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.
In February 2020, Orchard House, together with Bassett House and Prospect House, became part of Dukes Education.
In early 2021 Dukes Education, founded and led by our Chairman Aatif Hassan, acquired Chiswick & Bedford Park Prep School – a wonderful school just around the corner from Orchard House. As sister schools we share much in common; chiefly our commitment to a strong moral ethos and the expectation of outstanding learning and care. During academic years 2021- 2022 and 2022-2023 the schools will collaborate closely – Kit Thompson, Head at Orchard House and Henrietta Adams, Head of CBPPS will co-lead the schools to ensure fruitful and positive experiences for both sets of pupils.
A Leading Light
From 2023 the Nurseries of OHS and CBPPS will come together and from 2024 a new combined school will come into existence under the Orchard House name. This new school will benefit from a full cosmetic refurbishment of all sites – Rupert Road, Priory Avenue and Newton Grove as well as additional specialist teaching space in the form of a new Science, Technology and Computing Centre, additional spaces for Art, Music and Drama, a fuller timetable of enrichment and clubs, and expert subject teaching.
As a thriving three form entry school, all of our children will benefit from a full time teaching assistant and specialist teaching staff across the curriculum, ensuring academic excellence alongside outstanding pastoral care. We will be working with both school communities to come up with meaningful ways to honour the heritage of Chiswick & Bedford Park school. For example this may include elements of the uniform, naming of buildings and additions to the school values.
This seven-figure investment from Dukes will put Orchard House School squarely on the map as one of London’s premier preparatory schools.