Prep | Senior | Sixth Form
“Providing every student with the best possible opportunity to flourish and maximise their gifts and talents”
At Leweston we offer an environment where children feel comfortable to grow, but are nonetheless challenged to act and think independently. We encourage them to try everything on offer celebrating their success as well as teaching them to fail, as without new experiences they will not discover who they are and what they can do. It is this process of discovery that allows us to bring out the very best in every pupil and helps them to achieve more than they thought possible.
Leweston has a distinctive and inclusive ethos based on exemplary pastoral care for day pupils and boarders alike. We pride ourselves on understanding our pupils’ emotional and academic needs and recognise that these will change during their journey with us. We set high standards both inside and outside the classroom, and our values of community, opportunity and expertise are the bedrock of our school.
The independence, willingness to try and resilience instilled at Leweston mean that our pupils go into the world with confidence. They have the ability to adapt, to work alongside different people in new environments and to embrace change. The school is delighted to have helped them on their way by unleashing the true potential in each and every one of them.
Please take time to view our videos to get a glimpse into Leweston Prep and Senior School.
The Sixth Form Centre provides day and boarding students in Years 12 and 13 with their own space to study as well as relax and unwind. There is a lounge, kitchen and study room as well as a courtyard garden. Year 13 boarders are allowed to book the centre for dinner parties and to host friends by arrangement.Back to Map ^
Boys Boarding Years 4 to 13
Opened in September 2019 Antony House is located in the school’s North Wing. A comforting home from home, Antony House provides single study bedrooms for the older boarders with a separate area of single and double bedrooms for the younger boys. There is also a popular common room and kitchen.
Although Leweston’s newest boarding house, Antony is rapidly developing a strong sense of identity.Back to Map ^
Leweston is centred around a beautiful Grade 1 listed Palladian Manor House. Recently featured in Country Life, the interior is a rare example of Art Deco at its finest. The principle agents of this transformation being the architect Maxwell Ayrton (designer of the old Wembley Stadium) and the artist George Sherringham.
The Manor House contains the Black and White Halls, Sherringham Room, Lecture Room and Eleanor Library which are used for school events, seminars and lectures. The Eleanor Library is available to Sixth Formers for private study as a privilege.Back to Map ^
Located upstairs in the Manor House the Music School was opened in September 2019. The purpose-built renovation puts music at the heart of the school providing an ensemble room, individual and group teaching rooms, strings room and recording studio.
Music is offered as part of the curriculum throughout the school with GCSE and A Level courses available. Individual music lessons are popular with 19 different instruments on offer including guitar, French horn, trombone, harp, drums and saxophone.
With many high-profile performance opportunities, the school has a number of instrumental ensembles including a Baroque Group, Flute Group and Jazz Band. The more able musicians have the opportunity to join the Sherborne Schools Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia.
In 2020 Leweston was shortlisted in the Music and Drama Education Awards for ‘Outstanding Musical Initiative’ by introducing a scheme of music lessons for its non-music teaching staff.Back to Map ^
Housed next to the swimming pool Cedars Café offers a full range of drinks and snacks. A popular spot for parents and visitors to the school, it is open from 8.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and at weekends when matches and events are running. Sixth Formers are allowed to use the Café during their breaks and study periods.Back to Map ^
The school’s 25m heated indoor swimming pool is open throughout the week. All pupils from the Nursery to Year 11 have weekly swimming lessons with the pool available for open sessions and squad/development training at lunchtimes and evenings. There is even a popular early morning swim once a week.
The extensive bifold doors at the front of the pool can be folded away on summer days which also allows the school to host regional and national Biathle and Triathle competitions as competitors can run straight into the pool complex.
The Pool also forms part of the Leweston Leisure programme, offered to members and non-members the school runs its own fitness club with swimming and exercise classes available.Back to Map ^
Opened in September 2019 the Padua Hall provides the Prep School with space for the whole school to gather as well as four additional classrooms. The modern cedar-clad building is designed to bring the outside in with wide bifold doors and a decking area which provides an alternative performance space for summer events.Back to Map ^
The impressive Pensabene Library provides students with study areas, a computer suite, presentation area and comfy sofas all looking out onto the grounds. It provides both a reference and lending library as well as a number of online subscriptions to support the academic curriculum.
The library is located next to the Sixth Form Centre and is a popular place for older students during their study periods. The evening homework session for both day and boarding pupils is held there under staff supervision.Back to Map ^
Girls Boarding Years 11 to 13
Year 11 and Sixth Form boarders live in Eleanor House. All boarders have their own individual study bedrooms and the use of an upstairs Common Room. The Sixth Formers also have access to the Sixth Form Centre below the House. Eleanor House boarders have their own laundry room and kitchen which are some ways that the students can develop their own independent living skills. Boarders in Eleanor also have increased freedom over their free time with opportunities to go out of school as well as invite guests into the house social areas.
Eleanor House boarders are at an important time in their lives, public examinations approach and as they are preparing to move on to life at university and the world beyond school. Whilst the House provides the same family-feel there is a more studious and peaceful atmosphere than in the younger Houses. However, Eleanor boarders remain very involved in the wider boarding community, as senior boarders they take on responsibility for organising social and charitable events and community duty rotas.Back to Map ^
Girls Boarding Years 9 and 10
Cecilia House boarders share colourful and spacious dorms of four or five in the main school building. Each boarder has their own bed, wardrobe and storage which they are encouraged to personalise with posters and photos from home. There is also a well-equipped common room for relaxation. Study is completed downstairs in the Pensabene Library to provide a sense of separation from academic life and allow boarders to truly relax ‘at home’.
All Cecilia House boarders are encouraged to get involved in the life of the school. These years are important academically and for emotional and social development. Boarders are encouraged to explore their interests; follow their enthusiasms, and learn to co-operate with each other as they become more independent. As boarding provides the perfect opportunity to get involved with a much of the school’s extensive extra-curricular and enrichment programme as possible.
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Martha House is a vibrant, welcoming and safe place for boarders from Years 4 to 8. The House, situated above the Director of Boarding is a fun and lively place and all boarders are encouraged to involve themselves in the large variety of activities that are on offer.
With dog walks, hide and seek, movie nights, bikes and go karts the boarders in Martha House have little time to get bored and each boarder is encouraged to involve themselves as much as they want and need to. Birthdays and special events are eagerly anticipated and celebrated.
When we asked members of Martha House what was best about being a boarder they said ‘to help others, be kind, learn how to share, how to get along with different people and how to be a little more organised!’
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The Pre-Prep (Reception to Year 2) share a secure garden in front of the bright and airy Reception classroom where they can play together at break and lunchtimes.
In 2018 Leweston Prep won Pre-Prep of the Year Award in Independent School Parent Magazine’s Independent School of the Year Awards.Back to Map ^
The School Theatre hosts Leweston’s many productions and the opportunities to star on stage at Leweston are many and varied with Drama as part of the curriculum from Reception to Year 9 as well as being offered at GCSE and A Level. The Music and Drama departments work closely together and Musical Theatre is a major part of the creative life at Leweston, the last two senior musicals were ‘9 to 5’ and ‘Mary Poppins’.
All Pre-Prep pupils have a part in the annual Nativity and older Prep pupils perform in a Summer Term Production. LAMDA lessons are available either individually or in small groups.
In 2019 Leweston was shortlisted in the Creative Arts category in the TES Independent School of the Year awards.Back to Map ^
The Art and Design Centre at Leweston is a lively and original place which offers the pupils an opportunity to explore a range of creative areas including Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, 3D Design, Ceramics, Graphic Design and Photography. It has dedicated studio space for Sixth Form who can access their work outside of lesson time.
The Centre is available to all pupils from Reception upwards and pottery, fine art, computer aided design, photography, woodworking and textiles are part of the curriculum for the Prep School and Years 7, 8 and 9. Fine Art, Textiles, 3D Design and Photography are offered at GCSE and A Level.
Recent leavers have gone on to art courses including: Animation, Design for Performance, Product Design, Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors and Graphic Design at Destinations such as the University of the Arts, Central St Martins and University for the Creative Arts.Back to Map ^
The school’s cavernous sports hall plays host to fencing, shooting, gymnastics, fitness training, badminton, basketball, trampolining and many other indoor sports. It also houses a range of Technogym equipment and a conditioning suite used by the weekly spinning classes, after-school clubs and Leweston’s elite athletes supported by their coaches.
Sport and Physical Education play an important part of everyday life at Leweston and there is an impressive range of options for pupils to take advantage of. As a Pentathlon Training Hub the school offers all elements of Modern Pentathlon and many of the specialist staff are part of the GB coaching team. There is also a successful equestrian team who have taken the NSEA Regional Point League title four years in a row.
The school was a finalist in the Sports category of the Independent School Parent Magazine’s Independent School of the Year Awards 2020.Back to Map ^
The School Chapel of St Antony is central in the life of the School as the place where Mass and other school services are celebrated. It is always open so that pupils, staff and parents can find a quiet space when they find the need.
Leweston is a Catholic foundation that welcomes pupils of all denominations, and none. The whole school comes together for Mass once a week and pupils of all ages participate in planning the liturgies and take an active role as servers, readers, choir and musicians. We often welcome parents, friends and neighbours. Pupils are prepared for First Holy Communion and Confirmation and we often celebrate Baptisms. Pupils of other faiths are supported in their own worship and an Anglican liturgy is held in the School chapel once a term.
The importance of service to others is integral to the ethos of the school and the Chaplaincy Team play a central role in the Leweston’s extensive charity and community service programme.
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The purpose-built Senior Science Centre houses three laboratories, a project room and preparation room. All science teaching in the Senior School and the older years in the Prep take place there.
Leweston has an enviable reputation for science, with the three sciences remaining some of the most popular A Level subjects and, over the past five years, one of the two most popular university course ‘families’ chosen by students. Since 2016 Leweston leavers have gone on to study a wide range of STEM subjects including:
Analytical Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Forensic Science, Computer Science with Intelligent Systems, Cyber Security and Computer Forensics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mathematics with Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Neuroscience, Pharmacy, Physics with Astrophysics, Veterinary Science and Zoology.Back to Map ^
The Prep School is located in the former Coach House with its own tennis and netball courts. Each class in the Prep (Years 3 to 6) has its own classroom either upstairs in the Coach House or in Padua Hall. In 2019 increased numbers in the Prep saw it expand into the previous Senior Music School adding a library space, additional classrooms and rooms for small group work.
As a through-school Leweston Prep pupils can access the full range of senior facilities including the Art and Design Centre, Science Centre, Theatre, Sports Hall, Swimming Pool, Dining Hall and Chapel.Back to Map ^
Boys and girls from Year 3 upwards play hockey on the all-weather pitch which converts to nine tennis courts for the summer term. The pitch is located next to the schools 300m grass track and synthetic long jump.
A comprehensive and extensive fixture programme in the full range of team sports including hockey, netball, rugby and football is offered to ensure all pupils have the opportunity to represent the school in competitive matches at their own level.Back to Map ^
With 46 acres of grounds the students are not short of space. The iconic Belvedere is fondly remembered by all Leweston pupils. After a short wooded walk the natural amphitheatre, which looks out over the Dorset countryside, makes a perfect setting for outdoor performances, quiet reflection and weddings.Back to Map ^
We welcome applications to the Prep School throughout the year, as long as there is availability. Places in popular year groups such as Reception, Year 3 and Year 5 can be subject to a waiting list. For more information visit https://www.leweston.co.uk/admissions/admissions-2/joining-the-school/joining-the-prep
The main entry points for the Senior School are Years 7 and 9 but pupils can join all year groups subject to a place being available. Sixth Form students join at the start of Year 12. Places can be taken more than a year in advance of entry, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t space after that time. It is helpful for parents to start talking to us two years before their child is due to join. More information is available at https://www.leweston.co.uk/admissions/admissions-2/joining-the-school
We welcome between 10 and 15 new students into the Sixth Form every year. Potential Sixth Form students can attend a Sixth Form Open Day in the Autumn term. The Sixth Form at Leweston is typically around 55 students.
Yes, but we have some year groups which are close to being full or in the Senior School places that are dependent on subject choices. We would encourage anyone interested in joining us in 2022 or 2023 to contact our Admissions team as soon as possible on email@example.com
The admission process varies for the different entry points but all enquiries are taken by our Admissions Team who will ask for your child’s name, age and date of birth as well as some information about hobbies and interests.
Families are then invited to visit the school to meet the Head, staff and pupils and tour the campus. Prospective pupils are then invited to a taster day which your child will spend with their peer group. We will also request a reference and recent report from your current school. Prospective Senior students will be asked to take a short assessment so that we understand their individual abilities and development, this can be completed at home if necessary.
It is at this stage that offers are made in writing and parents are asked to return the Acceptance form and deposit.
Find out more on our website:
There is no formal deadline and we continue to accept applications until our places are full, after that we operate a waiting list.
Candidates are advised to apply as early as possible at GCSE and Sixth Form to ensure maximum flexibility on option choice.
Leweston has a long tradition of offering scholarships to recognise and encourage pupils with talent and potential. Scholarships are typically offered at 11+, 13+ and for Sixth Form. Each September the Scholarship Guidelines for the following year of entry are published on the school website at www.leweston.co.uk/admissions/scholarships
Scholarships are not means tested and awards represent the honour rather than a significant monetary value. If you require further financial assistance you may also apply for a bursary. Find out more about Scholarships https://www.leweston.co.uk/admissions/admissions-2/scholarships and Bursaries https://www.leweston.co.uk/admissions/admissions-2/bursaries-and-discounts on the website.
Leweston has a reputation for outstanding pastoral care and we are entirely committed to providing an environment that inspires warmth, confidence, creativity and personal development in all our pupils, whether they attend as a day pupil or boarder.
Our strong commitment to the pastoral care of all the children, and our sharing of sound and lifelong values is at the bedrock of what we do. We work hard to create a community where everyone is valued and respected and pupils are encouraged to regard the school as an extended family.
It helps that the school is of a size that staff know all pupils as individuals, pastoral needs are monitored and supported by a strong structure that underpins daily routines.
To find out more about the tutorial and house system in the Senior School visit https://www.leweston.co.uk/senior-2/leweston-life-2/senior-pastoral-care
The Prep also have a qualified Mental Health First Aider who can provide additional support. To find out more visit about Pastoral Care in the Prep School visit https://www.leweston.co.uk/prep/leweston-life/pastoral-care
Life at Leweston is a busy one with an extensive programme of early morning, lunchtime and after-school clubs and activities, as well as sports and music practices. The programme changes termly and the vast majority is free of charge. The daily bus services leave at a time that allows day pupils to participate in after-school events. There is also a supervised prep session Monday to Thursday for pupils who wish to stay after school but don’t want to participate in that evening’s programme and a fun after-school club for those in Pre-Prep.
Day pupils are welcome to join the boarders’ programme at the weekends.
As an independent school, we are free to adapt our curriculum as we see fit and our pupils do not sit SATS. This allows to follow a broad curriculum with a wide variety of extension opportunities.
All pupils from Reception upwards have lessons in Maths, English, French, Science, History, Geography, Spanish, Art, Music, Religious Education, Performing Arts, ICT and Forest School, in many cases with specialist teachers. In addition to this, they enjoy two hours of PE and an hour of swimming each week, as part of their normal timetable.
From Year 2 pupils can take individual instrumental and LAMDA lessons.
In the first five years the curriculum offers a wide range of options to keep open the maximum number of subjects to chose from in the Sixth Form. Students in the examination years are not expected to select their options from prescribed blocks or groups of subjects with the School aiming to offer flexible timetables designed to accommodate as many of the students’ options as possible.
In Years 7 to 9, pupils have lessons in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Cookery,
Design, Drama, English, French, Spanish, Geography, History, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Personal and Social Health Education, Physical Education, Physics, and Religious Studies.
Pupils normally take 10 subjects at GCSE at the end of Year 11. All study the core subjects: English Literature and Language, one Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish) or English as an Additional Language, Mathematics, Religious Studies and either Combined Science (2 GCSEs) or three separate single sciences. Up to three additional subjects are then chosen from Art, Computer Science, Design, Drama, Home Economics, Geography, History, Latin, and Music. In addition all pupils have PSHE and Careers lessons as well as Games and Physical Education.
Sixth Form students typically take three subjects at A Level. In exceptional circumstances four may be studied, usually when combining Mathematics and Further Mathematics. BTECs are available in Sport and Health & Social Care.
All Sixth Form students also attend lessons in Religious Studies and Physical Education and have the option to study for an Extended Project Qualification.
All subjects provide enrichment and extension through external lecture programmes. Most departments use the theatre, field days, tours and study trips to support the curriculum. Some of these visits take place over several days and may be abroad.
As a through-school Prep, Senior and Sixth Form students can access a range of facilities often unavailable to stand-alone schools.
The Prep School is located in the former Coach House with its own tennis and netball courts and Victorian walled garden play area. The Padua Hall opened in September 2019 providing space for the whole school as well as four classrooms.
The Prep has access to the school Theatre, Dining Hall and Chapel as well as the Science Centre, with its three laboratories, and the Art and Design Centre. This provides a pottery workshop, creative computer suite, dark room, sewing room and design studio.
The main Senior School site is centered around the Grade I listed Manor House. The impressive Pensabene Library doubles as both lending library and ICT suite as well as a quiet place to study, with views over the beautiful grounds. It is the venue for evening prep as well visiting lectures. With easy access to the Library the Sixth Form Centre provides a modern space for Sixth Formers to study and relax in.
The new Music School opened in the Manor House in September 2019. The purpose built renovation provides an ensemble room, two music classrooms, instrumental teaching rooms, GCSE and A Level Music work space and a recording studio.
Leweston’s excellent sports facilities are aided by the acres of grounds in which the school sits. There is an all-weather hockey pitch which also provides a nine tennis courts in the summer, a sports hall which acts as both an indoor netball and hockey court, provides four badminton courts as well as a conditioning suite and a range of Technogym cardo-vascular equipment. Other facilities include six netball courts, six hard surface tennis courts; an indoor heated swimming pool, 300m grass track and synthetic long jump.
Leweston Prep is an accredited Forest School and which enables us to offer a host of outdoor opportunities that benefit the whole curriculum.
We have a large area ‘Enchanted Wood’ with two clearings, log seating circles and fire pits. We also have a full outdoor classroom, with all-weather awning. Each class has weekly Forest School sessions and once a term each class spends a full day completing all their lessons in the outdoor environment.
Sport and Physical Education play an important part of life at Leweston and there is an impressive range of options available including: all the of mainstream team sports, fencing, shooting, equestrian, gymnastics, tennis, cross-country, swimming and athletics. The school is an official Pentathlon GB Training Hub supporting pupils from grassroots to elite level. Our athletes compete at a regional, national and international level. The school is currently participating in a pilot scheme with British Triathlon.
Art and Design are taught as part of the curriculum from Reception to Year 6. From Year 4 pupils have weekly Fine Art lessons with a subject specialist and Design is part of the creative carousel along with Design Technology and Home Economics, pupils will have a lesson once a week for one term during the Year.
Music plays a significant role in the life of Leweston Prep. The Prep’s Chapel Choir, drawn from Years Five and Six, leads the weekly whole-school Mass and prepares for special performances throughout the year. From the Transition class onwards, pupils have weekly lessons with the Head of Music and from Year 2, they have access to individual music lessons with specialist teachers. Many pupils learn at least one instrument from the extensive range available. Pupils enjoy ensemble playing as part of the Samba Band, String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble and performing solos in our many concerts.
Music, drama, art and design play a central role in the life of the school and in the artistic development of all pupils. Pupils have drama, music and art lessons as part of their curriculum programme until Year 10 when GCSEs are offered in Music, Drama, Fine Art, 3D Design, Textiles and Photography. These subjects are also available at A Level.
Individual instrumental lessons are available in 15 different instruments and there are many weekly clubs, groups, choirs and ensembles that students can join, together with a wide variety of opportunities to perform or exhibit their work.
Leweston offers full, weekly, regular flexi and B&B boarding options to allow pupils and their families to find a style of boarding that works well for them. All boarding options are open from Year 4 (age 8) to Year 13.
With no Saturday school weekly boarders can leave school on Friday evening and return on Monday morning whilst full boarders experience a fun weekend of activities and trips. Find out more about becoming a boarder https://www.leweston.co.uk/boarding/boarding-options-2/becoming-a-boarder
Boarding is an increasingly attractive option for busy modern families. There are many reasons to board from the practical: a reduction in travel time, access to extra-curricular activities and supervised homework; to the emotional: forming strong friendships, increasing confidence and learning to live with other people. It’s also enormous fun. Find out more about life in Boarding https://www.leweston.co.uk/boarding/leweston-boarding/a-typical-day
The boarding houses at Leweston are upstairs in the main school building creating an environment similar to a family home. This also means that boarders do not need to travel back and forth to houses located on or off campus.
In order to provide boarders with an opportunity to relax and unwind Years 7 to 10 have evening study in the school library supervised by academic staff rather than in their houses, this allows pupils to leave the school day ‘downstairs’ when they return to boarding.
Once boarders leave their accommodation in the morning only Year 11 and Sixth Form are allowed to return to their studies, this ensures that day and boarding pupils are fully integrated.
Care is provided from 8.00am until 6.00pm as part of the fees with a breakfast club and supper club available for a small charge. For pupils who need to stay overnight on an occasional basis there is a B&B boarding rate and places are subject to availability.
Leweston offers safe and affordable daily transport options for pupils from Reception upwards using the school’s own minibus fleet and drivers. The buses cover a wide catchment area across Somerset and Dorset with 10 routes currently in operation. Buses are booked per journey to provide maximum flexibility.
The buses arrive on site at approximately 8.00am every morning and depart at 6.00pm Monday to Thursday and 4.30pm on Friday to fit in with the after-school activity programme. Find out more on our website https://www.leweston.co.uk/information/bus-routes
If you have any questions about what Leweston can offer your family please contact our Prep Registrar, Mrs Amanda Wilson or Senior Registrar, Mrs June Smith.
We look forward to welcoming you to Leweston soon.