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Bredon School
Bredon School
Bredon School
Bredon School
top 200
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Bredon School Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire Visit
school
Bredon School
Tewkesbury
240 pupils, ages 11-18
Mixed
Day and Boarding

Bredon School

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Our view of Bredon School

There’s an unmistakable feeling that this is a school that has really found its stride. With a smidgen of what the school’s founder Lt. Col. Sharp would have termed ‘mission creep’, Bredon was perhaps a victim of its own success, building a reputation for doing brilliantly with all children who need more nurture. And so it did, but a swathe of new and clear marketing and the singular focus of Bredon’s superb headmaster now leaves visitors in no doubt as to Bredon’s raison d'être which, in the words of the head, is ‘to enhance the superpower of dyslexia’.

Where is Bredon located?

Bredon is an independent boarding school set in beautiful countryside on the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border near Tewkesbury. The signage from the main road isn’t very clear, but don’t panic – follow the track past farm buildings and you get to a sweeping approach across meadowland and immaculate games fields to the imposing Pull Court, the Victorian building at the heart of the school’s vast acreage.

The courtyard entrance is flanked by stately cedar trees, and it all feels very peaceful and rural – lots of birdsong, pheasants, deer and a veritable scurry of squirrels. Its proximity to the M50 makes it helpfully accessible with stunning views across the pitches to the River Severn; the school has its own stretch of waterside frontage, from where it launches its fleet of kayaks.

Headmaster at Bredon School

Since his appointment in 2019, headmaster Nick Oldham (previously deputy principal at West Heath School) has worked wonders at Bredon – from refurbishing and rebranding to fully overhauling the house system and installing a new Astro. He’s friendly, busy and dynamic, and his drive and determination (perhaps in part thanks to his time playing rugby for England throughout the age groups) has been key to his goal of building new classrooms and a sixth-form block, which in turn will allow the school to grow to his target of 300 pupils. It’s safe to say he has a crystal-clear vision for Bredon School – and parents are impressed.

Having made his initial raft of changes and plotted a clear onward course, Mr Oldham has now set his sights on the curriculum, about which he feels that there has not historically been ‘the right level of positivity’. ‘Bredon isn’t all things to all people, it’s a dyslexia specialist’, he says, and the expertise within these four walls is almost unrivalled in this sphere. Last year’s leavers smashed out a 100 per cent BTec pass rate along with a ‘cracking’ set of A-level results – something which he feels they need to broadcast more overtly.

Sustainability and ecology are woven throughout Bredon’s fabric – an area that has ‘really got its heartbeat back’, in the words of Mr Oldham, who also finds time to help out with agriculture lessons. Bredon has already begun to sell farm produce at school events and potatoes gleaned from the adjacent field after harvest are used by the catering team to teach pupils how to cook the perfect chips.

‘It was the ethos that attracted me to Bredon,’ says the head, ‘and it continues to be a breath of fresh air’.

Admissions

Bredon has seen a massive influx of enquiries in recent years. Currently, two-thirds of pupils are boys, who are more affected by dyslexia than girls. From Year 5, numbers take a leap upwards, and Year 6 currently has two classes.

Bredon School is wonderfully flexible and welcomes newcomers at any time in any year – but there’s also an enthusiastic sense of ‘the earlier the better’ in order to soak up the advantages of its tailored offering. There’s also a significant intake of pupils who found larger public schools too taxing and for whom a school farm, a focus on the outdoors and an equal weighting of success and effort are far more up their street. Minibuses to local train stations make the school more doable for many. It’s all about the right child and for pupils with dyslexia, you’d be hard pushed to find a more bespoke package.

Academics and destinations

Every child here has their own individual pathway through the school, every teacher is dyslexia-focused, and classes are small and split into sets (average of 12; normally eight to 10). Children are never made to feel different, and the staff firmly believe that ‘It’s all about telling them you can do this’. ‘Bredon focuses on self-esteem’ says Mr Oldham, a huge believer in letting pupils know that ‘it’s OK to fail, it’s OK to get it wrong’ – and then looks to fix it.

Many children have come to Bredon after negative educational experiences, so the school works hard to think outside the box and deliver learning in a way that pupils can most easily access. Children we spoke to described how they were encouraged to try numerous ways of working things out for themselves before honing in on what works best. You might find a junior class bringing a maths lesson to life on the climbing wall or an older pupil voice-recording a lesson, which they can later revisit. ‘There’s not a school in the land that has the enriched curriculum we do,’ says Mr Oldham proudly – children might come straight from maths to the climbing wall, back off to the farm to feed the pigs before tuning in for science. There’s a snazzy new wood-clad maths building, containing spacious classrooms, and the science block now boasts four new laboratories.

The hugely well-resourced SEND department is in the Garden Cottage (set right in the heart of the school) and runs on a very open-door basis – pupils can drop in if they feel they need support in some area. Inside, it’s packed with assistive technology, books, games and activities to support those who need it, both through small-group interventions and one-to-one sessions.

Chromebooks are provided in every classroom. Languages aren’t big here, but the school is flexible enough to introduce them where there is a need.

The headmaster most certainly counts Bredon’s education pathway options as one of its USPs. There’s a choice of 24 GCSEs and BTecs on offer here and a whopping 29 BTec and A-level options from which pupils can, unusually, mix and match however they wish. The children themselves offer the very best proof of the power of this flexibility with examples of three of last year’s leavers who headed to Exeter for marine biology, the military for pilot training and on to the much-coveted and highly competitive Norland nanny roster. All of which require solid qualifications and a great deal of self-confidence, nurtured here in Bredon’s bucolic schoolroom.

There is a wealth of career advice, and work experience is considered a vital part of every pupil’s personal development.

Co-curricular

Bredon makes full use of its glorious rural setting, and afternoons are reserved for making the most of the extensive grounds by beetling around in sports kit and donning boiler suits for engineering or working on the farm. Pupils in Years 4 to 9 have timetabled outdoor education lessons each week, which might include archery, kayaking or orienteering.  

The metalwork and engineering experience at Bredon is outstanding, leading to apprenticeships in automotive engineering, agricultural engineering, blacksmithing, plumbing or a higher level of engineering qualification. A highly professional selection of metalworking machines are on offer: mills, lathes, surface grinders, smelting and shot-blasting – by Year 9, pupils will have used every piece of equipment. Similarly, the photography department is an enthusiastic buzz of Macs, drones and darkrooms, and the mind-blowingly awe-inspiring art department recently helped pupils create an elephant for Worcester’s Big Parade.

Music and drama had not previously taken centre stage, but this aspect too is being swept up and along in Bredon’s positive tide.

Sport is taking back a higher billing with some impressive fixtures and some recent notable wins have definitely nailed sporting colours to Bredon’s mast. The relatively new sports kit promotes a far stronger feeling of unity within and a professional first impression to opponents, but the pièce de résistance is the floodlit Astro, which took the place of the original walled garden of Pull Court while rugby pitches have been moved to the front of the school and away from the flood-prone original site. But team sports are only a part of the fabulously outdoorsy provision at Bredon, and a climbing wall, canoeing, clay-pigeon shooting, DofE, outdoor pool, bushcraft sessions, horse riding, mountain biking and more than 84 acres of beautiful grounds are more than enough to keep children challenged, inspired and busy.  

Bredon is an Armed Services Covenant School and CCF is a really big deal (the military aspect runs through its DNA). The school has its own unit under the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers which has grown exponentially. Everyone in Year 9 and above has the opportunity to take part and, by doing so, pupils sign up to life-changing experiences, developing leadership qualities, courage, discipline, respect for others, integrity and selfless commitment – all very much the embodiment of the school’s founder who envisaged a place where it was not just about academics, but rather learning how you learn and learning how to lead. 

The farm is remarkable, and an integral part of school life and the skills learnt here extend far beyond the farmyard. Agriculture is offered at GCSE and BTec, and environmental science is on offer for A-level. Pupils learn valuable practical lessons in tractor driving, shearing, fencing, maintenance skills and general husbandry of pigs, cows and sheep (the girls have raised a confusion of 20 guinea fowl from the incubator in their boarding house). The school has its own farm shop, selling veg and eggs and serving coffee – and providing a real-life learning opportunity for pupils studying business skills.

Bredon’s Wainwright Lectures form an integral part of the programme for sixth-formers, offering a variety of external speakers on a weekly basis. The lectures aim to broaden students’ understanding of the wider world and offer insights into a range of subjects or career choices – there is most definitely something for everyone.

Bredon School Boarding

There are two boarding houses: Tyndale House for Years 4 to 11, occupying the top floors of Pull Court and with high ceilings and great views; and Stable House for sixth-formers, which is geographically closer to the sixth-form common room and study areas, designed as a stepping stone between school and further education. Stable House feels more spartan and ‘university’ than the homely Tyndale, but students are taught to do all their own washing and really gain a sense of independence before making the leap into further education, apprenticeships or work.

Pupils sign up to at least three in-house activities per week and weekend activities (for which both houses usually combine) range from cinema to bouncy castles, laser tag and paddleboarding, as well as local shopping trips, but Bredon’s boarding staff are also highly experienced in supporting pupils with specific learning needs so that they can assist with their academic progress.

School community

Crucially, pastoral care is at the forefront here – yet children are brilliantly supported, rather than simply spoon-fed. There has been a significant pastoral reshuffle over the last few years, resulting in a reinvigoration of the house system. The two boarding houses and three day houses are each headed by a housemaster or mistress, who are one of the main points of contact for parents, along with their child’s tutor (pupils meet them on a regular basis, both one-on-one and in small groups). The recent scooping of the Wellbeing & Mental Health Initiative Award in the annual BSA Supporting Excellence Awards is testament to Bredon’s tremendous pastoral endeavours. House events are varied and regular - not just your run-of-the-mill singing and chess – Bredon actually has its own ‘house tractor pull’ which is a first for us.

The school has also wisely appointed a member of staff tasked specifically with monitoring the transition from the junior school into Key Stage 3, providing an academic bridge between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 wherever necessary as well as the accompanying pastoral handrail.

And finally....

Above all else, it was the testimony of pupils that struck us here. A sixth-former who had been told elsewhere that they wouldn’t get a single GCSE is now confidently approaching his A-levels, while another hails the passing of his maths GCSE as one of his proudest achievements. The head described dyslexia as a superpower - and Bredon makes children believe it.

Gallery See All

Pupils up a tree with the headmaster standing at the bottom with a dog
Girl in a blue blazer holding a green frog
Bredon School pupils walking together on the school drive
pupil and instructor clay pigeon shooting
teacher and pupils in aprons baking scones
Teacher in a black shirt smiling with pupils in class
girl in a polo shirt and blue glasses sitting in class
boys in ties sitting at a laptop
pupils in the headmasters drawing study with a dog
  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Design and Technology
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    Geography
    History
    Information Technology
    Mathematics
    Photography
    Religious Studies
    Combined Science

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    History
    Mathematics
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Religious Studies
    Textiles
    Extended Project Qualification
    Environmental Science
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£6,690
    Year 8 £6,690
    Year 9 £6,690
    Year 10£8,770
    Year 11£8,770
    Year 12£8,770
    Year 13£8,770
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7£11,960
    Year 8 £11,960
    Year 9 £11,960
    Year 10 £14,040
    Year 11£14,040
    Year 12£14,040
    Year 13£14,040




    Bursaries
    Bredon offers means-tested bursaries as well as hardship support for existing pupils. These awards are conditional on a full financial history as well as an annual review.


    Bursary contact:
    Bursar Stephen Giles
    bursary@bredonschool.co.uk
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    Bredon School specialises in supporting children with specific learning difficulties with an expertise in dyslexia. Teachers have a wealth of experience working with pupils with SPLD by removing the barriers to their learning as well as developing an individual's confidence in their own ability.

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    All classes are delivered with dyslexia in mind, with information being delivered in manageable chunks and with multi-sensory strategies used throughout. Technology is encouraged in all lessons and Chromebooks with computer readers and voice to text software are available for all pupils.

    The SEN Team is made up of qualified teachers with at least a SPLD level 5 qualification and specific learning sessions can be delivered as part of an individual learning program. Bredon School also boasts the knowledge and expertise of two qualified speech and language specialists and an occupational therapist who deliver weekly on-site sessions and form a strong offer within our teaching team.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    Bredon School has a Health and Well Being Centre which caters for all mental health needs of pupils. They operate an open door policy and have fully qualified mental health nurses available to pupils.

    Co-ordinator: Jodie Grant grantj@bredonschool.co.uk
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Ashchurch for Tewkesbury
    Journey time to London by train: 180 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Birmingham (54 miles)


  • FAQs

    Who owns Bredon School Tewkesbury?
    Bredon school Tewkesbury is now part of the Cavendish Education schools group based in London. This group is made up of SEND schools from all across the UK that aim to nurture students and help them unlock their potential. 

    When was Bredon School Tewkesbury established?
    Bredon all-through school was first established over 60 years ago in 1962 as a boarding school for boys aged between 13-16. The school was initially founded by Lt-Col A K Sharp and Hugh Jarrett, before later becoming a fully-fledged co-ed boarding school.   

    What is the motto of Bredon School?
    The motto school’s motto was first proposed by Colonel Sharp and continues to have relevance and poignancy today. It reads: ‘The journey is as important as the destination’. This highlights a school ethos of creative individuality and tailored learning across a pupil’s educational journey to ensure they realise their full potential.

School Updates

  • See Bredon School in our All-through Schools Guide.

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

    See Bredon School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.
  • Hear a pupil talk about their experience of Bredon

    Hear a pupil talk about their experience of Bredon
  • Talk Education's senior boarding focus - Bredon

    Talk Education's senior boarding focus - Bredon
  • Bredon School: Virtual Tour Hub

    Bredon School: Virtual Tour Hub

Bredon School is
linked with:

Essentials

Address
Pull Court, Bushley, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 6AH

Contact
admissions@bredonschool.co.uk
01684 293156

Website
bredonschool.org

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates

Bursaries


Open Days

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



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