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  • Feltonfleet School
    Byfleet Road
    KT11 1DR
  • Head: Mr Alastair Morrison
  • T 01932 862264
  • F 01932 860280
  • E
  • W
  • A mainstream independent school for pupils aged from 3 to 13
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Surrey
  • Pupils: 402
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £11,115 - £16,335; Weekly boarding £22,470 pa
  • Open days: Friday 24th February 9:00am - 11:30am; Saturday 5th May 9:30am - 12:00 noon
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • ISI report: View the ISI report

What says..

Plentiful wildlife, some real (popular guinea pigs, available for cuddles, and tadpoles, who aren’t) others artistic creations (we liked jellyfish hung at optimum viewing height for the under-7s; adults compelled to peer through forest of dangling paper fronds, Sir David Attenborough-fashion). Teaching styles varied, shock and awe a science speciality, with prospectus (helpfully written in nice big typeface - boon for older first time parents) featuring open-mouthed wonder as Bunsen burner shoots impressive flames across lab...


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What the school says...

Feltonfleet is situated in Cobham, Surrey on a stunning 25 acre site of pine woodland, games fields and landscaped play areas. Pupils join the school at Calvi House, the pre-preparatory department and leave at 13 to join a wide variety of senior schools. A further intake occurs at Year 3 when the year group increases to 3 forms per year. Occasionally places are available in other year groups, particularly Years 4 and 7. We are proud of our recent ISI Inspection report (Jan 2013) which awarded us the highest category of 'Excellent' in every area of educational provision, our fantastic Common Entrance results (June 2013) and the increasing number of senior school scholarships awarded to our pupils.

We pride ourselves on high quality teaching, excellent pastoral care and the wealth of opportunities our pupils can enjoy. Early morning / after school care is available for pupils in Years 3 upwards, to help working parents; and weekly / flexi boarding in our Grade II listed Boarding House is immensely popular with girls and boys alike.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2012, Mr Alastair G Morrison BA PGCE (40s). Follows 12 years as deputy head and director of sport at Fettes College Preparatory School. Before that, three years as class teacher of Edinburgh Academy Junior School.

Bitten by education bug when shared a house with two teachers at Durham, saw them in action and was won over by variety and fulfilment.

Instant appeal of school took trauma out of first foray south. ‘Love being here,’ he says on the website. Family immersion is total, what with smiley wife Lizzie, arts and ICT whizz, now ‘fully supportive HM’s wife’ and three daughters all attending the school. Even dog gets own portrait on the ‘Who we are’ notice board. (Bursar, not an animal lover, isn’t keen but as ‘doesn’t like humans either,’ jokes school insider, it’s staying.)

Zest, opportunity and confidence, 'the benefit that boys and girls reap from learning’ (always good in a school) are some of fab reasons that, says head, puts this establishment ‘in the front rank.’

Slightly stiff-sounding formality in print is in marked contrast to relaxed affability in the flesh. Parents unanimously keen. ‘Approachable and friendly, cheerful and bubbly,’ says one. ‘You just want to eat him and take him home,’ drooled another.

Officially ‘doesn’t take himself at all seriously,’ proof provided by skills with the dressing up box. Has delighted all by appearing as the Pink Panther. ‘Took everyone by surprise,’ says parent. More conventionally, donned kilt for Foreign Countries day (in suit and tie during morning of visit, but we’re sure he has suitably patriotic knees).

We’d lay odds, however, on necessary layer of igneous rock lying just underneath charm and soft accent, essential when there’s law to be laid down and assertive parents to be tackled. ‘Definitely strong enough to deal with that – no pushover,’ thought mother.

Considered a breath of fresh air to point where parents wonder if hasn’t got some of local schools running scared. A little over-stated, reckons Mr Morrison, though is unquestionably ambitious, sights set on making school first choice all the way through rather than acceptable reserve.

Mr Morrison is also charged by governors with bumping up boarding, turning it from current niche add-on - despite considerable perks including extra subject tuition as well as, says school, ‘super’ choice of fun stuff - to over-subscribed wanna do (expect heavy duty puns round theme of Feltonfleet Knights). With Sir William Wallace, St Joan of Arc and St George all likely to feature, could make for entertaining Saints vs Sirs tournaments…

Though extensive transport links suggest bit of own goal (why board if you can bus daily from Wimbledon?) school won’t go the day-only cop-out route. Irreplaceable depth and richness added by boarding makes it a non-negotiable.

What won’t change is school-wide emphasis on importance of treating others as you wish to be treated. Signs promoting head’s motto: ‘Be kind, be kind, be kind,’ started by predecessor and dotted round the school, show every sign of going strong, from refusal by pre-prep staff to hand out party invitations unless whole class invited (we wish it happened everywhere) to prompt quelling of pitch-side bad behaviour, parental support now so low key that Mr Morrison is having to put out message that small, selective outbreaks of cheering are perfectly OK. Useful particularly when, as referee, is on business end of choice abuse from opposing teams.

Anxious parents should feel reassured. ‘Sounds corny but there’s something intangible here which is very warm and special,’ says Mr Morrison. ‘My predecessor has handed me a lovely school and we’re not going to change in too much of a hurry but keep pushing in the same direction.’


Though no longer as non-selective as it used to be, exam success still ‘not the be all and end all,’ thought one mother.

First come, first served nursery entry means, says Mr Morrison, that ‘broad range of ability inevitably comes through.’ Parents well advised to be fleet of foot, successful bagging one of just 20 places achieved by registering at (or possibly during) birth.

Competition for 35 external year 3 places less of an extreme sport, though popularity growing so fast that border controls in form of maths and English assessment plus interview ‘to search out character and enthusiasm for learning’ are now in place. (Own year 2 children aren’t tested). No official feeders, though The Rowans, Wimbledon College Prep, Lion House, The Merlin, Weston Green and Glenesk all feature on suppliers’ list.

Lots of behind the scenes liaison to ensure smooth transition to prep, extra support formalised in year 5 (English and maths), setting introduced for most subjects in year 7 - in class and one-to-one support for 11 EAL and 80 or so SEN pupils a fixture on the menu, head’s desire to ensure barriers posed by learning difficulties are surmounted tempered with realities of what can be achieved. While classroom disruption, if severe, point at which school says no, parents praise thoroughness of approach. ‘They did assessments and have been all over it – definitely worth it,’ said one whose child has mild difficulties.

Occasional places also crop up, year 7 next biggest entry point following some post 11+ departures at end of year 6.

Judging by children we met, school’s character-judging abilities are first rate, pupils to a boy or girl displaying a maturity, vivacity and sense of fun that made them outstanding tour guides (and some of the hottest - blazer-clad, through choice, on boiling June day).


Good guidance on future schools. St John’s, Epsom and Reed’s remain the obvious destinations in 2015 (and prominent fixtures on scholarship list) though most of big names (Eton, Wellington, King’s Wimbledon, Hampton, Brighton College) put in occasional appearances.

School has right connections, reckon parents, head cultivating contacts, scholarships hovering round 16 mark (around two academic, very successful for sport).

Some year 6 departures inevitable, says Mr Morrison, ‘mainly those who parents perceive would struggle with CE.' Makes equal boy/girl split in each year group commendable, though with year 7 places easily filled, virtue pays off.

Our view

‘Really lovely,’ say parents, who warn against being over-influenced by either location (side turn off fast road makes for ‘hairy’ arrivals and departures, says one mother) or building work (new performing arts centre, now open, was under construction on date of visit).

Occasional cement mixing aside, charm is order of day. Calvi, the separate building for nursery to year 2 pupils, winningly equipped, from own hall to shaded play areas (trees a feature everywhere) with big sandpit and marked out scooter track, library that doubles as ICT room (now re-christened Digital Learning Facility - good tinies’ tongue-twister, we’d have thought), double-banked computers forming orderly row down the middle.

Sensible child and parent-friendly touches, from box packed with named bottles of sun cream by door on sunny days to big, smiley puppets adding comforting touch to office. Plentiful wildlife, too, some real (popular guinea pigs, available for cuddles, and tadpoles, who aren’t) others artistic creations (we liked jellyfish hung at optimum viewing height for the under-7s; adults compelled to peer through forest of dangling paper fronds, Sir David Attenborough-fashion).

Homely domesticity extends to main prep building (mid-19th century Victorian gothic), which opens out into sweep of green, stretching away down gentle slope towards grass pitch, idyllically bounded by woods, dipping pond much used by all year groups, boarders given exclusive romping rights once day children have gone home. ‘Wouldn’t even guess space was there,’ says parent. ‘Like a little hidden pocket.’ Weekly and flexi plus day boarding options - latter can include a full boarding day without the sleepover.

Here, as elsewhere, essential to shut ears to competing clamour of A3 that borders one side of site, though pupils oblivious, head ditto, despite home so close to slow lane that recently extending kitchen has brought them within number plate spotting distance (governors are considering acoustic barrier - we hope they get it).

Head’s study, essay in dignified blues, gets best of panoramic views, where life ‘is all happening in front of you,’ says parent, from matches to pleasant end of day tradition of biscuit distribution, children flocking in from all over grounds in response to telepathic signal beamed out by biggest box of bourbons we’ve ever seen, like navy-clad pigeons.

Plenty of idiosyncratic charm throughout, from recently revamped junior block (years 3 and 4) classrooms with winning cosiness, colour and light to seniors’ French classroom with miniature shop and restaurant, complete with groceries and chalk ‘specials’ board, much used for role play.

We’d also recommend viewing astonishing Latin room, folders block-banked by colour like giant Rubik cube, walls ringed with sturdy supermarket bags – one per child - for instant decluttering before tests, and even back-office, Perspex towers of meticulously labelled stationary boxes soaring to the ceiling, the whole like prayer to Roman god of organisation (if one existed).

Teaching styles similarly varied, shock and awe a science speciality, with prospectus (helpfully written in nice big typeface - boon for older first time parents) featuring open-mouthed wonder as Bunsen burner shoots impressive flames across lab. Most staff are ‘lovely’, says pupil. ‘My son randomly said, “Mummy, I’ve got the best teacher in the whole world, because she’s really kind",’ confirms pre-prep parent.

Best, judging by quick-fire exchange with prep pupils in English lesson to tease out clues in short story, are also brilliant, though zeal not yet universal, thought parents. ‘Some are not as motivated as I think they should be,’ reckoned a mum.

Years 1 and 2 stick broadly to national curriculum (as was) with specialist teaching for French, PE, swimming and music and get shot at DT, too – as well as input from grand-sounding and popular director of digital learning who sweeps in to ‘enhance use of computer’ - visits nursery and reception, too. Options grow with age, array of tempting additions bulked up in prep, judo to trampolining all good, food tech so sought after that canniest book up in winter, the longest term.

Surprise subject addition all way through from year 1 is positive living, new(ish) big hitter on PSHE timetable, stopping in year 7 (when perhaps pupils are so positive expectations need to be hoicked down slightly).‘Love it,’ says pupil. ‘It’s about living a happy and good life.’
Useful antidote to emphasis on emotional resilience made much of elsewhere. ‘Saddens me that it’s seen as necessary,’ says Mr Morrison.

Maximum class sizes of 18, optimum size for lively classroom atmosphere, reckons Mr Morrison, and overall teacher ratio is around half that (one to just over nine) ensuring help for any waifs and strays (almost universally true, save for one child whiling away whole class reading session by reconfiguring contents of pencil case, apparently unobserved).

Parents generally delighted with academic running, bar desire for a little more in the way of help both with exam preparation - ‘Child didn’t even know how to revise,’ thought one – and additional feedback outside formal parent teacher meetings. ‘Have to assume no news is good news,’ says prep parent. Mr Morrison is on the case with ‘eye on the reporting structure,’ he says, also stressing staff responsiveness to parental concerns whenever and however expressed.

A few will relate to sport. Strong range on offer (netball, hockey, rounders and lacrosse basic range for girls, football, rugby, hockey and cricket for boys, swimming, cross-country and athletics for both). Fab facilities, too, indoor swimming pool, all-weather Astroturf and ‘suite’ of cricket nets most recent to be added to 25-acre site which already accommodates yodelling-quality sports hall, hard surface tennis courts and two rifle ranges (air and .22) on top of scenic sports fields. All tucked in neatly, consistency of design making additions easy on the eye.

School recognises not just talent but wholesome attitudes by awarding internal sports scholarships to year 7 pupils (does same with drama and music). Strategy is to seek out challenge, everyone representing the school regardless of talent, plenty of tolerance for the rugby-averse – not the case elsewhere. ‘Often the nicest boys who do hockey,’ said year 7 pupil.

Mega results in shooting - teams beat everyone everywhere, including older siblings in senior schools (Wellington and Epsom College). Coach, who travels here from Wales ‘because he likes us’ secret weapon. Success not always replicated elsewhere, felt parent. Enviably good sportsmanship comes at a price - teams losing when, says Mr Morrison ‘I know that if they had wanted it a bit more, they could have done it.’ Delicate balancing act, thinks parent, who reckons top layer of loveliness needs to be scraped away and long-buried competitive instincts excavated so sport can take off. ‘Winning matters, that’s how life is, you get the job or you don’t get the job. School needs to teach pupils that should love to win but that it’s OK to lose.’

Performing arts popular and wide-ranging, one year 3 boy renowned for tap dancing, budding actor in year 6 making West End début. Drama high in pupil approval ratings for raising serious issues (bullying, gender wars) but not neglecting humour. ‘Emotional but funny – what you’d find in everyday life,’ said year 7 pupil of recent production.

Music draws in many, courtesy of good peripatetics (‘nicest school I work in,’ said one) almost half learning instruments, talented hitting grade 5 and up, occasional prodigy whistling through to diploma stage, orchestra supplemented by different single-instrument ensembles (flute and wind) as well as choirs (junior and senior), rotating timetables made easy with yellow badge reminders distributed daily. ‘You’re not going to forget with this hanging off you,’ says pupil.

Something of a sanctuary for with those arriving from nearby little prince (and princess) establishments, often breathing big sigh of relief at low tiara factor (or gender neutral equivalent). That said, parental attitudes, though NFS (Normal For Surrey) can prove unwelcoming for incomers. Fine for those in at the start - ‘joined in nursery and our friends will be friends for life,’ said one mother - but can translate to ‘cliques and Queen Bees,’ according to parent who joined further up the school and felt Mr Morrison might usefully beam ‘be kind’ message into minds of some adults, too. ‘Am hoping [his] influence will trickle down.’

Ditto consideration. Some irritation over parking habits of minority who cope with what one parent describes as ‘wholly inadequate’ spaces by routinely usurping slots reserved for minibus. ‘Seem to feel that so special or busy those normal rules don’t apply,’ says another parent. Other (minor) niggles include lost property black hole which can suck in objects for months, then mysteriously spit them out again - whereabouts in the meantime a mystery. Recruitment of year 8 prefects to scan changing rooms reducing the problem, reckoned pupils, though excessive spoon feeding should be curbed, thought mother. ‘Kids have to learn the responsibility for keeping their own things in check.’

Amongst all parents we spoke to, biggest gripe was reserved for uniform. Tons of it, some sensible or suitably traditional (woolly blazers, nice looking and sufficiently robust to stand repeated use as ad hoc goalposts, a case in point), others tending towards overkill/slightly bonkers, headed by summer only fleece. And don’t get parents started on the ankle socks, dark blue with - go faster?- stripes. Justifiable in summer, with khaki shorts, less so in winter with long trousers ‘when can’t see them anyway.’ ‘Needs a cull, or at least a rethink,’ thought parent. Good news, courtesy of Mrs Morrison, who feels exactly the same way, is that it’s getting one.

With the Morrisons running the show, atmospheric school seems set for still better things to come in years ahead. As long as the kindness that really does emanate from delightful pupils remains, it’s a gem heading for disco ball sparkle (but without corresponding tackiness). Expect more bullseyes - and not just in shooting.

Special Education Needs

At Feltonfleet, we endeavour to provide for the individual learner. We have a Head of SEN (SENCo)who works closely with the teaching staff, providing teachers with advice on planning and teaching through INSET, and working to ensure that pupils with a Specific Learning Difficulty (such as Dyslexia) or with other educational needs are given the best opportunities to achieve their potential throughout the curriculum. Both the SENCo and SEN teacher support sets in English and Maths as an additional teacher, working with groups or providing some individual attention. We have 3 peripatetic 1-1 specialists teachers who work with those pupils identified with a SpLD or other literacy/mathematical difficulties. Pupils are recommended by their teachers for these lessons. The SENCo ensures that all teachers are aware of the targets taught in these lessons and that they are used, where appropriate, in their own teaching objectives. A specialist peripatetic teacher for pupils with English as an Additional Language works in the same way.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Syndrome [archived]
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders [archived]
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Delicate Medical Problems [archived]
English as an additional language (EAL)
Epilepsy [archived]
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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