The Cathedral School, Llandaff

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The Cathedral School, Llandaff
Main building of The Cathedral School, Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales.jpg
Established c.9th Century
1880 (current school)
Type Independent school
Choral foundation school
Religion Anglican
Head Clare V Sherwood
Custos (Chairman) Gilbert Lloyd
Founder Dean John Vaughn and Canon Nathaniel Woodard
Location Cardiff
Local authority Cardiff City Council
DfE URN 402015 Tables
Students 700
Gender Co-Educational
Ages 3–18
Colours Black, Maroon and Gold
Former pupils Old Llandavians

The Cathedral School, Llandaff is a coeducational independent day school located in Llandaff, a district north of the Welsh capital Cardiff. Originally established as a choral foundation to train choir boys for the affiliated Llandaff Cathedral, it is now part of the Woodard Schools foundation and continues to provide choristers for the cathedral. It is the only surviving Anglican choir school in Wales and is a member of the ISC, IAPS and the Choir Schools Association.[1]


The school chapel

While Roald Dahl was a pupil at the school, he was involved in the "Great Mouse Plot of 1924", which he later described in his autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood. This is the first of numerous occasions in which he outlines in great detail the perceived cruelty of corporal punishment in schools. The headmaster at this time was Mr T. R. Coombes.


The Cathedral School consists of three sections: Infant School (ages 3–7), Junior School (ages 7–11) and Senior School (years 7–13). Sixth form teaching began in September 2013. In the 2012 Estyn inspection, the overarching judgements made by the inspectors were that the school's current performance was Excellent and that the school's prospects for improvement were Excellent.


Junior School[edit]

Modern Language education begins early, generally during Key Stage 2. In the 2005 inspection, pupils were reported to have performed well above the national average in National Curriculum tests.

Senior School[edit]

A traditional academic education, with sciences separately taught by specialists, along with a range of modern languages (French, Spanish, German) in addition to Latin, is delivered alongside very competitive sport (senior pupils have an unusually generous amount of time allocated to sport) and opportunities in the Arts. Pupils have generally performed well in the GCSE exams. The school was ranked top co-educational school in Wales in 2012 for GCSE success.[2] Every pupil up to Year 9 receives music tuition for 45 minutes per week in class. Interested pupils may choose to take GCSE music.

Pastoral Care[edit]

Every pupil in the Senior Section is a member of one of three senior Houses, named after the Llandaff saints: Dyfrig, Euddogwy and Teilo. The pupils are cared for by one of five house tutors, who in turn are overseen by a housemaster or housemistress. Housemasters and housemistresses, assisted by their tutor teams, are responsible for pupils' pastoral care, oversight of their academic progress and personal development.[3]



The boy choristers have sung in the Wales Millennium Centre, with Welsh National Opera, Bryn Terfel and Carlo Rizzi. Music is very strong at the Cathedral School with several pupils at Grade 8 standard. The music department is housed in the Jubilee building, with a full range of instruments available and specialist teachers of twenty instruments. There are numerous musical groups including the School Orchestra, the Swing Band, the Flute Group and the Senior Chamber Choir.


Drama has thrived only recently in the school but is rapidly expanding. Pupils writie their own work for 'gala evenings' and many pupils are on the books of National Youth Theatre.


Over twenty sports are played at the school, with pupils at international level in cricket, badminton, rugby, gymnastics and sailing. Unusual for a choral foundation school, the school also offers scholarships based on athletic ability.

Notable Old Llandavians[edit]

Former students of The Cathedral School, Llandaff are referred to as Old Llandavians.


  • The Revd C.E. Butler (1880–1883)
  • The Revd E. Owen (1883–1889)
  • The Revd J.E. Stevenson-More (1889–1905)
  • The Revd P.R. Cleave (1905–1912)
  • G.L. Robanthan & R. Brice-Smith (1912–1919)
  • T.R. Coombes (1919–1946)
  • N.L. Westbury-Jones (1946–1957)
  • R.J.B. Hulland (1957–1975)
  • G.L. Hill (1975–1983)
  • J.C. Knapp (1983–1993)
  • D.A. Evans (Acting Head) (1993–1994)
  • P.L. Gray (1994–2008)
  • S. Morris (2008–2016 )
  • C.V. Sherwood (2016-present)


External links[edit]