Basic Information & Location
As a classic independent school in Britain, the history of Berkhamsted School can be traced back to 1541. The school is a teaching group providing from Day Nursery to Sixth Form education, serving students aged 5 months to 18. It locates at Berkhamsted in England, takes only 50 minutes drive from London.
The school is under a diamond structure, which promotes co-education for students under age 11 and above 16. For students aged 11 to 16, boys and girls study in single-sex classrooms, while experiencing co-educational activities and events.
The whole school goes through one basic teaching philosophy, Building Learning Power (BLP). It suggests placing as much emphasis on dispositions or habits as content. 10 chosen dispositions are from four areas of development: cognitive, emotional, social and strategic. By stimulating independent learning, it allows students to develop their resilience and flexibility.
For students aged 11 to 16, they need to study 7 core subjects for senior school curriculum. Besides, they can choose to study four GCSE options, from History, Geography, Foreign languages and so on. For IGCSE, it is undertaken in English, Modern Foreign Languages, History, Mathematics, the Sciences and Religious Studies.
There are over 400 Sixth Form students each yea, 27 A-Levels courses are offered to choose, including Drama and Theatre study, Sociology, Psychology. They start on studying four A-Levels and specialize in three by the end of Year 12. Students need not to take AS-Level examinations. However to undertake either the Mini-MBA program or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), to learn more about the world of business, or to conduct a research project into an area of special interest.
Students of Berkhamsted School achieved excellent academic results. For 2018, over 40% of A-Level grades achieved were A* or A, which is the best result in its 477 year history. Most of the students successfully earned places for their first choice university including Oxford, Cambridge and the Russell Group universities.
As for the GCSE and IGCSE result, 19 students have achieved all top grades in 2018. 43.5% of all results were graded at A* Or 8/9.
Pastoral Care & Boarding
By introducing a counseling and coaching team. The school aims to provide a safe and confidential environment for students. There are chaplaincy, nurses and counsellors to provide pastoral assistance. Counseling services are available to all students up to six days a week.
Senior schools and Sixth Form are composed of smaller House units, to ensure every individual can receive pastoral support and academic guidance. There are students from various year groups in the same House, which can help to reinforce a sense of belongings.
Boarding life is not mandatory but flexible. For senior school students, boarding is charged at a nighty fee, allows regular booking or on ad hoc basis. From Year 9 and above, students can choose weekly boarding or termly boarding. Girls would be living in St John’s while boys in Incents. Most of the rooms are en-suites. A number of Sixth Form boarding places are for overseas students.
Extracurricular & personal development
Considerable amount of resources are invested to promote a broad range of sports and music related activity. Students have the choice of options to select each term for participation on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. All Year 12 and 13 students must select one for each session. Main sports including cricket, lacrosse, netball and rugby.
Music is an area with long tradition. Choirs and orchestras perform regularly throughout the year at services, concerts, informal community recitals and as part of large-scale drama productions. Each year, most talented musicians will compete for the title of Young Berkhamsted Musician of the Year.
Nearly half of students learn a musical instrument from acoustic guitar, bassoon, cello, clarinet, double bass, electric guitar, euphonium, flute, harpsichord, jazz piano, oboe, organ, percussion, piano, recorder, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, viola and violin.