International College, Sherborne School
Designed to be the best
The International College has been purpose-built, its curriculum specially designed and all its teachers specially recruited to help students coming from non-British, non-English-speaking educational backgrounds. It provides an intensive language, academic and cultural preparation for boys and girls to join the most prestigious British boarding schools.
Small groups – individual attention
The whole College is kept deliberately small. All of our 140 students are boarders. Each class is normally no more than eight students to one teacher. In this way, each student can receive intensive specialised attention. Small groups are also less frightening to students. They quickly develop good relationships both with their teacher and with other class members. This is vitally important in developing high standards of spoken English as quickly as possible. The small size of the College helps teachers to ensure that English is spoken as much as possible both in and out of class.
No entry requirements, but outstanding results
Entrance examinations for students who may not speak English very well or who are not familiar with British examinations can produce very misleading results. Because of this, the International College does not have any entry requirements for most of its courses. Students are tested at regular intervals after arriving at the College to ensure that they are placed in the correct teaching groups and are making good progress. While most of our students only stay at the International College for one year, a few stay for two years to do the British GCSE examination. In this examination, as with other English-language examinations, the College has an outstanding record of success.
Academic and technological facilities
The College has 27 purpose-built classrooms, including eight state-of-the-art laboratories, a computer centre and a staffed library. There are computers throughout the College and students have Wi-Fi access to the internet, including from their own bedrooms in the boarding houses.
The internet allows e-mail communication between students and parents, as well as being a vital research tool. Students are allowed to bring mobile telephones and laptop computers to the College.
Boarding and sporting facilities
Boarding facilities have been specially designed for international students. The biggest boarding house, King’s House, was built in 1991. The girls’ house, Westcott, was thoroughly refurbished in 1999. Most rooms are single or double study-bedrooms. In September 2002, brand-new accommodation for boys aged 11–13 was opened. This offers nine double bedrooms with the highest-quality boarding facilities, including a pleasant recreation room with table tennis. The International College is very fortunate to be able to use the excellent sporting facilities owned by the Governors of Sherborne School. These include extensive playing fields, squash courts, an indoor swimming pool and a sports hall. International College students with outstanding sporting talents are also able to represent Sherborne School in its competitive fixtures.
Specially trained staff
At the International College, teachers know that students in all their classes may have difficulties with language or with cultural concepts. Special training is given to all teachers at the International College, whether they teach English, mathematics, science or sport, to help them get the best possible results from their international students. Sensitive teachers are able to explain the rules of British boarding life without unnecessary disciplinary problems. The British way of studying is also carefully explained to help students get the best possible results from their efforts. Most teachers of all subjects now hold an English teaching qualification as well as their own subject qualifications.
Food and recreation
As an exclusively boarding school, the International College can plan its activities to ensure students do not get ‘homesick’. Lessons and learning take place seven days a week. The College has its own catering and dining facilities, and prepares a menu that has choice and caters for international tastes. Teachers eat alongside the students, and, as well as enjoying the same high-quality food, also ensure that only English is spoken during mealtimes.
A long record of success
The International College Sherborne was established 30 years ago. Over this time, it has helped hundreds of students from overseas, many of whom have gone on to attend Britain’s most prestigious schools and universities. Our recipe for success is based on the longest record of continuous experience of any international study centre.
Links with Sherborne School
The International College is owned by the Governors of Sherborne School. Sherborne School is one of England’s top boys’ schools. Each year, it is ranked amongst the very best. The International College, therefore, also has to maintain very high standards through its association with Sherborne School.
Expensive, but exclusive
The International College is expensive. It caters for the children of the world’s top people. The International College remains popular and full because those parents who have sent their children to the College know that it represents outstanding value, despite its cost. Other shorter courses at the International College include courses in March/April (two weeks) and in July and August (up to eight weeks). These concentrate on English-language development, but include development in other academic subjects. They are designed primarily for non-native English speakers. Further details can be obtained from the College.
The International College became the first international study centre to be accredited as a full and separate member of the Independent Schools Association during the 2000/01 school year. Accreditation followed a detailed inspection by a team of six educational experts who spent a week examining all aspects of the College’s academic and pastoral arrangements, together with all its facilities and procedures. The College was successfully re-inspected using the same thorough methodology in May 2006, and in April 2007 the College was accredited as an International Study Centre by the British Council.
‘Quite simply, the International College is designed to be the very best starting point for students joining the British educational system’