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Bredon School is a fairly small, independent school, set in 84 acres of grounds on the borders of rural Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, UK. It caters for boys and girls of all abilities either as day pupils from age 3 to 18, or for flexi, weekly or full-time boarders aged 7 to 18. It has a pupil/teacher ratio of 7:1 and its key strengths are its breadth of curriculum covering academic and vocational subjects, alongside its wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.
Bredon School opened in September 1962, with its main focus on providing a public school education for boys who had failed the Common Entrance Examination. It was established by Lt-Col Tony Sharp and Hugh Jarrett, who was Headmaster of Cotsbrook Hall, its feeder preparatory school based in Shropshire. The School started with 17 boys aged 13-18, all full-boarders, and mostly from Forces’ families. In 1982 the School extended its admissions to boys aged 11 and in 1989 it extended admissions further to seven-year-olds, whilst becoming co-educational at the same time. In September 2011 the School established a Reception and Years 1/2 class. One of the School’s earliest and most influential teachers - and ultimately Headmaster - was Brian Llewellyn Thomas. He was innovative in his approach to education, pioneering the concept of Learning Difficulties and paying particular attention to Dyslexia. Thomas recognised that this under-diagnosed condition was a serious impediment to many pupils’ learning. He worked closely with Aston University researchers using Bredon pupils as “guinea pigs” in establishing the Aston Index. For many years this was a key tool in the diagnosis of dyslexia. In 2002 the school passed from the ownership of the Sharp and Thomas families to David Keyte, who as Bursar and Managing Director, had steered the School through the late 1990s and early 2000s. He then became Principal. In January 2009, Bredon School announced that it had become part of the Spanish-British education group, Colegios Laude. Keyte retired as Principal in July 2010. His replacement, Headmaster John Hewitt, took up his post in September 2010.
Headmaster The current headmaster of Bredon School is David Ward. The School became part of the Cavendish Education group in December 2014, which has a number of other specialist day and boarding schools in the UK.
Bredon School aims to provide the environment, opportunities and support for children to fulfill their potential. It is a mainstream school with a specialism in helping children with Specific Learning Difficulties, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. It has particular expertise in supporting children who have struggled at other mainstream schools and whose self-confidence and esteem are low. Many parental testimonials on the School's website speak of children who have achieved more than they, or their parents, ever thought possible. Bredon School also welcomes overseas pupils and has particular experience and expertise in supporting children for whom English is a second or even third language ESOL. Every year the school attracts a small number of boarders from various countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Spain and China. Some attend to gain the benefits of a UK education; others because provision for children with dyslexia is not as advanced in their home country.
Learning through exploring:
The School has always recognised the importance of outdoor education, with expeditions and camps taking a high priority alongside team sports. Bredon School was one of the first to commit itself to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and it is now an Operating Centre. One of the School’s earliest and most uncommon assets was its working Farm. Pupils acquire agricultural and horticultural skills and can choose to pursue vocational land-based qualifications. Over the years the School has continued to develop its expertise with the addition of a Forest School to its other facilities. In 2011 the School received the Woodland Trust’s gold award for its woodland work. Pupils at Bredon School also take part in annual camps and training expeditions; from the North Devon coast trip to the Cairngorms expedition, all are designed to develop individual talents and team-work.