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Plymouth College

Year of foundation
GCSE, A-level, Sport Baccalaureate
11—18 years old

Plymouth College is a boarding school for girls and boys, founded in 1877.

The school is located in the south-west of England, in the coastal city of Plymouth (Plymouth) in the county Devon (Devon). The nearest Exeter Airport from the school can be reached in 15 minutes. The distance to London is 340 kilometres, which is about 4 hours by car, or an hour by plane.

Plymouth College is located in Ford Park, north of Plymouth city centre. The College has a Business School, which is a national leader in financial literacy and one of the best business schools in England.

Plymouth College is a very busy and vibrant school where it’s hard not to feel inspired, involved and determined. The school is known for educating the best athletes, including athletes in swimming, diving and fencers.

Plymouth College is academically strong, but in addition to subjects, it offers a wide balanced curriculum of additional opportunities to participate in an impressive range of sports events, outdoor events, art, music, drama and other events, including trips to the theatre, the Eden project, ancient castles, day trips to France and London, trips abroad to Ireland and Greece, as well as trips to the beaches of South Devon and Dartmoor. Everyone can find something to their liking and achieve high results.

The school has about 600 students.

Director (stand 2023)

Adam Carr, Education - University of Roehampton, Boarding Management and Pastoral Care, Boarding; UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, ISQAM Academic Management, Education; University of Plymouth, Doctor of Education; Durham University, PGCE, Modern Foreign Languages; University of St Andrews, MA German and Modern History (With Integrated Year Abroad), German and Modern History.

Famous school graduates

  • Ruta Meilutite, Lithuanian swimmer, Olympic gold and world champion in the 100m breaststroke, vice world champion in the 50m breaststroke, winner of two gold and one silver medal in the World Short Course. World record holder at distances of 50- and 100-meters breaststroke, 3 world and 8 European records.
  • Benjamin Proud British swimmer, 2017 world champion, two-time European champion, winner of the European Short Course Championships. He specializes in sprint freestyle and butterfly stroke.
  • Laura Stefans, gold at the European Championships, semi-finalist at the European Championships, 3-time finalist at the Commonwealth Games, represented Great Britain at the World Championships, European Championships, European and World Junior Championships, the European Olympic Games and the European Youth Olympic Games and established 1 British record.
  • Tom Fannon, gold at the European Junior Championships, finalist of the Commonwealth Games, represented Great Britain at the World Championships, European Championships, European Championships among juniors and juniors, the European Olympic Games and the European Youth Olympic Games; set 3 British records.
  • Jessica Jackson, 1 gold medal at the World School Games, represented Great Britain at the European Championships, represented England at the Commonwealth Games and set 1 British record.

Key factors

  • Academic performance at a decent level.
  • Class sizes are not more than 9-15 students.
  • Outstanding athletic performance, among students there are Olympic champions and world champions.
  • The school also has a Cadet Corps.
  • Plymouth College has a reputation as one of the best business schools in the UK. Students study both Certificate (CeFS) and Diploma (DipFS) in financial research.


Full-board students can use the school’s sports facilities in the evenings and at weekends; possibly swim in the pool; play badminton in the gym; play rounders on the school field or soccer. There is enough infrastructure for the children to be busy and engage in active sports.

Sixth Formers has its own space, as well as separate music practice and computer rooms.

Meals are provided in the school cafeteria; although each house has a kitchen where you can prepare drinks and snacks.

The school has its own laundry room, which is open on weekdays.


Key Stage (Year 7-9)

At the beginning of the 7th year of study (11 years), there are no settings and basic indicators. This gives all students the opportunity to adapt to the school both academically and socially. At the 8th and 9th year of study (12-13 years), there are wide opportunities in the field of mathematics, natural sciences and English. This helps students progress at a pace appropriate to their abilities in these subjects. Class sizes are small (an average of 15 students per class) so that all students can receive frequent, focused interaction with their teachers.

GCSE (certificate of secondary education)

Thematic election of subjects for the GCSE and IGCSE begins in the 10th year (14 years) and lasts until 11 years (15 years). There are 4 compulsory subjects (English, mathematics, science and modern foreign languages) and 3 subjects to choose from (art, business, drama, music, geography, history, etc.). There is also a growing number of GCSE subjects that can be studied after school during classes, including philosophy, Greek, computer literacy, film art and additional languages. Class sizes are small, with an average of 12 students per class, which allows all students to receive individual support.

The school has a one-year program for international students before entering the Sixth Form, for students of 11th year of preparation for preparing for A-Level or Sport Baccalaureate courses a year later. This program allows students to complete a GCSE or AS qualification in one year.


Class sizes are even smaller than on the GCSE, with an average of less than 9 students per class, which allows students to receive significant teacher support. Students will study 3 subjects in two years with all formal exams at the end of the course.

Most international students also follow an Advanced Learning English (EAL) course leading to the IELTS qualification.

The Sport Baccalaureate

The Sport Baccalaureate is a complete two year course built around a central qualification of the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure). The BTEC Extended Diploma is a long-standing British qualification and is the equivalent of three full A Levels. The Sports Baccalaureate is both a practical and academic qualification with assessment by way of a portfolio, assignment and presentation rather than through examinations. Students should ideally have 5 GCSE passes at C grade or above, including English and Maths but those who do not quite meet this level may still be accepted. During the two years, pupils will cover topics such as:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training and Programming
  • Leadership In Sport
  • Sports Coaching
  • Adventurous Sports Skills
  • Sports Nutrition

Upon completion of the course, you will have the same options for further study as traditional A-Level students.  Over 95% of Universities accept UCAS points from BTEC programmes and in fact many universities prefer those who have studied a BTEC, as you are already an independent learner.  Studying the Sports Baccalaureate course does not limit students to a sport-based university course.

Plymouth College students who have completed the Sports Baccalaureate have gone on to study at many prestigious universities including those in the Russell Group. The pass rate of the Sports Baccalaureate course has consistently been 100%, with many pupils achieving triple distinction.


The main house of the school is College-House: it consists of a number of Victorian villas belonging to two satellite houses - Thompson and The Heven. In the main College-House, the houses of boys and girls are separated by the Housemaster.

In the bedrooms, each full-board student has their own space, with storage space, a desk, Internet access and, of course, a comfortable bed. Bathrooms are located in all guest houses.


The sport is given special attention and it is at a decent level. Plymouth College plays in league and national school competitions in Plymouth, both as junior and high school students.

The school offers the following sports: cricket, basketball, netball, badminton, golf, athletics, rugby, rounders, diving, fencing, swimming, horse riding, hockey for girls, soccer, cross country

70 schoolchildren swim in the Plymouth swimming club for professional athletes, from 13 to 25 hours a week, depending on age, level and ambition. Training starts at 4:00 in the morning. There are many bronze, silver and gold medallists of their countries and Great Britain. The program is built for each individually, and study never suffers! Nutrition is also balanced according to the needs of each athlete. There is a physiotherapist and a nutritionist. The guys go out to compete for the UK and for their own countries, this is provided for by the program.

Additional classes

After completing homework, there are a number of evening activities for students, such as: badminton in the gym; swimming in the pool; playing on Wii in the common room; talking over coffee and cookies in the kitchen or playing music.

On weekends, activities include bowling, ice skating, movie theatre trips, paintball, boat trips, golf, swamp walks, surfing and skiing on a dry ski slope. This level of communication in an adventurous environment has a beneficial effect on other areas. Sometimes there is a quieter weekend to ensure complete relaxation and a change of pace.

Cost, 2023-2024

£11,437 - £13,110 per semester.
There are 3 semesters in the academic year.

Included in cost

  • Teaching
  • Accommodation and meals

Extra paid

  • Registration fee - £100
  • Deposit - the cost of 1 semester
  • Flights
  • Transfers to / from the airport
  • Visa
  • Services of the company "Paradise"
  • Guardianship (as reqired by British law)


  • Selection of 5-6 schools that best meet the individual characteristics of the child, further goals, talents, with the desired environment. Help in the correct interpretation of school ratings, an explanation of why the school occupies one place or another. Help in obtaining reliable information about schools that are not included in the ratings, with an explanation of the reasons for non-participation in it.
  • Admission to 1-3 schools, selected from the proposed. Which includes the preparation of the necessary documents, school reports, characteristics, recommendations. Selection and submission of tests to prepare the student for exam testing, assistance in preparing essays. Preparation for an interview with the teacher / principal, registration for the exam. The necessary list of recommendations when attending school for passing entrance examinations. Correspondence with the school (far from all schools enter into correspondence with foreign parents, they are cautious about them, trust only to a trusted agent).
  • Assistance in paying registration fees, deposits, bills. Clarification of school rules, including disciplinary and legal aspects.
  • Filling out the required medical forms.
  • Selection of guardians required by UK law.

Student supervision during the first month of training is provided as a gift: assistance in resolving issues related to resettlement, billing, informing parents about the child’s health status, assistance with understanding of academic programs, organization of ext. classes for the child in a particular subject, help in choosing the program most suitable for the child, transfer to another class, etc.

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