Manor House School is an independent day school for girls aged 2 through to 16 years. We are a supportive and nurturing educational environment delivering strong academic performance in a smaller setting. We make the academic difference by being small enough to know all our girls individually. This means that unlike so many larger schools with growth aspirations, Manor House School makes the difference by being smaller.
Prep School Winner of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Competition
Year 6 enjoyed a half hour virtual interview with engineer, Milly Hennayake, after Megan in Year 6, won The Great Exhibition at Home Competition and Manor House School were recognised for the quality of their entries.
26th October 2020 — In a Friday morning assembly in the Autumn term, Prep School teachers announced the results from an engineering competition that some of the Prep pupils had entered during lockdown. Big Ideas delivers community and education projects locally, nationally and globally and encourages students to change the way they see the world with 'big ideas'. The remote learning competition, which saw students across the country take part during lockdown, received an exceptionally high standard of entries.
Nigel Williams, Secretary for The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, convened with Scott Atkinson, Education Programmes Manager from The Royal Academy of Engineering and Dr Virginia Crompton, CEO of Big Ideas to judge the finalists.
Judges commented that "Video entries from students across Year 4 – Year 12 were full of innovative ideas, exceptional experiments and intriguing inventions. It was a very difficult decision however, after much deliberation, seven entries were selected to receive top prizes for their Schools.
These prizes included money to supersize STEM subjects in school, a meeting with one of the engineers featured in the pack, some of whom support the 'This is Engineering' campaign to promote engineering careers, alongside 30 special commendation prizes for individual entries.
Megan, now in Year 6, was overall winner and another five girls at Manor House School had entries in the top 30. In addition, Manor House School were awarded a prize as 'champion school' for the amount, and quality, of our entries – all in the name of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
In October, pupils in the Year 6 bubble of the Prep School were looking forward to their prize - virtually meeting Milly Hennayake, a senior Civil Engineer involved with the project. In preparation, students were all busy thinking of questions to ask Milly about her life and work in half an hour. The engineer meeting ran as a Q&A format with a short introduction from Milly and her work.
As part of Megan’s (Year 6) prize from The Great Exhibition at Home Competition, Year 6 enjoyed a half hour digital interview with Milly Hennayake, one of the engineers featured in the pack and who Year 6 learnt about during their six-week project.
Milly was very interesting to listen to. She answered all the girl’s many and varied questions with a passion for her subject, as well as giving our Manor House pupils a very clear message:
‘Take every opportunity that comes your way as it may open up your eyes and mind to new avenues in life that you had not thought about before. ‘
Winner, Megan, said it was really exciting to meet one of the engineers we had learnt about. "She was inspiring and made us think that we could be engineers too. I loved her advice to say ‘yes’ to opportunities and to aspire to do the things we love."
100 Years of Manor House School – The English Riviera to Little Bookham, Surrey
This September marks 100 years of Manor House School. Founded in Devon during the days of the British Empire, Bookham has been its home since 1937. Centenary celebrations are planned throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
17th September 2020 — With the new academic year starting afresh this September, Manor House School was ready to open its gates to old and new staff and students, marking 100 years of Manor House history. Instead, with lessons and teaching moving online and into homes during much of 2020 and creating an alternative landscape for its school community, plans for the Centenary celebrations have been put on hold until 2021. Despite this, early September saw staff and girls reunite enthusiastically onsite, quietly celebrating a return to some normality.
Manor House School started its life in the seaside town of Sidmouth in Devon in September 1920 as the Beehive School. Founded by two visionary ladies, Miss Elizabeth Green and Miss Wheeler, their original motto “To love it to Live” is still central to the school’s ethos today.
Looking back to that founding year, education for children had become compulsory only 39 years before in 1881. In the 19th century, schooling was seen as a passport to success for Victorian middle-class boys, who were educated "for the world", whilst middle-class girls were educated "for the drawing room". Most were taught at home, with only a minority attending boarding schools with a non-academic curriculum, with this pattern continuing until WW1.
Before then, changes had started to be seen with the founding of the North London Collegiate School in 1850, the first modern fee-paying day school offering girls a similar education to that given to boys, followed in 1877 by the first girls' public school in St Andrew's Scotland, Roedean in 1885 and Wycombe Abbey in 1896.
By 1921, the population of England and Wales had reached 37 million compared to 26 million in 1881, and the 1918 Representation of the People Act had enfranchised all men over the age of 21 and all women over the age of 30. Many more middle-class British girls were attending school, studying a curriculum similar to boys' schools, although its ultimate purpose was still to prepare women for the role of wife and mother. The same period saw the opening of numerous girls’ boarding schools fuelled by the demand from middle-class British parents based overseas during the days of the British Empire. Miss White and Miss Wheeler grasped their opportunity to create a nurturing and academic environment for both girls and boys to thrive, whilst meeting the needs of overseas families and offering a haven after the hardships of WW1.
At the time Beehive School was opening its doors, Sidmouth was known as a holiday destination, the northern edge of the “English Riviera”, with the Sidmouth Guide of 1930 listing 17 hotels and 66 boarding houses. A visit by Queen Victoria's son the Prince Regent in 1856 had, for a time, made it “the most fashionable seaside resort in England”.
By the late 1920s, Miss Green and Miss Wheeler felt that the school would benefit from moving closer to London and relocated to Little Bookham in 1937 when Miss Green acquired the Manor House. The School has occupied the same site ever since, even remained open throughout WW2. The following decades saw further expansion with the building of the Sports Hall known as EGH (Elizabeth Green Hall) and Mason which houses the Science labs, followed in the 2000s with the Prep, Nursery and Art blocks.
Since its founding, the school has known 11 Headmistresses and was named Best Small School in 2007 in the Sunday Times Best UK School guide. When Alumni talk about what they remember of their time at the school, some clear trends emerge. Lasting friendships are always first to be mentioned, followed by memorable school trips, outdoor performances and games in the Dell (a natural amphitheatre in the school grounds), and of course the Marrow Uniform (for better or worse!). Equally, old girls remember staff with high standards for learning and behaviour, but above all a caring and nurturing community where girls were encouraged to be themselves. These are the foundations the school continues to aspire to today.
Through the active Alumni Society, old girls and boys are regularly in touch. One boy boarder during the Second World War recently shared copies of letters he’d sent from Manor House in 1942 to his father who had been captured and incarcerated in Saigon as a Japanese prisoner of war, thankfully surviving the war. More recently the school has had contact with fashion designers, nurses and medical researchers, journalists, civil servants with the Ministry of Defence, trial lawyers to name a few, all of which make up the rich legacy of the school.
As Manor House looks towards 2021, admission enquiries continue to rise, the outdoor swimming pool is calling for its summer games to resume and the school community looks forward to celebrating its Centenary with past and present staff and girls, including plans for a Centenary Ball and Summer Picnic in the coming months.
Making Butter 'Live' - iPads as a Tool for Virtual Learning
Every pupil in our Senior School has their own iPad as a tool for learning and this has proved invaluable in the past few months as our Senior School timetable has continued, supplemented by as many live lessons as possible ...
12th June 2020 — Every pupil in our Senior School has their own iPad as a tool for learning and this has proved invaluable in the past few months at Manor House School, Bookham as we have continued with a full 'virtual' senior timetable during lockdown.
As an example of how we are using technology to continue with our teaching and learning, Mrs Knight, Head of Food Science and Technology, conducted a live practical lesson earlier this week with Year 8 in their kitchens at home. Pupils were taught how to make butter in a glass jar whilst Mrs Knight, Head of Food Science and Technology, made it alongside the pupils - but in her own kitchen!
Here is a photograph (shown here on Mrs Knight's laptop) of a number of Year 8 students on screen on her iPad shaking their jars of cream, then the final results showing off their pats of butter wrapped in cling film. Mrs Knight had the iPad fixed on a tripod at the other side of her kitchen work surface, with the video running so they could see her and she could talk through the steps with them as the lesson progressed.
For more information on our senior school virtual learning programme or to discuss a school application, please email: email@example.com
A Fantastic Set of LAMDA Examination Results and Classes Continue on Zoom!
Our London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) examinations were held in March and the girls have been eagerly awaiting their results. Finally they have arrived and what a fantastic set of results they are!
11th June 2020 — About a third of pupils at Manor House School, Bookham now choose to take LAMDA lessons as a co-curricular activity. They use it to improve confidence in speaking and listening, in delivering formal presentations, in creating and defending arguments in debate, in improving self-expression by expanding vocabulary and for memorising and recalling information. It can also help students in working successfully alone and in a team.
Sixty seven (67) girls received Distinctions and two girls received a very high Merit in the Spring term examinations. Everyone worked so hard on their examination pieces and should be extremely proud of themselves. What a great achievement!
Unfortunately not everyone was able to take their examination in time before the lockdown. For those girls, LAMDA will be re-scheduling their exam dates for early in the Autumn term.
In the meantime, classes are continuing by Zoom and the performances get more and more creative by the week! From a cooking show with a live chicken in it to a dancing dog interrupting a news broadcast. There is never a dull moment in our LAMDA classes and all the girls have adapted brilliantly to performing online.
If anyone is interested in taking up LAMDA tuition, please email Mrs E Hamer at email: firstname.lastname@example.org - LAMDA Tuition is available from Year 1 in the Prep School to Year 11 of the Senior School.
Announcing the 2020-2021 Core Prefect Team including New Head Girl and Deputy
Following applications from Year 10 pupils and a series of on-line interviews and virtual voting by students, we are delighted to announce our newly appointed Core Prefect Team for 2020-2021.
1st June 2020 — The Head Girl at Manor House School, Bookham for 2020-2021 will be Alicia P (pictured right) and our Deputy Head Girl, Amelie B (pictured left). They will be supported by Senior Prefects, Verity A and Alice H.
Ms Tracey Fantham, Headteacher, commented: “I am delighted for these girls and very much look forward to working with them over the coming year.”
Alicia, Head Girl, has been at Manor House School since she was two years old and has represented the school in many sports, captaining the A team in Netball, Hockey, Athletics and Rounders and representing Central Surrey in High Jump. Alicia has taken part in Science, Languages and Public Speaking competitions and more recently been cast as Helen in the Senior School production of ‘Half a Sixpence.’ She is a member of the Supportive Friends Team who are on duty every break time to provide support and to chat to girls of any age.
Amelie, Deputy Head Girl has also been involved in many aspects of school life and has particularly enjoyed working with girls from all year groups during House Arts, held in the Autumn term. Amelie said, “At Manor House, we can be whoever we want. Individuality is embraced and encouraged and that is why Manor House is so special.” She added, “In my thirteen years at Manor House, I have experienced so much happiness, friendship and support.”
Appointments will now be made for a Supporting Prefect Team which includes House Captains, Academic Prefects, Sports Prefects, Subject Prefects, a Lead ‘Supportive Friend’ Prefect and Prep Leader Prefects.
We look forward to seeing them in their new roles in the next academic year.
Year 11 Pupil's Design Initiative Raises Money for NHS
A few weeks into the lockdown, Senior School pupil, Hannah, in Year 11 of Manor House School, Bookham decided that she needed to do something to get the School community raising money for the NHS. Here's what she did and how you can help ...
26th May 2020 — A few weeks into the lockdown, Senior School pupil, Hannah, in Year 11 of Manor House, decided that she needed to do something to get the School community raising money for the NHS. After considering the options available, she decided on creating something that people in the school community could wear and, in keeping with the warmer weather, set about designing a T-shirt. Her first step was to design a specific logo that brought together an element of the Manor House School identity with that of the NHS and nationwide feeling.
Her chosen logo includes a rainbow, which has been a symbol of hope during lockdown, plus one aspect of the Manor House School, Bookham (MHS) logo. This has been placed on the background of a white T-Shirt, symbolising the white of the seventeenth century Manor House.
"I’m hoping to raise £1000. The NHS will feel this pandemic long after it’s over and this is one way that we can show our appreciation for all the amazing key workers!” The T-shirts are £15 each, regardless of size, and can be ordered in XS, S, M, L or XL through the school office at email: email@example.com - anyone is welcome to order a T-shirt and help support the NHS charities.
Hannah added, "Children and parents have ordered them and everyone seems to be really happy with them. I'm so pleased to be able to support the work of the NHS. So I can reach my target and sell the remaining T shirts, I'm asking as many people as possible to buy and donate to this important cause."
Here is Hannah wearing her T-shirt. Do watch out on our social feeds for photos of other pupils who share their pics of them wearing them too! Meantime, we would like to thank Hannah for her community spirit and charitable support.
Finding out more
Manor House Lane, Little Bookham, Leatherhead, KT23 4EN