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The head says there’s ‘a unique, innocent charm’ about the pupils. ‘If you’re a rider then we have brilliant facilities but 50 per cent of our pupils don’t ride. No one just does one thing. If you have a child who is outdoorsy, bright and wants to work hard they’ll thrive here.’ Parents praise the community feel and say the school ‘brings out the best in children, regardless of their academic or sporting ability’. One mother told us, ‘We’ve seen…

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What the school says...

Established in 1895, Stonar is a leading day and boarding school in a charming countryside setting. Our friendly school of over 400 pupils is located on an 80 acre rural site, just 20 minutes from Bath.

Our progressive curriculum transcends the purely academic, creating an enriching environment in which pupils discover and develop their individual talents - and gain a deeper experience of the world. Stonar has a strong set of values. We are a kind, hard-working, happy school, with a family-oriented community. Children are free from judgement and this builds their self-confidence, leading to excellent all-round achievement.

Stonar is widely regarded as the leading equestrian school in the UK, with our impressive riding facilities located at the heart of the school. You don’t have to ride to join Stonar. Approximately 40% of the community take riding lessons, from complete beginners to experienced competitive riders.

Non-riders are in no-way disadvantaged and all pupils enjoy getting involved in the extensive co-curricular offering. The adventure training opportunities are particularly popular with our Senior pupils, including Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors. Our ambitious and energetic Creative & Performing Arts Department encourage pupils of all abilities and talents to participate in our regular formal and informal performances. For those preferring to develop skills in robotics, engineering and computer coding, termly clubs provide opportunities to work alongside pupils of various ages on collective projects.

For boarders, Stonar becomes their second home. With 130 full boarders in three houses pupils benefit from excellent relationships with children of all ages and flourish as individuals in our relaxed and down-to-earth environment. There are no formal exeat weekends and therefore domestic boarders have some flexibility to return home for key events, but the vast majority of boarders are onsite all weekend. The busy weekend activities programme starts at 4pm on Fridays and includes organised onsite and offsite activities and trips, as well as sports fixtures and time to enjoy the grounds and facilities.
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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.


Equestrian centre or equestrian team - school has own equestrian centre or an equestrian team.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2019, Matthew Way BSc (Econ) (50s), previously deputy head of Milton Abbey. Educated at Pangbourne College and then read history and politics at Swansea University. Served as an infantry officer in the army for six years, followed by a one-year stint as a management consultant, before realising he wanted to teach. ‘My last job in the army was training recruits of 16 or 17 who were away from home for the first time,’ he says. ‘It was a very pastoral role and was part of my move towards teaching.’ He taught at Pangbourne while waiting to do his PGCE at the University of Bath, then moved to Kelly College (now Mount Kelly), where he became a housemaster. Spent six years at Stowe as a housemaster and head of boarding and another five years...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

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Special Education Needs

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
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 Y
VI - Visual Impairment

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