Keswick School - a parent guide to admissions


Choosing the right secondary school can be a daunting prospect. Getting it right is essential. Whether it’s Year 7, the Sixth Form or any age in-between, the school a student attends makes a big difference. Schools offer varied opportunities; some more vocational others more academic. However, it’s the school culture that can determine whether a child will flourish and succeed.  

Keswick School retains traditional values, promotes excellence and aims to ensure students are happy and achieve their potential. We're proud of our heritage with origins that date to the middle of the 14th Century. However, being a historic school doesn't stop us from being progressive and innovative. Indeed we were one of the first schools to pioneer co-education and established a sister school, St George's in Harpenden. Today we have a reputation for world class teaching, extensive extra-curricular opportunities and a happy, friendly and ambitious school community.

As a result Keswick School is one of the most oversubscribed schools in the North of England. Inevitably this means disappointment for many families who apply for day places. Even with the current expansion programme and the building of a new £1 million six classroom teaching block the number of places available will not meet demand.

However, an often overlooked secret is that Keswick School is also one of just 36 state boarding schools in the UK. State boarding schools offer boarding at a fraction of the cost of an independent school. Boarding admissions are separate from day admissions and applications can be received at any point during the year. Offers are made following a successful boarding interview. Admissions into boarding do not follow the same timescales as day admissions and several Year 7 places have already been offered for September 2018.

What is boarding like? The simple answer is that it’s like being part of an extended family.  Boarding students work and play together, share experiences and develop life-long friendships.  

Boarding is best summed up by the students. A boarder from Workington made the following observations:

‘I adapted to boarding in a matter of days. It was made incredibly easy by the warm welcome and the ease with which you make friends. The boarding house is brilliant. It's a cosmopolitan environment with a blend of cultures. It's really broadened my horizons.’

One of the attractions of boarding are the extra-curricular activities.  Archery, sailing, running, triathlon, music, drama, dance, Latin, astronomy, sport, craft work or going to the Theatre by the Lake on a Friday night, the options are many and varied. 

At Keswick School we believe in the benefits of boarding from Year 7 upwards. Living away from home with outstanding study facilities and the character development that flows from opportunities outside the classroom helps boarding students become confident and successful. If you are interested in full or weekly boarding please contact our Boarding secretary