Heatherton School


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  • Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory
  • Pupils: Girls
  • Type: Day
  • Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational
  • Roll: 9 (Boys) 142 (Girls)
  • Age Range: Girls: 3 - 11 years, Boys in Nursery only: 3-4 years 11 months
  • Founded: 1912

General Information

Founded in 1912, Heatherton is set in an attractive green and leafy location on the outskirts of Amersham.

Heatherton provides an excellent all-round education. An experienced staff of specialist teachers encourage each child’s individual academic and emotional development. High standards are achieved across a broad curriculum with small classes (max 20), a caring ethos and a close relationship with parents. At 11 pupils progress to both local independent girls’ senior schools and Buckinghamshire grammar schools. Excellent results are produced at all stages of school performance tests and the girls are tracked from an early age, both pastorally and academically.

Heatherton is part of the Berkhamsted Schools Group.


Musical, artistic and sporting talents flourish at Heatherton. A thriving orchestra, individual instrument lessons and many drama, ballet and music productions are an important part of life in a school year. Art and design skills are celebrated in display and exhibitions, both internally and externally. Each pupil is offered a wide range of sporting activities – swimming, netball, gymnastics, dance, athletics, tennis, lacrosse and cross country.

An extensive range of educational visits and activities in the UK and Europe are organised each year. The school has recently introduced an additional Enrichment Curriculum to its pupils’ timetables, offering the girls exciting opportunities to expand their knowledge, with topics as diverse as mindfulness, team-building and Tudor cooking.

In September 2015, the Heatherton Nursery became Co-Educational, providing for both boys and girls. Heatherton has been recognised for its ‘outstanding quality of provision’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Its ‘calm, purposeful environment’ and ‘a host of stimulating learning opportunities’, were just some of the features highlighted by the Independent Schools Inspectorate who are now citing Heatherton’s EYFS as an example of very best practice. Heatherton remains a girls’ school from Reception class to Year 6.

Wrap-around care is available, providing care from 07:30am until 18:30pm.

Open Days

2018. Fri. 11th May, 1.45pm-3pm.

Please call on 01494 726433 if you would prefer to speak directly to our friendly admissions team or would like to arrange a visit to the School before the next Open Day. Alternatively, email admissions@heathertonhouse.co.uk.


2017/2018. Early Years – Year 6: £1,500 - £4,360 per term.

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mrs Debbie Isaachsen

Contact for enquiries: Yasmin Rouse, Admissions Officer

Heatherton School
Copperkins Lane

[t]: 01494 726433
[f]: 01494 729628
[w]: www.heathertonhouse.co.uk

Location Description

Rural, to the north of Amersham, but close to A416.

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School News

Heatherton House girls independent preparatory school Buckinghamshire

Heatherton’s teachers and pupils battled through the snow last Thursday to celebrate a very special World Book Day.

The children spent their day dressed as their

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favourite animal and participated in exciting writing, reading and drama workshops. Each class also got to spend some time with Gary from ZooLab, who shared all of his wonderfully exotic animals and told us lots about where they come from and why they look the way they do. This gave the girls a clearer understanding of some of the animals’ characteristics.

During our World Book Day drama sessions, the girls explored the character they had come dressed as. They used improvisation to explore how their animal might react in certain situations and then used these insights to write their own story about their animal. These stories have been entered into a school-wide competition, with the results being revealed later this week.

To round off this special day, the girls were able to share a story with their class. Some chose their favourite stories, while others chose to read something that they enjoyed when they were younger. Every single one was enjoyed and it was lovely to hear all the children reading to each other.

What a wonderful World Book Day!

Heatherton House independent preparatory School Buckinghamshire

Heatherton House, the top independent girls’ school in Amersham, has been celebrating after their Year 5 and Year 6 Small Schools 200m Relay Team swam

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their way to victory in the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) National Swimming Championships, which were held at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley in May. The girls had worked really hard to qualify for the event and came from third position at the start of the race to take the gold medal. It is the eighth time Heatherton House has taken the top spot in this event in the 17 years of the Championships.

Swimming Captain Holly says: “It was really nerve-wracking, especially as we only took the lead towards the end of the race, but it was such an amazing feeling when we saw the scoreboard and realised we had won. I am so proud of our team and we all want to say a big thank you to our amazing teacher Mrs Adams, our swimming coach Gilly and our mums and dads who have supported us through all the training and qualifiers.”

The girls received their medals and trophy from Olympic Silver Medallist and GB Breaststroke Record Holder Michael Jamieson, who happily posed for photos with the team.

Heatherton’s PE Co-ordinator Caroline Adams couldn’t have been prouder of the squad: “Congratulations to all the girls, swimmers and reserves who have worked so hard to achieve this. The wonderful result recognises the total dedication our girls put into their training and competing.”

Head teacher Debbie Isaachsen says: “What an incredible achievement and a real testament to the huge importance we place on perseverance and working as a team here at Heatherton.”


Photo: Heatherton House’s IAPS National Swimming Champions 2017 with PE teacher Caroline Adams


Heatherton House independent girls prep school Buckinghamshire

We have all been celebrating this week after Heatherton’s swimming team won the Bucks Small Schools Mixed Medley trophy at Woodside Pool in Watford.

We are now

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looking forward to the South East qualifying round in Guildford on Saturday 20th May in the hope of qualifying for the English Schools Swimming Association finals in Sheffield this June.

Heatherton House pulled off a feat of statuesque proportions last Friday when we completed a whole school Mannequin Challenge. https://www.facebook.com/HeathertonHouse/videos/377303395936384/

“We have been looking at

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the power and influence of social media in our Current Affairs and Thinking Skills lessons,” says Heatherton’s Headteacher Debbie Isaachsen. “So we thought we’d try videoing our very own Mannequin Challenge, post it on Heatherton’s Facebook and Twitter feeds and see how many people watched it.”

“We like to do things a bit differently,” says Year 5 pupil Annabel Fanning. “Instead of just one class videoing themselves standing like mannequins, we thought we’d try the whole school! We got it on the second try – it was such fun!”

Since posting the video on their social media, Heatherton’s whole school Mannequin Challenge has been shared and watched by over 5,000 people – and the numbers are growing every day. “The challenge was a lot of fun to take part in and brought the whole school together,” reflects Head Debbie Isaachsen. “It also taught the girls a very valuable lesson about the power and reach of the Internet.”


Heatherton House independent girls' preparatory school Buckinghamshire

Heatherton pupils from Years 3-6 joined representatives from the Royal British Legion and members of the public to take part in a special Armistice Day

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service held outside St Michael and All Angels Church on Sycamore Road, Amersham on Friday 11th November.

Led by The Reverand Debbie Oades, the short and powerful service featured readings, poems and prayers read by Heatherton pupils, members of the church and the Royal British Legion.

Heatherton House was extremely honoured to be invited to take part in this significant community event,” says Headteacher Debbie Isaachsen. “I was very proud of the respectful and mature way our girls conducted themselves.”

Year 6 pupil Hannah, who was chosen to read a prayer at the service, says: “It was important to me to read my prayer well as I wanted to show respect for all the people who fought for us and our freedom.”

Heatherton House independent girls' preparatory school Buckinghamshire

On Saturday 17th September, the Heatherton Cross Country team went to Berkhamsted Prep School to compete in their annual House Cross Country race. Heatherton entered

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as a House and competed against the other six Houses from Berkhamsted. Everyone was very excited and also a little bit nervous as it was the first race of the season.

The first race featured six Heatherton girls from Year 4, who all ran brilliantly – in particular, Aoife (2nd), Juliette (4th) and Elizabeth (9th). Well done also to Lily, Chloe and Carrie who all ran very strong races to gain points for the overall team score.

The Year 3s, despite it being their first ever cross country event, also had an amazing race with Poppy coming 5th, Amelie, 6th, Eleanor, 8th and Annabel, 9th.  Well done also to Millie, Sophia and Evie who all finished brilliantly to gain points for the overall team score.

The Year 5s also had a brilliant race with Annie finishing 6th, Isabella, 13th and Meg, 15th.

The morning finished with the Year 6 race and everyone was very successful, including Hannah A (1st), Ellie (4th), Holly (5th), and Eleanor (8th). Well done also to Amber R and Hannah P who ran strongly to collect more points for the team.

Then came the team results, where everyone’s points are added up for the overall positions. To our delight, Heatherton came 1st in the girls’ event! A great team effort! A big thank you to Mrs Adams and to all of the Berkhamsted staff for a fantastic morning. We are now looking forward to the Berkhamsted Cross Country Invitation Relay event on the 27th September. Go Heatherton!

Hannah Ashby and Ellie Shield, Cross Country Captains

Heatherton’s swimmers really did us proud last Friday evening when they took part in the English Schools’ Swimming Association’s Relay Qualifiers at the Woodside Pool

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in Watford.

Our team won both the Bucks Small Schools’ heats in the freestyle and medley relays, qualifying for the South East qualifying round at Guildford in April and retaining the Bucks shields. We did incredibly well to qualify for the Herts, Bucks and Beds small schools swimming final, which was much bigger this year due to a change in the category increasing the size of what constitutes a small school, and we came 5th out of 21 schools.

Well done girls for a great and late evening of swimming, for Liz Ashby’s help as an official time keeper, to coach Richard Osborne for his support and training and to our loyal band of parents cheering us on.

Debbie Isaachsen has been appointed as the new Headteacher at Heatherton House Independent Girls Preparatory School, Amersham. She replaces Peter Rushforth, who retired in December

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after over 12 years as Head of the School.

Raised and educated in Buckinghamshire, Mrs Isaachsen returns to the area to take up the post at the start of the new term. She comes to Heatherton from Cheltenham College Preparatory School, where she was Head of Lower School since 2010 and previously Deputy Head of the Pre-Prep Department.

“I am delighted to be leading such an incredible school,” said Mrs Isaachsen. “Heatherton House quite rightly has an enviable reputation in the area for being a forward-thinking, innovative and inspiring school. Its warm, family-feel ethos is second to none and it has benefited enormously from being part of the Berkhamsted Schools Group.

Following Heatherton’s ranking of third in the 2015 Sunday Times Top 100 Independent Preparatory Schools, Richard Backhouse, the new Principal of Berkhamsted Schools Group, says he is delighted that a leader of Mrs Isaachsen’s calibre will take Heatherton forward to continued success: “Debbie has extensive teaching and leadership experience from both the independent and maintained sectors, having taught in all year groups and across all disciplines in both Prep and Pre-Prep. A willingness to innovate and develop the curriculum has been a hallmark of her leadership at Cheltenham College Prep School.”

Mrs Isaachsen has recently been awarded a Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership, where her study choices were directed towards teacher performance and teaching and learning.

She is married to Alex, Director of ICT at Cheltenham College, and has two children aged nine and 11.


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