding about the school in their pale blue fitted tweed jackets teamed with home clothes; smart yet relaxed and ready to take on the world.   

Being Bristol based, the girls don’t have to venture far to find things to do at the weekends, and there is plenty arranged both on and off campus. Girls from Year 8 and up are allowed to venture out unaccompanied, but boundaries are relatively small at first. Sixth form boarders are given two meal exeats each week and can venture into Bristol City if they wish – a level of independence which the girls seem to very much appreciate and respect in return. Indeed, one of the head’s many mantras is that ‘respect breeds respect and respect also breeds success’ – and we saw it in spades.

School community

As a small school, Badminton offers a great deal of individual support and sixth-form peer mentors undergo specialist six-week mental-health training – and take their role incredibly seriously. Girls love their wellbeing garden as a place to relax and reboot. On our visit we saw a ‘kindness board’ in the main corridor festooned with post-it notes outlining acts of kindness by different girls who had been rewarded with a kindness sticker as a result - a lovely idea which the girls had come up with themselves. A-level pupils also blow up balloons for each exam they’re taking and stick them on a poster, ceremonially popping them once they’ve sat the exam.

Beyond the campus, the school is well known for its science outreach projects for girls in Year 10 to Upper Sixth. The girls host workshops and deliver physics demonstrations and lectures in local primary schools and at science festivals (they went to the UK Big Bang, Womad and Green Man Festivals this summer). We particularly loved the penpal scheme with the neighbouring care home, where girls meet a resident and then send and receive regular letters. There’s also a partnership with the Bristol Free School where they train their sixth formers in presentation skills.

Day pupils come from Chepstow, Gloucester, Bristol and Exeter; boarders, meanwhile, arrive from all over the country (a good few from London). Bristol is a very internationally minded city with a great airport and plenty of thriving foreign businesses, and 20-30 per cent of boarders come from overseas, representing 25 countries.

And finally...

The compact and well-appointed campus buzzes with activity but because it is home to children ages from four to 18, it retains a familial feel where children take care of each other and are allowed to develop at their own pace. The girls we met were chatty, jolly, fresh-faced and seemingly very happy in their own skins, with a refreshing lack of artifice. They’re high-achievers but shine with enthusiasm and ease.

Gallery See All

  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • University destinations

    41% of leavers went on to a Russell Group university.
    3% of leavers went on to an American university.
    10% of leavers went on to an overseas university.
    13% of leavers went on to a creative arts or vocational course.
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    Government and Politics
    History
    Information Technology
    Italian
    Latin
    Mandarin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Psychology
    Religious Studies
    Spanish
    Dance

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    Government and Politics
    History
    History of Art
    Information Technology
    Italian
    Latin
    Mandarin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Psychology
    Religious Studies
    Spanish
    Dance
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£6,470
    Year 8 £6,470
    Year 9 £6,470
    Year 10£6,470
    Year 11£6,470
    Year 12£6,470
    Year 13£6,470
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7£12,870
    Year 8 £12,870
    Year 9 £12,870
    Year 10 £12,870
    Year 11£12,870
    Year 12£12,870
    Year 13£12,870




    Bursaries
    Badminton offers means-tested bursaries for UK-based external candidates for entry into the Senior School only. A pupil does not need to win a scholarship in order to be considered for a bursary. The school also offers a fee discount to the daughters of HM Armed Forces personnel who receive Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) funding, which caps the full boarding/tuition fees so that the parental contribution remains 10% of the total fee payable.

    Bursary contact:
    Director of Finance and Operations Jonathan Webster
    dfo@badmintonschool.co.uk
  • SEND



    Co-ordinator: Rachael Underwood runderwood@badmintonschool.co.uk
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School bus service to/from London
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Bristol Temple Meads
    Journey time to London by train: 100 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Bristol (10 miles)


School Updates

  • Badminton School hosts Engineering Challenge for 15 local primary schools

    On Wednesday 17th April, 15 primary schools competed in an Engineering Challenge at Badminton School. The challenge was to install a model wind turbine by designing a crane out of K'Nex.
    Badminton School hosts Engineering Challenge for 15 local primary schools
  • Badminton School raises the roof at St George’s Bristol

    On Wednesday 7 February, the musicians of Badminton School gathered at the renowned Bristol concert hall, St George’s, to perform at the school’s annual Spring Concert.
    Badminton School raises the roof at St George’s Bristol
  • Former pupil at Badminton School receives Damehood in King’s New Year Honours List

    A former pupil at Badminton School, Bristol, was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the King’s New Years Honours List this year for her tremendous contribution to the voluntary and public sectors across every level of society.
    Former pupil at Badminton School receives Damehood in King’s New Year Honours List
  • 10 Questions with Jessica Miles, head of Badminton School

    10 Questions with Jessica Miles, head of Badminton School
  • Badminton School pupils celebrate wonderful achievements on GCSE Results Day

    Badminton School pupils celebrate wonderful achievements on GCSE Results Day
  • Badminton School students start new chapters after successful A Level results

    Badminton School students are looking forward to the future after receiving their A Level results
    Badminton School students start new chapters after successful A Level results
  • WATCH: Did you know A-Z of Extra Curricular?

    by the Badminton Pupils Marketing Team
    WATCH: Did you know A-Z of Extra Curricular?
  • WATCH: Did you know Sports?

    by the Badminton Pupils Marketing Team
    WATCH: Did you know Sports?
  • WATCH: Did you know Art?

    by the Badminton Pupils Marketing Team
    WATCH: Did you know Art?
  • Bristol pupil, aged 12, selected into U18s Severn Stars Netball Academy

    Bristol pupil, aged 12, selected into U18s Severn Stars Netball Academy
  • Bristol school opens its doors for new behind the scenes CBBC TV Series “Our Boarding School”

    Bristol school opens its doors for new behind the scenes CBBC TV Series “Our Boarding School”
  • See Badminton School in our All-through Schools Guide.

    See Badminton School in our All-through Schools Guide.
  • See Badminton School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.

    See Badminton School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.
  • 12-year-old Badminton pupil to swim epic 10-miles for charity

    A pupil in Year 7 at Badminton School is swimming 10 miles in the onsite pool to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity on Saturday 25 June.
    12-year-old Badminton pupil to swim epic 10-miles for charity
  • Badminton School Pioneering Science Outreach programme

    Badminton School Pioneering Science Outreach programme
  • WATCH: Talk Education's all-through schools focus: a pupil's perspective

    WATCH: Talk Education's all-through schools focus: a pupil's perspective
  • WATCH: Talk Education's all-through schools focus: Badminton School

    WATCH: Talk Education's all-through schools focus: Badminton School
  • See Badminton in our Senior Boarding Focus

    See Badminton in our Senior Boarding Focus

Badminton School is
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Essentials

Address
Westbury Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3BA

Contact
admissions@badmintonschool.co.uk
0117 9055200

Website
badmintonschool.co.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates

Bursaries


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form)
06 May 2024
Whole School Open Morning (Reception - Sixth Form)
28 September 2024
Sixth Form Open Evening
11 October 2024


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