An international dimension

Sevenoaks School's first celebrated international student was Huang Ya Dong of Guangzhou who is thought to have attended for a short period in the eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, Sevenoaks, like other public schools, numbered boys from other parts of the world among its scholars, largely from countries which were part of the British Empire.

A more diverse student body began to develop in the 1950s, when the Head, Kim Taylor, welcomed applications from international students seeking an education which would prepare them for British universities. Taylor believed that introducing a global spirit to Sevenoaks would benefit all students. The school opened its first international boarding house, the International Centre, in 1962 and we are now welcoming the grandchildren of some of our original IC boarders as students to the school. Among our students around 70 nationalities are represented, and many have dual or triple nationality.

Our global outlook is not just about a cosmopolitan student body, but delivering a truly international and diverse experience through the academic curriculum and co-curriculum

Our global outlook, however, is not just about a cosmopolitan student body, but delivering a truly international and diverse experience which includes immersion in other cultures and languages through the academic curriculum, trips, co-curriculum and community service activities, so that students become comfortable and adept in a global environment. We offer a rich and varied set of modern language options, including bilingual language options, and organise over 50 overseas trips each year. Many of our language teachers are native speakers and bring an element of cultural diversity and an international perspective to the common room. The school is involved in several international service projects. We also work with partner schools, not only on language exchanges but with touring theatre productions and in IB projects.

Sevenoaks adopted the IB Diploma in 1978 – the first traditional British public school to do so – and the Sixth Form became fully IB from 1999. The International Baccalaureate focuses on developing an understanding and respect for different perspectives, and is a truly global education.

We seek to provide an holistic education with a commitment to human rights, equality and freedom. As an IB school we aim to foster in our students the ten attributes of the IB learner profile. The attributes include being principled, open-minded and caring. Our academic curriculum, PSHE and pastoral programmes provide opportunities for students to develop understanding of themselves and others, learning to respect and value each individual.

We are non-denominational. The school has no chapel and we prefer to foster respect and tolerance for all beliefs. We focus on moral education in our assemblies.

We aim to value and make productive use of the diversity of cultures and perspectives that exist within the school, to enhance learning through internationalism, to promote openness to and curiosity about other perspectives and to provide students with opportunities to learn about issues of global significance.