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Windlesham House School in Washington

15:10 27 August 2015

Dominic James 2013

Headmaster Richard Foster gives us the low-down on Windlesham House School near Pulborough

Originally published in A+ Education South East Autumn 2015

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The school

• Address: Washington, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 4AY

• Tel No: 01903 874700

• Website: www.windlesham.com

• Number of pupils: 350 with an almost equal split of boys and girls

• Age group: 4 – 13

• Day/boarding: We offer both day and boarding, (full boarding rather than flexi)

• Person interviewed: Richard Foster

• Role: Headmaster

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When was the school founded? - Founded in 1837, Windlesham House School is the oldest independent prep school in the country. It was the first prep school to become co-ed, in 1967.

What would you say that you are most renowned for today? - While academic excellence and success in sport, music, drama and arts are a high priority, we nurture a very friendly, family orientated atmosphere with wonderful pastoral care. My wife Rachel and I put every effort into knowing each and every child, and we are proud to see Windlesham children flourish in what is a tremendous environment for learning and ‘growing up’.

Our team of talented and committed staff make the happiness and personal development of each child their over-riding goal, which in turn leads to remarkable outcomes.

Set in 60 acres of the South Downs, children have the time and space to be children. They are encouraged to try a host of extra curricular activities after the academic day and at weekends. They learn about independence, interdependence and co-operation. Children here are allowed to make mistakes and manage their own risks in a happy, safe, nurturing environment.

Every child is different and excels in a different way. We pride ourselves on not feeding to a specific senior school and on average, send to a range of 35 different senior schools including Eton, Brighton, Harrow, Oundle, Bryanston and Lancing.

We encourage outdoor learning, not only in our walled garden but also in our new tree houses in the wood where the children can camp overnight and learn survival skills. We have a brand new, floodlit astro turf and are about to embark on a new swimming pool and sports hall development which we are all very excited about.

Do you have a school motto and, if so, what is it? - We don’t have a formal school motto but if we did it would contain the phrase ‘Be Kind’.

Who are your most famous alumni? - Duncan Goodhew, Guy Ritchie, Noah Huntley, Sir Michael Hordern, Tom Williams (Rugby Union), Tamzin Merchant.

And have you any stars of the future currently attending? - We wouldn’t want to pinpoint anyone at this stage but would say we have a number of talented young people here who will no doubt go on to achieve great things. In year 8 25% of our children achieved a scholarship to their next school. These scholarships range from academic (one of our boys received the King’s Scholarship to Eton), drama, sport, art, design and technology, ICT and all rounders.

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