Military Families

Wells Cathedral School welcomes families from the Armed Forces from all over the world. We are a family-orientated co-educational boarding and day school from 2-18 year olds which provides an all-round education alongside world-class Specialist Music and Chorister training.

Our vision is to inspire every individual pupil to nurture their talents in a vibrant, creative, spiritual and stimulating environment to become a responsible global citizen.

Our school has been in Wells and inspiring pupils for 1,111 years and our aim remains loyal to our Latin motto ‘Esto Quod Es’ (Be What You Are’). Our school focus is to develop an all-round character and talent in a safe, beautiful and stimulating environment.

School Life

Sport

We offer a wide selection of sports to all our pupils including competitive hockey, rugby, tennis, cricket, swimming, netball and badminton. We encourage everyone to take part in sport, at their appropriate skill level, to enable them to develop new skills and be part of a team. We also offer a number of sport options throughout the year which include air rifle club, athletics, rounders, running club, table tennis and volleyball.

Outdoor Learning

Pupils at Wells Cathedral School benefit from a diverse and exciting programme of outdoor education activities, which allows them access to countless courses, adventure camps and qualifications to provide further experience above and beyond the classroom.

Each year hundreds of Wells pupils take part in the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme to complete Bronze, Silver or Gold levels. We also have a vibrant and active Combined Cadet Force for senior pupils, led by Director of Outdoor Learning, and former Royal Marine, Stuart Elks.

Creative Arts

Our integrated approach to teaching art, photography, drama, dance, music and food technology allows for creativity, imagination and flexibility. It helps build our pupils’ confidence and curiosity by giving them the opportunity for self-expression through risk-taking, teamwork, resourcefulness and reflection.

In addition to normal drama lessons, pupils can participate in musicals, plays, Drama Club or the Shakespeare Schools’ Festival. Recent productions have ranged from works written and composed by our own teachers to Les Misérables (attended by Sir Cameron Mackintosh), Private Peaceful, Beauty and the Beast and Grease.

Music

We are the only one of the four Specialist Music Schools in England that is set within an all-round independent school. Specialist musicians receive a first-class, pre-professional training from teachers who are world-class musicians themselves, many of whom are active performers and teach at UK conservatories. Our musicians achieve great success both as performers and in public examinations. Our extensive musical programme also enables us to provide a very broad range of musical opportunities for those who pursue music as a hobby.

Academic Curriculum

Our Junior School offers a challenging and creative curriculum to inspire our children to become problem-solvers and to take risks from early in their school careers. All children are encouraged to develop teamwork and leadership skills, make friends and have fun. We also want pupils to be confident in embarking upon new challenges so we study French in Years 1-6, with the opportunity to attend a Latin, Spanish or Portguese Club.

Our Senior School pupils have 25 subjects to choose from for their GCSE’s including five languages. Our GCSE results have been consistently high in recent years with 83% grade 9 to 5, the last three year’s results can be found here. Our Sixth Form pupils can choose from 26 subjects, however, we do vary our subject choices across the traditional divisions of the arts, sciences and humanities on demand. Our 2019 A levels results can be found here.

Boarding and Pastoral Care

About our Houses

We have 10 houses which provide a family and community environment for both our day and boarding pupils. We are unique in that we assign our day pupils to a boarding house; we find that this creates additional opportunities to strengthen and expand friendship groups.

We offer boarding to girls and boys in Years 4-6 (aged 8-11) in the beautiful house and grounds of Beaumont House. Our priority is to create a warm, caring, family environment. 

For the Senior School pupils, we have seven single-sex houses providing a large family-type unit that integrates 20-40 boarding pupils with a similar number of day pupils.

Ritchie House is our bespoke, sixth form only co-educational house designed to provide a stepping stone from school life to university. 

Pastoral Care

Our team of dedicated staff supports pupils through the challenges that growing up presents. Having a wide range of staff managed by Martin Ashton, Deputy Head of Pastoral Care, ensures each pupil has someone they can turn to. We believe that we must work in close partnership with parents; we initiate (and always welcome) frequent, open and honest communication.

Activities

We organise a variety of activities, from cinema, theatre and concert trips to outdoor activity centres. We also plan larger trips to theme parks, safari parks (Longleat), and city breaks. From Year 7, pupils are allowed to go into Wells unaccompanied and enjoy the many shops, cafés and weekly markets. Boarders can also make the most of our swimming pool, gym and our many concerts held in our performance hall, Cedars Hall.

Why the City of Wells?

We are located in the heart of the medieval, cathedral city of Wells, the smallest city in England with one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in the UK, Wells Cathedral. With a small population of only 12,000, we are surrounded by wonderful countryside where our children can enjoy fresh air, green fields, open spaces and freedom in a safe environment. Wells lies at the foot of the Mendip Hills, which overlook the Somerset Levels.

We are privileged to have Wells Cathedral on our doorstep as a venue for our weekly assemblies with the Head Master. The Choristers of Wells Cathedral are an integral part of our school – in fact, they are the very reason we were founded in AD909.

Convenient Location

Military Staff

We are proud to employ several serving and retired military personnel on our Board of Trustees and Governors, as well as members of teaching and support staff and these include the following:
Alastair Tighe, Head Master of Wells Cathedral School
Alastair Tighe
Head Master

Alastair is a son of a Royal Navy Officer and boarded at both Prep and Senior School, so he has a thorough understanding of what it’s like to have a parent in the Armed Forces.

Dr Janette Shepherd
Head of Boarding, Houseparent & Biology Teacher

Janette is a wife of a retired Officer who served in the Royal Navy for 24 years. Her daughter boarded at Wells for four years before Janette joined us as a member of staff.

David Brown
David Brown
Foundation Trustee and Governor

David served in the Army for 21 years before going on to work with The Bristol Port Company in 2007 as Operations Director. He became the Chief Executive in 2016.

Stuart Elks
Director of Outdoor Learning, Contingent Commander and Housemaster

Stuart served in the Royal Marines for two years and then the Special Boat Service for six years. He has served all over the world on operations.

Chris Grant
Events Manager, Cedars Hall

Chris served 34 years in the Army as an engineer who served all over the world. He was involved in numerous operational theatres including the Middle East, Central Europe, West Africa and the USA.

Peter Knell, Bursar
Peter Knell
Bursar

Peter served 16 years in the Army where he served in a wide range of posts including an operational infantry platoon commander attachment and lead accountant on a number of tri-service finance projects.

Glyn Lancey
CCF School Staff Instructor and Training Officer

Glyn served two years in the Royal Armoured Corps (TA), followed by 10 years in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. He also completed four operational tours of Northern Ireland and served 13 years in the ACF.

Lawrence Plum
Teacher of Latin and Classics

Lawrence served in the Intelligence Corps for four years. He was previously our Contingent Commander but now holds the rank of Sub lieutenant in the Royal Navy section.

Fiona Robertson
Section Officer RN & Chemistry Teacher

Fiona grew up in an armed forces family as her father was in the Royal Navy for 23 years. When she joined Wells, she established a Royal Navy section within our CCF which has now grown to 35 cadets.

Chris Seaton
Chris Seaton
Foundation Trustee

Chris, who is a former pupil and chorister joined the Royal Navy as a warfare officer. He served on various ships including a Hong Kong Patrol craft, an aircraft carrier and destroyer before retraining as a lawyer. He remained with the Royal Navy reserves for a further 10 years.

Termly Boarding Fees: 2020-2021

Sons and daughters of members of the British Armed Forces qualify for reduced fees with an average saving across all years of 16.83%. For 2020/21 the fee for each pupil is CEA (including parental contribution) plus £350 per term.

 Years 

 CEA

10%
Parental
Contribution
on max CEA

Top Up
Payment

Total
Paid

Published
Fees

Savings

Savings
Percentage

12-13 £7,828 £870 £350 £9,048 £10,855 £1,807 16.65%
10-11 £7,828 £870 £350 £9,048 £10,614 £1,566 14.76%
7-9 £7,828 £870 £350 £9,048 £10,220 £1,172 11.47%
6 £5,969 £663 £350 £6,982 £8,983 £2,001 22.27%
5 £5,969 £663 £350 £6,982 £8,538 £1,556 18.22%
4 £5,969 £663 £350 £6,982 £8,093 £1,111 13.73%

Next Steps

If you would like to find out more about what we have to offer or if you would like to arrange a visit, please contact our Registrar Jo Prestidge by filling in the form below or by using one of the following methods:

Telephone: +44 (0)1749 834441
Email us: [email protected]
Arrange a Skype call: email [email protected] with times that work for you
Post: Admissions, Wells Cathedral School, The Liberty, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2ST, United Kingdom

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