Frequently Asked Questions

Is St Martin's Ampleforth exclusively for Catholics? 

A majority of the boys and girls who come to St Martin's Ampleforth are baptised Catholics, but we accept into the school students from other Churches and traditions.  Most of these - but not all - are Anglican.  Their parents have had particular reason to seek education for their children here, and we are happy to support such families.   Of course, Ampleforth welcomes parents who are not themselves in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Can students stay at the school before they join?

We always encourage prospective students to come for a taster day and/or night at the school to get some idea of what it is like.

Can we meet any parents who currently have children in the school?  

Yes.  Ampleforth has a network of parents' representatives around the country. They will be happy to answer any questions and to address any concerns you may have.  For example, you may wish to ask about practicalities such as travel arrangements and clothing, or you may want to know more about academic or religious aspects of the School; this may be your first experience of a monastic school and you may want to get a parent's perspective.  In any event please do not hesitate to contact them.  Wherever you live it should be possible to put you in touch with someone who has a child in the school who lives in your region.  Please let us know and we will do our best to make an introduction.

How often can we see our boarding son or daughter during term time?  

With the exception of one weekend each in September and November, St Martin's Ampleforth does not have exeats.  There are half-terms (eleven days in October, nine days in February and eight days in May).  We are a full boarding school and exeat weekends are impractical for many who live so far away from the school itself.  However, boarding parents are welcome to visit as often as they choose, and even take their child out for an overnight stay.  It is quite usual, for example, for parents to come up for a weekend, take their son or daughter out after commitments on a Saturday, join us for Mass on Sunday morning and then return their child to the school during the afternoon.

Requests for absence for special family occasions and other special events are always considered sympathetically.

Do we have to travel to St Martin's Ampleforth at the beginning and end of each term?

Transport to and from York station to connect with trains to and from King's Cross is arranged by the school for the beginning and end of each term and half-term.  Members of staff accompany these trains.  Transport to and from some other destinations is also arranged.

What help is given to those with learning difficulties?

The School has worked successfully with dyslexic students for years.  They are given specialist teaching and have dedicated facilities, including appropriate computer support.  Our aim is to give dyslexic students support within the curriculum.  They may receive individual tuition in specific problem areas.  Professional assessments are regularly carried out, and extra time is given for public examinations.

How many monks are there in the Community?  

Ampleforth is the largest monastic community in the country, with over 70 monks. About half are based at the Abbey - with others on our parishes, at our priory of Christ the Word  in Zimbabwe and at St. Benet's Hall, Oxford.

How many monks are involved in the school?  

Currently one monk teaches full time at St Martin's Ampleforth.  Other monks, from Ampleforth College, visit the school to take Mass and to enhance our Christian Theology, Latin and Greek teaching.

Bursary

Bursaries enable pupils to attend the school who otherwise would not be able to afford the fees. To apply for a bursary a detailed form about your personal circumstances needs to be completed.

Common Entrance

An exam is taken in the final term of Year 8 to enable pupils to gain entry to Ampleforth College or another independent/private senior schools.

Curriculum

The course of work that each year group follows

Dormitory

The room in a boarding house where a number of boarders sleep (often called a ‘dorm’ or just a bedroom). The number of beds varies, ranging from four up to about eight.

Evensong

The choral evensong is a Christian service of reflection held in the evening.

Exeat

Weekend where all pupils, including boarders, go home.

Extra-curricular activities

Activities taking place outside the formal curriculum, which are designed to encourage non-academic skills and experiences

Flexi-boarding

This is where pupils and their families opt for boarding for three or four regular nights a week.

Full boarding

This is where pupils live at school for most of the term, including weekends. There are usually specific exeats (leave weekends), when full boarders go home or to their guardians in the UK

Guardian

An individual who acts on behalf of a pupil’s parents and takes care of the pupil during term time and holidays. Students whose parents live abroad will require a guardian.

Housemaster/mother  

A staff member responsible for the supervision and care of boarders in a boarding house.

Independent Boarding School

Institutions that are run independently rather than by the state (the UK Government) to provide a general education and accommodation for young people between the ages of 7 and 13. Independent schools are commonly known as private schools. Some schools have pre-preparatory departments, which take non-boarding pupils from age five or even younger in some cases. The majority of boarding schools in the UK are non-profit-making foundations.

Matron

The matron looks after the health and hygiene of boarding pupils.

Tutor

Each pupil in the prep school has an individual tutor who takes an active interest in all aspects of their progress. Tutors are on hand to talk through and help to solve any problems pupils may have both academically and pastorally.

Nursery

Class for 3 to 5 year olds

Ofsted

The Office for Standards in Education is the Government department responsible for the inspection of schools in the UK. It works closely with Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Prep

The term commonly used to mean homework. (Also used as an abbreviation of ‘preparatory’.)

Preparatory

Year 3 (aged 7-8) to Year 8 (aged 12-13)

Pre-Prep

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes