MUCH like the contestants settling into Mastermind’s famous black chair, Britain’s schools show off their skills in a wide spectrum of specialist subjects. Mark Semmence, Head Master, tells us about Mount Kelly School’s areas of expertise…

Mount Kelly is first and foremost a boarding school and all our academic staff are therefore involved in a robust structure of round the clock care. The school day finishes in the early evening and only then to the day pupils go home and boarders’ activities begin.

A full programme of sports and fixtures on a Saturday keep everyone busy and, with a wide variety of optional trips on Sundays, we are a truly 24/7 school. This restructuring of the day to focus on our provision for boarders has reaped rewards with boarding numbers at our Prep School increasing by 25 per cent in the last three years.

We have also been nominated for Boarding School of The Year in the 2018 TES Independent School Awards.

Mount Kelly is set in over 100 acres of green fields and woodland on the edge of Dartmoor National Park giving us the perfect location for outdoor adventure and we are well known for our strong commitment to co-curricular activities. The majority of College pupils are involved with the Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon or the Ten Tors Challenge.

Our Weekend Activity Programme (not compulsory for day pupils) gives the children a wide range of opportunity to explore their own interests with activities from kayaking to cookery including the use of our own on-site residential Adventure Training Centre, which boasts a high-ropes course and trapeze jump. In addition our academic staff, in collaboration with the Adventure Centre, run the innovative and unique Learning Outside the Classroom Programme.

Children in the Pre-Prep attend a weekly Forest School activity. The Shackleton programme is run for 9 to 13 year olds and designed to give them increasingly challenging outdoor expeditions.

Mount Kelly has an internationally recognised coaching facility for swimming with both an eight lane 50m pool and a four lane 25m pool within the School grounds. Our swimmers board and are taught alongside their contemporaries. This creates a culture in which the level of commitment and dedication required to excel are not considered out of the ordinary but are qualities to which everyone can aspire.

The swimming programme has had alumni at the last five Olympic and Paralympic games and our current squad won Top Club at the 51st Geneva International Swim Meet in January this year having also won first place at the 2017 English Schools Swimming Association National Championships in London.

Find out more about Mount Kelly School at

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