Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
You will want the best education for your son; you will want him to reach his potential; you may have an idea of the senior school you would like him to move on to. We develop each boy as an individual in small classes with outstanding teaching and pastoral staff. We will make sure your son is given the best education, reaches his potential and has the best possible preparation for the senior school of your choice.
Ever since Horris Hill’s earliest years, when most boys were prepared for entry to Winchester College, high standards of academic teaching and learning have formed the backbone of what we do.
In the Lower School forms most of the boys’ lessons are with their form teacher, but as they grow up their lessons are increasingly with specialist teachers, in specialist teaching rooms, which allows us to explore subjects in great depth.
The curriculum is broad, blending the best of traditional teaching with modern practice; we believe in the importance of teaching knowledge as well as the skills that open up the world of learning. From quite a young age boys are able to conduct real experiments in the science laboratories, to learn Latin, to challenge for honours in national mathematics competitions, to learn about the historical tapestry that is our national story, and achieve high standards across the curriculum.
Our form structure is very flexible, allowing us to place boys in the form which will best suit them academically and socially. Class sizes are deliberately kept small, averaging 12-14 boys, with a maximum of 16, which allows us to tailor our teaching genuinely to the needs of every boy, and to give that extra bit of attention sometimes needed.
In the Upper School (from Year 4), we teach the main subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, French, Latin, History, Geography, Religious Studies (including Philosophy and preparation for scholarship General papers), Art, Music, Design and Technology, Drama, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Physical Education. In the middle years, when senior schools are conducting their entrance tests, boys receive Reasoning lessons and preparation for the ISEB Pre-test. All boys also have the option of learning additional modern languages such as German and Mandarin.
We still prepare our boys for academic scholarship examinations and entry by Common Entrance to the leading independent schools in their final year at Horris Hill; in recent years, much of the focus for winning places at senior schools has shifted to Years 5 and 6 and whilst we are determined not to give up our broad curriculum, and believe that ‘hot-housing’ is ultimately counter-productive, we do ensure that boys are well prepared for those significant challenges.
We manage to fit so much in because of the hours kept in a busy boarding school. The boys are active from 8.30am until 6pm on weekdays, with time amongst the academic lessons for instrumental lessons and practice, time with tutors, games, time to unwind. We make sure that all academic work is completed by supper time at 6pm, including prep. After supper we run a wide variety of clubs and activities every evening, aimed at enriching school life. These include wide games, coding, art, sports, debating, drama and chess (individual and small group lessons given by drama specialists from Newbury’s renowned Watermill Theatre and our chess grand master) and we have recently formed a school Cub Scout pack.
To find out more about about our unique Academic development programme, then please click on the Academic menu links.
Some schools call it a report; we call it orders.
Every three weeks we publish Form Orders, which gives each boy his mark, position and effort grade by subject. Your son will sit exams twice a year, and you will receive termly progress reports.