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Glebe House School & Nursery: Wikis


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Coordinates: 52°56′35″N 0°29′41″E / 52.94306°N 0.49472°E / 52.94306; 0.49472

Glebe House School & Nursery
GHS logo blue.gif
Motto Sicut Aquilae
'As eagles'
Established 1874
Type Independent coeducational preparatory
Headmaster John Crofts BA(Hons) PGCE
Founder Howard Cambridge Barber
Location Hunstanton
England, UK United Kingdom
Students Nursery (six months) to year eight (13 years)
Colours Navy and white          
Publication The Aquilian
Website Glebe House School & Nursery website

Glebe House School & Nursery is an independent coeducational day and weekly boarding school for children from the age of six months to 13 years (where children can choose to become boarders from the age of seven years), located in the Victorian seaside town of Hunstanton, Norfolk, England.


About Glebe House

Glebe House School began life in 1874 under the name of St Edmund's School. St Edmund's was relocated in 1901 to Surrey, at which point the original Hunstanton site was purchased by Howard Cambridge Barber and renamed Glebe House School; part of the site on which the school stands was rented from the Church, hence the name "Glebe". Barber wished to provide a preparatory boarding school for boys, from which pupils would feed into English Public Schools, or the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne House and Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Thanks to its origins, various naval traditions still exist at the school today, for example the naming of the year groups as "Divisions" as opposed to "Years".

Glebe House became coeducational in the mid 1980s.

Various interesting artifacts exist today from the school's early days. These include a photograph from 1906 of a football team from the Sandringham Estate who played against Glebe House School; the Sandringham team included the two young Princes Edward and Albert, who were later to become the respective Kings Edward VIII and George VI (the former being father to Queen Elizabeth II). Also, a hand-written and signed letter from Captain Scott, dated February 7, 1910, personally thanking the boys of Glebe House School for their donation of £3.17.6d towards the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910.

Today, the Main Building adjoins 12 acres (49,000 m2) of playing fields, which overlook The Wash and the countryside of North West Norfolk.

A new purpose built block housing junior classrooms was opened by Prince Charles in 1992. A conversion of the old dormitory block, completed in 1995, now comprises the Senior (Preparatory) School with an ICT suite, Science Laboratory and specialist teaching rooms for English, History, French, Latin and Geography. September 1996 saw the opening of a new music teaching and recital room as well as a pottery studio. More recently, a whole school wired and wireless intranet, with computer provision in all classrooms allowing controlled access to the internet, a new Drawing Room, a new library and a fully refurbished Art and Design Technology Centre have been added to the facilities already offered.

The school has a twenty five metre indoor heated swimming pool, all weather tennis and netball courts, adventure playground, trim trail and indoor gym. In 1998 the school opened a Nursery so that it can offer child care provision for children from six months prior to their entry to the Pre-Prep.

As of 2005, the Headmaster is John Crofts BA (Hons) PGCE.

In the summer of 2006, the school featured in a Channel 4 two-part documentary series entitled "Admission Impossible [1], a program following the applications of six children to their first-choice schools. The young boy applying to Glebe House was successful in gaining a scholarship and, thanks to a bursary scheme and the generosity of numerous benefactors nationwide, was able to enter Division (Year) III the following September.


The Preparatory School

The Preparatory School caters for children from Year III to Year VIII. The majority are day pupils although approximately 20% board on a weekly or flexi basis. For day pupils the school day runs from 8.30am to 6pm, Glebe House does not have school on Saturdays, although some matches are played then. From Year III children begin to have their lessons taught by subject specialists until by Year V all of their lessons are specialist taught. Lessons cover the usual national curriculum areas plus French, ICT, PE & Games (including swimming), Music & Drama.

The school provides individual music lessons and ballet lessons on request.

The Pre-prep

The Pre-Prep caters for children from Reception to Year II, where they have their own classrooms, but in addition use many of the Main School facilities such as the Music School, the Hall, Gym & Swimming Pool, where they are often taught by subject specialists. The Pre-prep consists mostly of children moving up from the Nursery, as well as those joining the school for the first time. The Pre-Prep day runs from 8.35am to 3.30pm. Upon joining the school every child becomes part of the school house system.

The Nursery

The Nursery is open for 50 weeks a year and caters for boys and girls from the ages of six months to four years. The ages are divided into three main rooms the 0-2 room, 2-3 room and the 3-4 room, where each child is allocated a key worker.

The Nursery day runs from 8.30am to 4pm, divided into sessions: 8.30 to 12noon, 8.30 to 1pm, 12noon to 4pm and 1pm to 4pm. A hot and nutritious lunch is provided for children between 12 noon and 1pm.

The Nursery follows the Social Services recommendations for staff ratios. Babies are cared for in a bright and well resourced environment, with a staff to child ratio of 1-3. Children move to the 2-3 room (with a staff ratio of 1-4) in the term after they reach two years of age and become a part of the "Foundation Group". All children have time outside every day either in their own garden areas, or walking and playing in the school grounds (weather permitting) or alternately playing in the school Gym.

In the 3-4 room the staff ratio is 1-8 and the children are a continuing part of the Foundation Group, following a curriculum that is closely linked with the Pre-prep Reception Class.

Recent developments

As of 2007, some of the School's most recent developments have included:

  • The instillation of two band-new interactive whiteboards
  • The creation of a school council, giving pupils a hand in the operation of the school and experience of how such a system operates.
  • The introduction of an ‘Aquilae Award’ scheme, encouraging children to take advantage of the extensive range of extracurricular activities on offer
  • The introduction of breakfast and supper clubs, to help parents with drop-off/pick-up times
  • The creation of a new wildlife garden, largely designed and created by the pupils themselves, aided by local landscapers and the local council.

In the Pre-prep, the "Glebe House Out of School Time" (or GHOST) club has been operating every week day during term-time since 2005, enabling children to stay on at school, participating in various activities, until the Prep School finish time of 5.50pm. Organised and free-choice activities include football, music, drama and Dance.

Students and Houses

The school is split into three houses. These are:

  • Barber's: named after the school's founder, Howard Cambridge Barber; colour: gold     
  • L'Estrange: named after a local land-owning family on whose land part the school stands; colour: Red     
  • St Edmund's: named after Glebe House's "mother" school of the same name in Surrey; colour: Green     

Pupils are assigned houses upon entering the Pre-prep at age 4. In addition to the principal three houses, there are two boarding houses: Eyrie (the girls' boarding house) and Lady Margaret Cottage (the boys' boarding house).

There are many Inter-House competitions at Glebe House, both sporting and academic. These include Football, Rugby union, cross country, House singing and Public Speaking. The competitions themselves are held every year, and the "House Flag" is awarded annually to the house which has gained the most points throughout the year.


Boarding is available for children in the Prep School on Monday to Thursday nights inclusive. ‘Full boarders’ take advantage of all four nights whilst others may choose to board on regular or occasional nights throughout the term. Boarding at Glebe offers a useful preparation for boarding life at a senior school.

The boarding routine begins immediately after school. Following supper the senior children finish homework under the supervision of a member of staff before joining the juniors for evening activities with the Gap year students. Activities vary from use of the music, art and ICT rooms, playing games in the gym or on the playing fields and occasional excursions to the local park or beach.

Following activities the girls and boys retire to their respective boarding houses, each offering a large common room with easy chairs, TV, DVD and videos and a selection of quiet games. Each house has at least two resident staff who supervise quiet activities, evening snacks and bedtime.

Those who learn a musical instrument are allocated practice times each morning before breakfast.


GHS sport.jpg

The principal sports played in Autumn, Spring and Summer terms respectively are:

In addition, a large variety of minor sports take place throughout the year, including football, rugby sevens, tennis, swimming, archery, cross-country, athletics, gymnastics and ballet.

The school's sports facilities are extensive and include:

Music & Drama

Individual instrumental or vocal lessons are provided on request; these include strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, drums, guitars (electric and classical) and singing. These take place during the school day and are given by visiting peripatetic teachers. Various ensemble groups take place during break times, and two school choirs (Pre-prep and Prep) rehearse once a week. Regular informal concerts are given throughout the year, culminating in the main "Summer Sensation" concert at the end of the Summer term, in which many pupils participate with a huge variety of acts. The choirs also sing at official school services (such as the Carol service and Leavers' service) in St Mary's Church, Old Hunstanton.

Drama is very strong at Glebe House, with regular termly productions. Recent productions have included Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Holiday Courses

The "Go! Glebe" programme runs for a period of two weeks in the Easter holiday and four weeks in the summer holiday providing a wealth of activities for varying age groups, from lifeguarded swimming sessions available every weekday afternoon, to football coaching, archery, tennis and swimming lessons, sailing, dry slope skiing, informative excursions, art and craft sessions, singing workshops, cycle training and a drama week. The Go! Glebe courses are open to all children from any school.

Other trips and excursions take place regularly throughout the year. Alongside regular annual trips such as the ski trip and the senior year’s week in Paris, recent trips have included residential visits to Hadrian’s wall, London and York, and a cricket tour of East Anglia.

Old Aquilians

Past pupils of the school are called "Old Aquilians". As of 2006, an Old Aquilian Society is being revived. In July 2007, a one-day game of cricket was played between an Old Aquilians' XI and a Headmaster's XI. Other reunions take place throughout the year.

Feeder schools

Glebe House pupils feed into a number of Senior Schools, including:

Glebe Gallery

Click on thumbnails to view full-size image.

External links


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