BRITISH EDUCATION IS OUR BUSINESS

Recognised globally for its excellence and unrivalled cultural diversity of international perspectives,
make your child stand out in today’s global workforce and community. It is their passport to the world.

Events

Join online and physical events to learn about British education with us

BESSA Singapore

Saturday 2nd November 2024
10am to 4pm

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Grand Hyatt
10 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228211

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Since 2016, the BESSA Schools Show introduces families in Singapore to admission directors of the UK's most selective and prestigious schools

BESSA Thailand

Sunday 3rd November 2024
12pm to 5pm

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Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel
155 Ratchadamri Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330

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BESSA brings the UK's top boarding schools to Bangkok for the second time in 2024 as parents look for an academically robust education

Open Day at Cheltenham College

Saturday, 27th April
9.30am to 12.30pm UK time

Email contact@waypointsasia.com for more information

Open Day at Radley College

Saturday, 27th April
9.45am to 1.30pm UK time

Email contact@waypointsasia.com for more information

Residential Speech & Drama Camp

19th to 26th October 2024

Join us on an 8D/7N trip to Singapore – the perfect family excursion specially designed to develop your child’s competence in public speaking and drama performance led by highly qualified professional education providers.

 

Click here to register

Consultancy

Waypoints helps families navigate the school admissions process with impartial and informed advice. Holding to the highest standards of professionalism, we give our best to every family so their child has access to the education and opportunities they deserve.

News

Read articles on education and other current news

Seeing Past the Glossy Brochure

Posted: April 1, 2024

A Guide to Academic Competitions

Posted: February 24, 2024

Musings about Artificial Intelligence in Education

Posted: September 28, 2023

What sport can reveal about character

Posted: September 20, 2023

Resources

Dip into our library of resources to deepen your research

The UK university application process

Keystone Tutors share some good tips

Highlights of BESSA Schools Show 2022

Short snippets of the UK's top schools at BESSA

At what age should my child start boarding?

Tara Reeve from Downe House School gives guidance

Supporting learning differences in schools

Answers on how UK schools provide support from the experts, Dyslexia Schools Search

BESSA Speaker Programme 2022

A talk about the role of sports in UK boarding schools and athlete recruitment

BESSA Speaker Programme 2022

Martin Cropper, Senior Master at Shrewsbury School, shares how boarding schools in the UK help prepare and guide their students in their university applications

Recommended Reading Lists

Here are some reading lists for Year 4 to Year 9

ISEB Website

The Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) provides examinations and assessments for pupils seeking entry to…

UK University Courses requiring specific A Levels

BOFA 11 Plus

Online platform for 11+ and Pretest preparation

Galore Park

Get textbooks, revision guides, past exam papers and other resources for ISEB Pretest, 11+ and…

Chuckra 11 Plus

Online platform for 11+ and Pretest preparation

FAQs

Events

It is an acronym for The British Education and Schools Show in Asia. We started off as a carefully curated event for families in Asia, inviting schools with a good academic standard across the board, excellent and modern facilities and stronger levels of pastoral care given the distance between the UK and South East Asia.  Our schools represent some of the most prestigious and competitively sought after schools in the UK.

At the physical show, attendees have the opportunity to visit exhibitor booths and meet schools’ admission directors face-to-face.  A programme of talks allow parents to hear about topical issues in education from the experts.

This year, the pandemic has transformed the education landscape with schools moving to distance learning, accelerating the use of digital platforms and forcing a re-thinking of how to teach. Staying true to its motto, BESSA has added a new online portal – BESSA Connect – for families to “Be Informed” about British education and access to British-curriculum schools directly. BESSA Connect complements the physical school shows which are held annually in Singapore, Malaysia and from 2021, Bangkok.

A child’s education and learning experience is of huge importance for any parent.  BESSA was founded upon the belief that it is beneficial for both parent and child to understand the options available and make well-informed decisions when choosing a school. BESSA is a great forum not only to explore and learn about British boarding, but also for parents to stay updated with new developments in world-leading education.

We encourage parents, together with their children (whether of primary or secondary level), to be a part of the BESSA family and speak with school representatives, alumni, current students and other parents.

The online BESSA Connect portal and BESSA’s physical shows are free admission events.

Yes, of course! The Team at BESSA are delighted to assist by putting you in direct contact with any Exhibitor, if you have not already done so through their BESSA Connect virtual booth. Just drop us an email at contact@waypointsasia.com with all the details.

Families interested in a British boarding school and starting their research can refer to this list of questions which covers a wide range of topics, from academic to extra-curricular, admissions and pastoral care:

General Information

  • Where exactly is the school located? Is it in an urban or rural setting? What are the transport links to the school?
  • What is the size of the school? Is it small (50-60 in a year group) or large (over 200 in a year group)? Is it co-ed or single sex?
  • When was the school founded? Find out some history.
  • Who owns the school? Is it a charitable trust? Or part of a larger commercial group?
  • How long has the Head been at the school? Are there any change in headship plans?
  • What are the school hours? How does the day work? Is there school on Saturdays?
  • What outdoor space and facilities does the school have? Are there any facilities the school is currently lacking?
  • Does the school have a religious faith, or any other particular ethos? How do you cater for children who do not come from your religious background?
  • How diverse is your school community? How many international students are there, and from which countries?

Admissions process

  • What are the main entry points into the school? Is there any possibility for entry at other times (eg. January intake).  How will my child be integrated into the school then?
  • When should I register?
  • What are the entrance criteria?
  • Will my child have to take any screening tests and if so, how should they prepare?
  • Will my child be interviewed?
  • What are the fees?
  • What scholarships do you offer and how do we apply for them?
  • What bursaries would be available to my child if we require fee assistance?
  • If I have more than one child at the school, is there a sibling discount policy?

Academic questions

  • What is the staff to pupil ratio?
  • How do you monitor each child’s progress, and how do parents receive information?
  • Does the school follow A Levels or the IB curriculum? What subjects within these curricula are offered?  Are there any subjects not offered – eg. Chinese, any art or less popular options?
  • Which universities do you feed?
  • How do you support university applications? Do you have a US university advisor? What about other universities around the world – eg. HK, Singapore, Australia?
  • What careers advice do you offer?
  • What are your IGCSE and A-Level/IB results?
  • How many pupils stay on in the Sixth Form? How many join the school at 16+, do many come from overseas?
  • What are the staff qualifications? How many are subject specialists?
  • What is your SEN (learning needs) support? Is it a department within the school, or outsourced? What assessments do you do? Which learning difficulties do the school cope with?
  • If my child has a particular talent, how will you support, enrich or stretch it?

Co-curricular

  • What extra-curricular activities and clubs do you offer?
  • Will my child take part in drama productions and musical concerts? Can my child have individual or group lessons, and is it part of the curriculum?
  • What sports do you offer? Does everyone have to do the same sports?
  • Will my child be likely to be in a team? Which other schools do you compete against?
  • What trips and expeditions do you run?

Pastoral Care

  • How do you promote well-being and happiness? What happens when things go wrong?
  • What happens if my child is unwell or injured?
  • What are your drug policies? How do you manage teenage stress and mental health?
  • How do you deal with bullying?
  • What do you do about home sickness?
  • How do we stay in touch with our child? Can my child have a mobile phone?
  • How do you manage safeguarding?
  • How does the boarding setup work? Are boarders grouped in houses? Which members of staff are responsible for boarding?
  • How many full and part time boarders do you have? How many children are in school on Saturday nights?

The Team at BESSA always love to hear from you! If you have any further questions or feedback, send us an email at contact@waypointsasia.com or call us on +65 8742 1827.  Follow Us on our social media platforms for updates.

A child’s education and learning experience is of huge importance for any parent.  BESSA was founded upon the belief that it is beneficial for both parent and child to understand the options available and make well-informed decisions when choosing a school. BESSA is a great forum not only to explore and learn about British boarding, but also for parents to stay updated with new developments in world-leading education.

We encourage parents, together with their children (whether of primary or secondary level), to be a part of the BESSA family and speak with school representatives, alumni, current students and other parents.

BESSA’s physical shows are free admission events.

Yes, of course! The Team at BESSA are delighted to assist by putting you in direct contact with any Exhibitor, if you have not already done so through their virtual booth on this website. Just drop us an email at contact@waypointsasia.com with your contact details and the background to the enquiry.

Families interested in a British boarding school and starting their research can refer to this list of questions which covers a wide range of topics, from academic to extra-curricular, admissions and pastoral care:

General Information

  • Where exactly is the school located? Is it in an urban or rural setting? What are the transport links to the school?
  • What is the size of the school? Is it small (50-60 in a year group) or large (over 200 in a year group)? Is it co-ed or single sex?
  • When was the school founded? Find out some history.
  • Who owns the school? Is it a charitable trust? Or part of a larger commercial group?
  • How long has the Head been at the school? Are there any change in headship plans?
  • What are the school hours? How does the day work? Is there school on Saturdays?
  • What outdoor space and facilities does the school have? Are there any facilities the school is currently lacking?
  • Does the school have a religious faith, or any other particular ethos? How do you cater for children who do not come from your religious background?
  • How diverse is your school community? How many international students are there, and from which countries?


Admissions process

  • What are the main entry points into the school? Is there any possibility for entry at other times (eg. January intake).  How will my child be integrated into the school then?
  • When should I register?
  • What are the entrance criteria?
  • Will my child have to take any screening tests and if so, how should they prepare?
  • Will my child be interviewed?
  • What are the fees?
  • What scholarships do you offer and how do we apply for them?
  • What bursaries would be available to my child if we require fee assistance?
  • If I have more than one child at the school, is there a sibling discount policy?


Academic questions

  • What is the staff to pupil ratio?
  • How do you monitor each child’s progress, and how do parents receive information?
  • Does the school follow A Levels or the IB curriculum? What subjects within these curricula are offered?  Are there any subjects not offered – eg. Chinese, any art or less popular options?
  • Which universities do you feed?
  • How do you support university applications? Do you have a US university advisor? What about other universities around the world – eg. HK, Singapore, Australia?
  • What careers advice do you offer?
  • What are your IGCSE and A-Level/IB results?
  • How many pupils stay on in the Sixth Form? How many join the school at 16+, do many come from overseas?
  • What are the staff qualifications? How many are subject specialists?
  • What is your SEN (learning needs) support? Is it a department within the school, or outsourced? What assessments do you do? Which learning difficulties do the school cope with?
  • If my child has a particular talent, how will you support, enrich or stretch it?


Co-curricular

  • What extra-curricular activities and clubs do you offer?
  • Will my child take part in drama productions and musical concerts? Can my child have individual or group lessons, and is it part of the curriculum?
  • What sports do you offer? Does everyone have to do the same sports?
  • Will my child be likely to be in a team? Which other schools do you compete against?
  • What trips and expeditions do you run?


Pastoral Care

  • How do you promote well-being and happiness? What happens when things go wrong?
  • What happens if my child is unwell or injured?
  • What are your drug policies? How do you manage teenage stress and mental health?
  • How do you deal with bullying?
  • What do you do about home sickness?
  • How do we stay in touch with our child? Can my child have a mobile phone?
  • How do you manage safeguarding?
  • How does the boarding setup work? Are boarders grouped in houses? Which members of staff are responsible for boarding?
  • How many full and part time boarders do you have? How many children are in school on Saturday nights?

CONSULTANCY

First stage
An initial consultation to determine your requirements for the school and an assessment of your child’s education background to-date. This would include:
Considering school choice factors such as curriculum options, school success record, extra-curricular strengths, single sex or co-ed, school ethos, boarding style, location, religious requirements, and other factors.
A review of your child’s recent school reports, academic progress and other extra-curricular achievements or ability.
A general discussion of an overseas education covering guardianship, school fees, travelling costs, living expenses and other issues.
Producing a list of potential schools.

Second stage
A more in depth research into each chosen school, assisting with a schedule of school visits and formal applications to short-listed schools.

Third stage
We will provide advice on pre-test and interview preparation if necessary and depending on the school’s criteria for entry. A place may be offered unconditionally or conditional upon success in entrance tests or examinations. We are able to refer you to experienced tutors to assist with test preparation.

Final stage
We will offer final advice regarding acceptance of an offer and consideration of whether a child is suitable for scholarship application. We will also help to answer any other queries about a chosen school prior to the child’s entry.

It is best to start the process of looking at schools about four years prior to entry. Most schools have a cut-off date by which your child must be registered. Some schools will take registration only up to a limited number, with names being placed on a waiting list if normal lists are full. There may be some places reserved for strong late applicants.

In the UK, preparatory schools tend to not have absolute cut-off dates while senior schools have dates that vary widely from three years prior to one year prior. For entry at 16+ years old, registration is usually required at least one year prior. However, schools have taken in students in special circumstances at short notice.

As a general rule of thumb, the earlier you start the process, the better your options and wider your choices.

It is our job to advise families which schools would be suitable for their child having taken into account all considerations. We will help to ensure that your child is presented, openly and honestly, in the best possible light. We do not, however, guarantee admission to any school because this is at the discretion of the admissions staff of the school. We are not recruitment agents and in particular, do not accept agency fees from any school.

We take the duty of confidentiality seriously and respect the privacy of all our clients’ affairs. Information obtained in the course of any consultancy is kept confidential and is not shared outside the scope of work.

It is our job to advise families which schools would be suitable for their child having taken into account all considerations. We will help to ensure that your child is presented, openly and honestly, in the best possible light. We do not, however, guarantee admission to any school because this is at the discretion of the admissions staff of the school. We are not recruitment agents and we do not accept agency fees from any school.

We take the duty of confidentiality seriously and respect the privacy of all our clients’ affairs. Information obtained in the course of any consultancy is kept confidential and is not shared outside the scope of work.

A boarding school education offers several advantages over a day school. Here are some key benefits:

  • Immersive 24/7 learning environment. Learning is not restricted to academics. Boarding school provides the opportunity for holistic development which includes character building, leadership skills, and personal growth.
  • Diverse Community. Boarding schools attract students from different geographical locations, cultures, and backgrounds. This diversity fosters a rich and inclusive community, exposing students to different perspectives and encouraging cross-cultural understanding.
  • Supportive Community and Relationships. The immersive 24/7 learning environment, coupled with a diverse and inclusive community help students build lifelong friendships, strong networks, and valuable connections with mentors and role models.
  • Extensive Extracurricular Opportunities. Students have more time and opportunities to explore their interests, develop talents, and cultivate well-rounded skill sets
  • University Preparation. Boarding schools often have a strong focus on university preparation and have dedicated resources to support students in their application process. Furthermore, many students find that the life skills and independence learned at boarding school result in a smooth transition to university.

We have partnered with the top schools, all of whom have a virtual booth on our website on our schools page. Furthermore, you are able to meet admissions officers in-person at our annual BESSA events. You can find more information about upcoming shows here. Visiting school websites can often be useful in finding materials such as videos detailing the day-to-day lives of their students. Do not hesitate to contact us for help curating and narrowing down your list If you are hoping to visit in-person, we can help you arrange your visits.

We have seen many student cohorts go through a wide range of schools in the UK.  Feel free to reach out to us with your request and we will very likely be able to connect you with a past or current student at the school of your interest, or otherwise provide you with a first-hand experience account.

Moving to boarding school is a big transition for many students, and schools are therefore familiar with and equipped to help with this change. The community of other students making the same transition, as well as older students with past experience, is a great support network. School pastoral care is also available to provide support: boarding houses have dedicated staff who support students not only during the transition period but throughout their boarding experience.

Boarding schools offer individualised academic support to every student. Each school differs slightly in their approach to academic support, however all boarding schools will consider your child’s interests and strengths. Schools will often make arrangements for additional classes or help if it is needed in a certain area.

Every child is unique and has individual needs. One of the great strengths of the British education system is the recognition that all children learn differently. Boarding schools have dedicated staff to oversee the requirements of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Personalised learning plans, small group intervention sessions, executive function training and specialised teaching are examples of how SEND departments provide support. If your child is neurodiverse, be sure to investigate your choice of school to ensure that their learning needs will be supported.

Boarding schools are very flexible for students, providing a myriad of offerings for their students. If a child’s interest is not supported by existing programs, schools will often make arrangements to ensure that your student is able to pursue their passion. Some schools will specialise in certain areas, for example sports, and this is something that you should take into consideration during your schools search. 

Yes. While each boarding school may have its own policies and guidelines, most schools recognize the importance of maintaining regular contact between parents and students. Include general overview of term dates, exeats, floaters, invitations on campus for parent involvement. 
Typical forms of communication include the following:

  • Phone and Email: Most boarding schools allow students to have regular access to phone and email communication. Students can typically use designated phone times or have access to their phones during specific hours. Email communication is usually available at any time.
  • Online Platforms: Many boarding schools have online portals or platforms where parents can access updates, grades, and communicate with teachers and staff. These platforms provide a convenient way for parents to stay informed about their child’s progress and engage in ongoing communication.
  • Letters and Care Packages: Parents can also send letters, care packages, or other mail to their children at the boarding school. These gestures can provide emotional support and help students feel connected to their families.

Virtual Communication: With the advancement of technology, video calls and video conferencing have become common means of communication. Many boarding schools offer opportunities for parents and students to connect virtually, allowing for face-to-face interactions regardless of physical distance.

Financial aid varies from school to school, however more often than not some type of assistance is available. Scholarships are awards for excellence in academic study, the arts or sport which serve primarily as an acknowledgement of a student’s achievement. They are highly competitive and may carry a reduction on school fees, usually varying between 5% to 50%. 

 

Bursaries allow students to receive up to 100% fees support or a percentage award determined through a financial means-testing process. Students may also be supported with pro-rated financial assistance towards the additional costs of attending school, such as uniform and co-curricular activities. In some cases, bursary recipients are required to be UK residents or citizens. 

The UK government sets national minimum standards to safeguard and promote the welfare of students at all boarding schools. Regular inspections ensure that these standards are, and continue to be, met. Schools prioritise the safety and security of their students through a comprehensive approach that encompasses both physical measures and supportive policies. For example, secure access control systems monitor and restrict entry into the school, fire safety drills are held regularly and dedicated on-site medical facilities cater to the physical and mental well-being of students. Schools enforce rigorous child protection and anti-bullying policies, underpinned by staff undergoing detailed background checks and continuous training in safeguarding and first aid. Internet safety is emphasized through monitored usage and digital literacy education.

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