Ampleforth opened in 1802 as a boys' school, and is run by the Benedictine monks and lay staff of Ampleforth Abbey.The school is in a valley with sports pitches, wooded areas and lakes. Its affiliated preparatory school, St Martin's Ampleforth, is located across the valley at Gilling Castle. The school formally constituted as a Roman Catholic boarding school in 1900. The school's primary concern is to provide pupils with not just
academic, sporting and other achievements, but also "a spiritual compass
for life": moral principles to give guidance in a secular world; within a context where the "Benedictine ethos permeates pupils’ experience"The Good Schools Guide
called the school an "Unfailingly civilised and understanding top
co-educational boarding Catholic school that has suffered from time to
time as a result of its long liberal tradition." The Guide adds also that there is "A refreshing openness and honesty about the place these days." The school is arranged into ten houses,
with students living in separate house buildings, eating together as a
house, and playing sport in inter-house competitions. Each house is
named after a British saint.
Ampleforth has a boys' choir, the Schola Cantorum, which sings at High Mass
on Sunday and also at a choral Mass on Friday nights during term time.
The choir has made various recordings, broadcasts and tours throughout
the world. There is also now a girls' choir, Schola Puellarum, which was recently noted in both newspaper and magazine. They sing a service every Thursday, and they sing on Holy Days of Obligation in High Mass each Sunday. The school has a sporting rivalry with Sedbergh
School and Stonyhurst College, both of whom play Ampleforth in about
twenty boys' and girls' sports annually. The highlight of the sporting
year is the annual rugby match between Sedbergh and Ampleforth.
All boys and girls registered for entry will receive an offer
letter from the Headmaster five terms (20 months) before the due entry
date. The offer of a place at the College is
conditional on one of the following:
A 50% mark at Common Entrance accompanied by a satisfactory Headteacher’s reference
School reports indicating that the child can access the Ampleforth
curriculum, accompanied by a satisfactory Headteacher’s reference
An assessment by the College’s coordinator of Special Educational Needs accompanied by a satisfactory Headteacher’s reference
from overseas for whom English is not their first language will need to
have an assessment of their verbal and written English.
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