‘Everything seems to run like clockwork,’ says one parent of their first visit here. The whole family felt the ‘happy, articulate’ pupils ‘loved the college’, whose stunning buildings – one of which stood in for Kensington Palace in The Crown – are the setting for a vibrant, all-round education. The incredible GW Annenberg Performing Arts Centre is large enough to fit the entire school and is home to weekly assemblies as well as much-lauded productions; and College Carnival, looked forward to every year, gives each pupil a chance to try their hand at new hobbies or join societies. Wellington is involved in an array of outreach projects, including a charitable fund that offers education grants to local partners in the state sector. The ‘wonderful’ and ‘exemplary’ head James Dahl is adored by parents and pupils alike. (‘Hugely engaging and enthusiastic’, with a deep love for his school, ‘he doesn’t just know the names of the current pupils, but also the ones about to enter’, say parents.) His vision and clear, strong leadership play a huge part in the staggering results from the ‘confident and engaging’ leavers, who head to top universities – around 10 per cent to Oxbridge – with an increasing number making for the US. However, nobody ends their time here without participating in The Kingsleys, a full-school run that involves wading through ‘Swan Lake’. Wellingtonians certainly aren’t faint-hearted.