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.

However, our global outlook 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.

A few things you may not know about Sevenoaks School’s global outlook

The IB is central to international mindedness at Sevenoaks

All of our Sixth Form students pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which the school has delivered since 1978. The IB represents, in our view, the best preparation for university and for work in a world of global competition.

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.

We have an outstanding Modern Languages department

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 work with partner schools

In addition to language exchanges, our partnership activities include touring theatre productions, sports tours and IB projects.

A Sevenoaks education looks forward, with many students choosing to pursue higher education in the US 

US universities are an increasingly popular option for our students. You can also find Old Sennockians at universities in Europe, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.

Our service programme includes several international service projects

We run these alongside work in the local community and with UK charities.

Our student body is diverse

​​​​​​Today over a third of our pupils have an international dimension to their lives, including British students who are bilingual or have lived or studied abroad.

Our alumni community is truly international

The Antarctic Monument was created by Old Sennockian and current teacher of Art, Oliver Barratt – just one example of Old Sennockians living and working all over the world.