News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Monkton Combe Prep and Pre-Prep schools have received the highest commendation of ‘Excellent’ in the latest inspection report issued today (19 June 2018) by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The schools in Combe Down near Bath for children aged 2 to 13 have both been praised by the inspectors for delivering excellence in academic and as well as in artistic and sporting activities.

As well as being judged fully compliant against all DfE regulations, the Educational Quality Inspection said the Pre-Prep and Prep schools were excellent across the board and highlighted:

– Pupils’ knowledge, skills, understanding and achievement are very well developed for their ages in most areas of the curriculum
– Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage achieve well above national norms
– Pupils display considerable creativity and collaborative skills
– Pupils make excellent progress overall.

Parents at the schools were also asked for their views by the School Inspectors. The report found that a very large majority of parents who responded to the questionnaire agreed that the school promotes an environment which successfully supports their children’s personal development, which the inspectors said was backed up by their evidence. They also noted:

– Pupils display strong levels of spiritual awareness and understanding
– Pupils demonstrate increasing self-confidence and maturity as they progress through the school
– Pupils show high levels of kindness and consideration for others, and are confident and positive learners
– Pupils display outstanding moral understanding which enables them to function very effectively as members of the community. They are caring and highly empathic.

Head of Monkton Pre-Prep School, Catherine Winchcombe, said, “We are so delighted with this outcome. The children should be congratulated as they displayed such eagerness for learning, with high levels of engagement and ambition during the inspection days. Their ability to collaborate and work with others, along with their kindness, enabled the Academic and Pastoral aspects of the school to shine brightly.”

Inspectors highlighted that the school successfully meets its aim to inspire young people to become confident, kind and ambitious adults who live fulfilling lives and that leavers have achieved very successful results in selective senior school entry examinations, with a high number gaining awards and scholarships over time.

Head of Monkton Prep School, Martin Davis, added, “During their four days at both the Prep and Pre-Prep, the Inspectors were able to talk to and see the children and staff in action so as to fully understand exactly what we are about, and it was wonderful that they were able to appreciate all that goes on within this wonderful school.”

This new report follows similar good news for the senior school which was inspected in 2017 and was also ranked as ‘Excellent’ with the Inspectors highlighting the academic ability of Monkton pupils as being consistently above the national average at GCSE, with pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding across a wide range of subjects also being excellent.

Principal of Monkton Combe School, Chris Wheeler, commented, “Beyond the headline judgements, it is very pleasing to see how well the inspection team ‘got’ Monkton. It is hugely exciting to feel that the work we are doing in pupil self-knowledge is now so tangible as to be clear even to outside observers who are only in school for a few days. Our children showed themselves to be the thoughtful, kind enthusiastic learners we hope for, which reflects all the work we do together in partnership, parent, school and pupil, to give them the very best education they can have.”

Monkton Combe School is based just a mile outside of Bath in Combe Down and Monkton A copy of the full report can be read on the Monkton Combe School website

The next Open Day at the Prep and Pre-Prep schools is on 6 October 2018 and at the Senior School on 15 September 2018. To book a place at the open day or arrange an individual visit to Monkton Combe School please visit