A proper country prep set on the edge of the pretty Kent village of Hawkhurst, Marlborough House School is a place where childhood is valued just as much as academic success.
Don’t let the school’s location just off a main road fool you – once you’re on campus, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a 35-acre rural oasis. At the heart of the school is a gorgeous 18th-century red-brick building; then there’s a modern, purpose-built nursery and pre-prep with walled gardens for the youngest children to stomp about in wearing their wellies, plus an array of smart new buildings for the oldest pupils, with glass walls looking out over stonking views of ponds, woodlands and open fields stretching out into the distance. There’s masses of space to run around, whatever the weather – and a real sense that having fun, exploring and messing about together is very much part of the ethos here.
Highly experienced head Eddy Newton arrived last September. He’s charming, highly approachable and incredibly well-known on the prep school circuit, with stints at the Dragon, Felsted, Chafyn Grove, Twyford and the Cothill Trust (plus a year as the chair of IAPS) under his belt. Everyone – parents, pupils and staff – are full of praise.
Most pupils join in the nursery, Reception, Year 3 or Year 7, but the joy of non-selective Marlborough House is that children can slot in at any time, provided there’s space for them. After visiting and registering, parents are encouraged to sign their child up for a taster day – for younger ones, this involves spending a few hours with their peer group, while for older applicants it’s a normal timetabled day, which could mean joining in with games, art, music or drama lessons alongside academic subjects. Following the taster day, either a place or a spot on the waiting list is offered.
Don’t panic! We have more than ten years’ experience of visiting schools and advising parents, and we are all parents ourselves – we can make this easier for you.