The purpose-built school, set in the heart of the Abbey precincts, offers a complete preparatory school boarding education but tailored precisely to the needs of choristers.
"Welcome to the website of this remarkable school"
Dr Emma Margrett
Westminster Abbey Choir School is a school like no other! Believed to have been founded around 1560, we are the only remaining choir school in the United Kingdom which exclusively educates choristers. Boys from across the UK, and sometimes even further afield, attend our school between the ages of 8 and 13 and receive a highly subsidised education in very small classes. The current school building, which was constructed in 1915, is situated in Dean’s Yard, next to Westminster Abbey, right at the centre of Westminster.
Since we only educate the Abbey choristers, the school roll generally stands at 30 pupils - approximately 5 or 6 in each year group, offering the boys a particularly personalised programme. The small classes and outstanding pastoral care provided by our school mean that the boys can fully engage with a broad and balanced academic curriculum, in addition to immersing themselves in the considerable opportunities afforded by singing in one of the finest choirs of its type in the world.
As well as singing in daily services at Westminster Abbey, the choristers also play a central role in the many royal, state and national occasions which take place here. Notable services have included the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II; the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla; the wedding of the now Prince and Princess of Wales; and memorial services for leading national and international figures including Stephen Hawking and Nelson Mandela. The Choir also pursues a varied schedule of recordings, concerts and tours, exposing the boys to experiences that most children of their age can only dream of.
In school, the boys are taught by inspiring form teachers and subject specialists who encourage them to become well-rounded, articulate and responsible young people. Our unparalleled location means that there are many exciting places of interest right on our doorstep. From the Houses of Parliament to Buckingham Palace; from the bright lights of the West End to a wide range of museums and art galleries; we aim to incorporate these activities into the boys’ busy schedules whenever possible, making the most of the longer boarding school days. Our aim is to provide an education tailored specifically for choristers, which prepares them for the next stage of their schooling, and indeed for adult life, whatever path they later choose to follow.
A website can only give you a flavour of life at our school, so if you are the parent or carer of a boy aged between 6 and 10 who you feel would benefit from the education that we offer, I would be delighted to meet you and to show you the school and something of the life of a Westminster Abbey Chorister. Do not be put off if your son is yet to receive classical training, as we are interested in boys who demonstrate a passion for music. Potential can be gauged by hearing a child sing a hymn or nursery rhyme as much as from a well-rehearsed piece exam piece. Why not come and visit? It could be a life-changing experience!
Dr Emma Margrett FCCT