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Exeter Cathedral School

Exeter Cathedral School

The Chantry, Palace Gate, Exeter, EX1 1HX, Devon

01392 255298



Exeter Cathedral School
School type Co-educational Day & Boarding
Founded 1179
Headmaster James Featherstone
Date Appointed January 2016
Co-ed Age Range 2.5-13
Number of pupils 250
Number of boys 135
Number of girls 115
Number of boarders 10
Day fees per annum £7,338 - £12,234
Boarding fees per annum £18,768 - £19,866
Average Class Size 15
Associations CSA, IAPS

Exeter Cathedral School is a leading independent day and boarding Prep School for girls and boys aged 2 1/2 - 13.

Founded in the 12th century as a choir school, ECS now educates approximately 250 pupils. 36 of these are the boy and girl Choristers of Exeter Cathedral. We offer a fully-rounded Prep School education to pupils from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of talents and interests, whether they be sporting, academic, artistic or musical.

We have an enviable location (right in the heart of the city and yet nestled safely in the lee of the Cathedral); small class sizes, allowing us to really know each and every pupil as an individual; a proven track record of securing places and scholarships (academic, art, music, performing arts, sport) to a range of leading senior schools; and a firm commitment to being a forward-thinking Prep School with traditional values. We aim to offer an outstanding Prep School experience and are proud of our commitment to educating the 'whole child': we seek to do this by providing a nurturing, purposeful, exciting and gently-Christian environment in which each child is known as an individual, and in which each child is mindful of, and grateful for, those around them, and aware of the part that they and others play in building their community.

Our purpose-built Nursery building was opened in 2015 and is housed in our Pre-Prep Department in the Cathedral Close. Run by our specialist Head of Nursery and a team of Key Workers, the ECS Nursery offers a first-rate Nursery Education which encourages children to explore, to question, to discover and to build confidence. Children spend 2 years in our Nursery before moving across the playground into our Reception classes.

Our Pre-Prep is housed in a former Canonry in the Cathedral Close. Children transfer across the playground into Reception, before moving up to Year 1 and then Year 2. Our dedicated and highly-qualified staff, led by our Head of Pre-Prep, work with the children (c15 per class) and families to build independence, enquiry, curiosity and a genuine love of learning.

Our Prep School is located right next to the Cathedral. In the younger years, the core subjects are taught by Form Teachers and our creative curriculum is delivered by in-house specialists. Our senior pupils receive Common Entrance preparation from experienced subject specialists. At 13, pupils move on to a range of leading Senior Schools, many with scholarships and awards: in 2019, 81% of Year 8 pupils secured a scholarship at their first-choice senior school.

We expect high standards from our pupils and our staff, and we share a commitment to rigorous academic endeavour; outstanding pastoral care and individualized attention; an exciting range of extra-curricular opportunities; a world-class musical heritage; and to working with families to help each child flourish and thrive. In May 2019, ECS was delighted to receive a glowing Independent School Inspectorate (ISI) report, praising the School for the pupils’ academic and personal development. ECS was awarded 'Excellent' in all areas – the best result possible for any independent school in an ISI Inspection.

Above all, we are a school where people matter, and where staff and families work in partnership to help children acquire the right habits for life.