To help a child achieve their personal best, we must engage their attention and stimulate their imagination. The combination of highly motivated teachers, small classes and our exciting and diverse curriculum nurtures each child’s individual academic and creative talents with a sense of fun and purpose.
Sport encourages a respectful, competitive attitude, teaching children the value of camaraderie. Similarly, music and drama can create increased levels of confidence and self-esteem.
We foster a sense of adventure and all activities take place within an atmosphere of warmth and openness, encouraging pupils in independent thought. Our Pupil Pastoral Plan monitors the well-being of each child and was recently shortlisted for a national award.
The Independent Schools Inspectorate awarded Orchard House the highest accolades of ‘excellent’ in all areas and ‘exceptional’ in achievements and learning. These are mirrored in our first-class academic results. We warmly invite you to visit us at Orchard House School.
To obtain a prospectus, have a chat or arrange a visit, please do telephone the school office on 020 8742 8544 or contact the school by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are delighted to announce that Orchard House School has been shortlisted for the Sports Award in the TES Independent School Awards 2021!
From Miss Furneaux’s ‘Beat the Teacher’ Twitter challenges to the Orchard House Movement Challenge, the P.E. department has worked incredibly hard to deliver innovative fitness and games content throughout the lockdowns. The nomination is thoroughly deserved, and we couldn’t be prouder!
‘With sport-loving Head Maria Edwards at the helm, it’s small wonder that the Orchard House netball, football and swimming teams are forces to be reckoned with.
Keen to encourage any form of physical activity, Mrs Edwards has introduced skipping at playtime and she’s virtually impossible to beat in the Form 6 ‘Challenge Mrs Edwards’ table tennis tournament.
Pupils ‘love the happiness’ at this close-knit Chiswick prep, and parents are delighted by the terrific results which see leavers heading onto the likes of St Paul’s (boys’ and girls’) and Emanuel.
Music is a firm favourite here with the ‘fantastic and inspiring’ Miss Curran encouraging 75 per cent of students to play an instrument. But nothing beats the OHS Summer Fair with its food stands, fun games, small ponies to cuddle, and lots and lots of sweets.‘ (Tatler 2021)
Orchard House features in Tatler magazine’s Schools Guide to the top prep and public schools in the UK.
Our outstanding results repeatedly show that all children can learn to fly, regardless of early learning ability.
Great minds think for themselves; nurturing individuality is at the heart of our teaching.
We believe tailor-made teaching opens up young minds to endless possibilities, encouraging them to think creatively and form their own ideas.
Our pupils mostly call it having fun. We call it being the best they can be.
A full statement of the school’s ethos and aims is available here.
Ethos in Action
Close relationships nurture individuality
Orchard House School was formerly a family home and retains a happy, welcoming atmosphere, starting at the front door where the headmistress or a senior staff member greets each child by name every morning.
Currently we have approximately 270 pupils and 47 teaching staff, allowing each child a great deal of individual attention. It is very rare there are more than 20 pupils in any class, and in the early years there are three teaching adults in attendance. Small group and 1:1 sessions are commonplace.
Teachers take lunch with the children and our extensive extra-curricular activities allow teachers and pupils to interact in a more informal atmosphere.
Our school is a place where every child feels valued and gains the confidence to fly.
Cultivating academic tenacity
A ‘can do’ attitude and academic tenacity are in our DNA. They are embedded in every aspect of school life from our curriculum, classroom, staffroom and sports fields to the playground and outside school activities.
If you were to say ‘I can’t do that’ to one of our pupils they would inevitably bellow back ‘I can’t do that YET.’ This mantra is often repeated at assemblies and has become a shorthand for understanding that resilience and perseverance pay off, which in turn feeds a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval.
‘Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…’ Debbie Millman
Appointment of Mr Kit Thompson as Head from September 2021
Following the announcement earlier in the term of Maria Edwards’ retirement, it is with great pleasure that we share the exciting news of her successor.
After a highly competitive and rigorous recruitment process, Mr Kit Thompson – currently Headmaster at the Unicorn School in Kew – has been appointed as the next Headteacher of Orchard House, starting in September 2021.
In a very strong field, Mr Thompson’s passion for education, wealth of experience and dedication to the children in his charge shone through. His strong educational ethos and commitment to the highest standards of pastoral care make him an excellent fit for Orchard House.
An experienced Headteacher, Mr Thompson enjoys an excellent reputation amongst London schools. Educated at Downside School, Somerset, Mr Thompson has held positions at Tockington Manor School, Bristol and Twyford School, Winchester, where he was Deputy Head. He was appointed Head at the Unicorn School in 2013, where he has overseen a period of tremendous success – with continued academic achievement and an environment where pupils want to do the very best for themselves and their peers. Mr Thompson is committed to educating the whole child, and creating opportunities to nurture, develop and celebrate the talents of every pupil.
Kit Thompson, Headteacher designate, Orchard House School, said:
“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to be Head of Orchard House School, following on from the success of Maria Edwards. I hold a deep belief that children learn best when they feel safe, happy and are inspired to try their very best every day. Orchard House has a superb reputation for its academic success and renowned pastoral care. The wonderful strap line ‘where every child can learn to fly’ immediately made me smile and I know that my views on education are ideally matched to the school. I look forward to joining the community and helping the school move forward to even greater success.”
Mr Thompson joins us at an exciting time. Under Mrs Edwards’ leadership, Orchard House School has securely positioned itself as one of the leading preparatory schools in West London. With Mr Thompson’s energy and ambition for its future, we have every confidence that Orchard House will continue to thrive and be the happy and extraordinary school we all know and love.
An insight into life at Orchard House School
There are always exciting things happening at Orchard House School.
From our annual Sports Day to our end of term concerts to our much anticipated Science Day, there’s something for every child.
Get an insight into daily life at Orchard House School by reading our school magazine and watching our videos.