Royal Hospital School

Location: Holbrook, Suffolk

Age of pupils: 11-18 y.o.

Gender: Co-educational

Boarding: Day, Weekly boarding, Full boarding

Pupils: 700

Head: Mr Simon Lockyer

Last updated 23.03.2021

Short description of the school

The Royal Hospital School, abbreviated as RHS, is an independent, co-educational independent boarding and day school in the village of Holbrook, Suffolk in the East of England. It accepts boys and girls from the ages of 11 to 18.

The school is set in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the Stour Estuary and within an hour of London. Royal Hospital School providing an outstanding, full and broad education enriched by a unique naval heritage and fit for the modern world.

RHS was founded by Royal Charter in 1712 as part of Greenwich Hospital, a charitable institution. It was established to provide boys from seafaring backgrounds with the then rare privilege of learning arithmetic and navigation. Originally located in what is now the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London it moved to its current 200 acre, purpose-built location in 1933.

As a result of its heritage and watery location next to a 400 acre man-made reservoir and between the Stour and Orwell estuaries, it has become a Centre of Excellence for Sailing with unrivalled provision and opportunity for sailing. Over 300 years after its foundation, discovery, exploration and challenge continue to shape its ethos and the School provides an outstanding, full and broad education to boys and girls to fit them for the modern world. The School's focus is on inspiring pupils to pursue their interests and make the most of their talents through learning and extra-curricular activities.

The school has a broadly Anglican ethos but welcomes all faiths or none.

What makes this school different from others?

  • Naval Traditions
  • Self Contained Site
  • Own Dentist Surgery
  • Sailing Academy
  • Graham Napier Cricket Academy

School strengths:

Strong sport
Pupils of all ages regularly achieve club and school county levels, and occasionally national team recognition, in a variety of sports, but in particular sailing (Olympic Pathway Development Squads), rugby (England U16 caps), cricket (England), hockey (England), netball (Super League Mavericks Development Squad), athletics (National Schools) and cross-country running (Eastern Counties).

Strong music
The School is well known for its musical excellence. The facilities offered are outstanding. Over 400 pupils learn to play at least one instrument and there is an orchestra, 80-strong chapel choir, chamber choir, ceremonial marching band, concert band, big band and numerous ensembles, including many rock and pop groups.

Message from the Head of the school

Headmaster photoSet in 200 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside overlooking the River Stour, the Royal Hospital School is a thriving HMC boarding and day school for 11 to 18 year old girls and boys providing an excellent values-driven all round education. During their time at the School, pupils are encouraged to enjoy the adventure of learning and to develop a lifelong appetite for knowledge. There is the opportunity to pursue a huge range of interests and activities and everyone is encouraged to try something different, discover new passions and develop new skills.

The Schools Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is the tenth largest in the country and more than three hundred pupils participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Team and Fleet sailing is a particular strength and the School is a RYA accredited Sailing Academy. Elite sailors can get on the water up to four times a week and regularly compete at international level.

As a result of the Royal Hospital Schools unique seafaring heritage, up to 100% of fees for children of seafaring families (current or retired Royal Navy, Royal Marines, merchant navy and some other sea-going careers) may be cover through generous means-tested bursaries. Sailing Scholarships are also available providing Elite Training Programmes and Olympic Pathway opportunities.

Maps,addresses and directions

The Royal Hospital School located in 200 acres of stunning Suffolk countryside just 7 miles from the county town of Ipswich. It is within easy access of the A12 and A14, main trainline from London, the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe and London Stansted airport.

Royal Hospital School

programmes and subjects

GCSE A Level
core subjects:

Art (fine art/photography/textiles)

English & English Literature Biology 
Mathematics Business
Science Chemistry 
subject choices: Classical Civilisation




English language

Classical Civilisation

English literature

Computer Science


Design Technology

Further Mathematics




Government and Politics





Media Studies


Modern Foreign Languages



Music Technology
Physical Education Physics
Religious Studies  Product Design
  Religious Studies


BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Sport (one A Level equivalent)
BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (two A Level equivalent)

these core subjects are supplemented with an elective academic subject which could be:

Further Mathematics A Level
Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Level 3 Certificate in Higher Sports Leadership
IELTS qualification
Cambridge Technical in IT, Level 2 qualification
BTEC Level 2 First Award in Performing Arts

academic results

There are two grading systems applied in the UK. Grades in England are indicated by numbers from 1 to 9, where 9 is the highest grade.

System in Wales and Northern Ireland is evaluated using a letter grading scale from G to A*, where A* is the highest grade.

GCSE 2019-20
A*-A / 9-7 42%
B-C / 6-4


D and below



A level 2019-20
A*-A 26.7%
B-C 59.6%
D and below 13.7%


Great importance is placed on balancing academic work with interests and achievements outside the classroom and every pupil is encouraged to become fully involved in school life, to challenge themselves and to try something new.

Elite Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Athletics Netball
Cricket Rounders
Cross Country Rugby
Hockey Sailing


Main sports 





Cross Country



Cross Country








Other sports


Five-a-side Football  Racketball  Strength and Conditioning  
Badminton Football (boys and girls) Rugby (boys and girls)  Swimming 
Basketball Free Swim Rugby Sevens Table Tennis
Canoeing Golf Running Club  Volleyball
Climbing Horse Riding Sailing Windsurfing 
Cricket Nets Kayaking Scuba Diving Club   Yoga Exercise  
Dry Skiing    Kickboxing Shooting  
Fencing Land Yachting Sports Leadership   
Fitness  Multi Gym Squash  


Other than sport

Amnesty International

Classics Club Flute Ensemble Orchestra
Art & Design Combined Cadet Force Geography Club Robotics Club
Ballet Computing Guard Rock Group
Band Cookery History Club Saxophone Ensemble
Baroque Group Crafts Inventors Club Science
Board Games Club Debating Society Jewellery Making Singing
Brass Ensemble Decoupage Knitting Club STEM/CREST Club
Ceramics Design Technology Lifesaving String Ensemble
Chamber Choir Drama Literary Society Textiles
Chapel Choir Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Medical Society Woodwork
Chess Eco Warriors Model United Nations Young Enterprise
Choral Society Film Club Music Technology Club  


In addition, pupils are encouraged to take part in the co-curricular opportunities after school. As well as music lessons and working toward drama qualifications, there is a wide range of organised activities and societies each day between 16:00 and 18:00.


There are superb facilities on site within the 200 acre campus.

Facilities available

All-weather Pitches

Drama Studio Netball Courts
Art and Design Centre Golf Course Sports Fields (96 acres)
Climbing Wall (indoor) Gym and Fitness Suit Squash Courts
Dance Studio Martial Arts Studio Swimming Pool (indoor)
Dentist Surgery Music School Tennis Courts

boarding options

Boarding at Royal Hospital School is available from age of 11 - 18 (Years 7-13).

Boarding Options

3 nights per week: Occasional/flexi boarding
6 nights per week: Weekly boarding (Monday - Saturday)
7 nights per week: Traditional full boarding
15 nights per term: Boarding Bundle

How can I apply to this school?

The main points of entry to the Royal Hospital School are at ages 11, 13 and 16, but the school also accepts applications for other year groups provided there are places. Boarders are accepted from the age of 11.

Joining a UK independent school has never been easier:

Just press the button below and complete the enquiry form. You will then be contacted by an ISAC admissions manager and guided through the whole process. You can apply to as many schools on our portal as you wish and you only need to complete one registration form, pay one registration fee and your child sits only one set of exams.

Simple, straightforward and stress free.

Make an enquiry


Currency Converter:

2020-21 Academic Year

Year Age
Day fees
Y7 11-12 16,440 GBP 26,490 GBP 27,990 GBP
Y8 12-13 16,440 GBP 26,490 GBP 27,990 GBP
Y9 13-14 18,330 GBP 34,140 GBP 35,640 GBP
Y10 14-15 18,330 GBP 34,140 GBP 35,640 GBP
Y11 15-16 18,330 GBP 34,140 GBP 35,640 GBP
Y12 16-17 18,330 GBP 34,140 GBP 35,640 GBP
Y13 17-18 18,330 GBP 34,140 GBP 35,640 GBP

*International pupils are those who do not hold a British passport and whose principal residence is outside the UK. Fees include specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) support as required, airport transfer booking service and other associated costs.

Explore Royal Hospital School with Us

Carefully complete all the questions below

alternatively you can email us at:

Please provide your contact details and we
will respond to any questions you may have.

alternatively you can email us at:

Thank you for your enquiry.
We will be in touch shortly.

By continuing to browse or by clicking "Accept and close", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience and for analytical purposes. To learn more about how we use the cookies, please see our cookies policy.
Accept and close