Hatherop Castle School is a vibrant and exciting place to learn. The school produces happy, articulate and confident children who feel their efforts and achievements are valued and appreciated. All leavers achieve entry in to their first choice schools.
Our ISI Inspection report of April 2016 was universally positive. They strongly affirm that Hatherop Castle is a happy and extremely successful school, where children are supported and encouraged and meet the high aspirations staff have for them. Hatherop Castle School was rated 'Excellent' in all nine categories; 'High aspirations are strongly encouraged and all pupils, whatever their needs and abilities... achieve extremely well.' 'The quality of boarding is excellent in terms of both accommodation and the provision of care.'
On Saturday 24th September the curtain was raised on Hatherop Castle School’s new Performing Arts Centre.
27th September 2016 — On Saturday 24th September the curtain was raised on Hatherop Castle School’s new Performing Arts Centre. The fantastic new building equipped with state of the art lighting and sound systems and raked seating resounded to the sights and sounds of semi-professional and amateur artists, current and past pupils and parents. The school had no trouble enticing back past pupils to perform in the new building which will continue to enhance the school’s musical and dramatic performances in the coming years.
The audience were thrilled by drama, dance and musical items. Lydia Holt, ex-pupil and ballet dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet performed an excerpt from Sleeping Beauty; the school Dance troop, Hatherock, performed Tiger Feet by Mud choreographed by Rebecca Scott; and Tia Mc Bain who dances at the Kirsty Farrow Dance Academy enchanted us wither modern interpretation of ‘Wings’.
Musical items included the school senior chapel choir and also from Sophie Iles our Senor Chorister whose I could have danced all night was delightful. Semi-professional ex-pupil Hugh Phillips wowed us with his solo performance of his own composition Running On soon to be released as a single and Gabrielle De Saumerez Taylor another ex-pupil and in her final year at the Rose Bruford Drama School, London also gave us her own composition, Papertown. Annabelle Rigg, currently at Cheltenham College and an ex-Hatherop Castle pupil gave us two songs, Make You Feel My Love and I Dreamed a Dream.
Kathryn Tapley ex-pupil and graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama played the Elegy for Cor Anglais and orchestra by Peter Vasks. Tiger Wang who is now at Abingdon School having left us last year, wowed the audience at just 13 years of age with Debussy’s Prelude The Girl with the Flaxen Hair and Chopin Etude No. 3. Parent led band The Wingit Wednesdays, got us all dancing in the isles with their renditions of Come Together, You’ve got the Love and Proud Mary .
The audience enjoyed two very different dramatic performances with a trio of talented boys from Hatherop Castle and a recent leaver Max Thomas who acted extracts from Richard II and Look Back in Anger. Harry and Laurence Archard together with Saul French took a more comic approach and performed an extract from Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations.
A very varied evening presented the new centre brilliantly – the versatility of space and variety of performance made for a great evening of entertainment and the audience could be heard thrilling about it on their way back to their cars. Current pupils were inspired by past pupils and parents wondered at the talent on show.
Prep 6 children from Hatherop Castle Prep were asked to brave the breach and be evacuated to the countryside and Winchcombe railway station as they learnt about the experiences of WWII evacuees.
26th September 2016 — With some excitement and a little trepidation, they all boarded the bus with teddies in hand and gas masks at the ready and began their evacuation experience.
A fun filled and educational day was had by all; the highlight probably being the steam train trip to Cheltenham racecourse where a spy was apprehended and the children were allowed to step aboard the engine. They met with real evacuees who regaled them with tales of their experiences and were also subject to an air raid and blackout in the Anderson shelter.
I am very pleased to say that all of the children behaved impeccably and were a credit to the school and we received many positive reports from the public.
This trip is always a wonderful experience for the children as not only do they get to rise on a steam train but more importantly, they speak to evacuees and volunteers who are experts in their field.
Hatherop Castle rated ‘Excellent’ across the board
Hatherop Castle Prep School and Nursery is celebrating after being graded 'Excellent' in all nine categories in its school inspection.
12th May 2016 — Hatherop Castle Prep School and Nursery is celebrating after being graded ‘Excellent’ in all nine categories in its school inspection. The inspection, which was carried out in March by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, the independent schools equivalent to Ofsted, gave the school top marks in all areas, from the quality of the teaching, to the breadth of the curriculum, to pupils’ achievements. It also noted that ‘the school places a strong emphasis on ensuring that there is a positive and genuine family atmosphere and that every individual pupil feels cared for and valued.’
From the youngest to the oldest, children at Hatherop Castle were found to be nurtured, supported and challenged, ‘in a stimulating, secure and safe environment’ with the result that ‘they are well motivated, focused and engaged in the activities provided and display a love of learning.’ The standard of teaching was rated excellent, with ‘a significant proportion of the teaching being of the highest quality’.
Of Hatherop Castle’s boarding house, the report said ‘Boarders develop confidence and flourish in a lively and safe environment where their individual welfare and wellbeing needs are identified and fully met’.
It has been an outstanding year for Hatherop Castle. In November, the school was awarded both the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision, the most prestigious prize the ISA can bestow on a prep school, and the ISA Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Headmaster Paul Easterbrook said, ‘We are absolutely delighted with the inspection findings and we share its view that Hatherop Castle is a happy and extremely successful school, where children are supported and encouraged, and meet the high aspirations staff have for them.’
Since joining the Wishford Schools group in 2014, Hatherop has been undergoing an extensive programme of development, from renovation of the impressive building and grounds, to provision of new educational resources in all departments, investment in expert staff and, not least, the fabulous new Performing Arts Centre, which will throw open its doors for the first time for the Upper School Production in July.
Hatherop Castle pupils celebrated HM The Queen's birthday by lighting a beacon in her honour.
25th April 2016 — Thursday April 21st was a day to remember for Hatherop Castle pupils who celebrated HM The Queen’s birthday by lighting a beacon in her honour. After fun filled evening of traditional games all the children sang their specially written song, celebrating HM The Queen’s long reign and the whole gathering sang the National Anthem. The beacon was lit simultaneously with HM The Queen at 7.30pm and blazed out for all to see.
Hatherop Castle children may know more than most about our queen as each year group spent a week looking at a decade of her life, coming up with many interesting facts. The school has sent a scrapbook of the week to HM The Queen as a birthday present, with examples of work, photos and pictures that the children completed during the week. The song they composed was recorded for posterity and can be heard on the school’s website.
We are delighted that the Hatherop Castle team of Lego robot programmers have won the regional heat of the First Lego League's 'Trash Trek Challenge' at the weekend.
9th December 2015 — We are delighted that the Hatherop Castle team of Lego robot programmers have won the regional heat of the First Lego League's 'Trash Trek Challenge' at the weekend, competing at the National Instruments offices in Newbury, Berkshire. The children had taken up the challenge just 8 weeks ago and have spent time building and programming to prepare for this regional round of the competition.
The team of Pablo Elustondo, Saul French, Harry Archard, Bilol Komiljonov and Laurence Archard returned triumphant, where they won their robot game with a fantastic 381 points. This won this category of the competition, but the children then went on to win the overall competition on the day, which included giving a presentation to a panel of expert Lego judges and whilst also being judged on their teamwork and core values.
This is an incredible achievement for the children, on their first entry into the competition. We now look forward to the National Lego League Finals in Loughborough in February!
Friday the 13th November has to be one of the most exciting days in the history of Hatherop Castle School and certainly in the career of its Headmaster, Mr Paul Easterbrook when the school was awarded two ISA awards - Excellence in the Arts Award and Excellence in Provision and Innovation.
23rd November 2015 — Friday the 13th November has to be one of the most exciting days in the history of Hatherop Castle School and certainly in the career of its Headmaster, Mr Paul Easterbrook. The ISA (Independent Schools Association), of which Mr Easterbrook is a long serving member and is currently the South West area co-ordinator, held its annual awards dinner and Hatherop Castle had been notified that they were finalists in the two categories they had entered. As the dinner wore on and the awards ceremony, conducted by Penny Smith, came closer the excitement and anticipation mounted. The ceremony started and those staff attending from Hatherop Castle were resigned to not winning, or was that just bravado? Mr Easterbrook was delighted in his role as area co-ordinatior to collect an award for a colleague who was unable to attend, but everyone likes to win their own don’t they? As the nominations for the Excellence in the Arts Award were read out, the hush descended and we waited, hopefully. When our name was read out as the winners we were ecstatic and although wanting to bound on stage, a dignified walk was achieved. Two awards later came the big one, the award for Excellence in Provision and Innovation. Having already won one we were not too optimistic but still listened attentively. The announcement that Hatherop Castle had won their second award was greeted with what can only be described as euphoria and it was back to the stage for a third congratulatory kiss from Penny and to collect the second of our awards. The awards themselves are beautiful Villeroy and Boch plates with certificates and a pair of engraved tumblers from Inkerman’s of London. Headmaster Paul Easterbrook said “this recognition is exactly what the school deserves. For so long we have been seen to be in the shadow of other larger schools and these awards show that commitment, professionalism, determination and enthusiasm do eventually get rewarded. These awards are collected by me with great appreciation but have been earned by the whole school community.”