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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leweston Nursery welcomes children from 3 months to 4 years and is divided into four ‘units’, based on age; Babies, Toddlers, Transition 1 and Transition 2. Each unit has a specific Room Leader and your child will be assigned a key worker who will be your first contact at the Nursery.
Your key worker will take lead responsibility for your child’s care and development however, at Leweston, our staff work extremely closely with all children and form strong bonds with them. We deliberately develop these relationships so that your child will always feel happy and confident at Nursery, no matter which members of staff they may be with.
The broad and exciting Leweston Nursery curriculum focuses on the development of key learning skills and interaction with real experiences, ensuring that children have the competencies and knowledge they need to succeed at school.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leweston School is delighted to be a partner of the Bath Rugby Schools Programme. The programme will provide our students with unique experiences and enable them to engage with the wider Rugby Club. As part of the programme our boys and girls will have the opportunity to receive high-quality rugby coaching sessions, training sessions at Bath Rugby’s elite training facility – Farleigh House, meet and train with Bath First-Team players, as well as a Girls Masterclass event and the Bath Rugby Roadshow with access to three RFU Level 2 qualified coaches!