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Tower House School
Tower House School
Tower House School
Tower House School
Tower House School East Sheen, London Visit
school
Tower House School
East Sheen
182 pupils, ages 4-13
Boys only
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Tower House School

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Our View

The sound of happy voices floats down the street as you approach this south London gem. The only single-form, all-boys’ school in the area, it offers a unique education for the lucky 180 pupils who attend. And if that sounds like a competitive bun fight, it’s not. Proudly non-selective, Tower House School takes boys whatever their ability or learning challenges. Much like its Tardis-like campus, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye here, with the pupils’ individual needs at the heart of everything.

Where?

The school sits on a residential street off Upper Richmond Road, a short walk away from Richmond Park – which the boys visit frequently for forest school, teddy bear picnics, orienteering challenges and sometimes even lessons. It’s a mix of old and new buildings: the original house, the junior school building, the music and dining room; and a newbuild housing a hall and four classrooms.

Most pupils come from Barnes, Sheen and Putney, scooting, cycling or walking to school. Others travel from Kew, Chiswick and Richmond.

Head

New head Neill Lunnon joined the school in September 2023, arriving from his previous headship at Fulham Prep which he led for five years. Before that, he spent almost 25 years working at Wellington College as a teacher, housemaster and deputy head pastoral, and another three at Eagle House School. He describes Tower House as ‘a little bit of magic’, and his charges as ‘utterly charming – nice to be with, and with a nice level of confidence’.   

Armed with plenty of wisdom and experience, Mr Lunnon is already a huge hit. He is approachable and driven, and his focus on balancing the many advantages of the global-city location within a local community is music to the ears of Tower House parents. He sees prep school as a time to sow as many seeds of possibility and opportunity as he can, telling us he ‘loves the extraordinary sponge-like nature of young children’. He’s a very visible head too, reading to Year 1 pupils and listening to Years 2, 3 and 4 read every week. He holds ‘drop and stop’ coffee mornings every Thursday, and invites small groups of parents in for lunch every Wednesday so they can see the workings of the school first-hand and really get to know him.  

For now, he’s busy getting his feet under the table – but he’s already forging ahead with a few immediate plans. By next September, he hopes to cut the ribbon on a brand-new library right in the heart of the school, and he’s working on overhauling the IT curriculum and introducing one-to-one devices in the classroom. He’s also forging a stronger bond with nearby Old Vicarage School (lots of Tower House boys have sisters there), looking to create a shared school bus route and align term dates and special events, including a joint senior school fair in January.

Admissions

Tower House is completely non-selective. The first 20 boys on the list are in, and they are nurtured and supported whatever academic challenges they may face. There are children with autism and a current Year 7 is registered blind. The Reception teacher visits each new pupil at home before they start and there’s a Saturday family morning and stay-and-play with parents in the preceding summer term. For entry in other years (if a place does become available), the younger pupils (Years 1 and 2) spend an hour with their year group to ensure they’d be happy in the environment and for Year 3 and above, they have a maths, English and reading assessment, as well as an interview with deputy head Ben Peyton.

Academics and senior school destinations

The Reception classroom is delightful, with zoned areas for art, reading (on a lovely mezzanine) and role-play with an outdoor play area complete with kitchen and an awning so they can be outside even if it’s raining. ‘The boys’ interests are the vehicle to deliver learning,’ the Reception teacher told us and to that end their first term is spent playing, bonding and socialising before more structured learning is introduced. They are assessed through play initially and when phonics and numeracy teaching starts, it is rigorous. Pupils settle easily after the summer term visits and there’s a fantastic sense of belonging. Every Friday morning, the children go to Richmond Park for forest school (this continues in Year 1 for half the year) where they learn about the environment and enjoy storytelling, often accompanied by hot chocolate and marshmallows.

In Year 1, each boy is given a target pencil, which is laminated with their own goal tailored to them. In pre-prep, pupils have a dedicated class teacher and specialist teachers in music, sport and art. In Year 3, they have a specialist science teacher too and from Year 4, all their subjects are taught by dedicated subject teachers. The teachers come to them though, so throughout the school, the boys have their own classroom. They are taught French and Latin and are streamed in maths and languages. Sets aren’t always ability based; some are tailored to what the children might need for senior school. Year 5 onwards have classrooms in the newbuild that opened in 2022. It also houses an amazing new hall, where plays and assemblies are held.

Senior school destinations are many and diverse; in 2022, they included Eton, Harrow, King’s College School and Uppingham. Sometimes the Year 8s leave to go to as many 14 different schools. As previously stated, the transition is meticulously handled. ‘We send the right boy to the right school,’ says Mr Peyton. This year, five leavers bagged scholarships.

Co-curricular

Sport is spread across three venues – Wimbledon Qualifying and Community Sports Centre (formerly the Bank of England Sports Centre), East Sheen Cricket Club and the local pool a short walk away. Reception to Year 3 have weekly swimming lessons, the junior pupils have a PE lesson and a games session per week, and the senior boys enjoy three afternoons of sport every week. Everyone has an opportunity to play in matches, with teams in football, rugby and cricket. Cross-country club is held at Richmond Park.

Art is strong at the school with many children awarded art scholarships – a special programme overseen by the head of art helps them put their portfolios together. There’s plenty of scope for creativity with pottery wheels and a kiln, painting and textiles (boys learn how to use sewing machines). From Reception to Year 5, pupils have a singing lesson and a music lesson every week. Plus, peripatetic teachers come in to teach everything from piano to drums. There is an orchestra and rock band, as well as a choir with 75 boys in it.

Drama is a huge and important part of life here, with annual productions open to all senior boys and often boasting casts of more than 70 pupils in speaking roles. Earlier this year, the school produced its very own full-length sci-fi film, Proxima, written, directed and filmed by the head of drama and premiered in the West End – complete with a red carpet for the cast to walk up. Past productions include The Hobbit, which was shot on location in the Peak District. Individual drama lessons are offered too.   

Clubs run before and after school and there are many to choose from: debating, chess and touch typing being just a few. Trips are also plentiful – to everywhere from Devon to Barbados. Every two years, the Year 7 and 8s can sign up for the Barbados Cricket Tour, for which they’re expected to raise £50 each.

School community

A house system sees the boys competing for points (and ultimately badges) in academics, sport, music, drama, art and manners. Inter-house competitions are fun and there’s a cup to be won at the end of the year. The older boys have weekly PSHE lessons, many of them led by pupils. They do joint workshops with the local girls’ school too and have a disco with both Putney High and Wimbledon High. An active parents’ association (Friends of Tower House) fundraises with quiz nights, film screenings and an annual ball, among other events. Every other year the staff put on a play for parents; previous performances include Fawlty Towers and ’Allo ’Allo.

And finally....

This is a school that doesn’t just pay lip service to every child belonging; they really do and it’s wonderful to see how the pupils fit in from the get-go in Reception. Very nurturing staff strike the perfect balance between meeting potential and stretching the boys just that bit further.

Gallery See All

Boys sitting on the floor playing ukeleles singing
Boys in maths class looking at a big screen on the wall
Boys playing rugby in blue shirts and shorts on green grass pitch
Boys in class putting their hands up
Boys in striped blazers playing chess
Boys in blue waterproofs giggling in forest schools class
Boys reading books in the library on bean bags
Boy making a clay model of a monster
Boys running with red and white parachutes behind them
Boys in blue striped blazers playing the violin
Junior boy in silver spaceman suit
Boys in blue playing rugby kicking a yellow and blue ball
  • Senior school destinations

    Senior school destinations

    Bradfield 1 Brighton College 3 Cranleigh School 2 Epsom College 2 Eton College 1 Hampton School 1 Harrow School 1 King’s College School 3 Reeds School 1 Uppingham School 1 Wellington College 2

  • Scholarships for senior schools

    Scholarships

    Academic1Epsom
    Drama1 Epsom
    Sport1 King's College School
    Art1 Reed's School
    DT1 Brighton College


  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Nursery-
    Reception£5,250
    Year 1£5,250
    Year 2£5,800
    Year 3£5,800
    Year 4£5,950
    Year 5£5,950
    Year 6£5,950
    Year 7£5,950
    Year 8 £5,950




    Bursary contact:
    Bursar & Director of Operations Mrs H Ali
    bursar@thsboys.org.uk
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    The school has a dedicated, full-time SENCo who provides advice to parents and 'hands on' support to pupils who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

    However, while they will use their best endeavours to do all they can to support the needs of those children with SEND, they are not a specialist SEND school and are limited by the setting and the general topography of their facilities.

    Parents should recognise that the school day and the demands placed on each boy are notable. It is important for a boy’s sense of confidence and achievement that he can contribute fully to the life of the school.

    Decisions on whether or not Tower House School is the best fit for a child are always made by parents and the school working together.

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    At Tower House they aim to ensure that all staff have a thorough understanding of the educational differences of all pupils and that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The school has an experienced SENCO who is also a specialist teacher for dyslexia and monitors the overall provision and support for pupils they are able to offer, as well as offering more specialist teaching for those who require it. Boys identified as in need of additional support are taught either 1:1, in small groups or in the classroom. These lessons take place within the school day with touch typing lessons after school for all those who wish to attend.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    The mental health and wellbeing of all in the school community is of paramount importance. Pupils know that they can approach any member of staff if they are worried about their mental health. The school also has a Mental Health First aider on the staff. While the school do not offer onsite counselling servies, they are able to refer those who need support to local support services.

    Co-ordinator: Mrs A Patel patel@thsboys.org.uk
  • Transport links


    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Mortlake
    Nearest London Overground station: Richmond
    Journey time to London by train: 20 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Heathrow (30 miles)


  • Parents tell us


    'Tower House is a gem of a school. It’s small but mighty. Small class sizes, a brilliant Headmaster along with a good ethos made it a no brainer for us. I wanted my children to be somewhere where the focus was on developing good people as well as getting the best out of them academically.

    For us it was the one form entry that influenced our final choice, not owned by a group, exam results and meeting the boys and staff in the open days we went to. The atmosphere was perfect.

    During the admissions process we were well looked after and helped at each stage. It was a good transition.

    Mr Orme really helped my oldest son in Year 8 - he was great at understanding when he was struggling emotionally. 

    The communication is excellent. From clarion, parent meetings, weekly newsletters and face to face daily “hello’s” it is great. 

    Having recently moved my eldest son to a senior school at 13 it made me realise exactly how much Tower House knew and knows my children. When there were wobbles the school helped to navigate those times with help and advice. The pastoral care is brilliant. Both my boys have felt at ease to talk to staff when needed.

    The current climate in senior schools with places and expectations is hard for parents and Tower House did well at guiding us through that. My children were fully prepared for the exams in year 6 and Year 8.

    When my children started at Tower House I made lifelong friends. This is due to the tireless work of FOTH and school events. I felt extremely welcome in the reception year and actually before we joined. There are some yearly events that parents old and new come along to. This is a huge part of what I will miss when my children have both moved on to senior school.

    I feel very lucky to have been part of the Tower House community.'


    'We chose the school because we felt the inclusive, small environment set Tower House apart from the rest. The school has a natural nurturing feel to it that was immediately apparent when we went to the Open House. The year 8 boys who led us around were well rounded - incredibly bright, open, well mannered and personable. The teachers were the same.

    The factors that influenced our final choice were the small class sizes, and overwhelmingly welcoming feel that gave us the most confidence. It was clear to us that this was a school that wanted to help us raise kind, confident boys, not just scholastic powerhouses (though some of their pupils do go that route too!).

    The admissions process was very easy. We registered our son at about 9 months so there was a spot for him!

    The staff have all made a difference. The reception teachers Mrs Clark and Mrs Bolton are the perfect double act. Mrs Clark brings a level of gravitas to the classroom, helping the boys transition from nursery to a more structured class room environment. Mrs Bolton is a creative spirit. Their collective warmth is palpable. Mrs Rash - in year one - steps it all up another notch and completely inspires the children to lean into learning in a whole new way. And Mrs Hogan the junior school head leads with passion and kindness. She knows each boy not just by name, but understands their character and helps bring that out.

    The school communications are pretty good. Sometimes I wish we had a bit more notice about Mufty days and extracurricular activities but all the big issues get covered swiftly and in a timely manner.

    The team at Tower house get to know their pupils very well. When/if there is an issue it is tackled immediately and collectively. You get the real sense that the teachers are on the boys' sides.

    The school is preparing my son brilliantly for the next stage of his education. I am blown away by my son's ability to revise and his willingness to do his homework. They are instilling a great worth ethic, which frankly is all we can ask for.

    When I started on the school journey, I never expected to make friends with my son's friends parents. So it was rather a happy surprise to do just that. The Parent -Teacher association is brilliant. And not only do the year groups mingle, but the whole school socialises. Mothers with boy's years ahead of mine have become confidants and friends.

    I think Tower House is the most perfect school and I am beyond thrilled that we found it. I don't know how the next place will ever live up to our experience.' 
  • Pupils tell us

    'The three best things about the school are;

    1) The sense of community as the teachers can individually teach us very well as they know us and care about us due to the size of our school.
    2) The great preparation for 11+ and 13+ exams because the teachers really helped us to prepare by making sure we felt confident.
    3) The sports opportunity's are amazing as there is a sport for every boy.

    I joined in reception so I did not have to sit through exams and interviews.

    I would advise new students to take in everything you learn in Tower House as its a very special school and your only in it once.

    It took a couple of days for me to fully settle in and the teachers guided me every step of the way, always being there if I needed help.

    All the teachers have helped me become a better person, whether it's hilarious humour or a wise word, all the teachers here are the reason I am who I am. I will be forever grateful that they are at Tower House.

    The food here at Tower House is (by school standards) good. Everyday there is a selection of the days meal or pasta and tomato sauce. There is also special lunches for occasions such as the Coronation where we had a sausage roll and a bag of chips or Christmas where there are crackers, turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets and Brussel sprouts. My favourite is the chicken curry which always puts a smile on my face.

    Every year the whole school comes together for a barbecue where there are bouncy castles, slides, raffles and loads more games all whilst the school rock band is performing a few songs.

    If I was head I would like increase the amount of lessons for ICT and have more options for lunch.

    I have already got a place at Hampton which I feel is exactly the right school for me and the school helped me achieve my aims of being at Hampton tremendously. Although I'm sad to leave Tower House I know that I can feel confident for the next step of my life all because of the amazing teachers here at Tower House School.

    I have enjoyed my time at Tower House very much and have made many friends for life.'


    'The three best things about Tower House are the fact it is not too big and everyone knows each other well, this creates a friendly atmosphere which is really kind, the residentials are amazing and are one of the things I look forward to most. I really enjoyed exploring the trenches in France, climbing in Calshot, and also going to a chocolate factory in York. Finally, the teachers are really helpful and don't just teach the lesson to the class; sometimes they can be really funny and inspiring because they give you a different view on a subject that might not have interested you.

    I did not sit an exam but I remember meeting the Headmaster when I was 4. I think I remember knowing I would fit in.

    I would say to new students joining after Reception that they do not need to be worried because it doesn't take long before you know everyone and you are playing/learning with them like you have been doing that your whole life. New boys are given a buddy that look after them and show them where to go but they are not really needed because everyone gets to know them and helps out. Finally, teachers make it easy to catch up as we are always doing revision lessons where we go over past subjects, so there is no need to worry about not knowing the content. There is nothing I needed to know it was all covered!

    It didn't take me long to settle in because we were all in the same boat and quickly became a tight bunch. The form teacher helped us to settle in and showed us where everything was. You can go to anyone if you have a problem; teachers, even a cardboard worry whale. Also, for senior school students there is a wellbeing survey in the portal that we can fill in.

    In particular, my science teacher has been an inspiration from the first day we started science with him in year 4! He always manages to pull out a pun and makes learning very fun (see what I did there!). He is very organised and gives us stars for good behaviour and funny laminated slips if we chat. Also, our history teacher is considered a 'legend' among us for being so light hearted and fun to learn with. Finally our drama teacher is an unbelievable inspiration because he goes beyond the usual school play, last year we all starred in a film directed by him and even went to the cinema to watch it.

    The food can't beat home cooking but it fills me up which I am grateful for. We often enjoy a different nationalities signature dish and the kitchen staff go to town with the flagged bunting.

    There is not any school slang but I remember watching the older boys play a game called 'wall ball' when I was in reception and we continue to play it to this very day. Another tradition is that the winning house gets an ice cream at the end of the year!

    If I were head I would say you do not need to wear school uniform (in the summer, ties can be very uncomfortable) and maybe extend the breaktimes because they fly by and before long we are back to lessons.

    I am going to Kings College Wimbledon in September 2024. Tower House has prepared me extremely well academically and given me important values such as kindness, respect and teamwork that will hopefully stay with me for the rest of my life.

    Overall, Tower House is a lovely small school and I have really enjoyed my seven years here, I can't wait for my final year when we go to Barbados for a cricket tour!'

School Updates

  • WATCH: Tower House PROXIMA Trailer

    WATCH: Tower House PROXIMA Trailer
  • WATCH: Tower House SPACE RACE Trailer

    WATCH: Tower House SPACE RACE Trailer
  • See Tower House in our London Prep Schools Guide

    See Tower House in our London Prep Schools Guide

Essentials

Address
188 Sheen Lane, East Sheen, London SW14 8LF

Contact
admissions@thsboys.org.uk
020 8876 3323

Website
thsboys.org.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day



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