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English pupil graduates with American high school diploma

Published Friday 25th of June 2010 09:36:41 AM

A very English pupil, Bobby Burns son of the Minister of State for Health has the distinction of being the very first English pupil to leave Kingham Hill School with an American high school diploma.

Bobby's high school diploma will sit alongside his A-Level results, due later in the summer. He joins three American pupils who also graduated from Kingham Hill's groundbreaking American Studies Program.

The program was established in 2007 in response to an approach from the US Department of State, following the shock announcement of the closure of an American school on the outskirts of London. Kingham Hill appointed several American educators and created a program of study that made it possible for American pupils to transfer from an American curriculum school to a traditional English school and back again, without missing out or falling behind.

One exciting spin-off is that non-Americans can also access the American Studies program. If carefully configured, courses offered through the program complement A-Level courses in such a way as to make an application by pupils of all nationalities to an American college as straightforward as an application to a British university. Kingham Hill has a dedicated 'guidance counselor' who can offer expert advice on American colleges and the application process.

Kingham Hill School gained coveted New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation after a very rigorous and successful inspection early in 2010. The Kingham Hill American Studies Program is the only program of its kind in the UK.

Headmaster Nick Seward says, 'I'm delighted for Bobby a great achievement for a real Kingham Hill character! The unique programme here allows A level pupils to keep their options open for higher education and university, which is ever more important in a global marketplace.'

Bobby named after Bobby Kennedy, the famous US Senator will take up a university place to study Politics at Bristol UWE in September. However, further study in The States at some future point has not been ruled out.

The pioneering programme that enables American pupils to study at a traditional British independent school whilst satisfying the demands of an American curriculum, has received resounding approval. In Spring 2010 Cotswold-based Kingham Hill School was waving both the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes as it celebrates making history as the first British school to receive coveted NEASC accreditation.

NEASC (The New England Association of Schools and Colleges) is the oldest of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. The list of institutions accredited by NEASC includes Harvard, Yale and other prestigious institutions, 2,000 schools in the US and 175 American schools and colleges in 68 countries around the world. Kingham Hill is the first British day and boarding school to be accredited by NEASC.

Kingham Hill was approached by the US Department of State in the Autumn of 2006 with a request to help, following the shock announcement that an American school on the edge of London catering for the children of US families living abroad was to close. After careful thought and the appointment of several American educators, a number of American pupils joined the school in the September of the following year.

Stories supplied by Sheila Kelly, Kingham Hill School
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