The history of Orchard House School

Orchard House’s sister school, Bassett House School in North Kensington, was founded in 1947 by Sylvia Rentoul, with just 6 pupils. In those days, there was a more regimented approach to education and the prevailing belief that ‘children should be seen but not heard’.

Sylvia passionately believed children should be encouraged to express themselves, and teaching should be both supportive and challenging, but above all, must take into account the individual needs of each child.

Sylvia’s sons set up Orchard House School on its Newton Grove site in 1993 and expanded the school in 2010 by purpose re-building 2 Rupert Road to house the early years. Sylvia’s visionary philosophy not only endures but flourishes at Orchard House School to this day.

Ours is an intimate and happy school and has approximately 300 children across eight year groups.

In February 2020, Orchard House, together with Bassett House and Prospect House, became part of Dukes Education.



Our school premises

Orchard House School nestles in the heart of Bedford Park in Chiswick. The senior school house is in Newton Grove, whilst the younger children are housed just around the corner in our Rupert Road premises. Both buildings were formerly large family residences designed by Norman Shaw in the late 19th century, and each retains a warm family atmosphere.

Our two sites have excellent outdoor play areas. They are equipped with their own kitchens serving fresh food, as well as dedicated science and art rooms, and light airy classrooms.

Orchard House is very much part of the community and we make full use of wonderful local facilities.

These include Chiswick Back Common with its first-rate astro pitches at Rocks Lane, the Acton Leisure Centre, the Janet Adegoke Swimming Pool, the University of Westminster Sports Ground’s netball and tennis courts and the Brentford Fountain & Leisure Centre.

We also have excellent drama facilities nearby, and when necessary pupils travel to venues and events in our own Orchard House bus.

• A five minute walk from Turnham Green tube station

• The nearest overground station is South Acton

• Served by many local bus routes


About Dukes Education

Orchard House is part of Dukes Education. Dukes Education is a family of schools and education organisations based in the UK. We bring together schools that are diverse in their offering and yet united as outstanding examples of teaching and learning. 

Our philosophy is to support each individual to live with purpose, to encourage a love of learning and to act as a team. All of this is underpinned by a quality standard that runs through everything we do.

We believe that education is a journey to be enjoyed and shared at every stage of life, unlocking extraordinary possibilities for every pupil.

As part of Dukes, Orchard House continues to lead on all decisions and retain its independence. Dukes adds to this the benefit of the collective, providing security and support, a platform for sharing best practice, and the reassurance of a host of all-through education options. 

Aatif Hassan is the Chairman of Orchard House and he can be contacted by email: aatif.hassan@dukeseducation.com  

Dukes Education

Breakdown of Classes

Our year group structure

Den (nursery):  age 3 to 4
Lower 1 (reception):  age 4 to 5
Form 1:  age 5 to 6
Form 2:  age 6 to 7

Form 3:  age 7 to 8
Form 4:  age 8 to 9
Form 5:  age 9 to 10
Form 6:  age 10 to 11

Transfer to the Upper School is automatic.

Parents are offered in-depth information and advice in choosing a subsequent school that will best suit their individual child.


Member of IAPS

Excellence in education

Orchard House School is a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) which is a constituent body of the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

The school is rigorously inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

Tatler 2021

Tatler Schools Guide 2021

‘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.


ICT Excellence

ICT Mark

The ICT Mark is a national accreditation scheme which gives schools recognition for their achievements in using technology to deliver excellent learning. Over 1,000 schools in the UK have achieved the ICT Mark and thousands more are working towards it.

We’ve long been accredited with the ICT Mark.