Dr Chris Stevens

Dr Chris Stevens became Headmaster of Bradfield College in September 2015.

Chris was educated at Tonbridge School and then read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University, where he received his MA. He began his teaching career as a College Lecturer while researching for a DPhil in Italian Literature at Oxford University.

Following this, he established a school in France for Ashdown House, a boarding prep school in East Sussex. He joined Uppingham School in 1997 where he was Master-in-charge of cricket and a Housemaster for nine years. Prior to joining Bradfield, he had been Second Master at Marlborough College since 2011.

Chris is also a keen sportsman, playing cricket, hockey, fives and golf. His wife, Helen, is an Associate Professor of English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. They have three young daughters who keep them on their toes!

Education for Life: educating pupils for a fast-changing world

Thank you for your interest in Bradfield College. Our website conveys some of the character of our pupils, and a sense of the ethos and energy of a place that is constantly evolving. Whether you are a young person considering your next move or a parent looking at schools for your children, whether you might want to work here or perhaps to revisit a place you already know, you will hopefully get a feel for who we are as well as what we do. We hope above all, however, that you will be inspired to come and experience this special place for yourselves.

Our vision is very clear – to enable our pupils to flourish personally and professionally beyond Bradfield and to make a positive contribution to their world. We want our leavers not only to achieve grades that allow them to access their chosen pathway but to benefit from the lasting legacy of a much broader education. This education for life reflects the fact that challenges and opportunities beyond school stretch far beyond the exam room. Crucially, Bradfield’s educational philosophy recognises that the attributes young people need to thrive as adults have changed and continue to do so.

Developing these attributes goes hand in hand with more formal learning in the classroom and well beyond it. Confidence and open-mindedness grow in the boarding house and on the sports field. Resilience and communication are enhanced in the theatre and in the CCF. Inquiry and innovation are fostered in the art room and the debating chamber. Indeed, all these attributes can be developed in multiple ways through our broad range of activities. Binding these together is the key skill of being a good learner, of the capacity to make progress and evaluate it. This, too, is a skill which we foster by encouraging self-reflection and pupil initiative throughout the College.

We know that young people show the best of themselves when they are happy and emotionally balanced, when they are challenged, rather than stressed. Pastoral care runs throughout our activity. As well as our boarding houses, health centre and formal lessons, we have some 220 acres of wellbeing facilities and wonderfully caring staff!

Education remains a social and emotional experience even in our technological age. Whilst we promote digital fluency, human relations are therefore at the heart of our values and of all our endeavours. We encourage engagement with activities of lasting value which enhance the uniquely human qualities that are essential to our future.

Finally – and crucially – we believe that the privilege of a great education carries with it the responsibility to make a positive contribution to society and to leave the planet in a better place. In the words of a recent leaver, ‘Bradfield enables its pupils to make a difference, not just to make a living’.

Bradfield is a very friendly school in a beautiful setting populated by people who are positive in outlook and passionate about education but don’t take themselves too seriously. Our pupils are characterised by integrity, not entitlement, and the community embraces the values of kindness, respect, and inclusivity.

I do hope you can take the opportunity to come and meet our pupils and see these qualities for yourselves.

Dr Chris Stevens, Headmaster