"Compared to my school in China, Sidcot has a spacious campus; it has lovely views and I find it more relaxing to study. Everyone is really friendly here. I have made lots of nice friends – I even teach them Chinese sometimes! The teachers devote time for me if I don’t understand the English very well. I feel so privileged at school now; my life is full and exciting compared to how it was when I was living at home. A lot of sport is quite new to me – before I came here I didn’t even know what rounders was! Boarding is very good and I love my room mate! Every weekend the boarders do something good, like go to the cinema or shopping in Bristol – I love that. There’s so much to do here and everyone has helped me settle in quickly – it’s probably why I am a lot less shy now and more open than before."
Yan – Year 8 from China
"It was very easy to make the choice to come to Sidcot as it has a great reputation. My cousin came here and required a lot of learning support and he finished school with A* and A grades. Even though my parents work in Saudi Arabia I still have family living in Devon and an auntie who lives in Weston-super-Mare, a town not too far from Sidcot. My confidence has grown a lot since being at Sidcot – I’m now involved in a lot of sport including octopush and fencing. I even play for Winscombe Rugby Club. I used to be two stone heavier before I came to Sidcot but with so many opportunities to get involved with activities and sport I’ve got very fit! One of the best things about Sidcot is you can mix with all ages and nationalities. Being at school in England has helped me understand more about English culture. One of my goals before I started was to make life-long friends and I believe I have done just that."
Thomas – Year 8 from Saudi Arabia
"I first came to Sidcot in 2011 as part of the Academic Summer programme. We don’t have many boarding schools in Russia so the chance to progress my English speaking was very appealing to me. I get along great here. You can be yourself and no one judges you. We have lots of creative things to do in lessons – they are never boring; I really enjoy them. In fact, my love for art and drama has grown immensely since studying at Sidcot. I didn’t know there would be so much going on in the drama department – we have three plays and also one musical production per year and I’m always surprised at how much effort everyone puts in, from costume making and make-up to set design and lighting and sound effects."
Erica – Year 9 from Russia
"I like Sidcot compared to other schools because of its small size and the opportunity to do the one-year GCSE course (Year 11 Pathway). I can focus on the subjects I like and not waste time on those I don’t. I actually enjoy my studying! Teachers are more like friends – you can talk to them about non-educational matters – my parents are not here so I have to solve every problem for myself. Through this I have become a more confident person and boarding prepares you for university life. My housemaster is a very traditional man. He is firm but fair, and I like that. Now I’m in the Sixth Form I feel like I am treated more like an adult."
"At home we just read books. An English education is very different from Ukraine – you have to work really hard even though there are less subjects, but you finish school with a deeper knowledge."
Nikita – Year 13 (A Levels) from Ukraine
"I came to Sidcot to study the one-year GCSE course (Year 11 Pathway) as my mother and sister and I wanted to do an English speaking year. I had a look round in the summer and the atmosphere was amazing. I’m so glad I came here – I wouldn’t change it for the world! The teachers are always interested in you and more disciplined than those in Germany – this is a good thing! I like to study in a small class size – it makes the lessons more intense and I find I get a lot more out of it. I am a twin and this is the first time I have been separated from my sister. It was a bit weird at first but I have learnt lots of new things and taken part in many new things and achieved things; I have taken part in DofE expeditions – I never thought I could walk so far!"
Barbara – Year 11 Pathway Student from Germany
"I chose to come to Sidcot mainly because it is a Quaker school. Religion here is not an issue and everyone is equal. Sidcot accepts people from all faiths and none and everyone accepts who you are. I feel happy that I’m the only Iranian here – it helps with my English language development. I love my friends. Compared to home, this school is quite big with better facilities and aides. There are more people, which bring a richer culture. The IB has taught me a lot in terms of mixing with different nationalities. There are many different groups around the school but there isn’t any segregation. Teachers are here to help you. They are here to make you feel better and not miss home."
Sepand – Year 13 (IB) from Iran