The Elms School

The Elms School
Motto God Grant Grace
Established 1614
Type Independent preparatory school
Religion Christian
Headmaster Mr Alastair Thomas B.A.(Hons.), P.G.C.E.[1]
Deputy Headmaster Mr. David Pearce B.Ed. (Hons.)[2]
Chairman of Governors Nat Hone M.A., M.B.A.
Founder Humphrey Walwyn, Worshipful Company of Grocers
Location Walwyn Road, Colwall
WR13 6EF
Coordinates: 52°04′26″N 2°21′54″W / 52.074°N 2.365°W / 52.074; -2.365
Staff c.48 [2]
Students c.190[1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 2–13
Colours      Maroon      Black

The Elms School is a co-educational, independent, boarding, prep school located in Colwall, Herefordshire, England, at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Including its pre-prep department, it caters for children from 2½ to 13 years old. The Headmaster is Alastair Thomas, who is a member of the Boarding Schools Association and the IAPS. The Elms, indeed, was one of the IAPS' original founding schools. Fees are currently £22.065 pa for boarders and £19,650 for day pupils.[3]


The Elms was founded in 1614 by Humphrey Walwyn of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, and is the oldest prep school still on its original site. The original school house was based on a farmhouse, built in the 1550's, on the edge of the village of Colwall in the lee of the Malvern Hills. In 2014 The Elms School celebrated its 400-year anniversary. It maintains close links with the Grocers' Company, and receives financial assistance from the company's charitable arm.


The school has a working farm, with whose management the pupils can be involved, including in showing the stock at agricultural shows. They may stable their own ponies at the school. The school also has a sports hall, theatre, swimming pool and science laboratories.[4]

Academic life

The Elms is a preparatory school, preparing pupils for Common Entrance and senior school Scholarship examinations, mainly at 13+. Pupils from the school have moved onto such schools as Cheltenham College, The Cheltenham Ladies' College, Dean Close, Eton, Gordonstoun, Harrow, Shrewsbury, St Marys, Calne and Tudor Hall.

Pupils study all the subjects of a standard curriculum, with the addition of Greek (for some pupils), Latin and Rural Studies. Pupils are largely taught by a form teacher in the early years, but there is an increasing degree of specialist subject teaching as they move up the school.[4]


Pupils play Association football, Rugby football, cricket, hockey, netball, rounders, athletics, triathlon and heptathlon. School teams have been successful in County and National level competitions.[4]

Notable alumni


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