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Our School motto Esto Quod Es (Be What You Are) represents our core philosophy which shapes each pupil’s individual experience at Wells. This emphasis is why such a wide variety of pupils 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 pupils 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 of 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 so that they can become the best they can be. 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 pupil from their early days in Pre-Prep 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 pupils to make the most of their time at School and establishes a brilliant foundation to build on as an adult. This might mean some pupils take more GCSEs or A levels than others; whilst some pupils 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.

CARE Values

At Wells Cathedral School, we embrace and promote four key values:

Creativity – embracing the power of imagination, innovation and individual talent. Valuing human ingenuity and the arts as well as recognising the benefits you gain in all walks of life from engaging with your creative self

Aspiration – setting ambitious goals and having the highest expectations of yourself. Demonstrating boundless curiosity and aspiring to have positive outcomes in all that you do.

Responsibility – taking personal ownership of your own learning and behaviour. Leading by example and showing respect and care for all.

Endeavour – doing your best in the classroom and beyond, for the sake of yourself and your peers. Trying new things and discovering new passions.

It is no accident that these values spell CARE, and first and foremost we encourage our pupils to be caring, careful and kind.

Our Strategic Vision


We are among 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.

Tracing its history back to 909 AD, Wells Cathedral School is the oldest in the West Country and one of the oldest in the world. It was founded at the same time as the Cathedral on the instructions of King Edward the Elder, the second ever king of England, as a joint institution for the education of Choristers and those destined for the clergy. Over 1,100 years later this dual identity survives in the School’s unique status as an all-round School providing academic and co-curricular excellence, with a Music Specialist and Choir School embedded within it.

We have been fully co-educational since 1969 at all of the School’s age groups, from Little Wellies Nursery through to Sixth Form.

Our Music Specialist programme began in the 1970s, making us the only one of the four English Specialist Music Schools supported by the DfE to operate within the context of a proper school. In 2011 we built on our experience offering specialist music by launching a specialist mathematics scheme for gifted young mathematicians.

Today we are a thriving, multi-cultural, co-educational School with committed pupils in all areas of School life including academia, sport, drama, music and community service.

Please click here for a more detailed history of Wells Cathedral School.