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Boarding 3-13yrs
Type: Nursery, Pre-Prep, Prep
Pupil Numbers: 400 (218 boys, 182 girls)
Entrance Procedure: Please contact the school registrar, Jules Moore to register your child for either entry to the Pre-Prep or Prep School. Once your child is registered with us we arrange for Prep School age children to attend a familiarisation day during the school term. Your child will join in with lessons and games with their cohort which will give them a good chance to experience the Cheam day. Places are offered by the Headmaster a year in advance of the proposed registered date and a confirmation fee of £1,500 is charged to confirm the place. The Pre-Prep holds a "Move-Up" morning in July before the school breaks up for the Summer holidays when all children join their new class and form teacher.
Fees per term: Day: £7,195 to £7,530 depending on year group Boarding £8,175 to £9,775 depending on year group and nights boarding per week

Head's Up

Start Date: April 2022

Cheam is a very special place offering the brightest of learning environments. It is the perfect place to grow – we know that the early years of a child’s life are the very best time to prepare the ground for their adulthood, and our focus at Cheam is on providing the most compelling setting for every child to thrive.

SNTV interview with Will Phelps

The inside track from a current parent

Driving into Cheam it’s easy to be impressed by the incredible facilities and its beautiful grounds, but what sold it to us when we were shown around the school were the smiling children and the buzzing atmosphere in the corridors. It’s an incredibly energetic school and the children are extremely happy. Uniquely set in 100 acres of grounds, this is a family school, with a strong sense of identity and pride in being “Cheamites”. There is a unique culture, with an A – Z of words and terminology that are idiosyncratic to Cheam, and the children love this magical element to school life. The teaching staff really inspire, not just in their academic subjects but in their huge energy and enthusiasm which is completely contagious.
There are excellent sport facilities with endless games pitches, astro pitches, tennis courts, netball courts, a swimming pool, golf course, woodland, a Cheam Pioneering Club (CPC) and the much loved Cheam Tops assault course. There are 4 houses (called Divisions) and a healthy and competitive inter-house spirit running through all areas of Cheam life. The cheering and support given to each pupil by teachers and parents as each child does their bit running in the whole school Division Cross Country competition reflects the sense of community and camaraderie at Cheam.
Music is very popular with a committed and enthusiastic music department that really nurtures talent. The result is a busy calendar of musical activity (classical, jazz and pop) and the opportunity for all children to take part and perform as individuals, in groups, bands, quartets and orchestras, across the year. A highlight of the year is the Division Music Competition involving the entire school and judged by well-known musicians, such as Chris White from Dire Straits and the Director of Music at Eton College. Amazing young talented musicians perform to the entire school community with jaw dropping and often tear jerking performances, as well as whole house rock anthems which almost bring the ceiling down! The atmosphere is amazing.
Life at Cheam is always fun. The school calendar is full of events for both children and parents, with Room 101, the Poetry Evening, Sports Tours, Jazz Band Tour, Bonfire Night, Christmas Cheer and much more. The children throw themselves into everything and it never ceases to amaze how much they manage to pack into the school day.

As parents we love...

  • The sense of community. As a family we have made friends for life at Cheam and feel incredibly lucky to have all had such a happy time here.
  • Our children are allowed to be children. With 100 acres of grounds and woodland to play in, the children are free to enjoy the outdoors and there is a big focus on outdoor activities, starting in the Pre-Prep with woodland learning and Forest School
  • Division 100m Relay on Sports Day which involves every child in the whole Prep school, from 8 to 13 year olds, passing the baton for 40 minutes with hundreds of cheering parents on the sideline – it’s a sight to behold!

As pupils we love...

  • Boarding, the Chapman’s parties and themed suppers are the best! So are Cheam Prison Break, Hunt the Gapper, The Price is Right, Laser Tag, International Tukball and It’s a Knockout are fab too!
  • “Fireside” the night before the Christmas holidays. (a hilarious evening of sketches performed by the Year 8s and the teachers)
  • Playing sport every day.

What makes us different

You will read many differing ideas from so called experts on what the society of the future will be like. The truth is no one knows! However, what I can guarantee is that an education that prepares a child intellectually and emotionally for anything, that teaches the value of living and working collaboratively and enables your child to look forward with confidence and backwards with pride is both timeless and priceless.

Cheam is a very special community where there is a unique energy and excitement that permeates through the buildings, children and the staff! Cheam enjoys a close relationship with many of the top independent schools in England. We pride ourself on selecting the best senior school for the children in our care and then helping parents through the application, pre-test and successful transfer at the age of thirteen, winning plenty of scholarships and helping children to achieve outstanding exam results along the way.

However, prep school should never be seen merely as a stepping stone onto the next stage. The years at Pre-prep and Prep school are special and should be savoured by children and their parents. Although work is paramount, Cheam encourages and helps children to experience a broad range of extras away from the classroom. Standards achieved, in both team and individual sports, are high and all standards and abilities are involved. The school runs many teams and offers opportunities in a diverse number of activities. The standard of music and drama is exceptionally high and once again offers opportunities for all.

However, it is the experiences that are less easily measured or recorded that will mark a child’s time at Cheam as extra special. The friendships that are forged within a supportive community and the valuable time that children spend together playing happily during their free time will stay with each of them for a lifetime.

It is virtually impossible to condense all that the children at Cheam experience from day to day into one place. Do come and visit the school; you are guaranteed a warm welcome.


Please contact registrar@cheamschool.co.uk to book a tour of the Prep School and Pre-Prep and to meet the Headmaster, Mr Will Phelps
Headley, Newbury, Berkshire, RG19 8LD
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