St Edmund’s School Canterbury


Image for St Edmund’s School Canterbury

  • Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 314 (Boys) 244 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 3 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1749

Open Days

Open days are listed on our website or to book an individual visit please contact



Senior School (ages 13 – 18): Full boarding £11,656; Weekly boarding £10,865; Day – Years 9 to 13 £6,822. All per term.

Junior School (ages 7 – 13): Full boarding (from age 11) £8,876; Weekly boarding (from age 11) £8,089; Choristers £7,809; Day – Years 3 -8 £5,032 - £5,198. All per term.

Pre-Prep School (ages 3 – 7): Reception class – Year 2 £3,130 - £3,618 per term.

Nursery (full time)*: £2,549 per term. Nursery (individual session)*: Morning £22.51 per session; Morning incl. lunch £32.15 per session; Full day incl. lunch £45.01 per session

School Contact Details

St Edmund’s School Canterbury
St Thomas Hill

[t]: 01227 475601

Location Description

This historic school is set on a beautiful site overlooking the vibrant city of Canterbury and its cathedral and benefits from excellent road and rail links to London and airports in the South East.

To send an email to the school please fill in your details below and add a short message. If you are requesting a prospectus to be sent to you please include your postal address.

  • At UK Independent Schools Directory we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide the services you have requested.

School News

St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The ensemble of 10 actors received a standing ovation on the last night of the St Edmund’s School production of J. B. Priestley’s Time and

view more

the Conways.

The appreciative audience included Karen Goaman, J.B. Priestley’s granddaughter, and Luke Goaman-Dodson, his great grandson.  Mr Goaman-Dodson commented, “I was extremely impressed with Mark Sell’s production of Time and the Conways. The quality and scale of the play were far beyond what one would normally expect from a school play. The young cast were superb, and proved adept at portraying characters much older than their own years.”

This was a powerful and demanding drama and in spite of the wonderful attention to period detail in the setting and costumes, the stage, ultimately, left its players nowhere to hide.  The dialogue and its delivery were all the cast had to sustain the audience’s attention.

It was a stunning production and testament to Director of Drama Mark Sell’s vision, not to mention the faith he invested in his actors, that the drama’s technical demands – ageing the cast twenty years between Acts I and II, then rejuvenating it between II and III – and the mature theatrical sensitivity required of the pupils was hardly noticeable.  It was accomplished without strain and to the highest of professional standards.  It came off so smoothly, so vividly, that the audience knew it was witness to something very rare and very special.  To read the full review, please go to

St Edmund’s School has an enviable reputation for Performing Arts and is fortunate to have such a talented and experienced team in the Drama department, including a former RADA coach. To find out about drama scholarships and opportunities please call 01227 475601 or see the website


Picture caption: The Conway siblings (Milly Sherwin, Seb Coleman, Rebecca Roberts, Ellisa Walker-Reid)  in happy times



St Edmund's School Canterbury Kent Independent St Edmund’s celebrates record-breaking results

Pupils at St Edmund’s School Canterbury are today celebrating a record-breaking set of GCSE results. Almost all subjects now follow the more challenging new GCSE

view more

specifications, and our pupils have earned some outstanding outcomes:

  • 44% of entries achieved Grades 9-7 (the equivalent of A*-A)
  • 23 pupils achieved at least one Grade 9
  • 10 pupils achieved 4 or more Grade 9s
  • 10 pupils achieved an average of Grade 8 or better
  • In Drama, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Music, Latin and French over 2/3 of entries achieved Grade 7 or better
  • The overall pass rate (Grades 9-4) was 90%
  • Three pupils who were identified as part of our Gifted and Talented Programme as writers of great potential also achieved excellent grades in AS Level English Language which they took this year alongside their GCSEs

Head, Edward O’Connor, said: “We are delighted with this outstanding set of results. Our pupils and teachers have worked incredibly hard to meet the challenges of the reformed GCSE syllabi over the last two years. Today demonstrates that their tireless efforts have paid off. To achieve a record-breaking 44% A*-A grades this year, including a high number of coveted “9” grades is a tremendous achievement. We are very proud of this talented year group and look forward to working with them again in the Sixth Form.”

Matilda who achieved a remarkable eight Grade 9s, two Grade 8s and a Grade 7 said:

“I feel incredibly happy right now. The school has been so supportive. I did work hard and with the school’s help I think I got the results I deserved. After A-levels I am hoping to go university – this is a good start.”

St Edmund's School Canterbury Independent Kent St Edmund's School A-Level Exam Results

Students at St Edmund’s School Canterbury are celebrating some outstanding A-Level performances.

Despite the challenges posed by the reformed linear A-Level qualifications, the school’s overall pass

view more

rate was 97% with the number of A* and A grades increasing by 2% from last year.

There were a large number of notable individual achievements throughout the year group, with most students achieving or outperforming their predicted grades.

Students have won places at elite universities and medical schools including Cambridge, LSE, UCL, Bath, Exeter and Warwick.

15% of the year group achieved the equivalent of straight A’s or better at A-Level with many attaining the coveted A* grade across a range of subjects.

We also experienced tremendous success with the Extended Project Qualification (an assessed research project with AS Level status). 73% of entries achieved A*-A grades and three projects were described as “exceptional” by the exam board.

The Head of St Edmund’s School Canterbury, Edward O’Connor, said “I am extremely proud of the excellent results achieved by our outgoing Upper Sixth. They are a richly talented year group and these results are a fitting reward for their hard work and commitment and the outstanding support provided by our dedicated teaching staff. We wish the Class of 2018 every success as they move on to the next exciting stage of their lives and thank them for the wonderful contribution they have made to the school.”

Photo: Celebrating their exam success: Megan Curtis, Charles Bourne, Isra Jalaly, George Turner

St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Fred Rupp from Middle Fifth has been selected, after successful audition, as one of the Glyndebourne Junior

view more

Artists. He is one of the eight successful singers and is the youngest of the three male singers in the group! This is a fabulous achievement and we look forward to hearing more from him soon.  The scheme is open annually to singers in the local area aged between 14 and 19 and they receive specialist training including voice, language, music, drama and movement.  Very well done Fred!

Spencer Payne, Director of Music

St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

St Edmund’s School Canterbury new Academic Hub officially opened Wednesday this week, heralding an exciting new phase in the school’s future.

Opened by former Chair of

view more

Governors, Michael Terry, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, pupils, staff and friends of St Edmund’s, the £2 million building is the first of two phases of development. Alongside wide refurbishment of existing facilities across the school’s estate, this independent school is improving its already inspirational learning space for pupils.

St Edmund’s School Canterbury is the largest it has been since it was founded in 1749, with pupils from across the world and the local area, attending as boarders or day pupils. The school aims for its pupils to achieve the very highest standards they can, and the Academic Hub is demonstration of the school’s investment in its pupils, their academic careers and their futures.

The Academic Hub, designed by award-winning architects Hazle McCormack Young and built by BBS Construction, is sympathetic to the beauty of the school’s central Grade II listed building, marrying tradition and modernity. Phase 1 of the hub holds seven light and spacious new classrooms, some with views of the school’s beautiful grounds and the historical city of Canterbury.

Former Chair of Governors, Michael Terry FCA, opened the Hub in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Cllr Mrs Rosemary Doyle and Lady Mayoress Mrs Jenny Yonge, teachers, pupils, parents and friends of the school. Mr Terry said it was his privilege and pleasure to be part of the team supporting the school’s progress.

Head of St Edmund’s, Louise Moelwyn-Hughes, said “We want our pupils to be the best they can be and a wonderful learning environment supports them achieving that. Our investment in the school is a direct investment in our remarkable pupils and their futures. Our pupils and staff deserve these fantastic facilities which sit perfectly with St Edmund’s first class education.”

Phase 2 of the Academic Hub will include the construction of 15 additional classrooms around a central courtyard, and additional disability provisions, including a lift to serve the Hub’s upper floors.

As well as the construction of the Academic Hub, St Edmund’s has a programme of refurbishment for its facilities. After a tour of the Hub, guests joined Mrs Moelwyn-Hughes for the official opening of the school’s theatre. Chic and stylish, from its lobby to its comfortable tiered seating, the 400- seat auditorium is a space that truly befits the excellent drama and music productions that the school is renowned for.

The theatre refurbishment was made possible by a generous gift from a former pupil, now friend, of the school, and their family. St Edmund’s music and drama facilities and achievements are some of the very best in the country, and the theatre is central to the provision of performing arts teaching.

Chris Nickols, Chair of Governors, described the event as an exciting day for St Edmund’s and its pupils, both current and future. “Today is the first of a number of significant dates in the school’s history. It represents the beginning of our ambitions; a project of development that demonstrates our commitment and confidence of St Edmund’s as a school. “

Mr Nickols spoke of Soaring Beyond, the school’s campaign to raise funds to meet additional development ambitions, where online donations can be made at

Mr Nickols concluded by thanking everyone for supporting St Edmund’s pupils to achieve their very best.


St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

Following a thorough and comprehensive selection process, the Governors of St Edmund’s School Canterbury are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Edward O’Connor as

view more

the school’s new Head from September 2018.

Edward has been Deputy Head at St Edmund’s since 2013 and is currently Acting Head of the Junior School. During his time at St Edmund’s, Edward has had particular responsibility for teaching and learning, staff development and the curriculum.

He succeeds Mrs Louise Moelwyn-Hughes who has provided the school with seven years of outstanding and inspirational leadership. Louise has recently been appointed Master of Marlborough College and will leave at the end of the summer term 2018.

“We are delighted that Edward O’Connor has accepted the appointment,” said Michael Terry, Chairman of the Governors of St Edmund’s School. “He has already brought many qualities to the School, and we are very pleased that this appointment will also bring welcome continuity in terms of our development and teaching plans for the future. I know that we could not have selected anyone who would do more for the education of the pupils in our care.”

Edward O’Connor read History at Peterhouse, Cambridge. This was followed by an MPhil in International Relations at Jesus College, Oxford.   Edward then worked for five years in the international financial sector in London.  He left the City in 2000 and switched careers to teaching. Edward has worked in four leading independent schools as a teacher of History and Politics, an academic Head of Department and a Director of Sixth Form. In 2012, he completed an MEd in Educational Leadership and School Improvement at his previous employer, The Perse Upper School in Cambridge.

He has also enjoyed success as a published author of four novels and is a keen sportsman.  In his youth, he represented Hertfordshire as an athlete, rowed competitively at university and has played football for a variety of teams.  His daughters Esme and Isabel are currently pupils at St Edmund’s and his wife Jude is a member of the Student Welfare Team at the University of Kent.

Edward O’Connor said, “I feel privileged to be taking over as Head of St Edmund’s School at this exciting stage in its evolution.  When I arrived here five years ago, I immediately fell in love with the school’s family spirit, its outstanding pastoral care and its commitment to nurturing the individual talents of pupils. St Edmund’s is a dynamic and vibrant institution and I look forward to working with all members of the school community to develop an exciting vision for the future.”

St Edmund’s is an historic independent co-educational day and boarding school located in beautiful grounds on the outskirts of Canterbury.  The school has an excellent academic record and is also particularly renowned for music, drama, art and sport. St Edmund’s currently educates approximately 600 pupils between the ages of three to eighteen, including the choristers of Canterbury Cathedral.

The current Head, Mrs Moelwyn-Hughes, commented “Edward will prove an outstanding Head of St Edmund’s School.  He is much loved by this community and is the perfect person to lead the school into the next exciting period in its long history.”


Photo: Edward O’Connor



St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

“Oliver!”, one of the most beloved British musicals, came to the stage in Canterbury in December.  St Edmund’s School proudly presented this show for all

view more

the family, vividly bringing to life Dickens’ timeless characters with its ever-popular story of the boy who asked for more.

Always pursuing innovation the directors put a new spin on the look and feel of this production and were inspired by the dark works of Tim Burton.  The design and style of this Oliver were simply stunning and took St Edmund’s theatrical productions to new heights.

“Oliver!” is, of course, a musical and so the treats kept coming thick and fast: solos interspersed with some outstanding cast numbers.  The early morning street sellers who open “Who will buy?” were particularly strong but there were many memorable performances, not least Nancy’s demanding “As long as he needs me” and Fagin’s “Reviewing the situation”.  Full company numbers presented an opportunity to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the school’s talent and we were not disappointed with the sensational singing and choreography.  This production will stay in the audiences’ memory for many years to come.

St Edmund’s School has an enviable reputation for the highest standard of drama where its critically acclaimed productions such as Animal Farm, Twelfth Night and Cinderella have brought West End style theatre to Canterbury.  Directed, choreographed and produced by theatre professionals including former RADA teacher, Howard Sykes, audiences are always in for a treat when they see a show at St Edmund’s.


St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

After competition success with a small equestrian team last year, St Edmund’s School in Canterbury has opened up this opportunity to all its pupils and

view more

now has a team of 20 enthusiastic show jumpers ranging from age 13 – 18. With the sponsorship by HRP Equestrian, creators of the revolutionary wing saddle pads, the team is kitted out and ready to compete in the season’s first event .

The team’s captain, Anna Bromley from Charing, said “I’m really excited to be able to represent the school in show jumping events around the country.”

As one of Canterbury’s leading schools, St Edmund’s is proud of its strong sports provision offered to all its pupils age 3 – 18 and encourages pupils to access the excellent facilities and enjoy the instruction of our expert coaches.  The school seeks to engender a love of sport and an appreciation of the skill and commitment needed to be a strong sportsman or woman – whether an enthusiastic novice or an accomplished sports scholar.



St Edmund's Canterbury Independent Kent St Edmund’s Festival ends in style

Hundreds of families and friends enjoyed the week-long inaugural St Edmund’s Festival. The aim was to deliver a summer arts festival for the St Edmund’s

view more

School community and the people of Canterbury; one that celebrated the expressive arts in fine style and provided something for everyone, of all ages. All events in the diverse programme sold out and received overwhelmingly positive comments and reviews – a most definite sign of success!

From sensational guest musicians, Freddy Kempf, Matt Ford and the Close to You Ensemble, The Tippett Quartet, the Derek Nash Quartet and Louise Marshall, who all received standing ovations, to pupil concerts, Shakespeare, poetry, cabaret, a journey around the world with St Ed’s young singers, a Mad Hatter’s tea party, art exhibition – and not forgetting the astounding firework display that provided a fitting end to this very special week at St Edmund’s, there were some truly memorable moments during this ‘Festival on a Hill’ (Dan Simpson’s commissioned poem encapsulated the ambience perfectly).

More importantly, and at the heart of the Festival, was that St Edmund’s pupils had the wonderful opportunity to showcase their own talents and watch, listen and play alongside some world-class performers.

Festival organisers are delighted to announce that the second St Edmund’s Festival will take place in the summer of 2018 (27 June – 3 July).

For more information see

Photo: The firework finale lit the skies of Canterbury

St Edmund's School Canterbury Independent Kent A Wonderful End To The Year

Following the splendid inaugural St Edmund’s Festival which was a true celebration of the arts for the whole community, the pupils at St Edmund’s School

view more

Canterbury celebrated the end of another academic year with traditional Prize Giving events. The Head of Pre-Prep, the Head of Junior School and the Head of Senior School praised all pupils aged 3 – 18 on their achievements and successes over the past year from top academic results to winning sports results, from sell-out drama productions to incredible talent in art and design

On the Senior School Prize Giving Day, the Head of St Edmund’s, Louise Moelwyn-Hughes, gave her report on the year and reaffirmed the school’s values.

“This school remains true to its ethos from centuries back of valuing respectfulness, kindness, meritocracy, but it increasingly steps beyond that by challenging itself and seeking to be something different. Aspiration is now core in this school and pupils and staff constantly push beyond; challenge themselves to ‘be all they can be’.”

She went on to review that “2016-17 has been a wonderful year for St Edmund’s. We proudly assert that this is an academic school which attracts the most able pupils from the local area and internationally. The school broke all previous recruitment records last week by hitting a new century in recruiting its 600th pupil which makes St Edmund’s the largest it has been in its 268 year history.”

Mrs Moelwyn-Hughes was pleased to also look ahead and announced “The first phase of a new academic hub will open in January 2018 with further phases to come – these buildings will be made to last and will be sympathetic to the architectural beauty of the school’s central Grade 2 listed building. This next exciting phase in the school’s history will see this generation make its mark on the site for centuries to come. That marrying of tradition and modernity is something that has become a mark of St Edmund’s.”

St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

34 Extended Project Qualification students spent two days at the University of Kent this week receiving skills training, and conducting individual research, in preparation for

view more

their projects which they will research and write up over the summer break.  Pupils also took the opportunity to discuss their projects on a one-to-one basis with current PhD students who said they were very impressed with the range of topics chosen as well as the pupils themselves, who were both attentive and motivated.

The EPQ develops qualities which are highly prized by universities, such as time management, organisation, independent research skills and the ability to write what amounts to half a university dissertation.

Anne Gunn, Co-ordinator of the Extended Project Qualification

Phot: University of Kent

St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

On the 28th June, the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, came to the school to dedicate a new stained-glass window installed above

view more

the entrance doorway to the chapel.  It has been designed by Tim Gill, and given to the school by Tim and his brother Philip, in memory of their father, the Rev Christopher Gill (Foundationer 1942-45, Captain of School 1945-46, and School Chaplain 1960-76).

Bishop Trevor preached on Matthew 5.14-16 (“You are the light of the world”) and the Cathedral Choristers sang Howard Goodall’s setting of ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’.  Senior School pupils and staff were joined by friends of the school, many of whom knew Mr Gill.

This window is a stunning addition to our school chapel; something of great beauty that greets the eye both as we enter and leave the chapel each day.

St Edmund's, Canterbury independent school Kent

The pupils and staff of St Edmund’s School are celebrating some terrific A level results, with many notable achievements to be proud of.

Head, Louise Moelwyn-Hughes,

view more

said “I congratulate most wholeheartedly our wonderful outgoing Upper Sixth year group and their teachers on the enormous effort that they have put into their academic work over the last two years. I’m delighted that all of our Oxbridge and Yale candidates secured their places and that so many of our pupils will now progress to their universities and courses of choice”.

St Edmund's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The pupils at St Edmund’s School Canterbury celebrated the end of another academic year in many ways including a triathlon, the annual Art and Design

view more

Exhibition, an array of musical concerts, a Summer Ball and culminating with Speech and Prize Giving events.  The Head of Pre-Prep, the Head of Junior School and the Head of Senior School praised all pupils aged 3 – 18 on their achievements and successes over the past year from academic results to sports results,  from sell-out drama productions to public art exhibitions.

At the Senior School Prize Giving presentation, the Head of St Edmund’s, Louise Moelwyn-Hughes, gave her report on the year and took the opportunity to remind the audience of the school’s principal features:

“Grade 2 listed buildings it may have, a history which stretches back to 1749, a commitment to good old fashioned values and an appreciation of a religious heritage.  But equally importantly it is an inherently forward looking, aspirational, flexible and ever-changing community.  As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, ‘hodos ano kato’ – ‘the way up and the way down are one and the same’.”

She then went on to announce  that “Today the school is the largest it has been in its 267 year history, with pupil numbers in both day and boarding continuing to burgeon and waiting lists for GCSE and A level subjects proving the order of the day. “

Amidst the distribution of prizes, the guests enjoyed contributions from pupils: an entertaining medley from the cast of ‘I’ve Got No Strings’, stunning solo performances from Emily Hopper on harp and Timon Staehler on piano, and finally a heartfelt speech from School Captain, Bella Ford, about her school years at St Edmund’s.


Photo: Senior School Prize Winners


St Edmund's canterbury independent school Kent

When reviewing a show this good, it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ll keep it simple and start at the beginning. “Once upon a time

view more

there was a piece of wood”… Everyone knows the story of Pinnochio but it has never been told quite like this. Mark Sell and Howard Sykes re-imagining of the Disney classic as physical theatre “in the round” was as ambitious as it was brilliant. Energetic and superbly executed, the show mixed extraordinary physicality, slick choreography and an ensemble performance of staggering professionalism.

We are blessed with a uniquely talented group of young actors at St Edmund’s.  Mark Sell’s direction enabled them to showcase their incredible range of individual abilities without ever losing the sense that this it was essentially an ensemble production. The commitment and focus of the cast was faultless as they motored through a complex and challenging show.   They acted, danced, sung and delivered original physical comedy to a remarkably high standard. And the level never dropped, not for a moment.

The visual impact was amazing: clever staging (and no doubt intensive rehearsal) delivered fluid movement, seamless transitions and a spectacular range of facial expressions. Lisa Jayn Gordon’s choreography, as always, was highly imaginative and demanding and underpinned some thumpingly good ensemble performances. A very polished Sykes script crackled with wit and invention.  It was also “a little bit naughty” – don’t think I didn’t notice! For once Mr Swatman wasn’t naughty but his musical direction was as masterly as ever. And hats off to Marie Florence for her amazing costume designs: imagining (fragrant) “Vagrant Mick” as a Jack Sparrow-Miami Vice mash-up was inspired.

To single out individual performances from such a talented and integrated company almost seems to be missing the point. However, Rebecca Roberts was breathtakingly brilliant as Pinnochio, giving us comedy, sensitivity, vocal power and control with effortless ease. “Am I an actor now?” she asks at one point.  Absolutely. Timon Staehler gave an assured and witty interpretation of Jiminy Cricket and can now add Swegway driving to his remarkable array of talents. Milly Sherwin as Vagrant Mick scared the living daylights out of me with her ferocious characterization and vocal chord ripping aggression. I LOVED Seb Coleman and Ellie Walker-Reid as the comedy double act of Frederick the Fox and Cuthbert the Cat; their synchronicity and comic timing was outstanding. Nic Yanni gave us convincing and thoughtful portrayal of Gepetto and Isabelle  Matharu’s “When you wish upon a star” showcased her extraordinary singing voice perfectly. Sophie Hopkin’s booming, exuberant Vermicelli was also very memorable, not least for sporting a comedy belly of Deputy Head proportions.

Drawing all these elements together must have been a massive challenge and I salute Aimee Walker-Reid’s sterling work as the show’s producer: a triumphant swansong. Finally, my congratulations go to Mr Sell, the puppet master himself, for giving us a fantastic way to end the school year.

When reviewing a show this good, it’s also hard to know how to finish. So I’ll leave the cast and crew with just one word. “Respect”.

Ed O’Connor, Deputy Head

School website design: Innermedia