Pinewood is set in 84 acres of rolling countryside and offers a quality, family-based co-educational day and boarding environment for children aged 3-13. Pupils are prepared for top Independent Senior Schools at both Common Entrance and scholarship level through a blend of traditional and forward-thinking teaching which encourages independence in learning and fosters academic excellence. Music, drama, art and sport are seen as vital to a child's development and the school offers, in addition, a wide range of activities. Manners, self-reliance and a regard for others are valued principles upon which the school's ethos is built.
About the school
We would like to think that Pinewood is a little different. The vision, aims and values of the school are underpinned by two strongly held beliefs: that learning can only be fostered in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect, and that education is not confined to the classroom. We start with the premise that you can do nothing with an unhappy child and seek to create an atmosphere of care and respect where children will and should ask questions, push boundaries and occasionally transgress. The result is a school where children start to trust their instincts, recognise the relationship between action and consequence and begin to take responsibility for their own development. Outstanding pastoral care stems from the family atmosphere which permeates the school and children are known across the years. The Headmaster and his wife head up the boarding which is popular with all ages and is offered on a flexi, weekly or fortnightly option. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that equips our children for life in their chosen senior schools. Children are set from Year 3 upwards ensuring that each child is learning in an environment designed to help them achieve their potential, and high academic standards are expected. Support is available for both the brightest and the more gentle academics. Visiting speakers, workshops and trips all contribute to a breadth and variety enabling children to learn and discover outside of the formal classroom. Art, Drama and Music are given a high priority with over 75% taking up an instrument or participating in our groups and choirs. The Games programme is full and varied and sport is taken most afternoons. Fixtures against local preparatory schools ensure that all children have the opportunity to represent their school. The grounds and facilities provide an excellent space for developing our children’s learning through play, exploration, year group gardens, an outside classroom and the musical corner among others. This is extended by the Activity and Adventure programme allowing children to try anything from ballet to bowls, or polo to judo as well as the off-site trips to Somerset, Wales, Chichester and France. Weaving all these strands together allows Pinewood children to experience a real breadth and diversity of education and allows us to offer them a wealth of opportunity both in and out of the classroom.
Traditional fixtures may be on hold for the foreseeable future but competitive sport is very much still alive and well at Pinewood.
18th September 2020 — This September has seen the introduction of the inaugural Cross Keys Super Cup, where children in Years 5-8 have been divided into balanced, competitive teams and will be battling it out on the pitches over the course of the term. Boys will be playing both rugby and football and girls will be playing hockey and netball.
“Pinewood very much views team sports as the bedrock of a Prep School Sports Department and we were keen to find a way to continue competitive matches in a safe and responsible manner,” said James Siebert, Director of Sport. “As with all sports at Pinewood, the Cross Keys Super Cup is an all-inclusive competition, giving every child the chance to get in involved. Watching it reignite the enthusiasm and passion the children have for their sport has been fantastic.”
The weather may be turning colder and the evenings drawing in, but this certainly does not mean that Pinewood children will be spending any less time outdoors. The children, who are used to making the most of the impressive grounds at Pinewood, are delighted with the new ‘Outdoor Classroom’ that was opened in late October.
4th November 2019 — Nettles were cleared, the tree canopy made safe, tons of woodchip laid and an enchanted learning area, hidden away in a magical copse of trees beyond the bottom of the playing field, was created. Complete with composting loos, a firepit, benches, bug hotels, and even hand-made bunting, the area is protected by a huge parachute that is strung from the trees so it can be used in all weathers.
As many of the building materials as possible are recycled from the woods and grounds of Pinewood, and the composting loos constructed with discarded pallets from the building site of the new Teaching and Learning Centre, which is due to open in Spring 2020.
The new resource was funded by Friends of Pinewood and created by the Cotswold Forest School, whose passion and creativity transformed this once-neglected copse into a beautiful outdoor classroom.
Ruth Hall, Director of Education at Pinewood says, “Learning outside the classroom is very much at Pinewood’s heart and the creation of this wonderful space is further testament to that. Taking a child outside of a traditional classroom environment to further develop their skills and knowledge offers so many positive benefits. Added to that are the benefits of simply being outside and getting fresh air, something that can further enhance a child’s receptiveness. We are delighted that this resource is now something we are able to use with all of our children, all year round.”
The Board of Governors are delighted to announce the appointment of Neal Bailey as Headmaster of Pinewood on the retirement of Philip Hoyland in Summer 2020.
20th May 2019 — Neal is currently Head at Mowden Hall in Northumberland, since September 2014, and has previously worked at Cothill House School and as Headmaster at Chateau de Sauveterre. Prior to entering teaching, he enjoyed a successful career in investment banking. Neal has a keen interest in sport, enjoying a wide variety of activities including rackets, football, surfing and tennis. He also enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family.
Neal will be joined at Pinewood by his wife Nicola, who is keen to play a full role within the School, and their two boys, aged 10 and 8.
Over the course of the next three terms, Neal and Nicola will visit Pinewood, subject to continuing their excellent work at Mowden, and they are very much looking forward to meeting parents and members of the school community.
Pinewood create lasting memorial to mark Armistice Day
‘We will remember them.’ These are the words which now are proudly displayed in the Hall at Pinewood, on a commemorative mosaic which was designed and created to mark 100 years since the end of WW1.
20th November 2018 — The project was started in early Autumn, with every member of the Pinewood Community having the opportunity to contribute. From nursery, right through to some of the longest serving members of staff, tiles were carefully placed on the board, under the watchful eye of Karen Wones from Mint Mosaics.
The idea, that was born out of a collaboration between the History and Art Departments, was thoroughly embraced by the whole school and the wider Pinewood Community. The children initially drew designs and gave suggestions as to how the finished piece should look, which Head of Art, Paul Minter, then used to create the final design. The project was funded by Friends of Pinewood and many parents were involved in helping the children to take part.
Melanie Hughes, Head of History says: “This project really was a whole school collaboration from the start right through to the finish. Children were afforded time to reflect on the sacrifices of the WW1 generation and welcomed being involved in a project which commemorated this. The mosaic is now displayed in the Hall where it will stay for years to come’.
Fencing at Pinewood continues to go from strength to strength, as Lottie Jordan became the school’s first national champion, winning the English U11 Girls Epee title earlier this month.
5th July 2018 — The annual England National Championships took place at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village, just outside of London. Pinewood was represented at the event by four of their top fencers; Zac Fitzgerald fenced in both foil and epee, Ben Turner fenced foil in his first year at U13, Randeep Grewal fenced in the U13 sabre and Lottie Jordan fenced in the U11 girls’ epee.
Lottie Jordan has been fencing at Pinewood for 4 years and this past year has seen her skill rise to a new level. The championships were a test of skill, patience, composure and control. Lottie was required to fence in five bouts before she took the title of U11 Girls England Epee Champion, winning 10-6 in the final against the number 2 seed.
Fencing is very much growing in popularity at Pinewood, who are fortunate to have Neil Bromley, as head coach. Neil, an Old Pinewoodian himself, began fencing when he attended Pinewood back in the 80s. He has now been coaching at the school for 5 years and is delighted to see the school with a national champion.
Neil said “I’m thrilled to have learnt to fence at the school, come back here 5 years ago to teach and now have the school’s first national fencing champion. This was Lottie’s day – she held her nerve, concentrated and varied her tactics to suit and outsmart her opponents. All of her hard work has paid off and I look forward to further success with her and also the boys I teach”.
Director of Sport at Pinewood School James Siebert said: “We are thrilled with Lottie’s win. She has shown incredible dedication, determination and talent for sword fencing and we are pleased we are able to support her in pursuing her passion. With support from Neil we can look to the British National Championships next year to push on again. At Pinewood, we give every child the opportunity to find a sport or activity where they can excel and we are very proud of the diverse range of sports and opportunities we provide here”.
As curriculums go, it is hard to think of what is more important than teaching children how to protect and sustain our fragile environment for future generations and this is certainly something Pinewood is intent on communicating to its children.
7th June 2018 — Pre-Prep recently performed their summer play “Eddie the Penguin saves the world” to an enthusiastic audience, the play addressed global warming and was a fantastic way of bringing learning to life in an age appropriate and relevant manner. Year 3 took it upon themselves to challenge supermarkets about their use of plastic packaging by writing letters to all leading supermarkets, giving them suggestions as to where and how improvements could be made. Year 4 again used theatre to bring to life problems arising from deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest through their production of “The Emerald Crown” and Year 8 hosted a Humanities Fair where they presented a number of different ethical and environmental concerns to the wider Pinewood community. It is clear that Pinewood is very much focused on creating future generations of conscientious and socially aware individuals.
The Year 8 Humanities Fair was part of Pinewood’s new way of teaching Geography, History and TPE (Theology, Philosophy & Ethics) in a cross-curricular way and involved children getting into small groups and choosing a topic of focus to then research and present back to the school. Sweatshops, plastic in the ocean, sustainable fishing and palm oil were just some of the topics that were chosen.
Tom Lloyd, Head of Geography says, “It was wonderful to see how engaged the children were when researching their topic and how much it opened their eyes to the wider world and the challenges it faces. We addressed topics that the children had been exposed to in their day-to-day life, but delivered them in a way that made them relevant and relatable to each and every child.”
Philip Hoyland, Headmaster says, “Preparing our children for the future is a very important part of our teaching here at Pinewood. Whether that is developing inner resilience or whether it is developing a broader awareness of the world in which we live, we want to feel confident that our children leave here ready to make a positive contribution to society, in whatever form that takes.”