Holmwood House School
Essex, United Kingdom
About Holmwood House School
Holmwood House was founded in 1922 and stands in 34 acres of grounds only 2km from Colchester town centre. Children of all abilities are welcomed and are prepared for the Common Entrance examination and for scholarships to senior independent schools both locally and nationally.
The principal aim of the school is genuine all-round education with high academic standards at its core. Small class sizes, well-qualified staff, superb facilities and high quality leadership ensure pupils at all levels make excellent progress. The Pre-Prep department enjoys spacious and modern accommodation and with the introduction of Forest School, the children benefit even more from the beautiful grounds through a programme of outdoor learning. Specialist teaching starts in Reception (French, music, PE, games, swimming) and this increases by age 6/7 (art, science, sports teams). In the Prep school, specialist teaching in all subjects offers pupils an outstanding range and depth of curriculum. Children are increasingly encouraged to take personal ownership of their learning through creative, collaborative and independent activities in all subjects. Pupils’ progress is carefully monitored and the relationship between parents and school is an important partnership. Excellent Learning Support is available when required and all teachers have a highly developed understanding of learning styles, ability levels and strategies to enhance progress.
Facilities include 20 acres of sports fields; vibrant, well-equipped classrooms; five squash courts; indoor heated swimming pool; state-of-the-art sports hall; seven tennis courts (two covered); floodlit tarmac play area; 2 adventure playgrounds; a permanent stage with sound and lighting systems; superb Art and Design facilities incorporating print and ceramic workshop; separate Music facilities. The majority of pupils study at least one musical instrument. There are four well-equipped science laboratories. The ICT facilities, networked to all classrooms including two ICT suites and iPads, also supports pupils' learning.
The extensive sports programme in which every child takes part from age 7, is delivered through generous scheduled sessions of instruction in afternoons and evenings and weekly matches against other schools are a strong feature of the week. Classes and compulsory games are all timetabled conventionally; as are ‘preps' – supervised homework. An impressive activities programme provides opportunities for pupils to experience a wide range of options; e.g. archery, fencing, kung-fu, design technology, cookery, knitting, jewellery design, athletics, squash, tennis, badminton, dance and much more. Music and drama flourish particularly, ranging from the large-scale productions to the smaller ensembles. Flexi boarding is a popular option open to all pupils from Year 5 upwards and is a great start for those children who plan to go on to a senior boarding school, where they can gain a boarding experience in familiar surroundings with their friends, to develop the necessary confidence. There is a wide range of opportunities and activities for boarders to explore and during boarding time, pupils have use of all of the school's facilities, as well as a large cinema-type TV screen for special sports events and lectures, pool tables, table football, air hockey, safe darts and table tennis.
Pastoral care is excellent and the family atmosphere is palpable. Pupils enjoy exceptionally good relationships with their teachers and the supportive atmosphere encourages them to make the most of their abilities and the abundance of opportunities on offer. Children at Holmwood House are comfortably confident, display excellent manners and have a thirst for learning. The school’s guiding principles of care, courtesy and consideration provide a framework in which children can develop their values, emotional intelligence and sense of citizenship within this and the wider community. Wraparound care is offered as an option for children from Reception to Year 3 from 7.30am, up until 6.00pm, with one member of staff for every 8 children. Pupils in Year 4 upwards also have the option to be dropped off at 7.30am and all Prep pupils have the option to stay until 6.10pm at no extra cost.
Holmwood House Nursery caters for children from 6 months to 4 years. A flexible service is offered so that children can attend either during Holmwood House term only, or for any number of different sessions and options. The Nursery is open for 48 weeks in the year.