Papplewick, a boarding and day preparatory school for 200 boys between the ages of 7 and 13, was founded in 1947 and grew under the inspiration of Peter Knatchbull-Hugessen. The school became a charitable trust in 1964 under a Board of Governors and is accredited by the Independent Schools Council. Situated in 15 acres of land opposite Ascot Racecourse, the school is both rural and within 25 miles of Central London, while still enjoying convenient links to Heathrow Airport.
The Headmaster is a member of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools and is also an Independent Schools Inspector.
"At the heart of life at Papplewick is a belief that boys will only fulfil their true potential if they grow up in an atmosphere in which they feel secure and confident. The bedrock upon which this confidence is built is provided by the inspiration and dedication of our staff who are committed to enabling the boys to enjoy the broadest possible range of academic and extra-curricular experiences. In addition, in order to inspire each boy to discover for himself where his own strengths may lie, it is critical that excellence abounds throughout the school for all boys to emulate in each of the academic, sporting and cultural spheres.
However, such excellence is worth little unless the happiness of each and every boy comes first. Boys will only thrive if their well being remains our greatest concern, and if the boys themselves learn to cherish certain vital human qualities. Thus, the final and most coveted prize to be awarded on Speech Day goes to the boy who has shown the greatest enthusiasm for life, contribution to the community and, above all, kindness to others.
It is these qualities which stand out at Papplewick prompting one long-standing prep school Headmaster to write, 'I have never seen so many happy and confident boys.' My wife, Sallie and I and our four young children Harry, Mollie and Lily and Archie, very much hope that it will not be long before you are able to visit us so that we may show you such happiness and confidence at first hand."
Tom Bunbury, BA., P.G.C.E. Headmaster.
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Situated in 15 acres, midway between Ascot and the southern limit of Windsor Great Park, the school is both rural and within 25 miles of Central London. Papplewick has shown its commitment to continuous modernisation; recent developments include an Information and Design Technology centre, floodlit astroturf, media studio, a full-sized Sports Hall with four cricket nets and a Music School with fourteen soundproof practice rooms together with two large teaching rooms fully equipped with all the latest keyboard and composing facilities.
Such facilities give the boys an unrivalled opportunity to unlock their potential indeed, we set out to achieve for each one of our boys the best we can do for that boy, every boy according to his lights.
A special feature of Papplewick is the number of staff who live in the school grounds. They give generously of their time to make our a community rich in activity.
There is one full time member of staff for every seven boys and they are all present at weekends, which are, as a result, relaxing, enjoyable and different from the ordinary school day. Indeed there is evidence of a special relationship which exists at Papplewick between child and adult, between pupil and teacher; it is that fine balance of respect and friendship.
It is this mutual trust which eliminates the need for a fat rulebook - resulting in the boys respecting the minimal rules one must have but, perhaps more important, the unwritten rules as well.Our experience suggests that the best control is exercised where there are the fewest rules and the least punishment, but the hightest level of staff commitment and example. Children react more to how we, as adults, behave rather than what we say.
The boys are divided into Year groups 3 to 8 and the average class size is 13. Those in Years 3 and 4, in the care of form mistresses concentrate on reading, writing and basic numeracy. However, their curriculum also includes; Science, French, Drama, Religious Studies, Music, Information and Communication Technology and Art, Design and Technology.
All subjects are taught with close reference to the National Curriculum and Common Entrance and Public School scholarship syllabuses. However, teachers are initiators rather than 'curriculum deliverers' and we are only too aware that if the transaction between teacher and taught does not spark, education will fail, however artfully constructed the curriculum.
Papplewick is very much a boarding school, but we pride ourselves on having a modern family friendly approach to boarding. Younger boys may be day boys up until the summer term of Year 6 when all boys become boarders in order to give them the best possible preparation for life at their senior schools. During these early years, day boys may come into board at any time for ‘taster’ nights which they see as having the fun of a ‘sleepover’. During the week, all boarders enjoy a comprehensive programme of activities after supper each week day evening (see separate section). On Saturday nights, special entertainment is laid on for the boarders and staff provide a varied programme of activities both on and off site on Sundays. Apart from the first weekend of each term, boarders may go home at lunch time or following any sporting commitments on Saturdays, and return to school on Sunday evening. In addition, daily contact with home is now very much the norm for most of our boarders through the use of their mobile phone whih they are allowed to take out for a short time each evening. One of the many advantages which boarding school life offers is a wide range of extra curricular activities designed to occupy, amuse and broaden the horizons of the boys. Older boys are given some measure of personal responsibility as prefects, wardens, dormitory captains, librarians, clerks and captains of teams.
Music flourishes at Papplewick under the leadership of a Director of Music and his fulltime assistant. Music lessons are taught throughout the school, with the majority of pupils receiving two timetabled lessons each week. For Year 6 and above, one lesson is traditional in nature while the other is dedicated to our rapidly expanding Music Technology programme. The Music School has a computer suite of 20 computers, all equiped with midi keyboards and virtual studio technology. The boys learn basic keyboards skills and can enjoy interactive theory and aural games, which aid the learning of notation and improve their listening skills. In the senior years, boys explore their creative instincts through the use of drum machines, samplers and virtual instruments. VST allows live music and music samples to be recorded and produced to professional standards.
The boys begin Design Technology in Year 3 and continue throughout their time at Papplewick. Although the subject is not (yet) examined at Common Entrance, it is viewed as an integral part of the curriculum and many senior schools offer scholarships and awards.
Design Technology encourages boys to approach problem solving in a creative manner and to gain confidence from making their own informed decisions. During the course of a project many materials and processes may be experienced including wood, plastics, electronics and pneumatics
In Art the boys have the opportunity to explore a wide range of media and techniques which include painting and drawing from life and imagination, printing, batik and ceramics. Art appreciation forms an integral part of their studies. Papplewick runs an extensive Art Scholarship programme and regularly wins scholarships to major Public Schools, eleven having been won in the last seven years alone.
The wide variety of activities and educational outings on offer to the boys are fundamental to our belief that confidence inside the classroom is often bred through achievement experienced outside the academic environment. In short, our philosophy is that ?the more that a boy does, the more he can do?. We also enjoy a strong tradition of taking sports and adventure tours overseas to countries as far flung as South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Hawaii.
On Thursday afternoon, in place of the usual team games, the boys choose from a variety of pastimes including:
Michaelmas Term Evening Activities
The Eton/Harrow List, Music Practice, First Choir, Basketball, Swimming squad, Table tennis, Air rifle shooting, 5-a-side soccer, Football, Hockey, Indoor cricket, Squash, Badminton, Drama (Play Rehearsal), Art Club (Art Scholars), Email and Computer Club, Conservation Club, Snake Club, Guinea Pig Club, Warhammer Club, The Rock Band, Flutter (Board game), Card Club, Science videos, History videos and other entertainment videos.