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【The Standard:Boarding Insider】A wonder in Dorset

Boarding 101

“I heard that Leweston School head Kate Reynolds visited Britannia StudyLink in February. What can this school offer my daughter?”

Leweston School (co-educational Nursery and Junior; all-girls’ Senior and Sixth Form) is situated a few kilometers south of the Dorset market town of Sherborne. Its values are based upon a supportive Catholic ethos.

Leweston is a strong all-rounder with exceptional academics, pastoral care for international students, academic enrichment and an excellent extracurricular program.

In academics, expectations are very high but girls never feel under extreme pressure.

The school’s revision and development of the curriculum on an annual basis is carried out to suit the academic needs of girls and to prepare them for fulfilling future lives.

The English department is one the best in the country, while the school gained a Good Schools Guide award for excellence in English literature at Cambridge Pre-U.

Academic enrichment is another strong area. Pupils enjoy talks by famous visitors, such as author Caroline Green, and attend local events such as the Sherborne Literary Sessions.

Pupils can also engage in research owing to Leweston’s links with higher- education departments, such as the chemistry department at Bristol University.

Leweston also puts significant emphasis on public speaking. In January, three girls represented the school at the Rotary Youth Speaks Senior Public Speaking competition and enthralled the audience with their chosen topic, The Value of Solitude.

Interestingly, Leweston offers the Leiths Basic Certificate in Food and Wine to its sixth form cohort – one of only 12 UK schools to offer this internationally recognized qualification. In addition to the cooking skills they learn, students praise the way in which the course develops their ability to plan and organize – key skills which come in useful at university and later in life.

Certainly, Leweston is not an “all work and no play” school as extracurricular activities and sport play a central role in girls’ lives. They excel at hockey, horse riding and netball, while Leweston is also one of the few academies in the country for the modern pentathlon. Facilities for athletics are inevitably world-class.

Year Nine girls participate in cultural weekend trips to cities such as Paris, while language excursions to Spain and Germany are also organized. Sixth formers often go on joint trips with Sherborne Boys’ School.

Overall, Leweston is an extraordinarily vibrant community of highly motivated pupils. 


Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink

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