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Claremont Fan Court School
Claremont Fan Court School
Claremont Fan Court School
Claremont Fan Court School
Claremont Fan Court School Esher, Surrey Visit
school
Claremont Fan Court School
Esher
786 pupils, ages 11-18
Mixed
Day

Claremont Fan Court School

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Our View

This school is booming thanks to its reputation for inclusivity and celebrating children for what they enjoy and excel at, not what the school wants them to be. The curriculum is very broad, allowing pupils to find their thing and fly with it, whether it’s in the creative, sporting or academic sphere. No one is pushed in a direction that doesn’t align with them. An ethos of kindness supports this ambition, and with Claremont Fan Court School’s nursery, pre-prep and prep (the latter two will come under one juniors umbrella soon) offering the same holistic education from the age of two, it’s no wonder more and more families are lining up for places.

Where?

The 100-acre grounds (designed by Capability Brown, no less) are magnificent with manicured gardens, woods and parkland. It feels more like a country boarding school and it’s hard to believe you’re within the M25, let alone this close to London. An 18th-century Palladian mansion sits splendidly at the centre, with a breathtaking Georgian interior that houses a number of classrooms and offices. In 2019, the state-of-the-art Sydney Camm Science and Technology Centre was opened, an inspirational building with eight labs, D&T workshop, textiles studio and food tech space.

Children come from all over south-west London and Surrey, and some 40 per cent of pupils make use of the brilliantly run, comprehensive bus network. There is also a school bus to and from Claygate station which is on the Waterloo-Guildford line.

Head

William Brierly is the strong leader of the whole school. He’s been head of the senior since 2018, then in 2021 he was appointed overall head and is now overseeing the transition of the pre-prep and prep into Claremont juniors. Mr Brierly is an inspiring and impassioned leader, perfectly placed to deliver a cohesive and clear whole-school educational journey. Key senior leadership roles are currently being filled, with deputy head of transformation Lucy Smith, deputy head academic Huw Jones, deputy head pastoral Jason Stanley and senior deputy head Alan Hitchcock already appointed.

Mr Brierly was previously senior deputy head at King’s College Wimbledon and before that he was head of economics at Whitgift, so knows all about rigorous academics and single-sex education. At Claremont, he’s embracing a very different vision, championing co-ed and celebrating a far broader approach to aspiration. Alongside Mr Jones, he has created an individualised curriculum with unrivalled choice. He tells us the school is ‘deeply co-ed’, a place where children can choose to be and to do, regardless of gender, it’s all about the individual.

Admissions

The school is gently selective and invites as many prospective pupils as possible to the interview stage. They’re looking for character and potential, so a face-to-face is more important than an academic snapshot. Having said that, as the school’s popularity has risen, so has the academic threshold. Year 7 is the main entry point, with around 55 children coming from the prep and 65 places available for external candidates. Large numbers come from south-west London, and many from state primaries. Prep pupils currently sit assessments in Year 5, while external applicants are assessed in Year 6.

Some 20 places are available for the sixth form, with a minimum of eight GCSEs with an average score of 6 needed. For chosen A-levels, higher grades are expected. Year 12 hopefuls sit an assessment and are also invited to an interview.

Academics and destinations

The wide and inclusive curriculum has aspiration at its core, not just academic, but excellence as set by the individual. Children set their own targets and learning is highly bespoke. There is no spoon-feeding or prepping for exams. In Years 7 to 9, many subjects are on a carousel so pupils get a taste of everything, from textiles and computer science to dance and food tech, which means they have an opportunity to discover where their passions lie. GCSE choices are incredibly flexible with 21 different subjects on offer. The school prioritises preparing young people for life and not just exams so wants them to be able to play to their strengths. They want to mould global citizens with good character and it’s this kind of big-picture thinking that is cementing the school’s flourishing reputation.

Sixth-form choices are equally broad, with a plethora of A-level subjects available, as well as Level 3 diplomas in subjects such as criminology and food science. Head of sixth form Emma Wells is incredibly impressive and approachable, providing huge amounts of support and advice to students. The Joyce Grenfell Programme means they can pursue further studies including EPQs, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), LAMDA and English Speaking Board qualifications, and those aiming for medicine, veterinary science and Oxbridge are given specialist support. A dedicated futures advice and career coordinator organises talks and workshops, bringing in mentors as well as alumni, and students leave for a wide range of destinations – from Oxford and Cambridge to specialist higher education establishments and apprenticeships.

Co-curricular

The school is a big presence on the sporting circuit, especially in lacrosse (pupils recently finished second at the national championships) and gymnastics. There are acres of playing fields and pitches and a massive sports hall where pupils take part in everything from traditional sports and archery to badminton and trampolining.

The art department stretches across a warren of studios and photography rooms located in the enormous basement of the main school building. Bright white walls and lightwells create a characterful space and judging by the artwork on display, there are some talented artists at work. Textiles and D&T take place in the Sydney Camm building, and there’s also a great industrial space for D&T in the old pump building.

Drama is popular and there are plenty of opportunities for pupils to perform and get involved backstage in the many productions staged every year, including the sixth-form panto, musical extravaganzas and the annual Shakespeare Schools Festival. September 2024 will see the unveiling of a new music centre where the choirs, bands, and ensembles will get a fantastic new space to perform.

There are more than 60 extracurricular activities for children to get involved in, including the very popular gymnastics, Lego and DJ clubs. From Year 9, pupils can do DofE and Enterprise Club for Year 10s and 11s is the school’s own version of Dragon’s Den, with some students getting selected to take part in the Peter Jones Tycoon challenge.

School community

The pastoral support hub sits in a lovely wooden-clad house set apart from the main school area. Staffed with two nurses and two therapists who offer free counselling four days a week, it’s surrounded by a peaceful garden which is used for yoga (as well as gardening club in the summer). The individual needs department is also here, providing a real sense of all-round care in one place. There’s a vertical tutor group structure, ensuring age groups mix and allowing older children to support younger ones. It creates a lovely atmosphere and means tutors really get to know their pupils over the five years they’re with them. There are lots of PSHE lessons and a solid focus on wellbeing; the staff even have their own wellbeing committee. Pupils we met told us how safe and happy they feel at school, and how brilliantly looked after they are.

There’s a great sense of community at the school, with lots of outreach with local schools and charities. Most pupils have two working parents and there’s no elitism at the school.

And finally....

There are no airs and graces at Claremont, just a wonderful atmosphere of ambitious purpose. It has a laser focus on character development and its overarching aim is to turn out young adults who are empathetic and broad-minded, ready to go out into the world to thrive and do good. It’s a lofty ambition but clearly chimes with parents and pupils alike. A very special school indeed.

Gallery See All

four pupils standing with a teacher all holding trumpets
Boys in red ad navy sports kit walking in front of Claremont Fan Court School
Girl with long dark hair painting on an easel
Senior pupils wearing navy aprons performing a science experiment
Claremont Fan Court pupils standing outside with the headmaster
Pupils wearing striped aprons in cookery class
Claremont Fan Court girls walking up a path covered in yellow leaves
Claremont Fan Court girls walking up a path covered in yellow leaves
Claremont Fan Court pupils walking to the Science building
  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Ancient Greek
    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    Government and Politics
    History
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Media Studies
    Music
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Religious Studies
    Spanish

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    Government and Politics
    History
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Media Studies
    Music
    Philosophy
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Politics
    Psychology
    Religious Studies
    Spanish
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£6,865
    Year 8 £6,865
    Year 9 £7,335
    Year 10£7,335
    Year 11£7,335
    Year 12£7,335
    Year 13£7,335


  • SEND

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    The school has on-site full time school counsellors and a pupil wellbeing hub.

  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School bus service to/from London
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Claygate
    Journey time to London by train: 42 minutes
    Nearest international airport: London Heathrow (19 miles)


School Updates

  • See Claremont Fan Court School in our All-through Schools Guide

    See Claremont Fan Court School in our All-through Schools Guide

Essentials

Address
Claremont Drive, Esher, Surrey KT10 9LY

Contact
seniorschool@claremont.surrey.sch.uk
01372 465380

Website
claremontfancourt.co.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


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