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Horris Hill School
Newtown, RG20 9DJ, UK Newbury
+44 (0)1635 40594

Welcome to Horris Hill Preparatory School

Horris Hill, a boarding preparatory school for boys, was founded on its present site in Berkshire in 1888 by A.H.Evans, a master at Winchester College. It was then owned by the Stow family until it became a Charitable Trust in 1957.

Over the years the close connection with Winchester has been maintained, although almost as many boys now go to Eton and Radley, as well as many other leading public schools.

The aim of Horris Hill is to provide a high quality and stimulating education for 8 to 13 year old boys in a happy, caring and safe environment. Whilst academic standards are high, we are equally concerned that each child is given the opportunity to discover and develop other talents, whether they be sporting, artistic, musical or personal. It is our firm belief that each child can achieve.

Above all we aim to create a happy, friendly and positive community.

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Jon Phillips

About the school

In this section you can view the different areas of the school in order to get a feel for the buildings, grounds and facilities at Horris Hill.

Some of your questions about boarding and pastoral matters are covered here too.

However, a  prospectus or website can only tell you so much. You need to visit the School to meet the Headmaster and his wife, the staff and some boys.  You will be most welcome at any time and please do bring your son too,  particularly if he is of an age to know what he likes!

Go to the contact us page for more details.


Horris Hill, Newtown, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 9DJ

tel: 01635 40594

Directions to Horris Hill from London

Leave M4 at Exit 13 (Newbury) and travel south on the A34 towards Winchester and Southampton. Stay on the A34 (Newbury by-pass) for about 7-8 miles, ignoring all signs to Newbury town centre, until you come to the Tot Hill junction, which is clearly signed posted. Leave the A34 and join the B4640 sign posted to Newbury and Newtown. The entrance to Horris Hill is on this road one and a quarter miles from the Tot Hill junction on the left.

Directions to Horris Hill from the South

Leave A34 at Tot Hill Junction and join the B4640 sign posted to Newbury and Newtown. The entrance to Horris Hill is on this road one and a quarter miles from the Tot Hill junction on the left.

Some versions of SATNAV will take you to the area of Horris Hill but not to the doorstep. So it is advisable to take a copy of these directions.

Click the map below for directions to Horris Hill Preparatory School

Click for more detailed map

Click for more detailed directions

Take a tour

The original Victorian building has been extended many times and the facilities are constantly being updated and expanded to provide the best possible environment for a preparatory school education.

Over the next few pages you can take a tour of the school, to see some of the fabulous facilities and grounds at Horris Hill.

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We aim to create an environment where a boy feels he can bring any worry or problem to someone he trusts. The boys’ welfare is overseen by the Headmaster with the close involvement of his wife, the Housemasters, matrons as well as Tutors.

Each boy has a member of staff as his tutor. In the Junior Department this will almost certainly be his Form Teacher, but thereafter he will have some choice. The boy meets with his tutor weekly on a one to one basis and the tutor will monitor progress both in and out of the classroom, as well as being an important point of contact with the parents.

The Sister, a resident medically qualified nurse, is responsible for the health of all the boys in the school. She has a resident deputy and is in regular contact with the School Doctor who visits once a week, or whenever required.

It is our belief that success and happiness are best developed in a religious environment. We seek to introduce boys to faith that is personal
as well as enjoyable. Chapel services, in which the boys participate fully, are purposefully directed at this age group. There are prayers in the mornings and a brief Sunday service to which parents are always welcome. Whilst the religious teaching is based on that of the Church of England, boys of other faiths are made welcome and participate in school worship.



Why Boarding? Boarding offers a complete educational experience. It combines the academic with the extra-curricular and the social in a way no other format can.

With so much more time available at weekends and in the evenings, a boy is free to pursue to the full the activities he finds fun and can enjoy them with his friends. Great and lasting friendships are developed that can only come from sharing in these experiences. Boys mature and become responsible in surroundings where they are able to organise their own free time constructively, using the full extent of the school’s facilities. A loyal and committed staff, most of whom live on site, are fully involved seven days a week, encouraging and overseeing a wide range of activities.

Boarders and day boys

As boarders, the youngest boys are under the direct supervision and care of the Headmaster and his wife, living on the top floor of the Private Side of the main building. We are fortunate to host a number of overseas Gap students each year who become fully involved in the boarding life of the school. A young assistant matron has her own room in the dormitory area, so help is readily to hand at night. Evenings are filled with games, stories and reading with television or videos once or twice a week.

After a year or so the boys move in to the main building under the care of a Housemaster who has an assistant and a matron to help him. In the evening, boys continue to enjoy games and quizzes; good reading habits are encouraged and music is played throughout the dormitories (some nights classical, some nights pop) to promote relaxation before going to sleep.

For their last year or two the boys move into one of the two senior houses in the grounds – Horris Wood and Horris Bank. Each is run by a resident Housemaster, whose wife is fully involved, together with an assistant.

Within a boarding environment, the aim is to prepare day boys for full time boarding at 13 which is why it is a requirement at Horris Hill that all boys board at the latest in the September after their eleventh birthday. In practice most convert well before then.

Contact with parents

Each boarding area has its own telephone and mobile phone for ease of contact with home whenever required. Additionally, there is a downstairs telephone entirely for boys’ use during the day. All boys also have access to e-mail facilities. But more importantly we encourage parents to visit the school whenever possible – for matches, Chapel, concerts, lectures and functions. A calendar is produced each term and, with a regular newsletter, parents need never feel cut off. We appreciate that the best education comes from a partnership between home and school.

We have a flexible leave-out system built around the fixed exeats each term. For the exeats, lasting two/three days, and half terms, up to ten days, no boys remain at school. In addition to these exeats, boys may have as many leave-outs (from Saturday, normally 1pm, until Sunday 7pm) as they like. For those who remain at school, who are the majority, a full programme of attractive activities and outings is arranged each weekend. These are covered in more detail in the Extra Curricular section of the website.

School Prospectus

To download the School Prospectus please follow the instructions below

Document Name Date Added  
School Prospectus Jul 15, 2007  Download

(Click the link to save the document to your computer, then open as some operating systems are not fully compatible with all of the latest software)

Entry procedure

The formalities of entry are as follows:

Boys normally enter the school in the September after their eighth birthday, but there are invariably a few who start younger or in January or in April to suit individual circumstances.

Horris Hill is essentially a boarding school and while day boys are most welcome, it is a requirement that all boys board at the very latest from the beginning of the September term following their eleventh birthday, in order to benefit fully from what the school offers and to prepare them for boarding at thirteen.

There is no entry exam as such, but before entry, all boys are required to have an informal interview and simple academic assessment. This is not competitive, but more of an insurance for the school and parents alike, that the boy will cope with what the school offers.

1. After receipt of the prospectus, please ring the school to arrange an appointment to meet the headmaster, Jon Phillips, and his wife Sally, and to be shown around. It is ideal if both parents come, but depending on his age, there is no need for the boy to do so at this stage, although he is very welcome.

2. Complete the registration form and send it with the non-returnable £100 registration fee. If we are able to offer a place, the registration will be confirmed in writing, which means that subject to the boy passing the informal test, he has a guaranteed place at Horris Hill. If we are not able to offer a place the registration fee is returned.

3. In the year prior to entry, we will contact you to arrange a time for your son to come to the school for the informal test, ideally after his eighth birthday. At this time he is taken round the school by a boy who has recently joined, if possible, by someone he knows.

4. We will notify you in writing of the result immediately afterwards, and assuming all is well (only very rarely is it not) allocation of a place and time of entry are confirmed. The acceptance form will need to be completed and returned, together with the appropriate deposit (see the fees list).

5. Fees for the first term are payable one month in advance of the start of that term. For subsequent terms they are payable on or before the first day of term.

Registration form

Early registration is recommended. Registrations will be considered in the order they are received.

Offers of places are subject to availability and the admission requirements of the School at the time offers are made. A copy of the current edition of the standard terms and conditions will be supplied on request.

Document Name Date Added  
Registration form Apr 25, 2005  Download

(Click the link to save the document to your computer, then open as some operating systems are not fully compatible with all of the latest software)


For the Academic Year 2007-2008

£6275 per term

£5275 per term

(approx 15% of the boarding fee)

Deposit for overseas pupils
Where either or both parents live abroad, a deposit of one term's boarding fees is charged.

March 2007


News and information

Uniform  list

See below for the full clothes list.

Autumn  term sports

The Autumn term Sports Newsletter can be downloaded by following the instructions below.

Second  hand uniform 

Second hand uniform is available from the school shop during term time.  Just phone on 01635 40594

Ski wear hire

The school has a stock of ski wear available for hire. The profits from this are put back in to each ski trip.  Contact Mr Stevens on tel: 01635 40594 for more details.

Document Name Date Added  
Clothes list Apr 25, 2005  Download
Autumn term Sports newsletter Jul 12, 2007  Download

(Click the link to save the document to your computer, then open as some operating systems are not fully compatible with all of the latest software)


Spring term 2008

Term starts:  Thursday 10th January 2008

Exeat:   Friday 25th January (11am) until Sunday 27th January (7pm)

Half term:   Friday 8th February (11am) until Sunday 17th February (7pm)

Exeat:   Friday 29th February (11am) until  Sunday 2nd March (7pm)

Term ends:   Wednesday 19th March (3pm) after play

Summer  term 2008

term starts:   Thursday 17 April (7pm)

Exeat:  Friday 2 May (11am)   until Monday 5 May (7pm) *

Half term: Thursday 22 May (11am) * until Wednesday 28 May (7pm) *

Exeat: Saturday 14 June (11am)  (no London coach)  until Tuesday 17 June (7pm) *

Term ends: Saturday 5 July (1pm)

* School transport with a member of staff i/c is available to or from Fulham Football Ground (see multimap link below) Departure time for returning to school is 5.30pm. Please contact the secretary in advance to book a place.


Horris Hill is well known for its fine academic record over the years both at Common Entrance and Scholarship level. We aim to retain the older values of hard work and structured learning whilst keeping fully up-to-date.

The Director of Studies is responsible for maintaining high standards and ensuring that the school moves with the times. In liaison with the Headmaster and all the teaching staff, he monitors closely each boy’s academic progress and would recommend additional individual help where there is a special need.

The youngest boys start in a Junior Department. Their programme is geared especially for 8-9 year olds, with a shorter day than the rest of the school and the work element being completed earlier. Form teachers are responsible for about half the lessons. As boys move up the school their working day is lengthened and specialist subject teachers are introduced. Reading is strongly encouraged. There is reference material both in the library as well as in the computer room and boys from the Junior Department regularly visit the local Newbury library.

In April 2000 a magnificent new teaching block of eight purpose-built classrooms was opened. (Go to 'About the School' for a virtual tour). Throughout the school the maximum class size is fifteen but the average is generally around twelve pupils.

Core Subject

  • Art
  • Classics
  • Drama
  • DT
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • IT
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • P.E.
  • Religious Studeies


In addition to the timetabled PE lessons in the mornings every boy participates in Games every day in the afternoon – with many Wednesdays and Saturdays (as well as occasional other days) taken up by school matches.

As well as having fun, building confidence and gaining experience the main aims of Games are to enable each boy to:

  • practice physical activities safely and show an awareness of how to assess any risks to themselves and others
  • work to their optimal level of physical fitness
  • develop the motor skills necessary to participate successfully in a variety of physical activities
  • develop social skills concentrating on teamwork in particular

To extend the more able and include the less able the boys work in carefully chosen groups based on age, interest and ability and are coached by enthusiastic, qualified and regularly trained members of staff or visiting specialists. These sessions all take place within our 70 acres of private, secluded, beautifully maintained grounds.

The Games programme is as follows:

Autumn Term: Football, Squash, Orienteering, Golf, Tennis
Spring Term: Rugby, Squash, Cross-country, Hockey, Golf
Summer Term: Cricket, Tennis, Swimming, Athletics, Golf, Softball

School teams are run from the intake year (Under 9) right up to the top of the school 1st teams (Under 13/14) in nearly all of the above sports and being such a small school we ensure ALL BOYS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REPRESENT THE SCHOOL AT LEAST ONCE EACH YEAR.

NB – In all our sports, but particularly in rugby , hockey and cricket, I would like to stress that safety is paramount and that we all constantly work very hard together to minimise risks.

Martyn Foss

Director of Sport

Document Name Date Added  
Autumn term Sports newsletter Jul 12, 2007  Download
1st X1 Coerver Coaching Jul 12, 2007  Download
U11 Coerver Coaching Jul 12, 2007  Download
Rugby O-Pro Mouthguard opt out Jul 12, 2007  Download


With 4 new all-weather tennis courts available and expert coaching in PE lessons and during games this sport is very popular.

The courts are very busy during free time where many boys can practise the skills that they learnt from our teachers or from the visiting specialist coaches during their private lessons.

Whilst running senior, middle and junior tennis teams we don’t forget the other boys – everyone gets the chance to learn how to play and approximately a third of the boys take private lessons.

Martyn Foss


There is a large selection of specialist rooms to encourage boys to broaden their outlook and interests and most evenings a specific time is set aside for this.

There are facilities for astronomy, chess, electric trains, model-making, photography and printing. In addition the wonderful grounds and woodland at Horris Hill give scope for cycling, camping and gardening.

Regular trips are made to the Forest of Dean for mountain biking and to the Brecon Beacons or the Lake District for outward bound experience with qualified instructors.


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Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)