Next week is half-term – Pupils return to school on Monday 28th October: Yr 11 Next Progress Evening & Next Steps Event – 28th Nov:

Bedford Free School is a centre of  excellence for students between Year 7 and Year 11, at the centre of the community.

Set up in 2012 to offer families a real choice, we offer a strong academic curriculum, values-driven culture, very high standards, and excellent extra-curricular opportunities.

We believe that all pupils should be entitled to access, in Matthew Arnold’s famous words, the best that has been thought and said and should hence be able to go to university, including to highly-selective universities, at age 18.

We have created a culture in which we have the highest expectations and aspirations for all of our pupils, delivering on the demand from parents in Bedford for an excellent education for their children.

Our school has a positive, ‘can-do’ culture built aroud our values of:

  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • High expectations

It is these that drive all of our decisions.

We are proud of our “Sophie Test”. Named after the founding principal’s daughter, it is our guide to decisions we make about the school. Bluntly, if it is not good enough for our own children, then it is not good enough.

bedford free school student portrait

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Ideal for working families

Bedford Free School is ideal for working families, providing school days that fit in with modern family life. Our School teaches students between 8.25am and 4.00pm, with facilities available from 8.00am-6.00pm. This is perfect for families who want to drop off and pick up their children before and after work.

The longer school day means we can teach more to our pupils. We have a tremendous focus on the core academic subjects of maths, English, science, history, geography, religious education, Spanish, music, PE, graphics, drama and computing.

This enhanced curriculum, which we call electives, enables all our pupils to access high quality extra-curricular activities during the school day, so that pupils leave us as fully rounded individuals ready for higher level study. It also means that all of our pupils are able to play for school teams.

Every day, our pupils read a classic work of literature for half an hour, with pupils taking it in turns to read out loud. We also operate ‘prep’ – a 40 minute session of silent study. For younger pupils, they have often finished their homework and can enjoy family life in the evenings. For older pupils, they have made a start – something that can typically be the hardest part of homework completion. We also offer an extended supervised homework club every evening.

"Work Hard and Be Nice"

At Bedford Free School, we believe that every pupil is a individual who can achieve extraordinary things. The journey may be tough, but we are prepared to work hard for our pupils – and we expect them to work hard in return.

Within a learning environment where high expectations in everything from achievement to attendance and behaviour are the status quo, our aim is that pupils who come to Bedford Free School will meet these very high expectations, and that we will collaboratively break through any barriers to very high standards of achievement.

As we were a new school in 2012, we were not burdened by unhelpful traditions or obstructive cultures. So from how meal breaks are managed to the relationships between staff, students and their families, our school places each individual pupil’s needs at its heart.

We believe all pupils are entitled to an academic curriculum, and hence examination results are really important. Our school geared towards so much more though, and hence considers the enrichment and development of our pupils. This wider curriculum provides our pupils with a rounded education that takes into account personal and social development.

As our pupils come to the end of their journey at Bedford Free School, they are given the opportunity and support to make the appropriate post-16 choice for them, be it onwards to further study at sixth form, university and beyond, into apprenticeships or vocational training or employment. We aim for all our pupils to have access to university at 18, and for the majority of them to be able to choose a highly-selective university.

We give our pupils that opportunity, so they have the choices that mean that they can make the most of their future.

Work hard