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 Rentoul 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. One of Sylvia’s grandchildren is currently a school governor, and 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.

Prospect House School in Putney completes the school family.  Collectively the 3 schools form the House Schools Group, each school sharing a common ethos but retaining its own unique personality.

Orchard House playground


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

Orchard House classroom

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

Transfer to the Upper School is automatic.

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

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

Orchard House pe kit

About House Schools Group

Why three schools can be better than one

Orchard House School, Prospect House School and Bassett House School form a family of schools called House Schools Group (HSG).

Drawing on our extensive experience (Bassett House was founded in 1947 and Orchard House in 1993) all three schools collaborate closely, sparking off new ideas to promote ever more successful teaching practices.

Collaboration is particularly strong in computing where our IT director works closely across the group developing the use of iPads, using creative and management apps.

HSG’s experienced board of governors undertake many administrative tasks, freeing all the heads and teachers to spend more time doing what they do best: teaching children to fly.

Whilst sharing a common ethos, each school retains its own unique character, largely created by the headmistress and the teaching team. We invite you to come and get to know Orchard House School better, and experience its ethos in action.

House Schools TrusT BURSARIES

Member of IAPS

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).

IAPS Excellence in education