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School report on Skippers Hill Manor Preparatory in Mayfield - A+ Education magazine Spring 2014

PUBLISHED: 16:06 09 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:14 09 April 2014

Skippers Hill

The school prides itself on a warm, family atmosphere, where lifelong friendships are often made

Name of school: Skippers Hill Manor Preparatory School

Address: Five Ashes, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6HR

Tel no: 01825 830234

Website: skippershill.com

Number of pupils: 130

Age group: 2-13

Gender: Co-educational

Day/boarding: Day

Person interviewed: Tim Lewis

Role: Headmaster

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When was the school foudned?

Skippers Hill was founded in 1945 by Ray and Maureen Ward. It remained in the family until it was sold to Bellevue Education in 2010. Skippers Hill now belongs to this forward-thinking group consisting of 12 schools.

What would you say that you are most renowned for today?

Happiness! We strive to provide a happy, stimulating and structured environment, where children feel valued and secure, flourishing and achieving to the best of their ability. We pride ourselves on the school’s warm, harmonious, family atmosphere, where lifelong friendships are formed.

Do you have a school motto and, if so, what is it?

The school has no motto as such, although one ex-teacher came up with, ‘We teach individuals and not classes’, which gives a flavour of what Skippers is about.

What do you think are the most interesting changes taking place in the education system?

Michael Gove has cited Hong Kong, Massachusetts, Singapore and Finland as “the world’s most successful school systems”. I believe we can learn from such robust systems. I also prefer the remodelled National Curriculum as it is far more demanding than the previous model. However, schools must still be free to create their own curricula promoting individual enquiry and giving pupils a broad education suited to the 21st Century.

Who are your most famous alumni?

Laura Marsh, the England Ladies’ cricketer. She began her career in our U9 boys’ team, before joining Brighton College as a Sports Scholar.

And have you got any stars of the future currently attending?

All our pupils are stars. Each has a special talent that we celebrate. To single one out would be detrimental to the talents of the rest.

Tell us the most surprising story about the school?

The school has a resident ghost called Lady Braithwaite. She is a great source of inspiration to the children and pops up in much of their creative writing.

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