An inspiring education encompasses so much more than grades. Christ College Brecon, a school founded by Henry VIII in 1541, agrees. At this co-educational day and boarding school, students do not just prepare for their next academic step — they prepare for lifelong success. It begins with the school’s educational philosophy, which revolves around the development of character and confidence — for pupils to achieve, experience, and succeed. Here, a great education is defined as one that develops the whole person.
With surroundings like theirs, it’s hard not to be inspired. Located on a scenic site on the outskirts of Brecon, Wales – a safe, small market town – Christ College Brecon boasts what many cannot: a 40-acre campus located at the heart of a national park. “We take full advantage of the area to develop young people with the internal toolkit to thrive, to have the courage to try, the fortitude to bounce back, and the emotional intelligence to reflect and look forward with optimism,” shares Gareth Pearson, head of Christ College Brecon. “This is where their character is honed.”
Centuries of experience enable excellent student outcomes for learners between the ages of seven and 18. While Christ College is as traditional as it is historic, its approach to developing well-rounded students is anything but dated.
Here, enriching co-curricular clubs and societies play a crucial role in overall student development. There’s no better place to nurture the talents and enthusiasm of naturally-gifted individuals than in this facility-filled, scenic and unique location the school and its community feel blessed to call “home”.
Access to Brecon Beacons National Park and its natural resources encourage adventurous learning, breaking the barriers of classroom learning. The Beacons Challenge Programme – a series of progressive and challenging outdoor activities – builds self-resilience. Year four to Year 12 pupils in this programme immerse themselves in three multi-activity days in a year outdoors, challenging themselves through paddling, climbing, walking and exploring. The programme was designed to promote teamwork, communication, goal-setting, and leadership – all of which are fundamental to a student’s preparation for life.
“There has never been a more important time to get away from screens and get outdoors. We are fortunate to be based in such a beautiful area with so many opportunities for young people to develop their moral compass for life,” Pearson says.
When it comes to athletic development, Christ College Brecon has enjoyed success over the years in cricket, hockey, netball, tennis and rugby. Their high-performance athlete programme includes partnerships with professional organisations such as Cardiff Blues and Hockey Wales. The Sports & Outdoor Departments also make it possible for active students to thrive in athletics, badminton, basketball, as well as climbing, canoeing, kayaking, shooting, mountain biking and more.
For young creatives, the Music Department schedules 160 lessons a week for minimal academic disruption. This allows students – 40% of which receive individual lessons – to express themselves with an instrument (there are 19 to choose from) and/or singing. Concerts and competitions are held at on-campus performance venues, such as the Creative Arts Centre, Y Neuadd Goffa: The Memorial Hall, and the school chapel. Some performances take place close by at Brecon Cathedral and the Theatr Brycheiniog. Further afield, students share their gifts on larger stages in Swansea and Cardiff. Tours are often organised nationally and internationally.
Christ College Brecon also stages a number of plays and productions every year for every level. The entire community — past and present pupils, teachers, parents, and staff — looks forward to coming together for the project. Mentored by professionals, past productions included timeless classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Phantom of the Opera, Scrooge the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland and Annie.
The school’s motto is “They achieve because they believe they can” and inside the classroom, students consistently achieve excellent results. In the last three years, 43% of grades were A* or A for A level students, and nine to seven for 46% of GCSE students — placing Christ College Brecon amongst the highest performing schools in Wales. Small class sizes, qualified educators and a well-balanced curriculum enable these outcomes. The seven faculties providing this guidance teach the necessities: creative arts, humanities, maths, computer science, science, English, learning skills and modern languages.
To join the Christ College Brecon path to self-discovery through physical, spiritual, social and moral development, click here to find out how you can call this picturesque campus your home too.