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Northbourne Park School
Betteshanger, CT14 0NW, UK Deal
+44 (0)1304 611215

Welcome to Northbourne Park

Northbourne Park School is one the leading independent prep schools in Kent offering nursery, day and boarding facilities to girls and boys aged from 3-13.Set in 100 acres of glorious park and woodland near the coast, Northbourne Park has for many years introduced hundreds of children to the joys and challenges of school life. Described by the Good Schools Guide as a "well kept secret" we hope youwill take the opportunity to see for yourself what we can offer your child and why children here at Northbourne love it so much.

It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular reason why children say they love Northbourne Park so much. But these are some of the factors that children, parents, staff and friends say make Northbourne Park a very special place:

  • Our setting – in 100 acres of beautiful park and woodlands on the Betteshanger estate near Deal in Kent. The children can explore the grounds, build camps in the woods and simply enjoy the freedom of the biggest playground they could possibly want.
  • A family environment - Northbourne Park has its roots in a family home and that’s what we provide – a school family. Children come here at many different ages and from many different backgrounds and our first priority is to help each one of them feel happy, comfortable and confident.
  • Focus on the individual child -we spend time helping develop the best possible potential in your child, whether it’s in the classroom, the sports field, in the arts or any other walk of life. And as we don’t act as a feeder school to any one particular senior school we can help you aim for the right school for your child at 11 or 13.
  • Academic success – over the years we have sent children to a range of leading independent schools and local grammar schools including Benenden, Cranbrook, Dover College, Eton College, Kent College, The King’s School Canterbury, St Edmunds, Sevenoaks, Simon Langton Grammar School, Sir Roger Manwoods and Tonbridge.
  • Small classes – children benefit from being in small classes of no more than 18 where they can have plenty of individual attention and guidance.
  • Dedicated staff – our dedicated staff are loved by the children and parents alike. We have a high staff/child ratio ensuring that the children’s academic and pastoral needs are well cared for. Our goal is to teach to the highest standards the many subjects we offer so that children pass examinations successfully. We attach equal importance to inspiring your children with enthusiasm and a love of learning which will be an asset for life.
  • Extra-curricular excellence – there’s a great range of activities for the children to take part in outside academic studies – from riding to golf, piano to xylophone, acting and art. Most children play a musical instrument and love taking part in our drama productions and weekly club activities.
  • Our reputation for innovation – that’s what we’re good at. We’ve pioneered the introduction of outdoor education into our curriculum and our unique language programme promotes the development of language skills that you won’t find anywhere else.


Our senior school takes children between the age of 7 and 13 (Years 3-8). Our aim is develop happy, confident children by providing a stimulating and secure environment that encourages a love of learning.

The senior school is located in the beautiful former home of the Northbourne family. The building has been sympathetically developed to accommodate modern day life and technology. Recent developments include a new girls’ boarding house, sports changing rooms. a new science suite and music wing. Interactive whiteboards are now available in many teaching rooms.

Our magnificent grounds provide a wonderful environment for the children to explore safely during their free time giving them space to enjoy their childhood.

Children are taught in small classes giving plenty of opportunity for individual attention. As they progress through the school the children gradually adapt to a more structured academic environment and respond well to their new responsibilities and opportunities.

The majority of children will sit their Common Entrance exam to an independent school at 13 and some will enter the excellent local grammar schools at 11. Examination results are high - indeed substantially higher than the national average.

Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, including the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. It is challenging, and designed to give a balanced educational experience covering academic and creative subjects, and many sporting activities.

One of the hallmarks of the school is the provision of specialist subject teaching, drawing on the expertise and enthusiasm of highly skilled staff. French, Spanish, Music, ICT, History, Geography and Science are normally all taught by specialist teachers from Year 3. PSHE, religious studies, drama and outdoor education also form part of our curriculum.

The school is well resourced with technology used in many classrooms and a dedicated ICT suite.

Our library is well stocked and the children are regularly encouraged to borrow books and write reviews for friends.

Our staff use a number of teaching styles to enthuse the children including project work, etc Our Year 5 children have recently built a ‘Green Goblin’ electric car which they hope to race. The Art and Maths departments got together to produce some mathematical patterns based on curve stitching.


The Geography department is involved in a project to study both coastal erosion and sea defences, and the whole school is involved in an environmental project to audit the school’s use of energy and to reduce waste. The picture shows a field trip to the local town of Rye one of the local historic cinque ports.


Children are taught to express themselves in a variety of ways in addition to writing. We have a thriving art department and children have a great deal of fun exploring and discovering that they can achieve much more than they might have thought possible. A great deal of emphasis is place upon acquiring strong observational and sound technical skills that are the foundation of every confident young artist. Talented children are prepared for scholarships to senior schools and several have had work displayed in local exhibitions. We regularly receive visits from other artists and also take children to exhibitions of interest.



This is taught as part of English, though we also devote a significant amount of time throughout the school producing plays, pantomimes, operas, nativities and musicals each year, culminating in an annual school play. There are regular trips to the theatre and ballet. Children learn how to speak in public and we hold regular “balloon debates”. Such activities contribute significantly to our children’s self confidence and their ability to communicate.

Extra Curricular
Outdoor education
Sports and clubs
Moving on


Children start their school journey in our pre-prep house, more affectionately known as the Old Rectory. As a former family home, it allows the children to feel “at home” and our staff are dedicated to helping their charges feel secure and cared for as they take their first steps away from home.

The children enjoy their own kingdom with its own grounds but  its setting close to the senior school allows them to visit regularly for plays, festivities and sporting activities.

Children stay at the Old Rectory for the first 4 years of their school life (nursery to Year 2). All children are introduced to reading, writing and mathematics, meeting all the National Curriculum requirements as well as a variety of other activities including French, music, PE and drama.

Our aim is to enjoy the beginning of their school life, develop a thirst for learning but also allow them to enjoy their childhood in a homely setting.

We offer early and late services to suit family arrangements and there is also school transport to local areas at both ends of the day.

3 – 5 year olds in the Nursery & Reception Classes

At the Old Rectory we follow the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. We provide an exciting range of activities to encourage the children to learn through play, exploration and problem solving, linked to half- termly topics such as animals, ourselves and clothes.

These activities are split into six areas of learning:

Personal, social and emotional development

  • Celebrations: Harvest , Diwali, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, Mother’s Day, Easter etc.

  • Dressing, pouring drinks, spreading butter to develop independence

  • Playing board games to encourage sharing and taking turns

Communication, Language & Literacy

  • Talking about their news
  • Sound games
  • ‘Write dance’ writing skills
  • Reading games
  • Writing table
  • Role play
Mathematical Development
  • Number games
  • Computer work
  • Sand/water play


Knowledge & Understanding of the World
  • Investigations into magnets, weather or what clothes are made of
  • Sorting – materials, foods or animals
  • Learning about ‘the olden days’
  • Finding out about our environment and the world
Physical Development (Inside and Outside)
  • Climbing apparatus in the hall
  • Trikes/scooters
  • Dance/drama
  • Parachute
  • Scissors
  • Skipping ropes
  • Playdough
  • Balls
  • The woods
  • Climbing frame
Creative Development
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Printing
  • Junk modelling
  • Collage
  • Role Play

These activities, as well as being fun, will help develop confidence, independence and the knowledge to achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception Class.

We continue to build on and develop the skills which have underpinned the Foundation Stage Curriculum covered in the previous two years in Nursery and Reception. The National Curriculum guidelines for Key Stage 1 are followed with a storng emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy skills including daily reading and weekly spelling test. Science, Geography, History, Art, and DT are taught through cross-curricular topic work. All children benefit from regular sessions of PE, French and Music.

We also offer a weekly “Club” session where children are able to choose from a range of activities taught in small groups with options such as craft, science, recorders or yoga.

We have computers in our classrooms and these are used to extend and support our work in all areas of the curriculum.

Children are encouraged to work hard and become more independent in both academic and non-academic areas.


Individual development and progress is monitored closely and assessed regularly. In Year 2, children are prepared for a smooth transition to the Senior School in Year 3. With this aim, they spend some time every week at the senior school. By the Summer Term the children are already familiar with the lunch routine, and share PE sessions and playtimes with the older children. By this time they are eager and ready to leave the “shelter” of The Old Rectory and keen to face the new challenges offered at the Senior School.


Around 1/3 of the children at Northbourne Park are boarders so we work hard to make sure that they feel happy, secure and cared for. Children board at all ages from 7 up and they all mix very well together across the age groups - it’s like having an extended family.

The boys sleep in the main school and the girls have their own new boarding house. The emphasis is on a homely feel and there are always plenty of staff available to make sure that they are well looked after at all hours of the day and night.

Day children will regularly join the boarders for flexi-boarding – when they can board for 1 or 2 nights (space allowing) to suit family arrangements. It’s very popular – particularly on film nights!

Our goal is to make boarders feel at home as possible. The boys sleep in bedrooms in the main school in groups of 4-10. The girls sleep in our new boarding house in bedrooms of 4-5 with ensuite shower rooms, study and recreation areas. The boarders all mix in well together whether they are 7 or 13.

Homesickness is rare – there’s little time for it! We place emphasis on keeping the children occupied at all times. And we try to make life as varied as possible.

A typical evening would include supervised prep between 17.00-18.00 followed by supper. After supper we organise activities for the children, we might have an hour’s games in the hall or hide and seek in the grounds in the summer. Wednesday night is film and tuck night and on Thursday, the girls enjoy a “girls’ night in” at the boarding house. Children get ready for bed at 7.30pm and enjoy hot chocolate and a biscuit before heading to bed. Younger children go up earlier than the older ones but lights out for all is 21.00.

Weekends are great fun. We organise visits to the theatre, shopping centres, skating rinks or trips to London. And in the summer we have regular barbeques and trips to the beach. For more information on our recent activities take a look at our Boarding News.


When you contact us we will send you a prospectus and invite you to come and visit the school.

After a guided tour of the school, the Headmaster will invite you to an informal meeting to discuss your child's needs in more detail.  Please bring along your child's recent school reports, exercise books etc. so that we may better understand their abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Your child will also have the opportunity to spend an assessment day at the school, in an appropriate class, where they can experience life at Northbourne Park first-hand, and our teaching staff can get to know them a little better.

If your child is joining the French programme, we assess their level of English and ask them to sit an entrance examination in Maths and French to ensure that the programme will be suitable for them.

If you (and your child!) decide that Northbourne Park is the school for you, just complete and sign our registration document and send it to the School Administrator, along with your registration fee. The Headmaster will then fomally offer a place at the school for your child.

We will keep in contact with you regularly before your child's start date, and make sure you get all the information you need before their first day at Northbourne Park.

Fees 2007-2008

primary schools in Deal, secondary schools in Deal, schools in Deal

Editorial office:
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