United Kingdom / South West England / Devon / Exeter Cathedral School

Exeter Cathedral School Review

With choir singing in its DNA, Exeter Cathedral School is most well-known for its music. However, the city co-ed prep school also offers an all-round education that prepares students for a variety of pathways at senior school.
At a glance
School type
Private
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
Excellent
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
GBP 11,500
Annual fees
GBP 8,469–13,869
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1179
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Mr James Featherstone
Does your child attend this school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.
LET'S GO
favorite favorite_border Save
Exeter Cathedral School
School type
Private
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
Excellent
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
GBP 11,500
Annual fees
GBP 8,469–13,869
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
1179
School year
Sep to Jul
Principal
Mr James Featherstone
MORE arrow_drop_down

With choir singing in its DNA, Exeter Cathedral School is most well-known for its music. However, the city co-ed prep school also offers an all-round education that prepares students for a variety of pathways at senior school.

Exeter Cathedral School has been teaching choristers for over 900 years and, while the school remains one of the UK's leading music specialist schools, it is also committed to an all-round education. 

Located in the South West city of Exeter, this prep school for Nursery through to Year 8 is one of around 40 cathedral schools in the UK. It's a small prep with around 115 girls and 145 boys, mainly coming from the local area; the school has a small boarding community with around 25% of boarders being choristers. 

With a campus that circles Exeter Cathedral, ECS is rich in both history and heritage. It is Exeter’s oldest school, and the only school in the city to offer boarding. As a city centre school, it lacks large green playing fields, but it takes full advantage of the sporting facilities on its doorstep including Exeter University Sports Hub and Exeter Athletics Arena.

The school says that it has "music and music-making at its heart: it is in the walls and in the blood". And with its facilities (chorister rehearsals in Exeter Cathedral, performances in the Cathedral Nave and lessons in the on-campus Kalendar Hall), chorister programme, and choice of music-making sessions during and after school this can certainly be felt by students of all ages and abilities. 

The choristers programme enrols 38 boys and girls (usually from Years 3-8), who start their day an hour earlier for rehearsals and attend dedicated Choir Terms over Christmas and Easter. It's wonderful to hear that the centuries-old tradition of waking up the Dean and the Director of Music on Christmas Morning by singing early-morning carols underneath their windows carries on!

Founded in 1179 as a boy's choir school, ECS has evolved to become a progressive, co-ed school for both choristers and non-choristers. Whether your child is a talented chorister or an aspiring musician, there is a broad musical education offered here. With a timetable of more 200 music lessons and a wide choice of orchestras and bands (from Flutopia to Jazz Band), this music school offers much more than weekly recitals.

While the focus is very much on music, the school also has a strong sports department and sports for all ethos; the key team sports are hockey, cross-country, rugby, netball, cricket and athletics. The school also stays true to its history of performance and prepares those students looking for Drama or Performing Arts Scholarships well; drama is taught alongside English and the calendar of productions includes a Year 3-4 Musical, Year 5 Drama Soiree, Year 6 mini Shakespeare Festival, a Year 7-8 Summer Showstopper and Year 8 Revue.

It follows, but is not restricted by, the National Curriculum of England and works towards preparing students for the Common Entrance exams at 13+. At 13, its students move to a variety of senior schools, some grammar but most in the independent sector. 

A vast majority of leavers are awarded scholarships in everything from music to art, drama, sport and academia. Students go on to schools including Exeter School, Clifton College, King’s Taunton, Queen’s Taunton, Marlborough, Sherborne, Blundell’s, Wellington,  Eton and Charterhouse.

A full review will be posted shortly.

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers. Request Information

Comments
Latest UK articles
Interviews

Interview: From Nursery Teacher to Author

For Ebtisam Al Beiti, a Dubai-based former nursery teacher, lock down was a transformat…

Choosing A School

5 of the Best UK Schools for Horse Lovers

We take a closer look at the UK day and boarding schools with their own equestrian facili…

Courses & Curricula

New! Online International Baccalaureate Diploma

A new fully online International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme will launch in September…

Courses & Curricula

UK Boarding Schools: Summer Schools 2022

A summer school programme at a UK boarding school is a great opportunity to get a taste o…

Best School

World's Best IB Schools - by IB DP Score

This is a list that you will not see officially produced by the IB, which does not believ…

Courses & Curricula

SAT Tests Move Online from 2023

The US-based College Board has announced that SAT tests, taken by students in American cu…

New Schools

NLCS to Open Bilingual School in Vietnam

The British day school for girls, North London Collegiate School, has announced plans to …

Which Curriculum

Esports in Education: More Than Just a Game?

While gaming might not sound like something that children should be doing at school, stud…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All