Beginning at Bingham

Welcome!This year Bingham Academy held three ‘Admissions Events’. At this time of year parents begin to enroll their children for places throughout the school. Bingham is a popular school and I met one parent who had applied seven times to have members of her family admitted - she was hoping that this year she would finally be successful. Each event began with our director giving a general introduction to the school. The parents were then divided according to their child’s age. My task was to give a presentation about the two Kindergarten classes followed by a tour of the school. Around twenty parents attended each of the three admissions events. Here are a few of the questions I was asked:

“How many students in a class?” There is a maximum of 25 per class and 16 to 18 for the youngest class.

The flags by the gym. There is a union jack near the far end“We hear you have an international community – what does that mean?” There are over 30 nationalities within the school community and the staff are drawn from 12 different countries.

“Are all the buildings on campus classrooms?” The majority of the staff live on the compound, so the staff apartments are interspersed with the school rooms. I used to live in an apartment that shared a dividing wall with my classroom – convenient if I forgot something!

“What time does school begin?” 8am for Kindergarten and 8.10am for the rest of the school. Kindergarten finish at 12.30pm.

“Can you look after my child in the afternoon after 12.30, as Bingham is a long way away from where I live?” We do share contact details of other parents (with their permission), so maybe a ‘car pool’ would be possible.

My classroom“What time do I need to arrive at Bingham to be one of the first to drop my children?” Cars start queuing at 6.50am.

“You have great sports facilities here, a large gymnasium, a large playing field, running track and basketball court - are they used outside school hours?” They are used very frequently before and after school, also evenings and weekends. There are interschool competitions and sports leagues.

“Do you have to practise the Christian faith to attend this school?” We have students from other religious faiths within the school community, however all families must be prepared to be sensitive to the school’s Christian ethos.

“My child is very smart I was thinking of applying for the year group above his age.” (A comment I heard several times). It is wise to apply for the correct age group. Your child will be given an entrance test and any adjustments can be made based on the results of this.

“Can my child have swimming lessons – do you have a swimming pool here?” Now, that would be nice…

The middle school boach pool...

This picture needs some explanation.Once a year on a Saturday in the dry season the middle school have a fun “beach party” day. Hay bales are brought in and this small pool is constructed and filled, along with a smaller pool for paddling, and long sheets of wet plastic for sliding along. It’s the nearest we ever get to a school swimming pool!


Where there is a will there is a way! Fancy having a beach party in a landlocked country! I didn't realise how sought after Bingham is. Fascinating.xx

Chris , you look just the same as when you came to Virginia many years ago ! 


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