Stoke College welcomes boarders from around the world. We understand what it is like to be joining not only a new school, but also a new style of education in a new country. So, we help you to settle in.
We aim to make you feel at home at Stoke College. Our Head of Boarding provides a warm, caring and safe environment for you to learn in. She and the rest of the boarding staff ensure you have all that you need to do well and that you understand what you must do to succeed too. When you join, we assign buddies to help you both during the school day and in the boarding house in the evenings.
We place a high value on integrating all cultures and nationalities. We believe in preparing all our students for a future when they will be working with people from different cultures and when travelling overseas will be the norm. As an overseas student of the school, you will therefore be most welcome and greatly valued.
For all students for whom English is a Foreign Language, we provide specialist one-to-one or small group classes. The level of support required for each individual is determined during the admissions process. These classes are tailored to individual needs and therefore EFL classes are charged per session.
Please contact the Registrar at anytime (including during school holidays) for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Native language assistance:
German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese: contact Sabine Kite
via email: email@example.com
or telephone: 01787 278 141
Chinese: contact Xiao Hui Jiang
via email: X.firstname.lastname@example.org
or mobile: +44 (0)7595 034399)
Curriculum and Entry Requirements
Curriculum and Entry RequirementsOverseas boarders can join us from as young as nine years old (Year 5) upwards. We offer a broad curriculum, including English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Languages, Arts, Technologies and Sports. At age 14, pupils choose their GCSEs which begin in Year 10. These courses last two years. At age 16 they choose A Levels or BTECs and join the Sixth Form in Year 12. These courses also last two years and prepare students for entering university. Students who wish to improve their English before joining us for GCSEs or Sixth Form are welcome to join us a year earlier. For those who want a more intensive course in English we also offer a language school during the summer vacations. Each family’s needs are different and so we encourage you to contact us to discuss what is right for your child.
Standard of EnglishAll applicants will be expected to sit an English language test as part of the application process. The proof of level of English will come from both the test and any certificates previously attained by the applicant such as IELTS, KET, PET or FCE. (Please note that your certificates must be less than 3 years old in order to be accepted as proof of level). The standard of English required for taking the GCSE course is IELTS 4.0 The standard of English required for joining the Sixth Form to take A levels or BTECs is IELTS 5.0 For more information on levels of English, click here.
Sixth Form EntryIn order to be sure an applicant is able to manage the demands of Sixth Form, they should have achieved the equivalent of at least 5 good passes (grade 5 or C grade) at GCSE, with grade 6 or B grades in those subjects you wish to take. In Mathematics, a grade 7 at GCSE is recommended. Where necessary, applicants will be required to sit a Mathematics test paper.
Entry at GCSE age and belowWhilst no entrance examination is required, it is expected that applicants will be able to demonstrate they have reached a good academic standard through the evidence of recent school reports and a Headteacher's reference. Where necessary, applicants will be required to sit a Mathematics test paper.
Admissions ProcessThere are a number of steps to take to complete the admissions process. Each one is important to ensure that everything is in place for your child's education to be a success. Our Admissions staff are here to make it as easy as possible for you and can be contacted at any time. Below is a simple guide to what you will need to do.
- Contact us to arrange a visit or interview by Skype.
- Complete the Registration Form (Overseas) and pay registration fee.
- Send us your child's two most recent school reports and Headteacher's reference.
- If you are able to visit please let us know your dates. We strongly recommend you visit in term time in order to see the school in session.
- If you are unable to visit, we will arrange an interview time for your child. During the Skype interview the Head will discuss with your child their interests and current school performance. He will ask for their reasons for wishing to apply to Stoke and about their future plans. The teacher of EFL will also speak to your child to assess their level of spoken English.
- Your child will be asked to take a written English language paper and, if required, a Mathematics paper.
Visa and Entry Requirements
Visa and Entry RequirementsIn order to enter the UK your child will have to be able to show that they have a place at Stoke College in order to gain a Tier 4 Child Visa. After completion of the CAS application by the school, we will issue you with the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies details, which includes the CAS number.
Submitting the correct documentsIt is important that you fill out your application form carefully and include all of the required documents when you submit your visa application. The documents required change from case-to-case but might include photographs, educational certificates, information about your accommodation in the UK, evidence that you can pay for your studies and your Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number issued by Stoke College. Many applications are decided on paper only so failure to include all the necessary information may result in your application being rejected.
When you fill out the form please also make sure that the qualifications listed in and enclosed with your visa application match what is written in the ‘Documents Assessed’ section on your CAS statement. Please note: If your visa is refused your CAS will no longer be valid and you will need a new CAS to be able to re-apply for a visa.
Once you have all the necessary information and have filled out the application form, you can then submit it to your nearest British Embassy, usually in your country. You will need to submit your application at least four weeks before your course start date. The address of your local British Embassy can be found on the following websites:
UK BA website: Find your nearest Visa application centre. Click here.
UK Foreign & Commonwealth website: Find an embassy section. Click here.
On applying for a visa, you will need to provide:
- the visa fee
- completed application form
- a letter confirming your consent for your child's travel to the UK,
- the CAS details we have sent to you,
- proof of sufficient funds for the first year of your child's fees, e.g. bank statement
- your passport and your child's passport or travel document,
- TB certificate (if required),
- letter to confirm the offer of a place at Stoke College and guardianship confirmation,
- Educational certificates and transcripts
- Evidence of English language level (if applicable e.g. IELTS)
As part of the visa application, you should be aware that to access UK healthcare you need to pay the health care surcharge. Click here to learn more.
Arrival in UK and Travel to Stoke College
Preparing for your first journey to schoolOnce you have confirmed your place on a course with us, you’ll probably start thinking about what it is going to be like living and studying at Stoke College. The information on this page is designed to help you prepare for coming to study in the UK. It is normal to feel some homesickness to begin with while you adjust to your new life, but remember everyone is in the same situation. We have a team of friendly staff who are there to make sure your experience at Stoke College school is a happy one.
What to packEssential items to bring with you include:
- Visa/Home Office letter
- Formal Offer letter from Stoke College
- Passport style photographs
- Essential toiletries and medications. (All medicines must be handed in to the Head of Boarding for safe keeping.)
- Basic items of uniform such as black shoes, white collared shirts and back trousers or skirts. (We will help with the rest)
- Home clothes
- Your phone, iPad and/or laptop. (They must be insured)
- Any games (we have game consoles and everyone loves to play new games)
- Spending money (£5-£10 per week)
- Photographs of family, pets and friends, posters and even your national flag to help you feel at home in your new room
British lifeLife in Britain will almost certainly be different from what you are used to. It is difficult to define exactly what the ‘British’ way of life is as British residents come from all over the world and a variety of cultural backgrounds. You will almost certainly notice some differences to your home country, but it won’t take you long to become accustomed. It is important, however that you make sure your behaviour is safe and legal.
British etiquetteThe British are known to be reserved in manners, dress and speech. Britain is famous for politeness, self-discipline and the ‘ironic’ sense of humour. Basic politeness ('please', 'thank you' and 'excuse me') is expected. Here are a few tips on British manners:
- In England people form orderly queues (stand in line) and wait patiently for their turn, for example when boarding a bus.
- Put your litter in the bin – dropping rubbish in the street is illegal and damaging to the environment.
- Be considerate about noise, especially at night when people are sleeping.
- Speak quietly when talking on your mobile phone.
- Smoking in all indoor public places (this includes platforms at train stations) in the UK is now illegal. Smoking is not allowed at Stoke College.
- British people may call you terms of endearment, such as “mate” or “love”. Do not be offended, they are just being friendly!
FoodAlthough Britain has traditional dishes such as fish and chips and the classic English breakfast. Both vary considerably in quality so ask for recommendations. Aldbeurgh, on the Suffolk coast is famous for fish and chips. However, many pubs and restaurants around Stoke serve superb food. Every city in Britain has a wide variety of foods from many different cultures.
A few tips for staying safe
- Use only licensed taxis with official council plates on the back. Stoke uses selected taxi firms whose drivers have had a DBS check for transporting children.Look both ways before you cross a road.
- Remember the traffic travels on the left in the UK.
MoneyWhilst in the UK, you will need to budget carefully to cover all of your social and travel costs. The fees include your accommodation costs in term time. You may want to buy clothes, books, food when you are out on school trips and entertainment. If you are coming to the UK for at least an academic year, it is recommended that you open a bank account. We will advise you on opening an account during your induction.
ClimateThe British weather is known for being unpredictable, so it is good to be prepared. Autumn: September to November: The weather in autumn is mild yet unpredictable. You might get a few warm sunny days but be prepared for the occasional downpour. Winter: December to February: These are the coldest months with the shortest days. Spring: March to May: Plenty of bright and sunny days, but the evenings can be cool. Summer: June to August: British summertime can be very pleasant indeed! It is rarely humid. However we do see the odd rainy day in summer too.
Your first week
ArrivalIf you arrive before the start of term you will need to be met by your guardian and stay with them until the beginning of term. If you arrive as term begins, we can arrange for you to be met at the airport and transferred to school by taxi. (There is a charge for this service.)
ImmigrationYou should have your passport, visa (if required), air tickets, enrolment and accommodation documents from Stoke College with you as you go through immigration. You must be able to say clearly that you will be studying at Stoke College, what course you are following and how long you will be with us. You should also be clear as to where you are staying in the UK if you are not travelling directly to school. This will assist you to enter smoothly into the UK. If on entering the UK your visa is stamped with the words “Register with UK police on arrival” this must be done shortly after arrival. Staff at Stoke College will help you with this. They will take you to the appropriate police station and advise you which documents you need to take with you.
Settling InDuring your first few days and weeks we will help you to settle in as quickly as possible. The boarding staff will make sure you know where should be and when. They will arrange for another student to help you find your feet in the first few days. Some things you will do in the first few days:
- Set up your room and make it homely
- Receive your timetable
- Police registration
- Receive advice on opening a bank account
- Use the sports and social activities
- Use the study and computer facilities
- Meet the college staff
- Have further English language testing to help decide your sets
- Get to know your fellow students