Academic Excellence

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

- W.B. Yeats

Bedford School offers so much for the boys in its care. The opportunities and possibilities presented to all our boys are myriad, and we are proud of the excellent all-round education we provide. We aim to support and encourage our boys to explore the world and all that it has to offer; to challenge them to be curious and questioning; to help them reason and to develop their own informed opinions; and to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to realise their ambitions and aspirations, whatever these might be.

Whilst we want each boy to flourish both in and out of the classroom, academic life is central to the life of Bedford School. The Bedford Curriculum, extending well beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum, is structured to provide a balanced and varied choice of subjects which will challenge each boy’s strengths. We are not an exam-factory, but we are acutely aware that public exam results are the keys which unlock doors to the best possible futures for our pupils. We are determined to ensure that all boys gain the best qualifications possible and track all boys in the Upper School through a structured and carefully monitored tutorial and academic progress system.

We want boys to progress as individuals, and to develop independent minds and personal aspirations. Each boy is allocated a personal tutor who will monitor their academic progress; parents’ evenings are held regularly, and written reports and test results are sent home every term. We want each boy to add value to their academic credentials during their time with us, and we will challenge and encourage them to aspire to the highest possible standards and to exceed their expectations.

We deliver a broad and traditional curriculum, preparing boys for GCSE and IGCSE exams, and for either A Level or IB exams in the Sixth Form. Boys are encouraged to achieve through a balance of different teaching techniques, small class sizes and (where appropriate) setting, well-resourced and subject-specific classrooms, specialist teachers, prep setting, regular lecture series and visiting speakers, lunchtime and after school academic clinics. ICT and mobile device technology is used extensively to support and enhance learning, but literacy and numeracy skills remain fundamental to all that we do. Our well-resourced Library supports teaching throughout the School.

We are determined to build strong partnerships for all boys between their family and the School; our staff is always accessible to pupils and parents, and regular communication is seen as crucial to each boy’s success. Together, we are confident that we can ensure all boys who come to Bedford School leave us to make their own way in the world as confident, knowledgeable and curious young men.



All subject and classroom tuition is supported and supplemented by the school's online learning resource, Firefly. Working alongside traditional methods and resources, Firefly has been developed to enhance course organisations, to support teaching, and to encourage boys to become active and independent learners.

All boys and parents have access to this online forum, which houses sections for each area of the school. Academic departments use it to post revision help, extension work and exam syllabuses, etc. Prep is often set via Firefly, with links to worksheets and other resources. In addition, boys and parents can find useful information about the school library, UCAS, revision techniques and other details on the site, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Extra-curricular groups also have their own areas on Firefly.