Top 5 schools in Cambridgeshire

Beyond its world-famous university, the county of Cambridgeshire is renowned for its many excellent primary, secondary and independent schools, colleges and academies.

We know what matters most to you is giving your children the very best chance to reach their potential – whether they’re primary school age or considering college.

Cambridgeshire, fortunately, rises to the task – and then some. Its abundance of brilliant schools is one of the many things that makes the country a perfect place to call home.

Our developments at Kingley Grove in Melbourn, St James’ Park in Ely, and Miller’s Gate in Soham all put you within easy reach of the county’s top schools. We’ve curated a selection of the top schools in Cambridgeshire, drawing from Ofsted reports to offer you valuable insights.


The entrance to King?s College and view down King?s Parade, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Top 5 Primary Schools in Cambridgeshire

1. Histon and Impington Brook Primary School

Located in the villages of Histon and Impington, this school is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It focuses on providing a broad and balanced education, encouraging children to be curious and creative learners.

Key Features:

  • Strong sense of community
  • Broad and balanced curriculum
  • Emphasis on creativity and curiosity
  • Wide range of extracurricular activities

2. Holywell CofE Primary School

As a Church of England school, Holywell offers a values-based education in a caring and supportive environment. It’s known for its focus on both academic and personal development.

Key Features:

  • Values-based education aligned with Christian ethos
  • Strong focus on individual student growth
  • Variety of extracurricular and enrichment activities
  • Emphasis on nurturing a caring and respectful community

3. Middlefield Primary Academy

Situated in St Neots, this academy is recognised for its innovative approach to teaching and learning. It offers a vibrant and stimulating environment where children are encouraged to explore and discover.

Key Features:

  • Innovative and dynamic teaching methods
  • Focus on exploration and discovery in learning
  • Strong commitment to inclusivity and diversity
  • Range of technological and digital learning resources

4. Samuel Pepys School

Located in St Neots, this is a special school catering to a wide range of learning difficulties. The school is dedicated to providing a supportive and tailored learning experience for each student.

Key Features:

  • Specialises in a wide range of learning difficulties
  • Individualised learning approaches
  • Emphasis on life skills and independence
  • A supportive, nurturing environment

5. The Spinney Primary School

This primary school, based in Cambridge, is known for its creative and inspiring approach to education. It has a strong community ethos and is committed to fostering a love of learning.

Key Features:

  • Creative and inspiring teaching methods
  • Strong community involvement
  • Emphasis on developing a lifelong love of learning
  • Wide range of extracurricular and enrichment activities
A Cambridge college from the river Cam

Top 5 Secondary Schools in Cambridgeshire

1. Chesterton Community College

Located in Cambridge, Chesterton Community College is known for its strong academic performance and inclusive environment. The school emphasises both academic success and personal development.

Key Features:

  • High academic standards
  • Diverse and inclusive community
  • Wide range of extracurricular activities
  • Strong focus on student well-being and development

2. St Bede’s Inter-Church School

This is an inter-denominational Christian secondary school in Cambridge. It’s known for its strong ethos of respect and compassion, and it provides a supportive learning environment.

Key Features:

  • Inter-Church Christian ethos
  • Emphasis on respect, compassion, and community service
  • Broad curriculum with a range of subject choices
  • Strong pastoral care system

3. Parkside Community College

Situated in the heart of Cambridge, Parkside offers a vibrant and dynamic learning environment. The school is known for its innovative approach to education and its commitment to sustainability.

Key Features:

  • Innovative and forward-thinking educational approach
  • Strong commitment to environmental sustainability
  • Diverse and inclusive student body
  • Emphasis on global citizenship and social responsibility

4. Comberton Village College

Located in a village setting near Cambridge, Comberton Village College is recognised for its excellent academic record and its focus on developing well-rounded individuals.

Key Features:

  • Strong academic performance
  • Holistic education with a focus on all-round development
  • Wide range of extracurricular activities
  • A supportive and nurturing environment

5. Bottisham Village College

This college, situated in a village near Cambridge, is known for its friendly atmosphere and commitment to helping each student achieve their potential. It offers a broad curriculum and a range of enrichment activities.

Key Features:

  • Welcoming and supportive community
  • Broad and balanced curriculum
  • Strong focus on individual achievement and potential
  • Variety of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities
St ives bridge in cambridge

Top 5 SEN Schools in Cambridgeshire

1. Impington Village College

Located in Impington, South Cambridgeshire, this college is renowned for its International Baccalaureate (IB) program and inclusive ethos. It offers a broad, balanced curriculum and a wide range of extracurricular activities.

Key Features:

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
  • Inclusive and supportive environment
  • Strong focus on global citizenship and international-mindedness
  • Wide range of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities

2. Gretton School

Situated in Girton, this is a specialist school for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Gretton School is known for its tailored approach to meet the individual needs of its students.

Key Features:

  • Specialises in education for students with Autism Spectrum Conditions
  • Personalised and adaptive teaching methods
  • Focus on developing life skills and independence
  • A supportive, nurturing environment

3. Comberton Village College

Based in Toft, this college is part of the Cam Academy Trust and is known for its high academic standards and commitment to student development. It offers a broad curriculum and a range of extracurricular activities.

Key Features:

  • Strong academic performance
  • Holistic approach to education
  • Wide range of extracurricular and enrichment activities
  • Emphasis on personal development and well-being

4. The Centre School

This school provides alternative education for students who find mainstream education challenging. Located in South Cambridgeshire, it focuses on meeting the diverse needs of its students with a tailored approach.

Key Features:

  • Alternative education provision
  • Tailored learning approaches for individual needs
  • Focus on re-engaging students with education
  • Supportive and understanding environment

5. The Martin Bacon Academy

This is a new special free school in Northstowe, South Cambridgeshire, catering to students with complex learning difficulties, including autism. The academy aims to provide a nurturing and stimulating learning environment.

Key Features:

  • Specialises in complex learning difficulties and autism
  • Individualised and holistic approach to education
  • Emphasis on life skills, independence, and employability
  • State-of-the-art facilities and resources
King's College Chapel Cambridge University


How do "Good" rated schools compare to "Outstanding" rated schools in Cambridgeshire?

In Cambridgeshire, schools rated as “Good” are definitely doing a solid job. They meet key educational standards and their students are getting a decent education.

But, when you look at “Outstanding” schools, they’re like the cream of the crop. These schools go above and beyond. They’re not just hitting the basic targets; they’re smashing them.

Which secondary schools in Cambridgeshire are ranked best based on A-level results?

When it comes to nailing those A-levels, some schools in Cambridgeshire are really showing off. The top dogs usually include places like Hills Road Sixth Form College, which has a rep for stellar results.

Then there’s The Perse School and The Stephen Perse Foundation – both known for academic excellence. But remember, these rankings can shuffle around a bit from year to year.

Is Cambridgeshire a suitable place for children?

Absolutely. Cambridgeshire is pretty great for kids. It’s got a bunch of green spaces for them to run around in, good schools (as we’ve just talked about), and plenty of activities and clubs for all sorts of interests.

Plus, it’s generally considered safe and has a friendly vibe, which is always a plus for families. Take a look at our guide to the best things to do in Cambridgeshire.

Is Cambridgeshire a desirable area to live in?

For sure, Cambridgeshire has a lot going for it. It’s got this cool mix of historical charm and modern amenities.

There’s a thriving job market, especially in tech and research. Plus, the countryside is gorgeous, and you’re not too far from London for a city fix. It’s a hit with both families and professionals.

Take a look at our best places to live in Cambridgeshire guide here!

Are private schools superior to grammar schools in Cambridgeshire?

Private schools in Cambridgeshire, like in most places, often have more resources, smaller class sizes, and some pretty fancy facilities.

But, grammar schools, which are selective and focus a lot on academic achievement, are no slouches either. They often have excellent academic records and a strong focus on preparing students for higher education. So, it’s not about one being outright better than the other; it’s more about what fits best for the student.