WhichSchoolAdvisor.com rounds up some of the best UK boarding schools across England, Scotland and Wales – including one state boarding school and seven fee-paying private schools – which offer students from home and overseas the opportunity to study the IB Diploma Programme.
Read more: The complete roundup of UK IB Diploma 2021 Results
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Located in the Berkshire countryside – and within an hour of London – Bradfield College will suit any student who wants to throw themselves into the myriad of activities that this school has to offer. Very much a boarding school (only 10% are day students), Bradfield offers a broad curriculum that includes a choice of A Levels or the IB Diploma Programme; it takes a very caring approach to educating its 13 to 18- year-olds; and its extensive co-curricular programme offers every student the opportunity to extend their learning.
Charterhouse School, known informally as Charterhouse, is one of England’s historic schools and widely considered to be one of the top 10 independent boarding schools in the UK. It has always differed from its all-boy counterparts, particularly Eton and Winchester, in having a mixed gender sixth form and a school ethos which weights academic brilliance on an equal if lesser footing to whole child development. Charterhouse has been a successful pioneer in the move away from A Levels towards the International Baccalaureate, a move designed to allow the school to better meet the needs of its students and the Higher Education sector to which most will progress.
The only state school in the list, Hockerill Anglo-European College in Hertfordshire is quite unique. This Hertfordshire co-ed state school offers a boarding education for less than £20,000 a year, enrols around 300 overseas students, and is one of only a few UK schools to teach the IB's Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme. Hockerill is a government-funded school with Academy status and very international outlook. It has an international community of 900 students aged 11 to 18 years (Years 7-13), a third of whom are boarders from Europe and beyond. (All students must have a current UK passport or the right to residency in the UK.)
Marymount International School, London is a small, independent Catholic day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 years. Its distinguishing features are being an all-girls school, offering both the IB Middle Years and Diploma Programmes, and its Catholic values. Marymount was one of the first IB schools in the UK, and it has the experience of offering the programme for over 40 years. There’s a growing STEAM programme at the school, which is investing in facilities to develop the girls’ enthusiasm for maths, art, engineering, and design thinking; and its flexible and stimulating curriculum is supported by an Enrichment Programme that gives able and gifted students opportunities to complete more complex tasks and learn new skills.
Read more: For a complete list of all UK boarding schools offering the IB click here.
This day and boarding school for boys and girls aged five to 18 is Scotland’s only school to offer all four International Baccalaureate programmes. St Leonards School's curriculum, combined with its choice of full, flexi and weekly boarding from the age of 10, are among several reasons why this leading independent school is so popular with both local and international students. As well as offering the IBDP, the school offers students the option to study the more vocational IB Career-related Programme; IBCP students study two Diploma Programme courses (when they share classes with their IBDP peers), as well as completing a BTEC in Business or Sport.
UWC Atlantic College delivers the two-year IB Diploma Programme for 16 -19 year olds, and with a student body of just 350 it is one of the smallest schools within the group. The only UWC campus in the UK, it is a very international boarding school that attracts students from 90 countries each year, including refugees who receive full bursaries. This is a school that talks a great deal about inspiring students to become "Changemakers", and it is constantly adapting its delivery of the IB programme. UWC Atlantic is pioneering a new Changemaker Curriculum that introduce new courses such as coastal management, oral communication, peace and conflict, and reconnecting with the land.
Wellington College is constantly in the UK's top five for its International Baccalaureate results. Based in the home county of Berkshire, Wellington should be (very) high on the list for parents seeking an innovative whole child boarding or day public school education for their children. It is radical, brims with integrity in its approach (from selection to graduation), and produces children that meet their abilities, wherever the school finds them. Children that graduate from Wellington Collage are “interesting” and able to think for themselves.
Worth School is a co-educational, Catholic boarding and day school for students aged 11-18 with an international outlook, a distinctive Benedictine tradition, and a choice of A Levels, the IB and BTECs. An academically selective and ambitious school – with results that reflect this – Worth is also focused on helping students to achieve goals that look beyond university places and high-flying careers. Situated in 500 acres of beautiful Sussex countryside, Worth is mid-sized senior school with 640 students. It has been co-ed since 2008. About half the student body are boarders, and half of these come from overseas.