Gloucestershire is home to some of the most prestigious and historical independent schools in the country, offering outstanding academic and pastoral excellence, not to mention first-class facilities.
Whether you’re looking for a co-educational, a boys or girls school; a day or boarding school; a pre-preparatory, preparatory, senior or sixth form; SoGlos’s comprehensive guide spans some truly exceptional institutions for children aged from two to 18.
Parents looking for a stunning location, a strong faith foundation, diverse extra-curricular programmes, and of course, outstanding academic results, are spoilt for choice by the range of independent schools in Gloucestershire – which pride themselves on producing nurtured, confident, well-rounded pupils – and even some famous alumni.
The world-renowned Cheltenham Ladies’ College has been educating girls from across the globe for more than 160 years. The boarding and day school welcomes girls from 11 through to 18 to its diverse community of approximately 840 pupils. By creating an educational environment that’s supportive, challenging, innovative and creative, CLC helps pupils achieve success both inside and outside the classroom. The independent school consistently achieves outstanding results in GCSE, A Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations; with the school being named the top boarding school in the world for IB in 2019. Class sizes are small and encourage active participation, while expert teaching and regular feedback help girls realise their full potential. Pupils can also benefit from the extensive range of co-curricular activities, from music clubs and creative societies to sports.
Pupils are invited to pursue a broad and varied curriculum, with engineering, enterprise and technology, language acquisition, and philosophical enquiry offered alongside the core subjects of maths, English language and literature, sciences and modern languages.
Cheltenham Ladies’ College students benefit from a state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Centre, complete with two sports halls, a 58-station fitness gym with free weights and spin area, multi-purpose activity and dance studio, squash courts, and a swimming pool.
From 11 to 18 years old.
Fees are £12,780 for boarding and £8,580 for day pupils per term.
Bayshill Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3EP
Actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas; artist Bridget Riley; scientist and chair of the Science Museum Group, Dame Mary Archer; and Rt Hon Amber Rudd, former MP, Home Secretary, and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
With 45 acres of grounds located in the Charlton Kings area of Cheltenham, St Edward’s is set in wonderful, peaceful surroundings. It welcomes both boys and girls to its Preparatory and Senior school, which are just five minutes from each other. With the aim to help its students ‘believe, strive and achieve’ during their time at the school, St Edward’s has a strong nurturing environment to aid academic achievement. The small class sizes ensure that teachers really get to know every pupil, their individual strengths and their talents. The school’s inclusive ethos encourages boys and girls to develop their social skills, grow in confidence and thrive in the environment which aims to equip pupils with an educational foundation for life beyond school.
St Edward’s vibrant school community is based on Christian values but welcomes children of all faiths. With a strong ethos to encourage each pupil to strive for their best, the school offers lots of extra-curricular activities, including academic, sporting and cultural.
Focussing on pastoral care within the school community, St Edward’s ensures the development of students that goes far beyond expectations. The range of co-curricular activities such as water polo, golf, drama, music and the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, encourages students to grow in confidence and build social bonds that last a lifetime.
From one to 18 years old.
St Edward’s Prep School fees range between £2,715 and £4,540 per term, while St Edward’s Senior School fees start from £5,090 up to £6,210 per term. St Edward’s Sixth Form fees are £6,210 per term.
St Edward’s Preparatory School is situated on 252 London Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, GL52 6NR, while St Edward’s Senior School can be found on Cirencester Road, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, GL53 8EY.
Call St Edward’s Preparatory School on (01242) 388550 and St Edward’s Senior School on (01242) 388555.
Located in the heart of Cheltenham, Dean Close is a flourishing co-educational day and boarding school for pupils aged three to 18 years. Comprising a sympathetic blend of grand Victorian buildings and modern purpose-built facilities across its substantial 50-acre site, the school has made a substantial investment in ambitious building and refurbishment projects over the last 20 years. It offers strong academics as well as extensive opportunities in all creative arts and sport, boasting a national reputation in hockey, drama and equestrianism. A Dean Close education aims not only to get the best out of pupils academically, but to broaden the horizons of each and every student through an array of exceptional facilities, as well as dozens of clubs and societies. As a school with a strong Christian ethos, pastoral care is paramount, where each member of the community is encouraged, through the House and tutor systems, to realise their greatest potential. Most importantly, Dean Close is a happy, caring school and a fun place to be.
With around 130 pupils in the Pre-Prep, 300 in the Prep School and 500 in the Senior School, Dean Close is small enough to allow everyone to know one another, feel valued and get fully involved in the life of the school. However, it is large enough to have a strong boarding community, vibrant and exciting creative arts, impressive academic results and great sports results across all ages.
Students can benefit from Dean Close’s excellent amenities such as the £3million Sports Hall, complete with state-of-the-art facilities including two floodlit water-based astro turfs; a 25-metre indoor pool; tennis courts; and athletics field including throwing cage, squash courts, rifle range and climbing wall. The building accommodates a range of sports such as hockey, netball, cricket, basketball, and football enhancing wet weather programming and allowing a broader range of coaching techniques. The centre also features a fitness suite fitted with hi-tech training equipment and weights, a dance/aerobics studio, seminar room, and viewing gallery. The exceptional two-storey Art School provides a versatile, spacious and creative environment with excellent studio spaces for specialist work in two- and three- dimensions, and individually allocated work areas for Sixth Form pupils. As a specialist facility, the Music School has been able to accommodate every amenity from a hi-tech recording studio to an elegant concert hall.
From three to 18 years old.
The Pre-Preparatory School costs from £2,747 per term. The Preparatory School costs from £3,788 per term for day pupils, from £4,547 per term for day boarders, from £6,420 per term for boarders, and from £7,193 per term for international boarders. The Senior School costs £7,772 per term for day pupils, £11,485 per term for boarders, £12,471 per term for new Sixth Form borders, and £12,005 per term for international boarders.
Actor Will Merrick; environmentalist George Adamson; actor Hugh Quarshie; founding member of The Rolling Stones Brian Jones; and English poet, novelist and playwright, James Flecker.
Dean Close Preparatory and Pre-Preparatory Schools are situated on Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6QS and Dean Close Senior School is situated on Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6HE.
Call Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School on (01242) 258079; Dean Close Preparatory School on (01242) 512217 and Dean Close Senior School on (01242) 258000.
Situated on an estate on the outskirts of Cirencester, Rendcomb College is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020. Although the school has evolved since its inception in 1920, it remains true to founder Frederick Wills’ original values of providing an inclusive and broad-ranging education for its pupils, while working with families to ensure students have realistic academic ambitions.
Sport and music co-curricular activities include choir, fencing, orchestra, martial arts and drama, while Rendcomb’s Performing Arts Centre provides an industry standard performance and rehearsal space for students. The school’s curriculum helps pupils identify their strengths and aptitudes, nurture respect for individualism and promote collaboration, while providing a pastoral framework that fosters physical, emotional and spiritual well-being to help prepare pupils for life beyond school.
Encouraging respect for the environment is part of the College’s ethos and its 230 acres of parkland provide ample room for pupils to play, explore and learn outdoors, with the Forest School for Junior School pupils and a dedicated Outdoor Education area for Senior School pupils.
From three to 18 years-old.
The Junior School ranges between £2,070 and £4,085 per term; and the Senior School between £5,835 and £7,775 per term for day students and £8,140 and £11,995 per term for boarders; while day fees for Sixth Form students are £5,500 per term and £11,995 for boarders.
Chairman of Sainsbury’s David Tyler; retired jockey Richard Dunwoody; historian David Vaisey and yacht designer Angus Primrose.
Rendcomb College, Cirencester, GL7 7HA
Westonbirt is a unique co-educational day and boarding school in the heart of Gloucestershire for students from two to 18 years old. Rated excellent by the ISI, the school is in the top five per cent of schools in the UK for Value Added. Small class sizes, great pastoral care, excellent learning support and a warm and encouraging environment are celebrated at Westonbirt to help children reach their full potential. Westonbirt places a great importance on building children’s confidence and on motivating and encouraging its students so that they can pursue their interests. The Headmistress, Mrs Natasha Dangerfield, who was voted the runner-up for the Head of the Year Award, believes in recognising every student’s individuality and creating personalised learning experiences for students that are in line with their strengths and preferences. This ethos influences every decision of the school and manifests itself in the diversity of the school’s activities and initiatives, from a great range of sports and extracurricular activities the school has on offer, to its varied global engagement opportunities.
Westonbirt School believes that motivation and love for learning are key to its students’ success, happiness, and wellbeing. Therefore, providing excellent pastoral care and learning support, and building students’ confidence is what Westonbirt is well known for.
The school offers students beautiful grounds and buildings to explore. With cows, peacocks, foxes, Italian gardens and a grotto.
From two to 18 years old.
Fees are £10,150 for boarding and from £2,785 for day pupils per term.
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QG
The King’s School Gloucester is an independent day school for girls and boys aged three to 18. The impressive campus of historic buildings and state-of-the art sports and performing arts facilities are adjacent to Gloucester Cathedral, which is the inspirational setting for daily assemblies. Welcoming pupils of all religious faiths, and of none, the school offers academic excellence together with a wide range of extra-curricular activities and outstanding pastoral care.
Founded in 1541, the historic school has over 600 pupils across its Kindergarten, Junior and Senior Schools and Sixth Form. It creates a pupil-centred environment, where students benefit from small class sizes and a broad range of academic subjects and extra-curricular activities, allowing each pupil to reach their full potential.
The King’s School Gloucester instils a love of learning by presenting stimulating and engaging lessons, while also encouraging pupils to pursue their interests through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. The school’s specialist teaching staff have the time to stretch the gifted and talented pupils while offering extra support to those pupils who need it. King’s has a wide choice of sports, music and performing arts lessons and clubs to ensure that there is something on offer for everyone to enjoy.
SoGlos loves: The King’s School Gloucester’s scholarship programme recognises and rewards academic excellence, in addition to artistic, musical, dramatic and sporting ability. Providing a significant reduction in school fees, the scholarships run annually and offer entry into Years 5, 7, 9 and Year 12.
The King’s School Sixth Form has recently undergone a £2.5 million redevelopment to transform the 13th century building into state-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre, ready for the 2020/21 academic year.
From three to 18 years old.
Per term, fees are from £2,535 for Reception, to £6,620 for Year 11, with Sixth Form also at £6,620.
Pitt Street, Gloucester, GL1 2BG
Actor Simon Pegg; BBC Breakfast presenter, Charlie Stayt; conductor with the English National Opera, Edward Gardner; and rugby player, John Brain.
Founded in 1882, Wycliffe College in Stonehouse is a thriving, co-educational day and boarding school offering all the advantages of a contemporary environment in a beautiful rural location. Both the Preparatory and Senior School value tradition, embrace modernity, respect individualism and celebrate diversity. The school boasts a broad curriculum mixing traditional and modern study programmes to help all students achieve their full potential. Wycliffe is proud to offer its students support from an exceptional pastoral team, as well as a house system which promotes a strong sense of community, friendship and healthy competition among students. This also gives each child the opportunity to pursue an interest outside of the classroom – whether it’s on stage, in the choir, on the sports field or up a mountain. Wycliffe College’s facilities include a library that’s a haven for independent learning; a chapel; a floodlit Astroturf sports surface; a swimming pool; a high-tech gym; two basketball courts; tennis courts; and a performing arts centre.
Wycliffe College places strong emphasis on personal development, pastoral care and pupil performance across the board, with high ratings from the Good Schools Guide.
The diversity of subjects offered at Wycliffe, which includes GCSE Japanese; Fine Art, Music, Technology, and Government & Politics A Levels; BTEC National Diplomas (equivalent to two A Levels) in Sport and Travel, and Tourism. Plus, Wycliffe also provides ACT and SAT preparation, which is required to gain entry to American universities.
From two to 18 years old.
The Preparatory School costs from £4,140 per term for day pupils and from £7,120 per term for boarders; while the Senior School is from £7,240 per term for day pupils and from £12,340 per term for boarders.
Rugby player Charlie Sharples; actor William Moseley; cricketer Alex Gidman; and singer-songwriter Al Stewart.
Wycliffe College is situated on Bath Road, Stonehouse, GL10 2JQ.
Set at the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills, Malvern St James is a leading independent day and boarding school for girls aged four to 18. It was established in 1893 as Malvern Girls’ College and has advocated for women’s education ever since – encouraging its girls to be ambitious and confident, to follow their passions, and thrive beyond school.
The school is renowned for its academic prowess, with MSJ girls consistently achieving top A Level and GCSE results – with many progressing to study STEM subjects at university.
The prep school is based in the same building as the senior school, meaning MSJ girls of all ages are able to benefit from the specialist educational facilities and resources. From science laboratories to top-class art and sporting amenities, there is something for everyone at Malvern St James.
The school operates a minibus service which has routes in Gloucestershire, making it a fantastic choice for local families.
Offering an all-through education, Malvern St James supports its students from pre-prep to sixth form, with class sizes kept small at a ratio of one teacher to eight girls. The school engenders a supportive ‘home from home’ environment, with MSJ girls able to build meaningful, long term relationships with staff both academically and pastorally.
Malvern St James prepares its girls for fulfilling careers, all while encouraging them to cultivate a range of interests and lead a balanced and happy lifestyle.
Its vast enrichment programme helps every girl to discover her passion, offering extra-curricular languages, leadership opportunities, music, photography and clubs for aspiring engineers and scientists – to name a few.
From four to 18 years old.
Per term, full boarding fees for the 2020/21 academic year range from £7,865 for prep school students, £10,420 for seniors and £13,110 for sixth formers.
Malvern St James also offers day, flexi and weekly boarding options to suit individual family needs.
Great Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3BA.
School name: Airthrie School
Description: This co-educational day school and nursery in Cheltenham prides itself on its homely and caring atmosphere, with a strong focus on small teaching groups and one-to-one teaching.
Age range: From three to 11 years old
Fees: Nursery is free for up to 15 hours per week, £6.50 per-hour thereafter; while school fees range between £2,023 and £2,930 per term.
Address: Airthrie School, Christ Church Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2NY
Telephone: (01242) 512837
School name: Beaudesert Park School
Description: This unique, co-educational prep school in Minchinhampton offers academically aspiring education and a flexible approach to after school care and boarding.
Age range: From three to 13 years old
Fees: Pre-Prep school fees range between £1,675 and £2,820 per term; and the Prep school between £3,680 and £6,900 per term.
Address: Beaudesert Park School, Minchinhampton, near Stroud, GL6 9AF
Telephone: (01453) 832072
School name: Berkhampstead School
Description: Approximately 250 girls and boys currently attend Berkhampstead School, which opened in 1945 with the aim of providing a centre of educational excellence where children would be happy.
Age range: From three to 11 years old
Fees: Pre-Prep school fees range between £2,110 and £2,400 per term; and the Prep school between £2,615 and £3,055 per term.
Address: Pittville Circus Road, Cheltenham, GL52 2QA
Telephone: (01242) 523263
School name: Bredon School
Description: A mainstream day and boarding school set in 84 acres of picturesque parkland, which also has a specialism in helping children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and other associated learning needs achieve their potential in a thriving learning environment.
Age range: From four to 18 years old
Fees: Lower School fees range between £2,070 and £7,890 per term; and Upper School between £5,625 and £8,820 per term.
Address: Bredon School, Pull Court, Bushley, Tewkesbury, GL20 6AH
Telephone: (01684) 293156
School name: Cheltenham College
Description: The prestigious Cheltenham College is considered one of the country’s leading independent schools, educating young people since 1841. With a strong Christian ethos and vibrant, inclusive community, the institution provides a first-class, all-round education across its Preparatory School and College.
Age range: From three to 18 years old
Fees: The Preparatory School ranges between £2,495 and £7,285 per term; and Cheltenham College between £8,450 and £11,570 per term.
Address: The Preparatory School can be found on Thirlestaine Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7AB. While Cheltenham College is situated on Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7LD
Telephone: Call the Preparatory School on (01242) 522697 or Cheltenham College on (01242) 265600.
School name: Dormer House School
Description: Situated in Moreton-in-Marsh is this prep school comprising a nursery and primary, which encourage creativity and individuality through a mix of traditional values and modern techniques.
Age range: From two to 11 years old
Fees: Nursery fees range between £5 and £6 per hour; and primary school costs £2,475 per term.
Address: Dormer House School, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0AD
Telephone: (01608) 650758
School name: Edward Jenner School
Description: Housed in the former Probate Office of Gloucestershire, Edward Jenner School is a small-scale, secular school with no religious or ideological affiliations, which concentrates on the educational, social and emotional needs of each child.
Age range: From seven to 14 years old
Fees: £2,400 per term
Address: Edward Jenner School, 4 Pitt Street, Gloucester, GL1 2BH
Telephone: (01452) 380808
School name: Gloucestershire International School
Description: Gloucestershire International School was founded in 2016 to provide children with a holistic approach to learning, that focuses on the idea that education is not just the responsibility of the teacher, but of the wider community as well. The school, located in Gloucester, is part of the International Village Education group, which was started by Dr Daniel Sturdy and draws on the ethos that not all learning should be taught in the classroom, with its vision incorporating outdoor education as an integral part of a child’s school experience.
Age range: From 11 to 16 years old
Fees: £4,549 per term for Year 7 to Year 9; £4,949 per term for Year 10 and 11, with Sixth Form not yet open for admissions.
Address: Horton Road, Gloucester, GL1 3PR
Telephone: (01452) 764248
School name: Hatherop Castle School
Description: Set in charming Cotswold countryside, this is a mixed preparatory day and boarding school aiming to successfully prepare all children for their first choice senior school.
Age range: From two to 13 years old
Fees: Nursery fees cost £28 per morning or £49 per day; Pre-Prep school fees range between £2,045 and £3,245 per term; Prep school between £3,675 and £4,495 per term; and boarding between £5,975 and 6,795 per term.
Address: Hatherop Castle School, Hatherop, Cirencester, GL7 3NB
Telephone: (01285) 750206
School name: Kitebrook House
Description: Established for 60 years, Kitebrook House is a mixed preparatory school with academically high standards and an emphasis on providing care, trust and self-confidence to pupils.
Age range: From three to 13 years old
Fees: The Pre-Prep day school costs £3,250 per term; Prep day school from £3,970 per term; and boarding £5,490 per term.
Address: Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0RP
Telephone: (01608) 674350
School name: Malvern College
Description: Founded in 1865, the leading co-educational boarding and day school is set on a stunning 250-acre campus in Malvern and offers pupils a broad curriculum supported by extensive musical, dramatic, artistic and sporting co-curricular activities.
Age range: From 13 to 18.
Fees: From £7,512 for day pupils and £11,338 for boarders, per term
Address: College Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3DF
Telephone number: (01684) 581500
School name: Rendcomb College
Description: Situated on an estate on the outskirts of Cirencester, Rendcomb College is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls that provides an inclusive and broad-ranging education for its pupils.
Age range: From three to 18 years old
Fees: The Junior School ranges between £2,335 and £3,730 per term; and the Senior School between £5,335 and £7,330 per term for day students and £7,05 and £10,180 per term for boarders; while day fees for Sixth Form students are £5,000 per term and £10,180 for boarders.
Address: Rendcomb College, Cirencester, GL7 7HA
Telephone: (01285) 831213
School name: The Acorn School
Description: A co-educational lower school, encompassing the main elements of the Steiner Curriculum, and upper school offering a stimulating and highly academic programme, which is supported by its own internal examination and assessment system.
Age range: From six to 18 years old
Fees: Lower school fees range between £1,960 and £2,350 per term; and Upper school between £2,750 and £3,500 per term.
Address: Church Street, Nailsworth, GL6 0BP
Telephone: (01453) 836508
School name: The Richard Pate School
Description: Founded in 1946, this is a co-educational, independent prep school with excellent academic results and state-of-the-art facilities throughout.
Age range: From three to 11 years old
Fees: Range between £1,030 and £3,220 per term
Address: The Richard Pate School, Southern Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 9RP
Telephone: (01242) 522086
Monday 06 July 2020
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