‘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.’ These are the words of Mr and Mrs Hamilton-Bing, whose four daughters attend King’s Ely.
Shortlisted in the 2020 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 and Nursery to the young men and women in our Sixth Form. Whether a student shines in a classroom or 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 in 2019, 98% of students gained a place at their first-choice university or institution.
However, our school is about much more than exam results and league tables. As reported in the Good Schools Guide, King’s Ely is a ‘friendly, well-balanced, caring community valued for getting the best from a broad range of abilities’.
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 and Nursery (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, Art, Textiles 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 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, our boys a cappella group, the King’s Barbers, being crowned National Champions, the school winning the Art & Craft category at the Education Business Awards 2018 and our Photography Department being victorious in the Ilford Photo Student Photography Competition for three 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 have just had an unbeaten season and students are regularly called up to county and national level, plus we enjoyed success at the British Rowing Senior Championships in 2019 and the National Equestrian Championships in 2018.
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 — make 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. 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.
We have Autumn Open Events being held in September, October and November. To book your family’s place or for more information, please visit: www.kingsely.org. Our Admissions Team would also be delighted to hear from you in person — you can call them on (01353) 660707.