Please contact our admissions team HERE if you have any questions.

  • A Student Host helps during Prep time
  • Learning to play netball
  • An Art lesson
  • Relaxing in the boarding house

Pre-A-Level/ Pre-IB

Our Pre-A-Level / Pre-IB Course is designed to prepare international students aged 15-17 years who are coming to join a UK boarding school to start A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

It is also suitable for students who want to have a taste of studying in a real British boarding school, and who want something more than just an ordinary holiday course.

All students study English and Drama, and then they must choose an additional three to five academic subjects, depending on the timetable.

Course dates & prices

Duration Dates Price
8 weeks 07/07/2024 - 01/09/2024 £10,888.00
6 weeks 21/07/2024 - 01/09/2024 £8,888.00
4 weeks 07/07/2024 - 04/08/2024 £6,188.00
4 weeks 04/08/2024 - 01/09/2024 £6,188.00
2 weeks 07/07/2024 - 21/07/2024 £3,288.00
2 weeks 21/07/2024 - 04/08/2024 £3,288.00
2 weeks 04/08/2024 - 18/08/2024 £3,288.00

Level of English

The recommended minimum English Level is CEFR B2 / IELTS 5.0.

Class size

The maximum class size is 16, but the average number of students in recent years has been around 12-13 and sometimes as low as 3 or 4 in certain subjects.  For some workshops and lectures, the audience may exceed 16.


Our lessons are 90 minutes each. Teachers will give students a short break during the middle of each lesson. All students take English and Drama, and then must choose three to five academic subjects, depending on the timetable.

Subject Lessons per week Possible Hours Status
English 5 7.5 Compulsory
Drama 2 3 Compulsory
Maths 2 3 Option
Physics 2 3 Option
Chemistry 2 3 Option
Biology 2 3 Option
History 2 3 Option
Geography 2 3 Option
Business / Economics 2 3 Option
Art 2 3 Option
Theory of Knowledge 1 1.5 Optional workshop
Boarding Preparation 1 1.5 Optional workshop
Further Maths 1 1.5 Optional workshop
Psychology 1 1.5 Optional workshop

Students’ timetables will vary according to their subject choices. For example, a student who is taking English, Drama, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Business/Economics and Further Maths would have 16 lessons (of 90 minutes each) and four periods of supervised Private Study.

Please see the timetable below for subject choices. However, we are flexible and will do our best to support students’ preferences if we can do so. We will also consider offering other subjects if they are requested prior to the course starting but these may be subject to additional fees.

Sample timetable

English and Drama

Students will have one 90-minute English class every day. The teaching will include academic English, social English for everyday use, grammar revision and pronunciation. Students will study the background for their trips and write about their experiences. They will produce a short project and give an oral presentation. Students who are preparing for the IB will be helped to produce an extended essay. Students have access to our large Extensive Reading library and are expected to read at least one book a week. Outside of class, all students can spend time practising chatting in English with our team of trained Student Hosts, who are on site at least 50 hours a week.

All students have two 90-minute Drama lessons every week, and take part in a fun Drama Show. Over the years, we have found that Drama really helps many students to overcome their fear of speaking in English. It increases confidence in using language, helps with pronunciation and develops a strong sense of team-working.

Academic subjects

Students must choose at least three subjects in addition to English and Drama. They may take four or five subjects if the timetable allows it.

For these subjects, students will have three hours of classes a week: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Business/Economics and Art and Design.

For these subjects there is a 90-minute workshop once a week: Psychology, Further Maths, Theory of Knowledge.

All of our subjects are taught by subject specialists who focus on teaching the technical vocabulary needed to study each subject. Our science teachers understand the importance of laboratory work so you will spend a lot of time doing practical, hands-on experiments. All staff will encourage students to ask questions and discuss what they are learning.

Boarding Preparation

All students will have one 90-minute workshop a week on this subject. Staff and Student Hosts will discuss topics such as the importance of integration; understanding the history and traditions of British boarding schools; extra-curricular opportunities and how to build your CV.

Prep (Homework)

Students will receive around five to ten hours of homework a week, depending on their subject choices. This will be done in Private Study lessons and supervised homework time led by our friendly Student Hosts who will encourage students to practise talking about their work in one-to-one conversations.

Student Hosts

After students finish their lessons every day, they will be able to practise speaking English with lots of Student Hosts. (The ratio is around 1:7 students.) They work every day after classes, and all day when there are no classes.  Students can spend over 50 hours a week chatting in English with our Student Hosts.  Our Student Hosts are kind and friendly.  They are native English speakers and help to explain British culture and some are usually very good students at top universities themselves.  Every day they will play sport, have dinner, and help with homework in the evenings.  They arrange many of our Social Activities and Sunday Clubs, and also go on all the trips.


Students have a one-hour sports lesson each teaching day.  This gives students a taste of some popular British sports including football, netball, rugby, hockey, rounders, basketball, tennis and cricket.  The sports sessions are led by Student Hosts who have often played the sports to a high standard themselves.  Students will learn the basic rules of each of the sports on offer and will learn some of the key vocabulary so that they are able to participate actively in their favourite sports in their new schools. There is also time for optional sport in the evenings and on Sundays

Social Activities

We have two big social evenings each week which may include activities such as the Fashion Show, the Business Game, ‘Save Our Village!’ (an environmental game), Speed Chatting and many more.  These evenings develop creativity and give students a chance to practise their leadership and teamworking skills.  We also hold one or more Formal Dinners, which give students the chance to learn how to behave at formal events, and give them an opportunity to dress up smartly and have fun with their friends.  There is a three-course meal and both staff and students are invited to give speeches.

Sunday Clubs

On Sunday mornings students can choose to join one of many different clubs such as these:

  • Dog-walking
  • Art for fun
  • Craft Club
  • Church Visit
  • Jazz Dance
  • Singing
  • Zumba Exercise
  • Cooking
  • Orienteering
  • Yoga
  • Board Games
  • Photography

The aim of the clubs is to introduce students to a new skill or new experience every week.

Thursday Trips

Every Thursday there is a full-day trip for students to learn more about the history and culture of Britain.  The destinations may include Longleat Safari Park, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Dartmoor, Oxford and more.  While on these trips, students will visit many famous sites and attractions.

Supervision of students

Students are supervised almost all of the time but they have some freedom to move around when they are on campus. Students aged 15-17 may have limited unsupervised time on trips and in local shops. Please see the Consent Form in the Application Pack for more details.

“I found this summer course very informative and it helped me explore a number of subjects. There were funny and interesting activities, plus amazing and educative excursions. However, the most important aspect was the warm attitude of the staff – they are wonderful people with a good sense of humour and inexhaustible kindness!” Mykyta, Ukraine (Pre-A-Level Course)