Exeter Cathedral School (ECS) is not just old, it’s VERY old. Although the buildings aren't the same, the earliest written reference
to the Chorister School is 1179!
That was long before children used slates to write on (in the 18th and 19th centuries), a lot longer before they used paper – EVEN LONGER before computers were used – and LIGHT YEARS before iPads and tablets were normal classroom accessories!
In those days, the school housed and educated about 26 Choristers, all boys, who sang every day at the Cathedral. It wasn’t until the 1960s that non-Chorister places were offered and, not until 1994 that girls sang in the Choir. In fact, Exeter was the second Cathedral in the whole country to welcome Girl Choristers! YAY! GO EXETER!
All Choristers from the Cathedral receive a Scholarship to ECS, usually 38 in total, half girls, half boys. They still have all of the lessons offered to all the other pupils, but with lots of singing too!
Boarding is offered to all pupils and provides a welcome second home. Lots of boarders are Choristers, but not all. Some children are full boarders, some ‘flexi-board’ and others board occasionally.
There are fantastic Big Boarding Sleepovers when the cosy boarding house is packed out! At other times, it may just be Choristers staying after late concerts and services. At all times though, it’s a lovely, welcoming place to be.
As James says, “I LOVE boarding. Boarding isn’t just my second home, it’s my second family. My sister is grown up, so I’m sort-of an only child but, when I’m boarding, I feel like I’ve got lots of brothers and sisters. We have a Games room as well as playing outside together, we watch movies in the Hub, we do our homework together in the Prep Room and we have our meals in the dining hall (where the panel to secret passage starts in our book).
In the book, we have midnight feasts (… I can’t tell you whether we do that in real life, in case I blow it for next time!)
Boarding life is cool and I hope you like reading about it in ‘Tiggs and The Midnight Choir’.”
We, James and Julie, are already HUGE fans of ECS. We can’t thank them enough for the life they’ve given to James, which prompted us to write this book.
If you’d like to learn more about the school, or arrange a visit, please see the ECS website at
To see ECS singing Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' in Lockdown please follow this link here