Clayesmore School is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged from 3-18. Situated in the village of Iwerne Minster, Dorset, it is a member of The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) and the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS).

The school was founded by Alexander Devine in 1896 in Enfield, Middlesex. After moving to Pangbourne, Berkshire and then to Winchester, Hampshire, it finally moved to Iwerne Minster for the summer term of 1933. In 1974, it was joined on the Iwerne Minster site by Clayesmore Preparatory School, originally Charlton Marshall School, which had been founded in 1929 by R.A.L. Everett. In the following year the school became co-educational.

Clayesmore is a family school in every sense. Our Prep and Senior Schools share the same beautiful, well-equipped site which makes it possible for children of all ages to attend school together. We are just that perfect size as well – large enough to be challenging and to offer a wide-ranging curriculum and a breadth of inspiring activities for further development of our youngsters, yet small enough to foster a family feel, characterised by warmth, selflessness, strong relationships and positive regard for everybody.  

While strong academic foundations are core to Clayesmore’s educational philosophy, we prioritise building our pupils’ confidence to allow them to learn at their own pace. We know, from long experience, that whatever their starting point, we get our pupils to reach beyond themselves, in a balanced and natural way, to seize opportunities and to soar to heights they may not have imagined. Our inclusive and wide-ability ethos is all about deeper learning and active thinking skills. Teachers take time to learn to understand every boy and every girl, and are experts in supporting different learning needs by different ways of learning.

The 2017 Tatler Schools Guide summed up our ethos perfectly when they wrote: 

“‘Lucky children… I left feeling that I had spent time in a very happy place.’ This is a school with a lovely family feel, where children of all abilities thrive: ‘Everyone is known and everyone is noticed,’ we’re told. ‘A bright child will fly here, and a less able one flourish.'”

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