No. 200

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  January 2022



School Marketing Report

By Mrs Ceara Hayden (Head of Marketing and Admissions)

The future is bright…

When I sit back and reflect on my past two and a half years here at St Bees, I am enormously, yet humbly, proud of what has been achieved. On a very personal note - I joined the school in June of 2019 when we had eight students. That September we welcomed a cohort of fifteen with the target for the following year being fifty. Then Covid hit. ‘That’s quite a hard task,’ I thought to myself.

As the world went into lockdown, our society, our lives, our country, our school, our families, our everyday routines, habits and activities - everything - was thrown into disarray. We were all forced to adapt to the ‘new normal’, without any control and also without any experience or insight into when this all might end.
And yet, as a school, we still had to (and wanted to) provide for our students. What a sterling job our teachers did.

But as Head of Marketing and Admissions, despite travel being confined to a five mile radius of one’s home, despite the marketing office being relocated to my kitchen table, and despite the fact that in-person talks and visits were now strictly prohibited, I still had a target to reach - fifty. I like a challenge, I’m quite stubborn but I am fiercely passionate about St Bees - so ‘bring it on’, I thought!

In September 2020, we welcomed fifty-three students. We had a boarding community. We had international students. We had a Sixth Form. We were a fully functioning, working, well-oiled school. And we were growing.

Over the past year, we have continued to go from strength to strength, expanding our school by a further 50%, providing a current cohort of seventy-four. This will grow by a further eight students in January and we now have a realistic target of 100 for the next academic year. Academic results this summer were extraordinary - with 100% of students achieving A*, A or B in their IGCSEs and A Levels, our A Level student herself achieving straight A* grades. So the St Bees model DOES work. And most importantly - the outside world is beginning to realise this.

Growth like this is exciting, exhilarating and incredibly inspiring. It is a huge testament to the phenomenal teaching staff and dedicated support team under the superb management of Head, Robin Silk, Deputy Head, Andy Keep and Assistant Head and Finance Director, Laurence Gribble. With a third of our population from overseas, representing Romania, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Hong Kong, we have created a family feel with an international recipe.

When I show prospective families and students around the school (or meet them online if they’re international), I am proud to announce that our students are happy; they love school; and they really do feel a true part of our close-knit community. From September, with restrictions easing, we have been inundated with requests to visit, and confirmed admissions for next year currently stands streets ahead of this time last year.

Local families have actively acknowledged they have been ‘watching us’ for the past few years and the faith and trust in us as a school is now well and truly there.

St Bees will continue to grow and expand and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

So 100 - here we come!




The St Beghian Society    
St Bees School,    St Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS

Tel: (01946) 828093     
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