We offer international students a range of education programmes designed to meet their ambitions for studying in the UK.

Many students join us with the intention of gaining qualifications to secure entry into UK universities and we have an excellent track record in helping our international students secure places at some of the most prestigious and highly competitive institutions.

Other students join us on shorter term programmes, ranging from a few weeks to one year, where the main focus is to develop their English language skills and experience studying in a British school.

Students from around the world join West Buckland each year to study A-levels. A-levels are the main qualification requirement for entry into UK universities. Students entering at Year 12 (usually 16 years of age) are generally expected to study four subjects at AS-level, before concentrating on three subjects at A-level in Year 13.

A-level students need a good command of English to successfully study A-levels and support is provided by the school for all international students as they develop their language abilities. In addition to A-level classes, international students study English in preparation for taking the IELTS qualification.

Popular choices of subjects amongst international students include mathematics, further mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, art & design, and economics. These subjects also tend to be more accessible to students where English is not the first language. Advice on subjects is offered to every student applying to study A-levels at West Buckland.

GCSEs (General Certificate in Secondary Education) are an important first step on the pathway to university education in the UK. They provide a fundamental grounding in a number of core subjects and achieving good GCSE qualifications enables students to progress on to A-level courses.

In Years 10 and 11 students normally study eight subjects at GCSE/iGCSE level. All students are prepared for iGCSE English as a Second Language (Edexcel), and GCSE Mathematics. Overseas students usually then select six optional subjects from a group that includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Art & Design, Design Technology, Drama, Music, Business Studies and Computing.

Most overseas students also elect to take GCSE or igcse in their own language, for example igcse Chinese. The school facilitates such entries but does not formally teach the students.

Many students join in Year 9 or earlier and study subjects which they then select to study at GCSE level in Years 10 and 11. This can be advantageous as students gain a good grounding and knowledge in the subjects prior to GCSE level study.

Students joining us at Years 7 to 9 (11 to 13 year olds) will follow a broad and balanced academic programme which forms the basis for subsequent study at GCSE and A-level. In Years 7-9, all pupils study the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, chemistry and physics studied as separate sciences
  • Geography, history and religious studies
  • Art & design, design technology, drama, food & nutrition, IT and music
  • Physical education and games

French and Spanish are available to overseas students with prior experience of these languages.

Every year we welcome students who join on short term programmes wishing to experience studying in a British school.

Most stay for one or two terms and receive a comprehensive teaching and learning programme, develop their English language skills, enjoy a rich cultural experience and participate in the huge range of sports, music, drama, art, outdoor education and other opportunities that are available.

For more details on short stay study programmes, please contact Miss Melanie Tennant: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Our fees for international pupils are available to download here:

Termly Fees Information

Fees Refund Scheme Information


For more information on international admissions, please contact Admissions:

Telephone: +44(0)1598 760179

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West Buckland School is set in 100 acres of beautiful North Devon countryside in the South West of England, close to the spectacular Atlantic coast with its beautiful surfing beaches.

North Devon is one of the most beautiful places in the UK and our unique location allows our students to take part in a whole range of indoor and outdoor activities, and visit places of outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance.

We are just 15 minutes from the thriving market town of Barnstaple and we benefit from excellent road and rail links to local airports.  

Download our campus and location map here

View the gallery of photos from the local area here


West Buckland organises a pick-up and drop-off service from London Heathrow Terminal 5 at the start and end of every term and half term. Our buses will drop-off at London Heathrow Terminal 5 the day after school finishes and collect for the return journey to school the day before school resumes. The cost of this transport is included in the school fees and parents should book flights to arrive within the times that our buses will be at Heathrow, as shown on the Transport Schedule.

For new students joining Year 12 each September, they should arrange to arrive a day earlier than other students to ensure they are able to attend our Sixth Form Induction which is always held the day before school resumes.

Transport from other UK airports and student travel arrangements outside of usual school term dates

For students using other UK airports, the school can arrange transport that will meet students on their arrival and return them at the end of term. This service is also available to short stay boarders who may be arriving and departing outside of the usual school term dates. There is a charge for this service and arrangements must be made in advance by contacting the school.

Unaccompanied Minors

When booking flights, we would ask parents to check with their airline on restrictions for younger students who may fall into the Unaccompanied Minor category. Special arrangements may be needed to ensure that the students are able to travel unaccompanied. If your child is travelling as an ‘Unaccompanied Minor’ you must make arrangements for the guardian to accompany your child at the airport.

For all transport enquiries contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


International students are expected to have a reasonable competence in spoken and written English on arrival at West Buckland and the ability to progress with the specialist support of the ESL department.

Overseas students applying to study at West Buckland should provide the following to start their application:

  • Copies of their last two school reports
  • A piece of their handwriting (one to two sides of A4), written in English, telling us about themselves, their hobbies and interests

This information will be reviewed and students are then usually interviewed by the Headmaster or Head of ESL. Skype is used to interview students unable to visit the school in person.

Some students may also be asked to take assessments in English and maths. Students wishing to study French or Spanish will also take an assessment in these subjects.

For entry at Years 7-11, the school assesses students on their academic abilities and potential to achieve five or more GCSE passes at C grade when they complete Year 11.

For A-level entry into Years 12-13, the overarching criterion is a student’s suitability to follow four courses at AS level which are primarily academic rather than vocational in nature. There would normally be the expectation that a student will then proceed to three A-level courses in Year 13.

For further information on our admissions process and to apply for a place, please contact Mrs Lorraine Millar:

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+44(0)1598 760178