"King’s Ely’s reputation certainly precedes itself, but you don’t really get a true feeling for the depth of those recommendations until you have visited the school yourself. Within the first week of our sons joining King’s Ely Acremont Pre-Prep and King’s Ely Junior, we simply could not believe the change in both the boys’ happiness and their commitment to learning.”
These are the words of Mr and Mrs Golding, whose sons joined King’s Ely Acremont Pre-Prep and King’s Ely Junior in September 2020.
A finalist in the Independent Schools of the Year Awards, King’s Ely is a leading independent co-educational day and boarding school built on a fascinating history stretching back over 1,000 years, making us one of the oldest schools in the world.
We serve the academic and pastoral needs of around 1,000 boys and girls from the age of 2 through to 18, with boarders from 7 years old. King’s Ely is nestled in the picturesque cathedral city of Ely, which is just 15 minutes from Cambridge and 1 hour from London, with direct rail links to both. Our privately-run school buses stop at key locations around Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk.
The adventure of a King’s Ely education enables pupils of all ages to flourish, from the children in King’s Ely Acremont Nursery to the young men and women in our Sixth Form. Whether a student shines in a classroom, in a laboratory, on a stage, on a pitch or on a mountainside, our school promises an abundance of opportunity for personal development, both academically and socially.
King’s Ely students are renowned for their energy, their courage and their integrity. Our pupils achieve excellent GCSE and A Level results, and each year students secure a place at their first-choice university or institution, not just in the UK but across the globe. However, our school is about much more than exam results and league tables. As reported in the Good Schools Guide, King’s Ely “turns out well rounded, likeable individuals who attain academically but who also realise there is more to life than just results.”
When it comes to value-added – a measurement monitored and published by the Department for Education – King’s Ely is in the top five Cambridgeshire schools and the top 200 schools nationally. Rather than relying solely on exam results, value added takes account of where each student started from, and the progress they made relative to other, similar students.
We empower our young people to challenge themselves, to push beyond the boundaries of their own expectations and to achieve more than they ever believed possible. Innovative approaches to teaching and learning are the hallmark of every section of King’s Ely. Through a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils develop the self-knowledge and inner resilience that will enable them to face the challenges of an ever-changing world. The aim is to create responsible and engaged young people who have developed learning habits that successfully prepare them for public examinations, higher education and the challenging world of work.
At King’s Ely Acremont Nursery and Pre-Prep (ages 2-7), such development demands a planned, creative curriculum that is dedicated to the needs of younger children, encouraging them to be independent learners with a passion for knowledge. It requires caring experts who have the time to give younger pupils lots of individual attention and a beautiful, spacious environment that allows children to explore in order to discover the exciting world around them.
Moving on to King’s Ely Junior (ages 7-13), it demands a positive and enriching atmosphere, a commitment to unlocking potential and the development of conscientious, compassionate young people.
At King’s Ely Senior (ages 13-18), it demands exceptional teaching and a culture of independent learning, enabling students to take ownership of their own educational journeys, where results are achieved through inspiration and support, not unnecessary pressure.
Music, Drama and Theatre, Art, Fashion and Textiles, Photography and Dance are each embedded in the culture of King’s Ely, with vast opportunities for pupils of all abilities and aspirations. Recent accolades include a 5* review for our original production, Ugly Youth, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, our boys’ a cappella group, the King’s Barbers, being crowned National Champions, the school winning the Art and Craft category at the Education Business Awards and our Photography Department being victorious in the Ilford Photo Student Photography Competition for four years running.
All major sports are offered, along with an impressive array of other activities, helping every pupil to realise their sporting potential. Rowing, athletics, golf, cricket, hockey, tennis, rugby, netball, equestrian and football – the choices are endless. The working week, which no longer includes formal lessons on Saturdays, also enables pupils to participate fully in regional and national events. Our 1st XV boys’ rugby team recently had an unbeaten season and students are regularly called up to county and national level, plus we have enjoyed success at the British Rowing Senior Championships and the National Equestrian Championships. As one of the major sports available to students from Year 8 onwards, Rowing is enormously popular at King’s Ely. Our Boat Club is located just a short walk from school, providing an uninterrupted stretch of water that runs for over 15 miles in each direction, including a 5 kilometre straight, making it the perfect place to train.
From the high peaks of the Himalayas to the gushing torrents of the rivers in the Alps, our unique Ely Scheme programme also offers boundless opportunities for pupils to learn through outdoor education. We give students the chance to undertake their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at all three levels.
King’s Ely boasts some of the region’s most historic buildings yet teaching facilities are modern and purpose-built. Our close links with Ely Cathedral – one of the finest cathedrals in the world – makes the perfect setting for concerts and performances, a daily extension to the school’s workspace, the school chapel, and a place of outstanding beauty and spirituality.
Boarders, including the Ely Cathedral Boy and Girl Choristers, live in picturesque and community-spirited boarding houses, well led by caring Housemasters and Housemistresses. Our 14th Century Monastic Barn provides the perfect place for breakfast, lunch and tea, and a strong pastoral structure where childhood is respected and cherished is a key feature.
King’s Ely is a family – a community that is vibrant, nurturing and inclusive. We are a school that can take each child on a seamless journey, travelling from one section to the next, whilst welcoming newcomers at key transition stages, giving support and adapting the offering to the needs of every child in our care. Only by visiting King’s Ely can you feel the energy and warmth of our community.
Mr and Mrs Hamilton-Bing, whose four daughters attended King’s Ely, said: “Something we didn’t appreciate at first but now cherish above all else about King’s Ely is the holistic approach the school takes in growing the whole child.”
- Preparatory School, Nursery & Pre-Prep School, Senior School, Sixth Form
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