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What says..

Everyone loves the blend of specialist musicians and their less musical counterparts. Up to a third are part of the school’s specialist music programme, a third are ‘general musicians’ and a third ‘aren’t actively involved in music’. ‘Wells is incredibly musical – there’s always a trumpet tooting somewhere – but students leave the school with a broad skillset,’ said a parent. ‘Music is taken very seriously but never at the cost of being a well-rounded person...’

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What the school says...

Wells Cathedral School is unique. It is: a co-educational day and boarding school with high academic standards, one of the five specialist music schools in the UK recognised by the DfE Music & Dance Scheme, and a cathedral choir school. Qualities of leadership and confidence are developed in all our students within a creative environment. Wells is a school where people can discover and be themselves to the very best of their abilities. Wells provides an inspiring education, set in a musically-alive and beautiful environment, as a brilliant foundation for life.

Individual visits welcome at any time, by appointment.
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Cambridge Pre-U - an alternative to A levels, with all exams at the end of the two-year course.

Other features

Music and dance scheme - government funding and grants available to help with fees at selected independent music and dance schools.

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.

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

International Study Centre - school has a linked, international study centre for overseas students wishing to improve their English.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2018, Alastair Tighe, previously deputy head (academic) at Bedford School. He was a chorister at Buckfast Abbey and played the piano, organ and clarinet. After a music scholarship to Downside, he did a gap year as a choral scholar at Truro Cathedral and then won an organ scholarship to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read English and theology.

He began his teaching career at Oundle School as deputy director of music and assistant housemaster, before moving to Eltham College as director of music. When he arrived at Wells he was immediately struck by ‘how friendly the place was’ – ‘there was something special and different, a sense of community and family,’ he says.

Hugely proud of the school’s musical achievements, he’s nonetheless determined to show...

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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

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

SEN provision is individually tailored to the needs of the pupil, ranging from differentiation by subject teachers to classroom support and one-to-one tuition. Very able mathematicians are extracted from lessons for enrichment work with a visiting Mathematics Professor and talented musicians are provided for within the specialist strand of the DfES Music and Dance Scheme.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
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

Who came from where

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