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‘Slow - free range children and animals’, says a sign on the drive, and this is quickly proved by wellied children noisily playing amongst the rhododendrons, Charles and Camilla (turkeys) strolling amongst them. ‘There’s a lovely feeling of coming home’, said a parent. Another parent told us that when they were shown around the school, their pupil guides disappeared. The head came out to look for them, and pointed up a tree, where the guides’ legs dangled, finished in scuffed shoes. ‘Perfect’. ‘No rules for rules sake’, says the head, who accommodates parents who want irregular contact with their children; for instance, when…

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What the school says...

All schools are unique but Ashdown House has one of the loveliest prep school sites in the country with 40 acres of grounds and the Ashdown Forest on our doorstep. Children come in by the day from 4 with most itching to be full boarders by the time they are 10 or 11. They are encouraged to push their limits whilst enjoying themselves academically, socially or physically - and tree climbing, den building and guinea pig handling go hand in hand with Latin (and Greek), History and Maths. Year 7 spend a term at the Trusts property in the south of France and all children will visit The Old Malthouse on the Jurassic Coast for geography and science field studies. Team spirit in drama, music and Art & DT is just as strong as on the sports field. Children move on at 13 to all the major public schools and achieve success in scholarships (both academic and in other disciplines) every year. The Headmaster, Haydon Moore, and his wife, Annie, with their terrific team of teachers will work tirelessly to ensure that all children in their care really do enjoy 'the best years of their lives'. ...Read more

What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2012, Haydon Moore, married to Annie, with three children, all of whom attend or attended Ashdown House. Mr Moore has had a long relationship with Ashdown House, teaching here since 2002. The head’s aim is for pupils to leave with an appreciation of the real world: they are privileged, but need to have their feet firmly on the ground, and show it in a well mannered respect for all those around them, from the head to the school cleaners.

Much liked by pupils, who evidently take his words to heart: he says a joke is only funny if everyone is laughing, one pupil told us seriously. ‘He’s nice’; ‘he listens’; ‘I could talk to him about anything’. Parents say: ‘The head is very empowering…encourages children to do something that frightens...

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Special Education Needs

Children are withdrawn for individual or small group lessons as needed. These are charged for as extras to the usual school fees. Children are also referred for assessment to our Educational Psychologist. Special arrangements are made for children to have exam concessions at the appropriate time.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
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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