Cleve House International School set to open in Bristol

Two leading independent schools are going into partnership to open Bristol’s first international school later this year – the first to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme. 

Cleve House International School will open in September on the current site of Cleve House School, on Wells Road in Knowle. 

The school is a joint initiative between Cleve House School and Wotton House International School in Gloucester, which already offers the IB Middle Years Programme for 11-16-year-olds as an alternative to the traditional GCSE route.  

Clare Fraser, headteacher at Cleve House, said that from the start of the next academic year the school’s intake will expand to include secondary pupils as well as those of primary age. 

“This partnership is a game changer for education in Bristol, bringing together two of the West of England’s most successful and long-standing independent schools,” she said. 

“Wotton House International is currently one of only 26 schools in the country to be offering the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, which offers a ‘slimmed down’ set of exams in five core subjects at 16. This is the gold standard across much of the world and so puts students at an advantage in today’s interconnected, globalised world.  

“Cleve House International will become the first school in Bristol to offer this robust, inquiry-based knowledge curriculum, as well as integrated technology for learning and outdoor education. 

“Wotton House has been a pioneer in both of these areas and our pupils will now have access to the fantastic Wilderness Centre in the Forest of Dean, which comprises a country house set in 30 acres of private grounds.” 

Daniel Sturdy, principal at Wotton House International School, said the new establishment would be the first new independent secondary school to open in Bristol for around 150 years. 

“There is a track record of success and longevity on both sides in this partnership, with myself and my wife Sophie – our registrar – on the Wotton House side, and Clare on the Cleve House side. 

“Bristol’s independent schools have been hugely successful over the years by offering a traditional educational approach but we will be offering something radically different.  

“Bristol is an international city that is home to global employers and there is a large and growing demand among parents for the IB as an alternative to the established GCSE route, as well as an environment that is more welcoming for neurodivergent children and helps them to build on their strengths.” 

Featured image: Left to right, Daniel Sturdy, Clare Fraser and Sophie Sturdy