St Edmund’s School Canterbury


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  • 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

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.

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School News

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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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