Cheltenham College


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  • Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 621 (Boys) 437 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 13-18 years
  • Founded: 1841

General Information

Cheltenham College has been educating young people since 1841. We are one of the foremost public co-educational boarding schools in the country, with an enviable reputation for academic achievement and breadth of extra-curricular opportunities. Our passion is education in the broadest sense of the word; we aim to promote genuine personal enquiry and intellectual appetite, to provide each pupil with innumerable opportunities for success and to ensure they leave College fully prepared for life beyond school. Pupils leave us with excellent qualifications which enable entry into top UK or US universities but more than that, they leave us with the skills they need to succeed in life. They leave with exciting futures.


College caters for musical talent of all kinds with many instrumental groups and ensembles. Our Chapel Choir is inevitably central to musical life here. Recent tours have seen the Choir singing in St.Mark’s Venice, Siena Cathedral, Assisi, Padua and Prague and Barcelona in both the Cathedral and the church of Santa Maria del Mar.

The Science Department is housed in a newly refurbished centre, at the heart is a stunning three metre wide interactive Periodic Table, the largest of its kind in Europe.

Extensive sports facilities include 12 rugby pitches as well as two award-winning squares and cricket pavilion, 2 sand based Astros, 6 squash courts, a 25m swimming pool, athletics field events pits and throwing circles, rackets courts, an on site shooting range, a mixture of grass and artificial cricket nets, 4 hard tennis courts and tennis pavilion, a fully supported boathouse for the rowing club and climbing wall. Our sports centre has 8 badminton courts, well equipped CV gym, and a free weights gym situated at the pavilion. College has a number of full time professional coaches. Sport is inclusive at College, with 1st to 5th teams in all major games.

The vast majority of our pupils board seven days a week in 10 Boarding Houses: 5 Boys' Boarding, 3 Girls' Boarding, 1 Boys' Day and 1 Girls' Day, all located around the perimeter of the campus. Sixth Form students have their own rooms in Houses, as well their own common room and significant freedoms over their own time at weekends and to take advantage of College’s central location in Cheltenham.


11+ (Entry into Year 7): Academic, Art, DT, Music, Sport.

13+ or 16+ (Entry into Year 8 and Year 12): Academic Scholarships and Exhibitions, Art, DT, Drama (13+ only), Music, Sport, and strong all-round performers.

Some bursaries and Armed Forces discounts are offered, please contact the College for details.

Open Days

We have two Open Mornings every year - one in the Autumn Term and another in the Spring Term. We also hold a Saturday Group Visit (10-12 families) each Term.

To register for the College Open Morning or Saturday Group Visit by phone, or if you wish to arrange a personal, tailored visit, please call 01242 265 662 and ask for the Assistant Registrar, Mrs Samantha Palmer. Alternatively you can email her on: To register for the Prep Open Morning, or if you wish to arrange a personal, tailored visit, please call 01242 265 639 and ask for the Registrar, Ms Jennifer Bailey. Alternatively you can email her on:



Lower College (Years 9-11): Day £8,920 per term, Boarding £11,900 per term. Day Boarding Charge (35 Night Allowance) £1600 per term. Additional nights £45.

Upper College (Years 12 and 13): Day £9,245 per term, Boarding £12,225 per term. Day Boarding Charge (35 Night Allowance) £1600 per term. Additional nights £45.

Armed Forces discounts - please contact the College for details


ISI Boarding Inspection 2014
ISI Report 2010/2011
Ofsted Report 2011

School Contact Details

Headteacher: College: Dr Alex Peterken. Prep: Mr Jonathan Whybrow

Contact for enquiries: College: Miss A. McQuilkin, Registrar. Prep: Ms J. Bailey, Registrar

Cheltenham College
Bath Road
GL53 7LD

[t]: College: 01242 265 600 Prep: 01242 522 697
[f]: 01242 265630

Location Description

Cheltenham College is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, in the beautiful Regency town of Cheltenham.

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School News

Cheltenham College independent day and boarding school Gloucestershire

Two College pupils, Max and Jack, recently competed in the British Alpine Skiing Championship in Tignes, France in the U16 category. Jack won gold in

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the giant slalom and super giant slalom and Max won silver in the slalom race. The championship featured Olympians Dave Ryding, Laurie Taylor, Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest, alongside promising young racers such as Max and Jack.

The championship follows on from the English Alpine Racing Championships held in Bormio, Italy, in February, where both pupils also gained podium places. We wish both boys the best of luck for the future as they move into the U18 category.

Cheltenham College independent day and boarding school Gloucestershire

On Tuesday 3 October, Cheltenham College welcomed fifteen 11-13 year olds from the OSCAR Foundation, a charity from India set-up to support and mentor children

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from slum communities by teaching them the value of education using football as a tool. The lucky squad was sponsored by Cheltenham College and other local schools, and were flown to the UK last week for a tour of England, where they will visit and play against schools and clubs that have sponsored the trip, as well as visiting Manchester United and Chelsea stadiums before flying home.

The OSCAR children took part in a skills workshop at the independent boarding school with Cheltenham Town Football Club’s captain Aaron Downes. “Downesy” was on hand to meet the children, chat to their coaches and put them through their paces with a fun training session along with pupils from Cheltenham College, before the children played a match against pupils of their own age at Cheltenham Prep, with the touring side winning 1-0.

Nick Nelson, Director of Internationalism and Culture at the school, who last year organised a fundraising ‘World Cup’ tournament to help bring the OSCAR children to England, commented “Aaron was fantastic with the children. They were in awe to meet him and he was a real gentleman. It was very kind of him to take the time to come and support such a great cause before their match in the evening. Thank you, Aaron!”

Mr Nelson was inspired to sponsor the charity after the founder, Ashok Rathod, spoke to Cheltenham College pupils last year about his own journey from the slums of Mumbai to becoming the founder and director of an international charity. The visiting children, who were selected from over 3,000 back in India, also had a tour of both the prep and senior schools for 3-18 year olds, took part in music and art lessons before the training session with the Robins’ Captain.

Cheltenham College independent day and boarding school Gloucestershire
  • The top 100 pupils scored 95% A* to B
  • Over 81% achieved A* – B grades
  • 55% of pupils gained A* – A

Of the

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140 Upper Sixth cohort, 1 in 3 pupils gained at least 1 A* grade, and 90% of pupils (126) achieved an A/A* grade.

The pursuit and support of academic excellence at Cheltenham College is mirrored with 5 pupils each attaining 4 A* grades, and both sexes were winners with 3 boys and 3 girls achieving straight A* grades. All Oxbridge candidates were successful in meeting their offers, and 6 College pupils will go on to continue their studies at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Cheltenham College Headmaster Dr Alex Peterken says, “We are extremely proud of the well-deserved record A Level results, the best in College’s history. They justly reflect our pupils’ hard work and efforts, of course supported by our outstanding academic staff. Subject tutors and sixth form mentors have provided our students with excellent teaching and the academic development required in the bridge from GCSE to A Level and this has been complemented by fantastic pastoral guidance and support. This enables our sixth formers to not only gain excellent A Level results but to leave us as confident and mature young adults, ready for the next exciting chapter at university and life beyond College.”

Cheltenham College is a co-educational day and boarding school, set in stunning historic grounds in the heart of Regency Cheltenham. Alongside its Prep School housed on the same campus, it provides an excellent academic framework with outstanding co-curricular opportunities for boys and girls aged 3-18. Cheltenham College Senior School accepts entry at ages 13, 14 and Sixth Form. Scholarships and bursaries are available. Our excelling sixth form provision offers A Level students the opportunity to also pursue the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), the mini MBA, and a host of leadership, business, and community volunteering opportunities to further support UCAS applications.

See for more information

Cheltenham College independent day and boarding school Gloucestershire

Following a rigorous selection process, Cheltenham College is delighted to announce that Mrs Nicola Huggett, currently Head of Blundell’s School in Devon, will take up

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the post as Head of Cheltenham College in September 2018.

Mrs Huggett will replace current Headmaster Dr Alex Peterken, who will join Charterhouse School, Surrey, in January 2018 after ten highly successful years at College. Mr Crispin Dawson (currently Senior Deputy Head) has been appointed Acting Head between January and September 2018.

Mrs Huggett read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. After successfully completing a graduate management scheme in advertising with J Walter Thompson Ltd, she returned to Oxford to take a PGCE in History and began teaching in 1994.

From 1996 to 2007 Mrs Huggett taught Politics and History at Haileybury. She became a Housemistress in 1999 and Head of Boarding in 2005. In 2007 she was appointed as Deputy Headmistress of Downe House School in Berkshire, where she remained until her appointment to Blundell’s in 2013.

In a message to Cheltenham College parents, Mrs Huggett said:

“I am delighted to have been selected by Council to lead Cheltenham College in the next phase of its development, building on the excellent work and strong foundations laid by Alex Peterken. I know it will be a privilege to work alongside the outstanding team of staff at College and the Prep, and I look forward very much to meeting with parents, guardians and children in due course.”

Bill Straker-Nesbit, President of Cheltenham College Council said:

“The school has experienced a period of remarkable growth and progress under Dr Peterken and the field of candidates was exceptionally strong. We are thrilled that Mrs Huggett has accepted our invitation to become our next Head and we look forward to welcoming her at Cheltenham College.”

Mrs Huggett will be the first female Head at Cheltenham College, which recently celebrated its 175th birthday. The day and boarding school set in the heart of regency Cheltenham has over 1,000 pupils aged 3 – 18, and has been co-educational since 1981.

Cheltenham College Independent Gloustershire Apache Helicopter Lands At Cheltenham College

An Army Air Corps Apache helicopter landed on College Field last week, to the delight of pupils, staff and many passers-by. It was piloted by

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Old Cheltonian, Captain Olly Snell (who left in 2004), who gave Combined Cadet Force (CCF) pupils a tour of the impressive helicopter and talked to them about the capabilities of the Apache, his time at College and his subsequent career in the Army.

Pupils also took part in a rotation of leadership tasks, individual movement, controlling air frames and weapons training in an exciting activity afternoon on College Field.

Contingent Commander of the CCF, Mr Ben Rees, commented, “It was a fantastic spectacle; these events are rare given the demand for the helicopters but we were very lucky to have the support of Capt Snell and his Regiment in what has been a highlight of the year for the CCF and College as a whole.”

Designed as a tank hunter, the Apache helicopters have seen action in Afghanistan and Libya and one was once flown by Prince Harry. Their maximum speed is 330kph and they weigh 7,746kg!

Photo: Captain Olly Snell with some of the CCF pupils

Cheltenham College independent day and boarding school Gloucestershire

The Geography department welcomed the Freshwater Theatre Company into School to help Year 6 pupils discover how and why volcanoes and earthquakes occur – using

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nothing but themselves as props! The students learnt all about tectonic plates, types of volcanoes and how we can discover facts about historic eruptions using carbon dating and archaeology.

After uncovering some interesting facts to get started, Year 6 proceeded to travel to Italy, Japan, the USA, Chile and Indonesia to learn more about specific eruptions and earthquakes and how they can affect people and places – all without leaving the Assembly Hall!

Head of Geography at Cheltenham Prep, Mr Scott Newson said, “It was great to see every single child wholly immersed in this very unique workshop, which included acting out how a volcanic eruption took place and reconstructing a disaster relief operation in San Francisco. Given the amount of questions the students had by the end of the workshop, I hope that the children will now go and find out more, putting their experiences and knowledge to good use in the classroom!”

Cheltenham College independent boarding school Gloucestershire

A group of Third Formers (Year 9) have won the GCHQ and GFutures Gloucestershire Young Entrepreneurs’ Inter-Schools Competition with a design for a multifunctional helmet

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called the Helm-i.

The group, consisting of Edward Ferris, Anna Kuptsova, Gus Milton, Piers Morgan and Duncan Pinchen, were selected to represent Cheltenham College following the Dragons’ Den competition held at College earlier in the year. In the last few weeks, they have been perfecting their pitch about their product. Helm-i is a multifunctional helmet for both sport and travel, for example by cyclists, motorcyclists, and skateboarders! It integrates with your phone to make calls, play music or give directions. It also uses a voice command system (such as Siri or Cortana) and can display various information including GPS maps, on an interactive visor.

The team delivered a confident presentation and Deputy Chief Technical Officer at GCHQ and the head judge said, “This is one of the most enjoyable things I do because to see the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of the youngsters makes me really optimistic for the future.”

Cheltenham College independent boarding school Gloucestershire

Old Cheltonian Mr Mike Smith OBE visited Cheltenham College to take part in an interview-style talk for the Economics and Business Studies students. Mike recently retired as

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CEO at ANZ Bank, having previously been the President and CEO of HSBC, and is also the Chairman of the Australian Bankers’ Association. Four Lower Sixth (Year 12) students asked him questions about the causes and ramifications of the 2008 financial crash, the regulation and behavioural economics of banking, and the possible implications of Brexit on the UK financial sector.

Head of Business Studies, Dr Graham Mallard, commented, “College is immensely privileged to host the eminent Old Cheltonian, Mike Smith. It was a rare opportunity to hear from such a leading figure in the world of banking, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience of over 130 students from College, Cheltenham Ladies College and Sir Thomas Rich’s and staff.”

Mike delivered interesting and thought-provoking answers to the students’ questions, including a few about his career choices.  His overall message was to do what you enjoy and that a traditional education at Cheltenham College provides students with the experience that will help them find interest and opportunity in whatever they do.


Cheltenham College independent boarding school Gloucestershire

Two Third Formers (Year 9) from Cheltenham College, Frankie Russell and Seb Blake, were crowned national champions as their Cheltenham team won the U14 Boys

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England Hockey Championship at the Olympic Park in London. Head of Hockey, Mr Gwyn Williams, said, “This is a great achievement for Frankie and Seb and a day that they will remember for many years to come. Both boys are very committed to the hockey programme here at Cheltenham College and this is a great reward for all their time and effort they have put into their training.”

Cheltenham played three matches in the lead up to the final, winning two and drawing one. They then played Surbiton in the final, drawing 2 – 2 and winning with three penalties (flicks) to none.  Seb commented, “Playing at the Olympic Park was very special. I have been playing for Cheltenham since I was eight and we got to the national final at U12 but lost on flicks, which made the win this year that bit more significant.

Cheltenham College independent boarding school Gloucestershire

A Third Former (Year 9) from Cheltenham College, Sophie Morton, won her weight class at the English Boxing Schools and Minors Championship, where over

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140 boxers fought for a coveted pair of golden gloves. Sophie fought in five matches this season leading up to the championship and was undefeated going in to the final round.

Sophie said, “This is the highest title I could win at this stage and I am very proud of my golden gloves. My parents bought me a punch bag for my birthday two years ago for fun but they did not anticipate that I would enjoy it so much. I am one of two girls in my club but I like the challenge and breaking the stereotype.”

Sophie trains four times a week from two to three hours each time, doing a range of activities from skipping to sparring. Each session ends with either an abdominal circuit or a fitness circuit. It may be hard work but Sophie has big goals: “As the champion in England, I now have matches coming up against girls in my category from Wales and Scotland. When I win those, I will become part of Team GB and start training with them to go to international contests. My ultimate goal is Tokyo 2020.”

Cheltenham College independent day and boarding school Gloucestershire

The Upper College Society combined its most recent meeting on the topic of experience with a hilarious round of Have I Got News

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For You. The evening started with three fascinating papers. The first was by Emily Wilford (U6, W), who talked about Piero della Francesca’s The Baptism of Christ, emphasising the overlap between geometry and art in his work. Joshua Dowley (L6, L) presented a philosophy paper questioning whether God is real; this was particularly interesting because, as an atheist, he argued that God was, in fact, real. His focus on the mental/physical reality relation generated some excellent questions. The final paper by Alex Sickmueller (L6, Xt) discussed the creative genius of Beethoven and whether suffering was a necessary pathway to insight and artistic achievement. Mr McQuitty awarded Emily the prize for the best paper due to the intricate way in which she linked the two seemingly different subjects of geometry and art.

The Sixth Formers then moved on the topical news quiz in which Harry Ferris (U6, NH) chaired, while Tom Bond (U6, NH) and Ashley Yu (U6, W) fought a battle of wits against Harry Steel (U6, Xt) and Antonia Stuckey (U6, Q). Interesting news items such as the whale epidemic and Donald Trump were discussed with both insight and humour. Overall, it was a highly enjoyable evening and enjoyed by everyone who attended!

By Antonia Stuckey (U6, Q)

On Monday 13 April Cheltenham College welcomed members of the College community, dignitaries and contributors involved in the £2.5 million
refurbishment of the new Science Centre to

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a grand opening ceremony, marking the start of the Summer Term.

Guests had the chance to explore the facilities, observe pupil-led experiments and experience a short demonstration regarding the new 3m wide interactive periodic table, the largest interactive display unit of its kind in Europe. Following tours Dr Max Whitby gave a modest address, explaining a little about the landmark periodic table situated in the foyer of the Science Centre, before declaring the Science Centre officially open, much to the delight of all involved.
Over the last decade, Dr Whitby has worked in close partnership with Theodore Gray, prominent science author and co-founder of app development agency Touch Press, to develop a series of projects around science education, chemistry and particularly the periodic table of elements. This fruitful collaboration has led to the formation of RGB Research Ltd, a company dedicated to the creation of the world’s most beautiful periodic table displays – the Cheltenham College periodic table is clearly a fine example of this, displaying an array of artefacts relating to corresponding elements, along with an interactive touchscreen.

Dr Max Whitby commented: “It was an honour and a pleasure to open the new science centre at Cheltenham College. We are delighted to have created the periodic table that will welcome generations of students passing through this beautifully refurbished building. The spectacular display combines art with science, presenting the greatest organising principle of Chemistry and hopefully helping to inspire many future scientists.”

In just 9 weeks, Cheltenham College invested £2.5 million to completely transform the Science buildings both inside and out, installing cutting-edge, university standard facilities. Speaking at the launch event Ian Eggleton, Director of Building and Project Consultancy, Evans Jones, commented: “To completely refurbish the Science Centre in a 9 week period was certainly a challenge but the project team rose to this and, despite some setbacks along the way, we were open for business on the first day of term. To see the labs in use and to get such positive feedback from pupils and staff alike is very satisfying.”

John Jones, Head of Chemistry at Cheltenham College added: !“The refurbished laboratories will transform our pupils experience of practical science – they ensure that College can continue to put practical skills at the top of the science agenda.

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