Our school motto esto quod es (be what you are) represents our core philosophy which shapes each student's individual experience at Wells. This emphasis is why such a wide variety of students thrive here and we are able to tailor our programmes to every sort of individual. More importantly, it is why we are able to produce well-rounded students who go onto be successful individuals in society throughout their lives. We believe this is achieved by providing an accepting community, a wide range of opportunities, and the flexibility to adapt to each individual’s needs.
Accepting community

All our pupils live as part of an accepting community where being friends with people with extraordinary talents is accepted as the norm. We invite everyone to ‘give it a go’ so pupils of all abilities can join in at a level that suits them and make the most of all we have to offer. Everyone has a refreshing sense of mutual respect for each other, whatever their interests and talents.


We provide a wide range of opportunities to support everybody to be the best versions of themselves so they can develop their existing talents and discover new ones. Wells offers a:

  • proven track record in academic excellence
  • specialist music scheme
  • specialist mathematics scheme
  • wide range of co-curricular opportunities to choose from
  • strong creative arts programme, ranging from dance, music, art, drama and more
  • wide range of competitive and recreational sports
  • programme of outdoor education opportunities, including Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, in addition to the school’s own 909 programme.

We are always open to new ideas and will do our best to accommodate your interests if you’d like something we don’t currently offer.


We ensure that there is an appropriate mixture of structure and freedom to suit each student from their early days in the Junior School through to the end of their time with us in the Sixth Form, which offers excellent preparation for further education or future careers. With this in mind, our flexibility enables all our students to make the most of their time at school and establishes a brilliant foundation to build on as an adult. This might mean some students take more GCSEs or A-Levels than others; whilst some students spend more time developing in a specific field. We don’t have a “one-size fits all” mentality; we have a “let’s work out what’s best for your future” mentality.


Founded in AD909, we are among one of the oldest schools in Europe. Our earliest record was as a school for choristers when the then church of Wells was made into a cathedral.

Although we have a rich history of traditions, we have always been enthusiastic to embrace new ideas. In 1969 we became one of the first independent schools to become fully co-educational, when twenty-nine girls arrived in the Junior School, and from 1970 onwards girls were admitted to all areas. Even today we are one of the few schools that can claim to be genuinely 50/50. Girls and boys are evenly integrated, from Little Wellies Nursery through to our Sixth Form. We are committed to co-education in all that we do, believing that this is a normal and natural extension of family life, enhancing the way children grow up together and allowing them to explore their identities.

Also in 1970, twelve young violinists were admitted to the newly endowed Music School, whose building was officially opened in 1974 by Lord Goodman, then Chairman of the Arts Council. The decision in the 1970s to incorporate the Specialist Music Scheme means that Wells is the only one of the four English Specialist Music Schools supported by the DfE to operate within the context of a proper school.

We were also one of the first choir schools to introduce girl choristers in 1994. In 2000 we embraced new developments when the world was rapidly changing by delivering aspects of the A-Level curriculum online. In 2011 we built on our experience offering specialist music to launching a specialist mathematics scheme for gifted young mathematicians.

Today we are a thriving co-educational school that incorporates choristers, talented musicians and gifted mathematicians alongside our broad and multi-cultural school community.

General Information & Policies

Please see this section for our facts and figures, policies, reports, results & more...
Student Mix
Pupils Altogether
Senior School Students
Junior School Students
in our nursery, Little Wellies

Senior School Students

About 53:47
Day: Boarder (Senior)

Specialist Musicians


Junior School Students

About 53:47
Boy: Girl Ratio

Follow a traditional academic programme

Staff Mix
Staff Altogether
Teaching Staff
Non Teaching Staff
Christian Tradition

Through our close relationship with Wells Cathedral, we combine work, study and spirituality in a creative mix that runs in harmony with the whole school family. Our school chaplain looks after the overall spiritual life of the school and is available to everyone in the community, whether they have a personal christian faith or not. We have weekly services in Wells Cathedral for the whole senior school and a Sunday evening service for boarders. In addition the whole school gathers together in the cathedral for major Christian festivals.

We show the way to live well and happily, and our students are inspired to live with integrity and social responsibility, upholding our rich Christian tradition.

Affiliations and Accreditations

Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference Logo

DofE Music & Dance Scheme

IT Setup

We recognise the importance of IT in the modern world and encourage our students to make appropriate use of IT across all subjects in the curriculum and for their social benefit. As part of this, we recommend that all pupils bring a device with them to lessons. This enables research, collaboration, content creation and all of the other benefits which technology can provide, whenever the teacher chooses to make use of them. Our wifi network covers the whole of the campus and specialist IT suites are available for subjects such as Photography, Music Technology and Computing.

In order to encourage effective, responsible and appropriate use of IT, we have an active ‘Digital Citizenship’ programme, which aims to equip our pupils for the modern world and encourages safe, appropriate use of the internet.

International Links

We plan annual trips to our partner school in Sierra Leone. We also have regular exchanges with our partnered school in Guangzhou – Xinghai Middle School of Music.

Find out more about what we have to offer our international students.


of our Senior School students are international from 16 different countries

Learning Support and SEN

At Wells, we work to nurture and stimulate every child and to provide a secure educational atmosphere, within a setting that is musically alive. We aim to create a supportive, non-stigmatised and inclusive educational environment that promotes learning and development for all of our children irrespective of their starting point.

We believe that every pupil in our school should have an equal opportunity to enjoy their education and make the best possible progress. We have high but appropriate expectations of our pupils; embedding our philosophy of esto quod es (be what you are) into our practice, and valuing all children for their individual strengths.

Our SEN team is led by the Heads of Learning Support, spreading across the Senior School, Junior School and Early Years Foundation Stage; Lauren Hadley, Juliet Knollys and Rebecca Allen respectively. Please feel free to contact us on 01749 834200 or follow the links below if you would like any further information.

Learning Support & SEND Policy

You can find out more information about Somerset’s Local Offer at Somerset Choices: www.somersetchoices.org.uk

Term Dates

We are one of the very few independent schools to have moved to a six term year...

We are one of the very few independent schools to have moved to a six term year.  Our terms tend to be shorter than maintained sector schools largely because we have school on Saturday mornings for pupils from year 9 upwards. Although lessons on Saturday might seem like a challenge to some, most families find that it isn’t all that different than the typical Saturday activities most families participate in anyhow, and enjoy being able to avoid the peak travel fees during the holidays!

Please see this link for our 2016/2017 term dates.

Our Location

We’re located in the heart of Wells, the smallest city in England with a population of only 10,000. It is a beautiful city to live in; our children enjoy fresh air, green fields and relative safety with few external distractions.
Major air, rail and road links are all within easy reach. We are:

2 hours from London Heathrow

28 minutes from Bristol Airport

40 minutes from Bath Spa


How to Get Here

From London

Leave the M4 Motorway at Junction 19 (M32). In Bristol, follow signs for Wells A37.


Leave the M3 Motorway at Junction 8 and join the A303 westwards. Follow signs for Warminster (A36), then Frome (A362), then Shepton Mallet (A361) and then Wells (A371).

From the South West

Leave the M5 Motorway at Junction 23 and join the A39 eastwards following signs for Wells.

From the West Midlands

Leave the M5 Motorway at Junction 20 and take the M4 eastwards and leave the motorway at Junction 19 (M32). In Bristol, follow the signs for Wells A37.

School Maps

Campus Map

Sports Map

A Glimpse of Wells

Set in the heart of the medieval city of Wells, Wells Cathedral School’s beautiful backdrop has inspired generations. Wells is the smallest city in England and is surrounded by lovely countryside – quintessential England at its finest…

Contact Us

We are always happy to help answer any questions you might have. Please contact us in whatever way suits you best...

Support Us

If you would like to help us in our mission to provide long-term strategic development, funding and sustainability to one of the country's oldest and most cherished schools, there are a number of ways in which to choose from...
One-Off Donations & Regular Gifts

You can send a one-off donation in cash, by cheque or card payment, or give a regular gift via direct debit.

Please download the appropriate Gift Form and return it to our Freepost address below

Cedars Hall Gift Form
Bursary Gift Form
Sports Pavilion Gift Form
Gift Form

Freepost Plus RRKX-ERRE-JKSB
Wells Cathedral School Foundation
Wells Cathedral School
15 The Liberty

You also can make a one-off gift donation online with PayPal – donate now.


You can leave a gift in your will – click here for more information from the Wells 909 Society Chairman and former pupil, Jeremy Brade, about leaving a legacy to Wells Cathedral School.

Giving From Overseas

The Foundation is a member of the Transnational Giving Europe (TGE) Group and The British Schools and Universities Foundation (BSUF).

Transnational Giving Europe (TGE)

More and more European citizens are willing to make cross-border gifts and donations to help and support international causes and foreign charities.

The TGE network is a partnership between the Charities Aid Foundation and sister charities in 18 countries Europe-wide, enabling donors, both corporations and individuals, resident in one of the participating countries, to financially support non-profit organisations in other Member States, while benefiting directly from the tax advantages provided for in the legislation of their country of residence.

To find out more about how you can make a donation through TGE, please visit their website: www.transnationalgiving.eu

British Schools and Universities Foundation (BSUF)

The BSUF mission is to promote active support of the fundraising efforts of British Commonwealth schools and universities by their US alumni/ae and friends.

BSUF has been approved by the United States Treasury Department as an exempt charitable organisation and is classified as a domestic charity.

An important facet of tax deductibility is based upon the following ruling of the US Internal Revenue Service “Contributions to a domestic charity … which are solicited for a specific project for a foreign charity organisation, are deductible under the section 170 of the Code … where the domestic charity has reviewed and approved the project as being in furtherance of its own exempt purposes and has control and discretion as to the use of the contributions”.

To find out more about how you can make a donation through BSUF visit their website www.bsuf.org

Find out more

For more details about how we use the money we raise and how you can support us in our aims, please visit our Foundation website.