Royal Hospital School, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK

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The Royal Hospital School is an independent co-educational boarding and day school for 11-18 year olds, providing an outstanding, full and broad education enriched by a unique naval heritage and fit for the modern world. Founded in 1712 in Greenwich, London, it moved to its spectacular site, set in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the River Stour, in 1933. The School has continued to develop its spectacular purpose-built site and grow in size and reputation to become one of East Anglia’s leading independent boarding schools.


Number of students

Boarding School:







Day School:








7 days boarding: 

GBP 15,230 per term

About the school

Rich seafaring history and this maritime heritage lives on in the daily life of this Top UK boarding school through a number of traditions, including:
Sailing: All Year 7 pupils are given the opportunity to learn to sail, and talent in sailing is encouraged and developed throughout the School.
Flag Ceremony: The daily raising and lowering of the School Ensign, referred to by pupils and staff as 'Flag’
Divisions: All pupils are supplied with a naval uniform and taught the rudiments of marching for formal parades, called Divisions. These spectacular ceremonies, which generate tremendous pride in pupils and parents alike, are held on various dates during the year, five of which coincide with annual events: Harvest Festival (October), Remembrance Service (November), Confirmation Day (March), Founders’ Day (May) and Sports Day (June).
Marching Band: This unique boarding school has an impressive Marching Band (all brass, drums, saxophones, clarinets, flutes and percussion) trained to the highest standards by the School Bandmaster who is a former Director of Music of the Royal Marines Band.
Corps of Drums: The Corps of elite side and bass drum players performs impressive displays and is in much demand for ceremonial events throughout the country.
Naval Commemorations: We have a tradition of marking key naval events, such as celebrating victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Houses: The School Houses are named after prominent naval figures.

200 acres


This co-educational entry house has routines and pastoral care which focus specifically on the needs of 11-12 year olds. The house provides a caring, well-managed environment, which enables easier progression from primary to secondary school. Boarders sleep in rooms of six or eight beds, all of which are located on the first floor of the house together with shower and bath facilities and the laundry. The boys are in one wing and the girls in the other. Day pupils have lockers for both books and sports kit on the ground floor of the house as well as changing facilities. Both day pupils and boarders share the large common room areas which have television, games, computer and quiet rooms. There are also ad hoc boarding facilities for those wishing to try boarding or build up the number of overnight stays over a period of time.


Raleigh and Drake are houses for day boys and girls in Years 8 to 12 and they include areas for study, common rooms, computer rooms, lockable storage for books and games kit and changing facilities. Cornwallis provides similar day pupil accommodation for boys only but also has ad hoc boarding facilities for those who wish to stay overnight on occasion or up to 3 nights per week. The facilities provided are of the highest standard and specific to the needs of day pupils. The housemistress or housemaster provides excellent pastoral care and academic guidance with the support of a team of tutors attached to the house.

Day boys, whether in Raleigh, Drake or Cornwallis, may request to stay overnight on an ad hoc basis in Cornwallis House and girls in one of the girls’ boarding houses.


Year 8 boarders moving up from Blake House or new pupils entering the School at 13+ enter one of three boys’ (Collingwood, Hawke and St Vincent) or three girls’ (Anson, Hood and Howe) senior houses, each for around 60 boarding pupils. There are leisure facilities that include day rooms, table tennis and pool tables, kitchens, television rooms and a house library. Each boarder has his or her own self-contained working and sleeping accommodation. Normally, Year 8 and 9 pupils will be in four-bedded rooms with bath and shower facilities nearby and those in Years 10, 11 and 12 will be in double or single study bedrooms with en-suite facilities.


In their final year of Sixth Form Boarding, both boys and girls, boarders and day pupils, are accommodated in Nelson House, where pupils are encouraged to be more independent, with the aim of preparing them for life beyond school. One wing of the house is for girls and the other for boys, with central common room areas, kitchens, laundry room and quiet study rooms for day pupils.


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Academic life


On joining the School at Year 7, pupils of this junior boarding school are placed in one of four parallel forms although all pupils are set for mathematics based on performance in the entrance examination. After the first term, mathematics sets are adjusted as necessary, while English and science are set as required by the learning requirements of the cohort. The Lower School curriculum broadly follows the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9).

In Years 7 and 8, the subjects studied are English, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry and physics). All pupils of this junior boarding school study one modern foreign language (selected from French, German and Spanish), while Year 7 pupils will study classical civilisation before starting Latin in Year 8. In addition, they study three humanities (geography, history and religious studies) and four creative arts (art, design technology, drama and music). In Year 9 (Pre-GCSE Foundation Year of Key Stage 3), the core subjects studied are English, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry and physics) and three humanities (geography, history and religious studies). In addition, all pupils  of this junior boarding school study two creative arts (chosen from art, design technology, drama and music). The vast majority of pupils take a modern foreign language (from a choice of French, German, Spanish and Spanish ab initio), although a few pupils will receive English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons or learning support instead. Pupils also take one from the following: a second modern foreign language, Latin, classical civilisation, computing or targeted support in literacy and numeracy. All Lower School pupils also follow our bespoke Compass programme, which aims to provide them with the skills, enthusiasm and curiosity to become better


The Middle School Key Stage 4 courses are in line with national priorities in education and pupils take nine GCSEs. In Year 10, pupils of this boarding school in Suffolk take the following core subjects: English (most study language and literature as separate GCSEs), mathematics, one language (chosen from French, German, Latin and Spanish) and science. Pupils can choose to take the separate sciences or the double award. Three additional GCSE subjects are chosen from geography, history, religious studies, classical civilisation, a second language, media studies, art, music, drama, design technology, PE (academic) and business. If pupils select separate sciences, then one of their three optional subjects will be the third science. Pupils of this top independent boarding school are encouraged to consider at least one humanity from classical civilisation, geography, history and religious studies and one creative subject from art, design technology, music and drama. A small number of pupils will receive targeted support in literacy and numeracy instead of a modern foreign language. All Year 10 and 11 pupils have one PE lesson and two games sessions each week, one of which is on a Saturday afternoon.

CURRICULUM THE SCHOOL SIXTH FORM (YEARS 12 & 13) In the Sixth Form Boarding School, pupils study three A Level subjects or two A Levels and a BTEC Level 3 (the direct equivalent of an A Level). The school currently offers A Levels in art, biology, business, chemistry, classical civilisation, drama, design technology, economics, English language, English literature, film studies, French, further mathematics, geography, German, history, Latin, mathematics, music, music technology, physics, politics, psychology, religious studies, Spanish and textiles. The BTEC Level 3 offered is in sport. These three core subjects are supplemented with an elective academic subject which could be: further mathematics A Level; a Level 3 extended project qualification (EPQ); a Level 3 certificate in higher sports leadership; an IELTS qualification; a GCSE in astronomy; a BTEC Level 2 first award in information and creative technology; or a BTEC Level 2 first award in performing arts. To enrich the curriculum further, RHS+ provides a carousel of lessons in Year 12 which covers: careers advice; digital effectiveness and online safety; coping with stress; mindfulness; financial management; and cooking on a budget. RHSXtra is a series of talks and seminars provided by staff and outside experts on topics that aim to broaden horizons and inspire curiosity. In addition, Elevate Education run sessions and workshops to help prepare pupils for public examinations.

Sport and culture

Aerobics, Badminton, Basketball, Canoeing, Climbing, Dry Skiing , Cricket Nets, Football, Free Swim, Horse Riding, Judo, Kickboxing, Land Yachting, Racketball, Rugby Sevens, Running Club, Sailing, Scuba Diving Club, Shooting, Sports Leadership, Squash , Table Tennis, Trampolining, Yoga Exercise, Golf , Multi Gym, Strength and Conditioning, Cross country, Fitness, Kayaking, Swimming, Windsurfing

This top UK boarding school has 96 acres of sports fields, an all-weather pitch, tennis and netball courts, squash courts, a sports hall, fitness suite, strength and conditioning room, martial arts studio, climbing wall, large indoor pool, golf course, nearby equestrian facilities and sailing provision within 5 minutes of the school campus.

Art & Design , Ballet, Band, Baroque Group, Big Band, Blues Band , Bookworms, Textiles, Brass Ensemble, Ceramics, Chamber Choir, Chapel Choir, Chess, Chinese Calligraphy, Choral Society, Classics Club, Contemporary Dance, Crafts, CREST Silver and Gold Award, Devizes to Westminster, Drama, Film Club, Five-a-side Flute Ensemble, Jewellery Making,  Just Sing,  Literary Society, Music Technology Club, Musicianship Surgery, Orchestra, Rock Group, Saxophone Ensemble, Singing, String Ensemble, Studd & Riddle Society, Woodwork, Design Technology,


Location Description

The Royal Hospital School is located on the B1080 between the villages of Stutton and Holbrook.

London Stansted Airport (48 miles)

London Luton Airport (99 miles)

London Gatwick Airport (99 miles)

London Heathrow Airport (107 miles)

Holbrook, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP9 2RX IP9 2RX

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