The Leys School


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Methodist
  • Roll: 330 (Boys) 230 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 11 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1875

General Information

Set in the centre of the beautiful and stimulating city of Cambridge, one of the world’s leading cultural and academic cities, our unique location allows our pupils unrivalled opportunities to achieve the exceptional.  Our added-value in academic progress is among the most impressive in the country, and the range of creative, cultural and sporting opportunities is breath-taking.

We are rightly proud of our pupils’ achievements, both in the classroom and outside it, but the greatest pride we have is in the pupils themselves. They are our greatest achievement.


The Leys is a Methodist foundation. The School Chapel, a Grade II listed building, is one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, offering pupils a restful haven from the busy demands of the school day. Regular services are held during the week and on Sundays, enabling plenty of opportunity for prayer. The School Chaplain is always on site

Art is based around a large, purpose built, light filled studio. Pupils have access to a ceramics room, printmaking studio, specialist library and the Upper Sixth enjoy their own studio spaces on the mezzanine level. For Design Technology there are two large multimedia workshops and a design room. Extensive equipment allows for challenging projects to be made in wood, metal and plastics. We have a purpose-built state-of-the-art Theatre and Performing Arts Centre and fully equipped Language Laboratory. The Music School plays a vibrant and central role in the life of The Leys, running a wide variety of extra-curricular ensembles in which pupils are actively encouraged to participate.These include the larger ensembles such as the Chapel Choir, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Wind Band and String Orchestra; and smaller ensembles including String Quartets, Flute Choir, Jazz Band, Brass Group, Clarinet Group and Guitar Group.

The Sports Centre has a large sports hall with sprung wooden floor, a weights and cardiovascular gym, a projectile range with indoor cricket nets, three glass-back squash courts, an aerobics area and the PE classroom. Outside sports facilities include a full size floodlit astro-turf pitch which provides the base for invasion games and converts to twelve tennis courts in the summer, a 25-metre heated indoor swimming pool which is fully equipped for competitive swimming, water polo and canoe polo. Everyone takes part in sport, whether as a member of a team in hockey, rugby, swimming or netball, perhaps - or individually, in areas like trampolining, squash or aerobics. We also have a professional dance studio, 50 acres of sports fields and a purpose built boat house.

The majority of Leysians are boarders in our 11 boarding houses. Some pupils at The Leys take advantage of our 'home boarding' facility where pupils sleep at home yet participate fully in daily school life. Pupils eat supper in School, as well as complete their prep and evening activities, so in effect they participate almost fully in the daily routine yet remain in close contact with their families.

Outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, climbing and orienteering are on offer. The Combined Cadet Force and Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme provide worthwhile challenges of a different sort.

Entrance Requirements

11+ and 13+: English, Mathematics and Reasoning (verbal, non-verbal and spatial), current school report.

16+: at least five passes at GCSE at Grade B or above, and at least Grade C in Maths and English. Grade B pass at GCSE is almost invariably the minimum requirement for starting an A Level subject; Grade A is preferred. Current school report.


Scholarships are available for entry to The Leys at 11+, 13+ or Sixth Form. Please contact the school for details.

Open Days

2019. Sixth Form Choices Evening: Thurs. 26th September. 11+ and 13+ Entry: Sat. 5th October.

2020. Sat. 8th February and Sat. 25th April

Please contact the Admissions Team at or +44 (0)1223 508904 to book.


2018/2019. Years 7 and 8: Day £5300 per term, Boarding £8000 per term.

Years 9 - 13. Day £7345 per term, Boarding £10975 per term, Home Boarding £8255 per term.


ISI Inspection 2014
ISI Inspection 2018

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Martin Priestley

The Leys School
Trumpington Road

[t]: 01223 508904
[f]: 01223 505303

Location Description

50 acre site in the heart of historic Cambridge.

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School News

The Leys independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

Nine pupils from The Leys joined others from around the UK and as far away as Jordan and Saudi Arabia for the annual Model United

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Nations conference at Haileybury College.

The event was one of the largest MUN conferences in the country. Young people assumed the role of diplomats, debating global issues and developing public speaking and problem-solving skills.

This year’s theme was:  “Making Progress?” It was chosen to reflect the fact that, while the international community has made great progress in some areas, there remain seemingly interminable problems as well as new challenges and threats. Topics under discussion included neurotechnology and human rights, the fall of globalism in More Economically Developed Countries (MECDs) and the throwaway culture.

Other activities included the production of daily editions of the MUNdayTimes newspaper, an Act of Observance, and a delegates’ disco.

The Leys delegates are pictured before their departure for the conference with Sarah Byrne,  International Support teacher.

The Leys independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

The Leys Chapel Choir sang Evensong in the magnificent setting of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The 32-strong choir also performed the Gloucester Service by Herbert Howells and

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the anthem was Beati Quorum Via by C.V. Stanford.

Max Kenworthy, Director of Music, said: “The choir responded well to the building and adapted to the acoustics with great professionalism. They gave a first-rate performance of some challenging repertoire which was enjoyed by a sizeable congregation, including a large number of parents, staff and OLs.”

The Leys independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

Sixth-formers Sarah D (U6) and Tommy H (L6) were chosen to introduce the fourth and final lecture in the month-long Cambridge Climate Change series, held

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at Trinity College.

CCLS is an annual event organised by residents of the city and staff and students from the University of Cambridge. The aim is to link key thinkers with as wide an audience as possible. Although many speakers are experts, non-scientific speakers from a range of social and political backgrounds are involved in the hope of bringing new angles to tackling climate change. The lectures are live-streamed to broaden accessibility.

Sarah and Tommy welcomed to the stage Rosemary “Ro” Randall from the Climate Psychology Alliance. She talked about the strong feelings climate change evokes and how to have meaningful discussions on a subject that can lead to feelings of anger, avoidance or disbelief.

The Leys has been very involved in this year’s CCLS, running workshops for its own pupils and other schools in the area on themes under discussion in the lectures. For example, the Healthy Planet Cambridge Schools’ Workshop gave pupils an opportunity to discuss “Food, Health and Climate Change” ahead of a lecture on the environmental impact of food by Joseph Poore from the University of Oxford. Leys pupils also attended the lecture series, which featured major figures such as Sir David King,  former Governmental Chief Scientific Advisor, and  James Lovelock , the thinker behind the  Gaia hypothesis which postulates that the Earth functions as a self-regulating system.

The Leys School independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

Young scientists had the opportunity to develop their own research topics and present their findings at the Peter Watson Awards.

Peter Watson (OL), who died last

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year, was a distinguished and pioneering ophthalmologist. He endowed annual prizes “for unusual observations; innovative thinking; constructive development of ideas and problem solving in any of the fields of science.”

The competition was open to pupils from all year groups. The winner was Natsuki Omori R (L6) for The Trajectory of a Water Rocket. Runners-up were: Jake O’K and Kitty L (Y11) for An investigation into the Sympathetic Vibration of String Instruments. Third Prize went to Alex W (Y10) for his study, How Cohesive is Water?

The subjects explored were diverse and fascinating. Tiana I (Y7) examined What is the Optimal Temperature for Soil Bacteria to Grow? Sarah B (Y9) looked at How Can Colour Affect Taste? The Correlation between Sight and Taste. Thomas P (Y9) gave a presentation on Entropy in the Fourth Dimension and Rory W (Y10) considered How Stress Leads to Hypercortisolism and Therefore Insulin Resistance.

The judges were physicist Dr Megan Stanley from the University of Cambridge and Head of Science, Dr Rowland Adamson. They judged on the scientific research, reasoning and discussion of results from the written report, and also on the scientific content of the presentation as well as the pupils’ presentation, including how they handled questions.

Physics teacher Alexandra Annett, who organised the event, said: “Their work was exemplary and they all demonstrated outstanding problem solving skills through the course of their projects.”

The Leys School independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

The Leys Under 16 Girls Hockey team will be playing in the finals of the EHA Investec National schools Championship tomorrow (Thursday) for the second

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year in succession.

They won 12 games out of 12 on their way to the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at Olympic Park,  scoring 50 goals and conceding just three.

James Clark, Director of Sport, said: “We knew we could get back to Lee Valley with this group of girls. They were so driven to succeed and progress in each round.”

He added: “We are confident in our ability to play at the highest level and we want the girls to have as much fun as possible playing at Olympic Park.”

Eight teams will be competing in the finals, which were due to take place in March but postponed because of  snow disruption.

The Leys independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

The Leys and St Faith’s have been awarded the Cyber Essentials Plus security accreditation, following a rigorous review of their information security policy and procedures

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and network scans.

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed scheme to help protect organisations from common cyber security threats. Protecting academic and pastoral data is vital to schools. Adrian Lane, Managing Director of MASS, which carried out the review, said: “Adopting Cyber Essentials helps a school to manage its risk and give confidence to parents, staff, students and governors that information safety is taken seriously.”

Damian Glasfurd-Brown, IT Director at The Leys and St Faith’s Schools Foundation, said: “We are delighted that our systems, networks and administrative practices are judged compliant with the demanding Cyber Essentials Plus standard.”

The Leys independent day and boarding school Cambridgeshire

The Leys has been awarded the County Education title in the Aegon British Tennis Awards 2016.

Richard Hill, Head of Tennis, is pictured receiving the certificate

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from Nicky Maskens, who chairs the Lawn Tennis Association Tennis Development Committee. The awards ceremony was held at Emmanuel College.

The school was nominated on the basis of excellent provision and participation in the game (the school has 170 players and 20 teams, with 60 pupils receiving regular coaching), as well as in recognition of how it brings Tennis to a wider community through Leys Leisure, the Aegon school leagues, hosting the Davis Cup Legacy Tour and the Road to Wimbledon tournament.

Richard thanked everyone who delivers the Tennis programme: “The award is down to their dedication, commitment, enthusiasm and expertise.”

The leys independent school Cambridgeshire Physics Olympiad Gold

Zhengyan N (L6) has won Gold in the British Physics Olympiad AS Challenge, which is described by the organisers as “an exciting opportunity for students

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to stretch their lateral thinking skills and apply fundamental physical principles to novel situations”.

Zhengyan’s success put him in the top 100 entrants.

A delighted Zhengyan said: “It involved many calculations and the understanding of a wide range of aspects of Physics. I am going to complete A2 Physics and I plan to study mechanical engineering at university.”

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