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One small chorister staggered into rehearsals swamped by a huge cricket bag and even bigger cello on his back, his school books held to his chest, a huge grin on his face as he excitedly chatted about the afternoon’s cricket practice to the cathedral’s head of music – a testament to the varied experiences this school offers.The school provides excellent preparation for senior school, according to parents. Meals are eaten in a wood panelled dining room. The catering has recently been completely overhauled ...

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What the school says...

Exeter Cathedral School is a leading independent day and boarding Prep School for girls and boys aged 2½ - 13.

Founded in the 12th century as a choir school, ECS now offers a fully-rounded education to 250 pupils from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of talents and interests.

We have an enviable location in the heart of the city; a maximum class size of 18, meaning we know each pupil as an individual; a proven track record of securing places and scholarships 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 encouraged to be mindful of, and grateful for, those around them, and aware of the part that they and others play in building their community.

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.
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Other features

Choir school - substantial scholarships and bursaries usually available for choristers.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2016, James Featherstone (40s). Previously head of lower school at Perse School, Cambridge. Studied French and Spanish at Durham, followed by a PGCE. The son of a headmaster growing up on site in schools, most formatively Radley, he has an intuitive understanding of how they work.

Exuberant, enthusiastic and driven. Since taking over the headship, he has devoted himself to a campaign of reinventing, reconfiguring and reigniting this school and he’s nowhere near finished, sharing exciting plans structurally, pastorally and for co-curricular development. One parent said he 'has brought in progressive thinking to an old choral prep, bringing it absolutely up to speed without losing its charm.’ He comes in for particular praise for having restructured the senior leadership team and elevated academic expectations with demonstrable results right through to...

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Special Education Needs

Children with special needs are considered on and individual basis and accepted at the discretion of the Headmaster. The SENCO coordinates the provision provided by four part-time specialist teachers including: support for children with moderate dyslexia and other mild learning difficulties, and English as a second langurage.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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