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What says..

Despite confined site, it feels remarkably uncluttered, and children seem happily oblivious to the numbers of tourists with cameras slung around their necks peeping through the school gates. The school has been co-educational since 1987, yet that penny is still to drop with local tour guides who still describe it as the ‘school for choir boys’. It’s now much more than that, though admittedly most prep schools would give teeth to reach even half its standard musically. Children are ‘confident, well-mannered and…

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What the school says...

A co-educational prep school, the girl and boy choristers of York Minster receive generous scholarships to the school. Pupils usually begin at nursery level with chorister scholarships available by audition during year 2. A few places are sometimes available in other year groups. The school welcomes individual parent visits in addition to Open Days. ...Read more

What the parents say...

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Other features

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

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2004, Alex Donaldson MA PGCE Cert ICT (50s). Choral scholar at St John's College, Cambridge; professional singer for five years (counter tenor) with, among others, the Tallis Scholars and the BBC Singers. Still helps out in the Minster. A serious musician, but has a wide perspective on education. Joined school in 1988, promoted head 2004. Warm, relaxed personality; communicates easily with children and popular with parents. Instrumental in introducing more collaborative style of management, though still in many ways the traditional prep school head, who knows his pupils well and what's going on; ‘we know each other’s foibles,’ he smiles. All about ‘high expectations – academic, social and musical, and they rise to them.’ Wife Jane runs the pre-prep; three children, two at university.


Most come up from nursery, but any age considered if...

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Special Education Needs

The Minster School is not a special school or specialist unit. However, pupils who are diagnosed as having specific learning difficulties are able to have one to one and/or group support and occasional classroom support - usually at no added cost. If we feel that a pupil's needs are not being best served by the relatively limited support that we feel able to offer, we would work with parents to seek a more appropriate setting for their child. Unfortunately, due to the historic nature of our buildings, which are on a World Heritage site, it is all but impossible for us to cater for pupils who have significant physical disabilities.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
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
VI - Visual Impairment

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