A special place to learn and grow
A welcoming and family-friendly community
A wealth of opportunities

Welcome to Leweston Prep School

“An education to open your eyes”

Set in forty-six acres of inspiring countryside, Leweston Prep is a special place to learn and grow. Our children are happy, purposeful and positively bubbling with enthusiasm for all that they do.

We firmly believe that children learn best when they are happy and our dedicated staff develop a deep understanding of each child, learning exactly how to bring the best out of them. The school prides itself on its family atmosphere. Our older children spend time supporting our youngest and, in turn, the children in the younger years follow their example and look to support one another.

Balance is key, we develop excellence in all areas with a wide range of additional opportunities that help pupils to become well-rounded, interested and enthusiastic about school-life. Whilst the curriculum narrows in many educational settings, we pride ourselves on the breadth of offering. Pupils have weekly lessons in Modern Foreign Languages, Latin, Performing Arts, Music, Design Technology, ICT, Art, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Science, Swimming, PE and Games. This broadens their horizons and enable every one to discover their passion and their strength.

At Leweston Prep each and every child is nurtured and supported on their educational journey. Our children leave fully rounded, confident and secure individuals ready to embrace everything the next stage of their education has to offer. 



Watch our Video

Please take time to view our video to get a glimpse into Leweston Prep School.

Gallery

Interactive Map

Sixth Form Centre

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. 

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Antony House

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. 

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Manor House

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.

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Italian Garden

The Italian Garden is situated between the Manor House and the Swimming Pool. Designed by Thomas Mawson it is of historic importance and a beautiful setting for school events like the Sixth Form Ball. It is also a popular spot for pond dipping. 

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Music School

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.

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Cedars Café

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. 

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Swimming Pool

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. 

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Padua Hall

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.

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Pensabene Library

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. 

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Eleanor House

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.

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Cecilia House

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

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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Pre-Prep

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.

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School Theatre

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.

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Art and Design Centre

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.

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Sports Hall & Gym

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.

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School Chapel

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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Trinity Chapel

Trinity Chapel is the oldest building on the school campus being built in 1616. Inside it has a rare example of a double pulpit and, whilst is no longer large enough to hold the whole school, is used for smaller services as well as weddings and baptisms. 

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Science Centre

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. 

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Prep School

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.

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Walled Garden

One of the features of the Prep School is the Victorian Walled Garden which provides ample space for the pupils to play outside. Every morning arriving pupils run its circumference as part of their ‘Daily Mile’. 

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Forest School

The Prep and Nursery both use the nearby ‘Enchanted Wood’ for Forest School which has a full outdoor classroom with all-weather awning and sufficient seating for a whole class.

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Tennis/Netball Courts

Leweston’s six netball courts also double as hard surface tennis courts with tennis coaching available all year round for pupils in both the Prep and Senior schools.

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All-Weather Pitch

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. 

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Belvedere

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. 

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FAQ

WHAT ARE YOUR ENTRY POINTS?

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 

ARE YOU CURRENTLY ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS?

Yes, but we have some year groups close to being full. We would encourage anyone interested in joining us in 2021 or 2022 to contact our Admissions team as soon as possible on admissions@leweston.dorset.sch.uk

WHAT IS YOUR ADMISSIONS PROCESS?

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 Miss Phillips, the Head of Prep and tour. Prospective pupils are then invited to an informal, online interview with Miss Phillips or, if it becomes possible again, 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. 

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 https://www.leweston.co.uk/admissions/admissions-2/joining-the-school/joining-the-prep

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION?

There is no formal deadline and we continue to accept applications until our places are full, after that we operate a waiting list. 

HOW DOES YOUR PASTORAL CARE WORK?

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. 

Staff know pupils extremely well and pastoral needs are monitored and supported by a strong structure that underpins daily routines. We also have a qualified Mental Health First Aider who can provide additional support. To find out more visit https://www.leweston.co.uk/prep/leweston-life/pastoral-care   

WHAT CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE?

Life at Leweston is a busy one with an extensive programme of lunchtime and after-school clubs and activities. 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. For more information visit https://www.leweston.co.uk/prep/outside-the-classroom/prep-enrichment   

WHAT SUBJECTS ARE ON OFFER?

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. 

WHAT FACILITIES DO YOU HAVE?

As a through-school Prep pupils can access a range of facilities often unavailable to stand-alone prep 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 excellent sports facilities provide an all-weather hockey pitch, a sports hall which acts as both an indoor netball and hockey court, six netball courts, six hard surface tennis courts; an indoor heated swimming pool, 300m grass track and synthetic long jump.

WHAT OUTDOOR LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE?

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. 

WHAT SPORTS ARE ON OFFER?

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. 

More information about Sport at Leweston https://www.leweston.co.uk/prep/outside-the-classroom/prep-sport and Pentathlon https://www.leweston.co.uk/senior-2/outside-the-classroom-2/pentathlon is on our website.

WHAT BOARDING OPTIONS DOES LEWESTON OFFER?

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, or age 8.

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

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BOARDING?

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 

WHAT BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE DO YOU PROVIDE FOR DAY PUPILS?

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. 

DO YOU PROVIDE SCHOOL BUSES?

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 

Testimonials

"Every day we witness the sense of adventure, determination, resilience, and confidence in Leweston children, brought about by a conducive atmosphere for learning and a strong ethos." Parent, Leweston Prep
"Staff astound us with their ability and inventiveness to provide such a broad range of creative activities. The level of detail that goes into reporting the children’s development and frequent updates on Tapestry are nothing short of incredible." Parent, Leweston Prep
"All of this has resulted in a wonderfully happy child; one who is very content at Leweston that, as parents, we could not have wished for a more successful outcome." Parent, Leweston Prep
"The Prep teaching staff have excelled in encouraging our child to discover their talents and worked tirelessly with them in imaginative ways to develop them effectively. The confident and self-assurance that has come from their commitment has encouraged a love of learning that is priceless and has helped equip them fully for the transition to Senior School. We could not be more delighted with our choice of school." Parent, Leweston Prep

Contact Us

If you have any questions about what Leweston can offer your family please contact our Registrar, Mrs Amanda Wilson.

We look forward to welcoming you to Leweston soon.