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Whether picking our way down the cobbled Vicar’s Close, where we heard mellifluous treble recorder playing drifting out of the mullioned windows, or wandering about the many elegant Georgian buildings cocooned in greenery, we thought that growing up here must be a gift. ‘I am not sure our children yet realise just how lucky they are,’ agreed one parent, ‘and when I visit I do have to pinch myself sometimes.’ Wells’s unique selling point is flexibility. The school goes out of its way to address…

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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 MA (Cantab). An Old Wellensian and chorister himself, he read English but was also organ scholar at Magdalene. His career encompasses the teaching of music, assistant house-mastering and latterly deputy head (academic) at Bedford School.

Head of junior school since 2014 is Julie Barrow, a longstanding member of the junior school staff, whose appointment delighted parents. ‘The school is thriving under her care,’ wrote one parent, ‘she is down to earth, has a great sense of humour and clear leadership skills. She also has a truly professional and committed team around her.’ Another grateful mother added, ‘Mrs Barrow is the most wonderful, kind and caring head teacher. She is always approachable, and in every instance the child comes first.’

Academic matters

Wells’s unique selling point is flexibility. The...

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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

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