Gloucestershire independent schools guide

Discover some of the finest independent schools in Gloucestershire and the surrounding area, in SoGlos’s dedicated guide.

Published
Discover some of the finest independent schools located across Gloucestershire.
Discover some of the finest independent schools located across Gloucestershire.
In partnership with Cheltenham Ladies' College  |  cheltladiescollege.org
Cheltenham Ladies' College

One of Gloucestershire's most prestigious independent schools, Cheltenham Ladies' College welcomes girls aged 11 to 18. Offering day, full boarding and flexible boarding options, the diverse and inclusive school has pupils from across the world and achieves excellent results across the board in GCSEs, A Levels and the International Baccalaureate.

Gloucestershire is home to some of the most prestigious and historical independent schools in the country, with impressive academic performance and pastoral care, 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.

Cheltenham Ladies' College

In partnership with Cheltenham Ladies' College  |  cheltladiescollege.org

Description

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 over 850 students. 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 South West Independent School of the Decade in 2021. Class sizes are small and encourage active participation, while expert teaching and regular feedback help pupils realise their full potential. Pupils can also benefit from the extensive range of co-curricular activities, from music clubs and creative societies to sports.

Specialist areas

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.

SoGlos loves

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; swimming pool; and climbing wall too.

Age range

From 11 to 18 years old.

Fees

Fees cost from £13,950 for boarding and £9,340 for day pupils per term.

Address

Bayshill Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3EP

Alumnae

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.

Telephone number

(01242) 520691

Email

enquiries@cheltladiescollege.org.

Website

cheltladiescollege.org.

Social media

See facebook.com/CheltLadiesColl or instagram.com/cheltladiescoll.

Cheltenham independent schools

Cheltenham College and Preparatory School

In partnership with Cheltenham College and Preparatory School  |  cheltenhamcollege.org

Description

Providing a well-rounded education for boys and girls aged three to 18, Cheltenham College is a leading independent day and boarding school with separate preparatory and senior school facilities.

Set in 75 acres of grounds in the heart of Cheltenham, the school engenders a vibrant sense of community, whilst consistently delivering academic excellence at both prep and senior school level.

Both Cheltenham College schools offer a broad curriculum with personalised support from specialist teachers. Senior students are encouraged to develop their academic interests across the arts, humanities and sciences – and there are plenty of co-curricular opportunities for students of all ages to pursue outside of the classroom, too.

Specialist areas

With first-class sporting facilities and outstanding coaching, delivered by ex-professional players, Cheltenham College students are given the level of support and attention needed to excel in a variety of sports, including rugby, equestrian, cricket and shooting.

Cheltenham College also offers a talented athlete programme, providing structured training, mentoring and nutritional guidance for elite sporting students – helping them to succeed in their chosen field, from club to international level.

SoGlos loves

With a diverse range of co-curricular clubs and activities on offer, Cheltenham College Prep students are encouraged to follow their passions. From skiing and street dancing to baking and creative writing, there’s something for everyone to get involved in.

At the senior school, voluntary work is actively encouraged and Wednesday afternoons are set aside for Cheltenham College students to take part in community activities and pursue charitable causes if they wish. Students are also given the chance to join the Combined Cadet Force, a testament to the college’s long connection with the military.

Age range

Cheltenham College Pre-Prep covers ages three to seven years, while Cheltenham College Prep welcomes pupils aged seven to 13. Cheltenham College Seniors is for 13 to 18-year olds.

Fees

For Cheltenham College Prep school students, fees per term start at £4,600 for day students and £6,980 for boarders; while the cost for Cheltenham College Senior students starts at £10,485 for day students and £13,970 for boarders.

Alumni

Gloucester Rugby player Ollie Thorley; British racing driver Jamie Chadwick; and Irish jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jr.

Address

Cheltenham College Preparatory School is on Thirlestaine Road in Cheltenham, GL53 7AB, while Cheltenham College is on Bath Road in Cheltenham, GL53 7LD.

Telephone

For Cheltenham College Preparatory School, call (01242) 522697 and for Cheltenham College, call (01242) 265600.

Email

Contact Cheltenham College Preparatory School at prep.reception@cheltenhamcollege.org and Cheltenham College at info@cheltenhamcollege.org.

Website

cheltenhamcollege.org.

Social media

See facebook.com/cheltcollege and twitter.com/cheltcollege.

Dean Close School

In partnership with Dean Close School  |  deanclose.org.uk

Description

Dean Close School is a co-educational day and boarding school, located in the heart of Cheltenham. Situated in 50 acres of picturesque grounds, with a blend of original Victorian buildings and modern purpose-built facilities, the school offers fantastic academic and extra-curricular opportunities for pupils aged two to 18.

The school aims to get the best out of students academically, while also broadening their horizons through access to its exceptional facilities and varied clubs and societies.

With a strong Christian ethos, Dean Close seeks to provide a supportive environment for learning and self-discovery, encouraging each member of its community to realise their greatest potential.

Specialist areas

Dean Close has earned a national reputation for hockey, rugby and equestrianism. Students can benefit from the school’s outstanding sports provision, with dedicated directors for each major sport and facilities including a sports centre with hi-tech fitness suite, a 25-metre indoor pool, a climbing wall and a rifle range.

Meanwhile, the two-storey art school provides specialist studio spaces for creative students; music lovers have access to a range of amenities, from a recording studio to a concert hall; and, renowned for its drama, Dean Close is also home to the Bacon Theatre.

SoGlos loves

With around 300 preparatory school pupils and 500 senior school students, Dean Close is small enough for everyone to enjoy close bonds with peers and get fully involved in school life. At the same time, it’s large enough to have a strong community of boarders and day pupils, as well as first-class sporting and creative arts opportunities.

Age range

From two to 18 years old.

Fees

Per term, full day fees for the 2022/23 academic year range from £4,150 for preparatory school students and £8,980 for senior school students and sixth formers.

Dean Close also offers day, flexi and international boarding options.

Alumni

Issy Bailey, Paralympian GB pistol shooter; Lloyd Evans, Gloucester Rugby player; and Brian Jones, musician and founding member of The Rolling Stones.

Address

Dean Close Pre-Preparatory and Preparatory Schools are on Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6QS. Dean Close Senior School is on Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6HE.

Telephone

Call Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School on (01242) 258079; Dean Close Preparatory School on (01242) 512217 and Dean Close Senior School on (01242) 258000.

Email

For Dean Close Pre-Preparatory School, email squirrels@deanclose.org.uk, for Dean Close Preparatory School, email dcpsoffice@deanclose.org.uk and for Dean Close Senior School, email registrar@deanclose.org.uk.

Website

deanclose.org.uk.

Social media

See facebook.com/DeanCloseSchool and instagram.com/DeanCloseSchool.

Berkhampstead School

In partnership with Berkhampstead School  |  berkhampsteadschool.co.uk

Description

Located on the tree-lined Pittville Circus Road in Cheltenham, approximately 264 children currently attend Berkhampstead School – which originally opened in 1945 – with 137 at the Day Nursery.

The Cheltenham independent school not only prides itself on its warm atmosphere, happiness and encouragement, but Berkhampstead offers a centre of educational excellence where children can gain strong literacy and reading skills, as well as confidence in handling numbers and opportunity to achieve high standards in music and creative arts, alongside competitive sports, too.

Berkhampstead was awarded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas in its most recent Independent Schools Inspectorate too, alongside recognition of pupils’ confidence, strong self-esteem and considerate and respectful behaviour.

Plus, most recently the school was awarded the title of Independent School of the Year at the SoGlos Gloucestershire Lifestyle Awards 2022.

Specialist areas

From day one, the children are taught by subject specialist teachers in music, PE and French, and then from Year Three, students benefit from specialist teachers in every subject, ensuring that they are taught by professionals with individual areas of expertise, so that each child can get the most out of their learning experience.

Berkhampstead offers small classes which are particularly beneficial in keeping children happy and motivated, creating brilliant results. This is also reflected in the fact that a large percentage of pupils achieve places and scholarships at top grammar and independent schools.

SoGlos loves

The school offers a huge range of lunchtime and after school extracurricular activities, with pupils encouraged to explore their passions. These include numerous music and sports clubs, plus, a rolling programme of activities such as gardening club, team-building and arts and crafts.

Plus, the ‘Berky Gets Greener’ eco committee is active all over the school, with green issues important to Berkhampstead School.

Age range

Berkhampstead is open to students from three months to 11 years old, divided between Day Nursery and Day Prep.

Fees

Per term, fees inclusive of equipment and school lunches, start at £2,820 for reception, with an increase in price per year group – with current fees for Year Six pupils £4,045 per term.

Address

Berkhampstead School is on Pittville Circus Road, Cheltenham, GL52 2QA.

Telephone

(01242) 523263

Email

Contact Berkhampstead School at admissions@berkhampsteadschool.co.uk.

Website

berkhampsteadschool.co.uk.

Social media

See facebook.com/berkhampsteadtwitter.com/berkycheltenham, instagram.com/berkhampstead_school.

The Richard Pate School

In partnership with The Richard Pate School  |  richardpate.co.uk

Description

The Richard Pate School is a co-educational independent day school for three to 11-year-olds, with approximately 300 pupils across its Nursery, Prep and Junior departments. It teaches all national curriculum foundation subjects, with a strong special educational needs provision.

Set on an idyllic, semi-rural campus in Leckhampton, the school benefits from 11 and a half acres of space and impressive educational facilities, with plenty of opportunities to explore the natural world through its adventure playground, woodland area and dedicated conservation space for environmental studies.

Celebrating each individual student’s strengths and attributes, the school also works closely with parents to help them choose the right onward destination for their child, with a large percentage of pupils progressing to achieve places and scholarships at leading grammar and independent schools.

Specialist areas

The Richard Pate School has invested in its specialist facilities over the years, which include an art studio, science laboratory, music centre and all-weather, floodlit astro pitch – allowing teachers to offer a broad and varied education to its pupils.

The school also has a diverse programme of extracurricular activities to help children develop their passions. From coding to ukulele, sessions operate during lunch and after school – not to mention competitive sport.

SoGlos loves

While its academic offering is certainly appealing to families seeking an enriching education, The Richard Pate School prides itself on its sense of community above all. There’s a great family atmosphere between pupils, teachers and parents, as children are taught to value and respect themselves and others in a supportive educational environment.

Age range

From three to 11 years old.

Fees

Per term, fees start at £2,980 for reception, with an increase in price per year group. Current fees for Year 6 pupils per term are £4,287. Fees are inclusive of equipment, school lunches and swimming lessons.

Breakfast club and after school care provisions are also available from 7.45am until 5.30pm, with breakfast club costing £5 per session and after school care costing £9 per session. Breakfast and a light tea is included for all children.

Alumni

Double Olympic gold medalist and rower Alex Gregory MBE; children’s author Vivian French; and Amy Weaver, the youngest female trainer in UK horse racing history.

Address

Southern Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 9RP.

Telephone

(01242) 522086

Email

admissions@richardpate.co.uk.

Website

richardpate.co.uk.

Social media

See instagram.com/richardpate_school and facebook.com/richardpateschool.

Cotswolds independent schools

Rendcomb College

In partnership with Rendcomb College  |  rendcombcollege.org.uk

Description

Situated on an estate on the outskirts of Cirencester, Rendcomb College is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls, which celebrated 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.

SoGlos loves

Encouraging respect for the environment is part of Rendcomb 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.

Age range

From three to 18 years-old.

Fees

The Junior School ranges between £2,340 and £4,490 per term; and the Senior School between £6,400 and £8,475 per term for day students and £10,175 and £13,200 per term for boarders; while day fees for Sixth Form students are £6,050 per term and £13,200 for boarders. Occasional boarding is also available from an additional £41 per night.

Alumni

Chairman of Sainsbury’s David Tyler; veteran jockey Richard Dunwoody; historian David Vaisey and yacht designer Angus Primrose.

Address

Rendcomb College, Cirencester, GL7 7HA

Telephone

(01285) 831213

Email

info@rendcombcollege.org.uk.

Website

rendcombcollege.org.uk.

Social media

See facebook.com/Rendcombcollegetwitter.com/RendcombCollege and instagram.com/rendcombcollege.


Gloucester independent schools

The King's School Gloucester

In partnership with The King's School Gloucester  |  thekingsschool.co.uk

Description

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 performing arts and sports 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 co-curricular activities and outstanding pastoral care.

Founded in 1541, the historic school has 736 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 co-curricular activities, allowing each pupil to reach their full potential.

Specialist areas

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 co-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 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 too.

Age range

From three to 18 years old.

Fees

Per term, fees are from £2,805 for Reception to £7,320 for Year 11, with Sixth Form fees also at £7,320.

Address

Pitt Street, Gloucester, GL1 2BG

Alumni

Actor Simon Pegg; BBC Breakfast presenter, Charlie Stayt; conductor with the English National Opera, Edward Gardner; rugby player, John Brain; and SLG founder Miles Dunkley. 

Telephone

(01452) 337337

Email

office@thekingsschool.co.uk.

Website

thekingsschool.co.uk.

Social media

Visit facebook.com/KingsSchoolGlos and twitter.com/KingsSchoolGlos.

Wotton House International School

In partnership with Wotton House International School  |  wottonhouseschool.co.uk

Description

Located in Gloucester, Wotton International School’s mission is to help children from seven to 16 develop the confidence, skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the modern world.

Students at the co-educational day school enjoy a rigorous education with plenty of hands-on fun and weekly visits to the Wilderness Centre in the Forest of Dean, a haven for outdoor learning.

Specialist areas

Focused on helping children grow to be able to live anywhere in the world, Wotton House teaches the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme, giving students the option of sitting International GCSEs (IGCSEs) in Years 10 and 11.

At the Wilderness Centre, students participate in an environmental award scheme, taking part in rewilding projects and everything from archery to abseiling and bushcraft, while unplugging and connecting with nature.

SoGlos loves

Wotton House is one of only a few schools teaching the IB Middle Years Programme, a highly respected and internationally recognised education programme for 11- to 16-year-olds. In November 2021, the school received its best ISI Regulatory Compliance Inspection Report ever.

Prep schoolers also get to spend time with and help care for four semi-wild Dartmoor ponies at the Wilderness Centre, not only learning about the unique characteristics of the breed, but getting involved in making hay nets for the Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony charity, too.

Age range

From seven to 16 years old.

Fees

Full-time fees for 2021 to 2022 are £3,000 per term for seven- to 10-year-olds and range from £3,250 to £4,500 per term for 11- to 16-year-olds.

A registration fee of £535 per child is also payable on enrolment, which includes a new Chromebook to enable them to participate fully in lessons.

Part-time and flexi options for the IB Middle Years Programme in Years 1 and 2 are also available. Wotton House School offers a means-tested bursary and sibling discount too.

Address

Horton Road, Gloucester, GL1 3PR.

Telephone

(01452) 764248

Email

info@wottonhouseschool.co.uk.

Website

wottonhouseschool.co.uk.

Social media

See facebook.com/wottonhouseinternationalschooltwitter.com/whischool or instagram.com/wottonhouseschool.


Stroud independent schools

Wycliffe College

Description

Founded in 1882, Wycliffe College in Stonehouse is a co-educational day and boarding school offering all the advantages of a contemporary environment in a beautiful rural location just 90 minutes from London. The school boasts a broad curriculum mixing traditional and modern subjects to help all students achieve their full potential and encourages each child 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; chapel; floodlit Astroturf sports surface; swimming pool; high-tech gym; two basketball courts; tennis courts; performing arts centre; and even a boat house for its strong rowing programme. It also has an impressive squash programme with support from renowned coaches. Wycliffe is proud to offer its students support from an exceptional pastoral team too, as well as a house system which promotes a strong sense of community, friendship and healthy competition among students.

Specialist areas

Wycliffe College boasts excellent sports performance alongside an impressive music, drama and art provision. The school places strong emphasis on personal development, pastoral care and pupil performance across the board, with high ratings from the Good Schools Guide.

SoGlos loves

The diversity of subjects offered at Wycliffe, which includes GCSE Japanese; Fine Art, Music and Psychology A Levels; BTEC National Diplomas (equivalent to two A Levels) in Business; Digital Production; and Sport. Plus, Wycliffe also provides ACT and SAT preparation, required to gain entry to American universities.

Age range

From three to 19 years old.

Fees

Wycliffe Preparatory School costs from £3,400 per term for day pupils and from £7,700 per term for boarders; while Wycliffe Senior School is from £7,645 per term for day pupils and from £13,345 per term for boarders.

Alumni

Rugby player Charlie Sharples; actor William Moseley; cricketer Alex Gidman; and singer-songwriter Al Stewart.

Address

Bristol Road, Stonehouse, GL10 2AF.

Telephone

(01453) 822432

Email

senior@wycliffe.co.uk.

Website

wycliffe.co.uk.

Social media

See facebook.com/WycliffeCollege and instagram.com/wycliffecollege.

Tewkesbury independent schools

Independent schools beyond the border

Malvern St James Girls' School

In partnership with Malvern St James Girls' School  |  malvernstjames.co.uk

Description

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. Advocating for women’s education since 1893, the school encourages 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.

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.

Specialist areas

The school 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.

SoGlos loves

Making it a fantastic choice for local families, Malvern St James operates a minibus service which has routes in Gloucestershire. And, in addition to the main school bus which departs at around 6.10pm, the school offers an earlier minibus home at 4.10pm.

Places on the school bus are available on a termly basis and can be shared between two families if pupils only need to use the route one way.

Age range

From four to 18 years old.

Fees

For the 2022/23 academic year, day pupil fees range from £2,675 per term in Reception through to £6,905 per term in Sixth Form; while full boarding fees range from £8,565 per term in Year 3 through to £14,140 per term in Sixth Form.

Malvern St James also offers flexi and weekly boarding options to suit individual family needs.

Address

Great Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3BA

Telephone number

(01684) 892288

Email

admissions@malvernstjames.co.uk

Website

malvernstjames.co.uk

Social media

See facebook/MalvernStJames, instagram.com/malvernstjmes and twitter.com/MalvernStJames

More on Cheltenham Ladies’ College

More from Family