King’s Ely School: Exploring Reviews, Rankings, Fees, And More

Step into the world of King’s Ely, where every student’s journey is celebrated and nurtured. As you embark on this exploration, let us guide you through a personal journey filled with insights, experiences, and invaluable information. Join us as we delve into the heart of King’s Ely, uncovering its essence beyond mere reviews and rankings, and discover why it’s more than just a school—it’s a community dedicated to shaping futures and fostering growth.

King's Ely Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of King's Ely

  • Local authority: Cambridgeshire
  • Pupils: 1,146; sixth formers: 218
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £12,477 – £26,214; Boarding £27,843 – £38,655 pa

King's Ely School Results

  • 2023 GCSE Results: Nearly 50% achieved grades 9-7.
  • 2023 A Level Results: Nearly 50% secured A* or A grades, with 75% achieving A*-B.
  • 2019 GCSE Results: 56% attained grades 9-7.
  • 2019 A Level Results: 34% achieved A* or A grades, with 58% achieving A*-B.

Boarding Experience in King's Ely

The boarding process at King’s Ely School begins at the age of 7, with junior boarders accommodated in two medieval houses nestled within the cathedral grounds. In addition, girl choristers have their own separate residence. A dedicated matron oversees the care of boy choristers, ensuring their every need is met while fostering a sense of importance and grounding among them, as attested by parents. Flexi-boarding options have been introduced, allowing local choristers to return home overnight when their evensong duties permit. 

As students progress through the school, they transition to senior houses for years 9-11 and then move to separate sixth form houses. The boarding houses are maintained to high standards of cleanliness and tidiness, with older pupils encouraged to develop independence. Despite the communal living arrangement, most rooms are shared, even in the sixth form. The proximity to the train station makes it convenient for students to travel to nearby cities like Cambridge or London.

Boarding facilities include well-equipped kitchens, inviting outdoor spaces, and ample communal areas with comfortable seating. The boarding community expands further as students advance through the school, with a growing international cohort representing 42 nationalities, showcasing the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

Extracurricular Activities in King's Ely

At King’s Ely School, music holds a special place at the heart of the school, with a renowned cathedral music programme featuring traditional choristers and a vibrant girls’ choir alongside a boys’ choir. Students have the chance to participate in various bands, ensembles, and chamber music groups, with notable mentions including the award-winning King’s Barbers, an a cappella ensemble formed by former choristers. 

The arts education at King’s Ely is equally impressive, attracting many parents seeking a well-rounded education for their children. The art department showcases skilled artwork in fine art, sculpture, photography, DT, textiles, and cookery. Drama productions receive awe-inspiring reviews, providing non-sporty students with opportunities to shine outside the playing field. 

While not traditionally renowned for sports, King’s Ely is making strides in the sporting arena, with achievements such as an unbeaten First XV rugby season. The new principal’s investment in improved facilities, including AstroTurf and covered tennis courts, reflects the school’s commitment to sporting excellence. The outdoor heated swimming pool, climbing walls, and vast pitches cater to a range of sporting interests as well.

The Ely Scheme, supported by the school, offers leadership opportunities for year 9 students, encompassing outdoor activities, team building, and challenges. This scheme seamlessly transitions into the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, further enriching students’ personal and leadership development.

Admissions Process: Entering King's Ely

The admissions process at King’s Ely School offers a seamless journey for children, beginning as early as age 2 in the nursery and extending through to age 18. A significant number of students start their educational journey at the nursery level and progress through the school’s various stages. While most students transition smoothly from Acremont to the junior school, occasional adjustments may be made if deemed necessary, with parents kept well informed throughout the process.

Although King’s Ely is not considered an academic pressure cooker, the school values potential and expects all students to be capable and aiming for university education. Informal testing helps identify each student’s strengths and areas for development, ensuring a supportive environment tailored to individual needs. 

Significant intakes occur at key transition points, namely ages 7, 11, 13, and 16, aligning with natural progression stages within the school. Students progressing from the junior to the senior school do so seamlessly, with automatic entry provided. Additionally, scholarship exams are available for internal candidates, while external students undergo entrance exams to assess suitability for admission.

The sixth form welcomes a substantial number of new students, with entry requirements including a minimum grade of 6 in A-level subjects studied. These students come from various educational backgrounds, including local state schools, single-sex independents, and a notable overseas cohort. 

SEN Support in King's Ely

Here at King’s Ely, the team is well prepared to cater to pupils that have the following special educational needs:

School Gallery: Take a look inside King's Ely

King's Ely Testimonials and Reviews

Benjamin Fordham

I enjoyed my time attending Kings. I loved the traditional aspect such as the Cathedral services and the understanding of the history of the school and The City of Ely. They make you strive to your best. The teachers work hard to ensure you understand topics and also ensure you enjoy every day there. Plus, there were endless sporting opportunities, playing Golf and Clay Shooting were top parts of my week at the Senior School; those were both 2 of many sports available. 

Not only that but many trips to remember such as going to Italy and the USA. I would highly recommend sending your children there. I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through school, from a 2yr old at Nursery all the way up to when I left at 16 after my GCSEs. Most who attend will go far in life, as they are given the confidence to achieve their best and aspire to success.

Kate Holmes

Both of our children attend Kings Ely. We have one child in the senior school and the other still in Junior. Across the board, the teachers are simply amazing. The focus of the school is really about the all round character, as well as the academic, and there is a strong emphasis on pastoral care as well. The opportunities are endless. 

Whether your child is creative, academic or sporty, there is something for everyone. We especially love the discussion element in lessons, which allows the children to really develop their understanding of the wider world and explore the topic to its full. An incredible school with supportive and hugely enthusiastic staff. The historical setting is an added bonus!

Ala Gutu

King’s Ely is an amazing school for any child willing to discover themselves. Art, music, academic perspective – they are all fully explored at the King’s, in order to help students find their path in life. Pastoral care is a very important aspect of the school philosophy. It offers a real comfort to any parents, especially to those whose children are full boarders. Excellent meals, field trips, extracurricular activities – they all contribute to an unforgettable experience that any student could wish for.

Amanda Smith

King’s Ely inspires each child to be the best version of themselves. Pupils are polite, confident, good company and most importantly, happy! My children love going to school and their achievements since being at King’s reflect this. The staff (from leadership team through to catering) are caring, kind, inspiring and nuturing. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this school?!?

Frequently Asked Questions

Our school was first established to educate the boy choristers of the worshipping community of Ely over 1,000 years ago. In the 11th century, King Edward the Confessor was educated here and throughout our history we have maintained strong links with Ely Cathedral.

The School now known as King’s Ely is the result of over a millennia of history which originally began with the education of child oblates on the site now occupied by Ely Cathedral in 673 AD at the abbey founded by St Etheldreda. In 840 the site was burned down by the Danes.

“We serve the academic and pastoral needs of around 1,000 boys and girls from the age of 2 through to 18, with boarders from 7 years old.”

“We are a day and boarding school, with international families relocating to the UK and seeking day spaces for children of all ages from 2 to 18, as well as those who are sending their child to board with us from the age of 11. We are academically selective, but not elitist.”

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