students with their hand raised in the air

School History

One of the oldest prep schools in the country, Beachborough was originally founded in Surrey in 1910, by an energetic young teacher called Frederick Edmondson Chappell.

Beachborough School exterior

The school was initially called the Downs, named after the rolling hills it nestled in, but after several moves and having miraculously survived the First World War without its founder and headmaster (who was busy on the front line), it settled at Beachborough Park near Folkestone in Kent. From the top of Summerhouse Hill, within the grounds, the coast of France was clearly visible and it was this summerhouse that gave the school its badge.

“Conemur tenues grandia – Although we are small, let us try for great things.”

Fred Chappell

The name stuck, even after the school moved again when World War Two broke out and the MOD requisitioned the building. From here, it began its gradual journey westwards, first to Stockbridge in Hampshire where it merged with another prep school, and then finally to Northamptonshire where Fred Chappell, scouring the countryside on his motorbike, had found a new home. Here, in this idyllic location on the edge of a pretty village, the boys of Westbury Manor School suddenly found themselves with a new headmaster, new fellow pupils and a new name – Beachborough had arrived.


Fred couldn’t have done a better job in finding himself, his wife and his school a new home. When Fred Chappell retired in 1958 he formed the school into an Educational Trust with a Board of Governors. The first Headmaster to run the school as a Trust was Eric Sprawson (1958 to 1974). Since then the Headmasters have been Andrew Jackson (1975 -1979), Simon Carder (1979 – 1988), Tony Boardman (1988 – 2005), Jonathan Whybrow (2005 -2013), Jeremy Banks (2013 – 2018), Christian Pritchard (2018- 2023) and Simone Mitchell (2023- date). If Fred came back today he would doubtless be surprised and impressed by the new buildings and facilities, but reassured by how beautiful and familiar so much else is.

Historical images

The lovely 17th century Manor House is the heart of the school, especially in the winter when the fire in the main hall is lit. While it is beautiful and historic on the outside, the interior is firmly in the 21st century with ICT Suites, an Art Studio, Dining Room, a Library, Music Rooms, Language Suites, a Food Technology Kitchen, Science Labs and airy modern Classrooms. The terrace beside the Manor House leads down to a sweeping lawn with a playground at the bottom, there is a bridge over the stream leading to expansive playing fields, while on the other side of the car park there are tennis courts, the forest school, the woods and a path that takes you to the wetland’s areas. Elsewhere on the school site, there has been an ambitious building programme in recent years. In 2005, The Boardman was built to house the Nursery to Form III, and we celebrated the school’s centenary in 2010 with a brand-new sports hall complete with a 5 a side football pitch, badminton courts, a trampoline, cricket and archery nets. These facilities compliment the outdoor Astroturf, tennis and netball courts and of course, the acres of grass playing fields. The old gym has been re-developed into a drama studio where plays and music are performed regularly. Larger-scale events, concerts, assemblies, and other occasions when the whole school gets together happen in the Performing Arts Centre, which is fully equipped with lighting and sound technology that gives performances at Beachborough a truly professional feel and pupils the opportunity to learn to use this kind of equipment.

The boarding facilities having been beautifully refurbished through sponsorship from six local senior schools, were given an exciting restructure in 2017 with the launch of the new Kites boarding house.

Our most recent project, completed in 2017, is the new TED suite where children can learn to use the very latest technology. In this state-of-the-art facility, they will learn coding, robotics, digital design, 3-D printing and laser cutting – skills they will need in our increasingly technological world.

Front of Beachborough School

Classrooms at Beachborough are well-resourced with the latest technology, smartboards, and a wealth of electronic learning devices. We have specialist laboratory classrooms for science and libraries in both the Manor House and The Boardman where children can enjoy reading a wide range of books.

All of these facilities provide a superb setting for the excellent, wide-ranging education children at Beachborough benefit from.

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