The Pilgrims' School
|Type||Independent preparatory day and boarding
Choral foundation school
|Religion||Church of England|
|Chair of Governors||The Very Rev James Atwell, Dean of Winchester|
|Location||3 The Close
The Pilgrims' School is a boys' preparatory school and cathedral school in the cathedral city of Winchester, Hampshire, England. The official date of establishment is unknown but historical records indicate that choristers of Winchester Cathedral's renowned choir have been educated in the Close as early the 7th century. As it also educates choristers of the Winchester College Chapel Choir, the school maintains close links with the college. It is not to be confused with the Pilgrim School, Bedford, built in 1962 (formerly called "Pilgrim Grammar School").
A number of schools set up to educate the choir boys of Winchester Cathedral are known to have existed since Saxon times. Some scholars link them with Alta Schola, established in Winchester around AD676. The school moved to its present site in 1931. The main building, redesigned by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th Century, is on the site of a former Roman villa, and includes a medieval hall and barn.
A pre-preparatory department was opened in 2007 to meet the growing demand for an early years programme.
Upon entry, each boy is allocated to one of the 5 houses, known as 'Sets'. They compete in inter-set competitions and points are given for good conduct and academic performance, etc.
Most boys are day pupils but the boarding programme is open to all. Cathedral Choristers or Quiristers generally board full-time while others return home for the weekend.
There are seven dormitories, and the building mainly houses the Winchester Cathedral Choristers and the majority of 'Commoners' (other pupils).
Q School, short for 'Quiristers School', is the property of Winchester College, because the Quiristers sing in the College Choir and used to be taught separately in this building when they were a full part of the Winchester College community. However, in the 1960s it became uneconomical for the college to organise a separate school and curriculum from the rest of the boys, who were from Years 9-13, and so from 1966 onwards The Pilgrims' School welcomed Quiristers to be educated with the 'Commoners'. The Quiristers continue to sing and rehearse at Winchester College, but are educated at The Pilgrims' School; staff at Q School are now solely members of staff at The Pilgrims' School.
Q School is situated on Kingsgate Street in Winchester, close to the main school site.
|Years in appointment||Headmaster|
|1997-2011||The Revd Dr Brian Rees|
- Jules Knight, actor
- Hugh Mitchell, actor
- Johnny Flynn, musician
- Jamie Byng, publisher
- Jack Dee, comedian
- Patrick Gale, author
- Jon Snow, broadcaster
- Anthony Smith, sculptor
- List of the oldest schools in the world
- For information about The Pilgrims' Hall - the earliest double hammer-beamed roof in England, see Winchester