- Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
- Pupils: Co-Education
- Type: Day & Boarding
- Religious Affiliation: Church of England
- Roll: 489 (Boys) 211 (Girls)
- Age Range: 3 - 18 years
- Founded: 1597
Aldenham is a small school with a big heart. Within this caring and well-disciplined community, set in over 113 acres of Hertfordshire countryside yet only 13 miles from central London, it is our aim that each pupil should be known as an individual and encouraged to develop their all-round gifts to the full. Finding the key to unlock this potential is our task; we are small enough to know each pupil well, yet large enough to offer the range of opportunities through which character can be built, and goals achieved.
There are two large multimedia DT workshops, a graphics / textiles room and a theatre, equipped to West End standards, modern Information & Communication Technology Centre. The Music department is furnished with computers, including 23 iMacs and upgraded music technology equipment including a recording studio. Individual lessons are available, including singing and there is a variety of music groups in addition to the Choir and Orchestra. The newly opened Sixth Form Centre incorporates a function room, relaxation area, Careers’ Library and Psychology classroom. Sport forms an important part of the timetable at Aldenham. Facilities include an excellent floodlit astro turf pitch, large Sports Hall, 6 full sized football pitches located at Cookes field with 3 further pitches on top field, three 5-a-side training areas, 3 grass wickets and an artificial wicket. As well as all core sports we offer basketball, Fives and sailing. The Learning Support department encourages able pupils with dyslexia and dyscalculia and provides specialist English lessons for overseas students (EAL). A vast range of up to 50 Activities is available including photography, climbing, golf, skiing, CCF and squash. We run a Duke of Edinburgh scheme and also offer a number of community service activities. Our boarding school ethos, with a commitment to a full programme and boarding house system, ensures high priority is placed on pastoral care, enabling pupils to flourish and realise their academic and personal potential.
Junior School: Informal Assessment. 11+ & 13+: Assessment tests, interview and school report.
Academic, Art, Music, Technology, Sport and All rounder
2016. Sat. 15th October.
2016/2017. Prep: £4367. Day Pupils: £5097 - £7138. Boarding (from age 11): £7033 - £10462. All per term.
School Contact Details
Headteacher: Mr J Fowler
Contact for enquiries: Ms B Masters
[t]: 01923 858122
[f]: 01923 854410
113 acres of grounds. Within easy reach of M25 junction 19 and M1 junction 5. Just 30 minutes travel from the centre of London and Heathrow
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Aldenham School in Elstree has won a Good Schools Guide Award for the Best Performance by Boys taking History at an English Independent School.
has been presented with this award for out-performing all other English schools in its category. The prestigious annual awards, now in their 10th year, are based on a detailed analysis of the most recent examination results, and are designed to highlight consistently good teaching. These awards give individual teachers and departments where teaching is at its very best the recognition they deserve.
The Good Schools Guide Awards are based on a series of calculations which take into account relative popularity and performance of the subject, absolute performance, and percentage of pupils taking the subject.
Headmaster James Fowler said, “We are absolutely delighted to be acknowledged in this way for our excellence in GCSE History. This is a very proud moment for Aldenham and we are sure it will inspire and encourage all our pupils.”
The Good Schools Guide is the largest independent guide to UK schools. The guide contains over 1300 good schools across both the independent and state sectors.
Honorary Alderman of Hertfordshire, 90 year old John Usher, returned to Aldenham School on Tuesday 22nd March 2016, to reminisce on earlier visits in the
1940s when as a member of the Aldenham Boys Club he played football, cricket and even camped in the grounds during school holidays. The Club members, who all lived in Kentish Town, were well looked after and enjoyed very happy times at the School.
The Aldenham Boys Club was set up to help young people widen their horizons, instil responsibility and provide memorable experiences. John Usher is testament to the success of this aim. As a teenager during the Second World War he played centre-half for Fulham FC. He went on to become an army officer and later a Ministry of Defence Consultant. He then spent 22 years serving as a Local and County Councillor.
In 1911 Aldenham, like many public schools, supported a Christian ‘mission‘. It was from this operation that the Aldenham Boys Club was formed in 1933 and ties with the School were strengthened in 1935 when several former pupils (Old Aldenhamians, OAs) leant their support and the Headmaster at that time, George Riding, took over the Chairmanship. The premises in Highgate Road were bought and reconstructed with money from the School and grants to provide facilities for the Boys Club.
Gradually a very strong bond between the School and the Boys Club was formed, with some joint activities being arranged. From its inception the Club activities were run by volunteers, many of whom were OAs and then former Club members came forward, prepared to put back into the club every bit as much as they had got from it. In 1985 the Aldenham Club Trust was formed, when the income generated through the sale of the Aldenham Club premises was invested. The Trustees continue to support youth projects and organisations in the Kentish Town area to this day.
An afternoon tea party was laid on for John and his family at Aldenham School, where he met the Headmaster, James Fowler, Club Trustees, and a current pupil, Zico Asare, who currently plays for Fulham FC and England Under 15s. John was given a tour of the School site and enjoyed watching the whole school cross country. He said:
“If I’d brought my trainers I would have joined in – for old time’s sake”.
It was wonderful to welcome John back and to hear about the memories he formed of the school as a young man.
Picture: 90 year old John Usher, Honorary Alderman of Hertfordshire meets 15 year old Zico Asare, both Fulham FC Players of their time.
At the beginning of the season the young footballers from Aldenham School could hardly have dared to imagine that they would secure no less than
three County Cup wins but that is exactly what they have achieved. This week the Under 15 team joined the recent Under 12 and Under 13 winners when they beat Verulam School 3-2 to be awarded one of the most extraordinary trophies in football. The Wix shield has a proud history having been competed for every year since 1901. For most schools these three wins would be a great achievement, but for a small school like Aldenham it is most definitely a remarkable feat for the boys and all those who have coached them to success.
At the end of March the Year 8 team retained the Under 13 County Cup trophy with a 3-1 win over Kings Langley School. The following day it was the Year 7 team’s chance to win the Under 12 trophy for the second year running. Like the Year 8s they scored early to settle nerves and went onto win comprehensively, playing some outstanding football in a 5-1 win against fellow Brewers’ school, Dame Alice Owen.
Mr Grant Cornock, Master in charge of Football at Aldenham, said: “It certainly is a remarkable achievement for the boys. We were pleased to win one cup last season, but to win 3 this time has surpassed all expectations. All the credit must go to the boys for their hard work and dedication throughout the season.”
Aldenham School’s Head Boy, Subhan Iqbal, and Head Girl, Sarah Dean, proved to be excellent ambassadors for the School when they attended a Reception to mark the
election of the Prince of Wales as a liveryman of the Brewers’ Company. The Prince was certainly keen to know that they were keeping up with their A Level revision despite a hectic set of formal duties, and showed great interest in all they are achieving at the School.
The historical links between Aldenham and the Worshipful Company of Brewers date back over 400 years. Every year pupils from Year 9 are given ‘Beer Money’ from the Master of the Brewers’ Company in the form of a commemorative silver crown at a Beer Money Ceremony at Brewers’ Hall in the City of London to symbolise this connection. According to the terms of the will of Master Brewer and founder of the School, Richard Platt, the Brewers’ Company supported pupils in money and kind. In 1597 when the School was founded, it was much safer to drink beer as the water was foul and dangerous to drink.
According to Subhan any nerves they may have had quickly disappeared as Prince Charles put them at ease straight away when he asked them about sport and music at the School. Subhan went on to say that it had been “an incredible, once in a lifetime experience and one I will never forget.” Sarah added that the 5-minute chat was quite surreal and she will always cherish the commemorative glass they were both given as a reminder of the visit.
Aldenham School was honoured to host the US Ambassador to the UK for a talk to Les Philosophes which will go down in the memory
of all those lucky to be in attendance. Ambassador Matthew Barzun led an extremely thought-provoking session covering everything from the US-UK special relationship to US gun control laws and of course the hot topic of the 2016 US Presidential Election.
Instead of delivering a lecture, the Ambassador announced he wanted to listen to the audience’s views about certain topics. By asking targeted questions such as ‘Does America do enough to promote security in the world?’ and ‘What foreign policy issue most worries you?’ he was able to gauge the opinion of the room using polling technology that showed the results instantaneously. Using these results the discussion focused on key issues facing America and the UK in an insightful and engaging manner which the students hugely enjoyed and responded to.
Pupils invited from Years 9-13 were able to share their views about America’s issues and successes while showing a knowledge and interest in politics which hugely impressed Ambassador Barzun. The visit will no doubt be seen as one of the highlights of the school year by everyone present and will inspire those in attendance to think about the world, and America especially, in a fresh light.
The school are extremely grateful to the Ambassador and the US Embassy for all their work and no doubt the Politics Department will be referring to this session for years to come.
Headmaster James Fowler commented on the visit: “We were privileged that the Ambassador was able to join us and was so keen to hear the views of our youngsters on Anglo-US relations which he will be passing on to President Obama.”
Our link with the East African charity Ripple Africa continues with another group of students and teachers volunteering again this summer for a 3-week visit.
The thirteen Year 12 pupils showed good spirit from the very start of the trip as they initially made their way to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia for a safari experience, giving them a chance to acclimatise and enjoy seeing some of the animals up close. The group were fortunate to witness some very special moments watching the various animals in a natural setting, including lions, elephants and leopards.
Then it was off to Malawi for two weeks of hard work, interacting with local Malawians and learning about life in one of the world’s poorest countries. Aldenham is lucky to be the only school group to be able to go and work alongside Ripple Africa, as past pupil Geoff Furber and his wife Liz, the charity’s founders, kindly extend an invitation to Aldenham pupils each year.
The students showed a great deal of sensitivity towards the local people and a genuine interest in learning about their culture and way of life as they tackled every task given to them with enthusiasm. Right from the first night when the pupils joined in with the local choir’s traditional songs and dances with such delight and willingness, it was clear that this group would truly represent the best of the Aldenham spirit.
As the days continued, the pupils put their hand to anything and everything! This included tree-tending, potting and mud brick making at Ripple Africa’s headquarters; moving heavy loads of sand and bricks at Kapanda secondary school for the building of the kitchen and toilet block for the new girls’ dormitory building; painting beautiful numbers, letters and murals on the wall of Mwaya Pre-School; Cassava farming and building ‘changu changu moto’ fuel efficient stoves in the homes of local people, to name but a few. It was certainly an active programme.
Pupils took an active role in lessons at all phases of education, from pre-school through to secondary school. Our students gained an understanding of how different schooling in Malawi is, with limited resources, equipment and large classes, usually up to or over 100 pupils!
A big Thank You goes out to the wonderful people at Ripple Africa and also to the whole Aldenham community for providing equipment to be sent out to Malawi, attending fundraising events or helping in any way.
On Thursday June 4th Aldenham School had the honour of Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle playing on the 1st XI Cricket Ground. The two cricketing
legends were filming a promotional video to advertise the forthcoming Caribbean T20 Tournament. They were involved in two competitions, the first being who could hit the biggest six and the second was to see if they could hit a moving drone that was recording the action. Kevin Pietersen arrived first and strolled out to the crease. He managed a powerful 117metres, slightly into the wind. The bowling machine was set at 63mph and it was amazing to see how cleanly he could strike the ball. Chris Gayle was next to perform and after a while, with just two balls remaining Gayle managed to beat KP by just one metre. Thus the current School record for six hitting is held by Chris Gayle at 118m. Both players were less successful at hitting the drone as this is a skill that they had never come across before! With some intervention from Jack Gibbins (last year’s 1st XI Captain) eventually Chris Gayle also won that competition with a direct hit from about 10 yards! Once both players had finished their interviews and photo shoots they were happy to meet staff and boys and signed some memorabilia for the school to display in the future.
It was an incredible day and a complete honour for the School to host two such superstars and everyone in attendance had a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
A Sea King search and rescue helicopter made a flying visit to Aldenham School this week and landed on the playing fields in front of
an appreciative audience of St Hilda’s and Aldenham Prep pupils. The windswept children cheered when the helicopter hovered noisily in front of them as it lowered itself into position.
The helicopter was flown all the way from Culdrose in Cornwall by its squadron of five Royal Naval officers, especially to raise awareness and to share the officers’ personal experiences of life as a search and rescue pilot and crew. Culdrose is just one of two Royal Navy bases of its kind in the country, and together with its partner base in Scotland, saves hundreds of lives every year as they roam large stretches of the English coastline. Their rescue missions often take place at night-time in pitch black darkness amidst violent weather conditions. The officers take it in turn to be on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The children were invited to explore the helicopter in small class groups and quizzed the officers enthusiastically. The pupils, aged between four and eleven, were struck by the technology of the cockpit, with one remarking that they were: “So clever to memorise all those buttons. I thought there would be one big red button that said ‘go’!” One pupil giggled as she almost fell backwards trying on an officer’s heavy helmet. But one thing they all unanimously agreed upon was that it was an ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ and that the officers were ‘very brave’.
Miss Styles, Head of St Hilda’s, who organised the visit, said, “I am so grateful to 771 Royal Naval Air Squadron for their time in visiting the school. I believe that education is so much more than sitting in a classroom and this visit will teach the children about the vital roles that different people play within society. Some of the younger children were initially a little nervous to approach the helicopter after its dramatic landing, but I believe it is entirely positive to encourage children to step out of their comfort zone. ” Miss Styles, who joined St Hilda’s in January, is a formal Royal Naval Officer herself, and retains close links with the Navy as a member of the Royal Naval Reserves.
St Hilda’s and Aldenham Prep are part of the Aldenham Foundation of Schools, which was established in 2011. Head of the Foundation, James Fowler, said “It was great that so many of the younger children in the 900-strong Aldenham Foundation were able to enjoy this wonderful experience.”
Aldenham School raised over £13,500 for the victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines by holding a 24 hour Play-In on 21st and
This impromptu and memorable event was the joint initiative of the Director of Music John Wyatt and Head of Geography, Mike Yeabsley. At short notice John pulled together musicians from across the Aldenham Foundation including current and former pupils, parents and staff who played and sang continuously from 4.30pm on Thursday afternoon until 4.30pm on Friday. The extravaganza included soloists, rock bands, ensembles and choirs.
There were many outstanding performances from students including those who bravely stepped in to fill any gaps during the night so that there was never a lull. Louis Slater and the rock band got the event off to a fantastic start and it stayed upbeat throughout the 24 hours. Jon Richard played ? beautifully on the flute, Abi James mesmerised the audience with her astonishing violin playing, Chris Milligan tickled the ivories on a number of occasions, Asher Mohr ?? For those who were present, the singing of Les Miserables at 2.00am was truly uplifting. One particular highlight of this fantastic event was a brass master-class and trumpet recital by John MacDominic, a freelance musician who has performed with many of the country’s leading orchestras. There was also a choral performance at midnight to mark the exact centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten and a very moving performance by professional harpist Lucy Hasler to restart the School day on Friday. Throughout the day there were lots of wonderful performances by the Senior School students as well as Aldenham’s Nursery and Prep School children. Girls from St Hilda’s Bushey also joined in the lunch period performance.
The culmination was an extremely powerful service in the School Chapel where the 560 students in the Senior School sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and prayed for the people from The Philippines
Headmaster Mr James Fowler said: “It has been an astonishing day and night which reflects extremely well on the whole Aldenham community. And most importantly, due to the magnificent generosity of so many people, we have generated a tremendous sum for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.”
Donations can still be made: https://www.justgiving.com/AldenhamSchool
Celebrations are the order of the day for staff and pupils at Aldenham School in Elstree, having gained the top ISI grade – excellent –
in every single category. This follows an integrated inspection of both the Senior and the Prep School by the Independent Schools Inspectorate which was published in December 2012. The Report commends both areas of the School for enabling pupils to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives; highlighting the excellent start to children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, through to “the excellent academic achievement and outstanding levels of personal development” enjoyed by all pupils in the School so that they attain “the character and skills to meet the challenges of life beyond school, exemplified by high levels of self-confidence and mutual respect.”
The team of eleven Inspectors recognised the great strengths of the whole School, highlighting in particular the atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding between teachers and pupils. The School was also praised for its outstanding links with parents and the wider community. The effective learning in the Prep School fulfils its aims outstandingly well to stand its pupils in good stead as they prepare to move to the next stage in their schooling.
The Head of the Prep School, Mrs Vicky Gocher expressed her delight with the findings of the report: “Parents and pupils should be very happy to know that children here are receiving the best possible start to developing their abilities and talents over a wide spectrum.”
Mr James Fowler, Headmaster at Aldenham added: “Following ‘Excellent’ ISI reports in 2009, one for Boarding and one for all areas of education in the Foundation Stage, I am delighted that this latest ISI report reflects the remarkable opportunities that exist for both boys and girls from ages 3 to 18 in all sections of the school. It is very reassuring that the Inspection found that the committed and supportive teaching at Aldenham is of high quality which encourages pupils to develop all their talents and abilities to the full. This achievement reflects the original hope of our Founder, Richard Platt, that an Aldenham education offers an outstanding experience in a particularly special setting.”
To view a full copy of the Report, visit the School’s website, www.aldenham.com. The next Open Day at Aldenham will be on Saturday 15th June, please telephone 01923 858122 for further details.
A new Sixth Form Centre at Aldenham School with enhanced teaching classrooms plus a major extension to the Music School was officially opened on 14th
September by Mr John Wells, a former Chairman of Governors and past Master of the Worshipful Company of Brewers after whom the building is named.
The current Chairman of Governors, Mr Stuart Lewis invited Mr Wells to unveil a plaque commemorating the occasion. Guests were then taken on tours of The Wells Centre by senior pupils before enjoying a music recital given by current and former pupils followed by a drinks reception.
On the site of the old Sixth Form Common Room and School Shop, this magnificent new building and sensitive conversion provides state of the art equipment with facilities for both recreation and study. A key feature of the new building is a green oak frame which unifies the older existing and new modern structures. A glass roof with integral solar panels sets off an upstairs foyer area.
Students will benefit from new Music Technology and Psychology classrooms and the whole school and wider community will enjoy meetings in The Apthorp Room as well as concerts in the Recital Room.
Headmaster, Mr James Fowler said: “I am delighted that this major development in the School will support not only our Sixth Form students but also further enhance the considerable music facilities for our talented musicians at Aldenham. This follows a number of recent developments including a new classroom block for English and Modern Languages, a Theatre development and boarding House upgrades as well as new kitchen and servery facilities for all pupils. These advances leave the School very well equipped to provide for greater opportunities for our boys and girls from 3-18 years on the same site.”
A sunny day saw the opening of a brand new school sports field in Elstree. Over 3.5 acres in size, the new field at Aldenham
Prep School is a wonderful facility for all the children.
The official opening of ‘Button Field’ was part of a whole Prep School Sports Day where children from Nursery to Year 6 took part in numerous activities and races. The day also included a family lunchtime picnic attended by many parents.
Mrs Gocher, Head of Aldenham Prep School, said “It is wonderful to have all this amazing space for the children to enjoy. Sport is integral to a child’s education not only for their physical well being but for skills such as teamwork and commitment.”
Officially opened by Mr Martin Thomas, Governor of Aldenham School, the field has been named in memory of Dr Button, chair of the School Governors between 1990 and 1995.
During his speech Mr Thomas spoke of Dr Button’s dedication and drive playing a vital part in making Aldenham the school it is today and that this new school facility was a fitting tribute to him.