Catch up with all the latest news and achievements from Bright World's Partner school, Bishopstrow College.
A message from Lorraine Atkins, Principal:
"Life at Bishopstrow has certainly busy this month, both in the classroom and in our extra-curricular activities. As you are aware, students at Bishopstrow not only study in English in the classroom but are introduced to customs and traditions that we may, as residents, in the UK, take for granted. For example, the College recently joined with Bishopstrow village for the annual harvest festival in the village church and we also joined villagers for a bonfire and fireworks party to celebrate and look at the historical foundations of 'Guy Fawkes Night'. Meanwhile, in the nearby historic market town of Warminster, we watched a Halloween Carnival and most recently attended the town's Remembrance Sunday parade. Elsewhere, this term has seen Bishopstrow complete a very successful OFSTED inspection.
I am delighted that the inspectors were able to see the College in a typical busy week. Looking ahead, I look forward to introducing the new programmes outlined in this Newsletter, for students in the coming year and relish the opportunity of meeting you."
New Programmes for 2016
Bishopstrow will be launching some new programmes in 2016, to complement the College's existing Lower, Middle and Upper College Programmes (English and academic pathway/preparation programmes).
Academic Summer Programme
The Academic Summer Programme lasts 5 weeks and is aimed at international students who will be joining British boarding schools in the Autumn and at those who wish to sample British education in the summer. The Programme will run alongside the College's existing 'Term 4', with students on the Programme joining those students enrolled on the Lower, Middle and Upper College Programmes.
1 Year IGCSE Programme & Preparatory-IB Programme
An enhanced 1 Year IGCSE Programme will be introduced in September 2016, with 12 examinable subjects on offer. This intensive course will appeal to international students aged 15-16 years, with a good intermediate level of English – at least a B2 Level of language ability on the CEFR scale – but who will benefit from the additional English language support available at Bishopstrow, relative to a mainstream boarding school. The College has an excellent track record in supporting international students secure entry into the sixth form of a leading British boarding school and during their year at Bishopstrow, students will be well prepared for and guided through admissions processes, including entrance examinations and interviews.
For those international students interested in pursuing the IB Diploma in the sixth form, the College will be launching a Pre-IB Programme in September 2016. This is based on the 1 Year IGCSE Programme, but with additional components (Academic Research Essay and Group Multimedia Project) to prepare students for the 'core' modules of the IB Diploma, including the Extended Essay module. Meanwhile, the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Scheme will offer a sound preparation for the Creativity, Action, Service module of the IBD.
Update on Tier 4 Sponsor Status
We are pleased to confirm that Bishopstrow College is now a Tier 4 Sponsor. This follows the 12-month period as a Probationary Sponsor, which in turn followed the change of ownership in August 2014.
One of the benefits of this change relates to the College's Teaching Partnerships. The College maintains Teaching Partnerships validated by UKVI, with more than 40 schools. Under these Teaching Partnerships, students with a confirmed offer of a place at a partner school can attend a pre-sessional programme at Bishopstrow College, where the partner school issues the CAS and Tier 4 visa, covering the period of study at Bishopstrow.
As a Tier 4 Sponsor, in the event that a student attending another school (and Tier 4 Sponsor) needs to transfer to Bishopstrow College to focus on improving their English, they can start their course at Bishopstrow, before the new visa application has been approved by UKVI. This of course should allow for a smoother transition, with no undue delays.
OFSTED Inspection Highlights Ongoing Improvements at Bishopstrow
OFSTED inspects (boarding schools) broadly on a 3-year cycle, and has recently started a new cycle of inspections having launched a new and more rigorous framework. OFSTED conducted a full inspection of Bishopstrow College over a three-day period, from September 30 to October 2, 2015. The College was awarded a 'Good' rating for overall effectiveness and Good ratings across all other categories. In its report, a copy of which can be accessed using the link below, OFSTED highlighted the significant progress made by the College in all areas since the last inspection (in 2013). OFSTED also made reference to the College's good teaching, which successfully engages students who arrive at the College with little English. The College's approach to pastoral care and calm and nurturing environment for students were also highlighted.
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