Spring Grove School, Wye


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  • Category: Nursery / Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 82 (Boys) 68 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 2-11 years
  • Founded: 1967
  • Affiliations/Memberships: IAPS

General Information

At Spring Grove we specialise in ‘free-range children’! Our aim is to develop all who join the school to their full potential – academically, socially, physically and emotionally in a supportive, caring and friendly community. We are able to do this because we have small classes in which our children receive expert attention.

Located in a beautiful rural setting, but close to Ashford and its high-speed rail link to London, our school is small enough for us to know every child and their family. Everyone is encouraged to support the school motto ‘Always Do Your Best’. We are a member of IAPS, and we offer a wide range of subjects and extra-curricular activities including Forest School, excellent Music, Drama and Art, and Sport.

To experience our wonderful family atmosphere please come and pay us a visit. I’ll look forward to welcoming you.

Bill Jones BMus(Hons) PGCE , Headmaster


What makes Spring Grove special?

Sitting in a 14-acre site near to the village of Wye, Spring Grove is based in a beautiful 17th-century building that has hosted many illustrious visitors, including Jane Austen and Joseph Conrad. The school has a dedicated Music building, brand new English and Maths classrooms, specialist Science and Art rooms, sports’ facilities and a swimming pool (Summer use only). Our emphasis is on enjoyable, practical lessons delivered by specialist teachers that encourage a sense of enquiry and give the children lots of opportunities to explore and experiment. All children have access to a Google Chromebook, and Google Classroom is used across the school. French is taught from Nursery to Prep 6, with an annual trip to Château de la Baudonnière in Normandy for the older children.

Music, Art and Drama are particular strengths - our Music Room incorporates a large teaching and orchestral space, and we offer individual lessons on a wide range of instruments. Eighty per cent of children from Year 2 to Prep 6 learn a musical instrument. Everyone sings!

Forest School is a major part of life for all children from Reception to Prep 6 at Spring Grove (with beach school in the Summer). Since opening in 2016, our Forest School has won a series of awards, and it is now an integrated part of the curriculum at school.

Open Days

2020. There is no better way to experience life at Spring Grove School than to talk to our staff and pupils and to see the school for yourself. We hold regular Open Days (dates are available on the school website), and we are always pleased to arrange personal visits for both prospective parents and pupils. If you require further information or would like to arrange a visit for you and your family please call Spring Grove School on 01233 812337, email admissions@springgroveschool.co.uk or visit www.springgroveschool.co.uk


2019/2020 Nursery: from £24 per morning session. Early Years funding accepted - please contact the school for details. Reception: Autumn term £2045, Spring term £2192 and Summer term £2192 per term.

Year 1 to Prep 6: £3250 to £4300 per term.

Sibling discount available.


ISI Inspection 2018
Early Years ISI Inspection 2012

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Bill Jones

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Nicky Lee-Browne

Spring Grove School, Wye
Harville Road
TN25 5EZ

[t]: 01233 812337
[w]: www.springgroveschool.co.uk

Location Description

Spring Grove is a happy family school set in 14 acres of beautiful Kent countryside and is based in a magnificent Stuart house, completed in the late seventeenth century.

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School News

Spring Grove independent preparatory school Kent

The Friday before half term saw a very special event at Spring Grove School in Wye, Kent, when 12 intrepid octogenarian athletes joined

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with the Prep 6 children for an all-ages Olympic competition.

In teams of eight – five pupils and three 80+ competitors – the athletes took part in a range of events that included the ‘pole vault’ (throwing a walking stick over a high bar), Möllky (a Finnish skittles game), modified ’egg and spoon’ with a tennis racquet and ball, and boules. After a ‘young visitors’ race for anyone aged over 70, the Olympics finished in traditional style with a thrilling relay that involved running from the 11 year olds, and (fast!) walking from the octogenarians.

The all-age Olympics was the brainchild of local octogenarian and friend of the school Wendy White-Thompson, who presented the prizes to the victors together with Head of Spring Grove, Bill Jones, and Demi Bevis-Roadnight from the charity Dementia UK. It was one of a series of events held by the school this year to raise funds for Dementia UK, and to encourage more understanding about the disease.

A ‘dressing-up as your favourite old person’ day and special assembly in March marked the start of the school’s fundraising efforts, when Demi talked to the children, staff and parents about how dementia can affect sufferers and their families, and how Admiral Nurses, funded by Dementia UK, can provide the specialist support that is needed.

The Octogenarian Olympics was held alongside the school’s Summer Fair, and attracted a large crowd of parents and supporters from the local community in Wye. Maybe it’s time to add an extra word to the Olympic motto  ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’:  ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger… and Older’.

Spring Grove independent preparatory school Kent

Spring Grove School’s recycling initiative ’Spring Back’ has been declared Runner Up in the ‘Totally Active’ category of the Better Energy School Awards for schools

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in central and southern England. The Better Energy School Awards aim to assist and encourage environmental education for young people aged 5-11 years. They promote cross-curricular work on the environment and reward schools for excellence in environmental education links with the National Curriculum for England and Wales.

The Totally Active category is for projects involving work in the school grounds – for example sensory gardens, ponds, wildlife areas, recycling schemes and composting. The Runner Up award to Spring Grove is in recognition of a wide range of environmental initiatives that the children have carried out over the last 12 months, including beach clean-ups, making eco-bricks, recycling batteries and wellies, and
collecting bottle tops.

Head of Forest School, Paul Curnow is delighted at the news: “This fantastic award is deserved recognition for all the effort that has been put it over the last year from everyone at SG. The various initiatives have been driven by children, parents and staff alike, and it has been wonderful to see pupils across the School changing their attitude to waste, taking ownership of such a important global issue and mobilising to solve it. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. Achieving this success in the Better Energy School Awards will only inspire us to bigger and better things in the future.”

As Runners Up, Spring Grove will receive a cheque for £250 and a special certificate to mark the children’s achievement.

Spring Grove independent preparatory school Kent

The Governors of Spring Grove School are delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Therésa  Jaggard to succeed Mr Bill Jones as Head. Mrs Jaggard

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will take up her new role at Spring Grove in the Autumn Term 2020. The Governors have every confidence that Mrs Jaggard will continue the excellent work of Mr Jones over the past 11 years and continue to nurture Spring Grove as a happy, family-orientated school that gives every child the space and opportunity to grow with confidence.

Mrs Jaggard has experience in both the state and independent education sectors, and is currently Deputy Head Teacher at Leybourne Ss Peter and Paul CEP Academy. She has twice taken on the role of Acting Head at Leybourne, and was recently seconded by the local authority as Acting Head to another Kent school. At Leybourne she led the school through Academy conversion and a SIAMS inspection, as well as introducing Forest School to the curriculum. She is also an accomplished musician – a violinist, pianist and singer who is highly experienced at running orchestras and choirs, and organising musical events.

Mrs Jaggard commented: “I am extremely honoured and privileged to have been chosen to take over the leadership of Spring Grove School in September 2020. I really enjoyed visiting the school, meeting Mr Bill Jones and the rest of the welcoming team. I was impressed by the clear family ethos, the unmistakable sense of each child being given the space and opportunity to grow. All members of the school community were undoubtedly striving to be the best they can be, the children were confident, courteous and full of enthusiasm and energy – I particularly enjoyed the zip wire! The clear commitment to high achievement and personal growth for all are strong foundations to build upon and preserve. Spring Grove School is clearly a very special place and I cannot wait to join the family.”

Mrs Jaggard’s own family includes her husband Jonathan, also a musician, and their three children. As well as her wide-ranging musical interests, Mrs Jaggard also enjoys a variety of sports, particularly swimming and skiing. The whole Spring Grove community is looking forward to welcoming Mrs Jaggard and her family, and to getting to know them in the coming months.

In preparation for her new role, Mrs Jaggard will be working closely with Bill Jones and all the Governors in what promises to be a very exciting new chapter in the history of Spring Grove School

Spring Grove School Wye independent preparatory school Kent

Every Friday morning, a group of children from Reception class at Spring Grove School slip out of the school’s assembly and put on their wellies

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to walk with their teachers across the field that separates the school from the nearby village of Wye. Their destination is the Brambles Care Home, a modern, family-run home that cares for up to 28 residents. The children have been making this weekly journey since early in 2019, and it is now a regular part of their routine – and a highly anticipated event for young and old alike.

The staff at the Brambles place great emphasis on providing a varied and stimulating programme of activities for their residents, and have close associations with many groups in the local community including the Brownies and the local church. For years, children from Spring Grove have visited at various times of the year, to sing carols at Christmas, or to bring Harvest gifts. But it was while watching the Channel 4 programme ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’ that an idea came to Mrs Hilary Jones, Head of Music at Spring Grove School, to take the already existing link between Spring Grove and the Brambles a step further, and through regular visits to foster more long-term relationships between residents and children.

Since the start of their weekly visits, teachers and staff have watched the children grow in confidence as they engage with the elderly residents. The interaction from both sides is lovely to see, and for the children it is a great opportunity to learn how to socialise – to speak clearly and to listen. The visits promote emotional wellbeing on both sides: as one staff member put it: “The residents light up when the children enter the room…”. Equally, the children return to school eager to share their experiences, and to tell their stories.

Each week there is an activity for the residents and children to undertake together, whether it’s singing songs, learning about weaving with Wye Community Farm, reading and telling stories, flower arranging, or making friendship cards. Mrs Jones commented: “I have been delighted with the positive comments from children and residents alike, who after only a few visits, greet each other warmly. The conversations flow more freely and the children’s energy and enthusiasm encourages the residents to get involved in the activities. Despite the age range of 90+ years, it is wonderful to see how both young and old interact and gain such joy from the experiences.”

Spring Grove School Wye independent preparatory school Kent

Josh Desmet, a pupil at Spring Grove School in Wye, Kent, came home with an impressive gold medal from the Independent Association of Prep Schools

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(IAPS) Judo Championships, held recently at the Judo Centre in High Wycombe. Josh, who is in Year 6 at Spring Grove, came first in the O55 category, winning both his fights in an event that attracted a total of 91 entrants from 28 IAPS schools across the country.

Josh has been learning judo for six years, trains every week and is a yellow belt. He is a seasoned competitor, having taken part in many local competitions and won numerous other medals. He enjoys judo and finds it very useful for developing upper body strength for rugby, which he plays both at school and Canterbury Rugby Club.

Spring Grove School is very proud of Josh’s achievement. Headmaster, Mr Bill Jones said: “We are all thrilled for Josh and his judo success. At Spring Grove we are used to seeing children fill their already busy lives with involvement in all kinds of activities out of school. Josh, who will be moving on to Simon Langton Boys’ Grammar in September, plays club rugby, football and cricket all to an impressively high standard and he still manages to fit in his own judo development. His championship success is well-deserved.”

Spring Grove independent preparatory school Kent

The Head of Forest School at Spring Grove School in Wye has recently received a prestigious award at the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom’s

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annual conference. Prep 3 teacher, Paul Curnow, was voted the ‘Inspiring Outdoor Educator of the Year’ by the CLOtC for his outstanding contribution to learning outside the classroom – a fantastic recognition of the quality of learning provided by all of the Forest School team at Spring Grove School.

The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom was set up in 2008 to champion learning outside the classroom. Their aim is for every child to be given the opportunity to experience life and lessons beyond the classroom walls as a regular part of growing up. Since the start of Forest School in 2016, children at Spring Grove have been heading out into woodland close to the school, and have recently moved to a permanent site.
During the first year of Forest School, Spring Grove earned The Woodland Trust’s Green Tree School Scheme’s Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. The Platinum Award followed in 2017, and in the same year the school achieved two ‘firsts’ after being recognised as the first independent school in the UK, as well as the first setting of any type in Kent, to be approved by the Forest School Association (FSA) as a recognised Forest School Provider.
Forest School gives young people the opportunity to develop self-learning through natural play and positive outdoor experiences. The children at Spring Grove School learn about tree and plant life and how to protect them, fire safety and campfire cooking, shelter building, safe use of tools, woodland crafts and more. All children from Reception to Year 6 now regularly take part in Forest School activities, and outdoor learning is an integral part of the school curriculum.

Paul Curnow brings a wide-ranging experience to his role as Forest School Leader: he spent 22 years in the RAF before retraining as a teacher, and has led Spring Grove’s Forest School team since its inception. He said: “I am clearly delighted to be recognised by the CLOtC for the achievements of Spring Grove’s Forest School but could not have done any of it without the huge support of colleagues, parents and volunteers. Outdoor learning offers so many diverse benefits: helping children grow in confidence and resilience, supporting them in their academic development and it is also great fun. I have been so blessed to get the opportunity to deliver it at Spring Grove School as part of such a great team.”

Spring Grove School’s Headmaster, Mr Bill Jones, commented: “We are fortunate in being located close to resources perfect for a Forest School programme, we have an ethos that allows the development of the whole child within an enriched curriculum including wonderful art, drama, music, sport and outdoor education and we have outstanding teachers who inspire the children through their skill and enthusiasm. Paul Curnow epitomises that spirit.”

Photo: Forest School at Spring Grove School, Wye, Kent

Spring Grove School Wye independent preparatory school Kent

Two school communities came together in Wye Parish Church last week to mark the centenary of the ending of World War I, and

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to remember those who have given up their lives in all wars. Children from Spring Grove School and Lady Joanna Thornhill Endowed Primary School joined forces to lead a packed church in songs and poetry, and to tell the stories of some of the men whose names appear on the War Memorial in Wye.

The service opened and closed with a moving bagpipe lament and a rousing rendition of ‘Scotland the Brave’, played by Lance Corporal Mahesh Gurung of the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers. It was a thrilling way to open what was to be a moving and often poignant afternoon. With standing room only in the church, the attentive congregation encompassed an age range almost as wide as the 100 years that have passed since the signing of the Armistice. The importance of children as young as five years being part of this act of remembrance was underlined by Bill Jones, Headmaster of Spring Grove School, who introduced the speakers from both schools, and personally led much of the singing.

The whole church joined in rousing renditions of World War I classics including ‘Roses of Picardy’, ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’ and the challenging tongue-twister ‘Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers’. A local string quartet played throughout, most notably providing the background music as the children told the stories of the men from Wye who had lost their lives in the Great War. These stories had been researched by the children from Spring Grove School, and were read out by representatives from both Spring Grove and Lady Joanna Thornhill. This story-telling formed the central part of the afternoon, together with poetry reading that included a beautiful recitation of Laurence Binyon’s ‘For the Fallen’.

The concert drew to an end with a minute’s silence, signalled by the Last Post and Reveille played with great accomplishment by Spring Grove pupil, Alice. Then the whole congregation joined in ‘Jerusalem’ – composed in 1916 by Sir Hubert Parry to reinforce British resolve during the First World War. It was a fitting way to end a wonderful concert that brought the community in Wye together, young and old, in both laughter and tears, and most importantly sent out the message:  ‘We will remember them’.

Spring Grove independent preparatory school Kent

Every year the House Entertainments at Spring Grove bring the whole school community together in a feast of music and drama as the children in

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Conrad, Dickens, Austen and Chaucer Houses write and perform four shows. The theme this year was ‘Down on the Farm’ and it saw the Sunley Hall turned into a farmyard full of animals, farmers and check-shirted farmhands… complete with a real-life tractor, a very large bunny, a wily fox, and a ‘hanky panky, cranky stinky, dinky lanky, honky tonky, winky wonky donkey’.

Music and drama play a huge part of life at Spring Grove, and the vitality of these departments stems from the very top as both the Headmaster and his wife (Mr and Mrs Jones) are gifted musicians whose enthusiasm drives the musical life of the school. Thanks to a fantastic team of visiting musicians, 80 per cent of children in Years 2 to 6 learn a musical instrument. Everyone sings (including the staff – see the Spring Grove Song video!). The school has a dedicated Music Centre, incorporating a large teaching and orchestral space as well as two smaller teaching rooms, and informal concerts are very important events allowing all children, whatever their level of playing, an opportunity to perform.

Another highly anticipated annual event is the school musical, performed every summer. Recent hits have included ‘The Amazing Adventures of Superstan’, ‘Splash!’ (an unusual take on Noah and the Ark), and ‘The Pirates of Penzance’. The school also regularly takes part in local events, such as the Service of Remembrance at Wye Church, music for the patients at a Residential Home and a Good Friday Procession through the village, as well as in the prestigious Stour Music Festival.


Spring Grove School Wye independent preparatory school Kent

Visit today and enjoy…

1          Spring Grove School offers an outstanding all-round education and a fantastic start in life for boys

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and girls aged 2 to 11 years.

2          We are a happy, family prep school that specialises in ‘free-range’ children: nurturing and developing all who join to their full potential. We are able to do this because we have small classes in which the children receive expert attention and tuition, preparing them perfectly for both grammar and senior independent schools.

3          Set within an idyllic 14 acre rural setting close to both Ashford and Canterbury, Spring Grove School offers one of the most beautiful playgrounds in Kent.

4          The school is small enough for staff to know every child, as well as their family, and for them to encourage each and every pupil to be self-confident and independent learners.

5          The children at Spring Grove School live and breathe the Spring Grove School motto ‘Always do your best’.

6          We love the outdoors, we enjoy competition, we sing, dance, play, explore and love to learn.

7          Former pupils look back on their time at Spring Grove School as magical and inspiring.

8          We are a truly independent day school and are a recognised member of The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS).

9          We offer a wide range of subjects, extra-curricular activities and clubs, including a Forest School.

10        We want Spring Grove to be a school that parents, teachers and staff would have wanted to attend when they were children. Teachers are mindful of this philosophy when planning lessons and activities.

11        Enjoyment is at the heart of everything Spring Grove School does!

12        Spring Grove School is unique and a great place for children to grow.

There is no better way to experience life at Spring Grove School than to talk to our staff and pupils and to see the school for yourself.  We are always pleased to arrange visits for both prospective parents and pupils.  A typical visit, organised on a weekday and at a time to suit you, would consist of an informal chat with the Headmaster and a tour of the School, where you would see our pupils carrying out their day-to-day activities.  You will also have an opportunity to view our facilities.

If you require further information or would like to arrange a visit for you and your family please call Spring Grove School on 01233 812337, joinus@springgroveschool.co.uk or visit www.springgroveschool.co.uk.

Spring Grove School Wye independent preparatory school Kent

Spring Grove School in Wye (Kent) achieved two ‘firsts’ at the start of November after being recognised as the first independent school in the UK, as well

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as the first setting of any type in Kent, to be approved by the Forest School Association (FSA) as a recognised Forest School Provider.

This outstanding recognition comes following a rigorous review of Spring Grove School’s Forest School provision and programmes in line with the FSA’s six core principles of Forest School.  To date only 9 other schools and 6 dedicated providers in the UK have attained this high standard.

The Forest School approach allows children to foster their problem-solving and cooperation skills, as well as their confidence and self-esteem, and this is definitely being witnessed at Spring Grove School where this alternative type of learning has tied in perfectly with their unique and creative educational approach and ethos. Their Forest School sessions have equipped the children, with not only an appreciation for the outdoors, but also a host of teamwork, wellbeing and practical skills which can be utilised both inside and outside of the classroom.

Mr Bill Jones, Spring Grove School’s Headmaster said;

“We  at Spring Grove School are delighted to have become the first independent school in the UK, as well as the first setting of any type in Kent to be approved as a Forest School Association recognised Forest School Provider.  It is an honour and a privilege for us to have been recognised in this way and my sincere thanks must go firstly to our outstanding Forest School team and secondly to the FSA for their recognition and support.”

“I have personally witnessed our children develop and mature as a result of our Forest School programme and through following its core principles.  The children love it and simply can’t get enough!”

“Our staff, parents and pupils choose Spring Grove School not only for its rural environment and ‘free-range’ attitude, but also because the School is truly a great place to grow for boys and girls aged 2 to 11 years.  To us the provision of outdoor learning opportunities, including our newly FSA recognised Forest School, are key components of our pupils’ wellbeing and growth.”

Mr Paul Curnow, Spring Grove School’s Forest School Leader added;

“Gaining FSA accreditation for Spring Grove School has added real credibility to our expanding Forest School programme and has provided national recognition for the efforts of our children, staff and parents who have made it all possible.”

“We can now get back into the woods to do what we love best.”


Spring Grove School Wye independent preparatory school Kent

News from Spring Grove School Wye can be viewed here

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