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International Students Overview

At Sibford School we have a strong community of international students and are proud to welcome pupils from across the globe to come and study here with us and benefit from the wide variety of cultural and academic opportunities available.

EAL (English as an Additional Language)

The school has a specialist EAL department (English as an Additional Language) staffed by experienced TEFL teachers dedicated to helping our students acquire the language skills needed for academic achievement. Click here to learn about this.

Admission decisions for international students are based on a report supplied by the applicant’s current school/college, completion of our English Language Test and a SKYPE interview with staff from our EAL department. IELTS certificates are not required as we will assess all students on arrival.

English Language Requirements for International Students

For entry into Years 7 – 9

No formal EAL qualification necessary. The number of EALlessons will be decided according to level of English on arrival.

For entry into Years 10 – 11

A good intermediate level of English – IELTS 5 or B1/B2.

For entry into Years 12 – 13

English needs to be of a good upper-intermediate level – IELTS 6 or B2.

Our Intensive English and Pre-Foundation Intensive English courses are aimed at students looking primarily to improve their language skills before starting either A Level courses or a university foundation course. These courses are aimed at students whose English is at an intermediate level.


International students generally join Sibford School in September at the start of the British academic year. However, students hoping to join the Intensive English course or Years 7 – 9 may join in September or January if appropriate. Experience shows that having the opportunity to settle into life at an English boarding school prior to commencing exam studies can make a huge difference to final grades.

Visit us

We always encourage visits to the school wherever possible but if it is not possible for you to visit the school in person, you can SKYPE our EAL department. We can arrange for you to talk to one of our EAL teachers or a student from your home country who will be able to give you a true picture of life at the school.

Please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions Registrar, Elle Kitching, should you wish to visit, cha via SKYPE or have any questions:

Email: [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)1295 781203.

Life at Sibford School

At Sibford School, we celebrate diversity and have students from many different countries so themed evening in the boarding houses give our students a chance to learn about different cultures and the world they live in.

We understand that many parents choose to send their children to school in the UK so that they can fully experience British life. Therefore, all international students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities alongside other students.

We also offer a variety of excursions offering cultural and historical activities both locally and further afield. These include outings to:

  • Banbury
  • Cheltenham Spa
  • Chipping Norton Literary Festival
  • Leamington Spa
  • London Museums and Theatres
  • Oxford
  • Stratford Upon Avon
  • Stowe Landscape Gardens
  • Warwick

More information can be found on our Life as a Boarder page.


Sibford School requires that an official UK-based guardian must be appointed for any pupil whose parents live overseas, even if the pupil is in the sixth form and over the age of 18.

The school does not get involved with guardianship fees and costs, this is a matter solely between parents and guardians. However, we are happy to provide names of guardians who have a good reputation.

If the guardian is unable to carry out their responsibilities when required, the school will appoint a short-term guardian and parents will be invoiced for any additional costs incurred.

Exeat weekends and Staycations

Sibford School no longer offers traditional termly exeat weekends, instead we now opt in favour of enriching ‘staycations’. Rather than having to go home or visit guardians, pupils can choose to stay in Sibford over the ‘exeat staycation’ and enjoy a range of exciting programmes and trips.

‘Exeat staycations’ take place in September, November, January and March. Attendance is voluntary and, should parents wish, pupils are still free to leave school over these weekends. Please note, additional charges may apply depending on the nature of the activities.

The only compulsory exeat weekend we now have at Sibford School is over the long weekend of the Early May Bank Holiday, when the boarding houses will be closed, and all boarders will be expected to go to home or to guardians.

Please Note

Students living outside of the European Union require a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study letter (CAS) to support their visa application to the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA). This will be issued on acceptance of the place offered and payment of deposit. Sibford School will not issue a CAS unless all criteria are met as per the UK Border Agency Regulations and in accordance with the Sibford School Tier 4 Policy.

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