Monkton School


Image for Monkton School

  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Christian
  • Roll: 434 (Boys) 268 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 2 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1868

General Information

Monkton, just a mile from the World Heritage City of Bath, is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 2-18. We pride ourselves on our living Christian ethos, our strong pastoral care and excellent exam results. At Monkton, we are setting standards for life; inspiring young people to become confident, kind and ambitious adults who live fulfilling lives.



Monkton has over 100 acres of land across 2 sites which share stunning locations, grounds and facilities.

Our Senior School lies in the heart of the village of Monkton Combe. Nestling in the Midford Valley it is surrounded by rolling hills and woodland. Our Longmead Cricket ground lies near the famous Dundas aqueduct and has been voted into the top 3 most picturesque cricket grounds in the country by Wisden. The original school buildings are at the heart of the school and provide the beautiful period features and character expected of a school with such rich history. These buildings and facilities have been enhanced by developments of state-of-the-art facilities for our curricular and extra-curricular programmes. The school's facilities now include a state-of-the-art Maths and Science Centre, Music Centre and a recording studio. Art & DT facilities include a large multi-purpose exhibition area and dedicated areas for print-making, ceramics and textiles and sculpture, as well as a fully equipped darkroom and ICT suite for animation and film work.

Our Pre-Prep and Prep School can be found a mile up the hill and has the most impressive views over rolling countryside. Our Pre-Prep is housed in a brand new purpose built building where every classroom has direct access to outdoor space, there is a hall were the school can come together for assembly and chapel, a library, kitchen and messy play areas. The children also benefit from all of the facilities on the wider Prep School site, including an indoor swimming pool, a woodland adventure area, all weather Astroturf pitches, sports hall and music room.

The Prep School has year group classrooms for our younger children and dedicated subject specific classrooms, labs, studios and a theatre for specific subject areas as our pupils’ progress through the curriculum. Our oldest pupils are given leadership opportunities to develop these skills and build confidence.

Monkton has a strong sporting tradition and provides fantastic sporting facilities and opportunities for its pupils. The major games are rugby, hockey, rowing, cricket and tennis for boys and hockey, netball, rowing and tennis for girls. Other sports include athletics, badminton, basketball, football, fencing, golf, judo, squash, swimming and volleyball. The School also has extensive playing fields, an Astroturf all-weather playing area for Hockey and Tennis, boathouses on the River Avon, 3 Netball courts, 18 Tennis courts, a covered Rifle Range, a rowing tank, 2 Squash courts, a Sports Centre and a 25m indoor Swimming Centre and Fitness Centre.

We have six boarding houses at the Senior School: 4 boys', 2 girls' and a junior house at the Prep School. The Boarding ethos at Monkton is a strong part of our offering. This does not mean all pupils are boarders, nor that our provision is focused on those who are; far from it. Our day pupils benefit from the same advantages as our boarders do with sector leading pastoral care from dedicated staff, 1:1 tutoring and a full, diverse and responsive 6 day programme which allows us to cater for all interests and options from rowing to reeling, from fencing to philately.

Entrance Requirements

Nursery & Pre-Prep: visit, informal interview and a reference from a current school if appropriate.

Prep: tests in English and Mathematics, a Reasoning Test, a reference from the candidate’s current school and an interview.

Year 9 entry: When an applicant is in Year 6, we would look to obtain CAT scores if available from the candidate’s current school, invite applicants to attend an Assessment Day held in October, or June each year, and obtain a reference from the candidate’s current school.. If appropriate, an offer of a place at Monkton will then be made with a deadline for acceptance in March of Year 7. Applications for entry will be accepted outside of this timeframe, but the availability of places cannot be guaranteed.

Year 10 entry: For entry into Year 10, candidates will usually sit online CAT4 tests. A reference from the candidate's current school will be sought and an interview.

Year 12 entry: For entry into Year 12, candidates will usually sit online CAT4 tests and attend interview, where possible. A school reference will be sought. Any place then offered is subject to pupils obtaining a minimum average of 6.5 in all of the GCSE subjects taken. Please note that to study certain AS subjects, a minimum grade at GCSE in that subject may be a prerequisite.

Along with many other top independent schools in the UK, Monkton School is participating in a new entrance test called UKiset - the UK Independent Schools' Entry Test. For details, please contact the school.


Scholarships are awarded on entry to the school for candidates at Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12.

Open Days

All visits are welcome. For details, please call our Registrar Mrs Carole Heritage on 01225 721133 or email



Nursery (age 2–3): £54.63 per day. Kindergarten (age 3-4): £3,165 per term (full time). Pre-Prep Reception – Year 2: £3,165 - £3,260 per term.

Prep. Years 3 – 6. Day: £3,825 - £4,930 per term. Boarding: £7,445 - £7,725 per term. Years 7 – 8. Day: £5,570 per term. Boarding: £8,030 per term.

Senior. Years 9-11. Day: £6,470 per term. Boarding: £10,565 per term. Years 12-13. Day: £6,800 per term. Boarding: £10,845 per term.

Fees are inclusive of all costs that apply to all pupils and include meals, textbooks and transport to school fixtures - there are no hidden costs. Armed Forces and sibling discounts are available as well as a limited number of small endowment funds. Please contact the school for further details.


ISI Boarding Inspection 2014.
ISI Inspection 2016

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Christopher Wheeler

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Issy Hartnell, Registrar

Monkton School
Monkton Combe

[t]: +44 (0)1225 721133

Location Description

Monkton is just 1 mile from the City of Bath with a bus route offered from neighbouring villages and Bath Spa train station on a daily basis.

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School News

Monkton independent day and boarding school Somerset

On Tuesday 27th February, Monkton Prep School hosted the U11 and U13 County Hockey Championships for boys. With 15 teams from Bristol and Bath across

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two age groups, there was a high standard of hockey on display and goals aplenty on a day which saw sun, wind, sleet and snow challenge the players and spectators. However, Monkton’s U13 hockey team, led by Jack Webb, who also plays for Team Bath Buccaneers, came out on top of the elements and on top of the group, thanks to six wins and one loss in their eight-team round robin, beating Prior Park, KES and Kingswood among others.

Jack said, “We suffered an early defeat, so the pressure was on, but the boys stepped up, played superb hockey and won all their remaining games. We are delighted to be County Champions!” The team now goes on to play at the West Finals in late March, two days after their trip to the IAPS National Hockey Finals!

Monkton independent day and boarding school Somerset

Philosothon is a competition which seeks to increase students’ understanding of a range of philosophical issues.  It is based on the ‘community of inquiry’ model,

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which encourages students to think together to increase their understanding of a particular issue.   Each student is given a piece of stimulus material and a list of possible questions to consider.  With the help of the facilitator, students then begin a discussion based on the questions arising from the stimulus material.  Conversation must flow and tangents are permitted.  The aim is not to ‘get through’ the list of possible questions, but to use them as a springboard for spontaneous discussion, and ultimately for the advancement of philosophical inquiry.

Following on from our successful Inter-House Philosothon competition in January, which was won by Farm House for the second consecutive year, a Monkton team was selected from the two highest scoring students from each year group.  On Tuesday 23rd January, the team, accompanied by Mrs Chillcott and Mr Carter, competed in the Philosothon UK competition at King’s College, Taunton.

Students competed in four communities of inquiry, scoring points for themselves and their school.  The first two communities were grouped according to age, whilst the last two were mixed-age communities.  Monkton students competed admirably, often holding their own with students significantly older than them, discussing topics as varied as the legalisation of drugs, whether animals can feel pain, and how the Arab lore of the camel’s nose can be of use in the euthanasia debate!

The competition was judged by a number of academics from universities nationwide, including the University of Oxford.  At his summing up of the event, Mark Smith, the event organiser, praised the high standards of all those taking part and noted that the future of Philosophy looks promising.  Our Monkton team did incredibly well, coming away in second place – and missing out on first place by only 7 marks.  The minibus ride home was full of continued philosophical debate, much to the delight of Mrs Chillcott and Mr Carter.  Well done to all involved in this significant achievement for Monkton.

Mrs Rhian Chillcott

Head of Theology, Philosophy & Ethics

Monkton independent day and boarding school Somerset

Monkton School has been rated as ‘excellent’ in the latest inspection report issued today by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (9th February 2017).

The Senior School was

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closely scrutinised in December 2016 by a team of five highly experienced inspectors over four days. As well as being judged fully compliant against all DfE regulations, the Educational Quality Inspection defined both pupils’ academic achievement and their personal development as ‘excellent’, the highest achievable grade.

The report highlights the academic ability of Monkton pupils for being consistently above the national average at GCSE, with pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding across a wide range of subjects also being excellent. This reinforces the outstanding GCSE results of recent years with Monkton comfortably in the top 100 independent schools in 2016.

Inspectors were full of praise for Monkton students with the report stating that pupils “are lively, hardworking and self-aware, responding enthusiastically to the academic and non-academic challenges available to them.”

The school’s leadership team and teaching staff were also highlighted with the report noting that, “Pupils thrive as a result of high-quality leadership and management which ensure that the school is highly successful in fulfilling its aim to provide a high-quality education in a distinctive boarding school environment.”

The inspection also praised the school’s extra-curricular activities saying “high levels of success are achieved, most particularly in sport, drama and music. Initiatives such as the ‘Team Monkton’ elite extension activities programme ensure that the best athletes are continually encouraged to reach for greater success.”

Monkton is based just a mile outside of Bath in Combe Down and Monkton Combe. It is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 2-18. Monkton will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2018 and, like many public schools, boasts an illustrious alumni including Olympic Gold medallists,  members of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition, the curator of TED Talks,  Chris Anderson, and the former Head of the British Secret Intelligence Service Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE.

Parents at the Senior School were also asked for their views by the School Inspectors. The report found that

“Almost all felt that the teaching enables their children to make good progress and develop skills for the future, that the school is well governed, led and managed.”

Monkton’s Principal Chris Wheeler said, “We are delighted to receive such a positive report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate. It is a real pleasure to see that the inspectors have recognised the many strengths that Monkton has. Whilst exam results have placed us in the top 20 co-ed boarding schools in the country and Oxbridge offers make us highly competitive with other Rugby group schools, none of those statistics really speak to what a special place Monkton is; only our pupils can do that.”

“This report confirms that our pupils are not only highly successful academically where their, ‘achievement is boosted by consistently strong focus on learning skills’, but also confirms that ‘boarding and day pupils are fully integrated’, and pupils, ‘have extremely well developed personalities for their age’.


Photo: Monkton Principal Chris Wheeler with Senior School pupils Jennifer Dickson, Alec Saint and Max Martindale

Monkton independent day and boarding school Somerset

Ben Garrod, Year 13 student at Monkton, was appointed to umpire at the Investec U14 National championship for girls hockey which was held at the

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Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, located on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which was host to the 2012 games.

Ben umpired 3 of the pool games did such a fantastic job he was selected to umpire the National Final between Surbiton High School and St Georges, Weybridge. The final was a really close game and ended up going to a penalty stroke competition which Surbiton High won 4-1.

We’re lucky that Ben has his skills honed by umpiring some of the games at Monkton.

Photo: Ben umpiring a recent match at Monkton vs Clayesmore

Great news on the creative arts front as two of our Year 13 pupils receive offers from Central St Martins and top animation colleges Kingston

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Uni and Bournemouth. Over the last few years, this makes a total of 10 pupils from Monkton to study at Central St Martins, widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading colleges of art.

Art and DT have always attracted a large uptake, with two-thirds of recent GCSE pupils studying at least one of Art, Photography or DT. These pupils and those studying A Levels have enjoyed significant and consistent success. As well as Central St Martins, pupils have been successful in securing places at London College of Fashion, Goldsmiths and Bristol Old Vic. These places have, without exception, been pupils’ first choices. This is quite an achievement when there is such stiff competition for these high calibre colleges.

We now have A Level textiles in the curriculum and the recently built Basson Art and Design Centre to further support the creative arts at Monkton.

On Thursday 17th March on near perfect conditions on the Championship course of the Thames from Chiswick to Putney the Monkton First Eight took on

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all in the Schools Head of the river. This was such a good experience for the crew to not only to race all the large school crews but also to race on the Tidal Thames where epic battles such as the Boat Race, the Head and the Wingfields run over. Some argue that rowing was developed from the trading boats rowing out to the larger ships in harbour in order to gain the best of the cargo. This has then continued into the racing we see today.

Today 360 crews from year 13 to year 11 took on the challenge which is 8km on a river around 150m wide, very different from training on the Avon. Crews were set off in interval gaps of between 15 and 30 seconds. Some crews were hammering it off the start only to find after 2-3mins they were running out of steam. After a steady start the crew settled into a good solid rhythm and this enabled Philippa who was coxing to concentrate not only on technical calls, encouraging calls but also steering which is paramount to this race. If the crew move more than 3m from the fast water this could be whole seconds being lost just for the time that they are out of the stream.

In the First Eights section Monkton finished 18th which is a end to the head season but certainly shows that more work needs to be done. They finished just ahead of West country rivals Bryanston and Canford school.

It was a fantastic day for all the crew and they really enjoyed the experience. The rowing squad now go on a training camp for 10 days to enable them to enter the regatta season, of side by side racing.

Louis Shaw
Josh Davis
David Palmer
Will Bernard
Martin Ninov
Max Leflaive-Manley
Guy Hooper
Henry Pope
Philippa Hood

Following the appointment of Richard Backhouse to be Principal of the Berkhamsted Schools Group from January 2016, Monkton’s Governors have conducted an extensive interview process

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to recruit his successor and are now delighted to announce the appointment of Christopher Wheeler as Principal of Monkton Combe School from January 2016.

Mr Wheeler was educated at Winchester College and has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from Durham and a PGCE from Bristol University.  He began his career teaching English at St.John’s, Leatherhead, where he became a Head of Department; then he moved to Peponi School, Kenya, as Deputy Head (Registrar), Boarding Housemaster and Head of English and Drama.  Returning to the UK he became a Housemaster at Brighton College and then Head of St Christopher’s, Hove, part of the Brighton College family of schools.  He is currently Principal and CEO of Hillcrest International School, Nairobi, Kenya.

On his appointment to Monkton, he said “It is very exciting to be taking on the mantle of leadership at Monkton and working with the governors, senior team, staff, parents and pupils and other stakeholders, I look forward to being part of the continuing story of Monkton, ensuring the schools’ continued improvement, growth and success.”

Chair of Governors, Stephen Baldock commented “Monkton attracted an outstanding field of highly qualified candidates, among whom Chris Wheeler was our unanimous choice. He has the skills and experience to build on the School’s excellence and to develop it further.

Mr Wheeler is married and has three children; the family will move to Monkton in December this year.


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