Scholarships & Awards

As we pursue our aim to enrich the life of our school, we seek to embrace, reward and, most importantly, nurture outstanding talent and exceptional potential in children. While all pupils at Barnard Castle School benefit from excellent teaching and facilities and an ethos of mutual respect and citizenship, we are committed to facilitating access to our first class environment for gifted children; pupils who, as well as having extraordinary talent, can also contribute to school life by leading by example, by demonstrating the benefits of endeavour and enthusing and encouraging those around them to aspire.

Although our tuition fees represent excellent value for money, we recognise that for some talented young people access to independent education may be curtailed by the constraints of family finances. We offer, therefore, something extra to gifted children in whom great potential has been identified. For those children demonstrating exceptional performance in entrance examinations, sport and the arts, we award academic scholarships, exhibitions and bursaries. Many will go on to represent their school, county, region or even their country in academic, artistic and sporting endeavours.

Assessment for all awards takes place in January and begin in September of the next academic year. The awards offered are:

These are major awards won on merit and potential; they are a prized accolade which also usually includes a financial contribution towards tuition fees. Academic Scholarships are available to children who perform exceptionally well in the entrance examinations to Years 7 and 9, and to children who can demonstrate outstanding ability when they enter the Sixth Form. The Headmaster interviews candidates whose performances have been exceptional; candidates are asked to present reports from previous schools and any other relevant information. Scholarships are also awarded in drama, art, music and sport.

Up to four Scholarships may be awarded in Year 7, with a further two awarded in Year 9 and two in the Sixth Form. If the financial element of the scholarship is likely to be insufficient to allow a pupil to attend Barnard Castle School, parents can apply to the Director of Operations (no later than the date of the Entrance Exam in any year) for a means-tested bursary to supplement the award (see below).

A scholarship requires a commitment on behalf of the scholar and successful candidates are expected to contribute significantly to the life of the school, as well as fulfilling subject-specific requirements.

Successful scholars usually retain their awards throughout their time at school (except in sport) provided that they continue to display notable effort and achievement in their academic studies and, in the Sixth Form, they make a contribution to the Academic Forum.

In music, applicants for scholarships in Year 7 should have achieved Grade 4 standard in their main instrument; applicants for Year 9 will normally have achieved Grade 6 and those entering the Sixth Form will have gained Grade 7. Music scholars should set an example with regular practice and participation in Chapel Choir, orchestra, ensembles or bands.

In sport, scholars are expected to train regularly, demonstrate leadership, sportsmanship and outstanding ability in representing the school, while art scholars should be ambassadors for art, attending additional sessions on a regular basis and always endeavouring to produce work of outstanding quality and creativity.

Drama scholarships and exhibitions are available to Sixth Form students taking A Level theatre studies. Potential scholars are required to participate in a drama workshop and successful scholars are expected to participate in a range of productions.

An exhibition is an award usually given to a pupil who demonstrates a high level of potential or who has almost reached scholarship level. Exhibitions are awarded in drama, art, music and sport. As with scholarships, exhibitions are available to children who perform exceptionally well in the entrance examinations to Years 7 and 9, and to children who can demonstrate outstanding ability when they enter the Sixth Form.

We are committed to identifying and encouraging sporting talent from Year 7, but we are also mindful that children’s physical development after they enter Senior School can affect their sporting ability. Therefore, we aim to reduce the pressure that children may feel by awarding up to four two-year exhibitions based on potential at Year 7 and by making up to four scholarships available at Year 9 and two in the Sixth Form.

A bursary is a confidential means-tested financial award for parents who could not otherwise meet part or all of the school’s fees. The funds for bursaries are limited and any award is a private arrangement between the school and the parents who receive it. Up to two full bursaries may be awarded each year and all bursaries are re-assessed annually. Applicants for bursaries should apply to the Bursar and complete the Confidential Statement of Financial Circumstances no later than the date of the Entrance Exam in any year for the bursary to start in the following September.

No application is necessary for academic awards. Parents of pupils joining the school in Year 7, 9 or 12 can indicate their desire for a scholarship assessment in their application form; parents of children already at the school joining Year 9 or 12 should write to the Headmaster during the Michaelmas term to allow for assessments to be completed during January. Children entering Year 7 from Barnard Castle Prep School are nominated by the Headmistress for consideration for sports and music awards.

Please note: All awards are reviewed annually and the Headmaster reserves the right to change the number and value of awards, to create new awards and to withdraw existing ones in exceptional circumstances.