About our English International School

About Us

Sherborne International School educates girls and boys aged 8-17 from all over the world, preparing them for the best possible British education. A small school of 150 pupils, we have successfully placed thousands of former students at the UK’s elite boarding schools.

Founded by Sherborne School in 1977, Sherborne International was the UK’s first international study centre. Sherborne School is one of the country’s most distinguished schools and we have built on their secure foundation, now providing a world-renowned education for international students.

With our in-depth understanding of international students’ needs and very small class sizes (5-8 students), we provide a high quality, personalised learning experience, covering academic, linguistic and cultural education.

Students on our school term courses typically stay here for between one term and three years. Our short courses, including intensive spring revision courses and summer courses last 2-8 weeks.

Sherborne is a historic and safe town, in the beautiful countryside of South-West England.

History of the School

Sherborne International School has had an interesting history since it was formed over 40 years ago in 1977. It has moved sites, expanded and changed its name!

Key moments in our history

Building works at Newell Grange

Building works at Newell Grange, April 1991

  • 1991 – The School moved to its present campus at Newell Grange
  • 1992 – The School ran its first summer school course
  • 1995 – The Centre was registered as a separate school with the Department of Education
  • 1996 – The School started to accept girls as well as boys. At first the girls boarded at Sherborne Girls School
  • 1998 – The School changed its name to International College, Sherborne School
  • 1999 – Further teaching facilities were opened and the girls started boarding at Westcott Boarding House
  • 2002 – Grosvenor Boarding House was opened
  • 2011 – Mowat Boarding House was opened
  • 2014 – International College, Sherborne School changed its name to Sherborne International
  • 2016 – Tim Waters became the new Principal of Sherborne International, taking over from Philip Hardaker
  • 2018 – Work begins to redevelop King’s Boarding House

English Education and Exams

The English schooling system is different from that in your home country. Find information about the English school year and the exams students take.

The English school year

The English educational year starts near the beginning of September and finishes in late June or early July. It is divided into three terms:

Term nameStart and end date of each term
Term 1 (autumn)September - mid-December
(with one week half-term holiday)
Term 2 (spring)Early January - mid-March
(with one week half-term holiday)
Term 3 (summer)Mid-April - end June / early July
(with one week half-term holiday)

All students on our main courses at Sherborne International study English and are entered for examinations according to age and ability.


Most English students study to take GCSE exams at the age of 16. The IGCSE is the international version of the GCSE.

After GCSEs or IGCSEs, students study for two years for A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate (IB), where three subjects are taken as major subjects and three as minor. British Univertities accept either A-levels or IB qualifications as their entry exams.

Our IGCSE / GCSE exam results 2017

Our Year 11 students achieved a higher-grade (A*-C / 4+) pass rate of 76.6%. This is much better than the UK average of 66.3% at GCSE, which is a particularly great achievement as our student don’t have English as a first language. Moreover, on our one-year programme, our students compete against others who have had two years to prepare.

Number of entriesA* / 9 A*-A / 9-7% A*-B / 9-6 % A*-C / 9-4
66111.2% 28.9%51%76.6%

Our IELTS and EAL exam results 2016-17

View our latest IELTS and EAL exam results

The senior leadership team provides strong direction that is reflected in the students’ significant achievements in their public examination performance, the outstanding care of the students and the successful fulfilment of the School’s aims and ethos.
ISI Inspection 2016

School Inspections

We have regular school inspections by external review bodies, including the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and British Council to assess if Sherborne International achieves the high standards it sets itself. In the last ISI school inspection we were rated excellent in all nine categories.

ISI school inspections

ISI school inspections provide an overall judgement on each aspect of our international school’s work and grades them based on the following four categories:
• Excellent
• Good
• Sound
• Unsatisfactory

We were rated ‘Excellent’ in all nine categories at our last inspection in 2016.

Some quotes from the inspectors in each area are included below or you can read the full ISI Inspection Report 2016.

Academic achievement and learning – Excellent

Most students make remarkable progress in English that contributes significantly to their academic success.

Curricular and extra-curricular provision – Excellent

The academic curriculum is complemented by activities and an extra-curricular programme that provide an excellent and wide-ranging learning experience.

Teaching – Excellent

All subject specialist staff are trained or qualified in teaching students with EAL and this, combined with small class sizes, creates an intensive learning experience where students develop their fluency in English in the context of a wider curriculum.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural – Excellent

The School meets its aims well in preparing boarders for further education in other British boarding schools, usually after one year, by helping them to adapt to the linguistic, social and cultural expectations of life in Britain.

Pastoral care – Excellent

Staff in houses know the students in their care well and understand their social and academic needs.

Welfare, health and safety – Excellent

The school takes an extremely rigorous approach to welfare, health and safety, and standards are outstanding.

Quality of Boarding – Excellent

Strong oversight of the boarding provision ensures excellent and consistent support of students and makes a most significant contribution to their academic success, personal development and enjoyment of their experience while in the School.

Governance – Excellent

The governors provide highly effective oversight of the school in line with its aims.

Leadership and management – Excellent

The senior leadership team provides strong direction that is reflected in the students’ significant achievements in their public examination performance, the outstanding care of the students and the successful fulfilment of the School’s aims and ethos.

British Council School Inspection – October 2015

Additional information about our School is available in a special password-protected section for school inspectors.

School Term Dates

School term dates for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, including arrival and departure dates, half-term dates and exeats.

Academic year 2017-18

Spring term 2018

Arrival dayWednesday 3 January – new students (between 12:00 and 17:00)
Wednesday 3 January – returning students (before 22:00)
Exeat weekend (optional)20/21 January
Half termFriday 9 February (students leave between 14:00 and 20:00)
Sunday 18 February (students return before 22:00) inclusive
Exeat weekend (optional)10/11 March
Departure dayWednesday 28 March (between 14:00 and 20:00)

Summer term 2018

Arrival dayWednesday 18 April – new students (between 12:00 and 17:00)
Wednesday 18 April – returning students (before 22:00)
Half termFriday 25 May (students leave between 14:00 and 20:00)
Sunday 3 June (students return before 22:00) inclusive
Speech dayThursday 21 June 
(Students may leave with their parents if the parents are attending Speech Day)
Departure dayFriday 22 June
There are two flexible exeats during the summer term. All exeats are optional.

Academic year 2018-19

Autumn term 2018

New students
Arrival dayThursday 30 August (between 09.30 – 17.00)
InductionFriday 31 August to Tuesday 4 September inclusive
(Saturday Academic full day, Sunday Boarding)
Teaching startsWednesday 5 September
Returning students
Arrival dayFriday 31 August (before 22.00)
Assist inductionSaturday 1 September
to Sunday 2 September (Y11)
to Tuesday 4 September (J, 9, 10)
Teaching startsMonday 3 September (Y11)
Wednesday 5 September (J, 9, 10)
All students
Half-termFriday 19 October (between 14.00 and 20.00)
Sunday 28 October (before 22.00) inclusive
Departure dayWednesday 12 December (from 14.00)
Two Saturdays in the term will be ‘Rest Days’ with no teaching. The timing and exact format of these are to be confirmed.

Spring Term 2019

Arrival dayTuesday 8 January – new students (12-5pm)
Tuesday 8 January – returning students (before 10pm)
Half termFriday 15 February (leave between 2pm and 8pm)
Sunday 24 February (arrive before 10pm)
Departure dayThursday 4 April (from 2pm)

Summer term 2019

Arrival dayTuesday 23 April – new students (12-5pm)
Tuesday 23 April – returning students (before 10pm)
Half termFriday 24 May (leave between 2pm and 8pm)
Sunday 2 June (arrive before 10pm)
Speech dayThursday 20 June (Students may leave with their parents if the parents attend Speech Day)
Departure dayFriday 21 June


Exeats are optional weekend periods of absence from the School. Students may remain at the School.

  • Two weekend exeats per term are allowed (except Autumn Term in which three exeats are allowed). It is helpful if students choose the dates above, where stated.
  • All exeats can start from 12:10pm on the Saturday and students must be back by around 8pm on the Sunday
  • Prior permission for all exeats must be obtained from the Senior Housemaster or Housemistress by the Thursday before the planned exeat
  • Permission to go out for an exeat weekend will only be given to students visiting parents, family members or guardians aged 25 years and over

Future Boarding Schools

After students have completed their studies and exams at Sherborne International, the vast majority wish to stay in the UK to further their education at one of the many excellent boarding schools.

With our experience and expertise, we give personalised advice to our international students to help them gain a place at the best possible future boarding school to match their skills and aspirations.

We have close links and personal contacts at many boarding schools. We talk extensively to the schools our students are applying to, write detailed references for each student and administer other schools’ tests here, in surroundings familiar to the students. This avoids the need to miss lessons and travel unnecessarily.

When a school visit is necessary for testing or interviews, we can arrange transport by taxi. All our drivers are Enhanced DBS-checked and very experienced at making students, especially younger ones, feel at ease and happy.

In recent years some of our students have gone on to study at many of the best UK boarding schools including:


Partner Schools

We have a number of UKVI (UK Visa & Immigration) teaching partnership agreements with British boarding schools.

These partnerships enable students to attend pre-sessional courses at Sherborne International before moving onto one of our partner schools for their main course of study under one single Tier 4 child visa application.

The benefit of a pre-sessional course is that it allows students to arrive at their main school with an enriched and greater understanding of English and to be culturally prepared to adapt to life in a British boarding school.

Our teaching partnerships include:

Life after boarding school

After completing their boarding school education, many of our alumni attend university before going onto achieve prosperous and rewarding careers in many different sectors and countries around the world.

Read our blog post about the best UK boarding schools for international students.


Alumni from Sherborne International often go on to study at some of the best English boarding schools and universities, before embarking on rewarding careers around the world.

Our alumni have become lawyers, doctors, surgeons, dentists, CEOs, international leaders, academics, scientists, accountants and economists, to name just a few careers.

Sherborne International Alumni Association (SIAA) organises reunions and events all over the world to help alumni keep in touch with each other and engages with alumni through regular SIAA newsletters and on social media.

If you haven’t yet done so, sign-up to receive our emails and join us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter to receive regular updates and join the discussion. Email alumni@sherborne-international.org or complete the Contact Form. We also love to hear your news about your families (we love a wedding!), your careers and other alumni you’ve met, so please don’t forget to tell us how you are getting on.

Reunions are a great way to meet fellow students you haven’t seen for some time or have lost touch with. They are also an opportunity to network with alumni from many different professions and industries.


Gus Amadi is the first SIAA President. He is a class of 1984 alumnus and now lives and works in London. Gus is very keen to have a thriving alumni society for Sherborne International and has always been an enthusiastic reunion attendee. Learn more about Gus.




I’m the SIAA administrator, Julia Gadd.  I’m your first point of contact for all SIAA matters. Please let me know what you think of the pages and any ideas you have for improving them or helping you to keep in contact with other Sherborne International alumni. I’m keen to hear all your news, with photos as well if you can. You can email me at julia.gadd@sherborne.org.

Job Vacancies

Current job vacancies at Sherborne International. View details about all our existing jobs in Sherborne and how to apply.

We are committed to upholding the safety and welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Applicants for all jobs must be willing to undergo child protection screening, including reference checks with previous employers and an enhanced criminal record check via the Disclosure & Barring Service.

If you have any queries or require further information, please contact HR on 01935 810 502 or email hr@sherborne.org.

Current job vacancies

There are currently no vacancies at Sherborne International





How to apply

Before making an application for a vacancy you are advised to read our Application and Recruitment Notes and Safeguarding and child protection policy.

To apply for any of the above jobs in Sherborne, please email your completed application form and covering letter to hr@sherborne.org.

Or you can post your application to:

Mrs Samantha Belgeonne,
Recruitment Manager
The Bursary
Sherborne School
Abbey Road
Dorset DT9 3LF







If you have any queries or require further information, please contact HR on 01935 810 502 or email hr@sherborne.org.

Contact Us

Contact our staff with any queries by phone, email or post and view our location on a map.


  • +44 (0)1935 814 743 – staff in our main office (Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm, Saturday 8am – 11am GMT)
  • Outside these hours please call our emergency number on +44 (0)1935 814743

Contact Us



Sherborne International
Newell Grange
Dorset DT9 4EZ

Visitor parking is available.

View our location on a map

Further information

  • Sherborne International is a registered charity – number: 1081228
  • The Chair of the Sherborne International Governors is:
    • Mr Roger Fidgen
    • Abbey Road
    • Sherborne
    • Dorset, DT9 3LF
    • Telephone: +44 (0)1935 810 501

Students shine with outstanding exam results ...