About Us

If you like the outdoors, have a sense of adventure and are keen to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way then Mount Kelly is the school for you.

It’s The Climb

The mountaineer Conrad Anker wrote that ‘the summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters’. Inspired by this, at Mount Kelly we believe that our achievements lie not only in the outcomes – examinations passed and races won – but in the long hours of preparation, practice and training that leave deep and positive impressions, long after the dust has settled.

‘the summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters.’

– Conrad Anker

At Mount Kelly we focus as much on the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, as on the ‘what’; our staff understand that each step they take with a pupil informs more than the final outcome.

Being a pupil at Mount Kelly is a journey of achievement, one that is literally and symbolically taken up each year by every member of our community on the Cox Tor Walk. It is appropriate that this journey is set on the Moor: Mount Kelly is embedded in Dartmoor; we would not be what we are without our surroundings – the spirit and ethos of our School is inextricably linked to our location, not just in terms of what it allows us to do, but in shaping our attitudes, values and appreciation of the hidden challenges that lie in apparent tranquillity.

The dual nature of our surroundings – the beautiful and the challenging – reflects the comfortable bedfellows of warmth, good humour and gritty, combative determination that exist in our pupils; the Devon bedrock that anchors a national ambition and global outlook; the desire to conquer the summit through understanding the unflinching endeavour required to do so.


Our spectacular location means that we are well known for our strong commitment to co-curricular activities and we encourage all pupils to take part whether it be camping out on the moor, paddling a canoe, riding the waves on a surf board or enjoying an overnight sail in our 50 foot pilot cutter ‘Olga’. We call it the ‘Mount Kelly Spirit’ an attitude to life that develops here, one that allows pupils to really experience the life-defining educational experience that we promise.

With a high standard of academic schooling and a proven track record in public examination results over 85% of our pupils gain places at their top choices of universities.

The School has an internationally recognised coaching facility for swimming with a 4 lane 25m pool and an 8 lane 50m pool and has had alumni at the last five Olympic and Paralympic games. In 2020 Mount Kelly won the prestigious Arena League confirming our place as the top school for swimming in the UK. Our swimmers board and are taught alongside their contemporaries.

The College Chamber Choir is the flagship ensemble of the School. The group perform a wide range of challenging music from all periods and in a huge variety of styles, but mostly a cappella. They won the Barnardo’s School Choir of the Year Competition in London in 2020, and compete internationally every year.

The success of our swimmers and singers create 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 School was selected as a finalist for the Independent School Parent Magazine’s Independent School of the Year Award in 2019 and was a finalist in the Performing Arts category 2020.