Skip to content ↓

Wellesley House Pre-Prep

With a long-held desire to serve the Kent community better, we are delighted to be in a position to make our outstanding education available to children from the very start of their formal education at four.

Dear Parents,

We are immensely proud of Wellesley House's position as one of the leading prep schools in the country. The school is renowned for providing the highest quality of education and outstanding pastoral care to both boarders and day children, so we are delighted to announce news of exciting plans for the school.

The governors took the school's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2016 as a moment to reflect on Wellesley House's future and consider the needs of the next generation of pupils and parents. Following a process of research and evaluation, it became evident that the prep school model is changing nationally, and parents today are increasingly looking for schools that provide continuous education from Reception through to the start of their children's senior school.

Therefore, the governors and Headmaster are delighted to announce a major change that responds to the demands of the changing market and ensures that Wellesley House retains and enhances its position as a market leader in prep school education.

A new pre-prep school

With a long-held desire to serve the Kent community better, we are delighted to be in a position to make our outstanding education available to children from the very start of their formal education at four.

Our new pre-prep school will open in September 2019, for pupils entering at Reception class and above. The pre-prep school will be housed in the Junior House, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation with St Peter's Court and the opening of Junior House. Boddington House - one of Wellesley's most significant buildings, will be refurbished to provide purpose-built facilities for pupils aged from four to eight. The children will enjoy full access to all of the prep school's exceptional facilities and grounds, giving younger pupils an outstanding start to their education.

Sustaining the Wellesley House ethos

The school has been providing educational excellence for over 150 years. We aim to nurture children academically, morally, spiritually and culturally, developing their confidence and sense of independence by providing a rich education that not only prepares them for their senior schools, but also for life. This ethos and these values remain unchanged.

However, Wellesley House has always been a school that seeks to set the agenda in education for prep school children and we are, as ever, aiming high. We firmly believe that by modernising today, we are readying the school for the strongest possible long-term future. This is an incredibly exciting time for Wellesley House and its community.

Our overall aim is to make Wellesley the outstanding prep school in Kent, providing a broader offer to meet the changing needs and aspirations of parents and pupils and to embed the Wellesley House values of Kindness, Respect, Courage, Teamwork and Enjoyment into everything we do.

To help answer any immediate questions you may have about the planned changes, a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been drawn up and is available to view below. We would, of course, be happy to answer any other questions you may have relating to the changes. Please contact the Headmaster's PA, Mrs Geraldine Baird on 01843 862991 or via email hmsecretary@wellesleyhouse.net if you require further information.

With best wishes

Philip Woodhouse, Chairman of Governors

Gavin Franklin, Headmaster

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1: Why has the school decided to make these changes?

For some time, the school has been aware that its market has been changing and that prospective families are considering a broader range of educational options for their children, with many families actively seeking continuity in schooling from age four upwards. So after careful consideration, the governors in conjunction with the appointment of a new Headmaster have decided that the time is right for the school to open a pre-prep school.

Q2: Will this change the school's aims, ethos and values?

The school's aims, ethos and values have been established for more than 150 years and will remain unchanged. The school will continue to nurture children academically, morally, spiritually and culturally, in order to develop their confidence and sense of independence.

In extending the provision to younger pupils, a greater number of children will now benefit from the school's academically ambitious education and outstanding pastoral care and the community will be strengthened too.

Our overall aim is to make Wellesley the outstanding prep school in Kent, providing a broader offer to meet the changing needs and aspirations of parents and pupils and to embed the Wellesley House values of Kindness, Respect, Courage, Teamwork and Enjoyment into everything we do.

03: What are the benefits of extending the educational provision down to age four?

For some time, prospective and current parents have been requesting places for younger children, often siblings. Extending the provision down to Reception will enable the school to meet these requests. Importantly, it will also ensure a seamless progression for families looking for one school for their children from age 4 upwards.

Situated in the heart of the school site, the new pre-prep will have modern, well-equipped learning, creative and library spaces, all within a secure self-contained area. Pupils will benefit from a fun and challenging curriculum within a nurturing pre-prep environment. The school's extensive grounds will enable outdoor learning to be integral to the curriculum and life of the school. Furthermore, pupils will have access to our very own “beach school", where character education and healthy living will naturally blend in with the curriculum, as we benefit from our unique location in Broadstairs.

The ethos will be to promote independence, and self-confidence within the children, encourage a love of learning and strong understanding of teamwork and understanding of others. Wellesley is renowned for its extraordinary activities programme. From age 4, all pupils will have access to specialist sport, art and music teaching. Pre-prep pupils will have access to all of the school's exceptional facilities, including the sports hall, swimming pool, tennis courts, playing fields, adventure playground, IT suite, dance studio, art school, DT room and music school. Pupils will also benefit from our excellent food and dining room facilities as well as access to registered nurses.

A modern, well-resourced pre-prep school, excellent teaching, outstanding pastoral care will see the pupils benefit from a superb pre-prep experience.

Q4: How will current pupils be affected?

The prep and pre-prep schools will work seamlessly together, as two parts of a single school. Current parents will benefit from the sharing of outstanding teaching practice throughout all parts of the school.

The proximity of the pre-prep will also enable our prep school pupils to take on greater responsibility as peer mentors to pre-prep pupils. In almost all other respects, current pupils will be aware of very little change to their daily routine.

Q5: Where will the pre-prep be situated?

Situated in what is now the Junior House, the pre-prep will be sympathetically redeveloped. Taking both floors in Junior House and Boddington House the pre-prep will have the use of all existing prep school facilities. The pre-prep children will have their own lunch in the main school dining hall.

Q6: How and when will the facilities be developed?

The boys currently boarding in Boddington House will be relocated to the main school, combining all the boys' boarding under one roof. This move will happen from September 2018. From the boarding aspect, we will also be enhancing our levels of pastoral care.

The upstairs facilities in Boddington House will then be developed into inspirational classrooms and work stations in time for the first pre-prep pupils to start in September 2019.

Q7: How will the pre-prep be staffed?

The first step will be to recruit a Head of Pre-Prep of the very highest calibre. The recruitment will take place during Michaelmas term 2018, with a view to the successful candidate being in place in advance of the school's opening. Once appointed, the new Head of the Pre-Prep will be involved in all further pre-prep staff recruitment.

08: As a current parent, how can I find out more and to whom can I talk about the changes?

Gavin Franklin, the Headmaster will be happy to answer further questions you may have regarding the changes. Please contact him via the Headmaster's PA, Mrs Geraldine Baird on 01843 862991 or via email hmsecretary@wellesleyhouse.net.

Q9: As a prospective parent who can I talk to and when can I visit?

Please contact Mrs Geraldine Baird, in the Admissions department, she can be contacted on 01843 862991. She will be delighted to answer any questions you have and to arrange a visit in due course.

We would also be delighted to welcome you to one of our Open Days, dates will be available in due course.