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Somerhill is a terrifically sporty school, with over 500 fixtures annually. Hardly surprising given the sport-loving heads and extensive parkland that enables it to host large-scale events. ‘Provision is great if you’re into it, not so good for the non-sporty’, says one parent, meaning there’s little escape and regular compulsory Saturday fixtures from year 5 for the boys. Parents say the school doesn’t wrap children up in cotton wool, and while ‘sporty kids would be in their element, it’s also good for wall-flowers … the art room is open for all at break times as is the library’.

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Headmaster of Yardley Court and principal of The Schools at Somerhill since 1998, John Coakley BA MA PGCE (50s). Educated at Bishop Wordsworth’s Grammar School in Salisbury, read English at York, followed by a PGCE at Oxford and an MA in English at New Brunswick University, Canada. Previously headmaster of Ryde School on the Isle of Wight and of Saltus Grammar School in Bermuda.

He is warm and welcoming, straight-talking and fizzing with enthusiasm. Known affectionately as Mr C by children and parents, his modest office in the eaves suggests a deliberate lack of grandeur. He lives in a house in the grounds, with his chocolate labrador, Stanley, and holidays in France.

A pupil describes him to us with genuine enthusiasm as ‘fantastic, he’s always there...

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Special Education Needs

We have four specialists working in the SEN department. Pupils are normally seen by withdrawal either in one to one situations or in small groups. Support is provided primarily for pupils with dyslexia and dyscalculia but we also have experience helping boys and girls with elements of mild Aspergers and ADD/ADHD. Nov 09.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
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
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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