Support for home based learners from early years up to GCSE
PLACE is a Bedford Local Authority support service for home educating families managed by Biddenham International School and Sports College.  To be eligible for the scheme, children should be on the elective home education (EHE) register of the local authority in which they live.

The PLACE  Progamme  provides significant support for PLACE-registered GCSE students, including part-time specialist support for a number of GCSE subjects and entrance for public examinations.

PLACE also runs a busy enrichment programme for enrolled youngsters from approximately ages four to sixteen and, in addition, provides measures of help and expertise with special needs issues through its partner school.


Recent News

angliawaterThis week off to Anglian Water to experience their award-winning community-education programme.  This programme includes taught sessions, resources to assist learning across all ages, interactive games, talks and training for adults.  The programme is designed to help participants understand more about the water industry and why water is so vital to life.

Anglian Water’s educational provision encompasses all Key Stages and A-Level.  There is a range of topics covered, such as water efficiency, pollution, climate change and sustainability.  Our young PLACE learners were able to join in fun, interactive sessions, including challenging self-directed projects such as the “water supply challenge” - real pipes, a budget, real water – lots of fun!





To round off PLACE’s summer theme of “The Victorians”, we booked from 1st-5th September the whole of the  Coalbrookdale Youth Hostel, which is located in the Ironbridge region of Shropshire. Built in 1853 as a literary and scientific institute by the Coalbrookdale Company, this beautiful Victorian building was used as a school of art before becoming a Youth Hostel in 1980. The building has been converted inside to provide thoroughly modern facilities perfect for youngsters (YHA Ironbridge Coalbrookdale has been awarded the Quality Badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom).


The Iron Bridge


Set in the delightful Ironbridge Gorge UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Coalbrookdale Hostel provides an ideal base for exploration and learning. There is history every way you look – including ten museums in close proximity, most of which  attended during our stay. We  explored Victorian Britain in Blists Hill Victorian Town, where we were transported back to life in the late 1800’s, with townsfolk in period costume going about their daily lives, shopping and working. There is a Victorian bank on site – which exchanges modern coinage for Victorian legal tender to spend around the town, for example to pay for fair rides or to purchase freshly-baked cinnamon or currant buns at the on-site Victorian bakery. There is a chemist; grocer; tailor; photographer; squatter’s cottage; schoolhouse; steam-operated pithead; to name but a few. PLACE’s families had a chance to try their hand in the soap-making workshop as part of the day’s agenda; whilst at the China Museum, there was a clay workshop included in the itinerary. On another day, the group took a stroll to the 200-year-old Tar Tunnel. The structure that gives the area its name, the Iron Bridge itself, is a “must-see”. Particularly attractive for science and design students was the “Enginuity” Museum, which which allowed us to see how ideas become designs and eventually products, all in an interactive and engaging way.



GCSEs are now out of the way and we come to that time of year when we say goodbye to our Year 11 students.  To celebrate their time with PLACE, some ninety students, parents and friends descended on Wicksteed Park  to enjoy a picnic and to try some of the rides.

Some of our happy picnickers

Some of our happy picnickers

June McDonald (PLACE Programme Manager) was presented by some of the Year 11′s with a photo montage they had prepared to illustrate memories of their time with PLACE – a big “Thank you” from June.


Click for full size image

It was a great day out with fabulous weather – and if you are at Wicksteed you really should try the go-karts…


We wish all our leavers the very best for their future studies and careers and hope they will be able to keep in touch with us.




Following our Victorian theme for this term, PLACE students visited the British Schools Museum to find out  what schools were like over one hundred years ago.

Looks like it was a lot tougher then – hard seats and and a pretty scary looking teacher!



Of course there were no computers in those days …



And if you weren’t listening everyone knew about it …



Stepping back into the past just for the day was both an enjoyable and educational experience for our students and perhaps made us all appreciate how opportunities for learning have improved over the years.


On a very hot and sunny afternoon, the children from PLACE excelled themselves in a war-time themed performance at Bedford Charter House.  The residents were given rousing renditions of, amongst others, ‘Daisy Daisy’ and We’ll Meet Again’, which had everyone singing and clapping along.  There were also singing performances from the little ones with songs about the zoo and driving a car, which had very energetic actions.


The violins entertained us, as did Mariah, with her modern-day song, beautifully sung.

The afternoon was rounded off with a short drama performance depicting the thoughts and feelings of an evacuee during the war.  This was done through a poem written by one of the children.  It was an excellent performance from everyone.  The ladies and gentlemen said it was their best performance EVER!

Following the performance one of the residents sent us this lovely poem.


By Mary  Dyke

To hear the children’s voices
And join them as they sing
To listen to their acting
What happy thoughts they bring

As they sing and act before us
And violins are played
They seem to give us all they’ve got
In a happy serenade

They take us back to wartime
When children had to go from
Their homes, and go to strangers
To find shelter from the bomb

We pray that today’s children
From this and every race
Will grow in peace, and never
War’s traumas have to face

So, many thanks to all of you
Who entertained us here
We all enjoyed your visit and hope
You’ll come back another year.


Finally, thanks to teachers Debs, Lucy  and Hazel – and to Emma for help with the organisation.


PLACE  members please click the link below to see the full PLACE Manager’s report presented at today’s AGM

You need to be logged in to view this  report.

Manager’s Report to the AGM 2014


Thank you to the PLACE Committee nominees below who have kindly come forward to offer their help and support as PLACE Programme Committee members for a period of one year from June 2014-June 2015.

All PLACE parents are warmly invited to the PLACE Programme AGM on Wednesday 25th June, so that they may greet prospective new Committee members and then play an active part in electing the Committee that will work to serve their interests over the next year. The AGM will run from 11.00am to noon; there will be a “Meet and Greet” session with the nominees below from 10.00am onwards before the AGM.

PLACE Programme Bronze Award students, who recently passed their awards with flying colours, will be bringing along some of their craft and project work, as well as their Bronze Project folders, so that everyone present may view and enjoy these during the morning.

Please remember that you do not have to be a Committee member to help within PLACE. In such a special and unique “parent-led” group, there are always innumerable tasks and countless administrative duties that can be shared – and we all know what they say about “many hands”!

Thank you PLACE parents for all your support and help during my past Committee and PLACE year.

PLACE members can view a list of the nominations by clicking the link below

Committee Nominations


We have had some fantastic feedback from our Arts Award moderator …

Congratulations in supporting this home-educated group in their achievement of Bronze Arts Award.

Their portfolios were of the highest standard, reflecting pride and dedication in their work. The range of their skills and interests was impressive, including meeting Michael Morpurgo at a performance of the musical adapted from one of his books; the craft of pyrography; drumming; sewing and origami.  They engaged with remarkable artists – like the street artist who makes mushrooms. 


PLACE students with our moderator Roy Nevitt (left) and Arts tutor Paul Nicholson

Ten PLACE students have just completed their Bronze Arts Award folders!

A sample of the folders was shown at a recent Arts Award surgery at The Higgins, and the ladies from Trinity College and the Royal Opera House were very impressed with the high quality of the folders and the visual impact of the students’ displays.

The 10 folders will go on display at PLACE’s end-of-term Victorian Family Day (Wed 23 July), when we will be hoping to present their certificates… fingers crossed!

The PLACE Programme AGM 2014, during which the new Committee will be elected by PLACE parents present, will take place on Wednesday 25th June 2014 at Putnoe Heights Church Scout Centre at 11.00am.

There will be an opportunity for PLACE families to meet with new nominees at a “Meet and Greet” coffee session that will run from 10.00am-11.00am prior to the AGM.


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FINAL CALL! Anglian Water Primary Visit Wed 5 Nov‏. Details of the event can be viewed here ...
Upcoming Events
Sep 8 @ 2:00 pm – Dec 15 @ 2:00 pm
  Swimming   A two hour session at  Robinson Pool.   1 Child 2 Children 3 or more Swimming £30 £40 £50 This event is [...]
Music Tuesday (no violin)
Music Tuesday (no violin)
Sep 9 @ 8:45 am – Dec 16 @ 8:45 am
Music (no violin) £10 per child per term. Please see the Enrichment timetable for the start of individual sessions.   Please note: On Tuesday 7th October [...]
Music Tuesday (violin)
Music Tuesday (violin)
Sep 9 @ 8:45 am – Dec 16 @ 8:45 am
Music ( violin) £20 per child per term. Please see the Enrichment timetable for the start of individual sessions.   Please note: On Tuesday 7th October there will [...]
Sep 11 @ 12:00 pm – Dec 11 @ 12:00 pm
Kingston Gymnastics (2 Activities)     1 Child    2 Children   3 or more Kingston Gymnastics Centre (2 activities/i.e., 2 x 45 mins, Gymnastics and Trampoline)   £40 £60 £70 [...]
Rome (Installment 1 of 5)
Rome (Installment 1 of 5)
Mar 29 @ 12:00 am – Apr 2 @ 11:45 pm
Rome (Installment 1 of 5) @ Rome | Lazio | Italy
EASTER 2015 – PLACE FIELD-TRIP TO ROME AND NAPLES, 29 MARCH-2 APRIL As part of PLACE’s busy enrichment programme, a trip to the vibrant cities [...]
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